Springing Up A Run Of Holidays
Paris is springing to life after a long winter and the country is getting ready for the primary holiday season in France. For those of you who have followed the life of my red geraniums, and who suggested I cover them in bubble wrap over the winter — rejoice! They are alive and happy and sprouting back to life.
Saturday, the Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group served up coordinator Elisabeth Crochard’s spicy Chili Con Carne and lit candles on her homemade chocolate cake to celebrate its 6th year in Paris. That afternoon the streets were a buzz of shoppers scarfing up the new fashions in day-glo colors of reds, yellows, oranges and pinks — colors that normally don’t fit the smoky tones of Paris, but sure are a welcome relief after six months of “Gray Paree.” they mirror the blossoms popping up from the flower beds all over town.
Sunday, tens of thousands ran the 28th Annual Marathon de Paris, setting off at 8:45 a.m. from the Champs-Elysées. 34,500 registered to run; 29,000 finished the race. I missed the event — although if it’s like the Tour de France, once is enough to wait an hour to watch a mass of runners or cyclists whiz past you in just a few moments.
Instead I opted for an early convening with a small group of accomplished writers and authors whose sole purpose was to get guidance from Pulitzer Prize nominee Kathleen Spivack and let the total of the creative energy emanating from the “players” spark our best writing talents. It did (I was able to fluidly pen the first five pages of ‘the story I’ve always wanted to tell’) and the quality of the work produced that morning was fresh, alive and astoundingly creative. (If you have any interest in writing or improving upon the writing you already are doing, take advantage of all the workshops coming up this spring here in Paris. A listing can be found in the March 30th issue of Parler Paris.
Being the first Sunday of the month, the permanent collection at the Centre Pompidou was open and free to the public. The line was long, but moving rapidly and its main objective was the Joan Miró exhibit — focusing on the complexity of his work between 1920 and 1930 — “years of intense production and exuberant invention in the visual arts’ field.” There are about 100 paintings, collages, constructions and inventions of all sorts, some shown for the first time. If you like Miró’s work, you’ll love the exhibition. The best time to go is in the evenings — take advantage of Mondays and Thursdays when the museum is open till 11 p.m.
If you’ve been here during the months of April and May, then you already know to expect lots of closures for a line-up of “jours feriers” — holidays that warrant long weekends and closings. Tonight marks the first night of Passover, the beginning of the season. Rue des Rosiers will be a beehive today as those preparing for the traditional “Seder” (festive meal) will be buying up “Matzah” (unleavened bread), “Gefilte fish” (fish balls served with horseradish) and kosher wine. I’m having my closest friends for the telling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt (the “Haggadah”) who are not all Jewish, but who wouldn’t miss a celebration that involve serious dining!
Next weekend starts off with Good Friday, then follows Easter Sunday and Monday, April 12th is a “jour ferier,” too. France is 83%-88% Roman Catholic , so mark your calender — Parler Parlor will be closed as will lots of other establishments. I’ll be heading south to the countryside myself for a long weekend along with the rest of the Parisians.
More holiday closings to come:
Saturday, May 1 — Fête du Travail (Labor Day)
Saturday, May 8 — Fin de la Guerre (End of WWII)
Thursday, May 20 — Ascension (Parler Parlor will close on Saturday, May 22 for the long weekend)
Sunday, May 30 and 31 — Pentecôte (Pentecost)
Take advantage of the lazy days and enjoy the parks and gardens and life on the streets as the trees and flowers spring to life once again.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]
P.S. To see photos from the Parler Parlor Hot Chili Lunch, visit http://www.parlerparlor.com/events.html