Sunday, April 30, 2006

New York or Paris?

There are two Statues of Liberty in Paris: one on Ile aux Cygnes, that I already showed you here and here and this one, located in the Luxembourg gardens (on the rue Guynemer side - 6th arrondissement). This one served as a model for Bartholdi before he made the "real one" that was given to the Americans in 1885. But wait, there is more in this photo than meets the eye... the leaves you can see in the foreground belong to an American Oak tree that was planted in 2002 in dedication to the victims of 9/11 as the plaque next to it explains. (View on Google Maps).

PS: Today is a "theme day" for all City Daily Photo Bloggers. We are to show something in our city that suggests or refers to somewhere else. Do visit other DPs and find out what they came up with.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Don't miss the bus

Last Wednesday I was at the Porte de Saint Cloud (16th arrondissement) and I suddenly felt like I had jumped into the past: on line 72 (Porte de Saint Cloud to Hôtel de Ville) people were boarding an old bus from the 30's. After inquiring a little further, I found out that 3 of these buses had been put back into Public Service just for that day. So cool! These buses were built in the 30's and are really unique because they have a back platform were passengers can hop on or off. Click here for more photos or here to learn a thousand things about the Paris public bus history (only in French, sorry).

Friday, April 28, 2006

Holy Cows!

Do you know the Cow Parade? If you live in New York, Edinburgh, Sydney, Barcelona... you probably do because this event already took place there. But in Paris, it's a first. The idea is simply to ask several artists to turn fiberglass cows into modern art sculptures and to display them throughout the city. The result is stunning. In Paris there are about 100 cows (I photographed 8 more here). They will be sold at the end of June to the benefit of charitable causes. More here.

Update. These cows are also shown on Buenos Aeres Daily Photo and on Manila Daily Photo.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Cruise in Paris...

He, he... Got ya, this time it's the real thing, not a play on words like with my April 24 photo. As you may know, if you read People magazine - or the equivalent in your country - Mr Tom and pregnant wife fiancee Katie Holmes came to Paris to have their soon after their baby daughter Suri was born in Los Angeles. And Mr Tom took advantage of his stay to promote his latest movie Mission Impossible III at La Défense, where they just opened a brand new theater. And guess who happened to be there with his camera?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Digital ring

Yesterday I noticed an intriguing piece of news. Apparently, the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, went to California to - among other things - sign a memorandum of understanding establishing Paris and San Francisco as "Digital Sister Cities". In short, that could allow Paris to have free Wi-Fi coverage one day... (More in the SF Chronicle article that Tomate Farcie kindly sent me). For your information, there is already free Wi-Fi access in several spots in Paris, including almost all Mc Donald's, all Columbus Cafés (the French version of Starbucks), and many other bars (see here and here).

Just a quick update regarding the post A very dear American tourist. Michael tells me that Paris Daily Photo bloggers contributed nearly $100 to the "JJ Salone Nursing Education Fund". Way to go! Thank you PDP readers for your thoughtfulness! You can also still see Jessie's blog before it goes offline.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Eye see you!

What is more boring than an optician's shop window? Well, not all... I pass by this one every day (17 boulevard Raspail in the 7th arrondissement) and believe me, it is really worth the look. Before I posted it here I went to their web site and I learnt that this family-owned business has 4 boutiques in the most exclusive quarters of Paris and that they sell their glasses everywhere in the world. It's their older son, Thomas, who is in charge of these wonderful window displays.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Bush in Paris

OK, maybe this is not the bush you were thinking of, this one is the kind that stays green regardless of the polls... Anyway, I like the way shops, restaurants and cafés manage to turn sidewalks into wild forests (OK, little green oases...). This is exactly what the Hotel Ambassador on Boulevard Haussmann has done by simply installing several tall pots on the sidewalk in which they planted luxurious bushes. I thought it was a good, relaxing way to start the week. Have a great Monday people!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Creatures of the sea...

Still on the Place de la Concorde but from a different spot than was yesterday's photo, I thought you wouldn't mind this perspective of the cleaning of this fountain called La fontaine des fleuves. Actually many people know about the famous Place de la Concorde where thousands of people were beheaded with the guiliotine at the end of the 18th century, and where King Louis-Philippe had the 250 tonne Egyptian obelisk placed in the center, but less is known about the two beautiful fountains. This particular one was sculpted in bronze between 1835 and 1840 by various artists (Louis-Parfait Merlieux, Antonin-Marie Moine, and Jean-Jacques Elshoecht ) and inspired by the fountains in Rome's St. Peter square. Obviously the artists did an extremely beautiful job, but "didn't lose their heads"!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A place with a view

I probably don't realize how lucky I am to live in Paris; every morning on my way to work, I pass by the place de la Concorde (a famous place at the bottom of the Champs Elysées) and I can enjoy this view. Yesterday morning, I thought of stopping and take a picture for PDP, so here it is. Note that the weather is much nicer in Paris now.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Los Angeles takes over Paris

Luggi will probably like it, Los Angeles is everywhere in Paris at the moment. First of all at the Galeries Lafayette where a lot of events around L.A. (or supposedly!) have taken - or will still take - place (see the press release). Have a look at these 3 videos: L.A. Parade, Californian tatoos and Krumping. Much more to discover on the Galeries' site. But LA is also in the Beaubourg center and in the Dominique Fiat art galerie. Even the Louvre will show some of Los Angeles from June 14th to September 18th in a video work by Mike Kelley. Gee, has L.A. taken over MY city or what?!

PS: browsing the web to provide you with more info on all this I came across this bilingual blog by a French journalist in L.A., Emmanuelle Richard. I don't know her, but her blog looks really good. Thought you might be interested.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Parisien tête de chien...

...Parigot tête de veau" is an untranslatable expression (literally "dog head" and "veal head") that French people from the provinces use as a bad label for Parisians who misbehave (like, for example, when they go on vacation on the Riviera - or in Corsica - and behave like it's their home...). I thought this little dog-shaped ring that I photographed outside the Poste du Louvre (where I took yesterday's photo) would do the trick. There are several of these along the wall for people to leash their dogs, so that customers can do their business inside while their cherished pets can do their business outside...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Paris Wide Web

Did you know that the Web was invented in Paris in 1866?! Well, actually that's the date the postal service started building a network of vacuum tubes underneath Paris (in the sewers) where capsules, containing up to 35 five telegrams, could travel from one end of the city to the other. In 1957 the network was 400 km (250 miles) long and each capsule would travel at a speed of 700 meters (almost 1/2 a mile) per minute. It only stopped running in 1984 and at the risk of showing my age, I can still remember receiving a "Pneu" (the name given to these letters) in 1980 to warn me that my plane had been rescheduled... Here is one of the nodes in the network - I took it yesterday in the Poste du Louvre. More about this here, here and here (French).

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Smoking, a good old French tradition!

Although the price of cigarettes keeps increasing, although smoking kills 60 000 people per year in France and although it it socially less and less acceptable to smoke, French people are still heavy smokers (38% of men and 30% of women smoke on a regular basis.) A new law was about to be passed to prohibit smoking in public places (like in Italy, Ireland, Scotland...) but due to the recent demonstrations the government decided to postpone it. Health will wait...

Monday, April 17, 2006

A very dear American tourist

On this Easter Monday, this is an exceptional post in honor of 78-year-old Jessie Salone who passed away the 29th of March and who also happened to be the mother of Michael, a frequent commenter here at PDP. I met Jessie while she came to Paris to see her son (this photo was taken at Maxim's restaurant, rue Royale) and I remember her as a very caring lady (she used to be a nurse, no wonder!). My deepest sympathies are with you Michael.

By the way, Michael had the thoughtful idea of establishing a fund at the hospital where she used to work. If you want to contribute $1 or $2 you may do so by clicking here; where it asks for "donor designation", indicate "Other" and where it asks for "Tribute/Memorial", indicate "JJ Salone Nursing Education Fund". Notification can be sent to the "Family of J. Salone from a PDP Blogger" if you so wish.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter (Joyeuses Pâques)

Probably like in other countries, French Christians have the tradition of Easter eggs (and not so much bunnies). On Easter morning parents hide chocolate eggs in the garden (or in the apartment in they live in big cities) and when the church bells ring (they still do, even in Paris) they let their kids hunt for the eggs. Why eggs? Simply because until "recently" Church law dictated that Christians must abstain from eating eggs (and meat) during the 40 days of fasting (Carême) that preceded Easter Sunday.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Stations of the Cross in Paris

According to Christians, Christ had to carry his cross from the place he was sentenced to death to where he was crucified. To commemorate this "Way of the Cross" (also called Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, Via Dolorosa...) some Catholics re-enact this procession on Good Friday wherever they find themselves. I came across one of these processions yesterday in Paris (in the 17th arrondissement) on my way back from work and took several pictures, but only this one was good in my opinion. Do they have the same tradition in your country?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Parisian firemen posing for the tourists

On my way to work this morning I saw a motorcycle accident in front of the Opera (not the opera house of yesterday at Bastille, but the old one at Place de l'Opéra). The motorbike was still lying in the road, but no one seemed injured and the rescue teams looked pretty relaxed... so relaxed that a couple of firemen even posed for a tourist. Pretty unusual, I can assure you!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Buzzgirl stars at the Paris Opera...

Those who visit ParisDailyPhoto regularly are probably used to seeing comments from "Buzzgirl". And those who pay even more attention will have noticed that recently she posted her comments from Paris. Well, yesterday we met at the Bastille Opera (where this photo was taken) and we had lunch together. And guess what she offered me at the end of the meal? Three boxes of Girl Scout cookies that her daughter seems to be a champion at selling. Thank you so much "little Buzzgirl", you're the sweetest girl on earth!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

No spring in Paris this year?

When is winter going to end?! It's almost mid April we still have to wear heavy clothes, cafes still have to keep their heating equipment on their terrace and Parisians still carry their winter mood! Who said April in Paris was the best season?! What do you think Buzzgirl? ;)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Yellow ribbons on rue des Francs Bourgeois

No oak tree but a few yellow ribbons here. I photographed them rue des Francs Bourgeois - free burgers burghers- (4th arrondissement) in a court yard where there is an old Mercerie (haberdashery) with fantastic colors. This street happens to be one of the rare places in Paris where shops are opened on Sundays for it is normally prohibited to open on that day (more about this law in French here).

Monday, April 10, 2006

Really cool fresco

What is the difference between yesterday's graffiti and today's picture? Well this one is an official fresco called Coup de chapeau. It was painted by François Boisrond in 2001. You can see it "live" on the rue La Fayette, number 171 and if you notice there is a "Vous êtes ici" (you are here) mention just like on yesterday's graffiti.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Graffiti Sunday in Paris

I learnt the definition of art by Spinoza on San Francisco Daily Photo few days ago ("Any human creation which contains an idea other than its utilitarian purpose") and I thought this could definitely apply to this Graffiti I found in La butte aux Cailles (precisely in Le Passage Boiton), a very typical area in the 13th arrondissement.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Non talking heads

Still incredibly freezing in Paris at the moment (0 degre C (32 F) in the morning). You can do with a little hat (and sun glasses)! Have a wonderful week-end.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Was Barbra in Paris this week?

No, PDP did not turn into Gawker Stalker overnight! However, when I took this photo I did not notice it on the spot, but once I saw it on the screen, it reminded me of a famous American female singer! Those of you who are attentive (and I know you are!) will have noticed that the chairs and the coffee cups already appeared on this blog... But no, the person I had coffee with was not that famous!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

London underground or Paris Métro?

The first thing you will notice if you walk down the streets of Paris are the Métro entrances (called bouches - "mouth" - in French). A lot of them are still the original Art Nouveau entrances designed by Hector Guimard at the beginning of the 20th century (I will show them to you soon). But some of them are really different, like this one, rue Réaumur, that really reminds me of the London underground entrances.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The oldest square in Paris

After the last chairs photo someone suggested in the comments that it had been taken on the Place des Vosges. I then realized I never showed you this magnificent square, constructed under Henri IV from 1605 to 1612 and located partly in the 3rd and party in the 4th arrondissement. The square consists of 36 (or 39, depending on sources) houses - each of them made of red bricks and white stones where you can now see a lot of art galleries and even the house of French writer Victor Hugo. If you come to Paris it's definitely a must see.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Last call for demonstrations...

Like all Tuesdays for the past 5 weeks, students and left wing political parties have been demonstrating in the streets of Paris. Today is no exception, and I thought I would show you another demonstration shot that I like from a previous march. I am ready to bet that this is the last big demonstration though; you can feel on both sides (demonstrators and Government) that everybody is ready for a "cease fire".

Monday, April 03, 2006

Chair necessities (2)

Do you remember this shot? Well I must have fallen in love with these chairs because when I passed by this café recently, I could not help but to photograph them again! Sometimes the simplest things make the best photos. Have a great week. (And my best wishes to North Americans who lost one hour of sleep yesterday because of the time change!)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Floating Nightclub

I like this photo although I took it on a, shall we say, less classy part of the Seine embankment. This area is located in the 13th arrondissement and faces the Bibliothèque (library) François Mitterrand. If you are more into electro music than books look at what kind of concerts the Batofar has to offer. This red boat - that can partly be seen in the background - is located in the exact same area and hosts independent music concerts throughout the year. Forget about it if you’re above 25 though!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Will the streets talk?

Will the student protesters dig up these cobblestones to throw at Police after last night's speech by President Chirac? Except for some concessions, he stated his decision to maintain the law ("first employment contract" or C.P.E. in French) that students have been fighting against for weeks. It's hard to tell, but one thing is sure, these little 6" x 6" x 3" pieces of granite have often proved to be handy projectiles to throw at the police in times of protest.