Pigalle’s Museum of Eroticism, Paris

Entertainment, Night Life No Comments

It’s just a g-string’s throw away from the Moulin Rouge, and down the hill from Montmartre. La Musee d’Erotisme, or the Erotic Museum in plain English, is as much a part of Paris life and tradition as the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. If you only ever visit one Sex Museum in your life, it really ought to be in Paris.

There is another reason for that too, apart from it seeming the natural thing to do in the French capital, the City of Light and the city of love, sex, romance and intrigue. The other reason is that the Erotic Museum isn’t sleazy or tacky. It is actually very tastefully done, very slick and modern, and absolutely fascinating.

In Paris there are museums devoted to magic, and to locks, to publicity, to wine, to children and to Edith Piaf. Why not have one devoted to sex and the erotic arts?

The Erotic Museum was opened in 1997 by Joseph Khalifa and two friends of his. They were all collectors of erotic art, and Khalifa had built up a large collection on his travels in Japan and the far east. By combining their collections and acquiring new material they were able to put on display over 1500 exhibits, spread across seven floors of a 19th-century town house.

Rather surprisingly there was no such museum in Paris at the time, and if any city ought to have an erotic museum, it’s Paris. Sex shows and strip shows might be taking place along the road and in the sleazy back streets of Pigalle, but the Erotic Museum is right on the main road and closer physically and in spirit to the great Moulin Rouge cabaret, just the other side of the Blanche metro station.

Celebrity Eclipse Squeezes through Papenberg Lock

World News No Comments

Anyone who’s ever squeezed into the tightest of car parking spaces at the supermarket might have some inkling of how the captain of new cruise liner Celebrity Eclipse was feeling yesterday as he negotiated the Papenberg lock in Germany with just a couple of feet to spare on either side of the vessel.

The mammoth ship, which measures 1,040 feet in length and weighs a whopping 122,000 tonnes, was making its way from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenberg to start on her maiden voyage.

At one point it was such a narrow fit the 121-foot wide ocean liner had as few as two feet on either side of her as she eased through, during a rite of passage known as the conveyance.

What’s more the depth of the river and the draft of the ship allowed for mere inches – or even less – beneath her.

With such a narrow margin for error the makers of the ship and the shipyard owners had to carefully monitor the position of the moon and tidal conditions to identify the precise time when the depth of the river would be sufficient for the ship to pass through.

Captain Panagiotis Skylogiannis said: ‘Although I am accustomed to docking in tight ports, I prefer to be chasing sunshine in the open sea.

Celebrity Eclipse is only a few feet slimmer than the narrowest lock we have to navigate, which isn’t much room.

But we’ve done this twice before and I am entirely confident of another smooth and successful passage.

The ship is the third of five from Celebrity Cruises’ $3.7billion Solstice Class fleet and features a ten restaurants and even a glass blowing studio.

The company’s fleet sail in Alaska, California, Canada/ New England, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America and the Caribbean.

The Absolut Icebar, Shanghai

Night Life No Comments

See the opening of The Absolut Icebar, billed as Asia’s first ice bar. The concept is that there’s a lot of ice and ice sculptures, and it’s really cold inside. Absolut says that the ice being used isn’t just any old ice, but the pure stuff from the Torne River in Sweden.

The problem is that this place is being billed as “Asia’s first ice bar,” which seems to us as not completely true. In Shanghai, for example, we had Taste of Scandinavia as well as part of Binjiang One, both of which boasted similar set ups, the parkas, subzero temperatures, etc. Check out pictures out pictures of some of the cool cats that hung out at Taste of Scandinavia last year.

This newest one, which is still under construction (the sculptors are still working on the ice sculptures that will adorn the inside) is located on Huai Hai Lu. Sinosplice has some pictures from the outside. It seems that the only way you could really call this place the first ice bar in Asia is if you say all the non-Absolut ones don’t count.