Monday, October 31, 2005

Training class

I took this photo on the front of an Orange (the mobile carrier) office in the 20th arrondissement (not sure it was sill the 20th though). I suppose this office is used as a training facility and that is the reason why they used two of these huge posters on the facade. Anyway I thought it was a pretty cool idea...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Buren Columns (Colonnes de Buren)

Since I mentioned them yesterday I thought I could show them to you today. Basically, the Colonnes de Buren (named after the artist, Daniel Buren), are nothing more than striped pillars aligned in perfect order in the courtyard of the Palais Royal (you can have an excellent view of this alignment thanks to this photo by Yann Arthus Bertrand taken from the sky). It became controversial for political reasons (the traditional left/right wing fights) and because a lot of people thought it was a bad idea to integrate modern art in a historical location. Did I mention that previously this courtyard was used as a parking lot?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Palais Royal Reflexion

Close to the Louvre, in the 1st arrondissement, there is a building called Le Palais Royal (King Palace) built between 1632 and 1639 by Le Mercier for Cardinal Richelieu. Parisians - and tourists who just visited Le Louvre - find it very pleasant to walk down the gardens and have a look at the magnificent scenery. Over the last 25 years this place has also been used to show modern art work. First, Les colonnes de Buren, a very controversial piece of art at that time and this steel balls fountain sculpture by Belgian artist Pol Bury who died in Paris September 25, this year.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Electric cars charging stations

Look more closely at the lower Parking sign... It shows a little icon that means "Charging station" (for electric cars). There are about 80 of these stations in Paris although, until now, very few people own an electric cars. Why is that? Well, they are 10% more expensive than regular cars and they cannot run very long on a single charge (about 100 kilometers). But with the price of oil skyrocketing, the grant that the government gives to each electric car buyer (1 525 euros) and the increasing number of these charging stations, the situation might change...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Street signs (2)

I already mentionned the history of Paris street signs in this post in June but I never came accross (or did not pay attention to) this... Like I explained in June, it's only after 1728 that it became compulsory for the owners of the first and the last houses of each street to engrave the street name. Later, in 1806 Napoleon passed a law saying that the names should not be engraved any longer but painted and in 1847 the city authorities turned to a enamel! On this photo you can still see both.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Colonne Morris (Morris Column)

I recently realized that I never showed you a very typical Parisian thing: les Colonnes Morris (the Morris Columns). There are about 790 of these columns in the streets of Paris and they are used to promote cultural events (plays, concerts, exhibitions...) just like at their origin when they were created by Gabriel Morris around 1850 - or most likely 1868, but I have been unable to check the date for sure. Today they are manufactured by JC Decaux who bought the Morris company (which actual name was La Société Fermière des Colonnes Morris) in 1986. Now some of them are also used as public toilets (hidden inside!) or public phone (mostly on the Champs Elysées).

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Although its creator (Hergé) was Belgium Belgian, Tintin takes a large part in the French culture; there is not a single French kid that has not read at least one Tintin album in his life! Adults love him too and there are so many fans that there are even Tintin shops like this one, that I found at the end of Boulevard Saint Germain (5th arrondissement). If you want to know more about Tintin, Captain Haddock, La Castafiore (ah, je ris...) and Dupond and Dupont then pay a visit to this excellent site.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Truck art

No, this is not another piece of art for an art fair but a "real" truck, still used to carry things arround Paris!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The rat race

To be honest I am not sure if this is a rat (or a baby rat...); it may rather be a little mouse or what we call a Gerbille. What I am sure of is that it was passing by in a street of the 5th arrondissement and intrigued a lot of people - I was not the only one trying to capture it on film (well digital memory!)! According to a common belief it is said that there are as many rats in Paris as inhabitants (roughly 2 million) but in fact it is absolutly impossible to tell.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Gay expo advertising campaign controversy

This weekend there is the 3rd Paris Gay expo. Prior to the event, the organizers conducted a promotion through a poster campaign, just like for any similar event. However, these advertisements show same sex couples kissing. The Paris Metro found them too offensive to run, and thus refused the campaign. You can imagine that the gay associations vehemently reacted. In addition, the Halde or Anti-discrimination authority, also spoke up to support the ad campaign, while other groups continued to support the Metro. Finally, the Metro authorities decided to reverse their decision and the ads finally ran.

The ads have mostly survived, however, one can find examples of them being defaced in certain stations. And, by the wat, sorry for the bad quality of the pictures.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Paris Loves you

Like all big cities Paris has many, many gifts and souvenirs shops. This one though is very original; it is located at the end of boulevard Saint Germain and I could not help smiling when I saw it... And what better message to send you all before the week-end!!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Paris 1910 flood marks

In 1910 there has been a terrible flood in Paris. Water not only flooded along the river Seine but went through the newly built Metro network into the center of the city. On January 28, 12 days after the beginning of the flood, water was 6 meters higher than usual at the Pont d'Austerlitz... Needless to say that damages have been enormous! What is "interesting" though, is that throughout the city you can still find marks of this flood. Here is one, located inside the Conciergerie (a building where queen Marie Antoinette was kept prisoner during the French revolution). By the way, the authorities have already said that a new flood like this could happen anytime now...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation

At one end of the Ile de la Cite, if you walk down a couple of steps you will enter a Holocaust Memorial. This monument is dedicated to the memory of the 200 000 individuals deported from France to German concentration camps during World War II. The place is, of course, pretty emotional altough there is not a single picture; just symbols and a few quotes such as "Pardonne, n'oublie pas..." ("Forgive but don't forget"). The "highlight" of the memorial is a long and narrow corridor lined with small stones of quartz crystal (see photo). Each stone represents one of the 200,000 individuals deported from France.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Even lawns need a rest!

According to the Paris city hall website there are about 1 500 000 square meters (16 145 865 square feet) of lawns in Paris. Before 2001, it was very difficult to find a garden where it was actually allowed to sit or lay in the grass for it was totally forbidden (for maintenance reasons). Now it is more and more permitted in some restricted areas and providing that the lawn doesn't need a rest, like here... (I took this photo in a garden located on the île de la Cité).

Monday, October 17, 2005

Le Louvre, backstage!

Le Louvre museum is one of the largest - if not the largest! - museum in the world. Thousands of masterpieces can be seen there (yes, including La Joconde!) but an incredible number of pieces of art remains hidden to the public because of a space shortage or because they need to be "repaired". If you're lucky, you can catch some of them on a photo, like here!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Concorde Lafayette Building

Unlike more recent cities (hence Manhattan) Paris has very few skyscrapers. That is why high buildings quickly catch your eyes when you browse through Paris from a high point. This tower is located Porte Maillot in the 17th arrondissement and it is partly composed of a trade center and a hotel called Concorde Lafayette (nothing to do with Galeries Lafayette!!). I don't particularly like this Porte Maillot - which, to me, has absolutly no interest - but I like the colour of this photo that I took just before sunset. Very relaxing and perfect for a Sunday!!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Chance, fate and other complications...

I took this photo not to show you another homeless guy (there has been several here since I started this blog) but because of the poster on the window shop. It says "Chance" which, in French, means luck!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Fence, avenue Matignon

At the bottom of Champs Elysees: nothing "fency" (OK, OK...) but I like the perspective. Have a nice Friday!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Get high, see Paris from above!

In the Jardin André Citroën in the 15th arrondissement, you can have a walk in the gardens (I find them pretty disappointing to be honest) but you can also take a trip to the air in a captive balloon that will let you see Paris from a different angle... It can fit 30 adults and take them 150 meters high. More info (in French only, sorry) here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Accident or art?

Despite what you may think, this is a sculpture... I took this photo in the courtyard of the Artcurial Gallery which a vary famous art gallery and auction house in Paris (at the bottom of the Champs Elysees). But I unfortunately could not find the name of the artist anywhere. If someone has the info...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Geography reshuffled

This is an ad campaign currently running in Paris (and probably throughout France) to promote a mobile carrier (SFR) new plan for international calls. Basically, they claim to offer the same rates whether you call from France or or any other country in Europe... And to make it more obvious they sort of reshuffled the European map: Lyon - the second largest city of France - is now located in Spain Portugal, where Barcelona Lisbon generally sits, Bordeaux has taken the place of London and Paris is now located in Sweden, instead of Stockholm! Very clever idea.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Erica's contribution to ParisDailyPhoto

End of July, I received an email from a certain Erica from New York. She wrote a nice comment about this blog and also: "I was proposed to, in May 2004, on top of the Eiffel Tower and enjoyed my trip immensely. I will send you a link to the photos we took during our visit. Feel free to use them on your site." And she did! And although this way of proposing rings like a Deja vu (!), I have found that her story was really cute and that since she was not going to appear in People Magazine, ParisDailyPhoto would make up to it!! By the way her fiance (well, I assume) took this photo in front of a building called Le Panthéon (5th arrondissement) a former church in which a lot of famous Frenchmen rest in peace.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Firemen & joggers!

Very typical Parisian scene: firemen running in the middle of Paris to keep fit. In Paris - and large cities - all firemen are professionnals (they are actually part of the army) whereas in the provinces a lot of them are volunteers. Parisians love their firemen not only because they open the doors of their brigades on Bastille day(!) but also because we know they do a tough job.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Café Beaubourg

If you visit the Beaubourg center you will undoubtedly end up sitting on the terrace of Café Beaubourg. Still trendy (even after 20 years...) it's a fantastic observation point to watch the world go by...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Maréchal Juin's Statue

The Maréchal Juin (first name Alphonse) was the last Marshal of France. He was born in 1888 in Algeria (which was "French" at that time), died in 1967 and in the meantime spent his whole life at war (World War I where he was wounded in 1915 and lost the use of his right arm and World War II where he was in command of a division that was captured near Lille!) He has now a statue on the Place d'Italie (13th arrondissement). I would not call it nice, but with a little blue/grey sky behind it's OK !

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Flower market

Like every big cities Paris has a flower market. Actually several. This one is on the river banks where you can also buy pets!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Detail of Porte Saint Martin's arch

The big Arch of Triumph you can see on top of the Champs Elysées is not the only one in Paris... There are many others, including the one located porte Saint-Martin where I took this photo. Built in the honor of the victories of king Louis the XIVth, it was sculpted by Michel Anguier (what you can see here is one of his statues). It was recently renovated (well 1998...) and looks really gorgious now.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Gustave Eiffel under "his" tower

You all know the Eiffel Tower but I bet you know nothing about the man who built it! He was born in 1832 in Dijon (yes, where they do the Dijon Mustard!), he studied engineering (surprise, surprise...) and he specialized in... metallic structures (no kidding?!). He participated in many projects (including the Panama Canal which caused him some trouble...) and finally died at the age of 91 (in 1923). I took a photo of his bust right under "his" tower and I just love it. If you want to know more about him click here.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

French Foreign Legion

Although I am not 100% sure that these two guys do belong to the Foreign Legion I am pretty sure they do (otherwise I am sure one of my readers tell me!). I thought it was pretty odd to come accross two of them in the middle of Paris... I understand the French Foreign Legion is pretty famous outside France but do you know it was created in 1831 by king Louis-Philippe because he needed more men to conquest our former colonies and more precisely Algeria ?

50 000 visitors!

Proud to announce a new milestone! (Yesterday evening)