World’s Largest Chocolate Festival Held Oct. 29-Nov. 2

Salon du Chocolat 14

If you’re a chocoholic and are in the City of Light this weekend, you’re in for a real treat. The 20th annual Salon du Chocolate—the world’s largest event focusing specifically on chocolate and cocoa—is being held October 29 through November 2 at the Parc des Expositions de Paris-Porte de Versailles. Salon du Chocolat will feature more than 200 chefs and patissiers from all over the world (with a focus on French chocolatiers) and more than 200 international exhibitors. The event includes exhibits and displays by major companies involved in producing chocolate, including the unveiling of new products, live demonstrations by world-renowned chocolatiers and chefs, and the hugely popular Chocolate Fashion Show. It is not to be missed! Continue Reading →

Picasso Museum Set for Reopening. Again

Musee Picasso

Paris’s famed Picasso Museum is set to reopen on Saturday, October 25, after a planned two-year renovation project stretched to more than five years in length and resulted in cost overruns nearly doubling the initial eight-figure budget. The museum, established when Picasso’s family members donated hundreds of pieces of art to the French government in lieu of estate taxes when the artist passed away, shut in August 2009 for a planned two-year, $40 million renovation. Numerous times since, the museum’s administration announced additional delays and more expenditures. In fact, just this spring the renovation team announced a June reopening. Obviously, that never happened. So will Saturday’s reopening actually occur? There’s every indication that this time it’s done deal. Continue Reading →

Gay Men Executed in Paris Honored with Plaque

Gay Plaque 4

Two gay men who were burned alive in 1750 in Paris as punishment for the “crime” of homosexuality were honored over the weekend with the unveiling of a plaque marking the spot on the city’s popular Rue Montorgueil market street where the couple was arrested. After a sham trial in which prosecutors said they wished to make a public example of the pair, Jean Diot, a 40-year-old domestic employee, and Bruno Lenoir, a 20-year-old shoemaker, were burned at the stake at the Place de Greve, now the Place de l’Hotel de Ville–the site of Paris’s City Hall. Their executions marked the last time gay men or lesbians were sentenced to death in France due to their sexual orientation. Continue Reading →

Bottazzi Holds Art-Creation Event at La Defense

Bottazzi-D219pte

French painter Guillaume Bottazzi is currently staging a live art-creation event at the futuristic D2 Tower in Paris’s La Defense district, where the artist is publicly painting a 250-square-meter (820-square-foot) work, adding to it a bit each day through November 18. The artist has installed an outdoor workshop at the base of the skyscraper located on the eastern edge of the La Defense district, where he works from sunrise to sunset each day on the work that will be displayed permanently in front of the building. Continue Reading →

Eiffel Renovations Include Glass Floor. Sacre Bleu!

Eiffel Renovations 3

Renovations of the first level of the Eiffel Tower wrapped up this week, and they include a new feature that is wowing (and in some cases terrifying!) tourists: A glass floor 57 meters above the ground that one can walk across–or, as the case seems to be, lie on to take selfies. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo opened the new attraction this week, telling CNN that the project is helping Paris reinvent itself “without ruining our history.” She christened the new see-through-floor with a series of Twitter messages in several languages inviting tourists to pay a visit to the Eiffel Tower to check out the nearly $39 million in renovations, which also include shops, restaurants, a new museum and newly installed safety railings that provide better views of the City of Light. Continue Reading →