Sunday, May 04, 2008


Do you know what a Moleskine is? It's an oilcloth-covered cardboard that has been - supposedly - used by European intellectuals to write, draw or even glue little souvenirs from their trips and thoughts (yes, just like modern scrapbooking!). The manufacturer of these notebooks is a marketing genius: he managed to turn Moleskine notebooks into exhibition material... In Paris, for instance, several Moleskines made it to Beaubourg, Le Printemps (where I took this photo) and Librairie Flammarion. But wait, that's not all! They also have great websites, like this one, on which they interview famous (LOL) city daily photo bloggers....


  1. Eric you *are* famous! That's because you take interesting photos like this one. This might not have been interesting except you chose the angle to compliment the angle of the man on the wall. You framed it to include the map on the floor as well as the pattern of the ceiling.

    Anybody can take a snapshot.

  2. I like the interview, too. I'm going to copy it and follow your itinerary on my next Paris trip.

  3. Hey GF Petrea! I'm glad you noticed this: "This might not have been interesting except you chose the angle to compliment the angle of the man on the wall. You framed it to include the map on the floor as well as the pattern of the ceiling."

    That was exactly my dilemma when I got there. I WANTED to take a photo but I could not possibly see how to make it interesting! I ended up halfway on the floor (yeah Lynn, again!).

    I'm still not really happy with it to tell the truth, but considering the lack of interest of the scene, it could have been worse.

    This makes me realize how difficult it must be for professional photographers who have to find inspiration, no matter what!

  4. But Eric that's exactly your case, you have to find inspiration everyday no matter what. Just because you're kind enough to have the will to please us on a daily basis, your loyal fans.

    And you do accomplish that. Please us, I mean. How does it feel?

  5. Dug the interview with that most famous person...seriously, good stuff, Eric, and congratulations! Of course, we've known your talent for some time now. Have a great weekend. Weather looks nice!

  6. I know what you mean, Eric. I run up against these dilemmas when I try to photograph something timely that's not necessarily artistic or pretty But you found the way to echo the angles of the map, the poster and even the ceiling with your framing and the angle of your camera.

    The only difference between you and professional photographers is money, and really--you ought to be paid handsomely for what you do here!

  7. Yay Petrea on your GF! The GF is an even bigger deal now, since Eric becomes more famous by the day. I was glad you made it here first Petrea so I could click on all Eric's links and really put this photo in context. And yes, the angles are great Eric! My mom gave me a Moleskine a few years ago, and I've been scared to even make a mark in it. Now that I see all the cool things people have done with theirs, I'm sure I'll never open mine again! I guess I need to get my feet wet with lesser notebooks.

  8. Moleskine notebooks are so well-crafted, so pleasingly tactile, and so damn expensive that it often pains me to christen them with that first word or drawing. I don't baulk at this knee-jerk hesitation, however, as it helps me to question the worth of what it is I want to record and, when I am ready, to do so with the utmost care.

    Some may say this defeats the purpose of a notebook, which is really only a repository for sketchy, fragmentary and unfinished ideas. This is true, but more so in the case of disposal notebooks than what I like to think of as the "keeper" variety (like those made by Moleskine). Indeed, there are times, as the tip of my pen is about to make contact with the pristine surface of a virginal page, when I can't help but feel that writing or drawing in one of these classy boutique jotters is not unlike the application of a tattoo - only without quite so much blood and pain.

  9. Eric, nice shot! We have Moleskine journals here in Petoskey, they are so nice!

    Interesting to see they are all over the world and what others do with them!!

  10. Last year before our Paris trip, I resisted buying the special Paris Moleskine, but I finally got one for this trip. I think it will be a great way to keep an ongoing record of our visits in one place, and it's such a durable, practical, and portable notebook with helpful maps of the city. And now, even better, it's made by people who know who are the truly important folks to interview!
    I will be thinking enviously of all you PDP'ers uniting on the 7th for your picnic. Wish we'd booked our trip for earlier . . .

  11. I have one of these books and it is half way full. I opened it in 2006. It's name is "Trips to France -- PARIS". The brand name is not Moleskine though -- it does have the distinct features: elastic band to hold the notebook closed, a sewn spine that allows it to lie flat when opened, rounded corners, a ribbon bookmark and an expandable pocket inside the rear cover. I put photos and drawings in the pocket.

    Great interview Eric. Very sincere -- like you.

  12. Congrats Petra; never heard of moleskine till now; never heard of Petoskey till now, looked that up, too, Christie, and it's Michigan, Michigan!!! I thought it was near Kiev or Moscow!!!! Is there no end to what I don't know?
    I do know that I loved the website
    interview they did on Eric.I got the same joy from it as if it were a member of my family.

  13. Congrats on a great interview, Eric! And thanks for featuring the Moleskine exhibition for today's PDP, and including the links. Fascinating to see all the different art people create in them.

  14. I cannot tell you how many notebooks I have, full of scribbles from Paris, Florence, Cannes, Nice, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Led Zepplin "Communicatio Breakdown" (oops, that's what's on my audio now, sorry, got distracted, where was I...)

    Moleskin notebooks are available everywhere. They are wonderfully tactile. But, as note above, expensive. I scribble in noteboookes, on menus, on maps, on whatever paper is available to me.

    Really cool photo, Eric, and I love your attemtp to capture the unattainalbe. Good job. There is not such thing as a failed experiment: you always learn something.

  15. yeah, yeah, typos,...

  16. Great interview. Great photo. Great links. GREAT FAMOUS ERIC ;)!!!

  17. I got so temptet by these beautiful notebooks and the whole Moleskin consept that I just ordered a Moleskin Paris city notebook.
    I can't wait to use it on my next trip to Paris.

  18. Ah Petrea...well done. I have not been GF in ages!!!!

    In Englad we have Moleskins and my husband and daughters are crazy about them. I prefer the hard back ones with highly decorated covers by paperblanks.

    So Eric, we take you like your Moleskin too ;)

  19. Oooh i want a moleskin i want a moleskin!! I adore stationery of all kinds, it's a thing of mine. I must say i've not seen them but i love them already. I want a moleskin!

    Eric your photo is great for Petrea's reason above, and it's typical of you - yes - to lie down for France. lol!

    I found the interview with you interesting - i note that you supplied the same old (albeit gorgeous) profile shot... we want another one Eric. Well i do anyway. I didn't know you are a web content specialist. Now that's out, you'll get lots of emails from we bloggers asking you about our websites. I hear you groan. In my eyes you ARE a professional photographer, Eric, except your main income is journalism. Same as me, but i want to get more into photography. First i need a better camera - mine's on the blink. What camera is it that you have now, Eric?
    Ooooh i want a moleskin! Rose, where have you seen them?

  20. Just the name "moleskin" freaks me out. It sounds sort of like a cross between writing on a small animal and a book in need of a dermatologist if you ask me... which you didn't...

  21. Oh. You've quite put me off now Michael. Writing on a small animal. Ew.

    I still want one though! I want a moleskine! ... I think.

  22. Ha Ha Michael! You must pronounce it the French way!

    Eric - neat interview - the notebooks look great. I have paraphernalia from my many trips but I've never kept a journal per se. Perhaps for this next trip I should indulge - it may turn me into an artist.:)

  23. lol, Michael!

    Great shot, Eric. (I must confess I prefer filofaxes though.)

  24. Sorry-I'm relatively new here, what does GF stand for?
    This PDP is so much fun only I have to make more time to keep up because I love to read all of it! I buy these moleskines for my husband who is an artist & recently purchased some for myself to carry with me to take notes for blog ideas.I love how they come in all different shapes & sizes.
    Like Petrea I plan on printing Eric's itinerary for my trip to France as well.
    Eric, it is true, your sincerity shines through in your words & photos!
    Merci bien!

  25. I'm also relatively new, lily, but from what I've picked up GF stands for the Golden Finger. :)

  26. Haha, and yes, I have the same "problem" as you - it takes time to read through everything each day. :)

  27. Lily, welcome! Golden Finger signifies the first commenter BUT there are rules! Has to be two lines of comment about the photo Eric has posted, so it's no good logging in saying "Wheeeeeeeee! I'm first!" or anything perfectly silly like that. Blush.
    Now you've said that about the Moleskines, i want one even more!

  28. Lynn, you are funny! What you've just written is simple but makes me smile!! Especially, "or anything perfectly silly like that. Blush". ;)
    Eric, congrats for your interview. Your itinerary is great. Very daring.

  29. I'm laughing so hard at the explanation of what GF means!!!! When Lily Hydrangea realizes what it is she/he might take pitty on us and think we're completely lunatic!!! Specially if Phx were to explain all the rules involved!

    Of course we all know how serious being GF is. So Petrea, congrats!
    I haven't been GF in ages too...

  30. Michael: writing on a small animal! Ha! I like the moleskines, and like Lynn I love all types of stationery, but I don't need a fancy notebook. I have all sorts of them, full of all kinds of stuff.

    Thanks for the GF congratulations, everyone. I rarely win.

    Jeff, I already liked you, but the Zeppelin solidifies my undying love. Are you in Paris yet? Tell! How many days?

  31. Eric

    See, there really IS a book here somewhere...

  32. Eric, Nice illustration piece -- very shinny and smooth.

    Micheal and Lynn, I thought the same thing at first, "writing on a small animal -- Ew".

    However, after checking out the links and reading the comments, I realized it was the same as my Paperblanks book. My book has an Art Nouveau design (front and back) done in simulated Mother of Pearl. It is a black book. Black is my usual preference -- size approximately 8 x 10 inches. Good size for drawings (for me). I am what they call a large format artist. I don't really do small well -- my hand runs off the edge of the paper searching for more paper.

    phx-cdg, "never heard of Petoskey...Christie, and it's Michigan, Michigan!!! I'm still laughing at that one.

    Petrea, Me too, "I don't need a fancy notebook." I do insist on archival paper though.

    Jeff, Me too, I have a lot of books. Once a man in NYC saw my book and asked if I would sell it to him. I was perplexed on why he would want a book full of my notes to myself and sketches and photos. But he insisted and I sold it to him. A few years after that I started keeping them in a safe -- they mysteriously disappeared though.

  33. * [daring] was not what I meant... [Tempting] is better. That was somewhere in my mind but I didn't get it... Sorry, I hope I am not too boring with all my mistakes in language. In any case, please forgive me!

  34. Corinne, You are striving for perfection. I make mistakes in language all the time. "That was somewhere in my mind" -- that's a good one. I think I'll use that the next time I make a mistake. LOL

  35. I have three Moleskine! A diary, a notebook and a sketchbook. I'm IN LOVE with them, my father gave them to me for Xmas.

    Yes this picture is very simple but actually it gives a good idea of the talent you have Eric. You made it interesting.
    Do you know on what consists the competition btw? A travel in Berlin would please me! :)

  36. Ok, I was up late last night and multi tasking. I just checked the link and read Eric's interview. Pretty Cool. More and more famous. I'm sure David Letterman is next.

    My friends probably are on the airplane right now, waiting to depart. I leave tomorrow, arrive Tuesday. oops...Je pars demain et arrive Mardi.

  37. Alexandra,way back on Jan.25th, you will find the inspiration for the Golden Finger contest.It was a challenge between 2 Lynn's.
    UKLynn won on Jan 26th and the bad loser said she was stuck in traffic as a lame excuse.
    Suddenly, people around the world were announcing they were the winner with a one word commentary, and something had to be done!
    The PDP constitution was born on Feb 24th by an American constitutionalist,with Rose, Petra, Monica and Lynn rushing in from their respective law libraries to add more legalese. There was a sheesh from Jeff.
    Hope you laugh as hard as we did if you go back and read it.

  38. Thanks Loïs!!! I feel better :)
    As Guille said a long time ago - & I am sure it is no more the case now for her ;), each sentence in English here takes me so much time compared to one in French!! But in the next Moleskine I fancy buying in the honor of PDP, I will note all the words, slang and places I am able to learn thanks to Eric and all of you, great bloggers from all over the world (or almost)!

  39. lol Phx! There was a sheesh from Jeff!!! Laughed my head off at that. So glad you were able to fill Lily in. I do hope she comes back to read it. Lily watch out for Clause II para iv. It bites you on the bottom something chronic when you're least expecting it.

    By the way, if anyone here is a cat lover or just knows about the pesky things, They frighten me. No don't laugh, they do! i'm being stalked over at Cheltenham. Some comments have been left and i'm going to take a majority vote at midnight whether i should be glad i'm being visited and take some photos or .... RUN LIKE CRAZY.

  40. Corinne, your English is perfect. But if you want to make progress, here is the appropriate place. The secret is to practice every day. Even if I often make silly mistakes.No, shameful mistakes. LOL

  41. i used to put on each page of my moleskine a picture of a skilled or famous photographer in order to learn their signature or be inspired from them ... but then now i need another one but cant find a real moleskine in paris with the soft cover too bad inge

  42. Phx LOL
    That's what I meant, it is just too funny, the GF constituion!!!

    Jeff have a nive flight, enjoy our adored Paris. And don't forget to take new pictures and send them to me to complete my series of photos from PDP Picnic 2006 and PDP Picnic 2007!!!

  43. Lynn, I will do my best to someday acieve GF status. Until then I will be just as happy eavesdropping here daily!
    I had a similar experience with a cat. She had kittens in our basements window well. That was 8 years ago & she never left. She was feral-that frightened me! & it took about a year or so before she let anyone pet her. Unless you are up for adoption you may want to run. It sounds like the kitty may have her eye on you!

  44. PS
    I'm sorry I forgot to say thank you for all of your great explanations! You sure are a wonderful group of people.

  45. What fun to have the leisure today to read through everyone's comments! Eric, your readers are full of fun and such goodwill. Most days I just leave my own comment and haven't the time to enjoy the camaraderie you and they have created here. Very special.

    I agree with Patrea and love the graphic quality your slant gives to the photo. Congratulations, oh famous one, on the lovely interview. Well deserved attention.
    Seattle Daily Photo

  46. Eric the photo and the comments today are so fun ! The "urban interview" was great !

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