Top Picks for La Rentrée 2019 in Paris: Our Expert Picks

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Top Picks for La Rentrée 2019 in Paris: Our Expert Picks
It’s La Rentrée! After a months-long vacation in France, students return to the classroom, and Parisians to their offices. There’s a lot of excitement and a buzz in the air. September is also marked by new, blockbuster museum exhibits, restaurant openings and the like– as la rentrée is more like a new year, marking a fresh beginning. Here our expert contributors share some of their top picks for fall 2019. Anything we’ve missed? Please share your recommendations in the comments section below. Art! We’ve been hearing a lot about Leonardo da Vinci this year – the 500th anniversary of his death – with events in Italy, France, the UK and the US. Of course, the Louvre is going all out to crown these efforts with a flagship event spanning the entire evolution of the work and ideas of the great Renaissance genius. I’m also really looking forward to the Francis Bacon retrospective at the Centre Pompidou as it will compare the impact that different works of literature had on his art, which is a very interesting approach. And I’m also very curious to see Jeff Koons’ tulip sculpture, ‘Bouquet XXL,’ created in homage to the victims of the 2015 terror attacks, finally go up in a designated site near the Champs Elysées (and visible from the Petit Palais). The pick for the original site– next to the Palais de Tokyo– caused such controversy that the sculpture was made “homeless” for three years. It’s expected to be unveiled for the Nuit Blanche festival on October 5. — Sylvia Davis is the arts correspondent for sister publication France Today magazine Belleville Bites High up in Belleville, in the area around metro Pyrénées, the restaurant Le Petit Vingtième serves up a limited (read: quality) menu and offers an exemplary wine list. The prices are a bit higher than what you’d pay at another neighborhood restaurant, but in the kitchen there’s a touch of Alsace and an impeccable freshness of ingredients and obvious care with which they are prepared. Owner Julien shares anecdotes and samples of grands crus late into the night. Highly recommended! Le Petit Vingtième, 381 rue des Pyrénées, Paris 20th arrondissementTel: +33 (0)1 43 49 34 50Closed Sundays — Allison Zinder has lived in eastern Paris for 20 years, and she accompanies travelers on their discovery of the little-known parts of the city through her business, Paris on the Edge. Coat Shopping How will I celebrate the return La Rentrée? With a hunt for the manteau of my dreams, that’s how. Since the age of ten, my favorite back-to-school ritual has never failed to boost the mood. Because everything seems possible when you’re wrapped in a brand new coat, especially under the brisk blue-skied days of September. This year, I’ll most likely start my quest at my sister Wendy’s new favorite shop in Paris, Paperdolls. Located in Montmartre-Abbesses since 2011, Candy Miller’s shop rocks an over-oversized dollhouse vibe, possessing retro floral razzle-dazzle from floor to ceiling. The one-of-a-kind garb is bright, eclectic, and hand-stitched in France by Candy’s favorite indie designers like Hân Nguyen, Lisa Pearl, and Gaëlle Barré. Showcased in flying kitchen sinks, bathtubs, and gigantic chest of drawers, Alice of Wonderland would have lost her head here, I am certain. Tip: Candy is nearly always in the shop (open Monday through Sunday), so it’s possible to get some one-on-one styling assistance from her. Cute as a button is how my sister felt in the Madeva coat she purchased during a visit back in March. As of today, the trench coats currently in stock are available in green, black, and tan. The chocolate vinyl trench coat with the white topstitching just walked out the door. After I paid for it, of course. #Guilty Paperdolls5 rue Houdon, 18th arrondissementMétro: Abbesses, Pigalle, or Blanche — Theadora Brack is a Paris-based writer who has a regular column, called “My Life in Paris,” in France Today magazine. El Greco There are several exhibits opening in Paris, but the biggie is the El Greco retrospective at the Grand Palais, October 16 to February 10. As an El Greco fan who’s gone to Spain and Greece to glimpse his genius, I’m drooling in advance for this massive show. The best way to get tickets is through the Grand Palais website (in English if you choose). The prices can’t be beat: Free from children under 16, 9 Euros for 16-25, 13 Euros general admission. — Dimitri Keramitas is a writer (film critic, fiction) and the director of the creative writing program at WICE, a Paris-based organization. European Heritage Days Ahhh la rentreé, the unofficial marking of the end of summer. The days get a little more golden, the leaves fall and the nights begin to cool down. La rentrée also signals that my favorite weekend of the entire year is coming up. On September 21 & 22, it’s Les Journées du Patrimoine— the blessed weekend that many of the historic buildings normally closed to visitors in Paris open their doors. You’ll have the chance to peek behind the curtain of the Hôtel de Ville, Palais de l’Élysée, Sorbonne and so many more sites– a Paris history lover’s dream. — Claudine Hemingway is a…
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Lead photo credit : Portrait de femme, dit la Belle Ferronnière - Musée du Louvre. Photo by Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN - Grand Palais - Angèle Dequier

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BP's expert editorial team includes some of the city's top English-language journalists.