Saturday, December 29, 2012

Escape into the Marvelous World of the Musée des Arts Forains


Occasionally, people ask me if Stéphane is a spy. It's probably because questions about my husband's whereabouts have been known to elicit some rather cryptic responses: "He might be in Italy because he was in England yesterday" or "He was at a conference in Switzerland the last time we spoke so maybe he's still there." Now, I don't know how James Bond copes with early morning departures on crowded planes followed by late night dinners with colleagues, but Stéphane's travels had left him feeling exhausted during the days leading up to Christmas. He was in dire need of taking some time off from being a serious adult.

Fortunately, my Swiss husband is also a kid at heart, who happily accompanied me to the Musée des Arts Forains for a fun outing with Anne of "Just Another American in Paris" and her family. While the rest of us were admiring the elaborate costumes from the Folies Bergère in "The Marvelous Theater", Stéphane was busy buying a handful of tickets for the Belle Epoque amusement park rides and attractions in "The Fairground Art Museum". Before I knew it, he had disappeared into the crowd forcing me, once again, to give enigmatic answers to questions concerning his whereabouts: "Stéphane might be riding the bicycle merry-go-round" or "He was playing the 'Parisian Waiter Race' with Sara the last time I saw him so maybe he's by the Japanese billiards game now."

Parisian Waiter Race

If you're in need of a break from reality, I highly recommend visiting the magical world created by antique dealer and actor Jean-Paul Favand. Exceptionally open through the 6th of January, the Musée des Arts Forains is even more fantastic than I had imagined it would be after seeing it in the movie Midnight in Paris. It's not surprising that Woody Allen decided to use it as the setting for F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's roaring 1920s party.

Musée des Arts Forains
Exceptionally open from December 26 - January 6.
Guided tours: By appointment for groups all year round. Individual visits upon request.
53 avenue des Terroirs de France, 75012 Paris
Tel +33 (0) 1 43 40 16 22

Many thanks to Anne for suggesting that we go to the Musée des Arts Forains. I only wish that our time in Paris had overlapped so that we could have explored other places together!

Please click here to see more photos of The Fairground Art Museum and here to see photos of Steampunks, a group whose members wear elaborate Victorian costumes.

Having fun: Stéphane (my serious Swiss husband), Sara and Jon. 

11 comments:

  1. Don't worry. We figured out that Stephane has a killer instinct and couldn't bear the humiliation of being beaten by a six year old as you and I were! Great exploring with you and bonne annee.

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    1. Yeah, I'm still suffering from the sting of defeat. That six year old was one talented kid! ;) Enjoy the rest of your stay in Paris and hope to see you again soon. Happy New Year!

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  2. What fun! I would so have been there buying tickets with him. So is the museum not open at other times of the year?

    I love the waiters race. How are they propelled along?

    Oh, and poor Jon, caught on the john. Sad.

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    1. Stephane would have really enjoyed having you there with him, Joseph. We still laugh about our pinball games with you!

      The museum is only open to the public a couple of times a year, for European Heritage Days and during the Christmas/New Year holiday. Throughout the year, it's available for groups to rent.

      The Parisian waiter race is one of those games where you have to roll a ball in a hole. The different holes have different values. Depending on the value of the hole, the waiter takes 1, 2 or 3 steps.

      You would have loved the old merry-go-round that's propelled by people pedaling bicycles. It's shown in the movie, Midnight in Paris.

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  3. Mary Kay, the moodiness of the zebra et al shot is wonderful...I have a bit of a thing for circus photos! Stephane, Sara and Jon also have the perfect expressions for the fairground art.

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    1. Have you ever been to the Cirque du Soleil, Baron? If you have a thing for circus photos, I would venture to say that you would really enjoy it. I was very impressed by all of the acts when Stephane and I went to see the show Alegría at the beginning of December.

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  4. Loved seeing the playful side of Stephane....great blog, but logged on looking for my Sunday song!

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    1. Sorry about "Sunday's Song" - With the holidays, I've completely lost track of which day it is!

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  5. Oh I hear about this place and would love to go there, but the one time I get the opportunity by visiting Paris at Christmas, unfortunately , my husband, unlike yours is not in touch with his inner child.

    Looks great and just my kind of thing.

    Love Denise

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    1. I was really WOWED by the Musée des Arts Forains and would highly recommend it, Denise. Maybe next year if "the man who can do no wrong" surprises you with another Christmas trip to Paris!

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  6. We went last year and were blown away by the magical, vaudeville feel of the place. Only being open for the two week period over Christmas makes it even more special.

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