Photo of the Week


The Eiffel Tower seen from a rooftop in Montparnasse on a smoggy day. © Paris Update


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).

Women’s March on Paris
> The day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, women will march in cities around the world. Starts at the Parvis des Droits Humains, Trocadero, at 2pm, crosses the Pont d’Iéna and ends at the Mur pour la Paix at 4:30pm.

Behind closed doors
> Book now to visit places in Paris that are normally closed during Paris Face Cachée, including a lab trying to find cures for genetic diseases, located in a glass building with a panoramic roof terrace. Various venues, Paris and suburbs, Jan. 27-29.

Book signing
> Irish author Donal Ryan signs copies of his latest book, The Thing About December. Irish Cultural Center, Paris, Jan. 19.

Late-Night Magritte
> The Magritte exhibition at the Centre Pompidou will stay open until 10pm from Jan. 19 through the last day, Jan. 23.

> Paris Cocktail Week offers master classes, special restaurant menus with cocktail/food pairings and other festivities. Various venues, Paris, Jan. 21-28.

Young European photographers
> The Festival Circulation(s) features emerging photographers. Centquatre, Paris, Jan. 21-March 5.

Picasso at the airport
> The exhibition "Picasso Plein Soleil" presents works made by the master while living on the Côte d’Azur. Espace Musées, Charles-de-Gaulle Airport 2E, Jan. 21-June 15.

Cheap cinema
> During the Festival Cinéma Télérama, you can see a selection of last year’s best films for only €3.50 each with the purchase of Télérama magazine (Jan. 11 and 18 issues). Various cinemas, Jan. 18-24.

Free subtitled French films
> My French Film Festival offers frees streaming of French movies. Through Feb. 13.

Frank Capra Retrospective
> The great American director in the spotlight. Cinémathèque Française, Paris, through Feb. 27.

Sex, Lies and Corruption
> The Hollywood Décadent festival features such films as Joseph Mankiewicz’s Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor, Valley of the Dolls, and Vincente Minnelli’s Nina. Cinémathèque Française, Paris, through Jan. 25.

Chinese New Wave
> Nouvelles Voix du Cinéma Chinois screens films by a new generation of directors beginning around the turn of the 21st-century. Cinémathèque Française, Paris, through Feb. 20.

Winter sales
> Retail sales all over France: through Feb. 21.

Ice-Skating Rinks
> Where to ice skate in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais.

English plays in French
> Two plays by Harold Pinter, Ashes to Ashes and L’Amant, directed by Mitch Hooper, are onstage at the Essaïon through Jan. 24, 2017.


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