Posted by: theresegilardi | September 29, 2011

French Fridays – Paris Nuit Blanche

Bonjour mes petits! It’s time for another French Friday. Now if you’re in Paris this weekend, you are in luck. For you have the chance to enjoy one of the best free events of the year: Nuit Blanche (white night). This annual event was one of my favorites during my latter years living in the French capitol.

Nuit Blanche is a city wide art street party. It happens the first Saturday night in October, which of course means October first this year. The metro runs late, the crowds hit the street, and everyone is friendly.

Nuit Blanche features groups of artists showing their work in designated museums, churches and public spaces throughout the city. One year we enjoyed hearing one hundred guitarists play on the white stone steps behind Sacre Coeur on Montmartre. Another year we stood outside a block that had been overtaken in a residential neighborhood, where huge domestic artifacts were affixed on their sides outside a number of apartment houses, as though a child’s playhouse had exploded.

This year’s celebration will feature 35 artists, with sculptures, videos, and performances. The neighborhoods hosting this year’s fete include Batignolles-Pigalle, La Nouvelle-Athenes-Saint-Georges, and Montmartre-Anvers. Of course, as with most things Parisian, it all starts at the majestic Hotel de Ville (city hall).

The weather’s always right for some cheesy onion soup (allegedly Paris’s only truly native dish) and a smooth glass of wine … followed by an evening you’re sure to remember. Enjoy!

If, like me, your plans find you this year in a city that doesn’t celebrate Nuit Blanche, don’t despair – my remedy is a walk beneath the stars, followed by a smooth glass of something French. What about you? How do you welcome October?

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