Monday, June 30, 2008

Paris Gay pride 2008

Between 500 000 and 700 000 (depending on the sources) people took part in the Paris Gay Pride last Saturday (it usually takes place on the last Saturday of June). Of course, it's primarily a political movement (this year's theme was "homophobia at school"), but it's also a very festive moment, full of music, colors and costumes. Needless to say it's a super occasion to take great photos (see here my little Animoto) . FYI, Homosexuality in France has been made legal since 1981 and same sex partners can sign a civil union contract pretty similar to a marriage except that it does not allow them to adopt children.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Paris' protector

I realized today that I never showed you a very important historical character in Paris: Sainte Geneviève whose statue can be seen at the entrance of Paris - on the Seine (see this photo). Geneviève was born in... 422 and according to the legend she saved Paris from a few enemies (Attila and the Huns, Childéric...) and that is why she is now the "official protector" of Paris ;) I'm not sure that many Parisians know about her though...

Saturday, June 28, 2008


How about a nice little Graffiti to finish the week? I took this photo rue Saint Bruno, in the 18th arrondissement and I like it, because of the father and son passing by in the middle of the picture. Browsing the web I found out who Rahman is: he's a singer from the Ivory Coast and he is also a "slammer" (call me totally old fashioned but I'm not sure what it is exactly...). I'm glad my week is over, I'm going to relax this weekend and take tons of photos of course.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cool encounter

I already said it several times, PDP allowed me to meet dozens of nice people - often from very far away. But last night, I met someone who lives in Paris: Robin Maltete, the son of... René Maltete a French photographer who used to be friend with Doisneau and many other artists of that time. Do check some of his photos in the web album his son Robin made, I'm sure, you will love its humor. Robin contacted me after he saw the white dinner party photo on PDP; we started exchanging emails, then he invited me to his place, where I photographed his - lastest - camera (Robin is also a photographer). Not a very usual one; it uses an 8 x 10 inch film and has none of the sophisticated features you can find on modern digital models!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fontaine Trévise

Last night (Wednesday), I received a text message from Kinneret (the lady who wrote a nice article in Hebrew about PDP). She said "If you want to take a cool photo, they are currently shooting a historical movie on Cité Trévise". I was having dinner in the 14th arrondissement when I got the message, so it took me about an hour to go there and, of course, it was already too late; the crew was packing and the actors long gone. I still got to see for the 1st time this wonderful little place - which from what I found out was built around 1840- with its romantic nymphea fountain in the middle though. When I think I live only a couple of blocks away!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Children of the world

I'm currently very busy because of my work, but I still try to save some time to make interesting discoveries. Hence these wonderful statues showing "the children of the world" (Naomi the African, Jim the American, Felipe the Mexican [in the foreground in this photo]... - see the 21 of them in this little Animoto video and on the "official blog" made by Rachid Khimoune, a French artist of Berber origins. Really beautiful. Some of you may think I could have showed this earlier, as apparently these statues have been there (in the Bercy area) since... 2001! But I swear, I never saw them before! The other interesting part is that each of these statues has a replica located in its "country of birth". A definite must see if you come to Paris.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The big town hall in the Prairie!

They did it last year, they've done it again this year... 'It'? A 2 878 square meter (0.7 acre) garden right in front of the Hotel de ville (Town hall), a location where, normally, not much grows, except concrete! This year, on top of the 6 000 different species of plants they also managed to install a pretty cool pond in which more plants are to be found. This temporary garden can be seen until August 17, so if you're visiting Paris this summer you should definitely pay the hôtel de Ville a visit. Here are more photos taken by the Paris communications department.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Eat for food!

A picnic in the sun, right on the esplanade of the new National library (la bibliothèque nationale de France), may sound nice enough but if I tell you that on top of that the food was provided by a bunch of famous chefs and that the entrance fee was only 5 euros you will probably understand why this unusual picnic - organized by Alexandre Cammas and Emmanuel Rubin, two restaurant critics and founders of Le fooding movement - attracted so many people. And all this for a good cause: all the money goes to Action contre la faim (action against hunger).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fête de la musique 2008

OK, you may think it's not very original to post a photo of the Fête de la Musique as you probably experienced it yourself in your own country (if you look at these posters, you'll see that it took place in more than 100 places all over the world). You may not know, however, that it was "invented" in France (by Jack Lang, a former French culture minister) in 1982. Principle? Very simple: on June 21 (which is also the longest day of the year in the north hemisphere) everyone can play music in the street, in gardens, places... or churches' backyards like in this photo, that I took near Saint Séverin church. It looks like the virgin Mary too, is enjoying La fête de la musique!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sacré Coeur

OK, enough museums and auction sales, it's Le week-end! How about a classic view of Paris? Not that classic actually, I took this photo of Montmartre and le Sacré Coeur from far away, and more precisely from La Défense where I attended a pretty unusual art opening in the offices of Eurogroup (look for Sponsorship>Artist Residency, if you want to know more). Did you know that Montmartre means Mont of the Martyrs because that is where several Christians got killed during the 3rd century?

Friday, June 20, 2008

True gems!

See the pearls on the upper left of this box? They belonged to Marie-Antoinette... And this obscene sapphire in the little black box? Louis the XIVth used to wear it! I know it's hard to believe but most of the French crown jewels (at least the ones that have not been stolen or lost for good during the French revolution) are to be found in this not much to look at box. How do I know? I've been fortunate enough to see them last evening at the French Mineralogy museum! But don't be jealous, you too can visit the place, even if you're not in Paris, thanks to the incredible website that this museum just released. Not only does it allow you to visit the virtual gallery, but also to "play" with some stones (10% of them for the time being) in 3D. Cherry on the cake; the website is even in English! Watch the trailer here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Buy a little piece of Paris' history...

Today, let me take you inside a palace: Le Royal Monceau! It's not the most luxurious hotel that we have in Paris (yet?!) but the reason why I'm posting about it now, is that today (Thursday) all its furniture (including paintings, chandeliers, silverware, bathrobes...) will be auctioned by the famous French auction house Cornette de Saint Cyr. And guess who went there especially for you to take photos?! It was fun actually, even if it was really crowded (I had no idea so many people would be interested in the place). FYI, the Royal Monceau will be closed for more than a year after this, enough to let famous designer Philippe Starck turn it into the next hypest place to stay in Paris ;)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A must see Museum

If I tell you I photographed this masterpiece in a museum, which one do you think it was? The Paris Modern Art Museum? The Beaubourg Center? The Cartier Foundation? All wrong! I took this photo in the computer museum, a pretty new place, located up top the big arch of La Défense. This place is like heaven for geeks, believe me. Not only can you see what a computer looked like in the 40's (well, OK, maybe they did not really qualify as computers...) but also discover - or rediscover, depending on your age - the first PC, the first laptop, the first Apple Macintosh... I had a blast! More here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

12 hours for the Franco-Israeli relationships

In Paris, there are 2 main Jewish quarters: the "Pletzel", located in Le Marais and Le Faubourg-Montmartre where I took the photo of these clever posters, advertising for an upcoming event called Les 12 heures bleues (the 12 blue hours) - organized by the French Jewish Student Association. It will be the occasion to debate about the relationships between France and Israel, to listen to Israeli music, watch Israeli films... Talking about Israel, let me encourage you to visit this site and scroll down a little. I'm sure, you'll recognize the guy in the photo ;) And if you can read Hebrew, the experience will probably be even better!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mass at Notre Dame

A few weeks ago, Rahul, a true Paris lover from Bombay/Mumbai, started chatting with me about France, India and... movies. He convinced me to open myself more to the Indian production and even said "I'll have you discover a few films..." And he kept his promise. Saturday evening, I got a call from, Diti, a friend of his, who happens to be visiting Paris at the moment. She said "Rahul will kill me if I don't manage to give you his gifts (2 DVDs)." Now you're probably wondering how this photo can possibly fit into this story?! Well, it's simple: Diti and I agreed to meet at Notre Dame on Sunday morning and since we kinda missed each other, I went into Notre Dame (during mass) and took this photo. Don't worry I finally managed to get my DVDs!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Outside Le Trocadéro

Yesterday (Saturday) I went to "La Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine", a museum I will tell you more about later. After my visit, I had a coffee on the little terrace they have right outside one wing of Le Trocadero (and yes, the weather was nicer than expected!). Here is the scenery I could see when looking at the sky. Pretty cool.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

C'mon we are in June!

This has got to be the rainiest and coldest month of June I've ever experienced in Paris. Like I told you the weather during the white dinner party was really chilly and the next 5 days or so will be rainy... Wait, that is not all: the temperature are, on average, 5 degrees (Celsius) below normal (sorry PHX-CDG!!)! I realize every day how lucky we've been with the PDP picnic! Have a nice weekend; time for me to go to bed with an extra blanket!! (BTW, if you're interested, CNN posted the debate that took place in Le Senat that I mentioned last Monday - June 9. See France on the move, part 1 to 4))

Friday, June 13, 2008

Le dïner en blanc 2008

I'm just back from Le diner en blanc (the White dinner party) where I had a lot of fun. Unlike last year, where I only took photos, this time I also participated. What a thrill! I received my instructions from my contact (there is no central organizer - at least nobody knows him/her - but only contacts of contacts...). I was supposed to join my group at 9 pm on Place Saint Philippe du Roule. Around 9:15 pm, someone - who obviously knew where the dinner was going to take place - took the group to... the Champs Elysées. Within the blink of an eye the whole lower part of the avenue was covered in tables, chairs, candles... and people dressed in white. Fascinating. Around 10 pm a band started to play music and at 11 pm sharp everyone lit sparkling sticks. Beautiful. Magical moment - even if the weather was a little chilly. Check here for more shots.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Two wheels beat automobiles...

No, you don't need to be naked to ride a bike in Paris! According to the French trade association of bicycle manufacturers it looks as if we are definitely turning to bikes to replace cars, especially in large cities. According to the figures they mention there are 5.7 bikes per person in France which ranks us 4th largest bike "consumers" in the world behind Japan, the Netherlands and... the United States. I would have thought the Netherlands and China were far ahead of us. Anyway, regardless of what you may think, I took this photo right in the middle of Paris, near the Pelouse de Reuilly.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Palestine in Paris

Last night on my way back home I noticed some unusual traffic on the Pont des arts. I stopped and found out they're having a photo exhibit called "La Palestine à Paris". If you wander on this wonderful bridge, you can see about 150 photos about the daily life in Palestine taken by two famous Palestinian photographers: Rula Halawani and Taysir Batniji. This photo shows one of the two street lamps at the entrance of the bridge that they used to hang a street sign that says "Palestine, life, simply life". I don't know why, but something tells me this photo will have less comments than the one of yesterday ;-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sex in the city!

Sex on PDP today? Not really, but nudity! Explanation: this weekend we celebrated "Le Vélo" (bicycle) throughout France and in Paris of course (since the creation of Velib', it is extremely popular to ride a bicycle here). This gave an idea to a few protester associations who teamed up with nudist associations and organized a ride through Paris with no clothes on to protest against the invasion of cars, scooters, motorbikes... in Paris. One thing is sure, they managed to get medias' attention; there were more journalists and cameras there than actual demonstrators! More photos on the making of, of course ;).

Monday, June 09, 2008

Eye on France

What would Joséphine de Beauharnais (I guess it's her in the photo!) have thought of today's (Sunday) debate in Le Sénat, where CNN was closing its Eye on France week. I don't know, but it was interesting to hear what the 5 representatives of the nowadays French society had to answer to the questions of Hala Gorani, the host of the debate. Has France turned a new page since the election of Nicolas Sarkozy? The answer depends on which political side you stand, of course, but all along this debate, I could not help but thinking that the set CNN chose to close this week was the Senate, that is something symbolic of our past glory. What is France currently building/creating/inventing... that will be chosen by the next CNN in 300 years?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Where there is smoke...

... There is not necessarily fire but sometimes steam! Like in this restaurant called "à toute vapeur" located near the Gare Saint Lazare in which ALL food is cooked in one of these giant ovens. I owe the idea of visiting this place to Serina, a visitor to PDP, who works for Goosta, a site dedicated to Paris restaurants - not yet in English ;~(. She says the food there is really good and healthy. I did not get the chance to taste it, but one thing I can tell you, it was not easy to come up with a nice photo!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Stock Market

The stock Markets crashed quite a lot today in most places and this made me think of a photo I took recently in Le Palais Brongniart (after the name of the architect who built it) precisely located on the Place de la Bourse ("Bourse" means stock exchange in French). It is now more a historical place than a financial one for, since the early 80s all transactions are computer based. What you can see in this photo (the "corbeille" in the foreground, where stock brokers used to trade stocks by yelling "I buy" or "I sell" and the large board in the backboard where they would write the price of stocks with a choke chalk) is just there for the memories and for visitors, for now the place is used for conferences only.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Le Parcours Saint Germain

Every year in the Saint Germain area (Saint Germain is a famous quarter of Paris known for its intellectual background) they have an exhibition called "Le parcours Saint Germain - the Saint Germain route). This year's theme is "once upon a time" and most pieces of art are inspired by childhood memories. Hence this huge statue, made by a group of artists of various nationalities called Le Collectif 6bis which is supposed to show how "the city can turn into a huge playground". OK, your turn to comment now ;~) - PS: sorry for the delay in publishing, it's entirely my fault, I made a mistake using the new post scheduling function of Blogger!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Farewell Monsieur Saint Laurent

Do I really need to remind you who Yves Saint Laurent was? For us, French, he's definitely part of our culture. He is also one of the most famous fashion designers in the world, one of the few that contributed to France's reputation for Haute Couture. He died on June 1st and will be buried a funeral service will be held today (Thursday) in Eglise Saint Roch, near the Louvre. I went to one of "his" stores, on Place Saint Sulpice to take a photo that would represent his talent best, but I finally found the shot I really wanted, in the Passage Verdeau - in a superb black and white photographs gallery...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Weird Tomb

I found this incredible tombin the Cimetière Montparnasse. At first I could not really believe my eyes... But yes, this guy had his grave turned into a sort of bed where he and his wife are dressed in their day outfits and look like they are gently talking. I investigated a bit more and found out that it belongs to Charles Pigeon, the inventor of a famous non-exploding gas/oil lamp (patented in1884). He probably had a lot of money then (enough to have this tomb built!)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Details on Place des Vosges

I've always heard the expression "the Devil is in the details" until yesterday, in a television series I heard one of the characters say "God is in the details". And when I saw this photo - that I took at Place des Vosges on Sunday - I could not help but think of it. Well figuratively of course, because on this occasion God is French Sculptor Jean-Pierre Cortot (1787 - 1843) who designed the 4 fountains that you can see on this unforgettable place.
BTW, I had a message from CNN who thanks you all very much. Non US based people who are interested in the France coverage can tune in to CNN International throughout the week and US based people, who I believe don't have access to CNN International can check

Monday, June 02, 2008

Food and thoughts

I did a little compilation of your contributions [thank you very much for that] for the CNN survey and it was really interesting to see how, for most of you, what best defines France's reputation is... food! I then could not help but posting what I had for lunch today when I met Elisabeth - one of the earliest visitors to PDP - who is currently in Paris at the moment (see a photo of her with Michael on the making of). Yes people, in Paris, on the Place des Vosges, at La Guirlande de Julie's, red snapper is served with its head! I did not eat the latter, but enjoyed the dish very much. Have a nice week.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Theme Day : My corner local shop

When I saw what the June theme day was I immediately thought of the local shop I was going to photograph: La mère de Famille, the oldest confectionery shop in Paris, which happens to be right at the corner of the street I live on. The place was founded not later than in 1761 and sells everything what that France has to offer in terms of confectionery (pâtes de fruit, berlingots, bergamotes, anis de Flavigny (yummy!) and all sorts of chocolate). Needless to say, it's a place I highly recommend if you're looking for non global food ;) BTW, don't forget to continue reacting to the CNN survey about France that I mentioned in yesterday's post.

174 City Daily Photo blogs participate in the June them day. See what a little shop around the corner looks like in Singapore, London, San Diego, Accra... Click here to view thumbnails for all participants or visit each blog individually.
Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey by afyonblog, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Ararat, Australia by Digger, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Aspen (CO), USA by IamMBB, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Avignon, France by Nathalie, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Belgrade, Serbia by BgdPic, Belgrade, Serbia by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Brookville (OH), USA by Abraham, Bucharest, Romania by Malpraxis, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by agrajag, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Cavite, Philippines by Steven Que, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Château-Gontier, France by Laurent, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chennai, India by Ram N, Chennai, India by Shantaram, Chicago (IL), USA by U R us, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Corsicana (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, Edinburgh, UK by Dido, Evry, France by Olivier, Folkestone, UK by Clare Unsworth, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA by Gigi, Gainesville (FL), USA by Leah, Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hamilton, New Zealand by Sakiwi, Hangzhou, China by Chanin, Haninge, Sweden by Steffe, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Old Hyde, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jogjakarta, Indonesia by Jogja Portrait, Katonah (NY), USA by Inkster1, Knoxville (TN), USA by Knoxville Girl, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Le Guilvinec, France by ds2944, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Los Angeles (CA), USA by Martha Perez, Mainz, Germany by JB, Manila, Philippines by Heyokity, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Mexico City, Mexico by Poly, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Misawa, Japan by misawa mama, Monroe (GA), USA by Tanya, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montego Bay, Jamaica by Ann, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Nancy, France by yoshi, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Delhi, India by Delhi Photo Diary, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, New York City (NY), USA by • Eliane •, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Oklahoma City (OK), USA by ananda.tashie, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Oslo, Norway by Lothiane, Owasso (OK), USA by Jennifer, Paderborn, Germany by Soemchen, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Perth, Australia by Elevation7, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Petoskey (MI), USA by Christie, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Townsend (WA), USA by raf, Portland (ME), USA by Corey, Posadas, Argentina by Lega, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Rabaul, Papua New Guinea by Jules, Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka, Reykjavik, Iceland by Vírgíll, Riga, Latvia by , Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Rouen, France by Bbsato, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by Eric, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Zentmrs, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, San Francisco (CA), USA by Louis la Vache, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Seoul, South Korea by Phil, Sequim (WA), USA by Norma, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, Springfield (IL), USA by Aubrey, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Ann, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Sydney, Australia by Julie, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tacloban City, Philippines by agnesdv, Tel-Aviv, Israel by Olga, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torino, Italy by Fabrizio, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Torun, Poland by Glenn, Toulouse, France by Julia, Turin, Italy by Livio, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Urayasu, Japan by Zono, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,