The Musée des Arts Forains, the Museum of Fairground Art, is only open to the public once a year for a two-week period between Christmas and New Years. Luckily, this year I had to opportunity to visit.
As I have mentioned before, I spent my summers as a child and adolescent on the boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey and have vivid memories of carnivals, rides, fairgrounds, amusement parks, cotton candy, custard, games of chance, pinball machines, Skee ball, and many other activities.
I was instantly whirled back to my childhood memories front and center at The Musée des Arts Forains. It was still the school vacation, so it was jammed with tots, teens, and their parents.
What I loved most was the dark, mysterious atmosphere and the costumes from the showgirls and the Follies Bergere with lots of feathered headdresses (calling Cher!) and beaded costumes and dresses. The other very special part of the museum was the carousels. One rare carousel is powered by gold plated stationary bicycles and you peddle to make it go as fast as you can. Of course cotton candy and popcorn was served but I was a tad disappointed not seeing any jelly apples for sale. There was live entertainment with shows featuring music and magic acts and there were some games of chance. It’s a good thing there were no pinball machines because I would have spent the week playing them without leaving.
Jean Paul Favand, an actor and antiques dealer, started The Musée des Arts Forains. He collects objets from fairgrounds and has become one of the foremost collectors in the world. The museum was opened in 1996 and is divided into three rooms: The Marvelous Theater, The Venetians Lounges, and the Fairground Art Museum. The collection contains works from 1850 to 1950 and includes 14 amusement rides, 16 fair stalls with 18 sets of historical pieces.
You can contact the museum to make an appointment for a private visit but it’s usually for groups over 25 or for journalists.
53, avenue des Terroirs de France, 75012
Metro: Cour Saint Emilion
New Eye Prefer Paris Photos for Sale
I am happy to announce the sale of a new set of prints of my Eye Prefer Paris Photos. I am offering 20 of my most popular and iconic images for sale including my doors, architectural details, statues, and monuments. They will make great gifts for all your Francophile friends, relatives, and colleagues but don't forget to buy some for yourself.
Click here to see photos and for full details including sizes, prices, and shipping. Here is a sample of some of the photos.
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 195 euros for up to 3 people, and 65 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com