After a long Indian summer in Paris this year, fall is finally here. The days are getting cooler, and the trees in the Jardin du Luxembourg are starting to lose their leaves. It’s the perfect season for exploring exciting museum exhibits, scouting the markets for antiques, and testing out a veritable bumper crop of new restaurants. Not to mention the new Autolib’ car-sharing program! The City of Light has come to life after the Rentrée in September, when Parisians return to the capital en masse after their August vacations. Here’s a sampling of what’s new in town.
Chocoholics won’t want to miss the Salon du Chocolat, the world’s largest chocolate fair taking place from October 20-24. Think chocolate workshops, demos with the world’s top chocolatiers, even a chocolate fashion show. Speaking of fashion, Le Bristol continues to put on its fashion high teas. (Noteworthy: The luxury hotel was also the movie set for Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris.") The FIAC Contemporary Art Fair takes place in locations all over the city from October 20- 23. (PS. Nuit Blanche, the annual all-night arts festival, happened on October 1, and Montmartre’s festive Fête des Vendanges, or grape harvest festival, took place last weekend. Mark your calendars for next year!)
The Musée d'Orsay is getting ready to open its newly renovated spaces on October 20 after a year and a half of work. The makeover promises to be dramatic. Outside Paris in the village of Giverny, where Claude Monet planted (and painted) his extraordinary garden, "The Clark’s Collection, from Manet to Renoir," is on view at the Impressionisms Museum until October 31. At the small Musée du Luxembourg, “Cézanne et Paris” opens on October 12. Near the Musée du Quai Branly, Photoquai is a free photo exhibit set up along the banks of the Seine. And perhaps one of the most buzzed about exhibits this fall: Pompeii at the Musée Maillol, running through February 12, 2012. Crowds have been gathering outside this gem of a museum in the 7th arrondisssement to see amazing relics from Pompeii, including a recreated Roman villa and casts of the bodies solidified in ash when Italy's Mount Vesuvius erupted millennia ago.
Restaurants and Bars
The talk of the town has been Director David Lynch’s spectacular new hot spot called Silencio (the name of the club in Mulholland Drive). This isn’t any old nightclub. It has a cinema, concert venue, cocktail bar, gallery space, resto, and art gallery. There’s still a buzz about Thierry Marx’s restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental, and also about the new gastronomic destinations at the Shangri-La Paris. A new restaurant has opened at the Opéra Garnier, a masterpiece in red by designer Odile Decq. And Agapé Substance in Saint Germain gets rave reviews.