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.


  1. Ah, Perfume! One of my favorite books! I read it 15 years ago and could not forget it. I re-read it just this spring, after a trip to Paris. If you have not read this short thriller, please do.

    And Eric - how was the movie?

    (I'm assuming the wine was wonderful...)

  2. You just down there to take a photo... from the stairs? You did really go down all the way, right? I know how spooky some cellars can be! Just kidding, of course, it's a lovely photo.

    Michael, since I can't for the life of me find that entry of mine on LJ that I just got a message from, I'll just respond here: Hey, fancy seeing you here! You just can't get enough of me, can you!!! (Just kidding to you too, of course!)

  3. The film was good. Much better than what I expected - I too loved the book and thought it was impossible to adapt.

    Soosha. No the cellar was actually very close to the dining room ;)

  4. No problem soosha...just enjoyed the photo of the little boy you beat up and put a band-aid on to keep him quiet! ;-)

    The film Perfume was excellent except for the terrible accents the characters had. Like in the book, you could smell all of the virtual odors which made it very good.

    BUT...I prefer to drink my wine in reality, not virtually, although I like the photo Eric.

  5. I think this shot brings out the cubist in you, Eric. The angle and composition make it seem both flat and deep, while the range of colours imbue it with a playful energy and sensual vibrancy. (Could the motif of shadows be developing into an ongoing theme?)

    Also, I've been eager to see "Perfume" on film since reading the book over a decade ago. The list of directors "attached" the project has been astonishing, even by Hollywood standards - Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton, to name just a few - so it was of some interest to learn that it had finally been entrusted to a European with no previous experience in period dramas. Naturally, I am keen to know what you thought of it; as both an adaptation of the book (if you've read it) and/or as a piece of cinema.

  6. That is some great pic, Eric! I think, one of your best! Great colors!

  7. I love the photo with the beautiful shadows and bottles on that strange background. Grenouille is the main character in the movie? LOL I am curious about the movie and I must see it having read the mixed reviews. Dustin Hoffman has made a few bad movies but he has made many excellent ones. How will I rate it? Can't wait to know.

  8. ha...so great composition!!
    the colours, the shadows, and even the real bottles...looks unusual~~but beautiful!!
    I am trying to find the film here...
    Actually perfume is mysterious for me.


  9. I love the shadows! Awesome

  10. Another great idea for our trip to Paris next week! Thanks for another great photo as well!

  11. Everyone has said it already.....so I'll say "ditto!" Any picture of wine bottles will always get my vote...I just opened a bottle myself.

    Interesting floor...I wonder what it is made of.

    I love the restaurant...reminds of my favorite places here in Atlanta! I wish I had seen your site before I went to Paris....

  12. The place, based on its website looks quite cool!
    I should add it to the "fancy-parisian-way-of-living-places" that I'll have to check in my next trip to Paris!

  13. I wish you had this blog up and running when I was over there. Looks like a great spot to visit.

  14. I'm fascinated by the shadow to the left of the bottles. It looks like a woman in a knee-length skirt getting up (to dance?). Her bust is plain to see on the right. One leg is bent backward. She has a kind of sixties pixy-style hairdo. Her arms are bent back as she is removing a sweater with the help of a seated gentleman whose arms are visible behind the step (which is causing the shadow) as he is taking hold of the sweater which has one loose sleeve dangling below the man's arms. I'm ignoring the step and the shadows on it. I think the bottle shadows are actually a quartet of saxophone players facing the camera so their saxophones aren't visible at all behind the bandstand. The little one, wearing a tall and narrow fez, on the right is just further away than the others.

    But it's like the shapes of clouds. Someone else might see the red shape of the floor as a kind of cubist, hump-necked, three-armed tyrannosaur attacking the barely visible head of a stegosaurus.

  15. Great photo with a nice perspective. That sounds like a fun place to eat.. it also sounds expensive.

  16. What are you on about percy? Or what are you on? hee hee

  17. salute,
    un endroit que j'apprecie deja héhéhé...
    à savoir étant la semaine du gout pour ma part j'ai fait une carte pour la découverte de viande d' épice condiment du monde entiers, si tu as envie de d'alecher les babines vient donc y voir la carte sur le daily Bastiais, en attendant de monter à panam en décembre...
    et pis j'ai quelque 400 lignes de vins à proposer alors...

  18. tres belle photo de jeux d'ombre.
    Bercy village est un endroit magnifique de paris pour y faire de superbes ballades

  19. Salut Eric!

    Les ombres et les couleurs sont fantastiques!Tres interessant!

  20. My favourite book is now a Movie!!! Susskind would be so happy! How was it? Did it live up to the beauty of the book?

    Thank you so much for enjoying my backstage series Eric. I have some awesome memories and I'm glad to have shared them with you.

  21. Shadow pictures are interesting to look at, fun to take. You did a very nice job on this one. I like knowing you were in a wine cellar when you took this.

  22. Good shadow effects you've captured here...love your dp site:D

  23. I realise this isn't a fattening photo, but I just received an e-mail reponse (ok, a form letter) from Mireille Guiliano, the author of French Women Don't Get Fat, after Eric's lively post below. I thought I'd share it with you here (hope you don't mind Eric). By the way, the italics were all hers:

    Dear friends,

    Greetings. I hope this finds you bien dans votre peau.

    Here in New York the high-energy fall is well underway. And I know it has been too long since I've said hello, but I am coming off an intense spring and summer and am fully reengaged. The French have a word for this "rentrée," which is what kids do when they go back to school, like returning to earth from outer space. I've been mostly working in Provence and New York. The good news is that because of that final push many of you will soon have answers to your questions on October 31st when you will get more stories, more recipes, and more secrets and pleasures as my next book will be out, entitled French Women For All Seasons - A Year of Secrets, Recipes and Pleasure.

    I hope you will like it: the prepublication response has been terrific, and there are already a number of international editions planned. The British edition also launches in November. I've put a lot in it because I had a lot more I wanted to share on the art of living. Also, in today's complex world I see too many people living on autopilot, and I want to help them embrace the seasons and seasonality and make savoring life a more intense experience. If French Women Don't Get Fat enabled readers to enjoy a healthier relationship with food then I hope French Women for All Seasons will enable readers to enjoy a healthier relationship with life.

    So, as we say in France: a vos marques, prêt, partez (ready, set, go). Starting late October, I'll be out and about across the country and globe and in the magazines and media much more. It's fun and inspiring to meet and speak with readers. I expect my calendar (posted on my website) to be full.

    I continue to read each and every e-mail. What I write is often inspired by what you ask and say. Thank you for giving me a chance to share my passion and at the same time give me the opportunity to keep learning and growing.

    A bientôt (see you soon),


  24. Haxo station, where DO you get all of your information? Amazing! I like this photo Eric. It takes a little time for the eyes to adjust, but then I understand it. Do you take your camera absolutely everywhere with you?

  25. I forgot to say...Michael, that's a very funny form letter. A little bit of advertizing I guess.

  26. You seem to lead a very interesting and fun filled life. Care to swop?

  27. I'm pleased to know that one of my favorite books was made into a movie. I'll look forward to seeing it.
    Thank you, Percy for showing me what was before my eyes that I did not see!

  28. Really great photo Haxo to compliment the definition of a chai. I now have a better feel for what the Bercy village must have looked like back then.

  29. > Louis. The cubist in me ?! Wow! As far as perfume is concerned I loved the book and I was very ekeptical about a possible movie. And in fact it turned out to be pretty good I must say. I would recommend it.

    > Tomate. Thanks. It's not really my photo actually, it's the restaurant's cellar.

    > Johnny. Yes, go and see the film, you can judge for yourself, but frankly, like I said, I think it's a good adaptation.

    > Jing. Maybe it's been released in Europe first? I don't know.

    > Helen. Yeah, I have been lucky. I new right away this would make a good pic.

    > D. Yes, at least do pay a visit to Bercy Village. Really nice.

    > Edu. LOL

    > Fred. Yes Bercy village is really nice. I highly recommend it.

    > Percy. See Mary's comment LOL. In fact, you're right I can see the "a woman in a knee-length skirt getting up"

    > Ryan. It is a bit expensive yes. 70 € each for a 3 course meal + Wine. But it's really good.

    > Mary. LOL

    > Terra. C'est quoi de la viande d'épice. Ca me fait penser que j'ai oublié de t'appeler pour ton pb de lien/ring.

    > Olivier. Suis 100% d'accord !

    > Selana. Merci. ;)

    > Edwin. Well, it's a good movie in my opinion but I'd like yours. You backstage photo were great - I really liked them.

    > Annie. Thank you.

    > Zannie. Thank you too!

    > Michael. Thank you for sharing but frankly, it's pretty disappointing - just a form letter...

    > Haxo. I did not know about this discovery. 6.500 years old??? Wow. PS: yes, do follow the advice of your GF!

    > Carmen. Yes, I do take my camera everywhere!

    > Gail's man. Well, don't get fooled by a couple of photos!! I live a very simple life (as Paris H. would say!!!). And no, I do not want to swap!

    > Ujima. Amazing the number of people who have Perfume as their favorite book! You should definitely see the film.

  30. Oh - wow this is beautiful. It looks just like a painting. I'm glad you went down to the cellar :-)

  31. Great clllar shot the shadowing is the greatest point I think Love the color as well. Enjoyed your work here. Great Blog!

  32. Super shot. Love the shadows and the color on the floor. How fun to get to go to the cellar. . .I always wish I could tour the kitchen at good restaurants.

  33. Absoultely beautiful colors and composition.

  34. There was a movie "Perfume" released in 2001, with Mariel Hemingway, Jeff Goldblum and others. I imagine the film you saw is a different one?

    Cheers, lovely photo!

    Anna (USA)

  35. Hehehhe, I just looked it up. The Tom Tykwer film will be coming to US on DVDs sometime but not out yet. I imagine it will come to theatres first (cinemas that is :)) but I am sure there are plenty of people who do not think it will make it here. Booo-hooo to them! They are out of touch with culture in the general sense!

    Lovely photos. Thank you.