Paris in November just may be the most romantic time of the year. The foliage is turning various shades of red and orange, and what doesn’t still cling to tree branches carpets the city’s sidewalks and jardins. The chill in the air is the perfect justification to order up a cup of vin chaud. Festive holiday lights along the Champs Élysée and the various rues and avenues of the city make the early arrival of darkness worth welcoming. And the creative holiday windows of the shops and grands magasins become crowd-pleasing events.
November also marks the arrival of the Beaujolais Nouveau. On the 17th – the third Thursday in November – the annual celebration for the arrival of the new vintage will take place in bars and parties around Paris. It’s the French version of Thanksgiving, you might say.
Despite the shorter days and cooler climate, November in Paris is bustling with other events, including some that Richard Nahem, our Eye Prefer Paris guru, thinks are the best of the best in the City of Lights.
Yakoi Kusama, the Japanese avant-garde artist known for her obsessional work with painting polka dots, is having her first French retrospective. One hundred and fifty works from 1949 to 2001 including her paintings, environments, sculptures, and films show the full arc of hew work which is strongly rooted in childhood memories. Parts of the exhibit are fun for kids.
Through January 9
Open 11AM to 9PM Wednesday to Monday
One of the largest and most prestigious photo shows in the world, Paris Photo celebrates its 15th anniversary with the 2011 theme of African photography from Bamako to Cape Town. There are 117 galleries from 23 countries with the finest 19th century, modern and contemporary photography from around the world.
November 10 to 13
Ave. Winston Churchill, 75008
Metro: Champs Elysees-Clemenceau
Here’s a chance to snap up some rare vintage Hermés handbags, scarves, clothes, and jewelry at auction. Part of the proceeds will go to the the Carla Bruni Sarkozy Foundation which benefits mostly children’s causes. Who knows, maybe you will luck out and find that Birkin bag you have been aching for and support a good cause.
Auction: November 15-10AM
Viewing days: November 10-13, 11AM to 7PM
Hotel Marcel Dussault
7 rond-point des Champs-Elysées, 75008
Metro: Franklin Roosevelt
The Stein family, including Gertrude and her two elder brothers Leo and Michael, were Jewish intellectuals from the United States who relocated to Paris in the early 1900s. Befriending many artists and writers of the time, they were some of the first collectors of paintings from then unknown artists Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne, Gris, and Bonnard. They went on to build one of the most important collections of early 20th century art and this new exhibit, divided into eight sections explores the Stein’s relationship with the artists over the years.
Through January 16
3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008
Iconic American photographer Diane Arbus is having her first major retrospective in Paris. Known for her gritty black and white photos in the 1950s and 60s, Arbus used New York City, her home, as the backdrop for her fascinating, sometimes harsh photos. Over 200 of her unflinching photos are on exhibit including couples, children, and celebrities and also her more controversial images of carnival performers, nudists transvestites, zealots, and eccentrics.
Through February 5
Jeu de Paume
1 Place de la Concorde, 75008
November 4 thru December 18 – Cirque du Soleil Corteo
November 5 – Cheb Mabi at Le Zénith
November 8 – Alice Cooper at Le Zénith
November 11, 12 – 30 Seconds to Mars at Le Zénith
November 12, 13 – The Kills at L’Olympia
November 14 – Sonny Rollins at L’Olympia
November 16 – Evanescence at L’Olympia
November 17 – Incubus at Le Zénith
November 19 – Yes at L’Olympia
November 21 – Patti Smith at L’Olympia
November 22 – Jamiroquai at Bercy
November 23 – Scorpions at Bercy
November 25, 26, 27 – Lord of the Dance at Le Palais des Congrès de Paris
November 27 – Rickie Lee Jones at Salle Pleyel
November 29 – Lenny Kravitz at Bercy
November 30 – Paul McCartney at Bercy