Dec 30, 2009

I was stuck on the queue in the Shoah Memorial and Museum. Located at 17, rue Geoffroy l’Asnier, 4 th arrondissement, opened in 2005. The first installation of the Shoah Memorial and Museum is the deeply moving Wall of Names, tall plinths honoring the 76,000 French Jews deported from France to the Nazi concentration camps and only 2,500 survived.

I walked in through tight airport security, and the first thing I saw, are long walls inscribed with the names of those who were lost. In the courtyard there’s a bronze cylinder, symbolizing the chimneys of the death camps that bears the names of the Warsaw Ghetto. There are lots of interactive displays, and much of the text is presented in both French and English. I was interested in seeing the films clips and photography of everyday life before the war, and of the deportations and life and death in the camps. On a lower floor is an eternal flame, sits across from the door of a barrack from one of the camps. The memorial also contains the Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation. There are reading rooms, an excellent bookstore and a café.

Station on Paris metro: Saint Paul, Hôtel de Ville, Pont Marie

Dec 28, 2009

Visiting Hôtel de Ville was enchanting. Located at 29, rue de Rivoli , 4th arrondissement, housing city's administration. It inspired by Châteaux de Loire Valley, french renaissance.
In 1246 the first municipality was created when the Parisian trade guilds elected aldermen as representatives towards the King. There was no municipal building until 1357 when one of the aldermen, a water merchant, bought a house near the place de Grève. The two-storied building featured two towers and arcades. Known as the House of Pillars, served as a meeting place for the aldermen.
A revolting Commune which had occupied the Hôtel de Ville for months set the building on fire in May 1871, destroying the building as well as the valuable city archives. The architects who reconstructed the Hôtel de Ville : Ballu, Deperthes. The lounge's artisitc and certainly beautiful. Funded by a national subscription the construction started in 1873. Nine years later, the new Hôtel de Ville was officially inaugurated.
Station on Paris metro: Hôtel de Ville

Dec 27, 2009

From Saint Paul metro station, walking up and turned left on Rue de Turenne. Wondering why many designers held fashion show in the Place des Vosges. It's a nice central park surrounded by arcades with shops and cafes. It straddles the dividing line between 3 rd and 4 th arrondissement.

Originally known as Place Royale, the building is a pure early 17 th century architecture.Inside the square, the splendid fountains still have the name of King Louis XIII who was in power when the square was completed in the 1600s.

The Place des Vosges has two major houses. In the middle of the north side is the Queen Pavillon, dedicated to the former queen of France. On the south side is the King Pavillon, Le Pavillon du Roi. These houses are not open to visitors. But I visited the home of Victor Hugo, the famous author of “Les Miserables.” It is now a city run museum, open to the public free of charge.

Many tourists stay in the Hotel Pavillon de la Reine, located just north of Place des Vosges, accessible through the arches beside the great Gallery Vivendi. The gallery is well known for the famous artists shown in their exhibitions. Besides Gallery Vivendi, many other art galleries have chosen this most prestigious address. Their windows look out over the square, a tempting invitation to the many people passing by. On the southwest corner of the square, a secret door open only during the day, entry to the beautiful Hotel de Sully Gardens. The building is now a photography museum. Cross through another passage and I found a courtyard with enchanting statues representing the four seasons.

Station on Paris metro: Saint Paul, Chemin Vert

Dec 25, 2009

Get off at Metro Pont-Marie (line 7), then turn left, there's Hôtel de Sens, located at 1, rue du Figuier, 4 th arrondissement. Without realizing, I stopped and admiring this medieval residence's elegant formal gardens and dramatic design.

Built between 1474-1519 as a residence for Tristan de Salazar, the archbishop of Sens. The architecture of Hotel de Sens features elements of defense. There are turrets built for surveillance; a square tower served as a dungeon; the arched entryway has chutes built into it enabling defenders to pour boiling water on invaders. The Council of Paris decided to create a library specializing in art and art techniques in 1883. The Council wished to create a place where people could draw, use models and borrow books. At that time Samuel Fornay, an industrialist, donated to the City 200,000 francs to be used for the education of young artists. It is in honor of this man that the Bibliothèque Fornay gets its name. 1961, the Bibliothèque Fornay was established in the Hôtel de Sens. The library has a collection of 200,000 books, 2,580 periodicals, 23,000 posters, 1,110,000 postcards, 325,000 reproductions, 28,000 commercial catalogues and 50,000 slides.

Station on Paris metro: Pont Marie

The Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme, established in 1948 by a private association to pay homage to a culture that had been destroyed by the Holocaust. Located at 71, rue du Temple, 3d arrondissement, certainly in marais neighborhood. The first collections of this museum comprised religious objects handed back in 1951 by the American Jewish Restitution Organisation, commissioned to redistribute Jewish cultural goods looted by the Nazis. Thank's to Léon Frenkiel, the museum's founder, a collection of documents on European synagogue architecture was built up.

In the early years, acquisitions consisted of European religious objects and sought to represent North African Judaism. The museum's first curator, Marie Chabchay, embarked on building up a narrow but comprehensive collection of graphic works by Russian and German Jewish artists. There followed works by artists from the Paris school, and various gifts. The other core collection comes from the Musée national du Moyen Âge. In 1988, the Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme has endeavoured to add to the original collections, focusing on France, the history of the Jews, religious art, ethnography and works by Jewish artists.

When I was there, the Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme was organizing a special “gastronomical” tour of its expositions. It's interesting taste and culture.

Station on Paris metro: Châtelet , Châtelet - Les Halles , Hôtel de Ville, Les Halles, Rambuteau

The Centre Culturel Suedois (Swedish Cultural Center in Paris), located across from the Square Georges Cain on 11,Rue Payenne, 3 rd arrondissement. The center is housed in an ornate Renaissance-style building, build in 1560. Modified many times, in 1965 to present, become Centre Culturel Suedois.The Centre Culturel Suedois schedules film screenings, concerts, exhibits, and other cultural events.

Station on Paris metro: St Paul, Chemin-Vert

Passage de Retz, 9 rue Charlot, 3 rd arrondisement
Centre of art contemporain and photographies

Dec 23, 2009

About Nitrate and cellulose. Nitrocellulose. We can find nitrocellulose in the manufacturing celluloid, collodion, etc. When I thought celluloid, I thought dolls. Celluloid is a plastique. Invented by J.W. Hyatt from nitrate de cellulose and camphre. It's always interesting to know how to make dolls. So I decided to visit the Musée de la Poupée to see the collections of dolls.

Musée de la Poupée (Dolls Museum), located at Impasse Berthaud, near 22, Rue Beaubourg, 3 th arrondissement. In this charming cul-de-sac, about 500 charming dolls from 1800 to this year, produced by using porcelaine, paper, fabric, composition, celluloid or plastique material. We can find in the presentation of dolls like the miniature of houses, accessories, toys, etc.

It's a good way to discover the toy world differently in the musée de la poupée. Many interesting activities in this museum, especially for children and adults. I followed the tours, begun by handling dolls' parts from various periods and continued with the visit of the permanent rooms of the museum, then I visited the exhibit on my own. Unfortunately, I couldn't follow the interesting workshop for making fake miniature food, especially for children from 6 to 12 years old. They will discover how to create miniatures with colored paste and by recycling every day material.

Next time, I'll go to the Musée de la Poupée with my children, I said to myself. I really want my children know how to make the toys. It motivates them to learn science and be creative in their life.

Station on Paris metro: rambuteau

Dec 22, 2009

Hôtel de Soubise was built for Prince and Princess Soubise. Located at 60 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 3rd arrondissement, still in marais neighborhood. Now it houses the Musée de l'Histoire de France (National Archives).

The Hôtel de Soubise was decorated by some of the most important artists and craftsmen of their time. Including : Chambre du Prince, Salon ovale prince, Chambre d’apparat de la princesse, the very beautiful Salon ovale de la princesse that glided carvings, mirror-glass embedded in the boiserie and ceiling canvases and overdoors by Francois Boucher, Charles-Jean Natoire and Carle Van Loo.

Station on Paris metro: Rambuteau , Hotel-de-Ville

Dec 1, 2009

I was wondering what kind of collections in the musée des Arts et Métiers (museum of arts and occupations). Still in 3 rd arrondissement, 60, rue Réaumur, the exterior of the musée des Arts et Métiers is beautiful. Created in1794, there are seven sections including scientific instruments, materials, construction, communication, energy, engineering and transports. Many collections of the master piece devices invented by people, such as Volta's first invention of the battery to name a few, Watt's steam engine, the cinematograph device by the Lumière brothers, etc

The stylish early airplane made me imagining the song “ Sous Le Vent” by Céline Dion and Garou. I thought the airplane’s very perfect to describe the song. It’s very beautiful and original. Made of trenchcoat fabric and exquisitely detailed with feather propellers it resembles a bat. Designed by Clément Ader . He flew an earlier version of this plane thirteen years before the Wright Brothers and described the concept of an aircraft carrier in 1909.

I enjoyed seeing a treadle sewing machine very much. Thank to the inventor, we can sew our clothes faster than using our finger.

Station on Paris metro: Réaumur-Sebastopol

Nov 18, 2009

Exterior of the Picasso Museum

Interior of the Picasso Museum

Paul Arlequin by Pablo Picasso

In the heart of the fashionable Marais district in Paris, the Musée Picasso (Picasso museum) is dedicated to the famous Spanish painter Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).
The Picasso museum is housed in Hôtel de Salé, 5 rue de Thorigny, Paris 3rd arrondissement, 1656 city mansion, close to Centre Pompidou.

The Hotel Salé changed hands very often, becoming a national literary repository harbouring the convent libraries seized during the Revolution, an educational establishment where Balzac completed his secondary schooling, the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, an exhibition room for the bronze sculptor Henri Vian etc It was made a listed building in 1968. The museum opened in 1985 with 203 paintings and 156 pieces of sculpture, coming from the Picasso heritage and paid to the French state as death duties. I saw great paintings in the museum including Paul Arlequin and the portrait of Dora Maar.

The Picasso museum provides audiovisuals and films in a special cinema, biographical and crhical details displayed in each room and a library.

Station on Paris metro : Chemin-Vert, St-Paul, St-Sebastian

Nov 17, 2009

Musée Carnavalet is located in the Marais neighborhood. The visitor's entrance is at 23, rue de Sévigné. I couldn't imagine that this museum comprises a hundred rooms distributed between the Hotel Carnavalet and the Hotel the Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau. It's dedicated to the history of the city.

The museum covers mainly the 17th century with Madam de Sévigné who lived in the Hotel Carnavalet. The 18th century with the reigns of Louis XV, Louis XVI as well as the Revolution is very well represented. The amateur of old furniture finds at the Carnavalet museum a collection of approximately 800 objects which furnished the Parisian residences of the Renaissance till the 20th century. Most represented are the Louis XV and Louis XVI periods.

The museum department on the French revolution is most spectacular and occupies the 2nd floor of the Hotel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau. This department illustrates by paintings, engravings, objects, documents, scale models the various stages of the Revolution. There is the storming of the Bastille, the imprisonment and execution of the royal family members, the feast of the Federation, portraits of the revolutionary chiefs, weapons. The 19th c. period which history is complex and which modelled the Paris of today with the vast urban renovation programme of Haussmann.

Station on Paris metro: St Paul

Nov 14, 2009

Still in Marais neighborhood,....

Fleuriste in rue du Vieille Temple

Rue Charlot

Bleu dans Lile, 35 Rue des Deux Ponts
The old-fashioned tins of dragees (sugared almonds) from this sugar heaven on the tiny island of Ile St. Louis.

The window display is a visual treat packed with nougat, chocolate, lollipops and marshmallows. Keep an eye out for the marshmallow Virgin Marys.

Arche de Noe, 70 rue St Louis en l'Ile
Charming toy store packed with old-fashioned wooden toys, puppets, dolls and an ultra-girlie pink aisle.
Le Marais is full of galleries, you’ll find arts in every price range. Simple posters can start as low as 30 euros, beautiful statues from 500 euros. And when you fall in love to some piece of arts, you'll ignore the prices. It's really priceless!. The fact is, buying art is not as expensive as I might think.Most galleries accept credit cards or offer payment plans, and can help with shipping arrangements. Some galleries in Marais neighborhood:

Galerie Anders Hus
27 rue Charlot, 75003 Paris
Anders Hus makes you feel you are walking in a Dane’s living room. You will discover an eclectic selection of paintings, furniture, ceramics and glassware from both Denmark and Sweden. The Danish painters in the 20th century followed the Skagen group, then created the COBRA movement. Furniture comes mostly from the 40’s to 70’s which are the years of Scandinavian design with Wegner and Arne Jacobsen. Glassware is from the 50’s trough the 70’s, ceramics from Kosta Boda, Royal Copenhagen, Rörstrand. All paintings and objects are sold at very reasonable prices.

Galerie Des Photographies
21 rue St Paul 75004 Paris

35 rue St Paul 75004 PARIS

Galerie Jamault
19 rue des Blancs Manteaux 75004 Paris

Art Génération
67 rue de la Verrerie 75004 PARIS

Art Store
43 rue des Blancs Manteaux 75004 PARIS

Galerie Agathe Gaillard
3 rue du Pont Louis Philippe 75004 PARIS

Galerie Alain Blondel
128 rue Vieille du Temple 75003 PARIS

Galerie Amyot
60 rue St Louis en l'Ile 75004 PARIS

Galerie Rocha
70 rue St Louis en l'Ile 75004 PARIS

Galerie Art et Patrimoine
22 rue des Blancs Manteaux 75004 PARIS

Galerie Baudoin Lebon
38 rue Ste Croix la Bretonnerie 75004 Paris

Galerie Beckel Odille Boicos
1 rue Jacques Coeur 75004 PARIS

Galerie Benjamin Derry
26 rue des Jardins St Paul 75004 PARIS

Galerie Art et Patrimoine
22 rue des Blancs Manteaux 75004 PARIS

Galerie Baudoin Lebon
38 rue Ste Croix la Bretonnerie 75004 Paris

Galerie Beckel Odille Boicos
1 rue Jacques Coeur 75004 PARIS

Galerie Benjamin Derry
26 rue des Jardins St Paul 75004 PARIS

Nov 8, 2009

Today, there are many boutiques in rue Ferdinand Duval,4th arrondissement

Some pictures in rue Ferdinand Duval,

Galerie Herve Van Der Straeten

Boutique La Vie en Rose.Com

Boutique Xuan-Thy Nguyen

Parfume boutique The Different Company

Station on Paris metro: St Paul

Nov 5, 2009

I was still in Marais area, 4 th arrondissement. I was standing at 10,rue Pavée. It's Agudath Hakehilot, an orthodox synagogue. It's my first time seeing the synagogue. Designed by Hector Guimard, the Art Nouveau architect and decorator famous for the Paris metro stations, in 1914. This is the largest synagogue in the Pletzl. Guimard's wife, an American, was Jewish and with the rise of Nazism they left France for the United States. On Yom Kippur 1940 it was dynamited by the Germans, but has since been restored and is now a national monument in addition to playing a key role in the community.

Commissioned and funded by the Agoudas Hakehilos society, which was made up of Orthodox Jews of primarily Russian origin, the building is testament both to their arrival in France at the beginning of the twentieth century and also to their intention to make Paris their permanent home.

It is a modest, tall and thin building. The synagogue is still a very active place of worship, and the centre for all Orthodox Jews in Paris. Entering the interior of the synagogue however brought both visual and cultural surprises.

Station on Paris metro: St Paul

Nov 4, 2009

Rue des Rosiers ( street of rosebushes) is a street in the 4th arrondissement. Lies at the center of the Jewish quarter, known as Pletzl. Rue des Rosiers begins at the Rue Malher and proceeds west-northwestward across the Rue Pavée, the Rue Ferdinand Duval, the Rue des Écouffes, and the Rue des Hospitalières-Saint-Gervais, before it ends at the Rue Vieille du Temple.

If you like fashion. Come to Pleats Please, located at 3, bis rue des Rosiers. Every month the boutique invites a fashion designer and presents his or her unique line of clothing inspired by Issey Miyake ‘s unique pleats.

Today, the street and surrounding neighborhood is well-known for its delicious Middle Eastern and Yiddish/Eastern European specialties. Try to go and taste falafel in L'as du Falafel, 32 Rue des Rosiers. Sacha Finkelsztajn, 27 Rue des Rosiers offering delicious Yiddish baked goods.

Station on Paris metro: St Paul

Oct 28, 2009

Rue des Barres

The Marais is one of the only areas that preserves the narrow streets and architectural styles of Medieval and Renaissance-era Paris. Most of Paris was overhauled in the mid-19th century under the direction of Napoleon III and architect Baron Georges Eugène Haussmann. The neighborhood spreads across the third and fourth arrondissements. With the medieval and renaissance style made me feel like I live in that era. So far imagining but it's fascinating.

The wide, sweeping boulevards and grey, classical-inspired apartments that characterize places like the Champs-Elysées and Montparnasse are the work of Haussmann, who also modernized Paris by installing sewer and water systems. The Marais has a much different flavor. Its dramatic residences (hôtels), artisan’s boutiques, galleries, lavish squares, and fascinating history are worth reserving at least a half-day of exploration for.

Station on Paris metro: Hôtel de Ville

Oct 25, 2009

Crossing the Boulevard de Sébastopol to go to rue du Caire, then turn right, I entered the long passage du Caire (still in 2 nd arrondissement), parallèle to rue du Caire. It is not the only road in the quarter which reminds one of Egypt. In the immediate neighbourhood, I can also find the roads of Aboukir and Alexandrie as a testament to the Napoleonic campaigns in Egypt in 1798. The most interesting aspect of the passage is the façade on the building at number 2 with its representation of the goddess Hathor by three giant heads. Some hieroglyphs can be seen on upper floors. Specialising in the lithography business and shop display mannequins, Passage du Caire is today only of real interest for customers of the clothing wholesalers there. The Egyptian exoticism is hardly visible as the passage has become so dirty.

Oct 21, 2009

I was in 1, Boulevard Poissoniere, 2 nd arrondissement, to watch and enjoy Disney movies. This is the biggest movie theatre still operating in Paris, the Grand Rex opened on 8th December 1932 with "Les Trois Mousquetaires"(The Three Musketeers). Built for independent operator Jacques Haik, who already operated the 5,000 seat l'Olympia music hall, and was the man who made Charlie Chaplin famous in France.

The Rex Theatre Jacques Haik was designed by architect Auguste Bluysen in an Art Deco style, both externally and in its foyers, dance hall and restaurant areas. The Atmospheric/Moroccan style auditorium was the work of architect/interior decorator Maurice Dufrene, styled after the work of noted American theatre architect John Eberson. Originally seating was provided for 3,500 on orchestra, mezzanine and balcony levels. It is in a perfect shape a big screen called "grand large", a screen behind the stage that can be removed, is used for some movies and every Christmas. Disney movies are a tradition with a waterfall on stage. There is an additionnal attraction called "Les Etoiles du Rex", looking like a Euro Disney attraction, which took me on a 'self conducted' backstage tour which describes the history of the theatre and the movies with plenty of thrills and special effects.

Station on Paris metro: Bonne Nouvelle

Oct 18, 2009

You can only find the tallest 12 metre-high windows in Passage du Grand Cerf. Located in montorgeuil area 145, rue Saint-Denis and 8, rue Dussoubs, still in 2 nd arrondissement. It open at 08.00 to 20.00. The wrought-iron work, glass roof and plain-wood shop front have all been cleaned, attracting stylish arts, crafts and antiques shops.

You will discover an interesting universe among the creative workshops of Bei Style, the home decorating shops of M.C.M. La Parisette, a small boudoir-pink space at No. 1, sells fun accessories, and Marci Noum, at No. 4, riffs on street fashion. Silk bracelets, crystals, and charms can be nabbed at Eric & Lydie and Satellite.

Station on Paris metro: Etienne-Marcel

Oct 16, 2009

Three blocks west of the Bibliothèque Nationale, just like a regular high street, the passage Choiseul, between rue des Petits-Champs and rue St-Augustin, has takeaway food, cheap clothes shop, stationers and bars, plus a few arty outlets along its two-hundred-metre tiled length.

Lavrut Papeterie, where I picked up some "moleskine" notebooks

Station on Paris metro: Quatre-Septembre

Oct 12, 2009

Nowadays, the Passage des Princes interest children even more than adults: it has become a mall entirely dedicated to toys, all kind of toys, the “toy’s village”. If you travel with your little children, it's nice to go to Passage des Princes, located at 3/5 boulevard des Italiens and 97 rue de Richelieu, 2 nd arrondissement. It open on Monday to Saturday 10/20.

Station on Paris metro: Richelieu-Drouot

Oct 8, 2009

Crossing rue de la Grange-Batelière, I entered the passage Verdeau, where a few of the old postcard and camera dealers still trade alongside new art galleries and a designer italian delicatessen. It was started at number 6, in Rue de la Grange-Batelière. Designed by M. Verdeau in 1847, in a fairly unoriginal style, using the same architectural team as its neighbour, Passage Jouffroy, led by Jacques Deschamps. However, it did not have the same ambiance and owes its "survival" to the proximity of the Drouot Auction Rooms.

Station on Paris metro: Grands Boulevards

Oct 5, 2009

The Passage Jouffroy opened in February of 1847, at its present location between 10, boulevard Montmartre and 9, rue de la Grange-Batalière. Aside from its brilliant location on the boulevard, it was the first heated passage and was much appreciated in winter.

Spending my short time while waiting the other class, my destination almost Passage Jouffroy. Sitting and enjoying some cup of tea with my friends in salon de thé. On the right there is the Segas shop, which has canes, both new and antique. Beside Segas, there is Thomas Boog, which features unusual objects of decoration for the home, from all parts of the world. This shop has its original turn-of-the-century decor.

On the left-hand side, are three shops with toys; two branches of Pain d'Epices where I could find everything related to dolls. Pain d'Epice sells traditional toys hand made with wood and paper.There are several doll houses and an incredible collection of tiny furniture. If you are in love with the wooden toys go there : the wooden rocking horse is great. There are also a large range of mecanisms for music box. I bought some material to build a house of doll for my friend. She likes to build the house of doll.

The older Boîte à Joujoux, which has expensive chess sets . This shop was installed here in 1930. The two-star Hôtel Chopin is at the right, just where the passage shifts left to the narrower 'attic of books' which is the Grange-Batalière section. This section has Cinédoc, which specializes in books about movies, stars, movie posters. Each of Cinédoc's seven windows has a theme. Biot Artisanat has miniature animals for collectors, in porcelain and metal and has the Paris exclusive for Bossons figures. Don't forget to visit Musée Grevin. There are many wax of famous actress, actors, politicians and other personalities. (see my post in january 2009)

Station on Paris metro: Grands Boulevards

Oct 3, 2009

Since my school's in Boulevard Montmartre, I used to walk in the Passage des Panoramas to go to the other school in Rue Cléry. It's like the shortcut. I had only short time to change the class in Rue Cléry.

The Passage des Panoramas was the very first passage in Paris, which opened in 1800 when Bonaparte was First Consul. Like many others, this passage is very near the Bourse (Stock Exchange).It don't have the fancy mosaics of the other arcades. Most of the eateries here make no pretence at style, but one old brasserie, l'Arbre à Cannelle, has fantastic carved wood panelling, and there are still bric-a-brac shops, stamp dealers and an upper-crust print shop with its original 1867 fittings. It was around the Panoramas, in 1817, that's the first parisian gas lamps were tried out.

Station on Paris metro: Grands Boulevards

Sep 30, 2009

Bibliothèque nationale de France in rue Richelieu, 2 nd arrondissement

Salle Labrouste

Salle ovale

I liked to go to the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF). It's the National Library of France, located at 58, rue Richelieu, 2 nd arrondissement. It's near my school. It is divided into various departments : Manuscripts, Photografies, Maps, Music...etc. Three areas are devoted to temporary exhibitions (Mansart and Mazarine galleries). Permanent museum : the "Cabinet des Médailles". It has beautiful painted ceilings. Many collections in this building that helped me to have some inspirations , including :illuminations, history, medals, etchings, manuscripts, book collections, drawings, documents, lithographs, illustrations, works, iconography, coins. The collections period include 17th century, 18th century, and 19th century. It open everyday including sunday.

The National Library of France traces its origin to the royal library founded at the Louvre by Charles V in 1368. It expanded under Louis XIV and opened to the public in 1692.It became the Imperial National Library and was moved to constructed buildings on the rue Richelieu designed by Henri Labrouste in 1868.

What a classical library!

Station on Paris metro: Quatre-Septembre