Dumplings, Three-D, and Things to Do
Four China Towns
There are four China Towns in Paris. Most people think there are only two, but I beg to differ. Within two days I managed to visit three of them. The third largest of the four is in my own ‘hood’ near the Arts et Métiers Métro on rues Volta and Au Maire. It’s here I buy bags of fresh roasted nuts for ‘peanuts’ and get great take-out of dishes you don’t see in the Chinese “traiteurs” all over town.
The one most recognized is in the 13th district centered around the new ‘Olympiades’ station on line 14. Everyone runs there first to shop at “Les Frères Tang” on avenue de Choisy, the biggest Chinese grocery in Paris. While it has plenty to offer, it’s definitely not the only Mahjong game in town.
The fourth area is hidden away in the 18th around rues de Torcy and d’Olive near the Marx-Dormoy Métro. There are loads of great restaurants, in one of which I found myself with a colleague Friday afternoon. Next door, the old covered market “La Chapelle” at 10 rue de l’Olive, was recently renovated and is one of those hidden spots few tourists every see and may be afraid to venture for the eclectic ethnic and immigrant mix you find here. (It’s getting more “branché” all the time!) This is where you can buy wine bottled just for you along with all the Chinese and Asian food products and everything is much less expensive than in central Paris.
The second most well-known area is Belleville in the 19th. It was here we met for dumplings at Guo Xin, 47, rue de Belleville before heading off to visit various artists’ studios during the annual “Porte Ouvertes des Ateliers de Ménilmontant.” (10€ buys you a very substantial and delicious meal of dumplings, soups or other fare, and just next door is my favorite Asian restaurant, “Lao Siam” at number 49.)
The afternoon was sponsored by The Paris Photography Meetup Group, made up mostly of Anglophones with an interest in photography, of course. Their first stop was at Kevin Hayden’s exhibition at his atelier on rue Orfila (number 20) where Kevin talked openly about his work to a group of about 20.
Paris Through the Ages in 3D
It took several days to set up the nine screens in an 180 degree circle on the “parvis” of the Paris Hôtel de Ville (youtube.com). A friend who lives in an apartment overlooking the monumental square watched the set-up and the rehearsal for what was to come on Saturday night — the entire history of Paris in 3D on the nine screens, for all of those who could get there early enough to get a seat.
We were fortunate enough to watch it all from her windows with a glass of wine in hand — 5,000 years of history on interaction projection; a mixture of images from the real world and real-time images of the virtual world — the brain child of Dassault Systèmes. Their Web site was launched the same day, offering an interactive 3D experience of emblematic places and key periods of the capital city from Gallo-Roman times to Notre Dame’s construction, from the construction of the Louvre to when the Bastille was still standing. Tonight, Channel Planète+ will broadcast the 90-minute piece at 8:45 p.m. titled “Paris, la ville à remonter le temps” (“Paris, the city back in time” ). Following will be four 52-minute episodes broadcast tomorrow night October 2nd and October 9th, also at 8:45 p.m., entitled “Paris, une histoire capitale” (“Paris, a capital history”).
Coming up in the City of Light
I sent off a list of things to do in Paris over the next couple of weeks to friends who arrive in the next few days for vacation. The list keeps getting longer, but here’s just a few:
And, don’t forget that this afternoon is our NEW! Aussie-Francophile Property Network, October 1, 2012 at 6 p.m. upstairs at La Pierre du Marais! Meet with me and Sarah Potter, Director of Endroit Property LTD to learn more about living and investing in France. It’s free and it’s informative! (On the corner of rue des Archives and rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, Métro Lines 3, 9, and 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers.) Visit Aussie Francophile Property Network for more information and to become a member!
Plus next Tuesday, October 9th, American photographer Michael Honegger will be teaching us “Eye Phoned Paris™”…capturing images of the City of Light by phone! For details, visit Parler Paris Après Midi.
Hope you have comfortable shoes and plenty of stamina to keep up with it all!
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
P.S. What does a southerner from “N’Awlins” know about city nicknames that offend the residents of the city? Not much, as it turns out…since a few of you complained about my calling San Francisco “Frisco!” Little did I know that (according to the UrbanDictionary.com, it is the “proper term to use for ‘San Francisco’ when you want to annoy uptight “Friscans!” And also an “improper way to abbreviate San Francisco and a sure way to let someone know you aren’t from there or spent any real time there.” One reader wronte, “F–k you, I call it Frisco. San Francisco born and bred, Western Addition and Mission District. Anyone who says its disrespectful for the city is just trying to be condescending to the person that used the word.” And another wrote in, “An abominable way to refer to the city of San Francisco. It disrespects the entire city and should not be uttered by anyone, as by decree of Emperor Norton I!” So to all of you San Franciscans of whom were offended, I sincerely apologize!
P.P.S. Twenty-seven years ago at exactly this moment I was ‘push-push-pushing’ to bring my daughter into the world. Women who have children know that it’s one of those experiences one never forgets — both the pain and the pleasure of it all — and one I doubt few would want to change. Clearly, it was one of the best moments of my life and continues to bring me joy. So, to my daughter, Erica Simone [Leeds] (EricaSimone.com), a very special happy birthday.