Thursday, May 31, 2007

Trendy food

You want to know what the latest food trend is in Paris at the moment? Here it is! It called a Verrine - after Verre (glass) - and you find it in many restaurants and dinner parties. What is it? Layers of all kinds of food (here guacamole, goat cheese mousse and couscous) presented in a little glass. It is generally served as a starter and/or for desert when sweet. Excellent, original and beautiful... If you want to know more, I found this on the web. And, by the way, I photographed these Verrines at a birthday dinner party where I was invited yesterday evening. The one of... Michael! Happy birthday again Michael.
Discuss French food and much more in the brand new PDP forum.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Gardening in Paris

If you visit Paris between now and July 1st don't miss the fantastic garden that they installed in front of the Hotel de ville (town hall). More than 110 000 plants (I did not count them!) all produced by the gardeners of the city. And if you want to know more than just what's on display there you can also visit an exhibit inside the Town hall where they explain everything about urban gardens. Bravo! More photos here, on the making of and more info - in French - on the town hall site.
Discuss Paris exhibits and much more in the brand new PDP forum

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Inside the bus

It sounds amazing but in more that 2 years I never showed you any picture of our Parisian buses... (well apart from this one, but they don't run anymore...). So here is one from the inside. Not a fascinating shot, but I like the straight lines formed by the bars that prevent passengers from falling in the Parisian traffic! It's also a perfect photo to introduce the new PDP forum that I have been willing to launch for quite a long time. If you have comments or questions about Paris, well that is the place to post them (don't give up commenting on PDP though ;)).

Talk about Paris public transportation in the PDP forum.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Outside the Modern Art Museum

I don't know if you remember this photo, that I took not long after the reopening of the Paris Modern Art Museum. At that time there was still work going on and there graffiti everywhere, but now it's almost over. That allowed me to take a much "cleaner" photo even though much less surprising. For the records, let me remind you the web address of the Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris. Also, I'd like to wish my American and British visitors a peaceful Monday off.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hotel du Louvre

If you ever came to Paris you probably visited the Louvre and surely came across this hotel nearby. It was originally built in 1855 and, quite logically, has a lot of history. Many famous people stayed there (the impressionist Camille Pissarro, Sigmund Freud...) and Arthur Conan Doyle featured the Hotel du Louvre in many of his stories about Sherlock Holmes.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Stormy weather

No, this is not a photo I borrowed from Jarkarta Daily Photo (Hi Santy!) but a shot I took last night (Friday) on my way out from the office... The storm was incredibly strong and a lot of cars had to stop - not to mention motorbikes! According to meteorologists, lightening struck about 7,000 times (in the greater Paris area) and firemen were called out 250 times.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Grand opening of Virguina Gallery

I always look up to people who take risks and prefer to go their own way than follow the stream... This is exactly what Nadia - one of my neighbors - did last night when she, and an associate (Guy), opened a new jewelery gallery in Le Passage Verdeau (31 bis). Nadia was kind enough to invite me for the Grand Opening and, of course, I could not help taking photos... I wish Nadia and Guy the best of luck for this new adventure and if ever you're in the neighborhood and are looking for designer's jewelery, just pay them a visit!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Walking down the Champs Elysées...

I took this photo on the Champs Elysées on the day Nicolas Sarkozy became officially President. There is not much to say about it, just that I like it very much 1) because of the way the policemen march - looking like a caterpillar! and 2) because I trapped this girl on the foreground.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Paris like in the middle ages

If cameras existed in the middle ages here is what they could have taken... At that time most people did not know how to read so all shops were identified by a sign like one of those: a little pig for a pork butcher, a pot of tea for a tearoom, etc. Well, as you can see, some things don't change in Paris for I did not take this photo in the middle ages(!), but recently in the Saint Sulpice area. There, Gilles (and Catherine) Vérot, a famous porc butcher, will sell you the best charcuterie you can ever dream of...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it". Here is a quote by François-Marie Arouet, a very famous French writer and philosopher, better known by the Pen name of Voltaire. This statue of him, located on the rue Mazarine in the 6th arrondissement, is not far from this famous restaurant where he and his cohorts of the period spent time discussing the state of French affairs, politics, religion and humour. I highly recommend you take a few moments to read more about him and tell me if you think his views were much different than many we hear today.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Alma Metro Station

I took this photo at the Alma metro station (Line 9) - FYI Alma is a place in Crimea where, apparently, France and England fought together against Russia in 1854. If you walk up these stairs you'll see right away a "monument" called La Flame de la liberté (liberty flame), a replica of the flame that the Statue of Liberty holds in her hand. This monument is now used by all Lady Diana worshipers, for this is also where Diana died (precisely in the Tunnel de l'Alma). I already showed this flame here at the very beginning of this blog.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

One night at the museum

Last night was a special night in Paris - and in many European countries : La nuit des musées (Museum night). More than 1 500 museums remained open at least until midnight and visitors could walk in for free. It's the 3rd year that this event is taking place and I really think it's a great idea. Above is a photo of a sculpture that you can see in a wonderful museum located in the 8th arrondissement: le musée Jacquemart André. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

An interesting way to demonstrate

I took this photo at the Place José Rizal in the 9th arrondissement. After some research, I discovered that José Rizal had quite an important role in Philippine history during the Spanish colonial era. He also just so happened to have been a student at the University of Paris! As for all these people, well, I wasn't sure what they were doing... But I just read in an article that they belong to an association for handicapped children. They were having a musical demonstration right after they covered the trees with colored sleeves on which you can see the first names of handicapped children.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Grey mood

It may look a little provocative to post a photo of a place called Le passage d'Enfer (literally translated “passage from hell”) right after a Catholic holiday (yesterday - Thursday - was the "Ascension"), but this photo illustrates perfectly what Paris looks like at the moment: grey, cold and... rainy!. This Passage d'Enfer is located in the 14th arrondissement, off the boulevard Raspail and not far from the boulevard Saint Michel and, apparently, it's name originates from a time - long ago - when it was a bad neighborhood.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sarkozy, day one

As of today we officially have a new president. This morning, he did what all new Presidents do: go to his new office (the Elysée Palace), walk a few steps on a red carpet, shake the hand of the former President (Chirac) and make a speech. He then jumped into a big car and went up the Champs Elysees, where I took this photo. Needless to say that, due to security measures, it was not an easy task... Tonight, quite sadly, I also eye witnessed the work of looters, probably anti-Sarkozy protesters.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Visit Paris on a Segway

I don't know if you've already tried a Segway, but if you come to Paris you'll be able to. Not only can you take a 10 minute ride for 10 € in a "Segway school" but you can also rent one for the day (55 €) and "drive" through Paris at your convenience. It takes a little time to feel comfortable on these machines, but it's a real nice way to discover the streets of Paris without having the hassle of finding a parking space. I took this photo on the Embankment right by the Eiffel Tower, but apparently it's a different company from this one that I found on the Web and that does exactly the same.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Love is in the air...

I sat several minutes at Le Trocadero to take this picture. This young couple was obviously very much in love and I could not help taking tons of pictures. I selected this one - although believe me there are much hotter ones! - 1st of all because you cannot see their face and second because there is almost nobody around them and they look alone in the world. Paris, definitely the city of love!

Monday, May 14, 2007

TGV upon Seine!

You must be fed up with my posts on the TGV but I could not really miss what they did with it today... They're so proud of it that they put it on a barge and took it through Paris on the Seine for 2 hours! Around 5:30 they ended up docking the barge near the Eiffel Tower for all the tourists to see it - it'll stay there at least another 2 weeks or so. I took a photo of it but I don't like it, so instead I used one of the postcards they gave the passers by.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Notre Dame de Laurette

Notre-Dame de Lorette, located at 18bis, rue de Chateaudun (9th arrondissement), doesn’t seem like a very appealing church from the outside, but on the inside however, it is full of marble statues, oil paintings, and gold leaf, all still in an excellent state. Louis-Hippolyte Lebas is the architect credited for the construction of the church in 1823 after the original was destroyed in 1796. Perfect for a Sunday post... ;-)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The woman thinker

I found this statue in the Louvre gardens (or is it still the Tuilerie gardens?), not very far from the pyramid. There is not much to be said about it except that it's absolutely lovely. I don't know who made it and I could not find the info anywhere. If any of you do, please let me know. Anyway, let me wish you a peaceful weekend, mine will be busy working so I should be on my computer a lot!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Never hide ?

Sometimes on Parisian sidewalks you can see painted graffiti made with stencil buffer (pochoir, in French). This one is different because it's actually the commercial slogan of the glasses manufacturer Ray-Ban: "never hide". It's odd to find this "ad" on the sidewalk because I suppose it's prohibited to do that... Anyway, it makes a cool photo especially if you wait for the right pair of white pants to step into the frame!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

La Parisienne ou l'Américaine?

No, this is not already a doll made after Ségolène Royal! Nor Barbie with the wrong hair coulour... She’s actually a Lois Lane doll better known as Superman’s girlfriend (not the doll, Lois Lane, you idiot!) but I think she could definitely represent the typical Parisienne, at least the one of the 60's. Anyway, for those of you interested in her personal details…she was created by the Robert Tonner Company, has a body made of porcelain, wears wool clothes, and she’s actually holding the Daily Planet newspaper (not shown) made of paper. This is again one of the many varying pieces you can find in the musée d’Arts Decoratifs.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Juggling with a goldfish

Recently I was in the Beaubourg district of Paris in front of the Centre Georges Pompidou, when I came across this guy with an interesting approach to juggling. There are always so many characters there, that you hardly need to buy a museum ticket to enjoy the show. As some of you may know, the building of the museum is quite unique and not without critics. But some fans, such as the musician Vangelis, have even dedicated music to the architecture. Vangelis’ album Beaubourg was created after living in the area during the 1970’s.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

May 8: end of WW II

Today is May 8 and it's a holiday in France - yes, one more! We celebrate Armistice Day, the end of the war between the European countries fighting Nazism and Germany in 1945. On this occasion, the President of the Republic (who is still Chirac until May 16!) will put a spray of flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located under the Arch of Triumph. Every year it's always very moving.
PS: I'm back from vacation but it's late and I just want to go to bed! I will take advantage of this holiday to read your comments and reply to them.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Still there...

If everything went well (that is, if the plane did not crash) I should be back today. Even if I enjoy discovering new countries and spend some time on the beach, I always enjoy coming back to Paris. And what better symbol of my beloved city than the iron lady? I'm happy to see you again too, of course ;)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Chirac's farewell party

Within the next 24 hours (precisely Sunday at 8 pm French time) France will have a new President. I have no idea who this might be but one thing I know for sure is that Chirac will soon leave the Elysee (the Presidential residence) - precisely on May 16. A French television channel (Canal Plus) grabbed this occasion to run a very funny ad campaign using the expression "Pot de départ" which is what most employees do when they leave a company: invite they colleagues and share some peanuts and a glass a wine while expecting for gifts in return!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Chopsticks anyone?

As I imagine is the case in many large cities, random services or items for sale are posted on poles and posts throughout Paris. This one caught my eye because it seems that someone is offering to teach you how to cook Chinese food at home. Now for me, this kind of seems like a strange offer when there are so many good (and not so good) Chinese restaurants in Paris you can have delivered to your home. However, the immigration patterns have changed significantly, and the Chinese now replace North Africans and Black Africans as the largest group of immigrants to Paris. Figures vary from source to source, but it seems there are 250,000 Chinese people living in the metropolitan area of Paris (as of 2004 statistics).
PS: I am currently on vacation so I cannot reply to your comments. I'll read them when I return, on May 7.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Got deodorant?

Not very far from where I took this photo along the "Coulée verte" (12th arrondissement), I came across this fantastic piece of architecture. These caryatids supporting the building near the Viaduc des Arts are really enormous and so different from the rest of Paris’ buildings. I’m guessing it is from the 30’s by the style, but know nothing about the building. Please do tell if you have more information!
PS: I am currently on vacation so I cannot reply to your comments. I'll read them when I return, on May 7.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Return to Musée Maillol

One of the lesser-known museums by visitors to Paris is the musée Maillol (59-61, rue de Grenelle , 7th arrondiseement). Opened in 1995, it is actually the collection of the Dina-Vierny Foundation named after the private collector, and one of Aristide Maillol’s models. I cannot say if the subject of this photo is a “close-up” of Mme. Dina-Vierny, but I’ve done my breast to bring you as much information as possible!
PS: I am currently on vacation so I cannot reply to your comments. I'll read them when I return, on May 7.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Debate!

I'm on vacation at the moment so I'm not sure I'll bee able to watch the debate between Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal that is taking place tonight (on Wednesday evening) on the French television. According to polls, this debate will be watched by at least 20 million people, which is one of the highest ratings for French TV (only soccer can beat that!). Needless to say that the stake is very very high, as polls show that either candidate could win...
PS: I am currently on vacation so I cannot reply to your comments. I'll read them when I return, on May 7.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

San Francisco

What?! What on earth is a photo of San Francisco doing on a Paris blog?! Well... For two reasons. 1st, because today is a theme day, and, the theme is... "Post a photo of another city (than yours)". And why did I choose SF? Well, and that is the second reason, because I'll be there - well, actually more in the Silicon Valley, but it's close... - from the 15th to the 22nd of June. I go there for work, but I can save some time for fun and I'd love to meet those PDP regular visitors who live in the region. So let's try to work something out if you will.
PS: I am currently on vacation so I cannot reply to your comments. I'll read them when I return, on May 7.

At least 75 other city daily photo blogs participate in this theme day today, why don't you pay them a visit? Remember, due to time difference they might not all be ready when you visit them.
Monte Carlo, Monaco - Singapore, Singapore - Tenerife, Spain - Rotterdam, Netherlands - London, UK - Montréal (QC), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Naples (FL), USABastia, France - Hong Kong, China - Mazatlan, Mexico - Buenos Aeres, Argentina - Manila, Philippines - Arradon, France - Madison (WI), USA - Evry, France - Seoul, Korea - Shanghai, China - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Sequim (WA), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Budapest, Hungary - Baziège, France - Hamburg, Germany - Toruń, Poland - Nelson, New Zealand - Madison (WI), USA - Vantaa, Finland - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Mainz, Germany - Dubai, UAE - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Cork, Ireland - Stockholm, Sweden - Menton, France - Tel Aviv, Israel - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Kitakami, Japan - Stayton (OR), USA - Szentes, Hungary - Stavanger, Norway - Grenoble, France - Villigen, Switzerland - Paris, France - Hyde, UK - Moscow, Russia - Joplin (MO), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Greenville (SC), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Asheville (NC), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Madrid, Spain - Auckland, New Zealand - Oulu, Finland - Lubbock (TX), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Vancouver, Canada - Seattle (WA), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Manila, Philippines - Lyon, France - New York City (NY), USA - Los Angeles (CA), USA - Brookville (OH), USA - Hayle, UK - Wailea (HI), USA -