Saturday, 18 April 2015

Preparing for Paris [1]

Two Weeks to Go!

The theatre opened in 1869 providing relatively modest light entertainment. Édouard Manet painted his well-known picture of one of its barmaids in 1882.
But four years later, new manager Édouard Marchand introduced a more "liberal" style of "Music Hall Revue" which became a symbol of Parisian "high life" (low life?).
In 1926, Josephine Baker, an African-American expatriate singer, dancer, and entertainer, caused a sensation at the Folies Bergère in a new revue, La Folie du Jour, in which she danced a number (Fatou) wearing a costume consisting of a micro-skirt (not more than a pelmet) made of a string of artificial bananas and little else.

The "Folies" of today is, perhaps, more mainstream; but the reputation remains. So much so, that when fbb announced his intention to visit Paris while Mrs fbb was cruising in the Fijords (départ le 3 Mai), the laddish "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" attitude became a stereotypical response.

Entertainment on the current theatre programme includes a Psychic "conference", A Circus and a US Gospel choir. But there is no production when fbb is there!

But, because information on-line is readily available, your reticent theatre going blogger could plan his theoretical outing in some detail.

The site for "Paris City Transport" (aka RATP, Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) has a journey planner and all fbb has to do is to enter he street where his hotel is located and "Folies Bergere".
After inputting suitable evening times, back comes a simple line diagram of the recommended option ...
... plus an equally simple map.
Without the vast amounts of guff that Traveline might deliver, we now know that the trip is a simple on metro hop. We could make use of local knowledge to link to the stations, but the site invites us to see a more detailed option. So let us delve deeper.
Once again, this might well be enough; fbb would be clutching his trusty street map ...
... which would be in his sticky mit at start and finish of the outing. He could, of course, llookook at deeper detail for the two walk bits; from hotel to Metro ...

... using text or map.
There is an equal choicey of level of detail at the other end. Similar facilities exist in London, of course, but somehow they seem clunky and complicated by comparison.

But fbb always wants to explore further. So could a more "door to door" option be planned, perhaps by bus, thus allowing the old man to soak up the "local colour" rather than travel in a troglodyte train?

Route 42 (dark blue) stops within staggering distance of the hotel ...
... on Rue Saint Charles.
And joy of joy, flukesville indeed, a quick glance at the Folies' location on the RATP bus map ...
... shows that the 42 also passes close the the Theatre.
The stop is close to Cadet metro which retains its old-style entrance**, again a one-time Paris icon.
The journey planner will deliver the same answer if you click on "bus" ...
... but using the on-line map is so delightful and so easy.

To be fair to Boris' acolytes, designing a "Paris-style" London bus map with a separate colour for each service would be "challenging" in the extreme. Paper versions might well be impossible, although maybe worth a try for the four "quadrant" publications. But on-line, with scaleable PDF files, it should be straightforward.

But the design of the Paris bus map is superb ("superbe") in every way; utterly superior to that of the UK's capital city.
It does not appear possible to purchase a paper version of the Paris bus map on-line but fbb will seek out such when in residence.

Tomorrow we travel from the Palace of Versailles to the Moulin Rouge!

** More about the Metro design work of Hector Guimard in a later blog.
Fame at Last!!
Recently Auntie Frances Searle, proprietrix of Axe Valley not-so-Mini-these-days Travel, has taken delivery of two new(er) Darts. One was photographed in the workshop on Friday, last.
Its registration is - Ta Da! - :-
The Dart came via Ensign from Go-NorthEast where it began life in the then "standard" livery.
Latterly it was route branded for the North Tyne Links services ...
... in which de-vinyled insipid green it has arrived at the Seaton depot, just along the road from fbb mansions.

The even more elderly version of fbb is grateful to local blog reader Ian for pointing out this appropriate little nugget.
 Prochain blog Parisien : Dimanche le 19 Avril 


  1. FBB, you can pick up a "Grands Plans" map at metro station ticket offices. Ask for map #2, which has the bus map you desire on one side and on the other, a metro map also laid out on the streets. Free naturally.

  2. Maybe Auntie Frances will let you launch the FBB bus ceremonially once paint is completed?

  3. Given Axe Valley's somewhat haphazard policy in painting new arrivals that might take some time.....

  4. There's not enough colours in the world for the London bus map to use colour coded lines like Paris does.
    TfL do produce a visitor friendly central London bus map which has colour coded lines, but most of the routes aren't on it as they don't fit.