Sunday, August 17, 2008

A cute little Place

Not much to say about this photo, I just like it because of the atmosphere. The statue in the middle is of Sergeant Bobillot, a soldier who apparently displayed heroic behaviour during the Tonkin (a part of Viêt Nam) war - and more precisely during the siege of Tuyen Quang (which I'm sure you're familiar with LOL!) when France started the conquest of Indochina around 1885. I took this photo at the Place Verlaine (named after French poet Paul Verlaine) near La Butte aux Cailles. It's a nice area to visit if you want to go off the beaten track.


  1. Is he looking at something in particular?

    It's interesting: I never think of brick as a building material in Paris.

  2. There a quite a few (not so famous) buildings made with bricks in Paris actually... This one is the "Établissement balnéaire de la Butte aux Cailles" (baths, swimming pool), built in 1923-24 by architect Louis Bonnier, and today classified as historical monument (red bricks, art nouveau). The interior is quite amazing : see []

  3. Eric,
    Am I correct in thinking that the bust is located near Place d'Italie? And also near the street that is named after Bobillot? If, so I think some of my classmates may have had a drunken encounter with it a few years ago...

  4. Eric, that for the link to the Sergeant Bobillot photo. The full view of the statue gives a better perspective. I do like the contrast between the statue and the red brick in this photo though.

  5. It is really important to remember and learn lessons from our past Eric.

    Great work on your blog today and a very appropriate picture.

    I've just racked up two years at South Shields Daily Photo and I hope to be passing here in two years time to compliment you again! Keep up the good work!
    Thanks to everyone who has passed by and left a comment or some encouragement, it makes it all worthwhile.

    from Curly at South Shields Daily Photo

  6. Eric, another shy subject, eh? I see the sergeant is turning away from your infamous camera. You mentioned Verlaine, too. He was more decadent than a chocolate macaroon topped with a fiery creme brulee. Ah, now we're getting somewhere. Inspired by Baudelaire at a young age, he would become a leading member of the French ratpack of symbolist poets with Rimbaud (his love interest) and Mallarme. Hmm, where have I heard that name before? With all these curiosities around your burg, no wonder Paris continues to attract intellectuals from across the globe. Merci for this one! As always, hope your weekend is stellar my man! ;-)

  7. Hihi behind the statue I can see the swimmimng pool where I used to go last year when I lived in the 13th arr.!
    J'aime beaucoup ce mur de brique rouge, un très beau contraste avec le blanc de la statue. Et bonne idée de ne pas avoir montré le Sergent tout simplement de face. Cela fait toute la photo.

  8. Well, as usual, your links sent me through the Wikipedia article short-course refresher in Vietnamese history. When the French stepped out in 1954, the Americans stepped in. Interesting to note that the CDP blogger in Saigon appears to be American, and the CDP blogger in Hanoi is French. We are all woven together by our conflicts, in the end. Perhaps that's the one silver lining. Perhaps the US will be enriched with more southwest Asian citizens in the decades to come, as a result of today's disasterous policies and actions.

  9. Eric, you couldn't get him to turn around to face the camera? I would have imagined you could have charmed even the stoniest of people!!

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. This is in the 13th, near the Place d'Italie, and the street Bobillot (I can't remember if it's a street, boulevard, avenue...?) Interestingly, there is an artesian well just nearby where you can fill bottles (as locals do, coming with their shopping carts full of empties) from the buried river Bièvre (interesting history as well), which is underneath, and that's the water that's in the pool , too. AND there's a great little teahouse nearby, L'OisiveThé, owned by a very cool expat blogger. :D Yes, I used to live in this neighborhood, and it's a great one!

  11. As usual, you all have something so interesting to say I want to comment on all your comments! But first the photo:

    I like the other one too, but I'm glad you chose this one, Eric. Something about his gaze away from the camera is compelling.

    Loïc: fantastic link, thank you!

    South Shields: congratulations on two years, that's wonderful.

    USElaine, bless you, I hope you're right. Wouldn't it be great if something good came of all of this?

    la rêveuse: what a wonderful story. I think I've heard of the well. I know I've heard of L'Oisive right here on PDP, but I couldn't tell you when Eric posted it. They have the bright yellow canisters, right?

  12. Eric -- another winner! (Bobillot en blanche contre les briques rouges—parfait.) And I've learned so much from the links too, about the French in Vietnam and what was l'Indochine Française. Alors, merci bien! I Google Earthed this square just now. Was under the impression that the 13th is sort of "off the map," but not at all. And you spend a lot of time here, it seems, so it must be a cool neighborhood.

    coltrane has Verlaine pegged, uselaine has the positive take on our current mess—and buzzgirl gets GF 2X in a row! Well done all around.

  13. I especially like the sharp white stone contrasting against the subtle muted brick. Nicely done Eric.

  14. I do like the feel of the place. I would not however have guessed it was taken in France. It has a more mid-America look to it.

  15. Behind the statue, a very nice and uncommon swimming pool, typically Art Déco.
    A special "treat" for all the ones that seemed very impressed by the Bastille day entry and the "Bal des Pompiers" :
    on Wednesday mornings, the firemen from the nearset fire station usually come and train in the pool.
    Of course, you loose a couple of lanes but it definitively worth it !!

  16. Great photo: statue, lampost, a touch of greenery and beautiful brickwork and roof on the swimming pool.
    This is the sort of photo I would take!

    I'm rather glad that the French ventured into Indochina in one respect - we have wonderful Vietnamese bakers in Adelaide - they make lovely French baguettes and pastries :)

  17. Eric, That was interesting about Paul Verlaine. Currently I'm reading Balzac's "Lost Illusions" about two poets. I have a friend Mayumi, a Japanese poet. She has given me two of her books -- both in Japanese. She owns my Souvenir de Paris painting. Your photo and comment really hit home.

    Petrea, Dito -- I want to comment on all your comments!

    USElaine, "We are all woven together by our conflicts, in the end. Perhaps that's the one silver lining." That is so beautiful. Life's passions.

    Marylène "...firemen from the nearset fire station usually come and train in the pool." Firemen in swin suits -- ahhhhhhh SEXY

    Hi Five Buzzgirl -- GF 2 times in a row. click click

    Loïc, Very interesting, merci.

  18. That was suppose to be "Firemen in swim suits". See, it's so sexy I can't even type it.

  19. hallo eric,
    i like to see your pictures every days! i love paris and i come back in every moment if i can and when i see you blog for me is like to come back every day!
    good work.

  20. This building is an unexpected sight. The Sgt. looks like he is keeping watch.