Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or treat!

Although not French at all, Halloween was kinda celebrated a few years ago in Paris - Mostly because bars and restaurants were looking for a new occasion to get the people to go out and party ( and buy drinks!)- but now it is no longer. The only place I  managed to find a scary character last night was the costume rental place right in front of my house! So let me wish my American visitors a "merry" Halloween. May you manage to scare away the evil spirits until next year (and find a cure for the economic crisis too LOL). Update: People still celebrate Halloween in France, see the huge line in front of the costume rental place today...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Asterix just turned 50...

Most of you probably don't know who Asterix is... and though he's probably the most famous Frenchman of the 20th century! He - and his Pal Obelix - are actually two characters from a serie of comic books by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinni that French people love precisely because they are typically "French": they fight, they complain a lot, they are proud and arrogant, they think that they know better and... they love eating (read the full story here). Asterix just turned 50 and it is such an event for us that you can find evidences of this anniversary in many areas in Paris: L'abbaye de Cluny, La Bourse and even La place de la Concorde, where I took this photo (see a wider angle here).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I saw the light!

I'll be honest, I did not have enough time to take a photo today, so I'm using one that I took a few weeks ago and that I love. I took it in Notre Dame (yes, the same day I took the Saint John the Baptist one) in one of the isles where people can light up candles (candles - and more widely light - have a strong symbolism within the Catholic religion). That is all ;-) BTW: this weekend I'll be selecting photos for the 2010 PDP Calendar. If you have particular photos in mind that you think should be in this calendar, please let me know.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thomas Paine

Today I passed by the Parc de Montsouris in the 14th arrondissement and I saw a golden statue that I had never noticed before. I found out it's the one of Thomas Paine a famous player during the French/American revolution times (even though originally English) - you can read his story here.I have not been able to decipher the name of the sculptor who made the statue (have a look in the making of, maybe you'll be able to find out. You will also see a wider angle of the statue in the park). Also, if you enjoyed the photo of the lion a few days ago, check this, I took this scene this morning...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No ads for children campaign

I took this photo in front of La Sorbonne university (on the Boulevard Saint Germain side). There were several people demonstrating against "ads that target children on television". Let's face it, I don't think they have the slightest chance of being heard... But I have to admire people who defend the causes they believe in, even if it's a lost one. FYI, from what I read on the Web, French children spend on average between 2 and 3 hours per day in front of a TV screen. I would have thought much more than that to be honest...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Captured at the Louvre

I find this photo amusing - even if not very original! - I would have posted it earlier, but I wanted to find out what the statue was about beforehand. I did not find it... Unfortunately I've looked everywhere and did not find anything. I'm sure that, like with Fernand Léger's painting 4 days ago, someone will come up with the solution...We changed the time in Paris last night (probably like in most countries in the world) and I really don't like it when it gets dark so early... [Sorry for the late posting again, it's my fault!]

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Aboriginal Art for sale in Paris

Today (Sunday) the auction house Gaïa will sell Aboriginal art at 60 rue de Richelieu, very close to my house. I went to see it today, for after my trip down under I really fell in love with this type of art. One small detail though, I did not know it was so popular...You see the big one on the upper left side of the wall (by Dorothy Napangardi Robinson, who, apparently is very famous in Australia)? It will probably sell for 20 000 to 25 000 €. I can't afford it (and though I have the perfect wall for it!). May I take advantage of this occasion to wish a happy bonfire to Ian and Andrea, my dear friends from Adelaide Daily Photo ;-)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lion de Belfort's new dress

If you came to Paris and visited Les Catacombes, you probably exited the métro at the Denfert Rochereau station. There - on the Place Denfert Rochereau - there is a famous statue of a lion (the lion of Belfort, by Bartholdi (the one who also made the NYC Statue of Liberty) that I already photographed once covered with snow. It's generally black (I read it was made of copper, but I am not 100% sure), but since yesterday, following a demonstration it is now orange; the demonstrators stuck dozens of orange stickers to it. I don't know how long it's going to last, but the stickers will probably be gone by Monday!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Stolen photo

This photo may not look very spectacular to you, but I love it. I took it outside the Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris (the Paris modern art museum) on the river Seine side (almost where I already took this one). There must have been a special night on that day as the whole museum was turned into a huge restaurant with lots of guests. It must have been nice to have dinner in this magnificent set. I've tried to find what artist(s) was(were) featured on this floor but I did not find the answer. Probably a painter from the 1920's 30's.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

There's no bones about it!

Here is another "encounter" you can make on the Champs Elysées at the moment... This skull was made by Philippe Pasqua, a French sculptor and painter, it's made of marble from Carrara and it weights no less than 4,5 tons! It is on display at the Artcurial galery a very famous auction house, located at the bottom of the Champs Elysées in the stunning hôtel particulier that once belonged to Marcel Dassault, a famous French airplane maker.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Drink at "La Gare"

Last evening I had a drink with one of my beloved nieces (that I photographed once in the beginning of PDP without telling she was my niece!) at La Gare, an old station that they turned into a bar/restaurant. I usually don't like this kind of places that treat their customers like c... because they are trendy, but this time the service was very good, the price of drinks not outrageous and the atmosphere not super noisy. In short, I had a very good evening. I took a photo of the bar (that actually reminded me a lot of the one of the W hotel in San Francisco. The photo is not very good, but I'm sure you "get the picture"!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Faironika, the fair cow...

Let me intorduce you to Faironika (a play on word with Veronika), a cow that symbolizes "Le Lait Equitable" (fair trade milk), a concept invented by Austrian milk producers. The idea is to give 10 extra cents per liter to milk producers who respect certain rules : no genetically modified food, strick respect of their quotas and... commitment to publicize the "brand". I suppose that is what the were doing today on the Champs de Mars by the Eiffel Tower!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Vogue Anniversary

If you were to walk down the lower part of the Champs Elysées at the moment - and until the end of October - you would come across a collection of huge Vogue covers! It's a great way for this famous magazine (well the French version) to celebrate its 90th anniversary. Some of the covers are really stunning (no wonder, the most talented artists and photographers were used). Besides, I think they were right to do it now, as, due to the competition of the web, it's not sure that Vogue France will be able to celebrate its 100th anniversary...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Christ?! (No, St John the Baptist!)

It's Sunday right? So it's Church day (well at least for the Christians...)! Look what I found in Notre Dame Cathedral? A very very unusual Christ isn't it? Well it is not surprising for, unlike what I originally thought, it is not Christ, but Saint John the Baptist. Precisely, I found it on a baptismal font near the entrance of the church. Have a super Sunday everyone (at church or somewhere else ;)) I am currently in the Loire Valley, visiting some chateaux with my friends... Will be back tonight though.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Demonstration on the Champs Elysées

This morning I heard on the radio that some French farmers had "invaded" the Champs Elysées, covered the street with hay and set it on fire! I had to go there! Of course I arrived too late but they were pretty cool remains on the street... (check this little Animoto that I made especially for you ;-)). Of course I sound like I'm making fun of the situtation, but in fact these farmers are pretty desperate. Prices of agricultural goods have dropped dramaticaly recently and they find it hard to make a decent living.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I know this is not "typical Paris", but it happened in Paris last night (Thursday)! I went to a party called the Intel Geek Party and it was a blast. I expected a bunch of nerds playing with their computer all night and instead I came across incredibly creative people. Hence this "Dream booth", invented by Armella Leung, who calls herself a "multi-medium graphic designer" (in French medium also means psychic). It's made of a pillow on which "dreams are displayed" by a videoprojector. And of course, since the pillow has also built-in sensors, you can actually interact with your dreams... Who said computers are boring? More, in the making of.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Garde Républicaine

Riding a horse may have been the most convenient way to move around Paris before the 19th century, but now I always wonder how these Gardes Républicains (Republic guardians) manage to do in the middle of such a busy city (I took this photo near Bastille, where they have their headquarters). And it's not only for the scenary; they actually still carry surveillance operations wherever neither cars nor motrobikes can go (like in the woods for instance). There are more than 500 of them in France (and about 200 near Bastille) and you can see them daily in the streets of Paris if you're lucky. Check their brand new website.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reporter on duty?

I know this photo is a little blurry, but I love its atmosphere. I took it last night right in front of the Lutetia hotel. My eyes got caught by the bag (and not just because I'm a journalist!) so I had to take a photo ;-). Of course the guy saw me in his mirors, so at the next traffic light he asked me why on earth I would take a photo of him from behind! I briefly told him why and handed him out a PDP button. Who knows he might check out his photo today... By the way, this bag is made by Reversible, a company that makes products with used PVC advertising banners. Isn't that cool?! I want one!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Barberini Faun

OK, I can hear you from here! Yes, this is obscene, but... it's art! This statue is called Le faune Barberini and it is usually to be seen in the Glyptothek in Munich, Germany, but at the moment you can see it in Paris, in the Louvre museum. This guy is a Satyr, that is, according to the greek mythology, a human with animal features (I wonder which ones!). See more about the Barberini Faun in Wikipedia.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Walk on the Paris bank

I have visitors from out of town at the moment, so I took them to my favorite spots today (Sunday). One of them being the Ile Saint Louis and Ile de la Cité. At the crossing between the two, I came across this funny scene (which will undoubtedly remind you of the photo I took 2 days ago...). The big photo in the background is, once again, one of the remains by Photographer JT from the Nuit Blanche (click here if you want the whole explaination again).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Caught in the act?

Funny scene today. I took this photo in front of the Beaubourg center where there are always tourists (and locals) sitting down, looking at the building and the passers by. In your opinion was this guy interested in the building or the young creature? It's hard to tell isn't? Well, I let you imagine. I just thought it was amusing for a Sunday photo. 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Defenseless in La Defense

Last evening I had a meeting at La Défense, the business district located slightly outside Paris that I already mentioned several times here. As I was walking back to the parking lot to get my scooter a huge storm (yes, like 2 days ago!) burst. The whole esplanade emptied, but for this pedestrian who bravely continued walking in the rain. The white wall behind him is a "wall of fame" installed today by the Korean manufacturer LG. People are invited to scrapbook on it. Have a cool weekend everyone, mine is going to be a bit busy...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Festival Ile-de-France

Like every year in September/October, the festival d'Ile de France - a music festival - takes place in Paris and its outskirts. This year they have a focus on female artists (which probably explains the cucumbers on the pig face LOL!) and you can listen to some of the music here. The "Factory" part that I photographed on this poster, is a special 4 day session withing this festival dedicated to experimental music. I never attended this festival and I won't this year again due to my pretty tight schedule... TGIF!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The year of Turkey in France

Those who have been following this blog for some time now, know that I spend a lot of vacation time in Turkey. I love Istanbul, the center (called Cappadocia), the coasts (even if they are a bit too touristy!) and the people. So I'm particularly happy that 2009 is the year of Turkey in France - and in Paris in particular. A lot of events have been planned of course, but one of the most visible ones is undoubtedly the "new dress" that they put on the Eiffel Tower. I took this photo last night, while a huge storm was bursting over Paris...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Parental Guidance suggested...

I apologize to those of you who will feel offended by this, but yes, you read it well : the title of the show by Florence Foresti (a very famous French comedian) featured in this theater is really Mother F%^&@# Of course for us French it does not really mean anything. It's just a word we hear a lot in American movies ;-) so we think it's alright to use it (even to put it up in lights at a theater!). Think about that when you swear in French; for you it's just a word, for us it can be most inappropriate...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The eyes of Pont Louis-Philippe

I could not believe my eyes this morning when I saw the Pont Louis-Philippe all covered in huge eyes on my way to the office. I made some research and found out it's one of the many remains of the Nuit Blanche. These huge eyes belong to women around the world, they were photographed by JR, who also thought of gluing them everywhere along the river embankment and on some bridges. There is always something going on in Paris! Have a look at JR's site and the site dedicated to the event where you can also see photos of the making of (that is the installation of all this).

Monday, October 05, 2009

Avenue Frochot

You're looking at my dream place in Paris... It's called Avenue Frochot (after Nicolas Frochot) and it's located near Pigalle in the 9th arrondissement. It's one of the few private streets in Paris in which you can find houses and small buildings. Needless to say that a lot of famous people have lived there (such as Toulouse Lautrec, Django Reinhardt, Alexandre Dumas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Victor Massé - a famous French composer). Taking about Victor Massé, the rumor has it that his house (the first one in the street) is haunted: No one survived there since he died!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Nuit Blanche by Canal Saint-Martin

Tonight (Saturday night) is Nuit Blanche in Paris (white night an event that has been taking place every year since 2002. On this special night Parisians can enjoy dozens of artistic events such as this one that I photographed at Canal Saint Martin. The artist (Nino Comba) installed about 20 fishing rods along the Canal Saint-Martin. Only he replaced the usual string with optical fiber. The effect was stunning. Congratulations Nino!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Making faces

Let me introduce you to Gregos, the man that glues his face everywhere in Paris! He started to do this 2 years ago with white/blank faces then introduced color at the beginning of 2009. I love the concept and I love the effect; you really think this face is built in the wall don't you? You will find a lot of these faces in the Montmartre area (he lives near there) and they all wear different "make up". Have a look at the Making of for more faces and a broader view and visit Gregos' site if you want to know more (and speak French...)

Friday, October 02, 2009

C'est la fête !

It's Friday, it's still a little bit sunny and... it's Les Trois jours du Quartier Drouot, right where I live. Drouot is a big - the biggest probably - auction house in Paris and it's surrounded by a lot of art galleries that I photographed several times here. No need to tell you that the whole neighborhood is "sur son 31" (dressed up to the nines?), with red carpeting, cocktail tables (btw, do you remember this table, that I photographed during a previous Drouot festival?) and, as you can see in this photo, flowers!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Theme day: Contrast

Today is the first of the month, so as usual, it's a Theme Day within the City Daily Photo bloggers' community. This month's theme is "Contrast" and I am pretty happy that I saved this photo for the occasion. It's not so much the light contrast that is interesting, but the contrast between modern and old architecture. I took it at Porte de Versailles, where they built a huge exhibition center and this is the view you have from one of the halls - the one closest to the street obviously. As usual, check what the other CDP bloggers have to show.