Friday, July 31, 2009

Too much sun really?

So the weather in Paris is still beautiful? I bet it's not as hot as where I am at the moment though... It's unusual to see people with sun umbrellas in Paris (the sun is so rare that whenever we get some we don't hide from it!!) except people from Japan, who must be more sensitive to the sun than southern Europeans (yes, I consider the French as "Southern Europeans", although some might argue we're more in the middle ;-) Anyway,  I just thought this scene was pretty funny and cute, so that'll be my contribution for today to put a smile on your face...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Un pot sur les Champs Elysées

I hear the sun is shining in Paris. A perfect day for "prendre un pot" (have a drink) on the Champs Elysées. You can meet a lot of tourists on this avenue (and locals too, don't go thinking we don't go there) including a lot of Arabs from the Gulf region that apparently love this avenue and its surroundings. I even read in an article that out of the 520,000 visitors from this region, a lot won't even go any further than Les Champs!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Carrousel Jules Verne à la Défense

Who said old things don't mix with the new? Here is a perfect example...What you see in the foreground belongs to a merry-go-round located at La Défense, the large business district of Paris. And precisely, what you see in the background is a piece of La Grande Arche, a very modern building. The funny thing is that I don't really think any kids go to La Défense, and I can hardly picture one of these on-the-move young executives taking a ride on the merry-go-round between two meetings to get rid of the stress!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Inside Saint Roch

Since yesterday I showed you an unforgettable boutique on the street of Saint Roch, let me take you today to the Church Saint Roch, which is just around the corner (yesterday's boutique is actually attached to the church in a funny way). I visited it for the first time and wow, let me tell you, I'm happy I did. It's huge (even though you don't really realize it from outside) and it's full of stunning paintings, sculptures, stain glass and more. I took this at the very bottom of the church, a true moment of inspiration. I let you read more about the Church if you're interested.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The little shop near Saint Roch

I know this looks like a movie set... And though, it's a real shop where you can buy genuine antiques and enjoy a chat with a real nice shop owner! This tiny boutique is located on rue Saint Roch, in the 1st arrondissement and it was created in 1638. The owner, Roger, is about to turn 80 and he really is in good shape. I had a wonderful chat with him for about half an hour during which he got interrupted several times by the neighbors who obviously all know him. Sometimes I wonder why I do this PDP thing and one of the reasons (in addition to your lovely feedback of course) is that I get to meet people I would never meet otherwise.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mirror in the trash

I found this mirror - which is probably a cabinet door actually - in the trash on my way to the office a few weeks ago. I loved the reflexion of the light so I stopped. But then started the hard part: how to take the photo without me being in the picture nor the ugly buildings in the neighborhood. People must have thought I was crazy to put so much energy into shooting this photo (and maybe they were right!). Anyway, the result is not too bad (at the risk of sounding pretentious!).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bye bye Paris!

That's it, after 2 weeks vacation in Paris, I have to go... It's been wonderful, I hope you all received my postcard and, who knows, I may send you another one from the South (which I doubt, because apparently, where I'm going there is no Internet access - how am I going to survive?! Don't worry I won't be away very long, I just need to "recharge my batteries" as we say in French (recharger mes batteries). Of course, as usual, there is no program interruption, there will still be a new photo every day on PDP. Be good while I'm way ;-)

Friday, July 24, 2009

When one door shuts, an other one takes the photo

I've passed by this door a thousand times maybe, but I never noticed how beautiful it was. It's only after I stumbled upon an article that I decided to take a closer look. This door belongs to the Invalides church, and it was fully restored last year after 300 years of good service (Louis the XIVth inaugurated it in 1706!). The letters "SL" that you can see several times stand for Saint Louis, one of our kings to whom the church is dedicated. Next time I will step inside (believe it or not, I've never been).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Trompe L'oeil at Beaubourg

I already mentioned this Trompe l'oeil in August 2005. A that time I took the photo from the top of the Beaubourg Museum. This time, let me offer you a close up. If you look carefully you will see that the two windows on the right side of the building are not real (even four actually, because the ones above are also painted). It's very old, but it's always fun to see. The multicolored toilet seats graffiti, however, are much more recent!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where do butterflies go?

This morning I attended the most unusual thing in Le jardin des Plantes, the large garden located near the Gare d'Austerlitz: a butterflies release! Explanation: a couple of nature preservation associations (Noeconservation and Natureparif teamed up to find out how far butterflies can go, how they adapt to the urban environment, etc. They raised about 100 of them (Pieris Rapae), marked them with little symbols (with solvant free markers) and released them this morning. We (the French) are all invited to report the presence of any of them on the web site of  Noeconservation. Isn't that amazing? See more photos here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Paris plage 2009, day 1!

It's funny - or rather sad... - that the most surprising and amusing things become usual and almost boring after several years. That is more or less how I feel about Paris Plage, the huge "beach" they install every year on the riverside of La Seine between mid July and mid August. Having said that, I still felt the urge to go there this morning and take a photo of day one of the 2009 edition ;-) I took it "through" the Notre Dame bridge.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Come on, it's July!

Who said it's summer time in the Northern hemisphere? Well in that case, I'm afraid Paris is NOT in the Northern hemisphere. It's been pouring rain for the past 3 days and this week is not going to be any better. People who come to Paris and find PDP often ask me what to wear, what the weather is going to be... And I'm always unable to give them a proper answer. At least the rain makes the pavement shiny, which is nice for photos ;-)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Karl Who?

How about a little humour for today (to compensate the bad quality of the photo!) I passed by this gallery recently - it's located 1 rue de Furstenberg, in the 6th, a few meters away from the gorgeous, unforgettable Place de Furstenberg - and I could not help smiling when I saw this "Karl Who?" bag (by Naco Paris) ! I smiled even more when I saw on the gallery web site that Karl Lagerfeld was seen wearing it! Which proves that despite his unbearable attitude, he has humour.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A postcard from Paris

Dear all, that's it, this is the end of my first vacation week in Paris... I loved every single minute of it. You would not believe the wonderful architecture, the shops (it's the "Soldes" as they call it here), the restaurants (I had dinner in a secluded terrace yesterday evening just before a huge storm - yes, they have storms too here), the people (the French are not that rude, after all ;)) and the Eiffel Tower (too bad, I missed the gorgeous fireworks they had for Bastille day). Oh I wish so much you were here ;)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dinner Faubourg Saint Honoré

Last evening for business purposes, I went to the HQ of Europacorp, the movie studio owned and managed by French film maker Luc Besson (the one who became famous after this). It's a superb building (what used to be a Hôtel particulier), located in the heart of the 8th arrondissement, in which I found this beautiful sculpture (I don't know who made it, nor if it has a name). But wait, that's not all! In the courtyard there is also an Italian restaurant called Ante Prima, where you can enjoy a nice dinner outside away from the street traffic (which is very difficult to find in Paris). On top of that, the manageress is outstandingly nice (even though she's French!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Save Our Soul

I'm always fascinated by people who pass by a church, push the door and take some time to pray. What do they pray for, are they worried, sad, desperate? Do they just want to take a little break in their busy life? Anyway, I felt like taking this photo because of the chairs around this lady that look like an ocean. FYI, I took it in the same church, where I took this one in 2007, that is Eglise Saint Séverin.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Make war, then love!

I remember that when I was young, I would not even think of watching the July 14 Champs Elysées march because I thought it was really tacky (and also because going to the army for a year was compulsory at that time which was not something I was looking forward to!) Now I'm older, I've performed my military service and I have a better appreciation of what all these men and women can do for us. So I have no problem watching the march, on the contrary! Worse, I even took the excuse of having to take photos for PDP to go to Les Invalides where a big PR event - after the march - to show the French how well protected they are. At the end I saw this couple (he's wearing the famous Polytechnique uniforme - Le Grand U) and thought they were cute. If you want more photos, check this little Animoto.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Le 14 juillet 2009

I know you could accuse me of cheating as this is obviously not a photo taken during the 2009 Bastille day fireworks (I posted it on July 13 at midnight), but it's for a good cause! As some of you already mentioned it yesterday in the comments box, we're celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower and for the occasion it will be possible to watch the Bastille Day fireworks live on the Net (starting at 10:45 pm local time - 8:45 GMT) ! The audience will also be able to upload photos, live from the Eiffel Tower area. Don't miss it, if you're around a computer @ 8:45 pm GMT (10:45 PM, Paris time), providing the site will bear the load!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Les soldes à Paris

Good news: it's the summer soldes (sales) in Paris at the moment. I took this photo in Le Printemps which, despite the financial crisis was packed on Saturday. I have even better news: now the law has changed and instead of having only two strict periods of sales, there can now be either one more 2 week period or 2 one week periods throughout the year. BTW, are you ready to celebrate Bastille Day? It's tomorrow!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Le hasard fait bien les choses...

Today was my first day of vacation and as I was meandering in the streets of my favorite city I came across a used book bookshop. These two titles made me laugh: One says "Les vacances (vacation) [probably "of something or someone] and the other one "Le jeu de la tentation (the game of temptation). That's all. You know, just a simple scene for a simple mind ;-). BTW: before you ask, if you haven't seen it "advertised" on Facebook(!) FYI, I stay 2 weeks in Paris before going away to the Lubéron, in the South of France.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The big ferris wheel is back

Between the end of June and August, there is usually a small - very small - amusement park in the Jardin des Tuileries (on the Louvre side). Its main attraction is a huge Ferris Wheel, located on the Louvre side of the gardens. Last evening, on the way back from a house warming party of a friend I photographed it just at dusk. The sky was cloudy but still a little blue, it was really stunning. I'm not sure I managed to catch this scene exactly as I experienced it though.

Friday, July 10, 2009


If you happen to be in Paris these days (until the end of August) you have to stop by La Madeleine church. They currently have on display (all around the church) a few sculptures by Louis Derbré which are absolutely stunning. This one is called L'Espérance (hope), it is pretty tall and it's really beautiful.I must confess I did not know who Louis Derbré was, but I found out he used to "hang out" with Maillol and Rodin in the 60s, so no wonder he's talented! Have a look at some other photos I took there.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

An Iceberg on the Seine

You might have heard the story already... An iceberg was just found in Paris on the Seine, by the Eiffel tower! I went to check myself and here is the photo I came back with. This 16 meter (52 foot) high "thing" is not made of ice, but of plastic and is actually inflatable. It was installed yesterday morning by Greenpeace to draw the attention of President Sarkozy on climate change while the G8 summit is taking place (in Italy). I don't know if it will have much influence, but what I can tell you is that the media coverage was really remarkable. If you want to see other points of view, just click here.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Do I have Le Bac?

Le Baccalaureat (more often called "Le Bac") is a very important exam in the life of a French person; without it, you cannot go to university. The 2009 results were this morning and I happened to pass by a Lycée (high- school) at ten, right when they opened the doors. I could not help but stop and take a photo (which, of course, is forbidden - the principal made that clear to me!). It reminded me of my own Bac which put a smile on my face... Let me congratulate the 622 322 students that took the Bac this year, of which 487 900 succeeded (78,4%)!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Visit the Champs Elysées right now!

Last evening I went to the Champs Elysées especially for you to take this street plate. The reason why is that yesterday (Monday) I received a press release announcing the opening of a new 360° photo site that allows you to visit the most famous street of Paris "without having the burden" of taking the plane to come here! Click here and try it. It's fun.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Paris, such a green city!

Paris is said to be much less green than other big European cities like London or Berlin, but trees and grass do manage to make their way through concrete! And more precisely, according to Wikipedia, we have 450 "green spots" including: 2 woods (almost 20% of Paris surface), 16 parks, 137 gardens, 274 squares, plus a few walkways and other miscellaneous surfaces. I took this photo at La Pelouse de Reuilly, in the 12th arrondissement (and no, before you ask, I did not photoshop the green!)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Paris, really?

I could have taken this photo in a little village somewhere down in the South of France or in Italy, but no, I took it in the middle of Paris, in the 2nd arrondissement right after they cleaned the street. I'm not 100% happy with it - it would have looked better if the two ladies where more in the middle of the street - but I like it globally. That is also what I love with Paris: you can find yourself in a very modern area then walk down a few blocks and go back in time a few centuries!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July

I know I have a lot of American visitors and since today is the 4th of July I thought I would celebrate with a very French American citizen: David Lebovitz. David left the Bay area in 2002 to settle down in Paris and live off his precious art: making des[s]ert (and teaching people how to make them). I see him very rarely but last weekend I caught him in the middle of a book signing (his latest: the sweet life in Paris) at La Cocotte, a bookshop specializing in food. Do pay a visit to David's blog if you're into food and are looking for tips about eating out in Paris. And once again: happy 4th of July to my American visitors ;-)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Resting in Les Tuileries

I went to Les Tuileries Gardens last night for a professional event that took place in what they call "L'orangerie éphémère" (The temporary orangerie). I did not find anything interesting to photograph there, but on the way out, I felt like taking [a photo of!] these two ladies, having some rest by the pond after a hot day (you can see the storm coming up in the sky). FYI, les Tuilerie gardens are said to be the first public gardens in Paris. Apparently it was Louis the XIVth, after he commissioned famous gardener André Le Notre to design them, who decided that Parisians would be granted to right to walk through them every year on June 24!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Photo exercise

It may come as a surprise to some of you but I know nothing about the basics of photography. I always use the automatic settings, I "cheat" when I need it (for instance to obtain a blurry effect in the background) and I use Photoshop from time to time to fix my mistakes... Yes, that is the naked truth! But wait... Don't give up on me. Today I took my first photo lesson with these people and this photographer in particular (who happens to have worked with the 6 billion others project with Yann Artus Bertrand - remember this photo?). We went to the Palais Royal gardens, I took a lot of shots, but I finally kept this one. Now I know everything about field depth (see the result in the making of)! Update: this photo has been featured on Sportedbylocals.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

If the sky was empty ?

Today is the 1st of the month and, as usual, it's a theme day. Today's theme is: "Empty". I must say I had a lack of inspiration... And then I thought of a song by Alain Souchon - a French singer - who sang a few years ago a song called "Et si en plus y a personne!" in which the lyrics would go "If the sky was empty?". So let me offer you an - almost empty - Paris sky. That's all ;) Click here to view thumbnails for all participants