Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Autumn leaves

OK, that's a classic, but I love fall colors. There are more and more of these dead leaves in Paris as... there are more and more trees in the streets of Paris (apparently - even if it's not easy to check - 6 400 new trees were planted over the last 7 years by the City town hall). I took this photo in Montmartre, not far from the Sacré Coeur. By the way, if you like the French song "Autumn Leaves", here is a version by Yves Montand. Don't forget, tomorrow is a theme day within the DP community... PS: happy Halloween to my American visitors!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

On strike!

Soooo. Let's see, who's on strike at the moment? Air France just finished, the railway company too, but will give it another shot next month, together with the civil servants (same day), the judges will also go on strike next month... I also came across this one, at the opera where - like in the railway company - employees have a specific pension scheme. You've got to say: a protest banner looks much better in front of a prestigious building such as Le Palais Garnier.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I love you, Ich liebe dich, Volim te, Te quiero...

You want to know how to say "I love you" in Urdu, Arabic or Vietnamese? Well, simple, you just need to go to Le jardin des Abesses where you will see the "Mur des Je t'aime", where "I love you" is written in more than 300 languages and dialects. This wall, made of 511 blue tiles, is actually a work of art created by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito. Frédéric collected the I love yous between 1992 and 1998 and Claire is a Calligraphy expert. Very cool idea. Check this site if you want to know more (in French only) and this Quicktime video if you want to see the whole wall.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mr Peacock in Paris

What do you mean, this photo was not taken in Paris?! I took it in the Bagatelle Gardens, located in the Bois de Boulogne (big woods on the west side of Paris) which is technically in the 16th arrondissement! These gardens were created in 1777 and now shelter several interesting points including a huge rose garden, that I already mentioned here, and - noisy - peacocks. Today we're changing time in Europe, I'm looking forward to sleeping an extra hour...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Touristy bags...

How about something light for today? I found these bags in a tourist shop in Montmartre and although they are of debatable taste(!) I could not help laughing when I saw them. I suppose they perfectly fit the common image of the sexy French woman who, as we all know, spends her time dancing the Cancan in sexy outfits! I wish you a very good week end, warmer than in Paris ;)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rocket Star!

Every year in Paris, there is "La fête des transports et de la mobilité" (Mobility and transports festival). The current one is the 3rd one and it will feature several means of transportation such as boats (on the Seine obviously!), electric cars, trains, planes... and even rockets like this one that I photographed this morning on my way to work. I must say it's quite surprising to see these unusual vehicles in the streets of Paris! More - in French only - here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The return of the tents...

Winter is back and so are the tents (check this post if you're new to PDP). This time, they are not meant to attract attention on homeless people but on people who find it hard to find affordable housing in Paris. The tents are not located by the Canal Saint Martin in the 10th, but in the 2nd, in the center of Paris, around the rue de la Banque where three associations have already squatted a whole building (I posted about this here). The movement does not seem to be too popular this year, partly because several celebrities have come to sleep in these tents to show their solidarity.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Paris Wine bar

If you are into wine, you must go to a bar à vin (Wine bar) when you come to Paris. There are hundreds of these bars in Paris - and in France in general, see this book if you're interested - and they are good places, not only to drink wine of course, but also to grab something to eat. You can ask Le vin au verre (wine by the glass) or Une bouteille de vin (a wine bottle). Don't ask me which one to choose as I am not a big wine drinker but you may check with O Chateau that I already mentioned here, if you want to know more.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Chocolate Fashion Show

Today, I attended the "Salon du chocolat" a show entirely dedicated to... chocolate. It was created by two French people (Sylvie Douce and François Jeantet) and is so successful that it now takes place in New York, Tokyo, Beijing... One of its highlights is a Fashion show where dresses are designed by famous chocolate makers. Huge success. I took several photos of course; if you want to see some, have a look at this little video.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Paris Newlywed

I just got back to Paris after a week vacation and, well, I could not help touring my city once again! I went to many places and ended up in Le Trocadero where I was lucky enough to photograph this newlywed couple (I think they are Russian) in front of the Eiffel Tower. Yes, I know, it's the perfect cliché but still, it makes a good photo ;) Update: if you're planning a wedding in Paris, my I suggest you take a look at Jay's photos...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Clos Montmartre

I already mentioned in 2005 the Montmartre vineyard which still produces wine every year. Of course, it's not the best wine on earth, but, still Parisians are very proud of their local "Clos Montmartre" which bears a different name each year (this year, it's the "Georges Brassens cuvée" after the name of a famous French singer). The harvest (les vendanges) is the occasion to hold a big party attended by locals and personalities - with the money raised from the sale of more than 1,500 bottles being donated to various charities.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Upside down!

France is kinda upside down at the moment... We have just been humiliated by the Argentinian rugby team, Paris suffered two terrible days of strikes and our President makes the news all over the world after he announced his divorce. How about a little visit to the museum - any museum, even Orsay where Claude Monet's "Pont d'Argenteuil" was recently vandalized!? Even in this photo the lights are turned upside down.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The First ex-First Lady

You might have heard the news today, President Sarkozy and his wife Cécilia have announced earlier today (Thursday) that they will get a divorce. This news did not really come as a surprise to most French people as the rumor was already all over the press these past few days. Still, I believe this is some sort of a first (to my knowledge no other President divorced while in office, but you may know of one?). I thought that this photo of a poster I found in Montmartre might help illustrate the new, free French woman that Cécilia has become...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

On Strike!

Aaaah, the good old French traditions! Today - Oct 18 - is a "black Thursday" as they call it because almost all public transports (trains, Metro, buses) will be on strike - in Paris only one Metro line (out of 14) will work. The reason for this strike? A dispute over pension schemes: public transport workers have to work less long than the rest of the French before they are entitled to draw a full pension. The Government says it's unfair, but they disagree... Last time a Government tried to change this (1995), the strike lasted more than one month and the Prime Minister had to withdraw the law. This time, I think the outcome will be different.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Real Joan

Do you recognize this statue? It’s Joan of Arc, one of the French historical heroins (check her story here, if you’re interested). We have many statues of her in Paris but the most famous one is the one by Emmanuel Frémiet, place des Pyramides. Really?! Well, guess what, I’m currently travelling on the East coast of the US and I just found out that, the original of this statue (in this photo) is in Philadelphia and that we have… a revised version! What a scandal LOL!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nice place to rest

You remember this photo? Well, I found another interesting game of shadows in a little square in the 18th arrondissement. This is what I love about Paris : within the blink of an eye you can go from a very busy street to the quietest place on earth and feel at the country. There are 418 public gardens, 15 parks et 32 walkways in Paris, which, probably is nothing compared to London, but not too bad for a big city.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Paris underground...

Here is a little "behind the scene" for today. As I did not know who was going to win yesterday, I prepared two photos and this is the one I planned to use in case France had beaten the Brits. The caption would say something like "Ever ask yourself where losing rugby players never visit when in Paris? Well wonder no more... The English team can now be found among the other remains that lie below the streets of Paris in the catacombs." Well, that serves me right! The Catacombs are a giant network of galleries that were turned into a huge cemetery during the 18th century and are now closed. You can still visit l'Ossuaire where skulls are to be seen, like on this photo...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Vous avez tiré les premiers...

"Tirez les premiers Messieurs les Anglais ! (Shoot first, English sirs) " Well this quote, apparently originating from the Count of Anterroche during the Fontenoy battle in 1745 could not be more appropriate for today. Although I could not witness the game (the rugby semi final), I know that we lost it and even though it breaks my heart, I could not do anything else than posting an English flag on PDP! I will even go as far as: "congratulations!!" And I almost mean it LOL.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Another crucial rugby day

I'm glad you seem to have enjoyed yesterday's video ;) When I have more time I will try to make a longer one with photos from the very beginning of PDP... Now let's come back to more serious matters: the world rugby cup. Let's face it, today (Saturday) is an important day, if - I said IF! - we beat England, well, we end up in final... Needless to say how much I'm in favor of this scenario. The sad part is... I won't even be able to see the match because I'll be in a plane. Yes, another vacation!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Monkey Business

You may remember this photo that many of you enjoyed. I took it on the occasion of an antique dealer festival that they organize every year in October in my neighborhood (Drouot). Well, they did it again this year but because of a little leak problem in my apartment (see yesterday's comments) I did not have much time to wander around. Still, I came out with this funky monkey pic (God knows why an art dealer sells monkeys?!) that looks like it belongs more to the jungle than to the 9th arrondissement! BTW, if you're a PDP fan have a look at this video, tell me what you think...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Marguerite de Navarre

May I introduce you to charming Marguerite de Navarre (aka Marguerite d'Angoulème or Marguerite de France) that I recently met in the Luxembourg gardens. Don't get fooled by my photo, she is much older that what she looks (515 years old)! And don't go thinking she's a little snob by the way she stands, in fact she has all the nobility you can wish for: not only was she the daughter of Charles of Orléans, Count of Angoulême and Louise of Savoy but on top of that her father was a direct descendant of Charles V. She was also the older sister of Francis the 1st, a famous French king. ;) If you're interested to know more about here, click here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So French!

How about a little cliché for today? The black and white postcard, the little shop in the background, the cobblestone... With a little imagination, you can even hear the accordion music! I thought this was the perfect picture to introduce a very funny video that was reported to me today by Cindy from San José, California. This video, made by a real Frenchman, will teach you in a pretty funny way, how to speak French in 5 minutes!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Water tower

Everyday, Parisians use 600,000 cubic meters (158 million gallons) of drinkable water... Half of this water comes from sources located about 50 miles away from the city and is brought to Paris via Aqueducts and the other half is "produced" by purification plants also located outside Paris. The water is then distributed to tanks thanks to huge pumping systems. I photographed one of these tanks in Montmartre. As you can see (here another view), it is really shaped like the old water towers that you can see in the country (we call them "Chateau d'eau" (water castles)). More about the amazing Paris water network on this site, but only in French.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Nuit Blanche

Paris streets were very busy last Saturday. Not only did a lot of people go down the streets to celebrate the victory of France, but on top of that it was also the night of La Nuit Blanche (White night), an event that has been taking place in Paris since 2002. During La Nuit Blanche, Parisians can enjoy hundreds of artistic events, especially made to be seen at night. This year, the main theme was "digital art", like these interactive 3 screens that I photographed Place du Palais Royal in front of Le Conseil d'état. Great fun!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

When France meets England...

If you follow the World Rugby Cup, you probably saw that, against all odds, France beat New Zealand last night (see note below). Consequently, we will play England in the semi-Final. To celebrate, I'd like to introduce you to Ham, a true Englishman, who also happens to run the London Daily Photo blog. Ham came to Paris last week and I finally got to meet him after all these years (yes, years now!) with the City Daily Photo Community (Ham contacted me a few months after I started PDP saying "I'm surprised there is not an LDP blog already?"). Since then, we have been in contact very regularly and meeting him for real was like meeting someone I've always known. He's a real great guy and he has done a lot for the CDP community, including teaching others how to photo blog.

Note: If you wish to send your condolences (please do! please do!), you might also want to visit these other New Zealand city daily photo blogs: Jeremy, Ben & Megan, and Michelle.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Big rugby day for the French team

Today (well Saturday evening) the stake will be high for France as our rugby team (Les 15 de France) will play against the New Zealand team: the All Blacks. Let's face it, we have little chance against them but, well, who knows... To celebrate this day I chose this photo, that I took 2 days ago on the roof top of the Musée des arts premiers (also known as musée du Quai Branly). During the rugby cup, they installed this field with the Eiffel Tower (yes, again!) in the background. Clever idea...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Green green

Have you ever dreamed of looking under the skirt of the Eiffel Tower? Well here you go! The green color is not usual, it's only temporary because of the current rugby cup (remember this photo?). A good occasion to say thank you to dear old Gustave... And to think that originally the tower was meant to be taken down after the 19001889 world exhibit!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Breast Cancer Awareness

This morning I went to a press conference for the launch of new phones by Samsung and I was really surprised to see that each attendant would be given a pink ribbon at the entrance. I photographed several of them... It turns out that Samsung sponsors a breast cancer awareness association. At the same time, an exhibition called "I had breast cancer, so what?" just started at the health Minister. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in France, it kills 11 600 women per year. Screening is free but not enough women take advantage of it. The goal of the health ministry is to get 70% of women between age 50 and 74 to have their breast checked.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Game of shadows

Here is a game of shadows for today. I took this photo from the Seine embankment in the heart of Paris. The wall in the background belongs to the Ile de la Cité (one of the two islands in the middle of Paris) and the shadows are actually people - most likely tourists - sitting on one of the many Bateaux Mouches (boats) that run through Paris. I kind of like the effect.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Girls talk!

When I saw these two ladies, I could not help thinking of my childhood, when my mother used to chat for 5 minutes with some ladies of the neighborhood on her way to her daily grocery shopping ;) I photographed them in the middle of Parc Monceau, a park located in the richest part of the 17th arrondissement (the 17th arrondissement is broken into a rich part and a poorer one). On its western and eastern sides there are two of the most exclusive avenues of Paris (Avenue Velasquez and Van Dyck) where the price of real estate has no limit!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Theme Day : Cemetery / Tombstone

And here is my contribution to the theme day. A bit awkward this month, but why not... I took this photo in the Montparnasse cemetery, just like the one I posted earlier this week (I did not know the theme day was going to be Cemetery/ Tombstone! Silly me...)

As usual, more than 100 City Daily Photo bloggers participate in this theme day. Please apy them a visit ;)

St. Louis (MO), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - New York City (NY), USABoston (MA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Hyde, UK - Arlington (VA), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Toulouse, France - Arradon, France - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Joplin (MO), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Seattle (WA), USA - Baziège, France - Baltimore (MD), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Anderson (SC), USA - Orlando (FL), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Nashville (TN), USA - Tenerife, Spain - Manila, Philippines - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Jacksonville (FL), USA - River Falls (WI), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Lubbock (TX), USA - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Moscow, Russia - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Minneapolis (MN), USA - New Orleans (LA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Toruń, Poland - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand - London, England - Paderborn, Germany - The Hague, Netherlands - Selma (AL), USA - Sunderland, UK - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Stavanger, Norway - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Weston (FL), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Forks (WA), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Boston (MA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Wellington, New Zealand - Montpellier, France - Jackson (MS), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Evry, France - Saarbrücken, Germany - New York City (NY), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - North Bay (ON), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Cypress (TX), USA - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Paris, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Wichita (Ks), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Prague, Czech Republic - Zurich, Switzerland - Budapest, Hungary - Paris, France - Saigon, Vietnam - Grenoble, France - Zurich, Switzerland - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Naples (FL), USA - Toronto (ON), Canada