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French Culture

June 19 2010 French Culture Newsletter

Bonjour Tous,

While we've yet to slough off coats and sweaters on these days that feel more like fall, summer IS upon us and Paris is buzzing with things to do. Here's what is going on this week...

Saturday and Sunday - Festival and Co at Shakespeare and Company
Just across the river from Notre Dame is the bookshop where Earnest Hemingway spent his days borrowing books from the collection of Sylvia Beach. To this day the independent bookshop serves as library. People sit and flip pages upstairs in the reading room which is also used for evening writing workshops. I can hardly resist snatching up the titles on display when walking through the cozy corridors.

Yesterday I heard Will Self speak about method writing and how he became gay to write from the perspective of a modern day Dorien Gray. Kristin Scott Thomas, as pretty in real life as on the screen, was in the audience along with a slew of writer types.

The program for the festival is online at

Monday - Fete de la Musique
All around France among other countries music sounds in the streets until the wee hours of Tuesday morning. I wish the summer solsitice fell on a weekend this year!

The program by quartier is listed here:

Next weekend, June 25th-27th - Solidays
One of my favorite djs, Wax Tailor, has a set Friday night. There are plenty of French darlings like Vanessa Paradis as well but I'm looking forward to seeing old-timers Toots and the Maytals. I've written articles recently about BB Brunes and Femi Kuti who will both perform.
Femi Kuti
BB Brunes

The 2 and 3 day passes are sold out but you can still pick up a single day ticket at the festival website. Proceeds benefit AIDS research.

I knew Paris was crawling with celebrities and lately it's the actresses I've been crossing paths with. I caught a glimpse of Catherine Deneuve here:

Jardins Jardin – How to Cultivate an Urban Garden
How to create an urban garden answered by Paris’ landscape architects and exterior designers in a dozen ephemeral vignettes that cropped up for the Jardins Jardin festival in the Tuileries.

Get out and make the most of what is going on!
Take Care,
Melissa Demiguel, French Culture Editor

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