Discover more from The New Paris Dispatch
Stories du Moment
Art, Olympics, Hello French, and the truth about those bedbugs...
I can’t say I have any kinds of news deficit at the moment — far from it — but it took me a little while to find and read the local stories that might be suitable distractions from the rest. Here are a few Parisian bits and bobs for those of you who also need to think about something else.
ART & CULTURE VULTURE NEWS
—Is Paris + (Art Basel) nudging London’s Frieze out of the art spotlight? Oui, on peut dire ça! (Cultured Mag). The only thing I was able to see / experience was Harry Nuriev’s pop-up installation and special dinner with We Are Ona (shown above). It was fun and eclectic and reminds me why I so rarely write about art or design.
—The future of the Musée d’Orsay (spoiler: big renovation on the horizon!) and the first-ever exhibition dedicated to Van Gogh’s final months in Auvers-sur-Oise (NYT)
—This…. could’ve been written in the 1950s. It’s why it came up during my American Library discussion with Jon Bonné about myth vs reality when it comes to Paris (and France more generally) in the minds of Americans (NYT)
— Violette & Co lives on! The 11th arrondissement literary institution dedicated to feminist and LGBTQ+ works has reopened with a collective of young new owners following a successful crowdfunding campaign. There’s also a café on-site and regularly-scheduled events. It always makes me happy to see a bookstore opening but even happier when I see it full of readers. Une longue vie à Violette & Co!
**And speaking of art, I occasionally receive requests for art-related tours but that is not my wheelhouse! Book a half-day or full day with my friend Alexandra Weinress of The Seen Paris (who was featured on this newsletter here and on my podcast here).
PARIS TRAVEL UPDATES
—Thinking about coming to Paris for the Summer 2024 Olympics? You probably should have booked something months ago 😬 But not to worry, it’s still possible now! I reported on this for the November issue of Travel & Leisure. You’ll also find some info about excursions in Normandy for the 80th anniversary of the invasion. Read it all here.
—It turns out the Kremlin added fuel to the bed bug fire last month. As for those who are still wondering about this: it’s fine. If you go to any major city, anywhere in the world, you can certainly come to Paris without a concern. (Politico)
HEAT-PROOFING THE ROOFTOPS OF PARIS
I’ve previously written about the urgent need for impactful solutions to mitigate the effects of increasing heat waves in Paris (see here) but the latest idea comes from an architectural trio that believes adding roof terraces to the French capital’s buildings could boost biodiversity and tackle summer heat. Of course, there are significant challenges to doing so but it’s important to see more and more reporting on these ideas. Let’s hope one of them works— and fast! (The Guardian)
NEW EPISODES AWAIT
If you need an extra long distraction, I’ve got two new episodes of The New Paris Podcast for you to catch up on. The first features the Hello French founder Cécilia Jourdan, where we talk about her trajectory from Paris to New York and in between, building a linguistic career, and what French words and ideas seem to cut through the noise most on social media.
The second is with my dear friend Jon Bonné about his brilliant new book, The New French Wine. We recorded the conversation during our live event at The American Library in Paris. If you hold even a mild interest in wine and how French wines have evolved over the years, due to complex cultural and societal shifts, this discussion is for you.
A FEW OTHER RECOMMENDED READS
— One of my closest friends is leaving Paris soon 😩 Here’s what she has to say about the decision to go.
— Crucial as we shift seasons and live beneath a veil of gray: How to light the dark months
—Why Bic’s 4-color pen is a French cultural icon (it’s the one I use the most!)
—All of my friend Bryan’s short stories on his new substack, Love and Other Fictions
PS. Did you know there’s more you can do with The New Paris Dispatch beyond the missives that land in your inbox? You can join conversations on Notes or message me using the Chat feature via the desktop version of Substack (which hosts this newsletter) or the Substack app, which I highly recommend. Get the app!