I’ve always loved carnivals and amusement parks. The old fashioned ones always sparked a little bit of excitement in me…I loved admiring the colors and shapes and fonts of the signs and attractions. I loved the simple round lights that flashed with fluorescent colors. I lived for summer nights at Lakeside outside of Denver, and was so excitde to stroll the pier at Coney Island. The atmosphere makes me happy, and I’m not sure I can explain why.
During the recent long weekend, I had the opportunity to discover a magical place with my fabulous friend Lali to discover just that: Le Musée des Arts Forains.
What is this magical place, you ask? It’s a museum that consists of a private collection of funfair objects that date from 1850 to 1950. Yup, vintage amusement park goodness, right behind the Bercy Pavilions in the 12th district of Paris. The museum is set up in several parts, with a variation of rides, games and decor filling up the spaces. The lights are perfectly set on the attractions with feathers and colors of the rainbox, and the music that plays while they are switched on will make you feel like you’re in an old movie and a carnival with the other nobles of the town. The tour guide not only explained the origins, context and secrets of the different attractions, but also let us ride some them.
Feathers, organs and elephants with hot air balloons galore, this museum offers whimsical adventure through the world of the carnival.
You can visit the museum by signing up in advanced for a guided tour. There are a few private tours a week, and annually the museum hosts an open house where anyone can come and discover Jean-Paul Favand’s carnival collection. The space is also rentable for private events… how dreamy is that?
This museum is a staple in my Paris Guide.
Musée des Arts Forains
53 Avenue des Terroirs de France, 75012
Tél: 01 43 40 16 22
Métro: Cour Saint Emillion (14)
Once upon a time in a land not so far from Pars, in a small town in Bretagne, two lovers said their vows.
I just love weddings.
Andrea and Christophe’s franco-american wedding was in a small town in Brittany this summer. It was a precious weekend full of sunshine and a good old fashioned fun time. The civil wedding was in the little Mairie of Jugon-les-Lacs. As the bride stepped out of the car, everyone peeked out the window of the first floor, where the wedding was taking place, to get a glimpse. From above the detail of her vintage lace dress was not yet visible, but we could all see her red lipstick, and could see the anticipation in Christophe’s eyes. It was magic.
The reception was held in the most beautiful stone home about a 5 minute drive from the town center. The signs marked the distances to Paris and to Indiana, ’twas precious. The flowers all around were colorful and in bloom. The lights were not yet lit, but the tent covered the most precious decorations and triangle banners draped from side to site. The cocktails were ready, and the feasting began.
We danced the night away. Congratulations, Andrea and Christophe.
This past Sunday was the first day the grass was open in the parks of Paris.
To celebrate the occasion, Lauren organized a big picnic to anyone who felt like joining in Parc Monceau. She crafted the most adorable sets of cutlery and straws and was quite the host. She decked out the park with vases of flowers, adorable blankets and plates full of yummies. I am anxious to see what she does decoration-wise at the Hive next month.
The sun was shining and it was just the perfect start to Spring. People who knew each other closely and also those who had just met mingled and gobbled down delicious picnic grub together, creating good conversation. Parc Monceau was packed with families, friends and lovers and it made it feel like the nice weather is finally here to stay in Paris. Lauren even introduced us non-Aussies to the joys of pavlova. C’était superbe.
I had the chance to soak up some sun with some of my dear friends Olivia, Steph, Courtney and Anne, but also with some new friends for whom Paris is also a stomping ground, Carin, Edna, Milsters, Ylenia, Gemma, C, and Diane.
I for one, am anxious for more park time. This winter was far too long.
Special thanks to Lauren for hosting and pimping this fabulous affair.