Tuesday, October 31, 2006


There is no reason for us to celebrate Halloween in France for we have all saints day on November 1st, which is the day the Catholics celebrate the deaths. Only because bars and restaurants find it handy to boost their business with an extra occasion to get the people to eat and drink more, you can find Halloween parties in several places. And, of course, costume rental shops like this one (Au fou rire, 22 bis rue du Faubourg Montmartre) have to provide the right outfits and accessories... Happy halloween to those of you who celebrate it (mostly Americans I suppose?) and don't forget, tomorrow is our theme day...

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Autumn Sun

As the time changes, so does the sunlight above Paris. Here we are in the gardens of the Palais Royal at around 4pm I believe. Everyone was out – the children playing, the dogs, and this backpacker heading who knows where! One of the last joys of the outdoors before the cold arrives.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sweet moment

One of the big advantages of living in Paris is that there are plenty of nice restaurants everywhere! Yesterday evening I went to one of my favorite ones, le 16 Haussmann (which is also the address). I like their food, their fantastic service and their decor. As you guessed I had this desert... If you happen to be in Paris and are looking for a very good restaurant here is the info.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Georges Clémenceau

If you are not French I am sure you never heard of this guy. Here, he is pretty famous. He was born in 1841, did a lot of things during his life - he even lived in the States for a while which was not common at that time - and ended up playing an important role during world war I, for which he got nicknamed Le tigre (the tiger) . His statue is not far from the Grand Palais and he even has a museum in Paris. Have a good week-end every one.

Friday, October 27, 2006


One of my dear colleagues (Hi, Marie-Madeleine!) took me to lunch in her car today and I had my camera with me (of course!) As we were close to the Place Cambronne, the 15th arrondissement, I came across this fantastic mural. Unfortunately I don't know who made it, nor on which exact street it is. If someone here knows, please let us know...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Autumn in Paris

The weather is still pretty mild in Paris at the moment but autumn has already started, as you obviously can see from the amount of leaves on the ground. It's a period I like very much because it gives this special color to all gardens and parks throughout the city. BTW several people asked me yesterday if I used a tripod to take my pics at night. I don't, because it's not easy to carry; I use anything I can find to remain stable. The ground, yesterday to take the gargoyle or a public bench to take this photo!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Gargouille on Saint Eustache

Saint Eustache, located les Halles (the "belly of Paris" as French writer Emile Zola once called this location) is one of the most beautiful churches in Paris, in my opinion (I'll show you more about it some day). A couple of days ago I went there at night and managed to take a photo of one of these Gargouilles (don't know what they're called in English), those little sculptures that stick out from the roof to drain the water from the rain. (PS: sorry to be late in posting but my connection went down last night).

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Champs Elysees / Elysian fields

You probably all know the Champs Elysees, the most famous avenue in Paris. Most of the people think that all you can find there are a bunch of restaurants, cinemas and luxury shops. Well, it's true on the upper part, but on the lower part, between the Rond point and the Place de la Concorde, you can still enjoy a nice walk in the middle of the trees.

Loading problems. A lot of you kindly reported that PDP does not load properly at the moment. I am aware of that and, of course, I am deeply sorry but there is nothing I can do, it's 100% Blogger's fault.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lady Di Dress

Yesterday I went to see an excellent film: "The Queen", by Stephen Frears. It's the story of Elisabeth II, queen of England facing the death of Princess Diana that she did not care too much for. The cast is stunning, the atmosphere is "so British" and the whole behind the scene thing is absolutely fascinating. On the way out I came across this dress by the famous French designer Jean-Charles de Castlebajac. Weird coincidence.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Let's sit down and rest a little

It's Sunday, time for a little rest! I chose to show you a bench that I photographed on line 14, the most recent metro line in Paris. I love this line because it is not too crowded, it's very clean, very nicely laid out and you don't have to wait too long before a train shows up, even at night. Also, something that you may not notice at first sight and that is not publicly known: all seats have arms so that homeless people cannot lay on them... (More photos and information on line 14 here, in French)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Paris Garbage

When I came back home tonight I came across this plastic bottle in the middle of the street. I always wonder how someone can deliberately drop anything on the street or any public location without feeling guilty! It costs a fortune to collect all the garbage and to keep the streets clean. By the way, studies (who conducted them?) show that since 1940 the amount of garbage produced by the Parisians has more than doubled.

Footnote: Diwali (the festival of lights) starts this weekend, so be sure to stop by Bangalore City, New Delhi, and Mumbai to say Happy Diwali!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Paris Metro (twice this week!)

I do not take the metro very often because I really dislike it, but since my motorbike is now officially dead I have no other choice. The only positive aspect is that I can read more and... take unusual photos. At least some good news: it's Friday in Paris.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Quick dinner at Bastille

No fancy restaurant tonight, I just had a hamburger on the boulevard Voltaire (near Bastille) at the Indiana Café. All I needed after a tough day...

Appel à témoins: je cherche des Français expatriés acceptant de témoigner de leur expérience dans un article. Plus de détails ici. Merci.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Making the Metro a better place

To combat some bad behaviour (insults towards the Metro personnel, graffiti, riding without paying...) the RATP (Régie Autonome des transports parisiens - the Paris transport authority) has just launched a communications campain. They created a fake metro line on which each station is symbolized by one of these behaviours, displayed on posters and here, on the web (only in French, sorry). This photo shows one of the real metro lines (you should have seen the people looking at me when I took it!).

Appel à témoins: je cherche des Français expatriés acceptant de témoigner de leur expérience dans un article. Plus de détails ici. Merci.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Am I seing double, or is it just the wine?

Last Saturday, with some friends, I went to Bercy Village in the east of Paris to see Perfume, a film by Tom Tykwer. On the way out, we had dinner at Chai 33, a rather fancy restaurant were the food is really good and where they have a real cellar in which you can go and choose your wine - if your a connoisseur. I just went down there to take a photo...

Appel à témoins: je cherche des Français expatriés acceptant de témoigner de leur expérience dans un article. Plus de détails ici. Merci.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Outside art goes inside

Who would have thought that Hip-Hop, tagging, rollerblading, video gaming... would be part of an exhibition in a "museum"? And though, that is exactly what happened these past few days in the Grand Palais. Huge success I must say. Much more here (in French).

Appel à témoins: je cherche des Français expatriés acceptant de témoigner de leur expérience dans un article. Plus de détails ici. Merci.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ladder to heaven?

Mid October in Paris... We all know the sun won't last forever, so we keep an eye out for any sign of it! As for me, I simply looked outside my window at 3:45 pm and, voila, saw this on the wall across the courtyard. I like the effect.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

PDP on the Blogshow!

Two days ago I participated in the first Blogshow, a new Web TV show by Fred de Mai and several hosts that takes place every day at lunch time. One of the hosts (Yannick Lejeune) invited me to talk about PDP. The result is here... But please be indulgent, it was these guy's first show, there were lots of technical problems, but we had a good laugh.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Remains of the past

Today I was driving down the rue de la Gaité (14th arrondissement) and I came across this old advertisement that probably re-appeared because they are doing some work on the facade. It says something like "The sales king is here!" Really outdated. Nowadays, it is strictly forbidden to use the word "sale" outside the official, legal sales period.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

African Mum

In Paris you see quite a lot of Africans because France used to have many colonies in Africa and a lot of them speak French. I love the way African mothers carry their babies on their back and I also love the way they dress (you might have already seen this photo) and, on this particular shot, I like the contrast between her blue dress and the pavement.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Felix Roulin's wall

This sculpture was made by Felix Roulin, a Belgian artist, in 1979 and guess what? I discovered it for the first time last Saturday, while I was taking photos of the Nuit Blanche. It's superb and really impressive; the artist made bronze sculptures and hid them behind a bright white stone wall to make them look that they were trapped. It's off the rue Quincampoix (near the Beaubourg center), if you have the chance to go there, don't miss it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

So French!

I took this photo in one of my favorite Brasseries (restaurant where they serve typical French food). It's called Le General Lafayette and it is located in the rue Lafayette. I must say that when I took this photo at the end of the meal, I really thought of you dear visitors. This could not be any more French... The shape of the coffee cup, the sugar (apparently we're the only country in the world where sugar is sold in solid cubes and not in powder!) the table cloth, the empty glasses of wine and the Badoit water in the background!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Nuit Blanche

In French Nuit Blanche (white night) means that you stay awake the whole night (either to party, or to work, to prepare your exams...). Since 2002, it's also the name of a special night in October organised by the city of Paris where all artists can express themselves. You can then enjoy hundreds of artistic events throughout the city, most often in the most prestigious areas of Paris (here, it's a photography exhibit projected on a large wall near the Beaubourg Center in the shadow of Eglise Saint Merri).

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tony and Eva

Guess who I came across by accident yesterday? Yes, Tony Parker and Eva Longoria. They were invited to the wax museum (musée Grévin) to face Tony's wax replica... OK, the photo is terrible, i know, but, well, you cannot win everyday!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A little quiz to start the week-end...

One of these three people is not a real person, but a piece of modern art. Can you tell which one?I took this photo in the Palais de Tokyo, the modern art museum that recently re-opened and that I already mentioned several times on this blog.
Update: And the winner is (well, are...) the ones who voted for the little man in the middle. The two other pieces of art are only visitors to the museum that I asked to act as if they were part of the scene. I had a good laugh looking at all your comments. We have some real Sherlock Holmes here!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Street Party

I live the Drouot neighborhood which is a big antiques auction sale house in the 9th arrondissement. Around the auction house there are also plenty of antiques dealers. And from today to Saturday they are organizing a sort of "dealer festival" where everybody can come and visit their shops. A nearby restaurant took advantage of this and installed a big table right in the middle of the street! Quite unusual in this very busy area...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Doorway to heaven

Like in all big cities parking spaces are so scarse in Paris that people would kill for a place to park their car! It costs about 150 €/ month minimum to have the right to drive down 5 floors and slide your car into a tiny slot... And you dream of living in Paris?!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Inside the Saint Merri Church

Not far from the Pompidou center (or Beaubourg center) there is a Church called Saint Merri. Inside this church there is a wonderful statue called Despised Christ, made by Pierre de Grauw, a Dutch sculptor. It's not very well lit but if you happen to be in the neighbourhood it's really worth seeing it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Le Chanteur de Mexico

At the moment in Le théâtre du Chatelet, one of the all time most famous French operettes (light opera) is on stage: Le chanteur de Mexico. This type of "musicals" was famous in the 50's right after the war (my mother used to love them!) and totally disappeared between the 70's and the end of the 90's. Since history repeats itself, it seems that l'operette is back into fashion: I am told the theatre is full and and will be until the end of the season. I am unable to tell you if it's a good or bad news!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Regarding Henry (the IVth)

The English are not the only ones to have had a Henry the IVth in their history. In Paris, the French Henry has his own statue which can be found on the Ile de la Cité in the very center. I'll let you discover what this French king did on Wikipedia if you're interested, but the real purpose of this photo is to show how sometimes, the light can be beautiful in Paris. This looks like a cold, winter day even though I took this photo very recently. Have a nice week.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Parisian Taxis

The city of Paris limits the number of taxis to a maximum of 15,500. Practically any car can be turned into a taxi (Mercedes are the most popular) providing the owner - or the company - acquires a taxi licence (which costs 165 000 Euro!). Drivers need to take an exam and must be prepared to work a lot (they say 6 to 7 days a week, 10 hours per day.) There are 3 rates: A - for trips inside Paris between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm, rate B - From 5 pm to 10 am, and C - on Sundays and holidays and if you go outside of the Paris city limits. Much, much more (in English) here.

Today is October 1st and it's also a City Daily Photo theme day... The "family" voted for Taxis. So if you want to see what taxis look like all over the world click on any of the participating sites below. Due to time zone differences and other factors, the theme photo may not be displayed until later if you are viewing early in the day.
1 (Porto, Portugal) -2 (Albuquerque, NM, USA) -3 (London, England) -4 (Seattle, WA, USA [Kim]) -5 (Edinburgh) -6 (Stayton, OR, USA) -7 (Greenville, SC, USA) -8 (Budapest, Hungary) -9 (Antigua, Guatemala) -10 (Alexandria, VA, USA) -11 (Manila, Philippines) -12 (Twin Cities, MN, USA) -13 (Szentes, Hungary) -14 (Paris, France) -15 (Portsmouth, England) -16 (Ryde, UK) -17 (Sydney, Australia) -18 (Oulu, Finland) -19 (Singapore [keropok]) -20 (Santiago, Chile) -21 (Melbourne, Australia) -22 (Dubai, UAE) -23 (Bandung, Indonesia) -24 (Copenhagen, Denmark) -25 (Sequim, WA, USA) -26 (Singapore [Raymond]) -27 (Tenerife, Spain) -28 (Sharon, CT, USA) -29 (Tuzla, B&H) -30 (Jakarta, Indonesia) -31 (Rotterdam, Netherlands) -32 (Brussels, Belgium) -33 (Stavanger, Norway) -34 (Aliso Viejo, CA, USA) -35 (Oshawa, ON, Canada) -36 (Vantaa, Finland) -37 (Trier, Germany) -38 (Newcastle upon Tyne, England) -39 (Hong Kong) -40 (Shanghai) -41 (Brussels, Belgium) -42 (San Diego, CA, USA) -43 (Sydney, Australia [Nathalie]) -44 (St Paul, MN, USA)