Sunday, October 31, 2010

Another classic view

Here is what you can see if you walk down the street from Metro station Richelieu Drouot to the Galeries Lafayette or Printemps department stores - Precisely at rue Laffitte, a little narrow street in the 9th arrondisemment. You will have recognized the Sacré Coeur of course, in the background, but that is not the only church in this photo. You can also see Notre Dame de Lorette in the foreground. I already posted the same view a few years ago, but I passed by it again today and I did not resist taking another shot.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A window to the past

I'm a big fan of Mad Men, the television series that depict the life in an advertising agency in the 60's. And today, when I passed by this open door, I immediately thought of this because of the "Dactylo" sign at the end or this entrance corridor. Dactylos means typist in French, in other words people (well mostly women...) who used to type on a typewriter what their male boss used to dictate them... Now everyone has computers, blackberries and so on, so everyone knows how to type ;-)

Friday, October 29, 2010

The end of "la grève"?

There was another demonstration today in Paris - still against the new age of retirement. It took place just outside my door, between Republique and Opera, but I was busy working so I only saw the remains tonight, on the way back home... One of them being this sticker on a street sign saying Grève générale (General strike), that can also be read as Rêve général (General dream...) ;-) Anyway, I watched the news last night and there were much less people in the streets than before. Not to mention that gas/petrol stations have reopened. I think the age of retirement is now officially 62 (or 67 for those who started working late)...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Underground Heating

Is that a scary photo or what? I took it last evening on the way back home at rue de Chateaudun, where they are installing underground heating. Yes, Paris has one of the largest underground heating networks in the world, but I don't think anyone knows that. It's actually hard to imagine that huge pipes run underneath the city and heat up several buildings throughout Paris, isn't it? (check this little flash animation) And though the CPCU (Compagnie parisienne de chauffage urbain), the company that operated this heating in Paris, claims that it's highly eco-friendly and very efficient. FYI one part of their energy sources come from... our garbage!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paris, capital of modern art?

Last weekend the Fiac (Foire internationale d'art contemporain) took place at Le Grand Palais. It's probably the largest modern art fair in Europe, a place to see and... a place to be seen. There were plenty of other events around modern art in Paris at the same time including this Art Elysées exhibit, where 67 galleries could show and sell their artists. I know you would have rather seen a piece of art, but that is all I have to offer for today. Besides, you have been spoiled these past 2 days LOL!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

By the pale moonlight

I was gas/petrol hunting last night and while looking for an open service station, I stopped by the Kennedy metro station. I then looked though this bridge and saw this beautiful moon next to the Eiffel Tower... I then crossed the road (and believe me, it's pretty daring over there because of the traffic) and took this photo. I really like it even though the Eiffel Tower can barely be seen.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Winter is on its way...

Could that look more like winter colors? I don't think so! I took this photo on the Ile des Signes Cygnes, the little island located between the 15th and the 16th arrondissement, I already mentioned when I posted the Statue of Liberty photo. The bridge you can see is only used by metros. Temperature in Paris for tomorrow Monday : 1 to 4 (34 to 39 Farenheit and 0 to 4 (32 to 39 Farenheit) on Tuesday. Brrrrr...

Sunday, October 24, 2010


No this is not a fire set by demonstrators, but flames coming out of a "tool" (I don't know what it's called!) that workers use to stick horizontal street signs to the pavement. I just thought it would make a funny photo.  FYI, the Paris street signs are fully monitored through a very sophisticated computerized system so that it's really well maintained

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Playing Football

I took this photo at the Reuilly gardens in the 12th arrondissement. They have a little field in which young - and less young! - people can play football and ball games in general. There is not much to say about it, I just like the color effect behind the grid. Have a good weekend everyone. Mine will be "connected" as I'll be attending the Webdeux Connect gathering (a geeky meet up!).

Friday, October 22, 2010

Another party at La Bourse

It is extremely rare when I don't carry my camera with me... And though, last evening, as I was passing by La Bourse (the stock market) I realized I had left it at home. Shame, because they were having another of these company parties there and the whole building was beautifully decorated and lit. So I had to use my camera phone...  As I already mentioned here, this building - often called Le Palais Brongniart, after the name of its architect: Alexandre Brongniart who built it in 1813 - is no longer used to trade stocks (since 1986), but to host company parties or conferences.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hello Paris!

No, this is not a slogan that some demonstrators wrote on a shop window, but just a graffiti that I found on a store that is currently being redone near the Carreau du Temple (a covered market in the 3rd arrondissement). In the front you probably recognized a Wallace fountain, named after Sir Richard Wallace, an Anglo-French philanthropist (see this very old post if you want to know more).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


If you watched the French news, you may have heard that once again our country is almost under siege! Due to the new law about retirement (we will have to work two more years starting 2018), people have started demonstrating, then going on strike and now the country is almost paralyzed. It is now very difficult - if not impossible - to find gas/petrol and they say that soon food will also be short. I did not really think the situation was as bad as what they said on television, but this morning I have been unable to fill the tank of my scooter...  I'm not too worried about not being able to fill my stomach though, as I have some spare energy around my waist!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Arrest this woman!

This woman is a dangerous outlaw, can you guess why? No, she did not rob a bank and put all the money in her purse(!), she simply wears pants and this, ladies and gentlemen, in France is forbidden! Yep. In November 1799, a law was passed saying that all women willing to "dress like a man" should first go to the Police and ask for a written permission! The sad part is that even though in 1892 et 1909 two very liberal laws allowing women to wear pants "under certain conditions" (horse or bicycle riding) were passed, it is still officially forbidden for women to "dress like a man"! Recently a few people from the Paris council asked that the law be removed, but the authorities replied that they were more urgent matters than this. Which is true, as, as you can guess, nowadays this law is no longer applied!

Monday, October 18, 2010


One of the very positive thing about PDP is that it forces me to raise my eyes on things that I would normally pass by without noticing them. That's what happened Saturday on the way back from the Eiffel Tower where I tool the banquet photo. I walked by the Trocadero and noticed the two sculptures located on the lower parts. Very beautiful and very typical of the 30's. Through Google I learned that they were made by Pierre-Marie Poisson (1876 - 1953) and that the one I photographed is called "La jeunesse" (youth). Now my problem was to find an interesting angle for the shot. I chose to concentrate on one part, but, of course, my choice is debatable...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Banquet against hunger

By the time you finish reading this caption, a child in the world will have died of hunger... To raise awareness on this dramatic fact, Action against hunger (Action contre la faim, in French) organized a clever event on the Champs de Mars, à Paris: a banquet against hunger! Not a real one, but a one symbolized by 10 000 plates. Click here to see a broader view, or here to view a little video taken from opposite the Eiffel Tower (I did not take it myself, just FYI).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quartier Drouot

I live in what is called Le Quartier Drouot, that is the area around the Drouot auction house where there are  lots of art galleries. Nice place to walk through at night, when the windows are all lit! And even more so at this very moment for they are having their annual "Drouot en fête" days, during which they open late at night, have little cocktails and stuff. I went to the opening night on Thursday and I once again drooled in front of this painting at gallery Xavier Eeckhout that I see every night on my way back home. It's by Jean-Louis Foulquier - a man who started painting because he was sick and needed a soothing occupation! I simply love his work.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Two days ago, I attended the launch of a new Social Network (yes another one!) on a boat, right by the Eiffel Tower (you can see the Seine in the background of this photo). This new network is called Looknbe and its purpose is to allow people to exchange looks advice and tips. Among other things, you can for instance take a photo of the tie/gown you plan to wear for the day and ask "your network" if they think it matches your shirt or shoes! Silly?! That is what I thought before they actually presented t the business plan... What if tomorrow's Facebook was French? Anyway, of course, to attract media's attention they had a gimmick (Mr Migö in this photo) and I fell for it! After all things are pretty tense at the moment in Paris (lots of strikes and demonstrations due to the new law about retirement) so I thought a little humor would be welcome.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Casual Paris Scene...

I don't know why (and no, it's not the Tenin perspective!), but I kinda like this photo. The guy in the worker uniform is actually a painter who paints on the pavement (look here at the finished work) and the kissing couple in the background is not planted! It was there for real ;-) Well that's all, I thought that after two days of monuments, a little people scene would be appreciated...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The nice weather continued today and since I had a meeting near the Eiffel Tower and that I was early I spent some time on the Île des Cygnes (Isle of the Swans), a small artificial island on the Seine at the end of which you can find the Statue of Liberty - well the French one, which was inaugurated by French President Carnot on July 4th 1889 (see what the New York Times wrote about the event on July 5th!). As you probably all know, the statue of Liberty that you can see in New York was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and has been given to the Americans by the French in 1885.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wish you were here

We're having a wonderful weather at the moment and it's really cool. I had my weekly meeting at La Défense today and on the way back I could not help but taking a photo of the arch with the clear blue sky in the background. I know you've seen this arch a few times on PDP, but there is always something to learn about it... Did you know it's 160 ft (50 m) high, that the large vault is 95.8 ft (29.19 m) high and 48.0 ft (14.62 m) wide and that a plane managed to fly through it once (in 1919)!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Caricature exhibition

Apart from Guille and her recent marriage (see yesterday's post) there are other celebrities in this world... Hence the one in this photo, who, I'm sure you will all have recognized... Lady Di! You did not? Well it's normal, it's is not meant to be a spiting image of the late princess but a caricature. Just like the other 300 portraits of the "20th century mythical characters" that are currently being featured at the stunning Musée des arts forains (The Fairground Art Museum) near Bercy. Some are more recognizable than others, like these two guys... FYI, they were all made by Michel Foucoult from the famous French masks and costume maker Cesar.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Guille got married!

Those of you who have been following PDP for some time surely know who Guillemette (aka Guille) is. She’s one of the many nice people that I have had the chance to meet through PDP. And since she lives in Paris, I see her more often than the many others who come to visit from time to time. Anyway, the thing is that yesterday (Saturday) she got married. How could I witness such a wonderful moment and not post a photo on PDP? So here you go: here is Guillemette and Michael (who happens to be American BTW), the newlyweds. Tous mes voeux de bonheur. (And do check what they had on top of their wedding cake!)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A night at Le Lido

If you came to Paris you probably heard of Le Lido. Le Lido is a cabaret located on the Champs Elysées, it was created in 1946 and starred people like Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Josephine Baker and more recently Elton John. But more than anything, it is known for its Bluebell girls - that is stunning dancers with endless legs ;-) - a female dance crew that was created by British dancer Margaret Kelly (you have to watch this clip from the archives of CBC-TV). In this photo you have two samples of Bluebell girls (I'm sorry I cannot show their face) that I photographed during a promotional event.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Café Society

I went to another kind of fashion show today! A one that took place in the Jean-Jacques Henner museum (that I already mentioned here) in the 17th arrondissement... It was organized on the occasion of the release of a book by Thierry Coudert dedicated to the "Café Society". Café Society refers to a period that lasted between the 1920's and the mid 50's during which, rich aristocrats and heirs of all backgrounds would spend their money throwing large balls and giant feasts around the world - and in Paris in particular. They would also spend their money buying art, which explains their proximity with a lot of artists (including people like Doisneau for instance). Fascinating times... If you're interested Thierry Coudert's book Cafe Society: Socialites, Patrons, and Artists 1920-1960 is also published in English.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Another view of the Seine

Here is a view of La Seine (the river that runs through Paris) that you probably have never seen. I took it from a Tower at La Défense, the Business district of Paris. Technically it is not really Paris (the right bank that you can see in this photo belongs to Neuilly, a little suburb right outside Paris), but it's really next to it. FYI, according to Wikipedia the name Seine comes from Sequana, which, as you all know is Latin for Sicauna(!) which apparently means "sacred river". It is 777 km (486 miles) long.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Colorful chairs

Fashion show, luxury hotel, vintage Alfa-Romeos... haven't I been spoiling you these past few days?! Time to go back down to earth ;-) Here are a few very simple chairs that I found in the 3rd arrondissement (rue Dupetit-Thouars more precisely). As you guessed, they belong to a café and since the weather is not exactly sunny at the moment, well, they have no reason to be used... I found them pretty though. BTW, this reminds me of an early post of mine from 2006...

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Return to Royal Monceau

In June 2008 I posted a photo of the inside of the Royal Monceau hotel prior to its complete renovation. Well, here we are, 2 years after, the work is done and the hotel is about to reopen soon... I had the chance to visit it yesterday evening and to wander in a couple of rooms, the bar and the lobby. Stunning. Philippe Starck managed to combine luxury, modernism, classicism and "Frenchism" . It's impossible to explain in words and hard to show in photos. You will have to come and check for yourself... BTW, did I mention the Patisserie (including the Macarons) is made by Pierre Hermé?!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Automobile show 2010

Every other year in Paris the Mondial de l'automobile (the world automobile show) takes place at VIParis, a big exhibition center at Porte de Versailles. I'm not too big on cars to be honest, so I don't really look forward to this "big" event. Only this year I visited hall 8, dedicated to old cars and it really made my visit worth it. Great find really. I loved it. I took a few photos (that you can see in this little Animoto) and selected this one for my photo du jour. Italians are the best when it comes to designing cars I say!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Paris Nuit Blanche

Last night was a "Nuit Blanche" (White Night) again... That is a night during which dozens of contemporary art performances are being held throughout the city (see the program in English here if you're interested). I tried to see a few, but it was so crowded that I quickly gave up! However, I managed to take a photo at the Hotel de Ville (town hall) where they installed a message in several languages saying : "Love differences". Not thrilling really, but the colors are nice!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Belated Theme day

So yesterday was a theme day and... I forgot it! I know I should probably be banished from the City Daily Photo community for being so oblivious, but that is the way the cookies crumble. Besides it's probably the first time it happened ;-) Anyway, the theme day was Graffiti. You know I'm not short of them... Here is a new proof even if I don't really dare calling it a graffito as, to me, this looks more like a painting than anything else. It was made by Franck Duval, an artist known for his collages. I love his work. BTW, it is still time to visit the CDP community and see what graffiti they posted yesterday (there are some masterpieces) .

Friday, October 01, 2010

Galeries Lafayette Fashion Show

I confess, sometimes I find it hard to post a photo a day on PDP; lack of inspiration, of luck (or is it talent?!), time... You name it. And sometimes I have photo opportunities that make me forget all this! Hence yesterday (Thursday), when I had the chance to attend a fashion show that the Galeries Lafayette organized right in front of their main store, at the back of the opera house (I also attended the rehearsal in the morning which was even more fun...). Did I mention it was not just any fashion show, but one made by 100% amateur models of all ages and looks. Brilliant idea. The result was stunning. See for yourself in the little Animotos, that I made for you on the occasion (the short version - the long version). Or the slideshow in the right column.