Friday, September 30, 2005

French Lingerie at Le Printemps'

No, I did not take this photo in Amsterdam but this morning in Paris, on my way to work. More precisely I took it in the window shop of Le Printemps, a huge department store next to Les Galeries Lafayette where I already took this shot. As you already figured it out they have a Lingerie special at the moment and I thought I could show it to you. BTW, these are not real women but mannequins! There is a limit to french male chauvinism...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Gare du Nord (Northern Station)

Originally, I did not plan to publish this photo today but Blogger seems to experience some hosting problems... Anyway here is the Gare du Nord, the station you will go to if you want to travel to... the North of France (Lille in particular - blink Elisabeth!) but also to Brussels, Amsterdam, London... It's beautiful a building, built between 1861 and 1865 by Jacques Hittorff (well the main station for some part have been extended recently due to the incredible expansion of railways in France) with statues all over representing famous northern cities. More (in French) here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Moliere is watching you!

With over 2000 years of history France has produced a few good men... And that includes, of course, Moliere whose magnificent statue (well, this one anyway, for I am sure there are thousand statues of him!) is to be seen on rue de Richelieu (2nd arrondissement), not far for the Comedie Française the "home" of French theatre. His real name was Jean-Baptiste Poquelin and he lived between 1622 and 1673. He wrote tens of plays and he is adored by the French, including me! To learn more about Moliere go to Wikipedia.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Wedding day!

On some special occasions - like a wedding - people rent old luxury cars like this one and they go through Paris in search of a nice area to take photos. I took this shot at Le Louvre but could not see the just married couple!
I love the balance between the car , the pedestrian and the bike, just entering the picture...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Paris dog poop...

I am sure you heard that walking down the streets of Paris was a real nightmare because of the gifts left by our dog friends... According to local stats - who on earth counted?! - there are about 200 000 dogs in Paris and they produce 16 tons of poop daily!
But the situation has improved a lot. Quite surprisingly dog owners tend to be more disciplined - thanks to signs like this one (it says: "I like my neighbourhood, I pick up my dog poop") and they are also afraid of paying the 183 euro ticket, so that walking down the street is not as bad as it used to be.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Painter in Passage Verdeau

Today is Sunday, I woke up late and I felt lazy! So I went down where I live (in the Passage Verdeau, 9th arrondissement) and took a picture of this painter. The Passage Verdeau was open to the public in 1846 and a lot of antiques and old book shops are to be found in it together with a couple of restaurants (I recommend the excellent Italian one called i Golosi on the rue de la Grange Batelière side). You can also have a view of the roof of this passage on this photo or this photo...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

We're all in the gutter...

...but some of us are looking at the stars..." [or the blue sky!] What better photo to illustrate this quote by Oscar Wilde? I took it in the 13th arrondissement where they definitely built a lot of tower buildings to fit as many people as possible. Although most of the Parisians would think they are ugly if you look at them with a "different" eye well they can also be beautiful.

Friday, September 23, 2005

New streetcar in Paris

Do you remember the Petite Ceinture photo ? If yes you know that, before, there was a train line around Paris that is now closed. To replace it there is a bus line but very soon part of it will also be replaced by a Streetcar (a tramway in "French"!). It is being built at the moment - as you can see on this photo - and will be delivered in 2006. If you want to know more I suggest you pay a visit to this great animation (high speed connection highly recommended!) and/or to the website (in French) they created for the occasion. You can also have a sneak preview of the delivery of the first train of this line being delivered here (very unusual...).

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Paris Blogue-t-il III (Paris Bloggers gathering)

Like all large cities Paris bloggers like to meet from time to time. The 3rd gathering of this kind took place yesterday evening in the same place (L'entrepôt, a movie theater/bar/restaurant in the 14th arrondissement) and it was fun. I got to meet the usual "blogeoisie" plus new comers and ended up discussing art and music with a DJ from Australia. In the end a artist performed, "live" and made this great painting. I don't know his name, but I trust somebody will tell me today in the comments...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Grand Palais' facelift

The Grand Palais, a magnificent glass palace that was built for the 1900 universal exhibition was closed for renewal in 1993. And for the first time since then, it has just been reopened to the public (although it will be totally completed in 2007 only). This new palace looks absolutely fantastic - especially under the lights and sounds of two artists Thierry Dreyfus and Frédéric Sanchez who created the new scenery. By the way I did not take this photo myself but Michel Colson (whose photos are awesome) did and gave me the authorisation to use it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

La taverne du Sergent Recruteur

If you’re looking for a typical meal experience while you’re in Paris, I recommend you pay a visit to this “tavern” which is located in the middle of Isle St. Louis (more precisely 41 rue St-Louis-en-l'Isle). Don’t expect fancy cuisine or anything but just a “different” atmosphere supposedly inherited from the Gaulois era (the first inhabitants of France) – meaning wine, solid food, large quantities… The name of the place (the recruiter’s sergeant tavern) is said to come from a time where young men were taken to the place for wine and women and would awake the next day to find themselves signed up for the French army… Nothing of that kind nowadays, as far as I know!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Leave the Euro zone?

"Here is the cure to our problems: let's leave the Euro zone" this is roughly what this poster -that I shot recently in Porte Maillot (17th arrondissement) - says. For those of you who don't know, France joined the Euro zone in 2002 like 11 other European countries* and at that time almost everybody was very excited about it; at last we would be able to travel withing Europe without having to change currency. But times change... France's growth rate is low, unemployment high, French people would like to close the borders again (they rejected the constitution, remember?). In my opinion it is pretty naive to think that it would solve our problems - but that is what some people feel like today and I just wanted to show it to you.

* Germany, Austria, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Portugal.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Death danger!

This sign is familiar to all French people. You find it on all places where electricity may become a danger. Here it's near the Gare du nord (Northern Station) where people could jump over the fence and get electrocuted. In fact this sign is probably here for legal reasons; so that in case of an accident the railway company can claim "well, we warned you..."

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Wine promotion

These funny little huts actually belong to a little "wine village" that they temporary installed in the Bercy area. I love the contrast between the modern offices and the little tents. The whole idea of this village is to promote wine for you know what ? French people drink less and less wine! According to a very recent study, we "only" drink 70 liters of wine every year (compared to 160 liters 60 years ago!). Worse: only 62 % of the French say they drink wine, compared to 81% in 1980... "Tout fout le camp!"

Friday, September 16, 2005

Paris, capital of fashion

And that includes Africans... Obviously. I simply love the way they dress.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The right stuff (L'étoffe des héros !)

Not far from the Sacré Coeur church, on the lower part of Montmartre there is a shop that all Parisians know: Le marché Saint-Pierre. It's THE place to go if you want to buy cheap fabric. And when I say cheap fabric I mean unexpensive, not "cheap"! I personally do not like this place too much for it reminds me of when my mother would drag me there as a child (!) but I must say I went back there recently to take this photo and, well, yes all this fabric makes it a place to see!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This woman is a dangerous outlaw!

I already explained the pigeons situation in Paris in this post and in the meantime I discovered that according to a law (the sanitary code, art. 120) it is forbidden to feed the pigeons in our Capital. And though, I suppose this moment is probably one of the main highlights in the day of this old lady. It is silly but this picture moves me!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Oscar Wilde had a lot of female admirers...

You all know the English Irish writer Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900). But what you may not know is that he died in Paris and was buried in famous Père Lachaise Cemetery (it may sound odd but if you come to Paris don't miss it!). And what you surely ignore is that Wilde grave is covered in lipstick kisses from his admirers... Fantastic!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Brazilian Drummers

Last week-end, I was heading to Bercy and suddenly I heard an enormous hum coming from my left at a street crossing. I turned my head and here they were: 20 to 30 Brazilian drummers (it is still the year of Brazil in Paris!) starting their march to Le Marais. Very impressive! Here is just one of the drummers. (click here to see a wider view.)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Break dancing in Les Halles

In the big shopping center of Les Halles (1st arrondissement) there is a place where all break dancers of the city gather to train in front of everybody. Some are very good, some are just beginners but it's always fun to look at them. Curiously they are all very shy; the minute you hand out a camera they stop dancing. I had to "steal" this scene by taking the photo from above where they could not see me.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Each year no less than 130 000 square meters of Paris walls are being cleaned by the town hall services. Of course it costs a fortune and of course most of graffiti are ugly but from time to time they improve the scenery. I took this photo in a street in the12th arrondissement and frankly without this "fresco"this wall would really look dull.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Hey you, do you you want a photo of me or what?!

We're experiencing a very sunny and warm weather in Paris at the moment which is pretty rare at this time of the year. Everybody is out again and you can really feel parisians are taking advantage of these last sunny days before fall starts.
I am back from a week off and I did not have the time to read your comments yet but I sure will after dealing with my emails!!

Paris Yacht Club!

There's one thing missing in Paris: it's the sea! Even so, there are several ports around the city or even more surprisingly, within the city. This one, for example, is a real yachting port. It is called the Port de l'Arsenal and was built in 1983. It fits no less than 170 boats and is linked to the Seine river through a lock from the River. I have been unable to find out how much it costs to stay a night or more there , but I do know that it is free to enjoy the view!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Metro Line 14

There are 14 Metro lines in Paris and quite logically line 14 is the latest one (it was built between 1993 and1998). It goes from Gare Saint-Lazare to Biblitothèque François Mitterrand and I do love it! It's a 100% automated line (no driver) and there is no direct access to the tracks - there is a glass partition along the platform - so no risk of falling or suicide... And as you can see, there is a free circulation between cars which is much better security wise. Not everything works well in Paris but public transportation is really good.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fake Business

Just like in every big city in the world, you can quite easily buy replicas of famous branded products in Paris. This applies to leather goods, all sorts of textile, watches... and glasses, like you can see on this picture I took somewhere in Paris (no, I am not going to report the guy!). Of course, manufacturers are not very happy with that, they even gathered to make a Website on which they say that France loses 30 000 jobs per year because of this fake business. Possible, but impossible to check...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hollywood Goddesses!

In Bercy Village - where I already took this photo - there is currently a photo exhibition of 50 "Hollywood goddesses" from the 30s to now. I chose Sophia (Loren) and Nicole (Kidman) but the choice was difficult!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Parisian taxis can be nice

The 15 200 Parisian taxis have a poor reputation... They are said to be rude, racists and... too scarce! I must say all this is pretty true. And though, 2 months ago, I had to take a train to go down to the South and, to reach the station, I took a taxi. The traffic was absolutely terrible and I realized half way through that I was going to miss my train. On top of that I also realized I had not enough money to pay him! I told him to go back home, that it was not worth rushing and that I did not have enough money anyway... And guess what. Not only did he manage to reach the station just on time but he also accepted my 10 euro bill whereas his meter showed 15 euros. I doubt he reads my blog but if he does: thank you!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Paris Daily Photo Lamp shade!

I am so impressed! A visiting friend of mine made this lamp shade after she bought some "Decoupage" in the Bercy area. And if you look carefully all the photos she used to make this lamp shade come from... ParisDailyPhoto! This looks really nice in my living room. Thank you M.!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Cariatides (Caryatids) at Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin

In Greece, during the Vth and VIth century BC, it was apparently common to use women statues – called Caryatids (from Latin Caryatides and Greek Karutides), literally "maidens of Karuai", a region of Laconia in southern Greece - in place of plain columns as structural elements in a building. Alternatively men could also be used for this purpose – they were then called Atlante, after Atlas the Greek god - as you can precisely see on this photo that I did not take in Greece but in the 10th arrondissement of Paris! It shows a small piece of the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin which was first erected in 1781, but was totally destroyed during La Commune and reconstructed in 1873. I have been surprised to find out that it now belongs to Michel Sardou, a famous French singer.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Sun bathing on Paris roofs

Quite a contrast with yesterday's photo. This young lady is taking advantage of a "natural terrace" which is actually the top of the Passage Verdeau (a sort of shopping mall that was created in the 19th century) that I will show you from the inside one of these days. So quiet you could hear a fly...

Thursday, September 01, 2005