There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the
things there are to do in Paris…and in English,
Since I last wrote, in addition to my normal International
Living work efforts and Parler Parlor sessions, I attended
the house- warming of the new Palais de Tokyo, attended a
play (in English and French), had drinks in an Irish pub,
went to a "vernissage" (opening) of a friend’s new
paintings, attended a "metaphysical" philosophy cafe,
visited an exhibition of artists’ works at a contemporary
art fair, attended a dinner on a "peniche" (barge) on the
Seine with a lecture by a well-known American artist,
attended the annual meeting of my apartment building’s
association, not to mention dinners in five restaurants
(one new Camerounian, one new Auvergnate) and a three-hour
walking tour just to get exercise!
Am I exhausted? No! Exhilarated! And Paris is more
excitingly beautiful every day.
The single most impressive highlight of the week’s events
is one that you won’t want to miss yourself:
THE PALAIS DE TOKYO, next to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la
Ville de Paris, was an initiative of the Ministry of
Culture and Communication in 1999 to reinvent it as a
laboratory dedicated to contemporary arts. The theme:
"Participate in the Future of Art."
This past week, the city opened its doors with a five-day
house- warming party. Now open Tuesday through Sunday from
12 noon to 12 midnight, the 12-hour per day schedule should
give you plenty of opportunity to experience this new,
inventive center for the creative spirit.
Filled with contemporary artists’ installations, a
bookshop/boutique, and cafeteria, it is a haven for
creative talent as well as appreciates of contemporary art
and free thought.
If you want to do more than be an observer, you can
participate in the myriad of programs available to interact
with — via their study programs, lectures, thematic
evenings, performances, debates, showcases, fashion shows,
readings and of course, exhibitions in constant flux and
My favorite on display right now? Tough to choose between
the huge mounds of dirt that a group of men in day-glo
dress mount and descend over and over again on a video tape
or the free-form three-meter high sculpture made of white
paper lamp shades or the four-meter high wastepaper basket
filled with newspapers and magazines. Either way, if you’re
like me, you will walk away with merriment and wonder
trying to understand how these young creative minds’ think,
or don’t "think" and simply "create," which is what art for
me is all about.
Palais de Tokyo
Site de creation comtemporaine
13, avenue du President Wilson
Tel : 01 4723 5401
Fax : 01 4720 1531
Admission is 5 euros and worth every cent.
A la prochaine fois…
email: mailto:[email protected]
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*** THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL WRITER’S WORKSHOP…IN PARIS!
April 23 – 26, 2002
The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop is getting BOOKED UP
— so if you haven’t been able to make a firm decision yet,
maybe it would be smart to RESERVE NOW to take advantage of
the EARLY REGISTRATION SAVINGS of $200 simply by making a
deposit of one- third of the price of the workshop,
refundable less a $50 processing fee up until March 15th.
See all the details about this exciting workshop at
*** And even if you’re not participa
ting in the course, you
may want to do a pre-conference "SURVIVAL FRENCH" immersion
course by Marie-Elisabeth Crochard April 22 and 23:
*** Or LITERARY TOURS OF PARIS
April 27 and 28 by Elizabeth Reichert.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*** THE WRITERS INSIDER GUIDE TO PARIS
Elizabeth Reichert’s WRITERS INSIDER GUIDE TO PARIS
includes her recounts of one-on-one interviews with
well-know local authors. This is one of my
favourites…which has been abbreviated and edited for this
HARRIET WELTY ROCHEFORT’S STORY: AUTHOR OF "FRENCH TOAST"
AND "FRENCH FRIED"
Harriet Welty Rochefort first came to France as a student
in 1967. It wasn’t until 30 years after residing in Paris
that Harriet decided to write a book about her experiences.
"I sat down and wrote FRENCH TOAST (Saint-Martin’s Press,
1999)," she explains "because I felt like I had to write
this book. The process was a cathartic one. All the
subjects were dear to me and I felt compelled to address
those cultural issues."
Harriet’s second book, FRENCH FRIED (Saint-Martin’s Press,
2001), a collection of personal essays told through the
context of French cuisine, was written for similar personal
reasons: one, she felt the book "needed to come out," but
two, she also had her editor’s support. Harriet is
currently writing her third book that explores, once again,
the cultural differences between French and American
When asked what advice would she give to writers interested
in writing Paris-related books, Harriet replied, "BE
PERSISTENT AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE
WILL…And if you don’t firmly believe in yourself, what
you say will not have value for you, nor for your
You can read more about Harriet and her books at
P.S. Harriet will be speaking at our upcoming Travel
Writers Workshop in April.
P.P.S. I have searched high and low for my signed copy of
"French Fried," and can’t find it — so I know I’ve loaned
it to one of you dear friends. Whoever has it, ‘fess up!
And if you haven’t read it, it’s a must!
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