What’s the best way to stay up to speed on what’s going on in Paris? There’s no one answer but here are a few ideas that will put you on the road to being considered in the know.
Read the newspaper: Obvious right? Or perhaps just hopelessly old-fashioned. Even if your French skills are limited, scanning the paper, any paper, will do you good. Le Parisien and France-Soir are easier to read than Libération and Le Monde. Even better, pick up one of the free papers available at your neighborhood métro station. I don’t know for sure but it seems like these papers (Métro, Direct Matin, and 20 Minutes) are written for about a 5th grade literacy level. If nothing else, you should pick up Le Figaro on Wednesdays when it includes the entertainment insert, Figaroscope. And if you can’t read a word of French, try the on-line English language entertainment guide, Paris Update.
Follow Paris blogs: It doesn’t matter whether you just surf on over every now and then for a visit or subscribe to a feed. Just make it a point to take of the advantage of their wisdom and knowledge of upcoming events. Particularly good bets are Paris by Mouth, Secrets of Paris and Paris Weekends.
Pay attention to posters: The city of Paris sponsors many festivals and it seems like every weekend, there’s some kind of fete with themes as wide ranging as gardening, food and wine, music, art, cinema, sport, and, biodiversity. In addition, there are frequent expositions at the large convention centers at Porte de Versailles and Porte de Champerret; these feature vendors, demonstrations, and all manner of activities on a single theme: interior design, manga, independent vintners, automobiles, and yes, of course, chocolate.
Make friends: Two heads are definitely better than one. Tap into the expertise of colleagues, parents of your kids’ friends, fellow parishioners, and other members of expat organizations like the American Women’s Group, WICE, the American Chamber of Commerce, Paris Alumnae/i Network, and MESSAGE. And take a look at Meetup Paris, an online forum that helps folks connect with others who have similar interest, whether that’s forming a playgroup for babies or playing rugby.