Monday, May 31, 2010

Soon, the world cup!

Unless you live under a rock (or maybe if you're American and don't really follow everything that is soccer related) you probably know that the World Cup will soon start in South Africa. To be honest I don't think the French team will stay in the tournament very long... To much money and sex and not enough soccer I'm afraid ;-) There is even a supermarket chain who recently advertised saying "You TV set refunded if the French team wins the cup!" That says a lot. In the meantime I found this young, promising player training hard in the Jardin des Buttes Chaumont. So cute! BTW, if you want to follow the World Cup, go to Footbalistic, they are friends of mine.
PS : don't forget the PDP picnic this Sunday (June 6) at 1 PM. More details on this Facebook Page. The weather is going to be gorgeous.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Jumping off the Eiffel Tower

Generally when people jump off the Eiffel Tower it is rarely to break a record and they don't have 100 000 spectators watching them. This guy - his name is Taïg Khris - did today! He jumped off the Eiffel Tower on Rollerblades from a height of 40 meters (44 yards) - roughly the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower - and landed 10 meters (11 yards) lower (see the photo). Silly, meaningless, pointless... but very popular. The event was shown live on TV and the Champs de Mars was full of people. See also his Facebook page for more...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A meeting with a view

This morning I had a meeting in a communication agency in the center of Paris. It was the first time I visited them. A nice lady opened the door showed me into the main office and told me to wait in the meeting room upstairs... What she did not know is that I would take advantage of it to... takes photos! No matter where I looked, the scenery was absolutely stunning. So I took several photos, of course. I chose to publish this very Parisian one, where you have one the main landmarks of Paris together with the rooftops in the foreground.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Standing in line at the Eiffel Tower

I had a very busy day today and did not have a single minute to take my "photo du jour". So I dug into my archives and found this photo that I kept aside for a day like today. I took it last time I went to the Eiffel Tower, from the first floor. It shows a tiny bit of the long line that people have to stand in before they can actually climb up the Tower. No wonder, there are about 7 million visitors per year there. And since 1889, almost 250 000 000 people visited our dear old iron lady. Have a nice Friday everyone, mine will be as hectic as today...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Notice something different?

Look at this photo carefully. I know you know this arch (called L'arc de Triomphe), but did you notice anything different? Look closer... Click in the photo to enlarge it... Bingo! The sculptures on each side have been replaced with photos. Why? Because they are currently being renovated - until June 15. The one on the right is the most famous one; it was sculpted by François Rude in 1792 and it bears the name "La Marseillaise".

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Old Bus

I know I already showed you some of these old Parisian buses, but I can't help it, I just love them! This one is - if I'm not mistaken - a "TN4H" by Renault and it ran roughly between 1940 and 1971. It has a platform at the back on which passengers could hop on an off, which was very convenient and... very dangerous. There are a million things to learn about old public transportation in Paris especially if you visit the AMTUIR  (public transportation museum), which unfortunately for tourists is pretty far from Paris (about 14 miles). Fortunately, you can visit their website (in French only).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In the footsteps of Willy Ronis...

Do you know this photo by Willy Ronis, the famous French photographer who is probably more known for this photo? Well, at the occasion of a tour I will tell you more about soon, I happened to go exactly where he took the photo in 1950, that is Avenue Simon Bolivar in the 19th arrondissement . Of course the magic of his shot is definitely not in mine, but I tried my best! Oh BTW, the gray haired man on the right is... Stéphane Kovalsky, the grand son of Willy Ronis! Cool encounter, I can tell you.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Les champs return to being fields

I know you think this is a Photoshop edit, but it's not! During the night of Saturday to Sunday, hundreds of French farmers brought dirt, plants and a few farm animals too, to Les Champs Elysées to turn them into a giant field. It's not a demonstration, but a "PR event" called Nature Capitale to remind the Parisians of what the country - and life in the country! - looks like. Enormous - huge - success as this kind of event does not happen very often. I loved it. So much, that I may go back tomorrow at dawn when there are less people (hopefully). BTW, the funny part is that Les Champs Elysées used to be fields (or rather a swamp area) until Marie de Medici decided to have an avenue built there, in 1616! Update: here is a view from the arch, courtesy of Silvia, a friend of mine who took it today.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hopital Saint Joseph Chapel

My father is currently in the Hospital Saint Joseph in the 14th arrondissement (nothing to worry about, just a few arteries to unblock(!) He's now perfectly fine). Of course I visit him regularly and this gave me the opportunity to discover a nice little chapel at the center of the premises. It's not very surprising as this hospital was originally built by the Catholics - and also managed by them until 1958.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Message someone in Paris!

You want to send a love message to someone in Paris? Well, wherever you are in the world, you just need to connect to this Facebook page and... write what goes through your mind. Of course the person you want to send this message to has better be walking down the Beaubourg Center Plaza as that is where the giant Blackberry on which the message will appear is located. BTW the credit of this photo goes entirely to Rose who sent me an email to inform me of this event. ;-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

More art!

I had a very busy day today but I managed to find some time to go to the opening of an art exhibit - a more conventional one, not like yesterday! The unusual part was that it did not take place in an at gallery, but... in the offices of Mac Allister, an executive search company located near the Opera and the famous Edouard VII area that I already mentioned here. I did not find a job there(!), but some very tempting pieces of art by Odile Gaslonde (in this photo) and Antoine Faure. I know the picture is hard to see in this photo, but it's on purpose!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Art performance really?

Sometimes, when it comes to art - and art performances in particular - I don't always get it... Hence, this little number that I came across with last evening in front of La Bourse building (the one you see in the background). A certain Miss Dora O'range was surrounded by a little crowd watching her doing her performance (light up a fire,  playing golf with an orange she had just covered in petrol like in this photo...). The leaflet that was distributed there by her "assistants" says that "Miss Dora likes to play with the boundaries of normality". You bet! More on this website if you're intrigued.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cool bike parking

Due to the promotion of bikes in Paris, the Town hall had many many bicycle parking spaces built in the streets of Paris. But there are never enough spots! And since there are a lot of bike thefts (there is even a website where you can place an "wanted" post!) people find the most unusual ways to attach their bike to the next solid thing they can find... Needless to say this is highly forbidden, but since there is are licence plates on bikes, the risk of getting a ticket is very very limited!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Paris, the city of love!

Paris, the city of love? Well, isn't that obvious, when you see these two "tourtereaux" (turtledoves) that I photographed in front of Rosa Bonheur? "Rosa" is a former Guinguette located in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont and it is currently one of the most successful bars/restaurants in Paris. At night (not everyday, you need to check on their site first) the terrace is overcrowded and you'll be lucky if you can grab something to drink. But isn't that all the fun? I guess, for I only experienced it off peak hours!

Monday, May 17, 2010

5th PDP Picnic

Even though some of you may have seen my unforgettable number in this video, today is the official 5th PDP picnic invitation post. For once it will take place on a Sunday (June 6th) and around lunch time so that we can take advantage of the sun (I'm sure the gods will watch over us!). The location is "as usual" the embankment at the end of rue de l'Amiral Coligny near the Louvre. More on Facebook. I hope a lot of you will be able to attend.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fête du Pain 2010

Like every year since 1996, we are celebrating "Le Pain" (bread). It always take place in May because according to tradition, the 16th of May is the day of Saint Honoré, the Saint of... bakers! In fact the main reason for this celebration is that French people only eat 165 g of bread PER DAY! each year and that this is not good enough for the bakers' business! Problem is: bread makes you gain weight... But shush! Website: la fête du pain.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Stop staring at me!

This animal escaped from the Gallery of comparative anatomy, near the natural history museum! As you all know(!) comparative anatomy is "the study of the differences and similarities allowing us to distinguish and classify species or larger groups (orders, families, etc)." Well if you want to see for yourself, pay a visit to the Jardin des plantes , which is where the museum is located. In the meantime, you can also visit the website, which is not only very nice but also entirely in English). BTW, did you notice the Mc Donald's sign in the back?!

Friday, May 14, 2010

At the top, at last!

I took this photo in one of the many staircases that surround the Butte Chaumont in the 19th arrondissement. The kid started climbing the stairs and I immediately thought of the photo I could take when he would reach the top! I'm still debating whether the presence of the plastic bag is a good of a bad thing though!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Today (Thursday) is a holiday in France because the Catholics are celebrating L'Ascension, the day - according to the Christian doctrine - where Jesus ascended to heaven following to his resurrection. It always takes place on a Thursday (that is exactly 40 days after easter Sunday) and most people take a day off on Friday to either go away of take some rest. I'm one of these people! I took this photo in Saint Sulpice and, well, I thought it was most appropriate for today.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Les Sirops Monin

The minute I entered this café in the 19th arrondissement (I forgot its name) I noticed these bottles on the bar. So I took a photo... Once I enlarged it I discovered a whole new world; the one of Les Sirops Monin (the Monin syrups), a family business (since 1912) that exports throughout the whole world and even have subsidiaries in the US, Singapore and Dubai. What do they do? Syrups! Not only the kind that you put on pancakes, but in cocktails and other high-end beverages. Check for yourself on their stunning website.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flower Power for Joan

I pass by this statue of Joan of Arc every evening to go back home and last night I saw it was all covered in flowers. Apparently a Catholic organization marched for Joan Sunday and left a few bouquets around the statue to celebrate the day she freed Orleans in 1429. I understand their agenda was more political than really to keep her memory ;-) BTW, as I already mentioned it here, there is a similar statue in Philadelphia in the US that I had the chance to photograph - and post on PDP - in 2007.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Green Paris

You may think I took this photo in the country where I was this weekend, but no... I took it in the middle of Paris. Well almost in the middle, that is at Les Buttes Chaumont park located on a hill in the 19th arrondissement. It was inaugurated in 1867 during a world exhibition (you can see old photos of the area here) and since then, it has always been very popular (about 3 million people go though it every year). Probably because it's one of the rare gardens where you're allowed to walk on the grass, have a picnic, lay in the sun, enjoy a nice Spring day... and sometimes enjoy a beautiful light.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy anniversary Mister President?

I found this "figurine" (a little 3D portrait) in an art gallery (Galerie Lefor Openo), in the 6th arrondissement. Mougey, the artist that is featured there until the end of May, made funny little statues of famous people ("pipoles" as we now call them!) including politicians... I thought this was the most appropriate one to post at this very moment, as President Sarkozy just celebrated his 3rd year in power. Time really flies, as I recall taking this photo so well, that it seems just like yesterday.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

A night at Bollywood

I spent last evening at Bollywood! You know this part of Mumbai dedicated to Indian movies... OK, you're right I'm lying, I stayed in good old Paris. But I still got to spend 2 hours in front of La fabuleuse histoire de Bollywood show at Porte de Versailles, clapping my hands and yelling "Shava" like crazy. These Indian dancers must be on something illegal to have so much energy! Anyway, I had a real blast! Please forgive the poor photo quality that is all I managed to take (I was too scared of being caught!) and I just wanted to share a little bit of my Parisian night time!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Concert at Fontaine Saint Michel

No Paris was not invaded by Aliens overnight, this is just a concert by Hit Machin (no, I did not forget the "e" at the end Machin!) that I photographed in front of the Saint Michel Fountain a few days ago. Don't ask me to judge the music, I did not have the time to stay... You can check their MySpace (and see their video too).

Thursday, May 06, 2010


I took this photo last evening through the windows of Le Comptoir des Petits Champs, a very nice restaurant in the 1st arrondissement, where I was having dinner. The man was all dressed up like he'd just left the opera or something but I found out later that he was the porter of Le Grand Véfour, one of the finest restaurants in Paris. I don't why, but I love this scene.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Notre Dame du Travail

About two weeks ago, right after I posted the photo of this church, I received an email saying "In 1970 I visited "Notre Dame du Travail", a church that is also worth visiting..." I did some research, and found out that yes, by all means this church is definitely a must see and that, incidentally, very few Parisians even know about it. It was built around 1900 for the workers who used to build the pavilions for the world exhibitions that took place in Paris that took place at that time. This Church is fascinating indeed, because it looks like a regular Roman church, except that its frame is made of cast iron. See another view here.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Paris Safari (2)

Look what I found in the middle of Paris?! A Rhino... Of course it's not worth the ones I could see in Kenya last February, but still, I think the work of Harry James is absolutely stunning. BTW, if you want to see it for real - and providing you're in Paris at the moment, for I don't think it'll last for ever... - this Rhino lives at rue Alibert in the 10th arrondissement.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The other side of La Seine

In Paris, the Seine embankment is not all composed of stunning buildings like La Conciergerie... It's also made of several ports that are dedicated to passengers or goods like in this photo, that I took at the entrance of Paris, on the West side. They say that, with 7 million passenger transported each year (that includes tourists who use the famous Bateaux Mouches!), the Autonomous Port of Paris (that's its official name) is the world's biggest tourist port. As for the goods, I could not find the information, but it must be enormous too. I love this photo because it reminds me of the little plastic car toys that I used to play with when I was a little boy! If you want to know more, check this interactive promenade along the Seine...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Labor Day Demonstration

In France the first of May is Labor day (la journée du travail) and traditionally the day of Le Muguet, as I already showed several times here, but it's also the day unions demonstrate in the streets. One of the demonstrations passed right be my place so I did not have to go very far to take this photo! The big sensitive topic at the moment is La retraite (retirement). The Government can no longer pay! So they are trying to either postpone the age of retirement (which is currently 60) or lower the pensions, or increase the contributions (the French pension system is very largely a "pay-as-you-go" system where the younger generations pay for for the older ones - read this if you're interested to know more), or anything that could allow to make ends meet!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Theme day : statue

Today is the first of the month, therefore a theme day (Statues) within the City Daily Photo community. Let's be honest, this was not really challenging as there are hundreds of statues in Paris (I read there are about 600, but that was just an estimation - There is even a guy who wrote a book about them!). And I already posted a lot. Therefore I chose to show you a little more than a statue: the whole Place Saint Georges, located in the nicest area of the 9th arrondissement. By the way the guy on top of the pillar is Paul Gavarni, a French painter and caricaturist from the 19th century. As always, check what the rest of the CDP has to offer in terms of statues!