Thursday, September 30, 2010

Not a Blueprint


I'm just back from a "dinner in town" and on the way back home I came across this typical Paris building... all lit in blue. From what I could see, it's a medical center. Cool way of "advertising". That's all. Sorry. Nothing to learn today ;-) and I have to wake up early tomorrow, so no time for an elaborated caption!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What did they do with the pot?


... And don't say "They smoked it!", as this is, in fact, a clever idea if you have an old tub and big plants you don't know what to do with. I found this on the river banks, by the Josephine Baker swimming pool (a swimming pool that floats on the Seine) that you can see in the background. I'm not 100% sure, but I think these plants were part of the Fête des jardins (the gardens festival), an event dedicated to parks and gardens that took place last weekend in Paris. And as you can see, the weather is not so nice in Paris these days...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sparkling water fountain


It's been a while since I've been willing to show you this. This, ladies and gentlemen is a public fountain, and like all public foutains it gives water, except that this one sparkles... Don't go thinking it dispenses fancy sparkling water like Badoit or San Pellegrino, but just Paris tap water in which they put gas. Only in France? No, not really, apparently the idea comes from Italy where it's pretty common! Shame they don't plan to extend this to our taps... Like they thought it would happen back in 1957 (see this funny little video, especially at 1:05 minute).

Monday, September 27, 2010

Paris goes into the wild...


Being a very urban person, I start feeling home sick after two days outside the Périphérique (the motorway that runs around Paris) ;-) But that does not prevent me from enjoying a little visit to the country from time to time... That is why, this weekend, following to the invitation of Marc Thouvenin from Regioneo.com I went to Le Pari Fermier at Bercy, a little farmers' market specially made for Parisians who, as we all know, only live off frozen food! And I must confess I kinda fell for some of their stuff - especially some unforgettable Crèpes stuffed with chestnuts jelly... (I'll also show you some of the cheese they had there if you're good ;-). On top of that they also had an exhibit of decorated farm boots, which I chose to photograph for you. Here are the ones that should win the "2010 Pari Fermier Oscar", in my opinion!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Newlyweds?


Well if you think they look funny for newlyweds, don't be surprised... They are not really newlyweds, but actors - and they are not even just married if I understood the plot of their play correctly, they are just on the verge of getting married and scared to death! Anyway, I found them (Elsa Pasquier and Matheo Capelli) on the Seine banks today, promoting their play Dis-moi oui!, among dozens of other show people at "Spectaculaire", an exhibit dedicated to the upcoming shows in Paris this year. Clever idea.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

King Kong in Paris


Until October 10, Le Printemps – one of the two large department stores at the Boulevard Haussmann – is celebrating… New York City! Thus, on top of fashion related items (like an exclusive T-shirts series) they also have little attractions and NYC art exhibit. One of them is this 4 meter high King Kong created by Mr Brainwash – who apparently is a famous street artist in the US. Very cool… And very appreciated by passers-by, I can assure you ;-). Let me take this opportunity to say hi to all my visitors from the Big Apple, that I miss! Update: talking about NYC, the Fresh Air fund is looking for runners for the NYC Marathon. Check this, if you want to be part of it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Coffee at the Marriott


I don't always have the time to meet PDP followers who come to Paris, but today I did! Thus, I had the pleasure of having coffee with Ed and Barbara from Atlanta in the lobby of their hotel: the Marriott on the Champs Elysées. And you know me, I can't go somewhere without taking a photo ;-) So I did. That is how you're looking at the magnificent Atrium of the hotel. I remember that in the early days of this hotel they even had a huge tree in there. Really impressive.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Classic view


It's been a while since I've shown you a classic Paris view, so here is one... I took it from the inside of Le Jardin des Tuileries, facing the Place de la Concorde. This statue was made by Antoine Coysevox in 1699, it shows Mercury on Pegasus. And let me disclose a little secret: this one is only a cast; the real one is in Le Louvre...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back to La Défense


I spend quite a lot of time at La Défense (the main business district of Paris) these days... This week I went there last Monday. The weather was absolutely fantastic and I spent some time wandering in between the skyscrapers... I also took this photo. Easy, but nice! BTW, here is a useful information: there is a huge shopping mall over there and it's the only one of the close Paris suburbs to be open on Sundays!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Paris Haka


Do you know what the Haka is? It's a ritual dance performed by the Maori people from New Zealand (find out more here) and by the All blacks (the New Zealand Rugby team) before matches. But it can also be performed  on special occasions, like to celebrate the opening of a store, like the one of Koko, a new Kiwi fashion store located in the 3rd arrondissement. Very impressive, and I'm not only talking about the Haka, but about the New Zealand fashion too! Check for yourself in this video clip from the NZ television.

Monday, September 20, 2010

If only I had a brain...


I had dinner at "Fish", a very good restaurant at 69 rue de Seine in the 6th last evening and  when I went out of the restaurant  I came across this stunning brain "sculpture" in the window of the Galerie Bailly Contemporain. Very beautiful and very impressive. I simply love it. It is called 13000 volts, and I understand , Cédric Ragot made it. I wish I had a creative brain like his!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Happy birthday Gunnar!


Today I celebrated the birthday of a dear Swedish friend who just turned "beep"! His wife organized a little  friends gathering at La Coupole, one of the most famous brasseries in Paris and we had fun. When they brought the birthday cake (which is a fake cake in fact, for we had this instead!) I took this photo. You may think it's a little too blurry, but I chose to keep it, precisely because the "blurriness" contains a lot of energy. Exactly like Gunnar! BTW, on the ceiling, you can see the famous Coupole, that I already showed exactly 2 years ago.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Inspiring


Do I really need to write a caption? They came to Paris, they were in love, they wanted to shout it loud, they chose to write it down on the Passerelle Léopold-Sédar Senghor. That is all ;-)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Le Cyklop


Let me introduce you to Olivier, aka "Le Cyklop". If you're at least a one year follower to PDP, this name should ring a bell as I already talked about him when I photographed one of his early work at Place Saint Sulpice. Le Cyklop uses the Paris bollards and turns them into works of art - especially the round part at their top that he turns into "eyes" (which explains why he calls himself the Cyklop). Nice guy too, I was happy to meet him. See more of his work on his site.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Last sunny days...




In Paris we have no sea, but we have ponds! And nice quiet areas around them to get some rest in the middle of the afternoon. I happened to be passing at Les Tuileries Garden today and took these photos (yes, for once, I'm breaking the holy rule of CDP and posted two photos, because I like both of them). FYI, these was a clay quarry for tiles there before a Palace and an Italian style garden were built by Catherine de Médicis at this location around 1560. It was opened to the public in 1667, and became a public park after the French Revolution in 1789. Update: FYI, have a look at what "Caro", the owner of "Un jour Un sourire" did with these two photos.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Iron lace


Last evening about 2000 people were evacuated after from the Eiffel Tower after a bomb alert (an anonymous call). Fortunately nothing serious happened, but it's always scary to hear such a news. I guess the line will be shorter tomorrow...As for me, I don't know why, I keep passing by the Tower lately... Today I had a meeting rue Saint Saens (A French composer) in the 15th arrondissement and on the way back I stopped by the Iron lady and took this shot. I did not know exactly what the result would be, but at the risk of sounding self satisfied, I like it! As we say in French I'd even say "c'est de la bombe" (OK, bad humor... LOL!)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Always aim for the top...


Being handicapped does not prevent you from practicing any sport... That is  the message the Paris town hall wanted to spread last weekend, while hosting the 4th Handisport (the French disabled sports federation) encounters at Place de l'hôtel de ville. No less than 30 different sport activities were shown, including this wall climbing. I love this photo, for many reasons, including its energy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Smile, you're on camera


I witnessed a very weird scene under the Eiffel Tower last weekend... I saw a group of people, all dressed in the same red T-shirt, drawing a human circle under the tower in a very organized way. I then discovered they all belong to the famous French engineering school Polytechnique (one of the most prestigious schools in France) and that they were trying to drawn a smile that someone was obviously observing and photographing from the first floor of the Eiffel Tower! I looked everywhere on the web to see if I could see the result and for what purpose they did that, but I did not find anything. Too bad for it's a cool idea anyway.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jeff Aerosol


You know how I love to show you the street artists I come across when I walk through the streets of Paris (see several examples here). The most famous one, to me, is Jeff Aerosol. Last Friday, as I went to the opening of a Urban Art exhibition at Gallery Uni-ver I finally got to meet him (and yes, as you probably have guessed, he is the little man in this photo ;-) As for the blue figure in the foreground it was made by another well-known street artist: Zlotykamien.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My own private garden...


Today - and this has nothing to do with the surprise I mentioned yesterday - I would like to share with you one of my "secret" addresses in Paris... This is the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild in the heart of the 8th arrondissement (not far from Les Champs Elysées). Right in front of it, there is a secluded garden known by a bunch of happy fews - which I'm part of since last week!... where you can  lay in the sun (and in the grass). Just for you, my dear PDP visitors, I'll  disclose the address ! It's at  12, avenue de Friedland (Metro Charles de Gaulle). I'm not kidding, it's really worth the trip...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Talented painter


I'm not a super fan of galery openings as 1) I don't really appreciate the snobby crowd that generally hangs out there and 2) I get bored very quickly (probably a consequence of the 1st point!). Last evening however, I went to two openings and I actually enjoyed myself. I also discovered very talented people. Like Pierre Alex. the man who made these 6 stunning paintings (I know it's hard to really appreciate them in this photo, but that was not my point...) that I photographed at the wonderful Galery W, in the Abesses area near Montmartre. More about the second opening (including a little surprise!) soon...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A little glamor...


I found this poster at Beaubourg, just above a restaurant and I really loved it right away. The "curtain" is actually a garland (probably a remain from Christmas?!). I thought that after yesterday's demonstrations and the sh... weather that we're experiencing at the moment, it was time for a little glamor. And when it comes to glamor we have our share in Paris, but Marylin is eternal ;-)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

When to retire?


There was a big demonstration - and strike - in Paris today. Still about the same issue: the legal age of retirement. The government wants to postpone it by 2 years (from 60 to 62), but the people and the unions are not too happy about that... As always, it is extremely difficult to know how many people were actually in the street (between 1,2 and 2,7 million depending on the sources!), but it is a real concern for sure, even for people who will retire in a very very long time, like the ones in this photo!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Water games at La Défense


I had a meeting at La Défense today, the main business district of Paris. It's a quarter I really like because of the stunning architecture of the buildings (mostly skyscrapers), because it's a pedestrian area and because you can come across a lot of sculptures and other forms of art. Hence this Agam Fountain (named after  Yaacov Agam) made of enamel from Venice. The "cloud" in the background belongs to La Grande Arche, but you probably already recognized it...

Monday, September 06, 2010

NBA Tour in Paris


You know that they often use the front of the Hotel de Ville (town hall) for various exhibits (garden, heart race, French tennis open...). Well this weekend was dedicated to basket ball... And more precisely the Adidas NBA tour. Basket ball is more and more popular in France (the French basketball federation has 456,056 members) probably because Tony Parker (the husband of Eva Longoria) is French (even though he was born in Belgium and has an American father and a Dutch mother!) and has been in the news a lot over the last 5 years. I took this shot during their impressive rehearsals and I was not lying on the floor(!) but on a step of a staircase that leads to an underground parking!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Paris London a bike...


Let me introduce you to Jackie, a young lady whom I photographed yesterday (Saturday) at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower just after her arrival from London. This would not be that extraordinary if she had not made the journey on a bike! Why did she do that? To raise money for a good cause of course. I really look up to people like her, so when she emailed me in June to ask me if I could be there on the day of her arrival, I did not think twice. Congratulations Jackie and, people, it is still time to make donations... (Do listen to her interview too, it's here).

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Tomate Party


Here is my little tribute to my "oldest" follower (well, I guess) for when I saw this poster, I could not help but thinking of Tomate Farcie (stuffed tomato) who is a regular commenter to PDP! In this particular case Tomate has nothing to do with food, nor gardening, but with "music" and dance. If you're interested - and I'm sure you are! - it'll start at 6 am (yes AM!) on Sunday morning at the Plaza Madeleine at 8 place de la Madeleine. Have fun! (Why on earth do I suddenly feel so old?!)

Friday, September 03, 2010

African art at the cloister


There is a lot more than funny shaped baguettes in Le Marais ;-) There is also a lot of art. Hence, this African art exhibition in Le Cloître des Billettes (the Billettes cloister) - a sublime place built around 1430 ! - I love African art so I'm a little biased of course, but I'm sure you will all agree that these sculptures are positively stunning. I wish I had won the lottery and could afford to buy them... See the little video here if you want to know more about this exhibition and about Marie B who made them.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Magic Wand


If the shape of these baguettes reminds you of something, well don't be surprised. Yes, they are shaped like penises! I found them in the gay area of Paris, in a boulangerie called Le Gay choc (choc is a play on words between chocolate and shock). Big tourist attraction, needless to say. I did not get to taste them, but I see no reasons why they should taste different than regular baguettes... A little harder, maybe?! Tss, Tss ;-)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Market


Today is the 1st day of the month, therefore a theme day within the City Daily Photo community. Today's theme is pretty easy, as we have plenty of those in Paris: open air markets (check here for a complete listing and here for a map). Instead of showing you a colorful fruit and vegetable display, I chose this "sauerkraut", a typical dish of Alsace (a region in the East of France, close to Germany) that we call in French Choucroute. I took this photo at the Place Monge market in the 5th on the stand of a pork butcher... . See here, what the markets in London, Dubai, Moscow, Tokyo... and all the other cities part of the City Daily Photo community have to offer.