Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ticket Please

It always pains me to snap photos of people in despair, but I found the irony of the McDonald's cup and request for a "TK Restaurant" ("ticket" restaurant coupon) meriting a mention here. In Paris, it is estimated that there are 100,000 homeless people. A situation that no doubt will get worse with the current financial crisis.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Reflecting on things

Taken in front of Fauchon, this juxtaposition of images and reflections really caught my eye. Not much more to say except that when I see someone thinking, I always wonder what she or he is thinking ;) ! Talking about thinking, thanks a million for thinking of me with your nice wishes yesterday - and emails too. I did not have the time to see them all, but I will. Shame there is no Internet access on board Air France planes... Stay tuned, I'll be checking in regularly.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bye bye Paris

So, this is it... I'm leaving my favorite city today to go on vacation for a month down under in Australia and New Zealand. Call me lucky, because I am! I certainly do hope to meet a few City Daily Photo bloggers when I am down there. I'll post a few dates later on when I'm sure of my schedule. Of course I'll be connected (not too much though) to PDP and will read your comments from the bush (do they have wi-fi in the bush?!) as, of course, as always, there will be no "service interruption" on PDP while I'm gone ;-). BTW I took this photo on the 1st floor of La cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine and I love it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pigs will fly!

I know, I've been showing a lot of animals on PDP this month, but I could not resist. This little pig is soooo cute! The funny part is that I found it in a shop near the bourse ;) in the banking district. We don't have the expression "pigs will fly" in French ; we say "hens will grow teeth" instead. Of course, when this expression appeared (apparently at the end of the 18th century) science was unable to do this!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wild horses in the streets of Paris?!

Several of you reported to me that a few days ago a loose horse crossed the streets of Paris. To be honest, I thought it was some sort of prank. Maybe a little incident with a horse that escaped his master for a few seconds and made it to the news worldwide! But I investigated and I found out that not only was it true, but that on top of that a video had been shot! There are still 550 horses in La Garde Républicaine de Paris, and you can often see a few of them in the streets of Paris, like these I photographed on the Pont Neuf.

Monday, February 23, 2009

On a clear day...

Pigeons in Paris. What more can I say? They find their way anywhere and are but a permanent fixture in the city. This group was enjoying the sunny day, even if they were a little cold. But sitting atop the exhaust stacks at the Centre Pompidou probably helped keep their feathers warm.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The auction sale of the century

Today, I went to the Yves Saint Laurent/Pierre Bergé auction sale preview at Le Grand Palais, everyone - well in France at least - is talking about at the moment. The line was so long that the wait was roughly of 4 hours (yes!) but thanks to "Guille", whom you all know if you're a PDP follower, I had the chance to get a pass that made me wait only one hour! It's hard to imagine that someone can have so much beauty in one single house (well actually in two apartments, but still...). I'm sure you can read everything about this sale on the web, but let me just show you this simple drawing by YSL I photographed at the very end of the "exhibition". I think it's extremely moving.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The largest farm in the world opens today

Like last year and the year before, Le Salon de l'Agriculture (the International Agricultural Show) is now open. Even though we have less and less farmers in France (less than 4% of the active population), the French - and the Parisians in particular - love them. That is why this show is extremely popular. Of course, because of the crisis, time is tough for farmers even though they are heavily subsidized by the European Community (Brussels gives them €10 billion every year).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck

May I introduce you to Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (well his real name was: Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck!) whose name, to us Parisians, is pretty familiar because of a Metro station called Lamarck-Caulincourt! I investigated a little more about this guy because of today's photo that I took in Le jardin des plantes - a botanical garden - and I found out that he is believed to be the one who actually came up with the evolution theory first, before Darwin. But that might only be the French being Jealous of the Brits! Anyway, if you want to see for yourself, just check Wikipedia. BTW this statue was made by Léon Fagel at the beginning of the 20th century.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Folies Pigalle

"Pigalle" is a pretty famous area in Paris, known for being the red light district of the city, even though it has very little to do with other cities such as Amsterdam. However, long after its glory (basically between 1850 and 1970) Pigalle still has a little bit of this raunchy flavor that people from out of town enjoy experiencing when they visit the capital! And Parisians do too, even though they act naive when passing by all these sex shops and cabaret entrances. Last night I went to a Hungarian restaurant close to this place thinking it would make a nice change from yesterday's church photo! BTW. I finally managed to post the LA PDP party photos.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Forgive me for I have sinned.

At first I thought this was a confessional, a place where Catholics used to confess their sins to a priest. Then I saw the bicycle lock on the door and started to think it was really odd... Then I realized it was... an entrance door! Silly me... It may be a gateway to heaven, or more likely a gateway to Berthillon, the most famous ice cream maker of Paris, for I took this photo in the Saint-Louis en l'Ile church.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Today I passed again by this mannequins store that I already featured on PDP in September 2006. At that time the store looked so messy from the outside that I thought they had gone bankrupt or something. But no, apparently it's the normal state of this shop, as this time it was even more messy than last time! It's actually what makes it interesting for a photo ;) If you're in Paris and want to see it for real, the store's address is 54 boulevard de Sebastopol and it's called Alias Concept.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Musée en plein air

I went to two exhibition halls this morning, hoping to bring back photos for you. Tough luck: cameras were forbidden in both of them! So, I got even and went to the open air sculpture museum, on the left bank, in the Tino Rossi gardens. I did not know of this place actually, I found it by coincidence because I was looking for joggers to photograph. There, I had both! BTW, the sculpture in the foreground is by François Stahly and it's called "Neptune II", don't ask me why...

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I found this beautiful dog (well dog sculpture) on the Quai (the river banks) where - as I already mentioned here - there are many animal and plants shops. This dog "belongs" to a shop called Il Giardino. I used, in the title, the word Médor, because this is what all dogs are called in France - well I mean, it's a generic name for dogs.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Le baiser de Beaubourg

OK, this is not Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville of course, but I took this photo not very far from where the one by Doisneau was taken, and I can guaranty you that this one is not staged! I saw this couple and thought, "That's nice". But they kept going at it for about 25 minutes straight! Enough time to take a photo I'd say. When they were finished, they both pulled out a cigarette! Happy Valentine day everyone.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fashion Victim

I'm sure you don't have a suit like this - and/or you don't know anyone who does! Only in Paris... When I saw this guy in this small exhibition about the 70's, I thought to myself "I have to put him on PDP!" so I started chasing him discreetly (I didn't really feel like asking him to model for me!) . It was hard, but I finally managed to take a photo by sneaking my camera between two other people. The result is not perfect, but good enough! Have a joyful Friday the 13th.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Opera at dawn

Since I started this blog, I learned to walk through the streets of Paris with a "photographic eye", looking at anything thinking "would this make a good photo?". That's what happened this morning, on my way to the Opera where I had an early meeting ; I passed by this column and thought to myself: "I have to stop and take a photo". So I did... And I kinda like it, so it makes me feel good ;-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Puttin' on the Ritz

Crisis, what crisis?! I know you're going to say I'm spoiled... But, hey, doesn't Champagne taste better in a luxury hotel lounge than "Chez André"? ;-) Anyway, a friend of mine had a little birthday gathering at the Ritz and she was kind enough to invite me, how could I refuse such a photo opportunity ?! Here is some music to celebrate... FYI, and on a less funny note, this is the hotel that Diana and Dody Al Fayed left, right before they had their deadly accident.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snow again?

Snow again?! Nooo, this one is totally fake. I found it on a graffiti near the Beaubourg area, and I thought it was perfect for the season... It was made by Némo, a French painter known for his graffiti in Paris.

Monday, February 09, 2009

More snow...

Gee, 61 comments on the snowy Eiffel Tower on a Sunday! You must love snow a lot!! Here you go again then... I told you yesterday that I would show you more; this one was taken on the Pont de Arts, where the wind was really blowing, as you can see. It was cold but really breath taking. Again, I feel a little ashamed to talk about snow while I just heard on the news that there are about 100 deaths because of heat and fires in Australia. Have a nice week everyone, you are great!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Eiffel Tower in the snow

At last! I know some of you have been waiting to see the Eiffel Tower in the snow last time, but I never managed to take it. Today, it snowed a lot and I happened to pass by the iron lady at the right time. If you click on the photo, you'll see that it's all covered in white. It probably did not last very long though. I took a few other pics that are fun, I'll show you tomorrow... Have a warm Sunday! (Well, that is my wish for the Northern hemisphere. I understand the people in Australia don't really need extra heat!)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Party at La Bourse

I know at the moment, having a party at la Bourse (the stock market) is a little odd, but this building is no longer used to trade stocks (since 1986), but to host company parties or conferences. It's a beautiful building often called Le Palais Brongniart, after the name of its architect: Alexandre Brongniart who built it in 1813. It's generally not lit like this, only when they have private parties, like yesterday, when I took this photo.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Marianne, the French Republic

Once again I went to the Senate today, for a work thing. I really like this place; it's beautiful, perfectly located (within the Luxembourg gardens) and... full of history. Hence the amazing collection of Mariannes (Marianne is the generic name given to the French Republic) that they have on display on the lower floor. I did not know which one to choose... [8:00 am update] Sorry for the photo not showing! It's partially my fault and Blogger's!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cello or Guitar?

OK, providing the number of comments in yesterday's post, I understand you like food! But will you be as talkative in a music post? I know it's much less graphic than little chocolate pots on a tray, but I don't know why I always like these little bright posters that classical music bands stick to the walls of Paris. These two concerts have already taken place in St-Ephrem, a Church located in the 5th arrondissement. BTW, coming back to food... And before I put an official "sticker" on PDP, I can already tell you that the 2009 PDP picnic will take place on May 13!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cocktail time

Crisis, what crisis?! Today, at lunch time I went to a press conference held by Microsoft at L'Etoile, a restaurant located close to... La place de l'Etoile. At the end they served a buffet lunch that was really delicious. The highlight of it was the sweet part, that I had to photograph for you. Look at the the old style white pots in particular; they did not contain yogurt but rice pudding with a spoonful of crème de marron (chestnut cream). To die for! Am I spoiled? Yes, sometimes...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Fontaine du jardin des Grands Explorateurs

This morning Paris was totally covered in snow. I rushed outside to take photos, but the road was so icy that I could barely drive my scooter around (I hear London was much worse though!). I went to the Luxembourg gardens thinking that it was THE place for photos on such a day, but it was closed (they often close public gardens when it snows to avoid accidents). I finally ended up at the Jardin des Grand Explorateurs (dedicated to Marco Polo (1254-1324) and Robert Cavelier-de-la-Salle (1643-1687)), where I found this fountain designed by Carpeaux. Click on the photo if you want to see the effect of ice on the sculptures.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009

The Chinese community in Paris is more and more visible. Not only do they take a larger and larger part in the economical life of the city, but they also take a larger and larger role in the public life. Hence, the Chinese New Year's parade which not only takes place in the traditional Chinese quarter, but also in the middle of Paris, where I took this photo. Their next step is to appear in the media; as far as I know, there are still no Asian journalists on French television...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Theme day: paths or passages

It's February 1st and it's a theme day: Paths and Passages. When I saw this I thought to myself: "For once, that is going to be a piece of cake, I just need to take a photo of Passage Verdeau, where I live". But that would have been too easy... So instead I'm offering you, my favorite passage of Madame Bovary, a French novel my Gustave Flaubert, I'm sure you heard of (and maybe read too). It's when she is still happy and beautiful, before things turn ugly! I love the 19th century French literature. I'm sure the other CDP bloggers will show you real passages or paths in their city, so don't forget to visit them ;-)