Sunday, April 13, 2008

What's left of yesterday's carnival

We're not big on carnival in Paris (although I found out today by doing some research on the web that we do have an official carnival season and that it was last February!). The tradition is still alive in some primary schools and since it was today, you could see cute little kids wearing funny costumes everywhere! Where I live, they also left some remains of the event: confetti!

If you want to attend this year's PDP Picnic on May 7, please check this topic.


  1. Oh I missed it! I had dressing up clothes though... :)
    Eric, you were again down on your knees to take the picture? Devotion, devotion...

  2. GF...
    GF like Guillemette the First (to comment)or like Golden Finger? hehe. I like it. Megalomaniac? Nooo, it's just an impression...LOOL

  3. Great picture, Eric! I love confetti!! (I just hate cleaning it up!)

    I hope that you all have a wonderful time at the PDP picnic this year!

  4. Like many others, I'm sure, I have always thought that "confetti" is the Italian word for...well, confetti. Wrong. Quote:

    'The English word "confetti" is related to the Italian sweet of the same name. Also known as Dragée, Italian confetti are almonds with a hard sugar coating. It can be translated from Italian to mean "confit", as in Confiture. The homophony very often leaves Italians startled since by throwing their "confetti" one could easily injure those on the receiving end. The Italian word for paper confetti is coriandoli.

    By tradition, the Italian confetti (sugar coated almonds) are given out at weddings, often wrapped in a small tulle bag to give as a favor to the guests. They are said to represent the hope that the new couple will have a fertile marriage.'

    My Italian relatives will be laughing themselves breathless at my ignorance, but at least I made an effort to confirm my suspicion that all was not as I believed - which is surely worth at least a LITTLE shower of coriandoli!

  5. I like this one, Eric. I blew it up to see more of the building where it was taken. Are you in a passage? I can see a child in yellow and orange at the rear (maybe it's a carnival costume). I love this interior, with dark wood walls and ornate plaster above.

  6. I LOVE the picture. The confetti is very pretty against the darker color. I wish I was there to see the kids in their costomes. Maybe one day...

  7. Interesting shot! Love the colors of the confetti.
    Do you mean "Carnival" as in Mardi Gras? New Orleans has the biggest here which I'd love to go to one day (probably without kids!)

    Or do you mean a carnival like a regular festival? I was just wondering since Mardi Gras is also in Feb, the same season as your Carnival.

  8. I do like these worm eye views shots you do.The colours are really emphasied this way.

    Lucio.I have often come across British sweet shops called confetti. Your explanantion of the word tells me why.Why they are mostly pink and yellow frontage though I don't know.

  9. Petrea, I do think that it was taken in a passage as that was my initial reaction to it, and I seem to remember Eric saying at some point that there are a number of them in his neighborhood...

  10. I will guess that this may be the Passage Jouffroy, because I have just been studying it, and hope to stay there in Septembre.
    Now I must do more research and discover some more Passages dans les neuvième, deuxième et premier arrondissements.

    La vostra fotografia di coriandoli è oggi molto colorato, Eric

  11. Actually, this photo was taken nowhere near where Eric lives, but in the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was first on the scene after it was noticed - by a horrified guard - that the dots had started falling from the surface Georges Seurat's masterpiece "La Grande Jatte". I'm sure Eric will bring us all up to date on the REAL story when he returns to Paris with the rest of his exclusive photos - and perhaps a few of those precious, absent-without-leave dots.

  12. Oh, sorry, no. The Art Institute's a lovely place, but it only wishes it had a room that beautiful.

  13. Yes, M. Benaut, it does!

    Indeed, officials are runner hither and thither as I type, trying to find a way of preventing Eric from boarding his plane back to France! As for what the CIA (the Chicago Institute of Art, not the other lot) are saying about the incident, there is little of substance to report. The director, for example, answered reporter's questions with what appeared to be a stony silence. When questioned further (by a man looking suspiciously like Eric) about his refusal to comment, he replied: "But I have! That wasn't silence, that was the sound of dot-dot-dot (. . .), and dots, my friends are what are currently disappearing faster than the dollar value of Seurat's "La Grande Jatte"!!

    The only man to laugh was a reporter who, as I said, looked suspiciously like Eric, and who fled the scene shortly afterwards carrying a digital camera and a small, bursting-at-the-seams brown paper bag . . .

  14. Petrea: What you say is true, but I think I'd rather visit an ugly museum with beautiful art than a beautiful museum with ugly art - of which, I'm afraid, there are quite a few. I don't want to name names, but I have been to several that fail on both counts in (of all places) Italy!

    On the other hand, I have not yet had a bad experience in America - but then I haven't seen a sufficient number of your museums to consider myself qualified to judge the overall standard of collections. The impression I have formed so far, though, is that American museums are among the best designed - and best run - in the world. I can't wait to get back there, and to see more of what is on offer in places like L.A. and San Francisco.

  15. I am so happy that there are people like Lucio and M. Benaut and Petrea to keep things interesting around here. I feel a sense of relief if you know what I mean! ;-)

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Michael: The thing I love most about being one of the current group of regulars is that I would certainly never have met any of my fellow PDP-ers had it not been for Eric and his blog, which I think of as a kind of cyberspace water cooler, around which we can all mingle and chat whenever we don't have more pressing things to do - which, at the moment, I do. Before I go, however, I want to say just how disappointed I am that I won't be able to attend this year's PDP picnic: but I insist that you reserve me a place - and a plate - for 2009!

    Hey, what's twelve (and a bit) months between friends?!

  18. Sorry I haven't checked in for a couple of days. Loved the Baccarat post and also the Olympic Torch post. Hope your week is great and it sounds like you need some sleep.

  19. Nice shot again, Eric. The passage is beautiful (you must show us some more pictures from there some day) and the confetti is full of joy and it's easy to imagine the children coming through, but at the same time it leaves me with a feeling of being late for a party.
    Which leades me to the sad news (for me anyway): I won't be able to go to Paris for the PDP picnic. The week after I have the whole week off from work, but not on the 7. I'm so annoyed, I would have loved to meet you all, and I actually planned to go. Too bad !!!

  20. Will certainly save room for you Lucio Crispino.

    I love your use of the phrase, "...being one of the current group of regulars..." How virtual!

  21. Eric,
    This photo is wonderful and I always love your ground level POV shots. It brings up one question though. Do the green men sweep up when it's in a passageway? Who is responsible?
    Seattle Daily Photo

  22. Actually, there are concierges/guardiennes who do the sweeping in a private passage Kim.

  23. I left this comment on yesterday's post and in the PDP Forum, but just in case, here it is again to answer PHX-CDG's question:

    PHX-CDG (and others) - Unless it has changed, the picnic is usually in the evening. I bet you're thinking it's an afternoon thing, but we usually meet around 7-8pm (19h00-20h00) and it lasts until people go home. I hope that's good news for you, not bad!

    Eric, can you confirm this is the same this year?

  24. Michael, je pense que vous avez un peu de jetlag.

    I reckon that, in Florida, as in Italy, 7PM could almost be 1900h.
    Naturally, in Paris, 7PM would be 1700h.

    That is so that folk from Florida can prepare the feast and ensure the beer is Sigmund, (Froid) as we say down under.

    You were just trying to trick us, now, weren't you.
    (I must say that I have never seen you look this happy, - that's a darn tootin' ripper smile !)

    Monica; he is in love pensez vous ?

  25. LOL M. Benaut! I thought I had made the switch real subtle there...deleting the previous post, correcting, re-posting...all with a smile. But no, you caught me. I think it should all be correct now.

    And yes, you have me figured out. I AM jetlagged! ;-)

  26. You're just a little devil, you are, Michael.
    And to mark the occasion I "done ya" a limerick.
    You'll find it in Cheltenham.
    Now - go to bed !!!

  27. That IS quite a smile. And M. Benaut's limerick's a good one to go with it.

    Lucio, the dots are...pixels.

    American museums (musea?) are (in my experience) very fine. I love all kinds, even the small ones. One of my favorites is the PPJ Museum (Pre-Plastic Junk) in Red Mountain, California. It's the oddest, most wonderful place.

    But I never meant to say the Art Institute of Chicago isn't beautiful. It is grand and glorious, and rivals many European museums. But it's not ornate and ancient and sweet like the passage in Eric's photo.

  28. They don't have that big of events in our small comunity to spill confetti. They wouldn't let us anyway because of the polution it would cause. Elaine Cooke

  29. This has been one of those 'cats away, mice will play' sort of days.
    Eric being caught at (or by), the CIA.
    Italians reporting-in from the 3rd largest Greek populated city in the world.
    Americans with jet-lag in Paris.
    Americans with Beach Boys music wafting through the air.
    French girls on their knees in Passages.

    Quelle journée !!

  30. M. Benaut - me thinks you have been hitting the Pims?

  31. Coffee, café, καφές, caffè, seulement, amico.
    Ici, c'est 02h17 le matin.

  32. You'll be lucky, Michael, to have Eric confirm anything. He is but a celebrated confection of a blur these days. Jaunting through the streets of Paris, kicking confetti, laying on floors and beating adoring fans from his path.

    Nevertheless, how pretty his shot is. :)

  33. An interesting and mysterious photo! The plot intensifies. Version #1, a private passage in Paris, colorful “confetti” all that remains after the festivities, the children, still costumed, candy treats safe in their little bags, skipping and laughing on a Saturday afternoon. Version #2, Eric, the world famous PDP photographer, unassuming reporter by day, fleeing the famed Art Institute of Chicago, with a paper bag of confetti…

    Lucio, thanks for the lesson on Italian Confetti (have actually seen these at weddings)! Petrea, thanks for the link to the PPJ museum (California is such a creative place to live)! Congratulations GF *Guillemette the First)! Mr. Michael, I like your new picture (please take some at the picnic, please, please)! :)

  34. I didn't know Paris had a Carnival - I thought that was only in Monica's neck of the world...

    Je suis tres triste que je ne peux pas aller au picnic du PDP!! Prenez beaucoup des photos, s'il vous plait!!

  35. No Guille, I'm too old to kneel down! I simply put my camera on the floor!

    Thanks Christie, I'm sure we will ;)

    Well Lucio, thank you I did not know that and though I took Italian at school...

    Yes, Petrea, I live in a passage: Le Passage Verdeau. I took this photo 2 meters away from my building entrance door (call me lazy LOL!)

    Crazy Daisy, I hope you will too (it's not that hard to come to Paris, you know...)

    No Tanya, I meant Carnival as in Mardi Gras. Which apparently takes place in February everywhere in the world. This event was called Carnival, but I'm not sure why ;)

    Yes Justine, there are a lot of Passages in the 2nd arrondissement and the lower part of the 9th. I'm fortunate enough to live in one ;)

    Grazie Signore Benaut. In fatto, avrei voluto fotografiare anche i bambini, pero non e permesso in Francia. ;) (OK, my Italian is a little rusty LOL)

    Lucio. Ooops, you caught me. I confess, I flew in to Chicago on Friday and came back yesterday. Tiring, but worthwhile (I brought back a nice story for my magazine!!)!! I'm still laughing out loud from your comment. You have a LOT of imagination!! It's really a shame that you cannot make it to the picnic.

    Gand Life. You don't have to apologize! Checking PDP daily is not (yet?) mandatory!! I hope my week will be quieter too ;) Thank you.

    Bettina. Sorry to hear that (but there will be other occasions)

    Kim. Interesting question. In fact the Passage is a private place so the green men don't sweep it. A nice "Gardien" sweeps every evening and this time was probably much harder than usual.

    I don't know yet for sure, Michael, but I see no reasons to change good habits!!

    Lynn "You'll be lucky, Michael, to have Eric confirm anything. He is but a celebrated confection of a blur these days." Not true!! See, I'm right here ;))

    There is only one and only version I'm afraid Jennifer: version 1!

    Pont Girl. We will miss you. OK, we'll take photos ;) But it's not the same.

  36. Eric! You mustn't tell us where you live! Now we'll all be waiting in Le Passage Verdeau with cameras and autograph books, screaming and crowding you every time you try to walk out your door. You're our Beatle, you know.

  37. Hello!
    I just discovered this blog and I think I;m gonna be here everyday.
    I like very much your photos, they have a very special point of you.
    I know Paris very well, I lived there for 7 years.
    J' ADORE PARIS....
    donc, a tres bientot...

  38. Petrea: Yes, they could be pixels. Who is it, though, that should be fretting about the decay of their work? Matthew Barney? Bill Viola? Hiraki Sawa?...Some of my favourite small museums are, in reality, not so small: the music and fashion musuems in Paris, for example. The first because of its amazing collection, which features dozes of instruments that most of us have never even heard of, and the second for the fact that (due to its large holdings but limited exhibition space) it rotates its collection every six months. As for STRANGE museums - of which your PPJ is a wonderful example - I was once taken by my father to a Shell Garden, which I expected to find quite boring, but which turned out to be the most amazing example of architectural kitsch I'd ever seen. The owner, over God knows how many decades, had completely covered her garden (most of cement) in a mosaic of broken tiles, doll parts and, of course, shells. It was an open air grotto! Which might not have seemed so strange, had it not been in the backyard of a dumpy little house in a dumpy little country town with fewer than a hundred inhabitants. In short, I loved it, and was thrilled when my father purchased for me a keepsake: a foldout book of Shell Garden postcards, which is still one of my prized possessions. As for another visit, well, I think I need to see some more Gaudi first - I've seen enough gaudy art.

    Eric: No one is more disappointed that I am.

  39. Oh yes there you are dear Eric. In sharp focus, i'm only kidding... ;)

  40. Great visual! Kind of reminds me of a floor you would find on Wall Street/NYSE after a day of trading. Of course, those probably wouldn't be of a pretty pastel variety. :-)

  41. Good angle - getting the low-down - I like it!