Every year on August 25, France celebrates the liberation from German occupation in 1944 at the close of WWII. This year, Paris will host a light and music show at the Hotel de Ville, in the open square outside of the city’s town hall. Following the light show, the square will transform into a massive dance floor. This will be a night of celebration!
For this year, the 70th anniversary, President Francois Hollande is expected to attend, along with other government and Military representatives.
In the early days of photojournalism, Magnum photographer Robert Capa captured scenes from the days leading up to and after the liberation. Below are a few from that collection of images. It seems foreign to look at Paris under the stress of war, but also wonderful to see the celebratory faces and crowds in the streets that are so familiar and unchanged even today.
Paris. August 26th, 1944. Crowd on the pavement after snipers in buildings overlooking the Place de l’Hotel de Ville opened fire on the celebrations after the liberation.
Paris. August 25th, 1944. French troops being welcomed during the liberation of the city.
Paris. 8th arrondissement. Champs-Elysées. August 26th, 1944. Members of the French Resistance and soldiers of the French Army celebrating the liberation of the city.
August 25th, 1944. German soldiers surrender to French Resistance fighters during the liberation of the city.
To see our apartments located near Hotel de Ville:
Two bedroom Loft at Saint Paul
Ile Saint Louis Studio
Three bedroom, Air Conditioned Quai de Montebello apartment
In one of Paris’ northern parks, la Villette, the lawn transforms on summer evenings into a picnic ground with blankets spread out facing the big white screen of the open air cinema. Each summer, La Villette selects a summer’s worth of films around a certain theme, this year being adolescence and the nostalgia of childhood.
La Villette borders the canal as it makes its way towards the periphery of Paris. It is worth getting there a little early, while it is still light out and before all the best spots are taken, to walk around and enjoy how diverse Paris is once you get out of the central areas. When you’re looking for a spot to get comfortable, it’s good to know you can also rent folding chairs for 7 euros a piece.
Ranging from comedy to drama and romance, movies like Carrie and Lolita are lined up with more cult classics like Fame and American Graffiti, and then even more recent films like Moonrise Kingdom and 17 Filles. A great mix of old and new, French, American and other nationalities, you’re reminded that going to the movies can be a cultural experience, and in this case, a memorable Parisian experience.
Here is the full program. Descriptions are in French, but you’ll recognize most of the titles.
And if you bring a wine picnic, don’t forget your cork screw!
Metro: Porte de Pantin
Take a culinary tour Paris by visiting participating restaurants in the Happy Hours of Paris! By picking up a passbook at this list of locations, including the town halls of each arrondissement and at the Hotel de Ville, you have access to 2 euro samplings of specialties from about 285 eateries around the city.
“Prepare your route to sample small bites during l’apéro, for 2 euro!” They announce on the homepage.
L’apéro is short for l’aperitif, which refers to a gathering around cocktails and small bites before dinner time. The ‘Happy Hour’ lasts from 6pm-8pm and will extend through Saturday for a full day, 11am-11pm at the Cité de la Mode et du Design near gare d’Austerlitz.
To navigate the site: Here you have a list of all the neighborhoods (arrondissements) with the number of participating eateries:
And when you click on the neighborhood you want to explore, you’ll see a map showing you the locations of each restaurant:
Like these, near our Haute Marais apartments centered in the map above.
Finally, You’ll be able to click through each of the participants to check out what they’re offering. You’ll see the sample in bold type, at the center of the page like here below: “Mousse de burrata à la truffle et gelée de champignons” So you can see they’re pulling out all the stops to impress you, and hopefully you discover a new place to go back to and try more of the menu!