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!


  1. on dirait un film noir. Une série noire des années cinquantes. Des truands sont cachés ! Une traction avant conduite par Lino Ventura va surgir par la droite. Les talons d'une femme résonnent sur la pavé mouillé ..... on se prend a rever...

  2. With this one, the French are approaching perfection: they are on strike, and they don't even know why!

  3. Funny how you can turn something so annoying into something beautiful. Another great photo Eric. Now, I have to run to try and catch a metro before they become too crowded. 3 in 5 are planned to operate today...that means extra crowded!

  4. "Paris is bleeding", "Paris on strike"… Hey, Eric are you turning into "french bashing" ?!!!
    To be honest, I speak easily, not suffering much form this strike : walking from place de l'Odeon to rue Montorgueil through Pont des Arts was certainly more pleasant than taking the Metro…

  5. C'est extra de faire une photo par jour de la capitale. Mais dites-moi, vous passez vos journées à courir les rues?

  6. An "exra-crowded" Parisian Metro? Now THERE is something that I would NOT recommend to anyone!!!

    Fantastic shot, indeed, Eric.

    gg is right: if anybody at Fox hears about the strike, I'm sure they'll have plenty of comments to share with their... ahem... 'enlightened' audience.

  7. Hey there!

    I'm going to Paris next month and am staying with a family in St. Germain-en-laye. How far away is this from central Paris by public transport as I would like to get in to the city often.

    Is St. Germain-en-laye a nice part of Paris?

    Thanks, Paul.

  8. Hello pmb !
    St Germain-en-Laye is not exactly a "part of Paris". It's at about 25' from Place de l'Etoile, and 30' from the Opera or Chatelet/Les Halles (which is The center of Paris) with the RER A (Express regional Subway)
    It's a wonderful place, very nice town, not far from Versailles, looks like a real town in the countryside, has a very interesting castle (where Louis the XIVth was born), nice "jardin à la française", amazing terrace designed by Le Nôtre (designer of gardens of Versailles) from which you have a great view of the whole Paris area, and nice forest. Some parts of this town will make you think of Paris' Le Marais. Last but not least, you will appreciate it's typical market and food shops. Remember the name "Gandin" a very famous local pastry shop.
    Have I said I'm from this neighbourhood ?!!!

  9. oops, and I forgot, more information on
    Le site officiel de Saint-Germain-en-Laye : Actualités, Vie quotidienne, Culture et Tourisme, Services, Activités, Economie.

  10. PMB - You might need clarification from anonymous. In his/her comment "...25' from Place de l'Etoile, and 30' from the Opera", the ( ' ) means minutes, not inches! ;-)

  11. Michael… je suis littéralement atterré !…

  12. Very cool photo're right about the walking not being unpleasant. Paris has got to be in the top two or three best walking cities in the world.


  13. If you want a pleasant city to walk, choose Berlin.
    I´ve been in berlin and in Paris and the two are excellent sites to walk.

  14. What is this photo ? what does it represent ? I can 't see anything. The street ? What s the relationship with SNCF strike ?


  15. great! another metro strike. The last time we were in paris, there was a transit strike when we were leaving, the metro schedules were all fouled up, and being illiterate americans, we didn't know to try to read all the little notes pasted up on the walls of the metro stations telling us what to do. Oh well, you live & learn.

    But Asier, I am intrigued by your comment about Berlin. I want to go to berlin, but I don't really know why...other than having seen Wings of Desire.

  16. I think Berlin is so much funnier than Paris. Paris is boring as hell (sorry to say that, but it's true !), though it's nice. But so conventional...

    There is in Berlin a creative energy that Paris has definitley completely lost a century ago.

    Paris is nowadays a very sleepy classic "bourgeoise" city, whereas everything seems possible in Berlin nowadays ! This is why Berlin currently hosts so many artists, and not only Hedi Sliman. Maybe Berlin is now what Paris was last century.

    And life is so much cheaper, that's incredible. Paying 3€ for a coffee, or 7€ for a coke in Paris makes me sick.

    Well, I would advise everyone to go there to check.

  17. What corner is this, Eric? A lovely shot. I like the light and POV very much.

  18. From what Florian Berlin more 'doing' while Paris is more 'being'???

  19. Well Florian isn't totally wrong I think, though he put it quite unfairly. As for myself, I'm regularly impressed by the comparison with London's energy. But nevertheless, I love the poetry, the sweetness, the magic I can find in Paris.
    Isn't-it one of the good things of our time, Florian, that we have the possibility (ok, not everybody…) to find and live in the place that fits with our mood ? …

  20. Well, I was rather upset by florian's comments about Paris being boring and bourgeois (can't spell it to save my life), and then touched by gg's stuff about the city I love. But in the end, Paris touches people, and that's what counts. You can't say fairer than that.

    Your photo, Eric, has started quite a debate, and that's got nothing to do with artistic merit... but I'd say it's quite a compliment, nevertheless! Great stuff!

  21. It is true that every city has a different 'vibe' or energy and may fit different people.
    But whoever says that Paris is boring or bourgeois does not know Paris...and that is to say the least and to put it very mildly.
    I have lived in Paris only the last 13 years but have travelled a lot in my in Paris it is possible to live and settle because it is the most beautiful city in the world.
    Plus it is everything you want it to has many other countries and places wrapped up inside.
    Paris is an unending surprise for those who have an open mind and why not some tolerance for the bourgeois as well.Live and let live!
    Thank you, Eric,for a great photo of Paris how I may never see it...