Wednesday, March 31, 2010

(Still) made in France!

I already told you how the French find it tacky to be "too" patriotic. On some occasions, however, it is OK to be proud of being French; this includes wars, football or rugby matches and... French goods! We even have a trade show - called "Made in France", not very original! - to promote them. The show is not about large industrial world leaders like Dassault (airplanes) or Alstom (trains and turbines) or even Dannon - Danone in French - (dairy products), but about small and medium businesses related to fashion or haute couture in general (like the famous embroider Lesage who is now a school). I just saw the outside of the show (it takes place inside the beautiful building of the Paris Chamber of Commerce) unfortunately, but I'm sure it was really worth the visit.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Metro Palais Royal

That's it! As of today, I'm a "real Parisian": I have a metro pass! A lot of people (ie Guille, PHX...) made fun of me when they heard it was such a big deal for me to take the metro, but what can I say, I hate it! Not only because it's crowed, but because it's very slow (well compared to riding a scooter...) Anyway, to "celebrate" I took a photo of what is probably the most photographed metro station in Paris: Palais Royal. It's famous because it was (re)designed by Jean-Michel Othoniel, as the "Kiosque des noctambules" (Kiosk of the night-walkers) in 2000 for the centenary of the Metro. Only this time I tried to take a different angle (see a broader view in this very very old post!).

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chairs forest

Here is a very "conceptual" photo to start the week... I took it at Le Luxembourg gardens where the weather is still not nice enough to use all the chairs. I saw them stacked near the entrance and thought it would make a cool photo. I'm still not sure it does LOL. The thing is that my scooter died this weekend and that it kind of prevented me from taking the photos I wanted to take... Anyone has a scooter to sell among my readers?! Please it's urgent... (I can do with some advice too).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Change of time

Tonight is the night! France (and Europe) is changing to DST (Daylight Saving Time) which we simply call "L'heure d'été" (summer time). On the one hand I don't like it too much because we lose an hour of sleep, but on the other one hand I love it because we have an extra hour of light at night. If you have the time I encourage you to read the whole Wikipedia article on DST. You'll see that the idea is not really new and that it has several impacts on the economy (and I'm not only talking about the energy it's suppose to make us save). BTW, I took this photo in Les Editeurs, a café and restaurant located in the heart of Le Quartier Latin (near l'Odeon) where a lot of book publishers meet...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Who wants to play hopscotch with me?

When I saw this hopscotch (la marelle in French) at first, I thought some kids had drawn it on the sidewalk. But when I looked closer I realized that it was an advertisement! The usual earth/sky is replaced with Paris/Cannes and there is a web address on the side of it. I managed to decipher it (, but it leads to a dead site, so I'll never know what they advertise for (apparently a team of designers and writers, but it's pretty unclear). Anyway, the idea is good and, as you can see, it rained today in Paris! Have a nice week-end everyone ;-)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lunch at Colette

I don't think I ever told you about "Colette". Not this Colette, but the store named Colette, at rue Saint Honoré (#213). It's a very trendy place where a lot of avant-garde stuff are shown for the first time before hitting "normal" retail. I went there today for the launch of a new service by Blackberry and took advantage of   my visit to try the buffet! Since it's a trendy place, the food is trendy too... Hence a Canelé "wrap" stuffed with foie gras and apple to die for (see here)!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Stuck in the Eiffel Tower!

Those who follow me on Twitter or Facebook will not be surprised to see this photo! Here is why: today, I went to the Eiffel Tower (for work!) and I took the elevator to go up (call me lazy if you want, I don't care!). When we landed on the first floor the doors refused to open. They had to "play with the cabin" for a good 10 minutes before they actually managed to free us! No harm, no worries, just a good laugh in fact. I wonder if these elevators used to work better at the time there was an operator sitting outside the cabin, like this man in blue that they now replaced with a mannequin to remind the visitors of the good old times!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Antoine & Lili in Le Marais

Weird encounter with a mannequin today! I found "her" at rue des Francs Bourgeois, in the Marais, just outside a pretty "in" women clothes brand store called "Antoine & Lili". I checked everywhere and I was totally unable to find out who hides behind this brand (they have 15 outlets in France and 6 in Paris, including a large one by the Quai de Valmy in the 10the arrondissement). All the stores are painted with a super bright color. Clever. And, by the way, they also have a  stunning website.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Smile, you're on camera

I know what you're going to say: "this photo really sucks compared to the one of yesterday..." True, it's less "sooo Paris", but I found the little camera graffiti - just above the typical Paris street sign! - pretty cool. And pretty timely too... As the new plan to introduce large scale video surveillance in Paris has just been released a few days ago. About 1200 cameras are going to be installed throughout the city this year (about 20 to 90 per arrondissement depending on their size - see the map here). As always, this project is highly controversial; some people argue that it is a breach in their privacy.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ile Saint Louis

A recent study ranked Paris the most expensive city in the world to live in (which I seriously doubt really), but when you see this scenery, you don't regret spending a little more than in other big capitals! This is actually the skyline of a part the Ile Saint Louis, a very old part of Paris that was built during the 17th century (you can see how crooked the buildings are!). Most of these buildings where originally Hotels Particuliers, that is private houses belonging to one and only one family. Things have changed now, but for the price of real estate. Not only is it very difficult to find an apartment there, but when you do, prices have no limits! More detailed info here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wagner returns to Paris...

It won't tell you much if you're not an opera fan, but The Ring of the Nibelung 'L'Anneau du Nibelung in French) has returned to Paris after... 53 years! Quite logically it's also the first time it is being shown at the Bastille opera (one of the two major opera houses in Paris), since it was inaugurated in 1989. The Ring is actually composed of four different dramas inspired by the Scandinavian mythology (I won't bore you with the details, if you're interested, check with Ms Wikipedia!) and it's a real masterpiece. Well, that is if you like Richard Wagner  of course, otherwise you might borrow this famous quote by Woody Allen in Manhattan: "Everytime I hear Wagner I feel like invading Poland"!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Breizh Parade

Remember two days ago when I told you about the Celts - and the Bretons in particular - and the big "rave party" they are going to have tonight (Saturday) in Bercy? Well last night they had a sort of rehearsal in front of the Eiffel Tower on the Trocadero esplanade. They gathered at 7pm and started dancing a gavotte, a typical Breton dance, facing the iron lady. Funny and rather unusual... Have a great weekend everyone, I'll be working on the PDP layout again, to improve the ease of use...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cabinet of Wonders

Last night, like every night, I passed by Le Cabinet des Curieux, a Cabinet of curiosities (or Cabinet of wonders) located at 12 Passage Verdeaux. These cabinets started in the sixteenth century and were used to display collections of objects according to a theme (natural history, scientific instruments, exotic plants and animals...). Nowadays the same spirit remains, only the object have changed  and the collections can be a little more dary! Hence, this current exhibition called fantasy for which they put two live models in the window! Huge success...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Proud to be a celt!

We don't have many Irish people in Paris (about 15 000 according to a few sources that I found on the web), but we have Bretons! Bretons (remember this post?) are the people who live in the northwest west of France and who originate from the same Celts "tribes" and share more or less the same language (even though, it's not much spoken anymore, at least in France). This year, to celebrate Saint Patrick, they organized a huge Celt gathering where Irish, Bretons, and Asturians (Celts from Northern Spain) will gather, dance and play the bagpipes (check this if you want to hear what it sounds like- go directly to minute 4:30!). If you want to join them, it's next Saturday in Bercy.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hurrah, Spring is back...

I've been waiting a while for it and now here: spring! To celebrate I took a photo of my favorite square in Paris: La Place des Victoires (Victories Square). It's a wide square in the 2nd arrondissement, dedicated to the victories of Louis the XIVth (who's the the guy on the horse by the way!). This Square was inaugurated in... 1686, and if you wanted to erect a building around it you had to comply to the strict rules set by Jules Hardouin-Mansart (1st architect to the king), that is only erect symmetrical buildings. There are lots of urbanism rules like this in Paris (have a look here, if you can read French, it's interesting); it's a constraint, but it is also the reason why it is such a beautiful city.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Naked Man

I know some of you may be surprised by this, but this is art, so there is nothing to be alarmed of! I found this sculpture in a gallery at the corner of rue Mazarine and rue Guénégaud and I could not help but laughing when I passed by it. Sadly, I'm unable to tell you what the place is called for the Gallery seems to be closing (it used to be Galerie Guislain apparently according to Google Maps). I'm also unsable to tell you anything about the artist, for there was no sign anywhere in the window. If anyone knows more, please let me know.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The place to brunch at

I'm rarely super enthusiastic about a restaurant or a café, but this time I am. Yesterday (Sunday) I went to Coco & Co to brunch with some friends. I loved the place. Not only is it located in a very nice area (Saint Germain des prés), but on top of that it's beautifully decorated (even though pretty tiny) and affordable. They even have a little "hen house" (well, with no hens!) on the first floor (Look on the Making of). "Coco" is child language for eggs in French, so quite logically the place has a specialty of... eggs (have a look at the board also on the Making of)! Just one thing; if you come to Paris and want to go there (look up on Google Maps), make sure you book at least 3 days in advance... They seem to have a web site, but apparently down...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Election Day

Today is an election day in France (we always vote on a Sunday). We vote for our local representatives. There are 26 regions in France (but only 22 for Metropolitan France - that is without the West Indies, the Reunion and French Guyana). Paris is included is what is called "l'île de France", a sort of "Greater Paris". Regions are in charge of Public transports, Schools' maintenance, roads... and other local equipments and services.The left - that is the opponents to the present Government - are predicted to win most regions (if not all of them) according to polls. More (if you're interested!) here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Snow again?

I told you how cold it is still in Paris at the moment... So cold it could snow again! But no, this white stuff is not snow, it's simply Styrofoam that was dumped into the sewer at rue de Richelieu. It's fun, and quite good for a photo, but in fact it's pretty polluting as Styrofoam is extremely resistant. Precisely the town hall just released the latest survey about Paris cleanliness. The 4 000 Parisians sample seems to be happy with the way Paris "shines" (63%), but for the first time 15% said that polluters (such as the one responsible for this!) should be fined. Just one slight detail though: how do you find them?!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thank you so much

Well, what can I say if not these two words that I used so many times here: thank you. I've not been able to read all your comments yet - nor to visit all these blogs that celebrated the anniversary with what is now worldwide(!) known as the "Tenin perspective", but I will this weekend. Tonight I took a photo of this billboard- which is currently used for our coming elections - and took the liberty of removing the original posters to replace them with this simple word: merci! Lots of love from Paris dear visitors...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

5 years!

So this is it... Today is the 5th anniversary of ParisDailyPhoto! I've posted 1834 photos since March 11 2005, every single day, without missing one. How's that for a commitment?! LOL. I've also met - or got to know online - an incredible amount of nice people from all over the world, and that is priceless. After 5 years I also thought it was time for a little "bloglift"... I wanted to wait a little more (I'm the perfectionist type!), but I decided to launch it today even though it's not exactly like I want this new layout to be ;-) As you will notice there are more opportunities to view the photos; you can browse by label, by category (Museum, Must see, Exhibition...), you can also click on one of the links suggested by LinkWithin under each post (it's not fully working yet as the service has to crawl all my photos...). There will also be other features in the weeks to come. I hope you'll like this new layout (even though I know that people generally don't like too much change!) and I welcome any comment you may have. Thank you very much to all of you, I enjoy your support, your nice words and your loyalty. BTW, I took this photo 2 days ago outside La Géode at the La Vilette park. If you look closely, you can see me in the reflection ;-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The archives of the planet !

Yesterday, I went to the opening of the new website of the Albert Khan museum. Albert Khan (1860-1940) was a banker (I guess we could even call him a "trader"!), but also a philanthropist. Once he became rich, he decided to build the "archives of the planet". How? By photographing and filming everything he could (well, not him personally but with the help of photographers, like in this photo that I took in the museum) on the planet. Thanks to this crazy idea, the museum has now 72 000 shots (in fact autochromes) and hundreds of hours of movies. They started digitizing all this and bring it to the public on the new website. Truly amazing! (FYI: a pretty similar thing also existed in Great Britain (The Mitchell & Kenyon Collection).

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Paris market

Like I already mentioned it several times on this blog there are 63 food markets  in Paris (100 in total if you include other types of market - flowers, animal...). See the complete list here or locate them on a map here). Some of them are open everyday, some only on specific days and some only in the morning or the afternoon.. These markets haven't changed much since the 1850's: each shopkeeper rents a spot on a daily basis to an "agent" that is granted a right of collecting money by the Paris town hall for a period of 6 years. I took this photo at the Bastille market last Sunday. As you can see it is very successful!

Monday, March 08, 2010

1910 Paris

We are currently "celebrating" the centennial of the famous 1910 flood (I already mentioned it a long time ago - in 2005!). It was not the worst one (look on the left in the photo, it says that the record was held in 1658 with 8,80 meters, against "only" 8,60 meters in 1910) but it was bad enough to cause a lot of damage. I went to one of the many exhibits that are currently being held about this flood in Paris at the moment - this one is free and held until April at Le Louvre des Antiquaires, near Le Louvre. It's both fascinating and frightening to see what water can do to all these areas that are familiar to you. Again, you don't have to be in Paris to see all this... There is an enormous amount of photo material available on the Internet. Check this for instance or even this little... video!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The other side of Paris

What struck me the most during my recent trip to Africa is to see the kind of dwellings in which a lot people live. Even though I have seen it several times on TV, it's still hard to see it for real. Having said that, last Friday on my way home from work, I came across this collection of buildings. Technically it's not really Paris (it's located in Châtillon Malakoff, just a few meters away from the Paris "border") but still. And don't go thinking it's about to be taken down (well eventually it will!), as you can see people live there. So, if you think Paris is all about beautiful buildings, Haussmann architecture and arts around every corner, well, you might consider visiting other parts than the center...

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Paris Safari...

Today, almost like every year, I went to the "largest farm in the world", that is the "Salon International de l'agriculture", a trade show dedicated to farming and farmers... It's a very popular show as the French love their farmers - even though they only count for 3.5% of the GDP (vs 7% 30 years ago...). It was really fun to see the numerous kids playing with the cows, the sheep, the tractors... This year I chose to show you this cute little goat that became the star of the podium for a while ;-) No need to go to Africa to see animals!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Why do the French hate Parisians?!

It's probably like that everywhere in the world: people from the provinces don't like the people from the "big city". In France - a very centralized country - it's particularly true. Up to a point that Mariane, a French news magazine made a cover story entitled "Why do the French hate Parisians?" A survey even shows that the people from the provinces think the Parisians are less welcoming, less tolerant, less generous, less nice, more stressed, more snob... than themselves. Have a look at the results if you can read French. And go back to this post (and click on the "Watch this" link in the caption). You will understand better what people think of the Parisians !

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Paris Izis Photo Exhibit

Inside the Paris town hall, there is currently an amazing photo exhibit by Izis. Izis (real name: Izraëlis Bidermanas) was a Lithuanian artist who emigrated to Paris in 1930 when he was 19 and worked there as a photographer - especially for Paris Match. He should be as famous as Doisneau, Ronis or Cartier-Bresson (he was even one of the "Five French Photographers" that took part in the New York MoMA exhibition in 1951), but he is not! That is why I think it's really good that Paris offers us the occasion to see his work. You wish you could see it too? Well, no worries, you can "visit" the exhibit without coming to Paris (I know you probably would prefer to!). Just click here.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Late Shopping

Coming back home after 2 weeks vacation is always difficult! Not only do you have to go back to work - and deal with the zillion emails that have been nicely piling up in your mailbox while you were away! - but on top of that you have to start life "as usual" again. Including filling the fridge! Fortunately, now, we have the "Daily Monop'", a rather new food store chain that stays open until midnight 6/7. Not only do they have "the basics", but they also have high-end organic ready made dishes that these "young urban professionals" love to reheat in the microwave when coming home at 9pm after a hard day's work ;-)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Paris from the sky

Here is a photo I have been willing to take for a long time, but planes rarely fly over Paris when they land at Charles de Gaulle Airport. Mine did today! The photo quality is not very good, but good enough for you to see (click on it to enlarge it) the Eiffel Tower, the Trocadero and even the Tour Montparnasse! I'm glad to come home, even though I found out that a storm hit France two days ago and killed about 60 people. Of course, compared to the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, it's nothing, but still, it is not really nice to hear when you return from vacation. Anyway, I'm glad to reconnect with you all.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Back to Paris

When I return from vacation I usually post a photo of La Tour Eiffel, but this time I decided to go East! This is La Seine, of course, and the bridge (the one you see a pedestrian on) is - as far as I remember because I'm not 100% sure... - la Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, the latest one that was built over the Seine. Anyway, whatever bridge this is, this view is what makes you want to come back to Paris, no matter where you've been before!