Monday, August 31, 2009

All my lovin'

I agree, this is not the most sophisticated graffiti you've seen on PDP, but I thought it was very cute and, when I saw it, I immediately thought of you (all!). So, let me send you all my loving from Paris (remember the Beatles' song?) Is there a better way of starting the week ? I didn't think so ;-) Today is Monday August 31 and it's definitely the end of the summer vacation. Exhibitions, events, street gatherings... I already have a few photos in mind for you!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dancing by the Seine

Do you remember this photo? Well, I went back to the Quais Saint Bernard, and, this time, I went a little further and stumbled upon the tango dancers! They are even better located than the salsa ones of last time because they really face the Seine - They actually nest in one of the 3 or 4 small amphitheaters that are to be found there. It's a real dream place for dancers. FYI, the weather is a little chillier in Paris right now, but beautiful.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

RIP Jean Legaret

OK, I know it's a bit morbid, but take it simply as a work of art. This sculpture belongs to the grave of Jean Legaret, a French politician born in 1913 and now obviously dead... I found it the same day I photographed this in the Montparnasse cemetery and I really loved it. That is all I can say, not very exiting I know ;-)

Friday, August 28, 2009

They do, they do!

How about a little love story to end this week? A few weeks ago I met young entrepreneur Carsten for a drink to talk about Paris Sharing, a place where visitors can not only find a real Parisian home to rent for a short period, but also share their experience with others. I also learned that he was going to get married to a true Parisian, Isabelle, some time in August. "Come and take a few pics if you have the time", he said. So I did! It's hard to take wedding photos without falling into the usual clichés (well, I find it hard!). Among the zillion I took, I selected this one that I took on the way out from the Salle des mariages at the town hall. Toutes mes félicitations aux nouveaux mariés ;-)

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Subway (the sandwich place) has been literaly invading Paris since, say, last year... They have good sandwiches, no doubt, but to the risk of sounding a little patriotic, I think nothing beats the genuine baguette/rosette sandwiches like the ones I almost fell for today in the boulangerie where I took this photo... Not to mention the tarte aux quetsches (from Alsace) next to the sandwiches... FYI, the French word for sandwich is Casse-croute (break crust) but few people use it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Free Paris!

Yesterday (August 25), exactly 65 years ago Paris was freed from the German occupation. Every year since, Paris celebrates this "festive" moment with a mini show in front of the town hall where some people are all dress like Parisians in 1945 (as in this photo). I attended this event for the first time this year and it was quite moving. Also, I don't know if you've ever heard the story, but according to legend, it seems that the Germans were ready to bomb some bridges and monuments of Paris in case they would have to surrender. They did not, thanks to General von Choltitz, "Governor" of Paris, who is said to have disobeyed Hitler when he commanded him to "Burn Paris" (see more on Wikipedia). Also have a look at the beginning of "Is Paris burning?", with the famous soundtrack sung by Mireille Mathieu!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Marithé François Girbaud's old new den

Marithé and François Girbaud are two French designers that have been around for some time (they started designing clothes in the 60's!), but they really became famous more recently (first in the 80's with the release of Flashdance - yes, the main actress Jennifer Beals was wearing one of their jeans, imagine! - and more recently (in 2005), when one of their advertising campaigns was banned for some time (click here and you'll understand why!). Anyway, back to this photo... This is the back of their main shop in Paris, located 38 rue Etienne Marcel. I took it because of the vivid colors but I debated whether I should remove the trash can or not. In the end I decided to leave everything "as is".

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to school

Monday August 24, the day everything went back to "normal"! Paris plage has closed, the streets have started filling up again, most of the stores are reopening today and tourists have started leaving... Bye bye vacation time, hello Metro Boulot Dodo (the rat race)! Is it good or bad? I don't care really as I went back to "my schoo" almost a month ago, precisely to "feed" on time the people who come back at the end of August ;-) Anyway, before things go back to crazy, let me offer you a peaceful Paris set: La place du Châtelet at dawn.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Live, from a Paris apartment...

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend whose apartment offers a typical Parisian view. He must have thought I was crazy, but the first thing I did when I arrived, was to take a photo! He advised me to also take the window railing - also very Parisian - which was a very good idea. You can all thank Bruno, a former expat in Sydney, now back to good old Paris! Have a nice Sunday everyone. Here it's just gorgeous (blue sky, perfect temperature, you should be here ;))

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Go figure?!

If you understand French, then you will notice that the sign in the foreground of this photo that I took at Les Invalides says: "ball games strictly prohibited". Now if you take your eyes a little further up, you will probably notice... a rugby ball, surrounded by a whole rugby team! Now try to lay one foot on the grass in the Luxembourg gardens or any other gardens in Paris and I can guarantee you will have the "grass police" coming after you within the next 5 seconds! There are things I will never understand...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Heat wave 2009

We've been experiencing a heat wave since the beginning of the week. It's so hot that people have been using some of the public water fountains to cool off. Today I went by the Eiffel tower where they have large fountains at Le Trocadero and this little one behind the tower, on the Champs de Mars side (for those of you who know the place). As you can see from the sky, a storm is coming up but as I am writing this caption (3 hours after taking this photo) the sky is still quiet. I wish it would rain though...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Paris seagulls

Those who are long time followers of this blog already know that there are seagulls in Paris (remember this photo?) And I found a new proof of their presence this morning, by the Seine embankment. These Larus ridibundus (!) were getting a nice tan on top of the flower market buildings! Isn't that cool? From what I read on the web, these birds are now pretty common in Paris. The building in the back belongs to La Conciergerie BTW.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

400 new public toilets in Paris

OK, today, something much less glamorous than yesterday! But very practical - especially if you plan to visit Paris... They (the town hall) are currently installing some 400 new public toilets in the streets of Paris (I saw them!). And not just any toilet, but the ones designed by Patrick Jouin - yes people, in Paris toilets are as art pieces ;) -FYI, the one I photographed is an old model). On a more practical note, I'm sure you'll be happy to know that they are all totally free, clean completely automatically after each visit and are open between 6 am and 10 pm. The things you learn on PDP!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Paris Classic

It's a classic, but it's always effective! I took this photo last evening on my way home from the office. I see this almost every night (when it's sunny!) but it always amazes me. FYI, the boat passing through the Pont Neuf is called Le Gavroche and it belongs to one of the bateaux-mouche companies that operate on the Seine. When people email me and ask me "what do you recommend I should do while in Paris?" I always answer: "a cruise on the Seine, preferably at night (but dusk is fine too ;)".

Monday, August 17, 2009

Medieval Paris

There are few remains of medieval buildings in Paris - most of them burned because of their wooden construction among other things, but if you wander in Le Marais though you will see some of them. I already showed this one 2 years ago, and in this photo you can see a part of another one (on the left, with the wooden beams precisely - see a close up here) that apparently was built around 1540. If you're thinking "how amazing would it be to spend a night in a building like this!" Well... you can! This place is now a youth hotel called Le Mije. Ask for the place 12 rue des Barres.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dancing on the embankment of the Seine

I'm late posting, because I'm just back from a walk along the Seine, more precisely on the Quais Saint Bernard. During the summer season from Wednesdays to Sundays - providing it does not rain! -, you can find there Salsa dancers by the dozens. It's really amazing to see all these people dancing - some of them are really good - in front of the Seine. I watched them for 30 minutes then started taking photos. Here is one of them. More info (in French) on Danse avec nous, the association that promotes these nights.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The sun returns

After a terrible week, the sun finally decided to return. Next week is even going to be very hot, they said... We usually have a long weekend at this time of the year because it's August 15, the Virgin Mary's celebration day (for the Catholics). But this year the 15 is a Saturday, so no extra day! Well, I suppose I should not really complain should I? Anyway, have a wonderful summer weekend everyone (well for those of you who are in the Northern hemisphere!).

Friday, August 14, 2009

Paris space Invaders

I've been willing to show you this strange phenomenon for a while but I never managed to get a good photo of it. It? The little Space Invaders (you know this game that was so popular in the 80s...) that are to be found in many places in Paris (and now, not only Paris actually...). They originate from a guy we know very little about, who decided one day to "invade" the city with these little men... They are made of tiles and strongly glued to the walls (it's impossible to remove them without breaking them). Like he says "Some people call me a polluter, others say I'm an artist. I prefer to think of myself as an invader". His site appears to be a little dormant, but you still can have a better idea of what he does. BTW, I took this photo in Montmartre opposite to the Moulin de la Galette, the other day.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pétanque at Paris Plage

There are several Pétanque fields at Paris Plage and watching the people play never ceases to amuse me (they even organize a yearly tournament on the occasion!). I took this photo from above (obviously) and I like it because of the large sand/dirt surface that enlightens it. That's all. Not much more to say... Oh yes, it's my sister's birthday today, LOL!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Smoking kills: obviously!

I was wandering in the Montparnasse cemetery early this morning (yes, I do wander in cemeteries from time to time...) and I came across this "funny" coincidental scene. Someone must have left the pack a few minutes before my coming, because it was still standing even though it was a little bit windy. Some of you may find this a bit macabre, and though it's true: smoking kills. BTW, don't miss the Montparnasse cemetery if you come to Paris, it's a great place to visit.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sport in Paris

I rarely posted a sport related photo on this blog and though there are many sport facilities in Paris. I'm not talking about the many private clubs such as the famous Club-Med gym, but about the 388 public stadiums and gymnasiums, the 38 public swimming pools, the 43 public tennis courts... I just checked the guide that the Paris town hall made and even I am amazed by what I could do if I were less lazy! BTW, I took this photo at Porte de Saint Cloud (16th arrondissement) at the Géo André stadium one of the stadiums where the Rugby players from Le Stade Français are said to practice. I'm sure all my female visitors heard of them ;-)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Le Parisien

Despite a good experience that some of you may have had with Parisians, we still have the reputation of often being short, rude, self absorbed... (don't say no, you heard it too!). And this, not only among the foreigners, but also among the French from the provinces and even among Parisians themselves! Up to a point that Le Parisien, the only local paper, uses this fact it in its advertisement. The one going on at the moment (that I photographed yesterday) says something like: "Le Parisien, the only Parisian you can count on this summer!" A few years ago, they also aired several commercials illustrating in a funny way the slogan: "Le Parisien, it's better to have him as a newspaper - (than for real)!" Watch this, you'll understand...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Dinner with friends

How many times did you tell yourself "I'd love so much to settle down in Paris and live the life of Parisians". You're not the only one, a lot of people feel the same! But much fewer dare to do it. Yesterday (Saturday) I had dinner at two people's who did: Stuart and Elizabeth, two Americans who got rid of their house in the US to move into an apartment near the Eiffel Tower. Little tip: Elizabeth made a very detailed "Paris survival guide", I'm sure she'll be happy to provide us with a link to it ;) Have a nice Sunday everyone.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Dinner at Le Moulin de la Galette

You all know that on Paris Daily Photo I try not to show the usual touristy stuff. Instead I make the effort to stick to the things that the average Parisian (ie me!) does... But sometimes I also do touristy stuff, like having dinner at Le Moulin de la Galette in Montmartre. This windmill is not part of a movie set, but a real grain grinder that was used to make - among other things - galettes (a sort of rye bread pancakes) in the 1700s. The place is also famous because Renoir painted his "Bal du moulin de la Galette" in 1876 (now at Le Musée d'Orsay). Nowadays it's a restaurant and I went there for the first time in my life yesterday evening!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Paris Plage 2009, mid term

I know you're going to say this photo reminds you of the one of Paris Plage 2007, but I don't care, I still like it! I actually took it this evening (Tuesday) at the very same place as I took the one of 2007; where they have sprinklers - a great game for kids! I managed to shoot when there was no one around and when the kid was not facing me. Like I said, I'm pretty happy with the result! I still have 10 days ahead before the end of Paris Plage. Maybe next time I'll manage to be more original...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Paris Quartier d'été

You know that between July 14th and, say, August 20th, France, and Paris in particular, are practically "closed". Not much is going on - culture wise - as everybody is on vacation somewhere in the sun. To "feed" the tourists - and the Parisians who have to stay in the city during the summer months (hence journalists who work on the September issue of their magazine!) - well the Paris town hall organizes each year les Quartiers d'été, a series of cultural activities that take place everywhere in the city. Tonight (Wednesday) I went to the music kiosk of the Luxembourg gardens to listen to Sandra Nkaké. It was really cool.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Afterwork at the café

I don't go very often to cafés and bars after work like a lot of people do. Not that I don't enjoy a nice beer sipping once in a while at a terrace with friends or colleagues, but I often feel like I have much better things to do at home. Last night though, I made an exception. Why? Because I met with Virginia, from Birmingham DP (not the English Birmingham, but the one in Alabama!) who happens to be in Paris. We had a nice chat at a terrace and she really put a smile on my face when she told me that thanks to her blog she made friends with a lot of people. I'm really glad this CDP community gets people together. Especially since we know now - since yesterday's photo! - that this world may end in 2012!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Beware 2012, but why?

Here is another of these weird signs that you can find on Paris walls. I checked on the Internet but all I found is that there are several of them through Paris. No one seems to know what they warn us from. We have elections in 2012, but I doubt this is the reason. Anyway, I like the light in this photo. That's all. ;-)

Monday, August 03, 2009

Soon, the new Colonnes de Buren

I don't know if you remember this photo I took in December 2008. I explained then that after 22 years, the Colonnes de Buren (a controversial piece of art, named after the artist of the same name) located in the Palais Royal, needed to be redone. Well they are still working on them, but they are progressing... I can even give you a little preview of what "the new columns" will look like. You don't see much? True, but I took this photo through a little window... They don't look very different? True, but that is not the point! The point is to renew them, not to create a new piece of art ;-)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

A few things I want to share with you

Sometimes you come across graffiti that is really puzzling. This one is... (to me anyway!) I photographed it at rue Quincampoix in the 3rd arrondissement and I wish I knew this "Jonas" person and that he or she could explain to me what they meant. Unless he visits Paris Daily Photo, I will never know... Anyway, I thought it was the perfect photo to post today, as I am returning to me beloved city after a week in the Lubéron, in the South of France. I too, want to share a few things about Paris ;-) While I was away, I did a lot of reflecting and thinking. I can't say more now, but I think I'm going to make some changes to PDP.  Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Theme day: night shot

It's not because I'm away that I must skip the good old traditions, is it? Well today is a theme day and as I was lucky enough to find out about the theme day before my departure, here you go: a night shot of the Ferris Wheel, the one that I already photographed here (Not that I am short of unpublished night shots really!).

As always, see where the other City Daily Photo bloggers took their camera to last night ;)