Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sunset on Pont des Arts

No need to be a mind reader to know that you will probably love this photo ;-) It's actually another shot I took during the picnic - which, just for the records took place between the Pont Neuf and the Pont des Arts (precisely in this photo), a pedestrian bridge that was built at the beginning of the 19th century. I took it at 9 pm, just when the sun was going to bed...

Monday, May 30, 2011

"Look honey, just like in Las Vegas!"

Yesterday - apart from editing the Picnic video! (see, on the upper right corner of the right column) - I had lunch outside of Paris, in a Western suburb which is still pretty protected from urbanization. On the way back, just as I was getting on the motorway feeder, I could not help but stopping and taking this photo of the iron lady. The blue sky is not Photoshoped, it's 100% genuine ;-) A nice way to start the week... (check bacj here for the PDP picnic video, currently being uploaded to Vimeo

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bonjour de Paris!

Here you go, here is the family picture of the 6th PDP picnic! As always it was great fun. Lots of new faces and lots of nice encounters. More tomorrow with the video (if the camera worked!). Right now, it's time to go to bed ;-) Love you all.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Picnic Time!

It's D-Day (or rather P-day!) for those of you who happen to be in Paris and want to gather around a little something to eat and drink by the Seine. The weather should be fine, but bring a little sweater with your food and drinks, just in case... This year I really have very little idea of know who is going to show up, which makes it even more fun ;-) And for those of you who are far from Paris, well, what can I say? Wish you were here, I suppose ;-) BTW, this is the Window of Smooth and Co, a new yummy Juice Bar chain!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Visit Paris in a Tuk Tuk

There are many ways to visit Paris, other than with the public transportation... I already showed you the hop on hop off bus, the 2CV tours, the bike tours, the Segway tours, the Bateaux Mouche tours, here are now the Tuk Tuk tours! One never ceases to innovate in Paris when it comes to dragging tourists around! Apparently there is are half a dozen of Tuk-Tuk companies (I have no particular interests in this one, I just photographed it by chance). PS: Saturday the weather should be fine, so don't forget the picnic...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A sunny day in Paris

I spent the whole day in Trouville today (no, not to prepare the G8 summit! but to sort out some personal matters), and on the way back I passed by the Champs Elysées where the sun was slightly going down. It was one of those days where I feel really happy to live in Paris. Silly? Yeah, a little bit, but I'm sure that a lot of you - Paris lovers - would have liked to be in my shoes ;-).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Street Fishing!

Add "ing" to any English word (dancing (a night-club), lifting (a facelift), teasing (a marketing operation to get attention)...) and put it in the middle of a French sentence and you'll start a trend! I just found a new one; it's called Street Fishing and, according to an article I just read, it's a new trend... Frankly there have been fishermen along the Seine fror quite some time, but if "they" say it's a new trend, well why not?! FYI, street fishing is what the participants in the picnic may do this Saturday as I finally decided it would take place at the usual location. See more, here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bad Boy!

Any relationship with "a" current affair would be totally coincidental... Actually this bad boy did not seem to be that bad, quite the contrary, very quiet ;-) FYI, there are about 200 000 dogs in Paris (8 million in France, that is roughly one for 8 French!) and - since you're going to raise the subject! - it is compulsory to pick up after your dog since 2002 (OK, there are a few exceptions...)!
Picnic alert. Don't forget the PDP picnic this Saturday at 7 pm. I'm waiting for a more accurate weather report to decide on the location, but it's very likely to be on the banks, as usual.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Women protest

Despite our progress in France, you will find very few women in the government, in parliament or at the head of large companies... and they have globally less power on society here. The recent Dominique Strauss Kahn case, and the way it was dealt with in the French press, showed that we are also a very chauvinistic country. That is why feminist activists decided to demonstrate today (Sunday), near Beaubourg. Not a lot of people, but enough to make it to the news. I think we badly needed this wake up call.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Times change

I live in the lower part of the 9th arrondissement, an area where there is almost no green spot, apart from a couple of gardens, like the Square Montholon, in the middle of which there is this interesting sculpture of female workers by Lorieux. It was made in 1908 and shows a tradition that is totally old fashioned. At that time, young girls who would reach the age of 25 and were still single would be given by her friends an extravagant hat and were made "the queen of the day" (read some explanation in English here). Sounds like fun, but I'm not sure it was, really! FYI,  nowadays, in France, women get married on average at 29,7 and workers (80% are males) represent about 25% of the population, against 80%, when this sculpture was made.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Train Control Tower

With roughly 32 000 kilometers (19 884 miles) of tracks, France has one of the densest train networks in the world. The traffic is of course very important (132 millions passengers in 2010!) and needs to be regulated by controllers. Precisely, this morning I was scheduled to visit the CNOF (Centre national des opérations ferroviaires), that is the equivalent to the air control tower in an airport. Unfortunately I arrived too late (my fault!) and they would not let me in. I still got to photograph their stunning, just renovated building with its "vertical garden" or "planted wall" (on the left, in the photo). Better than nothing I guess. If you're interested, speak French and... are able to arrive on time, you can visit it too. Check here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Law and Disorder

The DSK affair is not the only legal case that points out the differences between the US and France. The whole respect of the Law in itself is also very different... Hence this little story: due to the number of deaths on the road, the government started installing automatic radars in 2003. But since they are very unpopular, they  put a warning sign (like this one I photographed at rue de Maubeuge) a few meters before each of them and allowed GPS to map them! It worked in the beginning, but now the number of deaths is increasing again. The Government then decided to remove the signs and to prohibit radar maps... And this started a nuclear war! Why? Because it is hard for the French to understand that if you don't want to get caught, you just need to respect the law...

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Let's take a little musical break today... Until the end of May, there is a music show at Le Cabaret Sauvage in Parc de la Villette, called Barbès Café (after Barbès, the area I posted about a few days ago which is known for being the hub of immigrants from North Africa). The show is actually a musical that features North African songs (mostly Algerian) written by artists that started immigrating to France in the 40's. It also seems to have a little political claim, if you look carefully at the posters that I photographed, you'll see two mentions "100% made by immigrants" and "Made in France" ;-). Take a look at the rehearsal here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

From Sofitel to Rikers Island...

My week vacation in the States was good, but intense and I must say I'm happy to be back home to my daily routine LOL. Here, the news has suffered a real tsunami, after the head of the IMF (Dominique Strauss Khan Kahn, a French politician who was to run for French presidency) has been accused of assaulting a chamber maid at the NYC Sofitel last Saturday. It's a big shock here, not only because the French find it hard to believe, but also because they discovered how American justice works. In France, for instance, it is forbidden to show people with handcuffs on TV and it is not allowed to film a court room. Now, whether he's guilty or not, the odds that he runs for Presidency are very very slim...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Caged Eiffel Tower

Everything comes to an end, especially vacation! Time for me to come home after a week in the US (where I finally got to see Washington DC!) and to go back to work... I took this photo at the Trocadero, where they have work going on at the moment (hence the grid).  I thought it would give the photo a cool effect and I'm pretty happy with the result. BTW, don't forget, soon the PDP picnic will take place ;-)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Why run?

Here is another shot I took at Parc des Buttes Chaumont. There were a bunch of girls playing sort sort of games (I guess tag - what we call "jouer au chat" in French) and I waited for the perfect moment to shoot. I actually wanted to have the quiet guy by the tree and the running girl in the same photo ;-) Silly, I know...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Notre Dame x2

OK, I agree, this photo is a typical touristy photo, but I thought it was perfect for a peaceful Sunday ;-) Pretty soon I'll be heading back to my favorite city (I'm in Pittsburgh right now), but I won't have time to go to the Seine embankment when I return, as I will have to dive into work right away... Not to forget the preparation of the PDP picnic!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A unique street

I took this shot at rue Denoyez, a street located in the 20th arrondissement that you have to visit if you come to Paris and are looking for an off the beaten track place to see. It's one of the rare streets in Paris where graffiti and all kinds of street art are tolerated by the Paris town hall. These planters, for instance, surround the poles that prevent cars from parking; they are all handmade by artists and are really unique. But there are many many other things to discover over there, so don't miss it.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Getting a tan in Paris

Amazing! I just looked at the weather report in Paris and the sun is still shinning like crazy. No wonder some people are taking advantage of this very unusual situation for the season (I actually took this photo at Parc des Buttes Chaumont right before my departure). FYI, it appears that it is forbidden not to wear a shirt in Paris, even if it's very hot (only seaside cities allow it), but I suppose that in this kind of situations (a park) there is not risk of getting a ticket.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The colo(u)r of love...

I debated a long time whether I should keep the trash can in the picture or not and then I decided to keep it because I think it gives an interesting perspective to the scene (don't ask me why!). Talking about love, I'm in DC today and I'm going to try and see "the lovely couple" that many of you remember, I'm sure... I'll keep you posted ;-) - UPDATE: I saw them! We had breakfast in McLean, Virginia (near DC), it was great to see them again.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Passage du Plateau

I already showed you the narrowest street in Paris once (the rue du chat qui fume), and now here is the narrowest Passage in Paris (1,50 meter wide). I found it but pure coincidence while I was touring the streets of Paris to take photos prior to my little vacation time. It's located in the 19th arrondissement, but there is not much I could find about it. Its name even has nothing original as, it's derived from the street name where it starts. Funny though, I wonder how movers do when then have to carry a large piano down there?!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Roller Skater

Surfboarding has become so popular along the past decade or so that the Paris town hall had to dedicate spaces to this sport, like they do with tennis, basket ball or football for instance. Thus, if I counted them well on the map, there are 14 roller skate and skate board training facilities throughout Paris and they are rarely empty, especially when it's sunny outside, like at the moment. I took this shot at one of them, at Quai de Jemmapes in the 10th arrondissement, by the Canal Saint Martin. I wish I were a little younger; I would give it a try ;-)

Monday, May 09, 2011

Raise your arm

Let's start the week with a smile... I took this photo at Le Trocadéro and I found it funny that both the statue and the painter in the back had their arm up at the same time. Silly I know ;-) FYI this statue is the one of "Herculus taming the buffalo", by Henri Bouchard. It's located at the same level as the one where I took this shot in February 2007. Have a good week start everyone, I'm really enjoying my time off, let me tell you...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Paris market

It's Sunday, time to go to the market... There's nothing like Fresh vegetable and fruit, and we are pretty lucky in Paris for there is always a market near a place we live.I already mentioned it, but I'll say in again, in case you come to Paris and are desperate for food(!), there are 82 food markets in Paris (including 3 organic ones) - you can have the whole list, day by day here. Or course, they less fun than this one...

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Admiring ET

I found myself at the Trocadero today and the weather was so fantastic that I could not help but stopping and taking a few photos. I ended up selecting this one for its atmosphere and odd angle. As you can see, it is so warm in Paris at the moment that we will soon have thunderstorms. I don't care for I'm taking a few - well deserved! - days off and won't suffer them! Don't worry, there will still be a photo a day in here and I will stay tuned to PDP, even from vacation ;-)

Friday, May 06, 2011


Here is a famous area in Paris, called Barbès (after the name of the boulevard that starts from right after the metro line. It's famous because that is where a lot of people from northern Africa (mainly Algerians) gather (that is where a lot of reporters went to get reactions from the Arab community after Bin Laden's death for instance. Lately, it was a lot in the news, because there is mosque nearby and it's too small for everybody to fit in, so people have to pray in the street, which is against the rules of our secular state. Touchy topic, as you can imagine ;-)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Face the music

Here is a cute graffito that I photographed on one of the  boxes of "a bouquiniste" (booksellers of used books installed along large parts of the embankment of the Seine). This little symphony may only have 2 notes so far, but who knows, one day, it may end up like this! That's all folks, just the results of my today's meandering ;-)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Another garbage strike

I could barely go out of my building this morning for the garbage men are on strike again (remember, their last strike took place only a few months ago). Apparently there is a new negotiation round coming up in one month and this is probably a "warning"! Something I never told you I think: in French garbage cans are called "Poubelle" (Une poubelle), after the name of Eugène-René Poubelle, a prefet de police (head of the Paris police headquarters) who passed a law saying that "from now on (March 7, 1884), landlords must provide their tenants with a box that allows them to put their garbage and fire remains". A newspaper started calling them "the Poubelle boxes" and there you go! That is how you make history LOL!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

It's a Seine world, after all!

Whereas the world has been preoccupied with recent events in Pakistan, this couple has other things on their mind... What could be more important in life than spending an afternoon with a loved one along the Seine?Let's leave it at that ;-)

Monday, May 02, 2011

Coming up roses

Again, no Lily of the valley today, Labor day was very quiet this year: a few demonstrations by the unions, almost no Muguet in the streets and since it took place on a Sunday, it was not even a holiday! I still wanted like to offer you something flowery this year, so here it is! I took this photo at rue Cadet, close to where I live. I don't know why, but I really love it. Have a goooood week everyone.

Sunday, May 01, 2011


It's labour day (la fête du travail) in Paris today, but I won't be able to show you Lilly of the valley (the flower  symbol of the day) because it's a theme day today. Theme: mailbox. I showed several mailboxes on this blog, but here is one again: the one just in front of my home! FYI, apparently the first mailboxes in France were installed in Paris during the 17th century, but the first postal service was really created during the 19th century. See more boxes around the world, thanks to the City Daily Photo community.