2014年12月31日 星期三

Times Square New Year's Eve ball

WATCH: An estimated 1,000,000 people crowded into Times Square in New York City to watch the world famous ball drop.

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See photos of the Times Square New Year's Eve ball throughout history. Photo: Redux. http://ti.me/13SsyS5

台中國家歌劇院:二度施工 文化部坦承缺失;完工後真相(謝榮雅)

謝榮雅新增了 16 張相片。


台中國家歌劇院的完工後真相

我不知道有沒有人講真話!對照當時的國際競圖,完工後才開放1樓就慘不忍睹,整體造型符號、色彩整合不佳,不僅不能算是一棟美的建築連完工品質也恐失「國家」稱號的顏面,也有辱建築大師威望。

其他內部除了萬用盆栽擺滿地、建材細節以及指標系統和如夜市擺攤的商家就不多說了,請大家可自己評價。(前四張是原預想圖)

*****

歌劇院二度施工 文化部坦承缺失

范捷茵 2014/12/29 19:36 點閱 2748 次
文化部代理部長洪孟啟指出,台中歌劇院的確有缺失,將進行2度施工。(photo by 范捷茵/台灣醒報)
文化部代理部長洪孟啟指出,台中歌劇院的確有缺失,將進行2度施工。(photo by 范捷茵/台灣醒報)
【台灣醒報記者范捷茵台北報導】針對立法院質疑台中歌劇院工程收尾未完成、定位不明,文化部代理部長洪孟啟29日坦承,歌劇院確實有缺失,明年將停演,進行2度施工,「這件事錯就是錯、對就是對,不必硬拗。」洪孟啟說,施工後依舊由台中市政府主導驗收,但文化部會從旁協助檢視軟、硬體設施,保守預計明年11月再啟用。
台北藝術大學29日公布「2014年10大藝文新聞」,台中歌劇院落成、雲門舞集新家落成、屏風表演班無限期停演高居前3名。接著4至10名則是故宮國寶赴日展出、文化界連署反服貿、新舞臺閒置半年、音樂界一代宗師李泰祥過世、國家表演藝術中心掛牌、建築人文導師漢寶德過世與文化部推流行音樂人才認證制度。
洪孟啟29日受邀出席記者會,指出10大新聞中有4項與文化部息息相關,包括歌劇院、反服貿連署、表演藝術中心與音樂人才認證。
針對台中歌劇院落成後,雖被國際媒體譽為世界第9大新地標,卻被立委質疑歌劇院邊趕工邊演出,許多細節尚未收尾,洪孟啟坦言,立委對於台中歌劇院的問政有許多屬事實,「錯就是錯、對就是對,不必硬拗」,歌劇院將於明年2度施工,後預計明年3月至9月由台中市政府主導驗收,但文化部會從旁監督,尤其在軟體部分會嚴格要求。
同時洪孟啟也對屏風表演班的停演感到遺憾,他表示將延續前文化部長龍應台的態度,若屏風未來需要任何協助,文化部會大力支持這個在台灣長大的團隊。

全面佔領忠孝西路/沒有公車專用道時代


沒有公車專用道時代的台北忠孝西路,民國60年代外貿廣告.

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the hotter the summer will be according to traditional weather rules. (EPA/PATRICK B. KRAEMER)
Taiwan police fire water cannon at protesters squatting on the ground outside Taipei Railway Station during an anti-nuclear demonstration in Taipei on April 28, 2014. .(Mandy Cheng/AFP/Getty Images)
Taiwan police fire water cannon at protesters squatting on the ground outside Taipei Railway Station during an anti-nuclear demonstration in Taipei on April 28, 2014. .(Mandy Cheng/AFP/Getty Images)
Police remove a protester (C) from outside Taipei Railway Station during an anti-nuclear demonstration in Taipei on April 28, 2014. (Mandy Cheng/AFP/Getty Images)
Police remove a protester (C) from outside Taipei Railway Station during an anti-nuclear demonstration in Taipei on April 28, 2014. (Mandy Cheng/AFP/Getty Images)

 http://o.canada.com/news/photos-april-28-top-images-from-around-the-world

 

 

 反核》遊行隊伍出發 人數突破2萬

 

5分鐘 ·
公民不核作 人民決定自己未來
快快快.......站出來決定自己未來,來來來....佔領忠孝西路
還權於民大遊行,4:30已全佔領忠孝西路,要奪回我們權力

反核遊行期間 臉書資料爆量當機


2014-04-27  17:18
〔本報訊〕台北車站附近數萬反核民眾齊聚於忠孝西路上之際,有網友反應,疑因反核活動,過多的使用者分享活動現場的影音、訊息導致資料量過大,在接近下午5點時,臉書陸續出現無法提供服務狀況。但有國外的網友指出,不只台灣,海外許多地區臉書使用者也遇上類似情形。
「全國廢核行動平台」今天下午舉辦「停建核四、還權於民」反核大遊行,主辦單位號召數萬民眾遊行到北市忠孝西路時,響起核災警報讓民眾就地躺下,成功佔領忠孝西路全線道路,模擬核災發生需要疏散時,市區交通如何癱瘓且無法成功疏散龐大人潮的慘況。
臉書今天在下午出現無法提供服務的情形,網友質疑與反核遊行活動有關聯。(圖擷取自網路)臉書今天在下午出現無法提供服務的情形,網友質疑與反核遊行活動有關聯。(圖擷取自網路)
不少網友在此期間上網詢問與反應,為何臉書在下午反核遊行期間,突然無法正常閱讀及發佈動態貼文。
許多網友大喊「戒嚴」,質疑臉書此時掛掉實在過於巧合,懷疑臉書此時塞車與「反制反核活動」脫不了干係,可能是對反核不友善的勢力,惡意阻礙民眾透過臉書號召、分享反核活動相關資訊,更有網友擔憂台大BBS站PTT可能隨時會「被斷線」。
但也有部分身處國外的網友,或者是與海外使用者有聯繫的網友表示,美國、日本、荷蘭、德

反核》縝密計劃出奇招 全面佔領忠孝西路


「停建核四、還權於民」大遊行,民眾全面佔領忠孝西路。(記者趙世勳攝)
2014-04-27  16:23 〔本報訊〕反核遊行隊伍下午4時抵達忠孝西路,在主持人鼓舞下,反核群眾跨越車道管制區,並有隱藏在台北車站的「伏兵」,直接衝進對向的忠孝西路,完全超乎警方預料,迅速的以人民力量完全佔領忠孝西路後,群眾逐一坐下,持續高喊「終結核電、還權於民」等口號。
  • 「停建核四、還權於民」遊行隊伍在下午4時15分,已完全佔領下忠孝西路。(記者蘇芳禾攝) 「停建核四、還權於民」遊行隊伍在下午4時15分,已完全佔領下忠孝西路。(記者蘇芳禾攝)
  • 台北車站前擠滿人潮,忠孝西路全面換動彈不得。(記者蘇芳禾攝)
台北車站前擠滿人潮,忠孝西路全面換動彈不得。(記者蘇芳禾攝)
  • 「停建核四、還權於民」大遊行。(記者趙世勳攝) 「停建核四、還權於民」大遊行。(記者趙世勳攝)
由於遊行主辦單位只申請忠孝西路的一個車道,警方只願讓群眾使用最靠近人行道的車道,300多名保安警察排成人牆阻擋群眾前進,防止反核群眾完全佔領忠孝西路。
反核民眾高喊:「警察先生,不要成為政權的工具,謝謝你們。」呼籲警方不要阻擋,群眾則直接跨過管制區車道,第一排群眾手勾手,以縝密隊形讓警方難以阻擋,後方群眾掌握時機強跨管制區,將忠孝西路去向、來向四個車道全部佔領。
下午4時15分,由於忠孝西路已被完全佔領,中正一分局員警第一次舉牌,呼籲現場反核民眾自制,並警告群眾強行佔領忠孝西路的行為,已違反刑法,但隨即有民眾嗆聲「閉嘴!」。
眼見忠孝西路遭到完全癱瘓,警方無計可施,只能用大聲公呼籲群眾理性,並暫時將阻擋人群用的警力撤離。反核群眾立即給予熱烈掌聲,感謝警察的辛勞。







林飛帆忠孝西聲援 《蘋果》LIVE直播



反 核團體今天下午佔領忠孝西路台北車站前4個車道,學運領袖之一林飛帆也抵達現場聲援,林飛帆說,造成不便的是政府。稍早進行核災演練、發布「核電警報」, 民眾在忠孝西路就地躺下,模擬核災發生時,無處可去只能就地倒下。活動單位表示目前參與民眾約有5萬人,警方則估計有2萬多人,忠孝西路雙向交通受阻。

今 天下午1時許民眾陸續在凱道集結,民眾在已下午15時20分出發。遊行隊伍到達忠孝西路台北車站後,並且跨欄衝過車道,高喊「停建核四」口號手勾手準備往 前走,雙向道路被癱瘓,警方呈現棄守狀態,在4度舉牌後,約400名鎮暴警察已撤退。《蘋果》全程直播。(即時新聞中心/綜合報導)

【凱道現場】
 http://www.appledaily.com.tw/livechannel/subject/2 
【忠孝西路現場】
http://www.appledaily.com.tw/livechannel/subject/3




參加反核遊行民眾佔據忠孝西路後,就地躺下進行核災演習。呂健豪攝
反遊大遊行在忠孝西路上坐下,攻佔忠孝西路。田裕華攝
反遊大遊行在忠孝西路上坐下。杭大鵬攝




台大新聞E論壇新增了 6 張相片。
【遊行動態】
忠孝西路上反核遊行群眾就地靜坐,稍早道路上的警察全數撤離。下午4點43分至48分時,忠孝西路上發出核災警報,全場高喊「 終結核四、不要拖延」口號,現場參與遊行民眾紛紛躺下,模擬核災發生時,台北市可能發生的各種狀況。目前忠孝東中山南路口監察院前也佈滿遊行群眾。


2014年12月30日 星期二

In Sri Lanka, an Island of Detachment and Desire

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Girls play in the bay at Weligama with Taprobane Island in the background.CreditKuni Takahashi for The New York Times
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Bare-chested fishermen idled on the rocks one afternoon and argued mellifluously. Bony children bobbed in the water, and tinny music drifted from a stall where glistening mahi-mahi was on offer. Not one head turned when cows stumbled into an empty beach cafe, scattering chairs and then wandering into the surf.
But the slow-motion beach scene isn’t the attraction at Weligama, an escapist paradise open to the Indian Ocean and an infinite distance from angst. It is outshone by a dollop of an island 200 yards offshore. Ringed by gleaming boulders and topped by a cloud-white villa, Taprobane is now a landmark inSri Lanka. Created in the 1920s by a Frenchman who claimed to be an aristocrat, the property was once owned by the writer Paul Bowles.
These days, Taprobane is a privately owned home marketed as a luxury retreat where, depending on the season, the keys to the five-bedroom villa go for $1,000 to $2,200 per night. A staff of five, including a private cook, keeps the Tanqueray flowing.
At the foot of a neo-Palladian gate, Taprobane’s jetty reaches only a short way into the water. Though elephants have been employed to ferry visitors, upon occasion, guests now their way to the house through the shin-deep surf.
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The writer Paul Bowles, who once owned the island.CreditUlf Andersen/Getty Images
On my own pilgrimage last spring, I slipped off my sandals and waded behind two porters with my bags atop their heads. Before I reached the elaborate gateway, a hand holding a towel appeared: “Madam, hello, madam,” someone said.
I was making the journey alone, but not because I craved solitude, or splendor. Booking Taprobane for one $1,700 night meant that I could explore the estate and parse the sensory landscape that made it so alluring to Mr. Bowles.
The Queens-born expatriate (who died in 1999) was a writer whom I knew, and who is still a touchstone for many travelers. A coolly charismatic figure who lived at a distance from his own culture, he made a lasting mark with dark, often disturbing tales about innocents who seek exotica and stumble into anarchy.
His best-known novel, “The Sheltering Sky,” is a cautionary tale for heedless adventurers: Distracted by their own small dramas, a young couple ventures into the Sahara. Adrift among strangers, they become prey.
Norman Mailer’s take on his vision became a trope: “Paul Bowles,” he wrote, “opened the world of Hip. He let in the murder, the drugs, the incest, the death of the Square … the call of the orgy, the end of civilization."
Elegant and self-contained, Mr. Bowles would have been the last to define himself as hip. Exquisitely detached from his surroundings, as well as from his characters, he spent much of his life on the move; such distinctions hardly mattered in Tangier, the Moroccan port that became his backdrop.
In 1948, when Mr. Bowles brought his wife, the writer Jane Bowles, to Morocco, Tangier was an international zone where villas were cheap, kif was plentiful and sex was a commodity. Decadence wasn’t the draw for the Bowleses, but their relationship was opaque, and each famously took gay lovers.
Though he nominally was in retreat, Mr. Bowles’s door was open; a generation of admirers made its way to Inmueble Itesa, the drab building where he lived for 40 years. I began visiting in 1986, while researching a book about Mr. Bowles and other writers in Tangier. Patient and often amusing, Mr. Bowles seemed a glamorous anachronism.
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The island is now a privately owned home, marketed as a luxury retreat.CreditKuni Takahashi for The New York Times
By then, his time in Sri Lanka (Ceylon until long after he left) seemed impossibly distant; it had been distilled into anecdotes about devil-dancing ceremonies and the quirks of his servants. Once, however, Taprobane had been a place that fulfilled his longing for extremes. Along with the void of the Sahara, he wrote, the fecundity of the tropics could propel him into “a state bordering on euphoria.”
His obsession was sparked by David Herbert, an aristocrat and close friend in Tangier. In 1949 (a year after Sri Lanka won independence from Britain), Mr. Herbert showed him an album with photographs from a family visit to Taprobane. Entranced, Mr. Bowles made an expedition to Sri Lanka in 1950; he found the private island to be “an embodiment of the innumerable fantasies and daydreams that had flitted through my mind since childhood.”
Two years later, Mr. Bowles arranged to buy the island from a local rubber planter. The cost for his “little parcel of paradise,” as he called it, was about $5,000.
Climbing through the island’s luxuriant jungle, I caught a whiff of Mr. Bowles’s bliss. Flame trees and frangipani-lined paths strewn with fallen blossoms. Screaming house crows, hundreds of them, were a counterpoint to the booming waves. The mineral smell of the sea receded, and the perfume of overripe fruit took over.
The showstopper is the villa, where verandas take the place of outer walls. Pure white, the pavilion is a study in light and shadow. In the octagonal center room, the ceiling rises 30 feet; bedrooms and sitting areas extend beyond. Visible in all directions, the seascape seemed infinite.
The major-domo here is Carman Abeyeunga, a compact man who, like his staff, is dignified in shorts and bare feet. Service at Taprobane is swift and unobtrusive; my bags materialized in a small bedroom that, at midday, was shuttered against the heat. With heavy Dutch Colonial furniture and a four-poster draped in mosquito netting, it was appealing in a Tatler-colonial way.
The room was suitably adorned with clubby family photos that belong to the British-born entrepreneur Geoffrey Dobbs, who bought Taprobane from a Sri Lankan mogul. A retired publisher and a high-profile figure in Sri Lanka, Mr. Dobbs has converted two colonial houses in Galle into boutique hotels and helped shore up a tourist industry enfeebled by a civil war and a tsunami.
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Carman Abeyeunga, a member of the staff, serves string hopper, fish curry and yellow dal.CreditKuni Takahashi for The New York Times
By all accounts, Taprobane was less-than-haute in Mr. Bowles’s day. There was no running water or electricity and “the house would have delighted the heart of Charles Addams,” in the words of Arthur C. Clarke. After a 1957 visit, he wrote “windows had been boarded up, plaster was flaking away, and though the place was perfectly livable there was a general air of neglect.”
Any lugubriousness was a plus for Mr. Bowles. In his memoir, “Without Stopping,” he described the scene when his wife first set foot on the estate. Mrs. Bowles, he wrote, instantly understood its appeal: “I can see why you like it,” she shrugged. “It’s a Poe story.”
Jane Bowles felt besieged in her husband’s house. “I had prepared her for the nightly invasion of bats … but she had not expected so many, she said, or that they would have a three-foot wingspread and such big teeth,” he remembered.
Mr. Bowles savored the exoticism. In a 1955 letter to his editor, David McDowell, he wrote: “The house is self-sufficient in eggs, orchids, lobsters, crabs, and that’s all.” He continued, “Think how much we should have to spend for our daily supply of orchids if they didn’t grow here.”
Hungry to explore it all, I grabbed my camera and maneuvered down the island’s south face. I leaned carefully over a 20-foot drop to photograph the surf as it smashed into hulking boulders.
The sun was still fierce, so I headed into the tangle that canopies the walkways. Like the house, the gardens were created by Maurice de Mauny Talvande, a French commoner who declared himself a count. When he managed to acquire Galduwa, as it was then called, around 1925, he rechristened it with the name that the ancient Greeks gave to Sri Lanka.
Now, every step here reveals a curiosity — green pods cradling blood-red seeds or white blossoms erupting from the depths of crimson flowers. Heart-shaped leaves are veined in startling white, and orchids leap across walkways at eye level.
Mr. Bowles, who used cannabis to tweak his consciousness in Morocco, sensed that his garden had a life of its own. In another letter to Mr. McDowell in 1955, he described “the strange psychological effect this powerful world of vegetable life can have on the person who opens himself to consciousness of it … it’s a rather unpleasant sensation on the whole, to feel very strongly that plants are not inert and not insentient.”
Continue reading the main story
BAY OF
BENGAL
100 MILES
SRI LANKA
1 MILE
INDIA
Weligama
GULF OF
MANNAR
Trincomalee
TAPROBANE
ISLAND
SRI
LANKA
WELIGAMA BAY
Colombo
Area of detail
INDIAN OCEAN
Mr. Bowles intended to separate himself from the world here, but he seldom was alone. Late in 1954, he arrived at Taprobane with Mrs. Bowles, as well as his lover, the Moroccan painter Ahmed Yacoubi, and their friend Mohammed Temsemany. It was not a happy ménage: Struggling with the heat and with writer’s block, Mrs. Bowles drank heavily; she returned to Tangier after two months.
Throughout, his estate was a draw for strangers who seemed to regard it as public property. Tourists from Weligama or Colombo or as far away as Bombay “hallooed and pounded” at the gate, though Mr. Bowles posted a sign warning that drop-ins would be turned away.
Over time, he developed the sense of being an interloper in Sri Lanka. By his account, visitors began advising him that he was lucky to live in a house that was part of their history, and newspapers called for Taprobane to be declared a national monument.
Along with financial worries and his wife’s loathing for the place, that shift spurred Mr. Bowles to sell his one-off paradise. In 1957, it went to the Irish writer Shaun Mandy.
It’s hard to say whether anything of Mr. Bowles remains at Taprobane.
Taprobane did offer reminders of Mr. Bowles and his love for the tropics, however: I thought about him as I walked barefoot on the cool floors and floated in the lukewarm surf.
Sleep came easily at the villa; the banging of the waves obliterated the usual static, and not a single bat disturbed my dreams.
I woke early, opened the shutters and saw that my terrace was deserted. I was free to do yoga, or watch the sea birds or read in perfect peace.
Instead, I walked out to watch the 10-shades-of-turquoise ocean, where barely visible boats disappeared into the horizon.
I remembered what Mr. Bowles had said about what lay beyond: At Taprobane, he wrote, “there’s nothing between you and the South Pole.”
That became my mantra for the day.

Dipping Into a French Melting Pot

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Places to explore global night life in Paris include the Olympic Café, left, and La Favela Chic, right.CreditJulien Bourgeois for The New York Times
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When is Paris not just Paris? When it’s a window onto Dakar, Senegal; or Morocco; or Mumbai, India; or Moscow.
The city successfully markets itself as a playground in which to sample France’s vast traditional cultural and gastronomic output, from wines to cheeses to literature and fashion. But that’s only half of France’s heritage. So while tourists often flock to the City of Lights to see famous French sites — Notre Dame, the Louvre and, of course, the Eiffel Tower — that are clustered, for the most part, in the center of the city, they may miss a global metropolis that offers a sampling of many different cultures.
France’s former colonial ties with many countries have created vital immigrant communities from North and West Africa and from parts of Asia. The result is a mix of areas to explore in less tourist-centric outer neighborhoods: the 18th, 19th, 20th, 10th, 11th and 12th Arrondissements.
In the Goutte d’Or neighborhood in the 18th Arrondissement, for example, you’ll find West African women in long dresses of bright wax batik fabric buying vegetables at shops with names like Paris L’Afrique. At Passage Brady in the 10th, you’ll find yourself in a street of Indian restaurants and shops; or, in gentrifying, multicultural Belleville, a mélange of cultures including one of the city’s East Asian communities.
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Left, the Passage Brady in the 10th Arrondissement, which is known for its Indian restaurants and shops. Right, a rooftop view from the Institute of the Arab World in central Paris. CreditJulien Bourgeois for The New York Times
While waves of immigration transform many global cities, there are few road maps to explore them in a country so wedded to its heritage that it maintains an academy dedicated to preserving its language. Here is a quick lesson on mezze Paris and a few suggestions of places where you can immerse yourself in a different world.

African Areas

Long before Africans came in large numbers to Paris, a different group settled in the north. There was a time when rural migrants from Brittany and Basque Country were considered foreigners, of a sort, when they settled in Paris’s outer neighborhoods in the 1800s, according to Prof. Andrew Newman of Wayne State University, an expert on immigrant Paris.
Many of the neighborhoods in which they settled later became home to immigrants from across southern and Eastern Europe after World War I. Although North Africans (from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco in particular) started coming to the 18th and 19th Arrondissements as early as the 1920s, Professor Newman said, “Migration from throughout the empire — especially Francophone West Africa and the Maghreb (North Africa) — began to visibly reshape the city in the years following the Second World War, when France instituted a ‘guest-worker’ policy.” Many men worked in postwar construction and manufacturing, and some of the women as domestics.
The Algerian War of Independence, he added, “spilled into the streets of Paris in the early 1960s.”
“At the Pont Saint-Michel, in the city center,” he continued, “one can find a memorial plaque to the 17 October 1961 massacre of Algerian demonstrators (including women and children), many of whom were thrown in the Seine to drown.”
The tension between France and its immigrants more recently came to light nearly a decade ago, when riots overtook the Clichy-sous-Bois banlieu, or suburb. Like many banlieues, it consisted of undistinguished working-class apartment blocks surrounding the city, home mainly to people of North and West African heritage who find themselves labeled immigrant. This duality — French, or not truly French — is distinct from, but could be compared with, America’s own struggles with otherness, here mainly explored through a newly sharpened racial identity in the wake of Ferguson.
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Left, Comptoir Général, which bills itself as a Ghetto Museum in the 10th Arrondissement. Right, a traditional Arabic pastry and mint tea at Café Maure in the Grand Mosque. CreditJulien Bourgeois for The New York Times
Because I wanted to better understand the landscape of ethnic expression and repression, I explored some places that have found playful ways to approach the topic of identity through culture and art. Among them: the artist-proprietors of Le Comptoir Général, a hip multipurpose space that bills itself as a “Ghetto Museum” in the 10th Arrondissement, off Canal Saint-Martin.
First you walk up to a gate with a friendly bouncer; then go through a courtyard, dimly lit at night; and finally enter into a hallway that begins with a photo gallery of former President Nicolas Sarkozy shaking the hands of African autocrats. Throughout the rooms, you’ll find a wry mix of décor — placards for African barbers; walls of food products from the Continent; and books, records and artwork for sale. The crowd at Comptoir Général is young and multicultural. The staff members have used their own straddling of French and West African cultures as a way to embrace and gently poke fun at both, as well as to welcome others in.
Places to experience global night life include the Brazilian spot La Favela Chic and the reggae and West African music venue Olympic Café. A standout restaurant is Comme sur une Île in the 20th Arrondissement, run by a Mauritian chef who blends Indian, French, Chinese and Creole flavors. The vegetarian platter recently included an exquisite assortment of tastes and textures, with small half-moons of eggplant in a chickpea batter; a shrimp dish in a light, flavorful tomato sauce was another winner.
The inner arrondissements, closer to tourist destinations, also have some cultural and culinary offerings. Chez Hanna in the trendy Marais (Fourth) has a sit-down menu, but for lunch grab an inexpensive and marvelous take-away falafel, perfect to eat on a beautiful day in one of the nearby public squares. Le Petit Dakar, a Senegalese restaurant, is nearby, and charges prices appropriate for sit-down fare in its location (dinner entrees 16 to 20 euros, or about $19 to $24, at $1.21 to the euro). In the comfortable room filled with posters and books about Senegal, you’re seated and served roasted peanuts with a coconut shell to place the husks in. They serve up a fantastic appetizer platter including huge prawns and roasted vegetables that may make an entree seem unnecessary. But the dishes — like the national dish, a fish stew with okra and roasted vegetables — are flavorful and the servings are large enough that you can split them. Another place worth visiting while doing the more conventional Paris tourism is Restaurant Akash, a well-appointed room with delicious north Indian food. I dined there with a vegetarian who said that the ethnic dining options in Paris provided much needed variety if one doesn’t eat meat.
Also in central Paris: L’Institut du Monde Arabe (Institute of the Arab World), a museum that also houses a rooftop Lebanese restaurant with a stunning view. The current exhibits include a multimedia roundup of contemporary art from Morocco, including visual art, fashion, film and architecture, plus a live demo/crafts tent serving tea that can accommodate 500. At the same time, the Louvre coordinated efforts with the Institut to exhibit “Medieval Morocco: An Empire From Africa to Spain.”

Eastern European and Jewish

The city’s most bracing history is literally written on its walls. Throughout Paris, you can see plaques commemorating Jewish citizens sent to their deaths by authorities during the Holocaust, plus theMémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation on Île de la Cité, marking the more than 200,000 people deported to concentration camps. But Jewish culture, including active synagogues, remains a stalwart of Le Marais. The Librairie du Temple sells Hebrew and French texts; and the deli Sacha Finkelsztajn was founded in 1851. I had a latke with meat, warmed up, that was appropriately greasy and utterly divine. The Marais is also trendy, gay-friendly and has a large North African population — a true cultural crossroads, and one built for a leisurely stroll.
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Left, the Grand Mosque in Paris in the Fifth Arrondissement. Right, Café Pouchkine opened in November on the prestigious Boulevard St.-Germain.CreditJulien Bourgeois for The New York Times
The Jewish culture of Paris overlaps in places with the Russian and Eastern European communities in the city. Russians, in particular, have deep historical ties to the city. French and Russian nobles intermarried, and thousands of Russian soldiers moved to the city after France surrendered the Battle of Paris in 1814. (Some linguists believe the restaurant term “bistro” comes from a similar-sounding Russian word for “quickly” — the soldiers’ cry to the less-than-snappy waiters to pick up the pace.) The Russian-Parisian writer Sergey Kuznetsov, who moved to Paris from Moscow, said: “People came to work and study and integrated. They do not have closed Russian communities.”
Current political tensions could produce a new wave of Russians seeking places to live, he said: “the rich and refugees.” The Russian government is funding a new cultural center, one with many architectural critics of its design, near the Eiffel Tower. There are some enclaves, in the 16th Arrondissement, near the Russian embassy; and sites of interest including the main Orthodox church in the 17th and the pricey Café Pouchkine, which has several locations, including a new one on Saint-Germain.

Asian Enclaves

East Asian culture and food are found throughout Paris, though, as with New York, certain neighborhoods can be described as “Chinatown” or more broadly, Asian areas, as colonial history means the Vietnamese influence in Paris is as prevalent as the Chinese, or more so. Part of the 13th Arrondissement is variously described as the Quartier Asiatique, Petite Asia or the Quartier Chinois (Chinese). There’s a McDonald’s with Chinese-language signs, which wouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been to New York’s Chinatown but is a bit of a novelty in France, and a Buddhist temple in a parking garage on Avenue d’Ivry. This district has the Olympiades Shopping Center and a big Tang Frères supermarket of Asian goods, and it’s the center of Lunar New Year celebrations (Feb. 19 next year).
Mr. Kuznetsov put together a dinner at one of Paris’s Vietnamese restaurants, a family-run, wallet-friendly hole-in-the-wall with delicious fare called Dong Phat, in the Seventh on Rue Malar. With eight of us present, we were able to satisfy the palates of vegetarians and carnivores, seafood-lovers and -haters, delighting in dishes like nems au porc (fried spring rolls with a dense ground pork filling) and noodle soup with prawn dumplings.
One of those present was the American author and filmmaker Daryle Conners, who had just wrapped shooting a short in Paris called “J’Arrive.” She lived in Paris for several years in the 1980s and has spent 25 years going back and forth. Ms. Conners points out that many Vietnamese restaurants, sometimes called French-Vietnamese, for the colonial influence that produced the banh mi sandwich on baguette bread, are known for their specialties. Her list: Best Nem (Au Coin des Gourmets, 5, rue Dante); Best Pho (Pho 14 in the 14th); Best Vietnamese Ravioli (Minh Duc in the Fifth); and Best Bo Bon (Xinh Xinh in the 13th). “Paris has so many good Southeast Asian restaurants, and they’re almost all very basic neighborhood places,” she said.
So how does multiethnic Paris fit into the national character as a whole?
“France is beset by a contradiction,” Professor Newman said.
“Strolling the streets, riding the Métro, or at work, the observation that France is a culturally diverse, global society is so routine it seems almost too banal to mention,” he added. Still, Professor Newman said, politicians across the spectrum often invoke — and capitalize upon — the questionable image of a culturally homogeneous France.
My trip happened to coincide with European Union parliamentary elections, won by the far-right National Front party, which has stood against immigration and recently called for an end to dual citizenship. The day after the elections, on the flight home, I happened to sit near a woman of black and European heritage who’d grown up in both the United States and France. She said ruefully that this was not the France she knew while growing up. Yet today, in addition to conflict, the tenacity of ethnic cultures-within-cultures adds vitality to modern France. The richness of the city’s global culture is one of its greatest assets — and an essential part of a contemporary Parisian adventure.

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