Paris Update This Week’s Events

For full details about an event, click on the title to visit the official Web site (in English when available).

Strange Happenings in St. Germain


The “Cyclops” helmet.

> The exhibition Bizarro, with works by a number of artists, fills seven Left Bank galleries with “Bêtes de Scènes et Sacrés Monstres.” Don’t miss the Meta-perceptual Helmets by the Irish duo Cleary/Connolly at the Librairie Alain Brieux, which allow the viewer to see forward and backward, for example, or the way a cyclops or horse would see. Various locations, Paris, through Oct. 30.

Car-free Paris!
> On the Journée sans Voiture, motor traffic will be banned in a large part of Paris and discouraged in the rest of the city from 11am to 6pm. Sept. 25.

Top of the tower
> The 16th-century Tour St. Jacques in the heart of Paris is temporarily open for guided tours and splendid views of the city. Reservation required. Paris, through Sept. 25.

Nationwide food festival 
> Tastings, special menus in restaurants and more during the Fête de la Gastronomie. Various locations, Sept. 23-25.

Two meals for the price of one
> Restaurants participating in Tous au Restaurant offer a second fixed-price menu for free. Various locations, Paris, through Oct. 2.

> Whisky tastings, food pairings, cocktails and more at the Festival Whisky Live Paris. Les Docks-Cité de la Mode et du Design, Paris, Sept. 24-25.

Feel-good films
> Classic movies starring the Marx Brothers, Peter Sellers, Cary Grant and more are sure to raise a smile at the festival Qu’est-ce qu’on Attend pour Être Heureux!, Forum des Images, Paris, through Oct. 2.

Hitchcock’s silent films
> The festival Les Neufs Films Muets d’Alfred Hitchcock presents all the silent movies by the master of suspense. Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Paris, through Sept. 27.

Indian films
> Indian film festival. Musée Guimet, Paris, through Sept. 30.

Chanson française
> L’Estival features singers performing in French. Various locations, Saint Germain-en-Laye, Sept. 23-Oct. 8.

Antique fair in a bucolic setting
> A visit to the Foire de Chatou antique market and regional products fair makes a great weekend outing. Chatou, Sept. 23-Oct. 2.

Contemporary arts festival
> The Festival d’Automne presents leading talents in art, dance, film, theater and more from around the world. Various venues, Paris, through Dec. 31.

Free outdoor opera
> Opéra Côté Cour puts on live performances at 3:30pm and 5pm. Bercy Village, Paris, Sept. 25.

Classical, world, jazz & electronic
> The Festival d’Ile de France holds concerts in various locations in Paris and elsewhere, through Oct. 9.

Music & more in park bandstands
Kiosques en Fête brings life to the bandstands in Paris’s parks with concerts, writing workshops, club meetings and even a square dance. Various locations, Paris, through Dec. 31.

Music on the beach
> Sandy beach and nightly concerts or DJs at La Plage de Glaz’Art. Paris, through Oct. 1.

Garden festival
> Meet the gardeners and landscape architects, take a gardening class, listen to music, etc. at the Fête des Jardins. Various locations, Paris, Sept. 24-25.

Amazing gardens
> The popular Festival International des Jardins de Chaumont-sur-Loireis held annually in the park of the Château de Chaumont in Chaumont-sur-Loire, through Nov. 2.

Especially for kids
> The Festival les Pestacles offers concerts and other activities for kiddies age five and up. Parc Floral, Paris, through Sept. 28.


Hot Topics - C'est ironique !


Innocent Times


Gone are the days when a traveler could sneak by security on the way in and customs on the way out.

Like all Paris residents, I think of Charles de Gaulle Airport as being part of the city, a kind of remote overcrowded neighborhood with bad restaurants connected to ...


Gone are the days when a traveler could sneak by security on the way in and customs on the way out.

Like all Paris residents, I think of Charles de Gaulle Airport as being part of the city, a kind of remote overcrowded neighborhood with bad restaurants connected to Montmartre by a perpetual traffic jam. The last time I went to Roissy, as the French call it, was not actually to take a flight; I had to go out to formally identify a friend arriving from the States who had been detained by immigration (the authorities suspected him of traveling under a false identity because he calls himself “Doctor” but doesn’t actually have a doctorate in anything).

I thought this was petty in the extreme, but it started me thinking about how airport security has, for well-known reasons, changed over the years. Here’s an example: back in about 1986, after a flight from Chicago, I was walking around that circular corridor on the upper Arrivals level of Terminal 1 (the doughnut-shaped building), looking for the passport checkpoint with the shortest line, when I happened to notice, among the latticework of escalators coming up from the Departures level, one going down. Since I only had a carry-on bag and didn’t need to stay on the upper floor for baggage claim, I decided to take it. Forty seconds later I was outside the terminal waiting for the bus, having completely bypassed both immigration and customs. (Note to drug smugglers, terrorists and queue jumpers: you can’t do this any more. Just forget about it.)

Another example: once in the Nineties I was at Charles de Gaulle to get a flight to Rome. In front of me at the security check for my concourse was a tall, burly gentleman wearing thick multiple layers of clothes and carrying an infant in one of those elaborate baby backpacks with so many straps and buckles and metal clasps it probably weighed more than the kid. He was also carrying an attaché case, which he dutifully laid on the conveyor belt to the X-ray chamber, or whatever that thing is, before walking through the metal detector. Which lit up like the Eiffel Tower on New Year’s and beeped like the Périphérique at rush hour.

Whereupon the guy started gesticulating madly over his shoulder and yelling, “It’s the baby! It’s the baby!! It’s the baby!!! It’s the baby!!!!” as he grabbed up his attaché case and strode briskly away. And here’s what the security staff did: Nothing. Rien. Sweet Fanny Ardant.

I considered asking them why they didn’t recheck him, decided that it wouldn’t be worth the hassle they were likely to give me for telling them how to do their jobs, and went to my gate, making a mental note to check if the proud father, or kidnapper, was on my plane. I made it to Italy in one piece, and there were no bombings or hijackings that day, so I guess it really was: The Baby!!!!!

David Jaggard

Reader Reaction: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to respond to this article (your response may be published on this page and is subject to editing).

Click here for more C'est Ironique! columns.

Support Paris Update by ordering books from Paris Update's Amazon store at no extra cost. Click on your preferred Amazon location: U.K., France, U.S.

© 2010 Paris Update