Rossignol Rollers Festifal posters
Rolling into summer
by Georgina Oliver
Youve seen them at night on place du Palais-Royal. You see them
every day at the Trocadero. Sometimes they almost run you over,
racing along Paris' bike lanes at grand prix speeds. They're zee
roller champs: helter-skelter skaters à la française. Better believe
it... This summer, blades will be big!
The season has kicked off with a mega rolla agenda. First, two
events scheduled on the same Sunday: a Roissy-Charles de Gaulle
marathon organized by The Conseil Général du Val d'OIse, under
the auspices of France's roller skaters federation. And a traffic-stopping
Paris-Versailles extravaganza that drew more than 30,000 riders...
Then, a blade and bike expo at Espace Champerret. Followed by
a 24-hour Le Mans Rollers Festival sponsored by Rossignol. The
climax? The final of Europe's Lion Challenge street contest, to
be held in Paris next September. (Hotline: 01.41.34.21.34.)
Urban skating is a lifestyle and everybody's logging into it.
Even McDonald's...A recent edition of the fast food chain's free
mag, ça se passe comme ça, focused on "rollermania." With, of
course, a feature on the sharpest websites:
Randonnée is the buzzword. The sesame to Paris' skate scene...
Generally programed during the weekend, randonnées are the cement
of a growing roller-blader camaraderie. Skaters make a bee-line
for a given rallying point, then swarm through the capital following
a previously announced itinerary. At 10pm on Friday night, the
experts zero in on Pari-roller's weekly randonnée, which starts
at place d'Italie. At 2pm on Sunday, beginners and branchées families
assemble in front of a Bastille boutique that sells, hires and
repairs skates. This is where the Rollers & Coquillages randonnée
begins. (Nomades, 37, bd Bourdon, 4e, tel: 01.44.54.07.44.)
Distributed for-free in skate shops and at roller events in
Easywalker pushcarts RIDEmag is a brand new pocket-sized periodical.
Concrete advice. Equipment and randonnées info. As well as streetwear
and music features. In the first issue, an interview with the
left's candidate for mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, who is
in favor of installing "skateparks" in the city center.
One up on double vision. Or, triple vision. "Rollervision" is
spreading fast. Ads for everything from running shoes (Nike) to
ballpoints use serial images to suggest movement, echoing the
"stroke energy" of speed-skaters. Or, the repetitive sounds associated
with house music...
Apropos, how about a rolla vacation to Cuba? Alternative tour
operator Planet Roller's upcoming bladers escapade is a fully-inclusive
trip ranging over Havana, Santa Clara and Pinar del Rio. The dates?
June 22 to July 4. The price? 9,790F. The URL? http://www.planetroller.fr.st
From Au Vieux Campeur to Roller Passion, or Rollerland... From
Le Refuge to Vertical Line... Parigots skaters all have their
favorite pit stop. Some prefer a long-established local specialist
like Boulogne-Billancourt's Sport West (21, rue des Quatre-Cheminées,
A vital rolla-ritual? Replacing worn out wheels... If possible
at a Kryptonics dealer. The brand's zany, funky banner is a must-have.
Boss City Roller
To every tribe, its CD. Enter: "Boss City Roller." A compilation that surfs from Freestylers to Moby and Mr Oizo.
And, if all you want to say is "let's get away for a day," head for Vitry-sur-Seine. "Europe's largest theme park pour le roller ," offers 6,000sqm of indoor and outdoor skating facilities, with circuits for everybody from speed or street buffs to weekend bladers, and budding hockey champs. (Tariffs and times: 01.47.18.19.19 or www.rollerparc.com)
A free Design Council-backed expo of Brit Millennium Products is on show at the Espace Pierre Cardin in the Champs-Elysées gardens, June 10-15. Titled "Le Monde bouge: La Création aussi!," this AbFab overview is a feast of functional yet witty Anglo creativity. (Daily,10am to 7pm, 1, av Gabriel, 8e.)
The Art of Hype
Once taboo, the creative crisscross between fine art and advertising is the subject of "L'Art dans la Pub," a fun didactic display to be seen at the Musée de la Publicité till Sept 10. (107, rue de Rivoli, 1er, tel: 01.44.55.57.50.)
Guests at the champagne launch of Daniel Hechter's new boutique
near the place de la Madeleine ranged from royalty to the Tribal
Jam band. This is where to dress for summer in the city. (31,
rue Tronchet, 8e.)
Marithé François Girbaud ad
courtsey of MF Girbaud