Tuesday, August 31, 2010


If you visited Paris, you probably noticed what we call the "Roms" (Gypsies), that is an ethnic group who originates from India and who settled down mostly in Eastern Europe. They are very poor and not really welcome anywhere (including their home country) but with the opening of the EU borders a lot of them emigrated to the West, including France. They are now in the middle of a political battle as the government is trying to send them back to where they are from (Romania mostly) and the opposition is accusing the Government of being inhuman.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Medecine History Museum

If you come to Paris, do pay a visit to "Le musée de l'histoire de la médecine" a very interesting museum you can find in the former Medicine Faculty, in the heart of Le Quartier Latin. It's fascinating to see the old instruments, the dummies and the odd tools they have used to cure people throughout the ages. One thing I can tell is that I'm happy to live in the 2000's (mind you in a 100 years, somebody will probably write the same caption saying "I can't believe they had to operate on people to remove the appendix in the 2000's!"). By the way, here is a  little Animoto I made after the photos I took there.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What's cookin'?

What's cooking? Well, probably croissants and baguettes, pains au chocolat and pastries... as I spotted these guys - probably on a break - just outside the Boulangers-patissiers (bakers) chamber which happens to be on L'île Saint Louis since 1845, one of the best locations in Paris. As you can guess, among other things, it's a training facility, so that is probably what these people were doing: getting trained. I wonder what they do with the leftovers !

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nice Chairs

A heartfelt thanks to all of you who have made lovely comments yesterday. I'm very touched. I thought of another quiet scene for today and a very Parisian one. I took it at a café terrace in the 9th arrondissement near my home, but I forgot the name of the place... Not very important, I just love this shot. Have a nice weekend everyone ;-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Rest in peace

Some of you have been following my regular trips to Trouville, where my Aunt Francoise was living (see two photos I posted in 2006 here).  Well, she came to the end of her journey on Earth at a very respectable age of 97(!) and is probably with her fellow angels now. I'm not sad, I think she had a wonderful - long! - life and took hold of all the things that the world had to offer. I'll be in Trouville for the last time today for her funeral, as she won't be buried in Le Père Lachaise cemetery where I took this photo, but in the local churchyard.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thalys: Time to reserve your seat...

... And when I say reserve your seat, it's really reserve the actual seat, not the sitting! Explanation: Thalys is the name they gave to the TGV (bullet train) that goes from Paris to the north of Europe (Brussels, Cologne, Amsterdam...). These trains have been running for quite some time now and that is why the SNCF (the French train company) is renewing them at the moment. And instead of dumping the seats, they... sell them on ebay! Check it, it's even in English. I must say I'm tempted to buy one...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Crying Euro...

The Euro is not doing too well these days (that is one of the reasons why tourists have returned to Europe - and France in particular, as I already mentioned it here). I thought this sign was very appropriate. I'd like to think that the paint drippings was all natural, but I think it was made on purpose... We'll probably never know.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rider in the storm...

... Well OK, it's not really a storm but a little rain, but I did not resist borrowing my title from the Doors! Anyway I took this shot today rue Beaubourg, and, as you can see, the rain has returned in Paris. Some people don't care, they just open their umbrella, even if they're on a bike ;-) Cute.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to school...

That's it! The end of the summer vacations is close. A lot of people have started coming back, as many start working today (Monday 23) to prepare La rentrée (back to school), a very important moment for business. I thought this sign was very appropriate and pretty aesthetic in a way. It's funny to see that this shopkeeper was probably too lazy to make a new sign on a computer: he obviously erased the one of last year and changed the dates manually!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

An elephant at Orsay

This sculpture is called "the trapped Elephant" and it was made by Emmanuel Fremiet for the Universal Exhibit of 1878 (it used to be gilded then!). To me it has a special flavor as... before being in front of the Musée d'Orsay like today, it was located at Porte de Saint Cloud, in the 16th arrondissement. I used to pass by it everyday when I was a little boy and would try to climb on it!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sprinkler at Paris Plage

I know you're going to say I'm obsessed with kids playing with sprinklers (remember?), but what can I say, I think they make great photos. This year, they installed some of them in a sort of jungle area, which makes it even more out of place! Great success among the kids, needless to say. Especially since the nice weather has returned and that we're expecting very high temperature this weekend. I'll be in the South again, after 4 days in Trouville where it rained ;-)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Master Chef in France!

You probably know the Master Chef TV show... If you don't, let's say it's a cookery game show, where amateur must cook a gourmet, three-course meal in under one hour. You'd think the French would invent such a game, but no, the Brits did! And they exported it to many other countries... (mostly English speaking ones apparently!). Anyway, the French 1st channel (TF1, which building I photographed) had it on yesterday evening for the first time in France and they're expecting it to be a huge success. I haven't seen the ratings yet... But I hope it'll work as it is a very close friend of mine who imported it to France ;-)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The exercise tower

Here is a pretty interesting sculpture I came across by coincidence in the 17th. It was made by Wang Du, a Chinese artist who has been living in France for 20 years now and who was ordered a monument dedicated to the Paris firemen, by the Paris town hall. It's called the Exercise Tower, and it's located right in front of one of the largest fire stations in Paris, at Place Jules Renard. It weighs 7 tons, it's 11 meters high and it's made of polished iron, just like the firemen helmets. Which makes it pretty difficult to photograph LOL!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Learn to play soccer young!

Here is a very popular game in France... We call it a "baby foot" (yes, we often create faux English words to make things sound more fashionable!) and there used to be one in every single café throughout the country. Now they have been replaced with arcades games or pinballs... I found this one at Paris Plage and loved it because it's particularly small (a baby baby foot in other words...). And I love the energy in this photo too.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rotten summer!

I came back Sunday evening from Nice to find this terrible weather (I took this photo Monday afternoon). They say in some areas it rained in 2 days the equivalent of 2 months of rain... The poor tourists don't need to worry about getting to much sun, like a at the begining of August, but what to do in Paris when it rains (not that we're short of museums mind you!). As for me, I'm off to Trouville again (Normandy) and something tells me the weather there will be quite similar to this one ;-).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Water for 1 €

Here is a photo I've been dying to take for a long time, but I never dared digging out my camera in front of one of these guys. "These guys" are more or less illegal immigrants, all part of  a "business gang" that sells water or miniature Eiffel Towers to tourists. According to an article I found on the web, they make about 400 € a month on average, which is not much. Needless to say they are pretty camera shy as their business is not exactly appreciated by legal shopkeepers, nor the Police... I personnaly would not buy water from them, not because they are illegal, but because I'd be afraid of what is really into the bottle! Did you ever try?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Joan of Arc at Saint Augustin

There are three statues of Joan of Arc in Paris - I generally show the one by the Louvre, at the entrance of rue de l'Amiral Coligny (the street that leads to the PDP picnic area!) but for once, let me show you another magnificent one. It's located Place Saint Augustin (after the Saint Augustin church that you can see in the background) and was made by sculptor Paul Dubois, and was posted there in 1896. The 3rd statue is located at Boulevard Saint Marcel; I'll show it to you the next time I go there...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Resting in the grass

What to do on a summer Saturday in Paris? Rest on the grass of course... It is not always allowed (because the grass also needs to rest from time to time...) but it most gardens it is now permitted (I also took this photo at Parc Monceau like yesterday). FYI, here is the gardens and parks of Paris portal (only in French, unfortunately).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Roman remains

There are many Roman remains in Paris even though the Romans left a long long time ago ;-) (the end of the 5th century). Most of them are to be found on the left bank, where the Romans actually settled down originally (that is why a part of it is called the "Latin quarter"). These remains I found in Parc Monceau, in the 17th arrondissement, on the right bank, very far away from where the Romans used to live. No wonder then, that they are totally fake and just part of the garden decor made by Louis de Carmontelle then man who designed the garden back in 1778!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


This could have been the perfect photo for a "reflexion" theme day ;-), but no, I photographed it just for the sake of it. I found this Bugatti - yes it's a Bugatti! right at the bottom of the Paris Hilton, which is not really known for sheltering homeless people ;-) The car was really the center of attraction, and I felt a little silly photographing it, just like everybody did, in the street. But at least I have an excuse: it was for PDP!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Deck chairs at Paris Plage

I went to Paris Plage today to take a few photos and my favorite one is probably this one, as it shows exactly what this event is all about: spend some quiet time by the Seine, surrounded by the magnificent scenery of the river banks in the same exact deck chairs you could have in a sea resort. I love it! And though it's time for me to take a little break by the "real" sea... And it's not going to be Normandy this time, nor Brittany, but the South... (And don't worry, I will still post a photo everyday on PDP, needless to say!).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Roman Warrior

Yes, I know, it's another boring Paris Statue... ;-) But I took it at sunset and it gives it a little flavor that you won't see that often! FYI, it's called the Roman Warrior, it's one of the four statues that are to be found on the Pont d'Iéna (the bridge just underneath the Eiffel Tower) and it was made by Louis Daumas a sculptor we know very little about...

Monday, August 09, 2010

Les toits de Paris

I don't know why exactly, but there is something really special about the Paris rooftops. First of all, because you can easily see them (buildings must not be higher than 25 or 31 meters depending on the areas - with a few exceptions though) and second because most of them are shaped the same way, and made of Zinc with orange chimneys. I love them. And I'm not the only one... They have inspired several artists, including film maker René Clair or  Hiner Saleem and of course, this very famous song by Berthe Sylva!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sprinklers for ET...

I spent a couple of days in Brittany (in Saint Malo to be more accurate) in the West of France, but now I'm back in the home of the Eiffel Tower! They installed sprinklers  at its base (well actually they are located on the river banks, right where the bus sunk...) for the summer, which is not a bad idea (especially for photographers LOL!)

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Impasse d'Antin

Yesterday I had a meeting Impasse d'Antin, a little street near the Rond Point des Champs Elysées, that I never knew of before this meeting. The meeting went bad, but I had the chance to take this photo, which, even if a little over exposed, looks nice to me. That's all! (It's August, I have the right to be lazy LOL!)

Friday, August 06, 2010

Japanese Tourists

I often heard Americans "worrying" that Parisians may spot them right away because of their sneakers, caps, white socks... you name it. As if it mattered... Anyway. I thought of that when I saw these Japonese Japanese tourists at the Louvre the other day. No Parisians would ever consider using an umbrella to protect himself from the sun! Sunny days are much too scarce in Paris, we surely don't want to miss a single ray, when the sun is shining LOL!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Mona Bismarck foundation

Amazing! After so many years in Paris, there are still buildings that I have passed by a thousand times without knowing what was to be found in them! In this particular case, I'm talking about the Mona Bismarck foundation, a magnificent building located at avenue de New York, where I took this photograph today. Guess what it's made of? Buttons! And they have many more, as, precisely, they are having a buttons exhibit until August 14th. Quite fascinating. BTW the artist of this "painting" is Lisa Kokin. On a - very - different note, I would like to ask you for a favor... Lynn (from the UK, that you all know if you're a regular visitor to PDP) is at the verge of winning a free trip to Paris. But she needs many more votes. Can you please just take 5 seconds and click here then on "Vote for this tip"? Thanks for her.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Paris Plage 2010

Here is my first Paris Plage photo of the season! And I did not take it along the Seine, as I usually do, but along the Quai de Seine (which despite its name is not located along the Seine, but along  the Bassin de la Villette, in the 10th). Same principal though: sand, beach games, sprinkles, bars, pétanque... (have a look at what they have to offer on the site, it's also in English). It looks like a real beach, even though it's not a real beach. But it's still nice, especially when the weather is perfect, like it was today.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

True art

I found this "graffiti" (I don't really dare calling it graffiti, as it's really more of a painting than a graffito to me), at the entrance of Jardin Villemin in the 10th arrondissement, by the Gare de l'est. I could not help but thinking of the cave men whose painting is now considered as work of art by our civilisation... Will this painting also be considered as a work of art in thousands of years (providing it survives that long!) or just as another tag on a wall? I tried to decipher the signature in the upper left corner - it reads Cho, or something like that - but I have been unable to track him/her down  on the Internet.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The end of the Summer Sales

Today is a bad day for shoppers... Not only is tomorrow (August 3rd) the last day of Les Soldes (Sales) in Paris, but on top of that a lot of shops will close for the month... Parisians usually go away in August for their summer holidays and shopkeepers do too... Don't worry, though, if you're a tourist and plan to come during August, the big retail stores and department stores are open of course. I found this cute little Sales announcement in a shop called Desigual at rue du 4 septembre, near the Opera.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Theme Day: Bright colors

Here is a very nice theme day. I really encourage you to check the photos of all participants in this Theme Day around the world, as there are some amazing shots (I just did and saw what people who are ahead of (my) time photographed and it's really cool - and bright!). I took my photo in a souvenir shop near Montmartre (the same day I took this one) and I saved it for today. It's got everything: Eiffel Towers and bright colors! Enjoy your Sunday everyone.