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La Villette - Buttes Chaumont

Hi, I’m David Hill with New York Habitat. Today’s video tour will be spent at the park, but not just any park, the refined Buttes-Chaumont. Les Buttes Chaumont are unquestionably among the most beautiful gardens in Paris.

A little outside of the center, le parc des Buttes-Chaumont offers a real moment of calm for those who exit the Botzaris subway station. There are five kilometers of little paths waiting for park-goers, each designed by the inventive genius architect Alphand.


Paris Video Tour: Buttes – Chaumont(6:17)

Le Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

The park is found on the east side of the Canal Saint-Martin. Designed by Jean-Charles Alphand, the park was filled with little round mountains (mont in French), which looked rather “bald” (chauve in French), leading to its name Chau-mont. The engineer Darcel created massive mounds up to 101 meters in height, which  were later covered with vegetation by the brilliant landscaper Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps. Read the entire story here…»

 

Let's experience jazz at la Villette in Paris! Let's experience jazz at la Villette in Paris!

Jazz is the music of Paris. For all of the French pop, rock and rap that fill the streets and clubs of modern Paris, the soul of the city remains to be expressed best by the sounds of a jazz ensemble. City cultural officials seem to know this all too well, as Jazz music seems to be celebrated in festivals, concerts and retrospectives more than any other genre in this city. It should be no surprise then that early September is marked by one the city’s most notable jazz celebrations, the Jazz a la Villette festival in Parc de la Villette, in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.

For the first two weeks of September Parc de la Villette in the northern section of the city brims with the sounds of international artists as they rain the varied sounds of jazz music onto an adoring public. Each night at least two acts set out to fill the park’s green spaces with music while some night’s program boasts 5 or more separate performances. The event is unique in that several of the artists are given the freedom to use the event to try something new. For example, on opening night Marc Ribot and Meshell Ndegeocello will embark on a night of improvised music, representing the spirit and driving force behind jazz music. On the closing night the Roots, Last Poets and Director David Murray will present a special tribute to the Black Panthers. Read the entire story here…»

 

Official poster of ''Cinema plein air'' at la Villette Official poster of ''Cinema plein air'' at la Villette

Paris is a film lover’s playground. The city is home to dozens of art house movie theaters as well as the big-box cinemas showing Hollywood films Americans are so familiar with. A walk around the city also reveals French cinema history as visitors find themselves in the same streets where filmmakers like Francois Truffaut and Jean Luc Goddard captured scenes from their seminal Parisian films. In a nod to Paris’ cinematic history, but also just an excuse to enjoy one of the city’s best parks, The Parc de la Villette hosts the annual open-air film festival, an immensely popular sortie for Parisians and out-of-towners alike.

From July 17th to August 22nd the Parc de la Villette, in the 19th arrondissement, will offer a way to discover one of Paris’ finest parks, be entertained in a social setting and participate in a truly Parisian experience. The park’s cinéma en plein air (open-air cinema) festival celebrates the French love for cinema and al fresco dining. Families, couples and bands of friends gather on the parks pelouse to watch films projected on a giant outdoor screen. This year’s theme is “to be 20” and features films from across the globe exploring themes of youth and self discovery at and around the tender age of 20-years-old. This year’s offering includes films by American filmmakers Woody Allen and Sofia Coppola as well as French and international greats. Films are always free and open to the public and attract a diverse crowd of movie-goers and park enthusiasts. Read the entire story here…»

 

Parc de la Villette photo Parc de la Villette photo

With the long winter months upon us, it’s hard not to want to skip right to spring – especially springtime in Paris. If you’re planning a getaway to the City of Lights make sure to add the Parc de la Villette to your itinerary. This often-overlooked park offers an array of cultural offerings and plenty of green space for a full day of exploring.

Tucked away in the 19th arrondissement on the northeastern edge of Paris, the Parc de la Villette is the largest park in the city. French architect Bernard Tschumi created the futuristic grounds after winning the Parc de la Villette Design Competition in 1982. His vision was to transform the site, previously home to slaughterhouses, into a sprawling “garden of the 21st century”. Read the entire story here…»

 

Official poster of Cinema en Plein Air 2010 in Paris Official poster of Cinema en Plein Air 2010 in Paris

Visitors to Paris have a tough task ahead of them. With so many sites, monuments and museums to visit itineraries can change at the glimpse of a long line or whiff of the scents emanating a savory crepe stand. Travelers have to stay on their feet and often accept the fact that they probably won’t to see and do everything they have been dreaming about since the idea of visiting the City of Light first germinated in their minds.

Visiting the city during the summer months makes the juggling act of visits and lunches even a bit more difficult, as much of what attracts visitors to the city (museums, monuments and restaurants) are contained indoors while the city sidewalks and gardens buzz with the life of a city in full bloom. Most of the time travelers will have to make a decision; spend a few hours in the stagnant, yet magical air of a world-class museum or laze the day away on the banks of La Seine with a bottle of blanc and a picnic lunch; A difficult choice, indeed.

The city of Paris recognizes the enviable jam many summer visitors find themselves in and does something each year to make the choice a bit easier. From July 15th to August 16th the Parc de la Villette, in the 19th arrondissement, will offer a way to discover one of Paris’ finest parks, be entertained in a social setting and participate in a truly Parisian experience. The park’s cinéma en plein air (open-air cinema) festival celebrates the French love for cinema and al fresco dining. Families, couples and bands of friends gather on the parks pelouse to watch films projected on a giant outdoor screen. This year’s theme is “of the discovery of new worlds” and features films from across the globe exploring themes of authentic and metaphorical voyages. The festival will include the American film, Into the Wild, the Franco-Morrocan tale Le Grande Voyage, and the film Buud Yam from Burkina-Fasso, among many others. Read the entire story here…»

 

Sketch of Gainsbourg Sketch of Gainsbourg

Every once in a while an iconic artist will capture the spirit of a generation. Just as Bob Dylan became the symbolic yet enigmatic figure for a generation of Americans, so too did Serge Gainsbourg encapsulate the feelings and desires of the French. While Dylan surely made controversial statements through his music and public persona, Gainsbourg nearly created a firestorm wherever he went. Contemporary France’s ultimate provocateur was reviled and admired at the same time for an oeuvre that crossed genres and a mouth that always had something to say. The Cité de la Musique, in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, has dedicated a multifaceted exhibit to the man who once burned a 500 Franc note on live television. New York Habitat apartments won’t cause as much of a stir, but situate guests steps from the Gainsbourg retrospective, in the midst of a culture that he helped define.

Parisians have lined up to pay homage to the painter, writer, actor, director and musician since the October opening of the exhibit, with visitors expected to exceed 100,000 when the exhibit closes on March 15th. Gainsbourg’s career was as tumultuous as the era in which he lived. He experienced Nazi-occupied France as a boy, influenced the May1968 student-worker protests and was eulogized by French President François Mitterrand. Opinions on Gainsbourg’s artistic achievements and public persona are mixed, but his artistic, cultural and social influence cannot be denied. Read the entire story here…»

 

Official poster for Silhouette Festival  in Paris Official poster for Silhouette Festival in Paris

The French love film. They obsess over Jean-Luc Goddard and follow Woody Allen more closely than his own country men. Finding that little theater in Paris and watching an independent European film is simply an experience one can’t enjoy stateside. Long after Cannes film festival and the Paris Film Festival are over, Paris embraces yet another form of film with the Silhouette Festival, an ode to the short film. New York Habitat has accommodations in every corner of Paris, many within steps of wonderful old movie houses.

Since its first edition in 2002, this summer event has been staging free evening showings of short films on a large screen, in the bucolic setting of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, one of the city’s most magnificent manicured spaces, located in the 19th arrondissement. For this year’s edition, the festival is focusing on eastern European countries and will feature documentaries, fictional works and activities of all kinds. The film showings will be preceded by jazz, rock, and pop concerts. The Festival Silhouette will also take place indoors (admission fee) at the Bellevilloise and in the 19th arrondissement town hall.

Those in town for the Short Film Festival will find that New York Habitat is long on Paris accommodations. Here are a few nice apartments available in the 19th arrondissement during the Parisian festival: Read the entire story here…»

 

Photo of Cite des sciences in Paris Photo of Cite des sciences in Paris

Children have entertained themselves with their own shadows forever. Of course they’re fun, but light and shadows play important roles in child self discovery as well. Located in the relaxed 19th arrondissement, the Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie, is a wonderful, hands-on museum for children, embraces the role of light and shadows in child development with an exhibit titled Shadow and Light. New York Habitat as several apartments in and around the museum’s neighborhood.

The Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie museum takes science out of the classroom and exposes children to a hands-on experience second to none. The museum is outfitted with a planetarium, children’s media library, aquarium, and interactive cinema among others. The new exhibition Shadow and Light is part of the museums year-long interactive exhibition program. Shadow and Light is unique in its use of a theatrical representation to explain the properties of light and shadow. Upon entering, children are entered into the fictional world of Archibald Ombre, a “teacher, dreamer, poet and collector of shadows,” as the museum’s website explains. The exhibit encourages children to roam about Archibald’s home in search of his shadowy collection and ultimately their own omnipresent twin. Read the entire story here…»

 

Paris Accommodation: 1 Bedroom Rental in Parc Des Buttes Chaumont (PA-2067) Paris Accommodation: 1 Bedroom Rental in Parc Des Buttes Chaumont (PA-2067)

Anyone who knows anything about the Paris art scene knows that the Belleville neighborhood is where artists go to set up shop and home. High rents have landed creative types throughout the gritty Belleville quarter, the area is home to more artists per square meter than any other in the capital. Located just around the corner from the manicured Parc des Buttes Chaumont, and in the heart of Belleville’s art epicenter, is a spacious, bright 1 Bedroom Triplex Townhouse (PA-2067).

Unfortunately this accommodation is not available anymore but if you like the neighborhood checkout these choices:

A 1-bedroom apartment in Belleville, Paris (PA-1364)

While the neighborhood might be filled with struggling artists, renters of this townhouse apartment won’t have to live like one. The apartment is tucked onto a quiet, green pedestrian street and boasts a generous combination of air and light. The accommodation’s open feeling is thanks in part to a gigantic, floor-to-ceiling(that’s two floors!) windows that looks over a private garden. Read the entire story here…»