Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Water mirror Lake

In the Bois de Boulogne, there are several lakes on which you can row in little flat boats. At dusk, it's super quiet and beautiful. The perfect location for a picnic!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Préfecture de Police de Paris

The prefecture is a large building located on the Île de la Cité (opposite to Notre Dame). It is the head quarters of the Paris (and surroundings) police which  manages emergency services, administrative duties (ID cards, driver licenses and "permis de séjour" for foreigners!). Their building (old 19th century barracks) is absolutely beautiful, especially at night. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Sunday in Paris...

I had a picnic in the Luxembourg gardens yesterday and it was really cool! When I left, passed by the pond where kids can sail little boats rented by their parents. The photo quality is debatable, but the scene is sooooooo French, that I thought you might like it ;-)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Folk danse

Like every year I went to Les vendanges of the Melac Bistrot . It's a fun event that takes place in the 11th arrondissement where they install tables in the streets around the bistrot and harvest the grapes that grow above the café! All this being just a way to drink, eat and have fun! Which I had... This year they also had a crew of folk dancers from Aveyron - a region in France from where most café owners in Paris are from.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Trapped tree!

I stopped and took this photo in this little street in the 7th arrondissement called Cité Vanneau, because of the superb tree that you can see at its end. I often wonder how plants and trees can grow so well, totally trapped in concrete! I looked up the Cité Vaneau on the Internet and I found out that it's the only street in Paris where all porches are similar - which apparently is very rare... Have a great Saturday everyone, I'll be going to the Melac Vendanges, like every year!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Traffic Jams

Like in all big cities there are many traffic jams in Paris (we call them "embouteillages" in French - or bottlenecks in English). Paris is not the worst though, according to Inrix (an American company specializing in traffic monitor worldwide), it is the 8th most congested city in Europe. In 2013, Parisians wasted no less than 55 hours in their cars... I took this photo in the tunnel than runs under le Louvre gardens.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Paris bench

There are exactly 8,481 benches in Paris (who counted them?!), that is roughly 1 for 260 people, which is not too bad considering the average Parisian does not really have the time to sit in them, during a normal day. I photographed this one in the avenue Foch, once called l'avenue du bois (woods avenue) for it leads to the Bois de Boulogne. Not much to say; I just like the looks of Paris benches!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Back home!

After a few days in the mediterranean sea (in the island of Malta), I'm back to the big city of light! All French cities have signs like this at their entrance, but in Paris, it's actually pretty rare to see them. When I see one, it reminds  me of an old uncle who used to tell me about the Paris Octroi, a toll that was collected at each gate of Paris (the main entrances are called gate in Paris) until 1943 on certain goods.,. Now it does not exist anymore, but they found other ways of taxing people!!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

A day at the races

I don't think I ever posted any photo about the Longchamps Hippodrome, that is the horse track located in the Bois de Boulogne, near Paris. It was built in 1857 and is still in use for mostly horse races (the next big one - the Prix de l'Arc de Triumph - will take place on October 5 and 6) and also for other events like concerts (that is where the Rolling Stones performed in 1995 for instance) or even a mass given by the Pope in 1997!

Monday, September 08, 2014

The canons of Les Invalides

In front of Les Invalides, there are several canons that are either French made or that the French took from their enemies during the many wars that we participated in throughout the years. These ones, for instance, are precisely Turkish. FYI, In France, whenever we have a new President, the Invalides canons are used for a 21 canon salute. 

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Big blue...

I'm not currently in Paris at the moment, but I know the weather is really improving. I kinda knew that before leaving so I packed a bunch of blue sky photos ;-) This one was taken near the Louvre entrance - through the arches that  lead to the Cour du Louvre, precisely. Not much to see, but a cool effect. have a great Sunday everyone, I'll be enjoying the sun on a little island in Southern Europe! 

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Victory and willpower!

I already said it several times here, I love it that in Paris you can casually come across beautiful pieces of art in many streets. Hence these two sculptures by Emile-Antoine Bourdelle that I found at rue de Lille, near the back entrance of Le Musée d'Orsay. The first one is called La Victoire (the Victory) and the second one La force de la volonté (the strength of willpower). Quick photography remark; I always find it hard to shoot statues, because they always seem to absorb the light. These ones were even harder, as they would blend in the background!   

Friday, September 05, 2014

A Remnant of Paris from... 1312

There are several Moulins (windmills) in Paris (Moulin Rouge, Moulin de la galette...) but they're all "fake" or rather old windmills that have been turned into restaurants or cabarets. This one remains in its original state, and it's called Le Moulin de Rouvray. It's located in the Bois de Boulogne (the woods around the Western part of Paris). It was built in 1312 within an Abbey founded in 1255 by Isabelle de France, the daughter of Louis the 8th. The Abbey was destroyed in 1795, but the windmill survived until now (it has not been used as a real windmill since 1809 though! It cannot be visited unfortunately, but you can see it from the street where I was yesterday.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Can you see Montmartre?

In France, we have a bunch of old songs from the (19)30's that are either funny, silly or stupid, and sometimes all of this! There is one called "Monte la-dessus et tu verras montmartre" (step on this and you'll see Montmartre!) and I could not help but think about it when I saw this photo on my computer - for yes, the little church on the hill in the background is le Sacré Coeur. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The only Paris fire escape?

You could almost think this photo was taken in an old American city and though I took it yesterday in the 10th arrondissement in Paris. This is, as far as I know, the only fire escape that exists in Paris! I really don't know why they have it on this particular building, except that it's a theater (but no other theaters have such fire escapes in Paris, so that does not really explains it). I looked on the web and could not find anything about it. Anyway, I'm glad we don't have more of these in Paris, because they are not exactly beautiful...  

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Ganesh celebration (2014)

If you're a true visitor to PDP, you know very well of Ganesh, the god who's the patron of arts and sciences, the god of beginnings and the god that helps removing obstacles! Why do you know of him? Because every 1st September weekends he is celebrated in Paris, by the local Indian community, and I always manage to take a photo of the celebration; it's so beautiful...

Monday, September 01, 2014

Rust is beautiful!

When I heard about today's theme day I really did not know what I was going to photograph. What can be rusty and make a good photo at the same time? Well, I did not have to go very far; the Pont des Arts had all the rust I could hope for! I hope the love between the ones who put them there is less rusty than what their lock shows at present;-)). Have a look at rusty stuff around the world, thanks to the CityDailyPhoto blogger portal!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Parisian Staircase

Sometimes old building staircases are not exactly in mint condition, but they still have this unique flavor that only old Paris edifice have. This one belongs to one of the oldest buildings in the 10th arrondissement and it is typical of the 18th century buildings. Fortunately, the apartment of the friend I visited there is brand new (not the friend, the apartment!). Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Le Bistrot du sommelier in Paris

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to have lunch at Le Bistrot du sommelier, a restaurant located in the 8th arrondissement, where they have a little private lounge where you can have a little privacy. The food is stunning and so is the wine for the owner of the place is one the best sommeliers (wine expert) in the world. He is also a MOF (Meilleur ouvrier de France), which is a prestigious award, granted to workers and artisans who excel in their art.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Paris rooftops

Yesterday evening I was invited to a farewell party of a friend who's going to work in Berlin. For the occasion he borrowed the offices of friends of his who are lucky enough to have a large terrace on the rooftop of a Paris building. The view was as stunning as was the company...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Big naked man

This is something I'll probably miss when when I move out of Paris, but the thing is that, often, when you walk down a street here, you come across a piece of art (and I'm not talking about the buildings!). Whether it's permanent like the many statues I already showed you or temporary like this one. It was made by Chinese artist Hong Biao Shen who studied until 2007 at Panthéon-Sorbonne university after his Fine arts studies in Beijing. It is now on display at rue Soufflot near the Pantheon, but it's not meant to stay there. Students think it should and they started a petition to "keep the big naked man"! Watch the story in this beautiful video.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I showed you the outside of L'Institut du Monde Arabe, a Paris building (mostly a museum) dedicated to the Arab world, several times, but I never showed you the inside, and especially the clever windows that open or shut automatically like a camera lense (or a human eye!) according to the outside light. Here you go then... A shot that I took on the last floor (Parisians will know that I did not take it yesterday as it rained almost all day!).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Commemoration of Paris Liberation

Sorry the photo is not really good, and though the show was absolutely fantastic. The show? Yes, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Paris Liberation from the Nazi, the town hall ordered a splendid light show projected on... the Hotel de Ville. Really impressive, even though the heavy rain kinda spoiled it a bit. Paris was liberated on August 25, by the allied troops with the help of the French resistance fighters. A late aunt that passed away a few years ago told me that it was a very happy day, but also pretty dangerous as there were many snipers everywhere. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Paris, the green...

Paris is less green than London or Berlin, or course, but it's much smaller and still managed to save some green spots from the concrete invasion! Hence these trees that I photographed yesterday afternoon in Les Tuileries gardens. Don't they seem to belong to a forest? Have a great rentrée everyone...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Botanical garden

The Paris botanical garden is one of my favorite gardens in Paris. It's large (28 hectares), never too crowded, offers a lot of shade when it's too hot, and has a lot to offer in terms of plants (including two giant green houses) and animal life. In one of its ends there is a museum (sheltered in the building that you can see in the background) with lots of interesting stuff (including the French Mineralogy Museum, where I was lucky enough to photograph the French Crown jewels once).

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Turning old into new...

You might find it hard to believe, but this building, up until 2002 was... a factory called L'atelier des cendres - the ashes workshop - (you can still see the name above the door). This company used to recycle the "ashes" of jewelers as a way to collect what was left of gold and silver. It was totally renovated in 2013 by Uniqlo, the Japanese clothes manufacturer who kept most of the old features (including the stunning chimney and the beautiful staircase). It's definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in Le Marais.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Art against poverty

If you don't speak French it's unlikely that you will be able to understand the play on words in this graffito: "Dans quel monde Vuitton?" sounds like "Dans quel monde vit-on ?  (In what kind of world do we live?). You can also see the Louis Vuitton monogram (LV) on the bucket in which the child is sitting. As you guessed the aim of this clever piece of art is to condemn poverty and the difference between the ones that can buy Vuitton suitcases and the ones that can't. Apparently this artist even belongs to a group called "Art against Poverty" (it's written in the vertical graffito). Beyond the political message, I thought the piece of art was pretty good.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Selfie, part II

Here is another photo I took at the Pont des Arts and this time not to show the amount of locks attached to it. The minute I saw these four girls taking a selfie, I knew it would make a cool shot. I did not manage to grab the exact angle I wanted, but I had to be quick and discrete (they are not professional models!). 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Front de Seine

I had dinner in the 15th arrondissement yesterday evening and I passed by the Pont Mirabeau. I stopped 2 minutes to take this photo. A nice mix between the old and the new!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Another sky view of Paris

There are many high points and roof tops from where you can admire Paris. Recently I showed you the one of Galeries Lafayette or Printemps, today here is the one from the rooftop of L'Institut du Monde Arabe. It's located on the Eastern part of Paris, where there are slightly less monuments to see, but you can still enjoy a nice view on the Ile Saint Louis and on the back of Notre Dame (in the background in this photo). The entrance is free and if you feel like having a drink, there is, of course, a little Lebanese café/restaurant at your disposal...