Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wandering outside Le Louvre

It looks like snow but it's only water... Water from a fountain located in the square courtyard of the Louvre (click here to see it on Google Maps). Nothing much to say, I just like the effect. PS: don't forget tomorrow is December 1st, time for a City Daily Photo blog theme day...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Iron Men!

Guess where I was last night? I attended the final of Le Fer d'or, the 1st ironing championship in the world! This amazing contest, organized by the company Philips, took place in a club (La Scala) and was really fun. Each contestant (they were 6 for the semi final then 3 for the final) had to iron a shirt and a pair of pants in as little time as possible. A judge - dressed up like a soccer referee! - then inspected the result and gave penalties (10 seconds) for each remaining wrinkle. This championship was so successful that Philips announced they were going to export it throughout the world! BTW, find out who the winner is on the "making of"...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hey big boy, got a light?!

I saw this lamp from the outside of this shop (19 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1st arrondissement) and I had to take a photo of it! I opened the door and asked the salesman politely if he would allow me to take a picture. The guy said "OK, but only the lamp - and only one photo!" For yes, ladies and gentlemen, without realizing it, I had opened the door to the shoe God... Christian Louboutin! I must confess, I had never heard of this designer, but a quick look around his shop, and later on his web site, made me understand that there is nothing like a Frenchman when it comes to fashion !

Monday, November 27, 2006

Paris Starbucks

Why do you think a Parisian would go to a Starbucks in Paris when you can find cafés pratically on every corner?! Well, first of all it's smoke free, second the coffee is good (although outrageouly expensive!) and third because it's quiet and cosy. The perfect place for an interview! And that is precisely what happened on Friday when Richard Nahem, who started eyepreferparis, an insider guide to Paris some months ago, interviewed me about PDP. Richard describes himself as the guy everyone would call to know what to do when in NYC. He now wants to be the same guy in Paris! Best of luck and thank you for the interview Richard.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

American Hospital of Paris

In France, the health system is considered to be good, not only because in 2000 the World health organization said it was the best one in the world, but also because everyone - rich or poor - has access to it. People who want a better service, however, prefer to go to private hospitals, like The American Hospital of Paris which was founded in 1906. It was originally established to offer American expatriates access to care provided by physicians trained in the United States. During WWII, the AHP became a military hospital under the Red Cross and was also awarded the Ordre de l'Armée and Croix de Guerre for services rendered to tens of thousands of Allied and French wounded.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The key to solving the housing crisis?

A recent study by the French national statistics institute (Insee) shows that almost 7 million French people (out of a little more than 60 million) live with less than 800 € per month. The high price of housing in big cities like Paris makes it almost impossible for them to find a place to live. To attract our attention to this situation, the Habitat & humanisme association (an association that provides housing to the poor) projected a huge key on the Grande Arche of La Défense. Not sure it will really change anything though...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Alexandre III Bridge (2)

Yesterday, on the way out from my party I could not help but taking a photo of this wonderful bridge. There was a little mist and the Invalides dome in the background made it even more superb. Nothing more to say really.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Party and concert at the Pont Alexandre III

Tonight I went to a party organised by SFR, a French cellular phone carrier. This party took place in a new location under one side of my favorite Paris bridge: le pont Alexandre III. The decor was really nice (old Paris stones) and the organisation flawless. But the highlight of the evening was a concert by a French singer that was very famous when I was young: Michel Jonasz. I felt like I was 20 and sung all his songs along!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Paris no "match" for firemen strike

Today my brother called me and said, "Hurry up, I just saw a demonstration that you don't want to miss for your blog." I jumped on my scooter - yes I have a scooter now - and rushed to Place Denfert Rochereau (14th arrondissement) where there was a big demonstration of firemen. Yes people, in France even firemen go on strike and demonstrate! Needless to say this is a blessing for a photographer! More here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Street sailing

Soon the Salon nautique de Paris (Boat show) will begin. This show, where the most beautiful boats will be displayed, will take place Porte de Versailles, in the 15th arrondissement. Problem: how do you take those huge boats to the exhibition hall? Answer: you stick them on big trucks, you ask the help of the Police and you wait for the traffic to slow down! Here, I photographed the arrival of a big catamaran in the Montparnasse area on its way to Porte de Versailles.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Le petit déjeuner

Yesterday was Sunday and it's really the only day of the week where I can enjoy a real Petit Déjeuner (literally "small break from fasting"). In France, we don't eat salty food such as sausage or ham like they do in Northern Europe, but mostly sweet things such as marmelade, croissants, orange juice, and, needless to say, baguette "tartines" (a piece of baguette with butter and marmelade). Also, due to the excellent marketing of cereal brands, we are starting to eat more and more of these too.

Put this photo on a card, mug, t-shirt, bag and more here!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

A tribute to South Jefferson Central School

About two weeks ago, I found out in my stats that I had many visitors coming from a school (South Jefferson Central School) in New York state. I then looked at the site and discovered that a French teacher, Françoise Piron, had given her students an assignment based on PDP... I think their work is great! If you want to see for yourself, simply go here. To thank them all, here is a dedicated post from Thomas Jefferson Square here in Paris (16th arrondissement).

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saint Germain des Prés

Before the prison episode of yesterday, I passed by the Saint Germain des Prés area and I could not help but taking a photo. If you have been to Paris, there is a good chance you had coffee at Les Deux Magots, just in front of l'Eglise Saint Germain. This area used to be famous before WWII and until the 60's for it was the rendez-vous of the literary and intellectual elite of Paris. People like Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre but also Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus and Pablo Picasso hung out there.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Prison break

The things I do for you! This morning I had a meeting in the 14th arrondissement close to a prison called La Santé (after the name of the street where it's located). I started taking pictures when suddenly two policemen jumped out of their car and stopped me! They called the station to check who I was and made me erase all my photos. Only tonight did I discover that one was still in my camera... I am pretty respectful of the law so I've hidden its identity (hi dr A. ;)).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What it takes to be a good citizen

I took this photo this morning, near the opera, on my way to work. Unfortunately, it's not unusual to see people taking advantage of the night to drop sinks, toilet seats, TV sets, computers, etc. on the sidewalk. Things may change for electronic waste though as, as of today, France enacted a European law to establish a funding system for the collection and recycling of electronic wastes. Retailers must now collect electronic devices and give them to a recycling unit. The funding of this comes from extra taxes (20 cents on a cellular phone, 13 euros on a fridge, etc.). Some people argue that manufacturers, and not consumers should pay for this.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


No this is not a close up of pebbles in a Japanese garden, but a bunch of goat cheese that I photographed on a Paris market. As you may know we're big on cheese in France - it is said that there are 365 different kinds. Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a famous connoisseur from the 18th century even wrote in one of his books "A meal without cheese is like a one eyed beautiful girl"!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Paris: not always the city of love...

Do you see these holes in this building? If you go to the Ecole Militaire (7th arrondissement), a Military school where young Napoleon was once trained you'll see thousands of them. Is it due to a defect in the stone? Not really, these holes are bullet holes that probably come from of our many battles throughout time! I have been told that they have been left to remind us of our history.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Paris is alive

You'd think that in an old city like Paris, with buildings that can be as old as 1,000 years there are few new constructions. All wrong! I could not find the exact figures but when I ride through Paris I am always amazed by the number of buildings that are still being built. I came across this work in progress, recently, avenue de Wagram (17th arrondissement) where they removed every stone of an old theater called Le Théatre de l'Empire - which was seriously damaged by an explosion in 2005. Don't know what they will build instead - I was told a hotel - but I was dying to cross this fence!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Champagne, even in the toughest moments...

This photo is sad and kind of funny at the same time. Sad because this guy is obviously aside our society and surely below the standard of living of any Frenchman and funny because he's drinking champagne, which is a very expensive beverage that you drink on special occasions.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

La vie en rose!

OK, this might be the tackiest picture of this blog but, well, once in a while it does not hurt! I took it near the Ecole Militaire (7th arrondissement) at the very end of the Champs de Mars. By the way, today is November 11, the anniversary of the first World War truce. If you want to know all about it, look at last year's photo and post. Have a very, very nice weekend everyone.

Put this photo on a card, mug, t-shirt, bag and more here!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Extra, extra, read all about it!

From what I understood of the political opinion of most of my American visitors I imagine you must be pretty happy of the latest elections' results... This morning all French newspapers dealt with the US elections. Here are some of the headlines: Bush, a war victim (Liberation), Bush forced to deal with the democrats (La Tribune), After the victory of the democrats Bush has to sacrifice Rumsfeld (Le Figaro), Bush let Rumsfeld go and looks for a consensus on Irak (Le Monde).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Greedy pigeon!

Whether you're in Sydney, Hyde, Baltimore or Paris, there are pigeons everywhere. I took this photo rue Cler (7th arrondissement) where they have a big market - normally for humans! It's actually pretty disgusting to think that someone will buy this grape and eat it, possibly without rincing it...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Seeing Red!

OK, enough tobacco for a while, let's look at nice things today... I took this photo a little close to home, in the Passage Verdeau, at a new antique store called Galerie Valence. The owner has decorated it to look like a cozy living room, enticing people to come in and spend their money (not necessarily their time). Really nice antiques, decorations, and as their card says, "objets de charme".

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tobacconists strike back

I told you the other day that the new anti smoking law that will take effect in early 2007 was pretty controversial. Well, it did not take too long before the tobacconists went on strike, and guess what, I went to their demonstration especially for you. Obviously they don't agree with this law (what a surprise!) and this guy even dressed as a prisoner to show that it restrains individuals' freedom. Don't ask me to translate the sign he's wearing, but essentially, it says that only the people who sell fake cigarettes who are in jail will be able to smoke.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Again and again

I took this photo for the lighting and ambiance, but after looking at it, something appeared to me that might be interesting for you to know. If you look closely at the address, you’ll see that it is "4 bis". In France, the "bis" symbolises "again". This address probably did not exist when the buildings 3 & 4 were originally given addresses, but when they built the hotel in between they had to give it "4 bis" (4 again). This exists for "again and again", as well as "again, again, again, & again" (bis, ter, quater and sometimes even quinter).

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Daddy’s beard (Barbe à papa)

OK, it's not a good photo but it brings back the child in me! In France we call this type of sweet barbe à papa (daddy’s beard), because of how big and fluffy it is. This one was being whipped up near Bercy and children were eagerly waiting to get their hands on it! What do you call it in your country? Have a nice Sunday, I am off to Normandy for the day, a town they call the 21st arrondissement of Paris because a lot of Parisians go there for the week-end...

Update: Merci for all of your comments. Here's what you said you call barbe à papa in your part of the world:
Australia: Fairy floss, Canada: Cotton candy, Chile: Algodón de azúcar, Estonia: Suhkruvatt (sugar cotton), France: Barbe à papa (daddy's beard), Greece: Grandma's Hair, Hungary: Vattacukor (cotton-wool sugar), Indonesia: Gulali (from "sugar"), Italy: Zucchero filato, Japan: Watakashi, Norway: Sugar Spin, Peru: Algodón dulce (sweet cotton), Singapore: Candy floss, South Afrikaans: Spook asem (ghost breath), UK: Candy floss, USA: Cotton candy, Sweden: sockervadd, Poland: wata cukrowa (sugar coton).

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Good old fashioned...

Looking for vintage wear? Then be sure to stop by this boutique by Gabrielle Geppert, located at 31 galerie Montpensier, in the 1st arrondissement. Classic items from the 1960’s and ‘70’s, she has everything, all in mint condition. Selected for its quality and originality and the shop is even open on Sundays...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Big Achievement

I took this photo at Le Palais Royal where I took this one the other day. There were lots of children out that day but it was particularly cute to watch this one trying to climb up one of the Buren columns (OK, with a little help from his father!) and finally make it.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Watch your step

Taken in the Galerie Vivienne, not far from where I showed you the Grand Colbert restaurant, this mosaic floor caught my eye. You can get a glimpse of the artist at the same time as enjoying the workmanship of the floor. Gian Donimico Facchina was born in Sequals, Italy in 1826. He was a celebrated mosaïste and decorated a number of buildings in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceana.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Something about to disappear soon!

I know this will come as a big shock to some of you, France is going to ban smoking in public places as of January February 1, 2007! That is, in 60 days, I will not be able to take a photo like this one anymore (well, in fact there will be an adaptation period for bars, restaurants and clubs, to give them enough time to build an enclosed room for smokers). Needless to say, this decision is highly controversial. But, after all, so many other countries have managed to do it, why not us? And just for the fun, here are two videos on "the making of" with a related topic...

This photo is part of the City Daily Photo Blogging monthly theme day. 55 Daily Photo sites are participating in the 1st November theme, please use the links below to visit them. 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.

Porto, Portugal - Seattle (WA), USA [Kim] - London, UK - Greenville (SC), USA - Albuquerque (NM), USA - St Paul, (MN) USA [Kate] - Shanghai, China - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Twin Cities (MN), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - Bandung, Indonesia - Dallas (TX), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Singapore, Singapore [Zannnie] - Budapest, Hungary - Paris, France - Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovnia - Melbourne, Australia - Auckland, New Zealand - Singapore, Singapore [Raymond] - Dubai, UAE - Vantaa, Finland - Oshawa (Ontario), Canada - St. Paul (MN) [Carol] - Singapore, Singapore [Keropok] - Delta (CO), USA - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Queens (NY), USA - Tenerife, Spain - Santiago, Chile - Nelson, New Zealand - Akita, Japan - Hyde, UK - Sydney, Australia [Sally] - Manila, Philippines - Aliso Viejo (CA), USA - Nottingham, UK - Brussels, Belgium - Sharon (CT), USA - Sydney, Australia [Nathalie] - Edinburgh, Scotland - Evry, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Santa Clara (CA), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Joplin (MO), USA - Indianapolis (IN), USA - Trujillo, Peru - Barcelona, Spain - Berlin, Germany - Vancouver (BC), Canada - Trier, Germany - Houston (TX), USA - Joensuu, Finland - Rome, Italy - Jakarta, Indonesia