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

Sunblock!

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...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Street art

I like the way street artists now glue paper on Paris walls instead of painting them with spray paint. It allows passers by to discover new artists without damaging the walls, nor costing money to tax payers (for the city has to clean these walls eventually, no matter what). I really love this one, shame that it's not signed. UPDATE: thanks to the help of a few good visitors ;-) I know now that this image was used for the cover of a record by FKA Twigs (London).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Live barefoot, really?!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, in summer, you also find people walking barefoot in Paris! Well, there was one yesterday anyway.... Judging from the soles of his feet, I would not recommend it too much, but you know what they say: "this is a free country..."! Have a great Sunday everyone. Are you ready to go back to school?! I'm not...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Paris Plage, last call

I don't know if you remember last year's post where I took this close up. Well, the same guy was here this year, only this time I took the photo from above (from the street level). This sand sculptor is really good I must say and he has a lot of success (even though there are probably much less passers by this year because of the poor weather). Anyway, it's Paris Plage's last weekend, pretty soon it'll be time to pack this sand and let the cars back into their realm!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Poor Pont des arts !

I went to Le Pont des arts yesterday because it's a lot in the news at the moment. The thing is that because of the tourist season there are so many "love locks" on the bridge that the panels are collapsing more than usual. To prevent people from adding more locks, the Paris town hall hopes to get the lovers to take selfies and post them on the social networks (and the Paris site Love Without Locks). They also put stickers on the pavement at the entrance of the bridge. Will it work? I doubt it, especially since there are about 10 people selling locks on and around the bridge!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Caged Conciergerie

This stunning building is called La Conciergerie, a building that used to be part of the Palais de la Cité where the French kings used to live. It is also famous for having been a prison, especially during the French revolution; it's were Marie-Antoinette was kept prisoner until they decided to execute her (it's even possible to visit her cell and many other things if you wish - not before October 8 though). I thought it was ironic that because of the fence they installed to protect Paris Plage, this former prison was currently "caged". It also makes a cool photo ;-)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Paris sunset classic

I know it's a very classic view, the kind of photo you could find on a postcard, but once in a while there is nothing wrong with that ;-) I took this photo 2 days ago, while I was walking down the Seine banks.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Farewell Monsieur Berthillon

Everything (and everyone) must come to an end, and the sad news came today that Raymond Berthillon, the founder of the famous Ile Saint Louis ice cream place passed away on Saturday, at the age of 90. If you've been to Paris, you've probably stood in line at least once in front of his landmark store - or in one of his approximately 150 Paris area resale shops. To maintain the quality of his ice cream and sherbets, Mr. Berthillon always refused to industrialize the production and would only offer seasonal flavors (depending on which fruit he would find at the market!). And of course, like any self-respecting Frenchman, he would close every August so that his employees would enjoy a month's vacation! So the next time you enjoy a Berthillon ice cream, remember to think of the man who started it all. More on Wikipedia.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sunset over Paris Plage.

Yesterday it practically rained all day, so there was not a lot of people on the beaches of Paris plage, the "fake beaches" that the Paris town hall installs every year on the Seine banks. But last evening, after the clouds were gone, I decided to take a walk along the embankment and take advantage of the stunning sunset. It was just perfect and very cool...  

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Already Fall (Autumn)?!

I had a walk in a Paris garden yesterday and I noticed that there are already many leaves on the ground. I then saw that many tree leaves were turning yellow everywhere even though it's only August 10! I don't know why, but it's really early in the season - probably a result of the current bad weather. Have a great Sunday.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Selfie craze!

It's not a very interesting photo for Paris lovers (even though you can see a bit of the background - including to top of the Arch of Triumph! - but I did not resist taking a shot of these two tourists (or so I think!) trying to make the perfect selfie! It took them at least 5 attempts before they managed, even though they're using a GoPro that can be remotely controlled by a phone! I can relate though ;-)) 

Friday, August 08, 2014

Paris labors!

It's probably not comparable to the 12 labors or Hercules, but it's close LOL! Because it's August and because Paris is closed (except for tourists of course...) there is - almost - not a single street in which you won't find work! The most symbolic place is undoubtedly La Place Vendôme, in which the Ritz is being totally redone (this has been going on for several years now), but also the famous Colonne Vendôme (behind the scaffolding in this photo) and another building that I did not manage to include in this photo. In short, if you want to see the Place Vendôme at its best, you should not visit it at the moment!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Hope!

Look what I found in a little garden in the 15th arrondissement! A statue called "hope". I thought that, providing all what's happening in this world at the moment, it was pretty appropriate! It was made by French sculptor Carlo Sarrabezolles (I never knew of him before, but he seems to be better known for sculpting concrete than metal). We have a saying in French that goes: "Where there is life, there is hope" (tant qu'il y a de la vie, il y a de l'espoir), so I guess, there is still plenty of hope...

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Famous Pegasus!

I took this photo last evening from the rooftop of Les Galeries Lafayette (yes I went back!) and I really love it. The statue on the right shows Pegasus, but if you were to see it from the other side (facing the Opera Garnier) you would also see Pheme (Renommée in French), a greek divinity symbolizing fame. Its one of the two sculptures that you can see on both sides of the Garnier opera house. It was made by Eugène-Louis Lequesne

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Love in the air

Summer in Paris, what else?! I photographed this cute couple in Les Tuileries last week; they really looked in love. I was unable to tell if they're French, but I would tend to think they are. Have a love-ly day!

Monday, August 04, 2014

The big summer roundup

Every year around the 1st of August in France, the big summer round up takes place: people who took their vacation in July come back to their home and the ones who stayed home in July (more numerous) leave their home. That is why, last Saturday, we broke a traffic jam record! No less that 994 Km (618 miles) of congestion were counted on the French road network at midday! Stupid, isn't it?! As an illustration I used this photo that I took yesterday (Sunday) morning while the yearly "traversée de Paris en Anciennes" (old cars parade) was going through Paris. This is an old 404 Peugeot (well, not that old, my father had one!!) with typical suitcases from the 60's on the roof rack! Have a nice start of the week, whether you're home or on vacation!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Bring back our girls!

I dont' like this photo too much (my fault!), but I like this installation! I found it at La République Square, where the former partner or our President (Valérie Trierweiler) and the new mayor of Paris (Anne Hidalgo) inaugurated it on july 27. Like you guessed it's an installation dedicated to the 220 Nigerian girls who have been abducted by Boko Haram, an islamist group about 100 days ago. These kinds of actions are good, because they help reviving their cause, while the news reporters are busy somewhere else...

Saturday, August 02, 2014

A market with a view

Here are two Paris clichés for the price of one: the Eiffel Tower and a street market! Well it's rather the installation in view of a street market for I took this photo yesterday evening and, of course, the market was long time closed. It makes a cool photo though ;-) BTW the market is on avenue de Saxe, not far from Place de Breteuil

Friday, August 01, 2014

Theme day: Take Away Store

Today is the 1st of August and the theme day within the CDP community is... Take away store. You probably expected a typical around the corner French take away place, but instead here is the most global fast food company you can think of! Why? 1) because take away is not very French 2) because I just read the news that McDonald's France has had its best year ever since their start in France! Which is ironic since, when they thought  of extending to Europe, the McDonald's management never thought the French would go for such a food... The truth is... "they're loving it!"  If you wan to see real local take away places, check what the CDP community has to offer.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Miniature Eiffel Tower war!

I went out yesterday! I went out and had a nice walk in Paris, only to find out that the miniature Eiffel Tower war is not yet over! Everywhere you can find a vendeur à la sauvette (street hawker) that will sell you for 1,50 € a small ET replica that you would buy for twice this price in a real store... The police is supposed to chase them, but judging from what I saw yesterday, they are not doing a great job ;-) Maybe because there are more important battles worth fighting for in the streets of Paris?!