Saturday, December 31, 2005

The little train to the Acclimatation Garden

In the Bois de Boulogne (sort of Paris equivalent to Central Park in NYC) there is a garden called le Jardin d'acclimatation (English) which original purpose, back in 1860, was to show the latest exotic discoveries to the Parisians (more than 100 000 animals, sequoias, palm trees, etc.) Unfortunately, none of these living creatures survived the terrible 1870 war against the Prussians (Germans). The animals were all eaten and the trees ended up in mantelpieces... Now the garden has been turned into a small amusement park for kids. To get there you can take this little train from Porte Maillot (17th arrondissement). Don't miss it if you come to Paris with young children.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Snow again

It's been a long time since we have had a "real" winter. Not only is it cold (well for us, not for Pensylvanians of course!!) but on top of that it is regularly snowing. It's really unusual in Paris and I simply love it even if it makes it difficult to run my bike.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Paris Catacombs

Under Paris there are about 300 kilometres of galleries. They originate from the time (under king Philippe Auguste, around 1200) when the city expanded so much that stones were badly needed. Later on, at the end of the 18th century, these galleries were turned into a huge cemetery and became the Catacombes. Now, most of these galleries are closed to the public - although you can visit a place called l'Ossuaire where skulls are to be seen - but some people still find ways to go under (I did when I was young not far from where I took this shot!). This time I did not take this photo, GRiZZ who is undoubtedly a Cataphile (Catacombs lover) did and I asked him if I could borrow it for ParisDailyPhoto. He nicely accepted. Do pay a visit to his stunning website you will not regret it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Collage, rue Quincampoix

I came across this "graffiti" yesterday evening rue Quincampoix (3rd arrondissement). The term Graffiti is actually improper for it is actually more a collage (a patchwork of different pieces of cardboard) than an actual drawing on the wall. Although I have no idea of what it means exactly I have found it quite interesting. If any of you knows who made it - and if there are several of those in Paris - please let me know.

Update! Thanks to Roswitha, we know now who hides behind this work. VLP stands for Vive La Peinture and you should definitely pay a visit to their blog.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Freezing Cold!

Gee, it's really cold in Paris at the moment - about 0 degree centigrade (32 Fahrenheit). The weather people have issued a warning for the coming days for it should get worse! And to think I am off to the mountains at the end of this week...

Monday, December 26, 2005

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Pudding

So today IS Christmas. The way it works in France is that the kids wake up early to find out that Santa Claus has come during the night (through the chimney pipe...) and has dropped their gifts under the Christmas tree. The most religious families go to Mass (if they have not already been at midnight) and start preparing the food for the Christmas lunch which will always end up with La bûche (as seen here), a delicious Christmas cake. Why is it that when we want to celebrate something - whatever the culture and the religion is - we need to stuff ourselves with food?!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Santa (Le Père Noël) is on his way...

Here is picture I took especially for Christmas eve. Santa and his vintage car were taking a break in front of a restaurant in the 17th arrondissement after his shopping spree. Maybe he had good luck finding what he needed at La Fnac (in the background), a large French chain of stores specializing in records, books, home video equipment... Maybe some of these goodies will be coming your way. Nevertheless, may I be the first to wish you and yours a very happy holiday.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Eiffel Tower in the mist

I know it's not very original to show the Eiffel Tower on a blog about Paris, but one, I do not show it very often, two, it's really beautiful at night and three, the current mist gives it a special flavour. Why miss it?! By the way, the light beam you can see in the mist comes from 4 searchlights that have been (re)installed in 2000; they turn around the top of the tower at a slow pace and are visible 80 kilometers (50 miles) away.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Grande Roue (Ferris Wheel)

Every winter the Grande Roue (Ferris wheel) returns to the Tuileries gardens (Jardins des Tuileries) at the very bottom of the Champs Elysées, on the other side of the Place de la Concorde. From L'Etoile (Charles de Gaulle Place) where I took this photo before the wheel was installed, the view is gorgeous. I will show it to you soon.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Running rabbits in the streets of Paris

Yesterday I went to a party at Le Cabaret, a famous club located Place du Palais Royal and on the way out I came accross an unusual scene: two jumping and running rabbits and a bunny girl (not to be seen on this photo, obviously). All this with the Louvre in the background... Only in Paris!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Doll House

When you enter Pain d'épices (gingerbread), a shop located at 29 Passage Jouffroy (9th arrondissement) eveything around you looks so small you suddenly feel like a giant... No wonder, this marvelous shop sells items for doll houses. If you look closely in the foreground, you can see small baguettes and shopping baskets! And further away towards the background there are miniature sweet containers, plants, cans, bottles... you name it. Everything you ever dreamed of to furnish Barbie and Ken's home sweet home!

Monday, December 19, 2005

French Pigs!

I pass this cute pig family almost every week-end when I go to the market near my home and I keep thinking "I must make a photo". Saturday I did. And here is the result... The charcutier (porkbutcher?) who uses them to attract customers even gave them a name (that is why they have a label). Clever.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Christmas tree saga

Like in many places that celebrate Christmas, French people decorate their homes with a Christmas tree (le sapin). Parisians are no exception but, of course, we have to adapt to our urban conditions... The fact that we have to carry them up to the apartment, find some room (the average size of an apartment in Paris is slightly less than 50 sq. meters - 164 538 sq. feet), the heat that makes them dry and lose their pine needles quickly... means that many people buy them at the last minute (as seen here today). When it is all over, it begins another issue. We either carry them all the way down the stairs again, or... throw them out of the window!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Paris cobblestones

One thing very typical of Paris is our cobblestone streets. They are very slippery when it rains (I mean very!), but of course, it is far better to have them than mud. It is King Philippe Auguste, around 1185, who decided that owners of houses and/or streets would have to pay themselves for the paving. Needless to say, this measure was not very popular. As a result, only some streets (mainly St Jacques, St Martin, St Antoine and St-Honoré) ended up getting paved. After his reign, the "government" - well the kings (see here, for a complete listing) took the street paving in charge.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Le Grand Colbert Restaurant

If you come to - or already are in - Paris and look for a nice Brasserie which is NOT a typical tourist haunt then you might try Le Grand Colbert (2 rue Vivienne, in the 2nd arrondissement). The minute you enter you feel like you have gone back to the 19th century (OK, women no longer wear long dresses and hats!) looking at the ceiling molding and the carefully polished brass. You have to be into traditional French food (foie gras, sea food platters, Choucroute, profitéroles...). You will spend 40 to 50 euros per person if you have a 3 course meal and "normal" wine. While you are in the neighbourhood have a walk in the Galerie Vivienne nearby.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Artificial forest in front of the Paris Pantheon

I don't know if you remember this photo sent by Erica who got proposed to in Paris and who sent me a photo of her posing in front of the Pantheon (5th arrondissement). I went back there yesterday evening and enjoyed their Christmas decorations. They actually "planted" a "forest" of Christmas trees in front of the building and lit the whole thing. Very nice.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Real estate in Paris: the price is not right!

In Paris the price of real estate is really crazy. On this photo, a 30 sq meter studio in the 1st arrondissement (a good location) is sold for 276 000 €, that is 9 200 € per sq meter! The price of an apartment or a house (there are few houses in Paris) is primarily based on the number of square meters then on the location (it may double or triple from one arrondissement to another) and the general condition of the place (note that kitchen cabinets or appliances are generally not included). Balconies, terraces, elevators… are obviously a plus. The price shown in the ads include the agency fees but not the “notary fees” (mostly taxes) which amount to roughly 6%.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Second skin" exhibit

In the exact same street where I took yesterday's picture (rue du Faubourg Poissionnière) my eyes got also caught up by an exhibition in the Fraîch'attitude art gallery. This gallery specializes into modern art and more particularly into art pieces made of fruit or vegetable or anything produced by Mother earth... And until December 17 (hurry!), they host an artist called Isabelle Tournoud who designs garments made of straw, eucalyptus leaves, dried tomatoes(!), and plenty of other gifts of nature! It's definitely worth the visit.

Monday, December 12, 2005

When taste runs in the family

I have been driving pass this store several times lately (42, rue du Faubourg Poissonnière in the 10th arrondissement) and every time I feel like taking a picture of the gorgious window shop. Yesterday I did! And I searched who was behind these stunning fabrics and house accessories. I then discovered the world of the Pansu, a family owned business (created by Jules in 1871) and now run by the great great children. I have not had the chance to go inside yet but I surely will and so should you if you're looking for high quality fabrics, tapestries, rugs...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Bobbies at Le Printemps Department Store

This year Le Printemps - a large department store - has decided to "invite the London Fashion scene for an eccentric Christmas..." And to prove it yesterday, you could find two Bobbies (London policemen) walking on stilts in the middle of a very intrigued Christmas shopping crowd by the store. I was there, with my camera; thought it was perfect for a Sunday photo.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Christmas lights on the Champs Elysées

They call it "the most beautiful avenue in the world" (I bet there are many!), but call me spoiled, I am so used to it that I don't even pay attention anymore. Last night though, because of all the Christmas lights and everything, I could not help but take a picture thinking that maybe, just maybe, you would enjoy the view (I did!)... For your information, the big pole in the background is an Obelisk (L'Obélisque) and it was given to France in 1829 by Mehemet Ali, Vice King of Egypt. The photo was taken from the top of the Champs Elysées, near the Arc de Triomphe.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Paris Daily Garbage!

It's only after November 1883 that it became compulsory, for the Parisians, to put their garbage into cans (called Poubelles in French, after the name of Eugène Poubelle who invented them). Now 3,000 tons of garbage are produced everyday in Paris, all buildings have their cans (that are provided by the city) and they are collected daily (except for glass and "dry" stuff) by 435 garbage trucks (so the town hall says, I did not count them!). A large part of these trucks is (are?) powered with natural gas (the same you use in your home to cook meals). Much more about Paris garbage history (should you be interested?) here.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Paris, the city of love

I am always amazed and moved when people love each other so much that they have to let the world know about it. That is probably what these two young lovers (they have to be young!) felt like when they wrote this simple message ("we love each other") on this piece of "urban furniture". I took this picture at the Notre de Dame de Lorette Metro station in the 9th arrondissement - here it is from another angle.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Les Blogs 2.0

Monday and Tuesday I attended the latest Les Blogs conference (like last April). I loved it although I sometimes felt I was in the twilight zone! Most of the attendants were more fluent in RSS feeds syntax than in plain English, focusing on the speakers and not on your laptop screen was a big faux pas and you were considered as a total loser if you were not able to gather more than 50 Business cards a day! And all this did not take place in Silicon Valley but in Paris!

Technorati tags:

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

More Christmas Balls

I had no idea yesterday's post - the dog - was going to start a good old capitalist vs "communist" (what does one call an anti-capitalist person these days?) war but it did. Now I hardly dare showing more Christmas balls... And thought I had originally planned on this two fold sequence and I don't have time to change my plans! So, here is one of the latest Benetton ads in Paris at the moment (and probably other places in the world). Much less provocative than their campaigns in the 90's. Some things do change...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Christmas Dog

In Paris, I love the pre-Christmas season as much as I hate the post Christmas season! Everywhere in shops, restaurants, cafés, you find nicely decorated window shops, Christmas lights, etc. But since I've lived here I had never seen a decorated dog... Well, there was one yesterday outside the place where I go grocery shopping. He was kind of "Why do you keep staring at me? Do you want my picture?" As a matter of fact yes! Thought it was a good way of starting the week.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Photos for charity

Yesterday evening I went to a charity organised by two friends of mine (Olivier Grunewald and Bernadette Gilbertas) whom I admire a lot for their lifestyle. Olivier is a world renowned photographer and Bernadette, his companion, is a talented geographer and writer. Together they travel the world and the seven seas and come back with wonderful photos and stories. Yesterday they organised an "Atelier sales" to make some room and collect money for the WWF, Reporters without Borders and Handicap International. Needless to say, it was a big success. Do have a glimpse at their latest book, even if the text is in French, the photographs are enjoyable by all.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Arthur and the Minimoys

You probably heard of the French film director Luc Besson (Subway, The Big Blue, The Fifth Element, The Messenger...). Well, he his currently making an animation movie called Arthur and the Minimoys. The film will not hit the theaters before next Christmas (2006) but it is already being promoted, as you can see on this picture that I took on the Champs Elysées. As a matter of fact the BNP Paribas (a well know French bank) is one of the main sponsors of the movie; they surely want it to show!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Demonstration for Aids awareness

Quite sadly the number of HIV positive people is currently picking up in France. Last year 7,000 people found out they were positive - against "only" 6,000 in 2003. Currently, there is an estimated total of 110,000 infected people in France. Yesterday was December 1st, traditionally the World Aids Day. Several associations demonstrated for Aids awareness at place de l'Opéra (1st arrondissement). More photos here.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Wallace Fountains, at last!

I don't know if you remember this post about Morris columns but it triggered a lot of comments about another usual object in the Paris scenery : the Wallace Fountains (Les Fontaines Wallace). Named after Sir Richard Wallace - a very wealthy Anglo-French philanthropist who used part of his money to improve the life of Parisians - there are still 108 of these still up and running fountains throughout Paris (the first one was installed in 1875). I took this shot at the bottom of the Champs Elysées and here you can have a more global view of it.

More blogs about paris photos.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hello Washington

Two days ago I received a very touching e-mail from another Eric who is from Montreal in Québec, Canada and who teaches French at Chrysalis School in Seattle, Washington USA. He wrote "Since I discovered your blog, my pupils and I have a look at your daily picture at the end of each class!". So I thought I would take a photo, just for them! Last evening, I went to rue Washington off the Champs Elysées (8th arrondissement) and took this shot. Just a little something from ParisDailyPhoto to Washington!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

French recipe to cut taxes...

Yesterday (well Monday) I got stuck in a huge - I am talking huge! - traffic jam in the middle of the 8th arrondissement. About 6,000 Restaurant and Café owners from all over France had organised a protest against the VAT rate they have to comply with (Value Added Tax that we have in Europe which varies according to the type of goods that are sold) . They currently are required by the government to collect 19.6% VAT whereas they only want to collect 5.5% to make goods cheaper. To demonstrate, they did not march in the streets as protesters usually do, but used their cars (it's cold in Paris at the moment, so what did you expect?!) and blew their horn.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The cobblestones lie under the concrete!

Many interesting/funny slogans were created by the students during the mini revolution that took place in May 1968. One of them, that everybody still has in mind was "The beach lies under the cobblestones!" And very recently I came across this one painted directly on the sidewalk and widely inspired from the original one: "The cobblestones lie under the concrete!" meaning probably that since the 60's a second layer has been added and that the revolution is going to take even longer!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Antique Walking Canes

Close to my place there is a covered street called Le Passage Jouffroy
(the 19th century version of shopping malls!) where you can find the Musée Grévin (wax museum) and a lot of shops - mostly art oriented. One of them is a stunning gallery of antique walking canes that you should not miss if you come to the neighbourhood. I took a photo of this one with Naopleon on the handle but all of them deserve to be shown.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

First Snow!

We're only at the end of November and it's already snowing! Very rare in Paris, but very nice. I just love it!

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Louvre in Atlanta

If you live in Atlanta, you won’t have to come to Paris next year to visit the Louvre museum – well at least one part of it… As a matter of fact, according to CNNfor the first the first time in the Louvre's 212-year history the museum has agreed to share entire collections with another museum for an extended period.” Aren’t you lucky? But there is one thing you won’t be able to see: the magnificent Louvre Pyramide at night! So here it is…

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

For obvious reasons we do not celebrate Thansgiving (le Merci donnant !) in France. And though, due to the quite large number of Americans living in Paris, there is a place in the 4th arrondissement precisely called Thanksgiving that is not only a caterer but also a restaurant (with Cajun specialties). Needless to say that you do not hear too much French speaking in this place! Now, isn't it the perfect time for me to wish a happy Thanksgiving to my American visitors and to thank you all for the nice feedback you give me on Paris Daily Photo.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Paris on strike!

We are currently experiencing a public transportation strike in Paris at the moment. Yesterday it was the SNCF (which includes the express train suburban network) and tomorrow it will be the RATP (the Metro and bus network). It's not a big strike but serious enough to scare people... Some of them choose to get up very early and take their car to work whereas others choose to hit the streets. And frankly, in the morning, in a city like Paris, it's not that unpleasant!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


There are 1 860 mailboxes in Paris and most of them are covered in graffitis (although it is highly prohibited as you can imagine!). Generally these graffitis are pretty ugly but this time this simple smile made me... smile. So I thought I'd share it with you today.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Paris Daily Photo at Paris Photo exhibit

Each year in November Paris hosts one of the largest photographs fair in the world. It is called – quite logically – Paris Photo and is mostly dedicated to modern and contemporary photography. I went to this event yesterday and enjoyed is very, very much. Here I am (thank you Patricia for taking this shot) by a superb photograph by Arno Rafael Minkkinen; the best in the whole exhibit according to me!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Greek Actor in the Luxembourg garden

On November 17, when I posted the photo of a Rodin statue, Joe, a reader from New York asked in the comments "I was wondering if you had some information on a statue in Jardin du Luxembourg. It is a statue of a boy holding a mask up in the air...". Well, Joe, I took a photo of this man last July and here it is... In fact this Greek Actor (it's the same of this statue by Charles-Arthur Bourgeois (1838 - 1886)) does not hold a mask but a manuscript for he is rehearsing his role. The mask is on the top of his head.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Vineyard in Montmartre

OK, OK, it's Beaujolais Nouveau time but I am not a sucker for it; too much marketing and not enough quality! If I am going to drink average wine I much prefer the piquette (sour) taste of the Clos Montmartre which vineyard grows on the hill of... Montmartre. It all started with the Romans then continued with the Gaulois and the French until it became financially more attractive to grow concrete than wine... Fortunately around 1930 several artists (including famous painter Francisque Poulbot) urged the town hall to keep some land for the vineyards. Thanks to them, nowadays you can still find 1 900 Cep de vignes (plants) and the Vendanges (grape harvest) takes place in October.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The city down under

About 105 years after the first Paris Métro line (still in service and still called Line 1) the network has grown tremendously. According to various sources there are about 300 Métro stops (stations), separated on average by 543 meters (the longest distance between two stations - Bobigny-Pantin-Raymond/Queneau-Bobigny-Pablo Picasso - amounts to 2385 meters!). Due to the huge number of people travelling by metro everyday in Paris (about 1, 4 million) it has become a real underground city with shops, little cafés, vending machines…

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Place Rodin

I have been living in Paris for... Well, since I was born, and I never noticed this fabulous sculpture by Auguste Rodin (1840 - 1917). It is called L’âge d’Airain and is located in the center of... Place Rodin, in the 16th arrondissement. It is absolutly stunning. By the way, don't miss the Musee Rodin when you come to Paris...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sacre Coeur at Dawn

Today I greet another guest star on this blog! His name is Jerome, he regularly adds nasty comments on this blog but deep inside he is a good person! Otherwise do you really think he could have taken such a magnificent picture? From what he told me he took it recently early in the morning from his apartment located on the 6th floor. The two domes that you can see on the horizon line belong to the Sacre Coeur basilic.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Arts et Metiers Metro Station

In the 3rd arrondissement there is a famous high profile technical school called Le Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. For the 200 year anniversary of the school - in 1994 -François Schuiten (a Belgian comics illustrator) redesigned the Métro station that takes you there (which, quite logically, is also called Arts et Métiers) and turned it into a giant submarine with massive use of copper. The result is fantastic and it is definitely worth the visit.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Still standing!

After about 2 weeks of riots in Paris and in the Provinces the situation is now clearly improving: "only" 200 cars have burnt last night. You can definitely come and visit us again!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Stronger together!

Do you belong to an association? If you are French it is very likely you do. According to l'Insee (Institut national de la statistique), 45% of the French belong to one. There are about 1 million associations in France (more in this study) dealing with culture, sports, charity, leisure, business... You will find a good example in this photo that has been taken by my friend Jean-Christophe near La Madeleine (a famous church). At this address (28 rue Tronchet) you find the headquarters of the National Association for workers in the Ministries, Parliament and Senate as well as a Veterans Tennis association. I am not sure all this translates very well, but don't worry, even in French it sounds weird!