Thursday, January 31, 2008

Paris wedding dress

It's been a while since I wanted to take a photo of this very beautiful wedding dress shop located boulevard Raspail. Tonight, on the way back from my office, I finally did. Looking up on the web, I found out that it belongs to a designer called Monique Germain, who, apparently has been in this business for over 30 years. Have a look at her website, I'm not an expert, but I'm sure she's very talented. BTW, thank you very much for your help on tomorrow's theme day. I have 24 more hours to make a decision...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Passage Piéton

Nothing fancy today... I had lunch in the 13th arrondissement where we have our Chinese quarter (yes I had a delicious Phò), and on the way out, I looked for several photo opportunities. I went down by the river bank, close to the new national library, and discovered that the whole area is under construction. Traffic there is difficult and even pedestrians have to follow strict pathways ;) BTW, please continue helping me on what I should use for our February 1st theme day (when people think of your city, they think of...)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fontaine des mers

This is such a classic, it's not even funny! The "guy" in the foreground is part of the Fontaine des mers, a very famous fountain built between 1835 and 1840 together with this one, that I already showed on this blog. Both fountains can be found at the bottom of the Champs Elysées on the Place de la Concorde. In the background I don't think you need to be told what it is! BTW, in 2 days, a new theme day is coming up (theme is: when people think of your city, they think of...), I could have saved this photo for the occasion!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Me and my shadow...

Let's start the week with a photo I took last Saturday at Saint Sulpice (Saint Sulpice is a very famous church in Paris, now world famous because it was part of the Da Vinci code plot). The church is currently closed because it's being redone, but I managed to take this shot on one of its sides. I was attracted to this mysterious shadow; a statue undoubtedly, but I don't know which one...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fernand's "engine"

Very often people send me emails asking me for advice on things to do in Paris or restaurants to eat at. I never know what to say really as there are so many things to experience while in Paris, it's hard to recommend anything in particular. But today I'll make an exception! I'm just out of a dinner party with friends at Fernand's, a restaurant located 13 rue Guisarde, in the 6th. The cuisine is really good, the service is friendly and very - too? - quick and, last but not least, the atmosphere is very very French. On the down side, it's really busy and noisy and there is absolutely no privacy as tables are literally attached to each other (which can also be nice if you want to talk to your neighbors!!).

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pharmacy sign

In Paris, whenever you see a sign like this - or at least looking like this - you can be sure there is a drugstore underneath it. It's called a Caduceus (Caducée in France) and it shows - culture time everyone! - Hygieia 's cup (Hygieia , as you all know(!) was a daughter of Asclepius and the goddess of health, cleanliness and sanitation ) in which a snake spits out its venom that is used in the preparation of remedies. There are about 70 000 23 000 pharmacies in France (1 for every 2 700 inhabitants) and they only sell drugs. No soda, no electronics, nor food... like in US drugstores!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Eye see you again!

I don't know if you remember, but in April 2006, I posted a photo of the shop window of an optician called Lafont. Well, I passed by the same shop tonight and, once again, I could not help but taking a photo. He - apparently it's one of the sons of the Lafont family who does the windows dressing - always has the best ideas to display glasses in a funny/classy (glassy!?) way. This time, it's very nature oriented. Very cool ;)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A night at the Senate

When you think of senators don't you picture old farts, half sleeping while having endless discussions over a new law?! Well, in fact these "wise men" seem to be much more dynamic than what we think. Thus, last evening I attended there a debate about "micro incomes" generated by blogs, ebay, adwords, etc. This also gave me the occasion to see this venerable institution from the inside - and take this photo! On top of that, they even have part of their website in English;)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Walk the dogs!

Look what I've found for you today! A unique sculpture that can only be seen in Paris in this particular gallery - precisely called "Galerie Pièce Unique". If I'm right, this masterpiece was made by an artist called Cyrille André (funny picture of him here). The gallery is located in the 6th arrondissement, rue Mazarine where a lot of art can be found.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Return to the Maillol Museum

Aren't I lucky. Not only do I live in the most beautiful city in the world (LOL!) but on top of that I got hundreds of happy birthday messages from you all! Thank you very much indeed, even though I did not have enough time to answer every single one of you personally. Today's photo was taken in the Maillol Museum where I went - again! - last Sunday and caught a tourist in the act of taking a picture ;) The painting in the background is by CarlConrad Felixmüller and is part of the current exhibit "Germany: the black years".

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Paris Giant

This guy is not a figurine on a mock up, but a 8.5 meter (30 feet) sculpture that hangs on the facade of a kindergarden on the rue de la Tombe-Issoire in the 14th arrondissement (click here to have a broader view). The cute part about this guy is that he was made by sculptor Corinne Béoust after a legend that runs in the neighborhood: in the middle ages a giant, named Isoré, used to kill pilgrims on their way to a famous European pilgrimage spot known as Saint-Jacques- de-Compostelle. Isoré finally was killed, but his body was so big that they had no other choice than to bury him on the spot!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Unlimited speed

I already told you about these roller skaters who move around the streets of Paris on specific days and evenings. It never ceases to amaze me! If you were in Paris today (Sunday) you could take part in this one, for it takes place... every Sunday. What's nice about it, is that the route is different each time (have a look on their site) and that the pace is OK. If you're more into sports and like action and speed, you must take part in the Friday evening ones, which are also a lot of fun. And if you're into roller balding in general, here is what you can do in Paris on 6 wheels!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Iced Eiffel Tower

Isn't it odd to see a mini Eiffel Tower on the first floor of the big one?! And though that is where I took this shot 2 days ago, as I was attending the pre-launch of a new website (Radionomy, a service that will allow anybody to create his own radio). The funny thing is that this Eiffel Tower is actually made of - real - ice for it is part of an exhibition dedicated to both poles. Click here to see more photos on the actual Eiffel Tower site.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Paris at dawn

I had an early meeting a the Lutetia hotel this morning and on the way there, I passed by the Pont de La Concorde and saw this skyline. I had to stop and take a photo! Again, no Photoshop here...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Return to the lighthouse

I already showed this lighthouse in August 2006, but I can't help showing it to you once more, (but this time at night). It's located just off the rue Castagnary (14th arrondissement) and I pass by it every evening on my way back home. Why is there a lighthouse in the middle of Paris? Just to attract attention to the local fish market located right underneath it!.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

French Car

Until I took this photo and did a little research on the net, I was sure that France had only 3 car manufacturers: Renault, Peugeot and Citroën. I know now that we have a 4th one, called 4 stroke Rumen (Rumen, is the name of the car designer and founder of the company). As you guessed, it's not exactly a mass produced car - nor a cheap one either (55 000 €) - but it's got a real original shape and obviously attracts attention. Here is a little video, if you want to see it in motion.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


In the rue Mazarine, I found these pretty unusual paintings hanging on a wall above a restaurant. I really wonder how the authors of these paintings managed to stick them that high, but, anyway, I thought it was a nice photo idea. So here you go!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Crossing the street in Paris

No fancy building today, I just like the dynamics of this photo. I was surprised to learn that there are few pedestrian accidents in Paris; in 2005 (last stats available) "only" 23 people died crossing the street and 278 were seriously injured (but 1 643 were "lightly" injured). See, French driving is not that crazy!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Scooter or car?

It's been a while since I've wanted to show you this strange scooter called a C1 and manufactured by BMW. It was sold in Europe between 2000 and 2003 and you can still see many in Paris. Businessmen and women like it because it's got the "form factor" of a scooter but does not require to wear a helmet nor to wear a raincoat (it's equipped with a seat belt and a sort of roof). Dangerous? Not that much, if you believe what crash tests show.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Reaching out for God?

I took this photo in the Saint Jean-Baptsite de Grenelle church near the rue du Commerce in the 15th arrondissement. This was my first time there (I rarely go to this neighborhood). The minute I entered the place I was stunned by the enormous amount of perfectly aligned chairs there were. I thought it would make a cool photo. It does (well, in my opinion!).

Friday, January 11, 2008

The return of the sales

Every year around the same period, it's the sales and the 2008 ones started a couple of days ago. You - may - know that, in France, the sales are strongly regulated (they can only take place during a limited period, they must start on a precise day, etc.) but the new government recently announced that they might remove all these regulations. The shop owners protested instantly! No demonstration announcement yet though;)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Burning Paris trash...

I'm sure you won't be as enthusiastic about this photo as you were about yesterday's one, but Paris is not all about museums! It's also a city that produces trash (each Parisian produces 1,4 kg - 3 pounds - of trash everyday on average). What do we do with this trash? We burn it in one of the above factories, located right outside the the city limits. Needless to say that people in the suburbs do not really appreciate to host this factory!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Gare d'Orsay at night

I know you think I photoshopped this photo but I did not! I took it last night on my way back from work while the sky was very cloudy. Those who've been to Paris will recognise the Orsay Museum, a museum that was made from a former train station (gare d'Orsay) and which is a real wonder inside and out. The white light in the background belongs to the Eiffel Tower.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Atelier d'artiste

See the large top windows? They belong to an Atelier d'artiste (artist studio), that is a place dedicated to painters. You can find many of those in Paris, because until recently (until 1940, let's say), architects would always save some space on the top floor - on the north side, to avoid the sunlight reflexion - for artist studios. Now, because of the price of housing, all these studios have been turned into apartments. This one, for instance, located on the Ile de la Cité, must be totally priceless!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Paris kids

In Montmartre, at the beginning of the 20th century, there was a "painter" called Francisque Poulbot who became famous for his drawings of children. He is still so famous, that we currently use the word "Un Poulbot" when talking about a little Parisian kid. In Montmartre, you find post cards, place mats, canvasses... of his drawings everywhere. That is precisely where I took this photo (actually on the Place des Abesses) which shows the back of a ticket booth of a merry-go-round. It's not a real Poulbot scene, though, as, when Poulbot was alive (between 1879 and 1946) there were surely no skateboards!!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Dior Retrospective

If you're a francophile - and even if you're not actually! - you probably heard about Christian Dior, the famous couturier who precisely created Dior in 1941. Christian Dior died a long time ago (1957) but he had many famous successors (including Yves Saint Laurent and, or course, more recently John Galliano). Anyway, during the holiday season, they displayed a sort of retrospective in this weird little frame hanging on their building, avenue Montaigne. Cute!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Washington Statue

No, this place is not called Washington square but Place d'Iena, but the statue its middle is definitely the one of George Washington. Apparently GW was our friend during the American revolution; we provided him with gun powder (of course, our only aim was probably to drive the Brits crazy, but that is another story!) We the (French) are known for being sometimes anti American and though there are hundreds of American statues/street names/ buildings... in Paris. Not to mention Mc Donald's and Starbucks LOL!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Big Heads

Not far from the Beaubourg center, by the Saint Merri church, I found these big portraits that are usually not there... They look like rabbis to me, so I suppose they were installed on the occasion of a Jewish celebration. Anyway , they give the neighborhood a festive aspect which is good. It's already Le weekend, it feels good, even though I've worked only 3 days this week ;). Update: thanks to my visitors (see comments) I know now these 3 men are a Rabi, a priest and an imam.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New year Parade

I had never heard of this Falun Dafa movement before I took this photo. Funnily, 2 days ago I came across them again, marching in the streets of Paris - probably to celebrate the new year. Let me take advantage of this festive occasion to thank you all for your very nice wishes and compliments that you made lately. Like I said many times here: you are my fuel; without you, I would have quit PDP a long time ago ;)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A new era!

If you remember, I already posted about this last year, when France passed the law banning cigarettes from public spaces except cafés and restaurants. Now, as of today, even the "bistrot round the corner" has to comply to the new rules: no smoking permitted anywhere inside public spaces (except in perfectly sealed smoking areas)! I would have never thought France would manage to do this one day and though, apart from some people who think this law shows we live in a dictatorship(!) it seems pretty well accepted.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Theme day: best photo of the year

It's always hard to select a picture among 365 especially when it's supposed to be your best one. There are photos you like because they remind you of a specific situation, others that were particularly hard to take... Viewers don't want to know about all this, they just see a photo and think "I like it" or "I don't". Anyway... This year I ended up selecting a photo that I took at Paris Plage, last summer. Go there, if you want to read the original caption. And BTW, I hear we are turning the 2007 page today, so let me wish you all a wonderful new year ;)

Today, like every first of the month, is a City Daily Photo theme day. 117 City Daily Photo bloggers have also posted their best photo of the year. Please pay them a visit (but keep in mind that due to time differences all photos don't show at the same time).
Paris, France - London, England - Hyde, UK - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Grenoble, France - Stockholm, Sweden - Riga, Latvia - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Manila, Philippines - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Weston (FL), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - New Orleans (LA), USA - Wichita (KS), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - San Francisco (CA), USA - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Greenville (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Mainz, Germany - Melbourne, Australia - Portland (OR), USA - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Toulouse, France - Naples (FL), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Brussels, Belgium - Stayton (OR), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Toruń, Poland - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Baziège, France - Nashville (TN), USA - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Prescott (AZ), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Nottingham, UK - Moscow, Russia - Philadelphia (PA), USAEvry, France - Trujillo, Peru - Arlington (VA), USA - Denpasar, Indonesia - American Fork (UT), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Coral Gables (FL), USA - Montpellier, France - Joplin (MO), USA - Pilisvörösvár, Hungary - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Boston (MA), USA - Torun, Poland - New York City (NY), USA - Dunedin (FL), USA - Quincy (MA), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Chateaubriant, France - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Jackson (MS), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Budapest, Hungary - Austin (TX), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - Cypress (TX), USA - Bicheno, Australia - Wrocław, Poland - Brookville (OH), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - Cheltenham, UK - Wellington, New Zealand - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Mumbai (Maharashtra), India - London, UK - Haninge, Sweden - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Arradon, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Orlando (FL), USA - Mumbai, India - Terrell (TX), USA - Bogor, Indonesia - Delta (CO), USA - Radonvilliers, France - Saigon, Vietnam - San Diego (CA), USA - Adelaide (SA), Australia - Belgrade, Serbia - Auckland, New Zealand - Seguin (TX), USA - Inverness (IL), USA - Oslo, Norway - Singapore, Singapore - Las Vegas (NV), USANew York City (NY), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Torino, Italy - Susanville (CA), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - -