When Art consoles…

After November 13th the walls of Paris became adorned with cries of love and rebellion, expressed with aerosols and paint brushes. In the aftermath of the attacks artists from the Street Art spontaneously went to the city facades to pay their tribute. New works thus added to the capital’s already impressive urban art heritage.

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Since the prehistoric caves the walls of all eras have served as a support for man to express his feelings, his tributes or decry. Long considered vandalism, graffiti is now recognized as an art in itself (although still punishable by law in unauthorized places). It is often expressed thru calligraphic messages, signatures with elaborate lettering, designs using stencil work techniques, from sophisticated paintings to fully decorated buildings and batiste. In Paris, this form of expression becomes noticeable during the events of May 1968. The urban development taking place in the post war era provides an ideal support for this new art. It takes a beauty leap in the 80’s with Jerome Mesnager’s famous “White Man”, a poetic silhouette he will replicate all over the world to the Great Wall of China, or the luscious brunette created by Mistic. Banksy takes the relay in the ’90s with his provocative illustrations. Urban art finally gets integrated in France in the early 2000s with the creation of numerous artist groups and has since become very popular. The Street Art Festival held in the United Kingdom last July as an indication attracted by over 25,000 people.

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Just walk the streets of Paris to discover this public art, knowing a little attention will make you appreciate its subtleties. Sometimes it is in a corner, an unexpected place, by raising or lowering the eye that one discovers a message or illustration triggering a memorable emotion. To immerse in this culture “StreetArtParis” offers tours to discover the graffiti of Belleville, Montmartre or the Left Bank:

http://streetartparis.fr/street-art-tours-paris/

Happy Discovery!

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Galette-des-Rois_landscape1The Galette des Rois is the French version of the King cake and is eaten through the first part of January to celebrate the Epiphany Festival. 


Traditionally, a small plastic or porcelain trinket is hidden inside the Galette. The finder of the trinket is designated the King (Le Roi) or the
Queen of the evening (La Reine), and gets to wear the paper crown that comes with the pastry!

The Galette is paired with Apple Cider or Champagne.

Here are our three favorites addresses to get the Galette:

Sebastien Gaudard on rue des Martyrs ! Sebastien was a celebrated pastry chef in the upscale restaurants circuit until he decided to go back to the roots of his art, and bought a bakery in the 11th arrondissement. His croissants are to die for, and of course, he makes the best Galette.

22 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris

In le Marais, les Fées Patissières, a small patisserie located on busy and narrow Rue Rambuteau is not to be missed.  It is becoming our favorite patisserie in the Marais, their galettes are delicious.

21 Rue Rambuteau, 75004 Paris

In St Germain, the Rue Du Bac has two of the best pastry shops in Paris. We always indulge by stopping at both, and buying two galettes makes a perfect excuse to visit Des Gateaux et du Pain and La Patisserie des Reves.

89/93 rue du Bac, 75007 Paris

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Paris is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for New Year’s Eve. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people gather on Paris’s Champs-Elysées to celebrate the “Réveillon,” which is what the French call December 31st. There is also a light-and-sound show at the Arc de Triomphe.

This year, the show will last ten minutes and will start at 11:50pm. You can see last year’s light and sound show here. There will be no fireworks this year but it will still be an amazing show. Also, public transportation is free the night of December 31!
On January 1st, there will be a parade on the Champs Elysées , with floats and marching bands coming from dozens of countries. The Christmas market will still be open in the afternoon.

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What is our favorite thing to do during Holiday Season? We love to ride the Ferris wheel! Ideally located on Place de la Concorde, the wheel offers a great view of the Eiffel Tower, the Jardin des Tuileries, the Louvre and the Christmas lights on the Champs-Elysées. This is the world’s largest Ferris wheel.

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