August Is When Uptight Paris Unbuttons a Few More Buttons

The French capital empties out in August, but still has energy—just a different sort.

August in Paris is over, and I miss it already. The deadest month, the most quiet, the month when Parisians leave on their endless holidays and the city empties out like a resort in the off season, only less melancholy. Traffic thins; shops close, sometimes for the entire month; restaurants shut; there are seats to be found on the metro; and in the evening, stragglers (not everyone can afford to go away) emerge from their stuffy, un-air-conditioned apartments and gather along the banks of the Seine.

In August, this uptight city unbuttons a few more buttons.

One warm evening, I walked a good stretch of riverfront promenade, and the scene was joyous. Families out for a walk; kids climbing on climbing walls; couples embracing; friends at picnic tables eating from Tupperware; tourists taking pictures of wounded Notre-Dame, without her spire, encased in scaffolding; South Asian men selling bottles of beer and chilled rosé from backpacks—“Du vin, madame?”—people of all ages and colors dancing with abandon to Michael Jackson’s Thriller on a makeshift dance floor near the Pont Neuf, like wild teenagers letting it loose while their parents are out of town.

The bakery near my apartment was closed for the first three weeks of August. Three weeks! For a while, when I looked out my apartment windows in the evenings, nary a light was on in the building across the street. Even Google knows it is August in Paris. Gmail recently offered some canned responses to an invitation I’d received. Its options: “I’ll be there!” “I’ll come!” and “I’m on vacation!” I managed to get a table, without waiting, at one of the best restaurants in Paris

The French government shuts down in August, too. It is not uncommon for high-level officials with sensitive dossiers in important ministries to take three or four weeks off, without checking email. The entire country operates on what’s basically an academic schedule. In May and June, people start making appointments for after the rentrée—that is, September. Employees have seven weeks of paid holiday time (albeit with lower pay than their counterparts elsewhere).

Continue reading “August Is When Uptight Paris Unbuttons a Few More Buttons”

Movies at the Louvre

The Louvre and mk2 proposed to revisit eight unforgettable films under a new eye.

[TROISCOLEURS translation Google] Just below the majestic Clock Pavilion and the silent statues that surround it, couples of dancers try their hand at tango and some players improvise a game of ping-pong, while others have decided to go straight to the table. aperitif, a glass of wine and plates in the hand. It is between her royal walls that Isabelle Adjani ran, her hands bloody and her face pale, to escape her destiny in Patrice Chéreau’s La Reine Margot , released in 1994.

And it is in this place full of history and memory film that the Louvre Museum, in partnership with mk2, has chosen to install for a week in its courtyard Carrée ephemeral screen, to offer spectators to see for free at open sky 8 films both popular and demanding. On a canvas 24 meters high, designed as a window to the world where the arid landscapes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade parade , the French campaigns of Faces Villages and the romantic New York of When Harry meets Sally , curious and regulars have rediscovered these cult works in a dreamlike setting.

It is 22h when daylight begins to decline. The dance floor suddenly empties, the sound of boules balls stops and the food truck odors are more distant. As an air mixed with nostalgia fleet forward on the faces of the spectators, who are just coming to see this fourth evening a movie-like declaration of love in the 7 th art: Cinema Paradisoof Giuseppe Tornatore. While Alfredo and Totò’s complicit faces, hidden behind their projection booth, invade the screen on Ennio Morricone’s score, we feel that these images resonate between the columns of the palace like distant and intimate memories in the audience , until this magical sequence of the outdoor cinema-club where the storm breaks out, and which suddenly opens a magnificent mise-en-abyme to the audience.

Because it is the idea of ​​a unifying cinema, able to federate all ages and all sensibilities, which forms the thread of the event, and that we feel even more palpable in the forefront. last night, where The Journey of Chihiro from Hayao Miyazaki is shown. For some, it’s an outdoor reunion with a movie that terrorized and amazed their childhood – like Justine, who saw the film when it was released in 2001 when she was only 10 years old. For others, this nocturnal event has the taste of the first time-like Dana, who discovers with amazement the richness of this initiatory tale about the fears of childhood and the power of imagination. Like the spectators who have lost none of their ingenuity and are still trembling at the sight of the witch of Yubaba and know by heart the mimicry of Sans-Face, the film has not taken a wrinkle. It was perhaps only necessary to see him again in this unreal place and out of time to notice it.

Source: Report: Cinema Cinema Louvre Nightlife – TROISCOULEURS

Paris Hits Sweltering New Heat Record

The Paris area hit 108.3 degrees Fahrenheit, beating the previous record of 104.8 F set in 1947.

PARIS (AP) — Record temperatures are being set across Europe, including Paris, as the continent swelters Thursday in what is its second heat wave this summer.

Climate scientists warn this could become the new normal in many parts of the world. But temperate Europe — where air conditioning is rare — isn’t equipped for the temperatures frying the region this week.

Source: Paris Hits Sweltering New Heat Record | HuffPost

Americans In Paris

A weekly public radio program and podcast. Each week we choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme.Many Americans have dreamy and romantic ideas about Paris, notions which probably trace back to the 1920s vision of Paris created by the expatriate Americans there. But what’s it actually like in Paris if you’re an American, without rose-colored glasses?

Listen at THIS AMERICAN LIFE: Americans In Paris