Street art is getting more and more popular worldwide. Last month, Banksy brought animation in the streets of New York by anonymously creating temporary pieces of art here and there. Paris is not left behind as it was home of some major events lately. The Keith Harring exhibition was one of the most popular one last Summer and this October, the “Tour Paris 13”, was a must-see. The “Tour Paris 13” is a whole building to be demolished by the end of the year, that was left open to steet artists’ imagination. As a result, thousands of visitors swarming to the Austerlitz area. It even came to the point where people were ready to sleep in front of the building and then stand in line for at least 3 hours in the morning in order to enter the building.
These events are the clear evidence that street art is quite the thing on the Parisian artistic scene. If you’ve missed these events, there are still plenty of places to visit in Paris in order to see some nice street art. The Montmartre area is home to many Gregos faces, as the Butte aux Cailles is the playground of Miss-Tic. The rue Denoyez in the 20th arrondissement is also famous for its walls covered with murals and graffitis. Finally, if you want to meet some street artists, you can also visit the 59, rue de Rivoli, a whole building inhabited by artists or on May 2014, you can already plan on visiting the “Frigos” de Paris, in the 13th arrondissement. The exact date hasn’t been announced yet but it should be communicated soon!
To further your knowledge of French, there is no better way than practice. It may be scary at first, but it just takes patience and time to be able to talk to French people and understand what they say. First of all, the French vocabulary is not that important. French dictionaries usually contain about 10.000 words but you will need only ~500 of them to face most situations during your stay in Paris. Even though they are proud of their language, the French now use more and more English nouns in their vocabulary. Back in the 1990s, politicians tried to limit this trend but the “Loi Toubon” which recommendaded the translation of English names into French seems quite outdated today…
Among some of the most famous of“anglicismes”, you will find the words “parking”, “talk-shows”, “all-inclusive”, “check-in” or “coach.” Moreover, thanks to the development of the internet, most teenagers and young adults now like to include English words in their sentences to sound “cool” (Cool being another “anglicisme” commonly used…). The pronunciation often leaves a lot to be desired but they should be able to understand these words when properly pronounced. It is important to note that most of these words refer to the IT world and have no French translation so feel free to use the words “upload”, “download”, “scroll”, “refresh”, “laptop”, “geek”, “screenshot”, “hotline”, “follower”.
Once you have learned some basic words, idioms and sentences, the most difficult part will be to say them out loud and to get understood. This is particularly hard for English speakers as there is no tonic accent in French… Each syllabus has to be pronounced with the same emphasis, vowels are pronounced without any diphthongs, H are always silent…
Once you master this part, you’ll be able to reach the next level and try to use the proper possessive adjective, a tricky subject as all French words have a gender… In a country as sexist as France, this comes as no surprise and your interlocutor will frown at you if you start saying “ton voiture” or “ta scooter”… But more on this later!
A trip to Paris would not be totally complete without getting a taste of the French language, one of the cultural assets the French are the most proud of. Granted, nowadays French is the official language of only 200 million of people, i.e. less than 3% of the world population. Granted, both Chinese and English have long replaced French as the international language for business. However, it is deeply anchored in French mindset that their language has brought to the world the ideas of freedom and democracy which were developed by philosophers during the Age of Enlightment. You may argue that it was a long time ago but some facts still perpetrate the tradition: for instance, French is still the official language of the Olympic Games and it is, along with English, the official language of the UNO or the Unesco. French is also the first foreign language taught in the USA, Canada and United Kingdom and it has always been a member of the top 10 languages most spoken in the world.
But how to learn French? With its myriad of grammar rules, past tenses or exceptions, the “langue de Molière” (literally “Moliere’s language”) , as the French like to call it, is incredibly hard to perfectly command. The difficulty doesn’t lie in its vocabulary: surprisingly enough, there are only ~200.000 words used in the French language, while there are more than one million in English. Rather, the tricky part of the French language lays in its grammar and pronunciation, which are a challenge not only for foreigners but also for natives speakers. The French have had a long love-hate relationship with their language… They cheer it as much as they criticize the endless list of exceptions and illogical grammar rules. Most adults have painful memories of the spelling tests they had to take at school when they were kids but each year, they will turn in mass to watch a popular TV show called the Dictée de Pivot “Pivot’s spelling test” to assess their command of the French language and compare their results to those of some French celebrities who take the test in front of millions of TV viewers.
On a similar level, journalists won’t miss the opportunity to comment French politicians’ misuse of the language or slips of the tongue but it is nearly impossible to read a newspaper without at least one spelling mistake on every page…
Paris and poker have a decade’s worth of partnership that moulds dreamers into legends.
Paris has always been known for its worldwide appeal to lovers, romantics, and tourists in general. It nests iconic structures like the Pyramid of the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and of course, the Eiffel Tower. But more than just being the perfect backdrop for a dreamy getaway with a loved one, Paris has also been the ideal battlefield of some of the most cunning and ruthless card sharks.
Since the global poker spread started in 2003, the World Poker Tour continues to change the face of a normally romantic city, and turns it into a war zone of some sort. Each year, the WPT holds major events at the Aviation Club de France where they draw out some of the best minds the poker world has ever seen. Tournament favourites like Christer Johansson, David Benyamine, and Surinder Sunar, as well as up-and-coming contenders Theo Jørgensen, Matthew Waxman, and Matt Salsberg have all won the annual event with flying colours. Throughout the years, the Aviation Club witnessed these previously unheard of poker studs burgeon into consistent contenders on the felt; that’s why fans always look forward to watching this exciting event.
Situated right in the enchanting heart of Paris, the Aviation Club de France has been around the business of gambling for more than a century. Established in 1907 by a group of avant garde aviators, the Club sets itself apart from most world class casinos. Its sophistication and subtlety, combined with the vast quantity of competitive tournaments created its reputation as a popular European poker destination. The Grand Prix de Paris – being the first stop on the World Poker Tour – sets the stage of a potentially monumental felt table showdown. Shown across the globe via the extensive television coverage of the WPT and the Partypoker live stream, fans are treated to the best poker action this side of the continent. And this year will be no exception. This October 25, the Aviation Club de France will open its majestic doors once again, as poker players from all over the world converge under one roof to battle it out in the bwin WPT Grand Prix de Paris. The six-day event will culminate on the 30th; in which the poker world will see the crowning of another WPT champion – and quite possibly, a future Hall of Famer.
Poker has seen the legitimate skills of its players unfold with regularity every tournament they participate in. Titles are won, and lost, and lives are forever changed with just a simple push of the chip stack. Former champions reign supreme and new champions emerge from the deepest waters of obscurity. Every season is different. Every year is unpredictable. But one thing is for sure, the World Poker Tour and its partnership with the city of Paris create an exhilarating thrill and a unique sensation that makes each tournament one for the ages.