Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Good old French Food!

I'm not Bill Gates, nor a business angel from Silicon Valley, but from time to time I enjoy encouraging young entrepreneurs who have the guts to start their own business. That is what I did for Marc Thouvenin, founder of a site that promotes genuine French food from the "Terroir" (Provinces). He helps local producers finding customers on the web. Last night he made a little gathering to thank those who invested in his company , but I made sure I stayed away from the fattening stuff and sticked to the organic carrots and cucumbers!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Funny ball game

I don't think there will ever be a world cup of this ball game(!), but if there was, I'm sure Jérôme Mesnager (the artist of this graffiti) would be the champion! I've shown several samples of his work on PDP over the past 5 years, but I could not help but stopping and pulling my trigger when I saw this one at rue Lhomond in the 5th arrondissement. Really creative. Check out his site and you'll see many other ones in the little video he posted.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wish you were here!

I know you're going to be envious, but I can't help it! The weather in Paris at the moment is really nice (a little too hot maybe...) and walking down the embankment is a real treat. FYI? the first bridge is Pont Marie and the second one - in the background - is Pont Louis Philippe. I hope this will help you start the week with a big smile...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gay Pride 2010

See, I wanted to make up for yesterday's photo which I really do not think meets the standards I want to have here! But I'm afraid this one is going to freak you out too LOL! Sorry, I have to stick to the news, and the news on Saturday in Paris was... the annual Gay Pride. I will spare you the zillion photos I always take there for they really look like the ones of last year, the one of the year before and the one of the year before, even, but I just thought this one was funny in its own way... And, did I mention the weather is gorgeous in Paris at the moment?!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chinese restaurant

I'm just back from a farewell party in the 19th arrondissement and on the way out, when I left, I came across these illuminations in the window of a Chinese restaurant (rue de la Madone) ! I could not help but smile thinking it's was a little tacky, but also very marketing oriented: how to draw the attention to your restaurant at night! I doubt your comments will be as clever as the ones of yesterday with this photo, but this is just for fun...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Respublica ?

I took this photo last night on top of the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris (the Paris Modern art museum) on my way back home from having dinner with my father. Call me ignorant, but I have no idea what this big sign means. Is that a brand, the name of an exhibit, a new Republic?! I looked up on the web, and found nothing. If someone knows, please, enlighten us!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

De Gaulle Portrait

More of de Gaulle! They installed a huge portrait of him on the Hotel de Ville building and it's really impressive. What's even more impressive is that this portrait is actually a mosaic. It made of 1038 other portraits, the ons of the Compagnons de la Libération, that is people who played a role in the liberation of France during WWII (this includes members of the resistance, but not only). Click here to see a close up of the portrait and take a look at some of the mini portraits.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Photo shoot

Don't expect me to talk about the French football team. They did a terrible job, I don't even want to raise the topic LOL! What I saw last evening is much more interesting; a photo shoot on the Pont des Arts. The poor photographer - and model - had to cope with the tourists and spies like me, it was probably not very easy. But the set is unique and the sun was shining, so what more to ask. BTW you probably need an authorization for such a photo shoot but I have been unable to find out where to ask for it...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fête de la musique 2010

You probably expected a Fête de la musique (music feast) related photo as now it's all over the world - and therefore probably also in your country. This year I looked for something different and found this at Boulevard Saint Germain! It's a Vietnamese music instrument (percussions as you can guess)... Players on each side move the long bamboo sticks up and down while "dancers" jump between them (I don't know if this makes sense to you?!) Funny as hell (and not only to Vietnamese). And, no, before you ask, I did NOT try it LOL! BTW, they also did this to raise awareness of their association for Vietnamese children.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Old French phone

Look what I found at a brocante this weekend... Yes it's a phone (I think it's better to tell my younger visitors what this instrument was, as they probably don't know that in the past(!) phones had a rotary dial and - I know it's hard to believe - a cord that was plugged into a socket in the wall! And no, you could not take it out in the street to place and receive calls wherever you wanted! LOL). Anyway, it does not make a nice photo, but it makes a nice memory, so... The chair is also very typical of the 60's. Have a good Monday everyone, I hope the phone you use at work does not look like this one!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wandering near Beaubourg

I took this photo in the Beaubourg area, near the Pompidou center. I never realized until now how old and shabby this neighborhood has become. The buildings that once were restored (when I was 20!) need a real paint job (don't say I do too LOL!), the pavement is dirty and the trendy cafés are about to become much less trendy! I think it's time to plan some renovation... After all the town hall is doing it on the other side of the street (where the Forum des Halles is located), maybe they can get group prices! PS: sorry for the late posting. My mistake!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Appel du 18 juin

Today was a celebration day in France. We celebrated L'Appel du 18 juin, a call that General de Gaulle made to the French in 1940 (read all about it here) to urge them to resist to the Nazis instead of surrendering. And last evening, by sheer coincidence! I happened to have dinner at Le Café de l'Esplanade, a restaurant located just at the corner of Les Invalides where they were having a "Sons et lumières" (audio and lights) to celebrate this famous episode of the French history. I took this shot during the show.. pretty scary. (BTW, about yesterday's post, I just finished the Animoto. Check it out).

Friday, June 18, 2010

White Balloons

What is this lady doing with these balloons in the middle of the bushes?! Sorry, I'm too tired right now to tell you the whole story... You will have to wait until tomorrow to find out! I know the suspense is probably unbearable (LOL) but that is the way it is. You can take a guess in the meantime... Update. A lot of you guessed. this lady was going to Le Dîner en blanc (The White dinner party), like every year. Check this little Animoto.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's Okay to go to the café

Very good friends of mine (one is a frequent commenter to PDP...) gathered some friends to celebrate their Pacs (Civil Union) yesterday evening and they did it at the Okay Café, a very nice restaurant located 41 Quai de Loire and overlooking the Canal de la Vilette. So not only can you enjoy a nice drink outside by the water, but on top of that you get to have dinner inside with a view over the canal (see this other photo I took). Pretty cool place I must say... You feel like you're in Venice or Amsterdam but not really Paris! They also have a "recreation" room in which they have this cool zebra!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The oldest house in Paris?

It's been a while since I've been willing to show you this house... Why? Not really because it's pretty, nor because it makes a nice photo, but because it has a long history. This house used to belong to Nicolas Flamel, a famous "Paris bourgeois" who lived in the middle ages (between 1330 and 1418 approximately). He was a scrivener - among many other things - and became wealthy after marrying Pernelle, a rich widow. A lot of stories revolved around him (that he was a alchimist, that he achieved immortality...) but above all, he was mainly generous, helping the poor to survive in these difficult times. You can read more about him on Wikipedia of course and if you come to Paris, you can see the house for yourself at rue de Montmorency in the Marais. BTW, Nicolas Flamel is also mentioned in Harry Potter (he is said to be the friend of Dumbledore!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Love Locks

I just discovered something new in Paris last evening. Something that has apparently been going on for several months already but that I was not aware of: love locks on the Pont des arts ! Principle: young (and less young!) couples come to the bridge with a lock, write - or engrave - their names on it and lock it to the Ponts des arts grid! Silly, maybe, but sooooooooo romantic. There are hundreds of them attached to the bridge already but there is still room. Hurry!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bar Mitzvah

You know I often take you to Paris churches when I find them of interest, but I also go to other religious places! Hence this morning to a Neuilly (a city just outside Paris) Synagogue to attend the Bar Mitzvah (a Jewish ceremony that 13 old boys take to acknowledge that "they are now responsible for their actions") of the son of very very dear friends. It was very touching - and very interesting too. For a couple of minutes, a ray of sun came shining in through the window and that is when I pulled the trigger. I feel fortunate twice: to have spent the day among loving people and to have taken the photo at the right moment!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Touching graffiti

I don't know about you, but I NEVER see anyone posting graffiti on walls. Who the hell are these people, and when do they go out to write their stuff! These are the questions I once again asked myself when I saw this graffiti a few days ago in rue de Richelieu. Anyway, part of me thinks it's really silly to dirty a wall like this and part of me couldn't help smiling when I saw it, thinking of what caused the person to claim such an ownership! BTW, you see the little man in the mirror? Well guess who this is LOL

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The mini Willy Ronis Tour

Several times, since the beginning of May, have I mentioned a "tour" I took in the 19th arrondissement (remember the "In the footsteps of Willy Ronis photo?"). Well, now is the time to reveal all about it. This tour is made by famous French photographer Jean-Paul Lefret who lives and work in the 19th arrondissement, precisely behind this gate. I really enjoyed the time I spent with him and the other members of the group (including the encounter with Stéphane Kovalsky, the grand son of Willy Ronis, that I photographed here with Jean-Paul). As you can guess, I really recommend this tour (no, I have not been paid to say that!!), not only for the photo opportunities, but also for the atmosphere (BTW, check the photos he took that day, I'm in one of them...). Check here for more details and here for a more practical info (that means "price"!).

Friday, June 11, 2010

Open air museum

This is a part of what they call "an open air exhibit" which is, in fact, a collection of tags and Graffiti on a huge canvas hiding a building that is currently being redone. The photo was not easy to take as the building is enormous and the street in which it is located (rue de Prosny) is pretty narrow... So even with a wide angle I could only take a small portion of it. The idea is good though and the project too; not only does it hide ugly work, not only does it promote artists but on top of that their work will be sold for a charity at the end of the work, in July. There is much more to learn on the website (in French only, sorry) under the tab "Wagram"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The girl in the Bistro(t)

I called this photo "the girl in the bistrot" as it reminded me of the kind of photos you can actually find in old catalogs from the 40's or 50's with a title that does not really add to the photo! I did take it in a bistrot - which name I don't remember anymore... - in the 19th arrondissement while I was taking this Willy Ronis tour I will definitely tell you more by the end of the week now (enough suspense!). I really liked the atmosphere.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


I took this photo last night on my way back home on the Pont Saint Germain (that links the Ile de la Cité to the left bank). I was attracted to the cool effects of the little pieces of paper on the grid - probably due to the wind. That's all!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Another Souvenir from the Picnic

The place we had the picnic on Sunday is very very popular. So popular that a lot of people go there to take a walk or lay in the sun by the river between the Pont Neuf (in the background) and the Pont des arts. And before they go, they often want to leave a little souvenir on one of the many trees that are planted there! That is what I grabbed in this photo ;-) How romantic is that?! BTW, I worked all evening for you. The video is now ready. Don't expect too much though... It's just a little souvenir.

Monday, June 07, 2010

PDP Picnic 2010

Hello everyone, here is DA photo you've all been waiting for... Due to the bad weather, a lot of people were discouraged (I don't blame them, even I wouldn't have come if I weren't kinda involved in the gathering!) but eventually it did not rain and we even had a few rays of sun... As always it was wonderful to meet all these -very - nice people. We were lucky enough to have a chef among us (Ulla, just behind Andrew, the man in the green shirt) who brought some delicious food. Champagne was brought by... Drummond  (for yes Drummond, his wife Mae and his humor were there!). Pasta Salad by Anissa, the lady from the Hungarian Cultural Center. I was spoiled by Jeff and Rose, we all thought of Lynn (PHX-CDG), spoke to Lynn (UK) on the phone and had nice talks and laughs with everyone, including newcomers. And yes, I think I was photographed a few times, although I did not notice anything in particular... (Maybe Sab did!). I also took a few videos and this year, I promise, I will post them!
From left to right, starting with the last row: 1-Jeff, Cathy, Mai, Drummond, 2-Ulla, Guille, Linda, Rose, Michael, 3-Andy, Anissa, Philip, Allan, 4-Vicenzo. 

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Roland Garros final (French Open)

Believe it or not, today (Sunday) while some lucky people will have a blast picnicking on the embankment of La Seine with a bunch of PDP fans (LOL) some others will be sitting in front of their television watching the final of the French tennis open, better known as Roland Garros (after the name of the stadium where it takes place)... Unless, unless... they take advantage of the giant screen that has been installed in front of the town hall and where I took this cute father and son photo today...

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Dinner with friends

In the garden of a house, just outside Paris. Precious moment.

Friday, June 04, 2010

A (North) American School bus in Paris

I could not believe my eyes when I saw this typical American school bus in the streets of Paris (actually the Boulevard Hausmann) today. Of course it's not a real bus, but probably some advertising material for Longines, as the sign above the windshield shows it. Later tonight I also saw it at Place de la Concorde. What I don't really understand though, is that its licence plate is from Québec in Canada. I seriously doubt they brought this bus all the way from there, just to advertise for Longines in the middle of Paris...

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The sky is clearing up

Look at this blue sky (ok, don't pay attention to the chimneys!)... It's going to be like this until Sunday (at least). Which is good news for the 5th annual PDP picnic! (In case you still haven't heard of it LOL!). I took this photo in Parc des buttes Chaumont and I love the perspective. The lady in red was shaking a rug or something. Nothing more to add...

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


I know it's a classic, but I never get tired of it. I took it last night while the sun was going to bed... and the sky was still cloudy. For those of you who would not know: on the left La Conciergerie, on the right Les voies sur Berge (a sort of express way that the mayor of Paris wants to close and turn into a pedestrian area) and in the background Le Pont Neuf. Comme to the 5th PDP picnic this Sunday (June 6) at 1 PM you will see more or less the same scenery except that the sky will be deep blue! More details on this Facebook Page

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Thema Day : funny sign

Today is June 1st, therefore a theme day within the City Daily Photo community and today's theme is: "funny signs". I must confess I really did not have anything to post, for signs rarely crack me up! However, I found near Saint Sulpice, this cute little sign (a Catholic association called "Pour l'unité" apparently) that shows the three wise men. Nothing extraordinary, nor "funny" and surely not a good photo, but at least I can say I participated in the theme day!! As usual visit the other CDP around the world; they may have funnier signs than mine! Click here to view thumbnails for all participants
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.