Friday, April 30, 2010

A window to the Eiffel Tower

I had lunch on a Péniche (a flat barge made for rivers) on the Seine today and it was a real treat because the weather was really fantastic. It was not the kind of boats that run up and down the river while you have lunch or dinner, but one that companies can rent for a party or any event and that stays along the banks. This one belongs to La Compagnie des Bâteaux à roue (the Paddle Wheel Boat company), it is called Le Clipper Paris and it's beautifully decorated (click here to visit their site, then look for "The boats", then "Le Clipper Paris"). As you can see, it's not far from the Eiffel Tower!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Time to lose weight!

This scale, that I photographed in the Luxembourg gardens is always a mystery to me. Why on earth would someone weigh himself/herself there?! Mind you, I never saw anyone step on it, so I guess they are not that successful  ;-) Anyway... For your information, like I already mentioned it, French people gain more and more weight. According to the main study on this topic, 14% of French people are obese, against only 8% in 1997... As for me, I have a good 5 kilos to lose by the beginning of the summer!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tractors' invasion

Those who follow me on Facebook have probably seen the photo I posted this morning. It showed a bunch of tractors on the Périphérique (the motorway that goes around Paris). They were heading to a meeting point before taking part in a big, unusual demonstration of farmers who protest against their living conditions. About 1,000 tractors invaded the streets of Paris between Bastille and Nation, and believe me, it was quite impressive. The Parisians were quite supportive even though, this triggered a giant traffic jam! See more photo in this Animoto.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I love rien, I'm Parisien!

Here is a sticker I've been willing to show you for a long time, but never managed to photograph it the right way. Last evening, I did. Here is the story. Parisians have the reputation of being very blasé, of having seen and done everything and of not being very sensitive to anything. A guy (Stéphane Lecourbe) had the idea of turning this reputation into a slogan: "I love rien, I'm Parisien", which not only rhymes perfectly, but also sounds pretty funny. I cannot say it's a real success yet, but you still see a few bumper stickers like this one quite often throughout the streets of Paris. And I'm sure that if it was marketing more seriously it could be a big hit. If you're interested, click here...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Paris, I love you!

I know I'm going to make you sooooooooo jealous, but believe me this past weekend in Paris was absolutely delightful. Just the right temperature, not too many people because it's currently the Passover vacation time and many Parisians are out of the city, and... a lot of sun. What more can you ask for?! Oh yes, a nice lunch at a terrace... That is what I had, twice. On Saturday in the Quartier Latin area and on Sunday at... er... The Hard Rock Cafe! I took this photo at Odéon (that is at the Latin Quarter), at the Les Editeurs, where I took this photo.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The secret to living longer...

If you left your heart in Paris, well don't worry, the Federation française de cardiologie (the French Cardiology Federation) can probably do something for you LOL. Hence this exhibition that they organized this weekend in front of l'Hôtel de ville (town hall) to raise awareness on heart disease in France. No secret recipe here; they promote exercise (check the Tai Chi lesson on the Making of!), a low cholesterol diet, no smoking... Again, it's not the most glamorous photo of PDP (although if you look carefully you'll see Notre Dame in the background!), but I thought this was "very French" ;-)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Meet Adèle Blanc Sec...

Don't be too demanding on the photo quality today, it is just a pretext to introduce you to Adèle Blanc Sec, a French character from a comic book created by Jacques Tardi, who supposedly lived at the beginning of the 20th century in Paris. She is very famous in France so no wonder Luc Besson made a movie about her. This movie has just been released ans since you probably cannot see it - yet! - where you are, I'll let you discover the stunning web site that was made to promote it. Not only can you see the trailer, but also a little visit through Paris "à la belle époque". All with English subtitles.

Friday, April 23, 2010

April in Paris...

I'm not a big fan of flower photos, but when I saw these ones in the Luxembourg gardens this evening, I could not help but taking a photo. I also thought of the unforgettable song April in Paris (click here to listen to the Ella Fitzgerald version). As a matter of fact April in Paris can be pretty cold (10° C or 50° F on average) and rainy (14 days of rain on average!). So I don't know really why Paris is supposed to be so wonderful in April! More about Paris Climate on Wikipedia.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Of course I took this photo because of the lipstick touch that I found pretty funny. But I also think this sculpture is pretty interesting. It's called "L'éducation Maternelle" (Maternal Education, or something like that...) and it was made by Eugène Delaplanche, a French sculptor from the 19th century (this sculpture was made in 1875). If you want to see it for real, it's located very near the Sainte Clotilde church of Tuesday, in a little garden called Square Samuel-Rousseau. BTW, talking about children in Paris, don't forget the book of Sheridan Becker (and 2 other co-authors) that I photographed here if you come with your little ones...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New telephone booth

If I tell you that Orange (ex France Telecom) is currently installing new public phones in the street (see a broader view on the making of), I'm sure you're going to laugh at me... And though that is what they are doing in some specific, touristic areas as an experiment. Why? Because these telephone booths have nothing to do with what the good old pay phones of "the past" used to be (including the first one, that was presented at the electricity exhibit in 1881!). This new model allows you to call, of course, but also to surf the web, find a restaurant/shop/theater... around the booth. Check this little video to see a demo. It's probably a good idea, but now that almost everyone has a mobile phone with Internet access I don't really think there will be much demand.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A must visit church

I'm always amazed to see that even after decades in Paris, there are still churches that I don't know. This one, for instance - which is actually a basilica - I discovered for the first time last evening while I was wandering in the 7th arrondissement. It's called Sainte Clotilde, it's located on a little, charming square, and it's absolutely stunning. I could not see the inside though, because it was too late, but I'll be back. You have to see it if you come to Paris!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Crack deals in Paris!

Let's start the week with a smile... I took this photo near the Franklin Roosevelt Metro (just outside the one of yesterday) and I could not help but laughing when I saw it. These green men belong to the city cleaning services. According to the Paris town hall site, they sweep 2 400 kilometers (1 500 miles) long of sidewalks and empty 30 000 garbage cans every day, and they also use big machines to clean the streets. And sometimes these machines get jammed and they have to fix them, and show us their... er... muscles!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Metro Layers

A pretty conceptual photo for today. It shows the various "layers" of the Metro. I like it, but I cannot really tell you why. That's all, not much to add... Oh yes, have a good Sunday ;-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Housing crisis? Obviously...

I took this photo on the Champs Elysées. It would be funny if it weren't sad as the woman who begs crouched against this newsstand cannot see the cover story of the magazine on the ad that says "Real estate in Paris: the real prices...". I bet she does not care anyway, as she'd have to pay on average 6 500 € per square meter for an apartment. Check this site, if you're interested in buying some property in Paris, they have all the detailed prices per square meter for each address of Paris. (Sorry for the late posting, my mistake...).

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ralph Lauren opening

This morning, on my way to work, I noticed an unusual crowd at the bottom of a magnificent building. I stopped, asked the people around and learned that it was the grand opening of the 3rd Ralph Lauren store in Paris... They were even expecting Ralph any minute! I had no time to wait for his sportswear highness, but I took a photo of this former 17th century hotel particulier that it took 3 years to renovate. The inside looks stunning and there is even a restaurant (Ralph's) located in the former stables. I know that if you come to Paris, it's not exactly to go to a Ralph Lauren store, but I think this one is worth it. Go to 173 Boulevard Saint Germain to make sure...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to become a real Parisian...

If you want to know what being a real Parisian means, you have to ask "Professor Olivier Giraud", a young French man who spent five years as a restaurant manager in Palm Beach, Florida before he realized he would be much better off as a comedian in France. And I concur... (Well not that I know what he is worth as a restaurant manager!) as I went to see his show last night (with PHX, Guille, Michael...) and had a real good laugh. The show is in English (sometimes with a heavy French accent), and makes fun of the French as much as the Americans (and the Germans!). If you come to Paris, you HAVE to see it. Have a sneak peak in this little video.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crèpes Flambées

I had dinner with my father last evening and we both had Crèpes flambées for desert. For those who would not know about this delicious desert, it's made of crèpes (sort of super thin pancakes) on which the waiter pours hot Grand Marnier that he sets on fire. Very impressive and... very good! BTW, since a lot of people ask me for good restaurant advice, here is one: Le Bistrot la Muette. It's actually part of a "chain" of 7 restaurants all based on the same principle: an all inclusive menu with excellent - I'm talking excellent - dishes. Check their site and don't go thinking it's a tourist place; the crowd that was there last evening was typical of the 16th arrondissement!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poland grieves

You may have heard that the Polish President, his wife, a large number of ministers and key members of the military have died in a plane crash last Saturday. We have a lot of Polish citizens in France and a lot of people of Polish origins whose grand parents (500 000) came in the 30's to work  in France. No wonder then that the Polish embassy, where I took this photo last evening, was all covered in flowers and little notes. I don't know if I have many Polish visitors, but that'll be my tribute to their country today!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Paris Marathon 2010

Yesterday (Sunday) was the Paris Marathon. So right after I handed out my old scooter to the lucky winner on ebay! I rushed to the center of the city to catch the runners. As always it is extremely moving to see these people running - sometimes to raise money for charities - and the crowd around encouraging them. As always I also took a zillion photos and made a little Animoto. As a main photo theme, I chose this guy, who is a garçon de café - a waiter - and who ran with his tray (he probably also takes part in the real garçon de café race that we have each year) ! Quite admirable. BTW, if you're wondering about the next PDP picnic, well, look on the right and check what the little grey haired man has to tell you...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunset over a Paris building

It's been a beautiful day in Paris today and it showed. I took this simple, but beautiful atmosphere photo at the end of rue du Temple, near Republic. This is - well I think! - a typical Haussmannian building, which means no more than 5 stories above the ground floor, balcony on the second (third for the Americans!) and 5th floor, same height for each story, and carvings on the facade. Thank you Mr Haussmann!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Vintage sign

Like every other 6 months now, I pay a visit to the Salon du Vintage (check here my previous posts). Last night I went to the opening of the current session which will last until Sunday in the Marais (and more precisely in an old gold factory located at rue des Francs Bourgeois). Like always they have vintage clothes, shoes and jewels, but they also have old industrial and commercial furniture like the one in this photo. This old Tabac sign is actually double vintage: 1st because it's an old classic and 2nd because smoking is also outdated!

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Ipad is already in Paris

I know you don't visit PDP to get an update on the latest high tech products but this is not just ANY high tech product AND it is not in its natural reserve, but in Paris as the map on its screen shows it (the dark blue thick line is the river Seine). The most famous gadget of the moment has not been officially launched in France yet, but this company was clever enough to buy a few ones in New York a few days ago and organize a PR event around it. I was fortunate enough to be invited to it. The event took place in the showroom of a famous designer, so it gave a special flavor to the presentation - and the photo...

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Medicinal plants?

You're all so nice ;-) I feel much better already and it probably has a lot to do with all your get well messages. Having said that I stayed home again today, consequently I'm posting another stock photo. I took it the same day I took the place to brunch at one. Nothing extraordinary, just a casual Paris florist scene. I'll be on my feet, ready to hit the road, ride my scooter and take photos again... Oh yes, I have a new scooter by the way! (and the old one is for sale on ebay!). Thanks so much for your support again.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Sick day!

Sorry I won't be long today in this caption as I have been attacked by a wicked virus - we call it a "gastro" which is short for Gastroenteritis - and I spent most of the day in bed with a really strong fever (among other symptoms LOL!). I'm not very original though; about 3 million people caught it in France over the past 13 weeks... Nothing serious (although it can kill I read!) but not really pleasant. I thought it was appropriate to post a photo I took some time ago of one of the former entrances of the Hopital Cochin in the 14th arrondissement. They kept it "as is", which I think is a very good idea. Now let me go back to bed ;-)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Best baguette: and the winner is...

I already told you several times how bread - and especially La Baguette - is important to the French. I also explained how they cut their bread consumption dramatically since the beginning of the 20th century due to many factors including a drop in quality and the fear of weight gain... That is why the bakers need a little marketing! One of the actions they took (with the help of the Paris town hall), was to organize a "best baguette contest"  in Paris... The jury voted at the end of March: now it's official, if you want to eat the best baguette in Paris, you have to go the 18th arrondissement, at le Grenier à Pain Abesses. If you're on the left bank you can still go to le Grenier de Félix, who won last year; I'm sure they haven't lost their savoir faire...

Monday, April 05, 2010

Jean-Jacques Henner Museum

Remember the girls legs photo 2 days ago? Well here is where I took it... I had the chance to visit the brand new Jean-Jacques Henner museum, a fabulous French (Alsacian) painter from the 19th century. When I say brand new, I mean newly reopened after an enormous amount of work (still not fully completed) in the building - a former hotel particulier that originally belonged to another French painter called Guillaume Dubufe. I enjoyed every single minute of the visit, and not only because the mantelpiece is a real piece of art, nor for the winter garden, but mainly for the fabulous paintings. Check the a little Animoto I made for you...

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Chocolate bar at hotel Cadran

A few days ago I received an email from someone at hotel Cadran, a hotel located very near the rue Cler in the 7th arrondissement. Laura - that's the name of the person who wrote to me - said "I enjoyed visiting your blog about Paris, you may be interested in the chocolate bar (and macarons) we created with the help of Christophe Roussel in our hotel." Chocolate bar?! You bet... I was there the next day with my camera! I took a zillion photos as always but only kept a few and saved this one for easter as it is the tradition in France to eat chocolate on Easter's Sunday. The hand belongs to Laura, BTW! Pay the hotel Cadran a visit if you're in the neighborhood, maybe they'll give you a little extra chocolate if you say you came on behalf of PDP!

Saturday, April 03, 2010


Last night, for a reason that I'll explain later, I went to a cocktail in the 17th arrondissement. I had the chance to visit a very nice building (don't be impatient, you'll see some of it!) and even to wander in some "secret rooms" that are still being redone. A few people were invited to join, including a few young, pretty ladies who looked like they were from another time. As you can see, just by looking at their shoes... (how's that for a "Tenin's perpective"?!). Have a good Easter weekend everyone - for those who celebrate Easter...

Friday, April 02, 2010

Green Oasis

Yesterday was red, today is... green. Why? Because I had the chance to have lunch at the Pershing Hall hotel today where they installed a vertical garden in the restaurant, in between the two main buildings of the hotel. The effect is really cool (and yes, the food is very good too!). FYI the hotel is located in what is usually called the "Golden Triangle", that is an area in the 8th arrondissement located between Avenue Montaigne, Avenue George V and Avenue Champs Elysées.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


No April fool's day prank for today, but a good old Theme day post, like every fist of the month. Today's theme is Red, as you may already have seen on other participating City Daily Photo blogs. I did not really know what to chose, so I looked in my previous photos. I found this one that I took from the Eiffel tower, the day I got stuck in the elevator. I remember taking it because I thought "the lady in red" would make a nice spot in the photo. There you go...