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.


  1. un petie air de londres un souvenir de mes drniéres vacances en février mais la tu es ou sur rivoli?

  2. et voila, tu tournes le dos a Paris le temps de quelques annees et tu decouvres encore des choses... Remarque, je ne crois pas avoir deja pris cette bouche. :) Ils ont une entree grandeur nature du metro parisien Art Nouveau (comme celle de Rue Cadet) dans le French Quarter a la Nouvelle Orleans. Ca m'a fait un choc en tournant au coin d'une allee!! ^^

  3. Hi, I was in Paris in 1989 and it's unforgetable, one of the memories are also from the Métro were we could get to most of the places in Paris, I will look foward for your photos to remeber.
    And yes there is friendly Parisian ;)

  4. Oh no! The Art Nouveau style entrances are so much better! Leave the tube style entrances to London!

    The buildings behind the sign are stunning.

  5. I love the Art Nouveau ones...can't wait to see your photos on them. It's too bad there isn't a scratch and sniff option...I remember some of the crazy smells in the metro...some good some just rancid.

  6. We call it metro here to, and is brand new with ink smell.

  7. > Le Grain de Sel. Non c'est rue Reaumur.

    > Dagobert. C'est vrai? J'y suis alle mais je ne me souviens pas d'avoir vu ca. Effectivement ca doit etre surprenant.

    > Mea. that's for sure. 200% Hausmann style!

    > Moonlover. Yes if there is one thing the French are not too bad at (except demonstrating!) it's public transportation. Our Metro is really good but it should run later at night.

    > Eurobrat. You know what? I shot this entrance because I thought the usual Metro entrances were too common. In fact I realized I never showed them... I will soon.

    > A. Scratch and Sniff like in Polyester... That's an idea! Funny how sounds and smells can remind you of places.

    > Nuno. Was it built by the French (Alstom)?

  8. No Eric, Bombardier did it.
    The only metro shot i have is this.

  9. I agree: the Art Nouveau style is much better looking.

    Every time I go to Paris, I take a few in picture; I just love them so much! I even brought back a little frame in the shape of a "bouche de métro" once, from the 100th anniversary expo of the Métro a few years ago.

    Ah, le métro... ça me rends toute nostalgique! (snif)

    (Yes, Eric please do more take pictures of the Metro when you get a chance!)

  10. What a shame the sign is very modern. I still prefer the Art Noveau ones.

  11. I do love the way the London Underground signs look. I'm so proud of myself, I actually knew what bouches meant before I read your translation! Of course that's because of my son's "Baby Da Vinci" dvd and not because of the french I took in high school. Count on a child's 20 minute movie to teach me more than Mrs. Pearson could in 2 years!

  12. It looks a lot like London tube! true!!

  13. mmm! I'm eager to go to London again!

    Eric: votre lien vers Venise photo blog ne fonctionne pas :-(

  14. >Nuno. Bombardier?! Grrrr! LOL

    > Tomate. I will, I will.

    > Rickemmanuel. Yes, but a little modermity and creativity is good too. Do you remember this one I took a year ago?

    >Soosha. Congrats!

    > SFDP. You are old school! Actually this one is really exceptionnal; most of the other have the old yime flavor, don't worry!

    > Santy. I saw that. Funny coincidence!

    > Marcus. Doesn't?

    > Marjorie. Thank you. Just fixed it (sorry Venice...). And don't go to London, stay in Paris, there is so much to see here! LOL ;)

  15. Looks like the Brits have finally spoken out against their "friends" the French. Sorry for the long post, but just came across this that kind of relates to your current post and the previous protest ones:

    Jet2 boss hits out at 'lazy frogs'

    The chief executive of a British no frills airline has branded the French "lazy frogs" for the second time in a week.

    How low cost airline Jet2 portrayed the French air traffic controllers' strike on its website /Ext

    Philip Meeson, chief executive of, was angry that one of his planes was delayed flying back to Britain by protesting French students.

    About 50 students staged a runway sit-down that stopped around 100 passengers boarding a Boeing 737 at Chambery airport in the French Alps.

    Eventually the plane was able to take off for Leeds Bradford airport, where it arrived 90 minutes late.

    Mr Meeson said he was annoyed French police had done nothing to stop the Chambery runway protest which also forced to divert a flight from Manchester to Grenoble.

    He repeated his comments of last week when, on the back of a strike by French air traffic controllers, he urged "lazy frogs to get back to work".

    "I am absolutely furious about the events in France over the last week. We are a low cost airline that has had passengers stranded through no fault of our own," he said.

    Earlier, he wrote on his airline's website: "Whilst France is undeniably a beautiful country (with equally good food and beer I hasten to add) we are appalled and quite frankly tired of the air traffic controllers' old fashioned attitude to dealing with any issues they may have."

    His comments were illustrated by a picture of a toy frog in front of an air traffic control tower, holding a sign reading: "I am lazy."

    Mr Meeson concluded: "In short we urge the controllers to get back to work or get another job."

  16. I love the art nouveau metro entrances. I was lucky to see a whole exhibit by Guimard in Lyons - what an artist!

  17. Bonjour Eric!

    I just have to say I love your photos! My husband and I will be arriving in Paris for the first time on Saturday, the 15th! His cousin told me about your Blog and I've been checking it out every day...what a great way to see Paris thru "local" eyes!

    I love the art-deco Metro signs too...and speaking of the Metro, I have a question. I think, as a first-timer to Paris, I'd rather be above ground on the busses, than underground in the dark tunnels for long distances (we plan to walk as much as possible)...I don't want to miss any sights and it just seems like a quick way to get oriented to the city. Do you agree?

    All our guidebooks recommend taking the 69 bus (is that the same as the "Red Bus?") for a great first tour...

    I can't wait...I never thought I'd have a passport and now we have tickets to Paris!

    Oh, we're staying in the 7th...any good Bistros to recommend there?

    Merci in advance!

    Au revoir (have to start practicing my Francais!)

    Amy from the SF Bay Area

  18. Speaking of modernity about this Metro entry… it goes back to the late 30s if I remember it well…

  19. There is a reproduction of a Guimard entrance in downtown Chicago at an underground train station entracne--only it says "Metra," because that is the name of the train company here. Several Parisian workers were brought over to help with its construction.

    Now if we could only get some French bakeries built on every corner...that would be really exciting.

  20. Voilà... on a du lui faire trop de compliments, et maintenant, Eric nous oublie! Pfffff!!!

  21. the buildings in the background caught my attention more than the Metro Sign! What are those buildings Eric?

  22. > Frog eater. LOL! I wonder if this is a true story though...

    > Sam. You did? I don't recall having seen this in Paris.

    > Foramon. First of all thank you, always a pleasure to hear that. (A big thanks to your husband's cousin BTW...). I rarely take public transportation in Paris so it is hard for me to give a good advice. Anyway what I would recommend is to take a weekly ticket. You can go everywhere (do take the Metro from time to time though it's worth it)as much as you want.
    Bus 69 is just a bus line. It goes through Invalides (in the 7th) that is probably why you heard about it. There is a line that takes you to all the important spots in Paris though - it's called the open tour, you can find it easily.
    In the 7th two good places: le bistro du 7eme (56, boulevard La Tour Maubourg - Tel. 01 45 51 93 08 and Le bistrot de Breteuil (3, place breteuil - Tel. 01 45 67 07 27 )

    Hope you will enjoy your stay - It can still be chilly in April but probably not the whole week ;)

    > GG. I knew you'd know something about this metro station...

    > Fashion survivor. Funny you mention French bakeries on every corner because I was precisely dicussing this morning with some american friends why nobody ever launched a baguette chain store in the US like there are bagel places. They told me it would never work cause it's not in the culture.

    > Anonymous. Pourauoi dis-tu ca ?

    > Yasser. well Yasser they are regular Paris building - The are called Hausmmann style buildings and they are mostly appartment buildings.

  23. I had not seen this one. Indeed, it looks like Londres!

  24. love your pictures! when i moved into this neighbourhood, i definitely noticed this sign, but never thought about taking a picture. now i think i will (especially since i won't be living here that much longer *sniff*)

  25. Bonjour à tous,

    Je découvre ce blog aujourd'hui et le trouve très intéressant... alors merci à l'auteur et aux différents participants.

    foramon :

    Un moyen intéressant de visiter le coeur de Paris est de prendre la navette fluviale qui s'appelle le "Batobus". Moyennant un prix de 11 EUR, vous pouvez durant toute une journée monter et descendre du bateau en plusieurs endroits de Paris (Notre-Dame, la tour Eiffel, Champs Elysées, musée d'Orsay, etc). D'une part vous avez le plaisir de naviguer sur la Seine, et d'autre part vous pouvez vous arrêter à chaque endroit et visiter à pied tout ce qui se trouve aux alentours. J'utilise de temps en temps ce moyen de transport lorsque je pars faire des photos sur Paris, et c'est vraiment très agréable. Beaucoup de touristes l'utilisent...



    PS - Veuillez m'excuser de ne pas rédiger le même message en anglais, mais je ne maîtrise pas suffisamment l'écrit pour le faire. Promis, je travaille pour améliorer ce point...

  26. Didier has some very cool advice for all of you who plan to visit Paris; here it is, roughly translated with a couple of editorial comments:

    "An interesting way to visit the center of Paris is to take the shuttle boat called "Batobus." For 11 Euros (between $10 and $15), you can get on and off the boat for an entire day and visit the heart of Paris (Notre-Dame, The Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées, Musée d'Orsay, etc.)

    On the one hand, you get to ride on the Seine [much more pleasant than sitting in traffic or being stuck underground in the subway!], and on the other hand, you can stop anywhere you want and walk around to what you want to see.

    Didier adds that he uses the Batobus whenever he wants to take pictures of Paris and it's very pleasant. Lots of tourists do the same thing.

    Didier apologizes for not being able to say it in English, but he doesn't feel his English is good enough at the moment and he promises to work on it.

    * * * * *

    Wow, what a cool tip and what a friendly guy! Thanks Didier! I'm sure you made a lot of Paris lovers extremely happy with that advice.

  27. Bonjour à tous,

    Un grand merci à "Tomate farcie" pour avoir traduit en anglais mon précédent message. J'espère qu'il donnera l'envie aux lecteurs d'utiliser ce moyen de locomotion pour visiter le coeur de Paris.

    Je n'ai découvert que très récemment le blog d'Eric ainsi que le tien (beaucoup d'humour...) et j'apprécie l'ambiance.

    Parallèlement, je viens de créer le mien (pseudo "Transall") mais c'est encore très largement "amateur". Promis, juré, c'est comme mon anglais, je vais y travailler...

    Amitiés à tous


  28. Didier: Je suis aller vous mettre un petit commentaire de bienvenue, mais le blog n'est pas ouvert aux commentaires public. Bonne chance avec votre nouveau projet!

  29. Tomate farcie :

    Effectivement, j'avais initialement coché la case limitant l'accès aux seuls membres référencés.

    J'ai modifié ce point depuis lors.

    Merci de toute façon pour votre intention...


  30. Didier, Tomate,

    Merci Beaucoup!

    We'll definitely try the Batobus now...nice to know you can hop off and on as you please!

    And no problem with reading Francais...thanks to Altavista's Babelfish site I can translate almost any language on the planet to English...

    But now I'm inspired to take a French language course!

    Au revoir!

    Four days and counting!
    "Aimee'" (the new Amy for Paris, LOL!)


    Desole' Eric!!!

    I forgot to thank YOU TOO!

    Merci' Merci' Merci' Beaucoup!!!

    Muchas Gracias!
    Terima Kasi!

    You also have my thanks in Spanish, German & Indonesian (my hubby's from Bandung, Indonesia!)

    Voyez-vous demain,

  32. Hello Foramom

    Plus d'infos sur la navette Batobus à cette adresse :

    Je vous souhaite un excellent séjour en France