Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to my dear bridges!

That's it, after a - very - long weekend near Nîmes in the South of France, I'm back to my dear old Paris. The weather may not be as nice and the air quality may not be as good, I always enjoy going back home ;-) This is Le Pont Marie, a bridge that goes from the right bank to the Saint Louis Island, it was built by Mr Marie (Christophe was his first name) and it's one of the oldest bridges in Paris (it was built between 1614 and 1635). I think the slogan "built to last" could apply to this work of art LOL!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bains Douches

Those of you who were in Paris in the 80's (and even later) probably remember a mythical dance club called "Les Bains Douches" (public bath) precisely named so, because it was located in a former public bath. What is less known is that there are still public baths in Paris (18, if I counted well) and that it is still possible to wash yourself for free in one of them if you don't have a bathroom of your own (or if you're homeless). I photographed this one in the 19th arrondissement at Quai de la Gironde. The photo is not very good, but I love the building.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The end of "l'Eté du Canal"

This Monday it's definitely "La rentrée" (back to school). Shops and offices will fully reopen, tourists are on the leave... and all the Paris summer activities are about to end. Paris Plage of course, which closed a couple of weeks ago and l'été du canal (summer at the canal) where you could attend concerts, see various exhibits, eat at a terrace, even take a very cheap cruise, all this on or along the Ourcq canal, a canal that goes from inside Paris to the Northern suburbs. Very nice. As for me, I'm in Marseille today, so I'll be by the sea;-)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lovers walk

Today is Sunday, a perfect day to have a walk though Paris en amoureux like this cute couple that I photographed a few days ago, walking peacefully hand in hand and looking at each other from time to time. I’m sure her name is not Irene, like the hurricane that’s heading towards the US east cost, including New York City. I hope it’ll be less serious than what the media tells us.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tar and feathered!

What on earth is that? Take a guess... Is that a street artist performance? A one leg mannequin? A slot machine? A toilet for dogs?! All wrong! It's a parking terminal! Why is it all covered in feathers like this? I have no idea, but Adrien M. who took the photo at rue Gazan and kindly sent it to me (2 guest contributors in 3 days, that's a first!) said it was probably angry car owners ;-) Don't tell me this idea never crossed your mind!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Little house in... the urban jungle

Amazing little house, that I found off rue Corentin Cariou in the 19th arrondissement. After some research on the Web I found out it's not at all a house, but the former Pont de Flandre train station that once belonged to the "small belt", a train track ring that would run around Paris and was closed to passengers in 1934. I read that they are going to renovate it... but it seems there is still a long way to go! Here is a little video, from another angle.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Like Jaq said a few days ago about the massage post "thanks Eric for showing us the serenity of the Seine one day and this somewhat more sleazy side of Paris the next". My guess is that she's going to say the same thing today LOL! I just thought I'd make you start (or end) the day with a smile even though I have to be honest, I did not take this photo myself, my brother did!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dinner outside

Here is where I had dinner with a few friends to celebrate a birthday! The weather was gorgeous, the scenery (well, see for yourself!) and the food exquisite - Not to mention that since it's a no car street, it was very quiet . On the cultural side, you should know that this is the Gervais-Saint-Protais church, an exceptionnal place, both outside and inside. Now, are you jealous of me?!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Massage, really?!

Nothing to do with the recent charges being dropped in the DSK case, but with a very common practice in Paris: massages with a happy endings ("avec les finitions"), if you see what I mean... Actually, most of the time, you hear about a Chinese salon that was closed by the police for - no, not massage malpractice! - but for prostitution. I must say this is the first time I came across such an advertisement; hard to think real massages happen at the end of this line...

Monday, August 22, 2011

The sun has returned

Let's start the week with a classic view, a bateau mouche under the Pont Neuf. Not very original, but always enjoyable. I took this photo around 8 pm, while the sun was on its way to the US! As you can see it's been a beautiful day today - very hot too. Have a nice Monday everyone, wherever you are in the world.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Paris Dehli photo ?

Yesterday (Saturday) I went to see the Paris Dehli Bombay(Mumbai) exhibit at the Beaubourg center. It was really amazing (see a little video here). Not that I "understood" everything (being non Indian, I don't have all the cultural codes to understand everything), but I enjoyed every single part of it. What I loved the most? The fact that you're miles away from the traditional Indian culture: no Taj Mahal nor Maharadja palace in the exhibit, but real modern stuff! All the time I thought of Rahul Chittella, a talented young Indian film maker whose work I got to discover thanks to PDP.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pavement painter

I always wonder how these painters manage to get the "big picture" with the right proportions while working so close to their subject. Then I think of Michelangelo and the ceiling of the Sistine chapel and... well I realize it was pretty much the same, only the other way around. Anyway I love this photo (and yes the dog has a lot to do with it!). FYI, I took it at Beaubourg.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Where to find a baguette at night?

Not the most glamorous photo posted on PDP? I agree! I even had to cheat a bit with it for the original was really... well... not nice! But the reason why I posted it, is that there is something truly Parisian in it - and truly unique: a baguette vending machine (on the left hand side)! Yes, people, a boulanger (baker) managed to create a baguette dispenser that can operate 24/7 (it's more than a dispenser actually as it completes the cooking when you pay, so that it's crunchy like a fresh one). Think of all the poor Parisians who crave for a baguette at 4am! Now they know where to go: 20 Avenue Mathurin-Moreau in the 19th arrondissement.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Icarus at La Défense

I had a meeting at La Défense this morning. La Défense - for those of you who would have forgotten - is a business district right outside Paris where mostly skyscrapers are to be found. But not only... there is also a lot or "street"(there are no actual streets over there!) art, like this one, a stunning statue of Icare (Icarus), made by Igor Mitoraj.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Sorry the "stunning views of Paris" series has to stop ;-) I have to go back to another Paris classic: Jef Aerosol, one of the most famous street artists in Paris. So famous, that the 4th arrondissement city hall asked him to paint this huge fresco on a wall located at Place Stravinsky (where the famous Niki de Saint Phalle fountain - the one you see in the foreground - is located). I love it. More on the dedicated website, on Jef Aerosol website and in this little video (where you can see the progress of the painting).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer dawn in Paris

Peaceful, lovely, charming... No need to pick one of these adjectives, they all apply. Like you can see the sun has returned over Paris and it helps shooting beautiful photos (easy ones too, I agree!). I won't add much except that the first brigdge you can see is Le pont des arts and that it is rare when the Seine is that calm. Simply gorgeous!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ferris Wheel at dusk

It's a classic, but it's still nice to see, especially at dusk. During the summer time, this Ferris Wheel is part of a small amusement park located in the Tuileries gardens, on the Louvre side of rue de Rivoli. I went on it once (in the winter time, when it faces the Champs Elysées) - I don't know if you remember, I already mentioned it here - but I suffered from a terrible vertigo and did not enjoy it, at all! We're still on a long weekend here (Monday is the 15th of August, a day where the Catholics celebrate Vrigin Mary), so let me tell you, Paris is very very calm right now!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Outside the Hôtel de Salm

I fell in love with this Sphinx! Really stunning. I came across it by chance while walking in front of the Hotel de Salm, a former Hotel particulier (a private house generally built by rich aristocrats before the 18th cetury, mostly) that is now the Musée de la Légion d'Honneur (a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802). I did not go inside, but I will. I find it very peaceful; perfect for a summer Sunday in quiet Paris ;-)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Post-it "war"

It's the Post-it notes war in France right now! In case you're wondering what it is (and I'm sure you are!) it's just another of these silly ideas to keep people busy at work during the summer vacation period (yes, I know, only in France...). The idea is to draw the most sophisticated character made of little Post-it notes and put it on a window, a wall, or anywhere where it can be seen and then judged by your work colleagues. Silly? Yes, but very successful! It's spreading everywhere in France and there is even a website dedicated to them. Around lunch time today, I photographed this one, in the 9th. Not very sophisticated, but funny (BTW, if your latin is a little rusty, Pax means peace). Update Sept 01, 2011. Here is probably the best sample of this "war" (post-it notes provided by 3M!)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sunny break at the pyramid

Hurrah, it's been at least 2 days in a row that the sun has been shining in Paris! Not for long, though, when you read these lines, the rain will have returned ;-( Anyway, here is a view of today, from the inside of the Louvre Pyramid, a glass and metal pyramid located in the middle of the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace. Very controversial during its time, this very modern structure is now extremely popular and was even duplicated in other places, like the Museum of Science and industry in Chicago. A definite must see if you come to Paris...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fascinating Clock

I could look at this clock for hours without being bored! If you visited Paris already, you probably know it's located in the Musée d'Orsay, this stunning museum that was previously a train station until it was closed (and almost destroyed) between 1958 and 1996. I have been unable to find out who made this clock, but I saw it's the only remain from the times this place was a station. Anyway, I had the opportunity to briefly go there (obviously around noon!) and, well, I took this photo thinking of you ;-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Paris in the 50's?

No, it's not Paris in the 50's, it's Paris in the 2010's! And though when I took this photo it really made me think of it. Something about the color probably - that I did not modify, before you say it! The funny part is that Les Champs Elysées has not changed much since then - have a look at this site, and this photo in particular. Or even, that I already mentioned here and where you can see the same locations taken from the same angle with a 50 or 60 year difference.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Creative architecture

You find this building a little dark for a Haussmanian construction? You're right, but wait the story is interesting! As you can guess, it's not a real one, but a concrete cast of a Haussmanian facade. And why is it so? Because the architect (Edouard François), had to solve a problem: unify 7 different era buildings into a unique one. He had the clever idea to hide them behind this facade, that he calls a "concrete 3D wall paper with glass windows hanging like paintings". Pretty creative... BTW, it's a hotel and it's located at the corner of rue Quentin Bauchartd and rue Vernet, just off the Champs Elysées.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Stormy weather

I don't know if you saw the video I posted on Facebook, but sometimes I feel like we're experiencing the monsoon in Paris LOL! I did not take the video myself (this guy did), but I witnessed the same storm in the 14th arrondissement. It was very impressive - and very beautiful too. Now, is that an allegory for the financial storm that is going to fall on our head on this Monday?!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Very elaborated graffito

I found this "graffito" - I don't really know what to call it - in Montmartre and I'm still amazed by its quality, for it's actually made of little square tiles, which probably took a lot of time putting together. Louise Michel is a famous historical figure in France; she was born in 1830 and played an important role during the Paris "Commune" in 1871. It was not so usual for a woman to take part in the political life at that time. I guess the one who made this piece of art is one of her admirers...

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Coool sculpture

Look at this cool sculpture! Isn't that a great idea? I found it on the Port de Suffren, by the Eiffel tower. Unfortunately I did not see who made it and could not find the info on the Web. If you know the artist, please let me know. This reminds me of a well-known problem that French mailmen have to face: every year 2 000 of them get - sometimes very seriously - bitten by dogs! BTW, thank you very much for your nice words yesterday. Now I know that your favorite monument in Paris is ! But I had no doubt about that...

Friday, August 05, 2011

polltogo invades Paris!

You don’t know about polltogo?? It’s just the coolest tool to vote and get feedback from anyone with a mobile device! In fact, there’s no way you could have heard of polltogo, as... it was officially launched in public beta today! How do I know? Easy, I’m one of the co-founders. ;-) Want to try it? Get your cell phone out, click to enlarge the photo above and have your device read the QR code. If you have any problems, you can also type into your phone’s web browser. Can you help us spread the word? Check my little note and/or visit

PS: Don’t worry, I will surely be very busy this coming decade(!), but PDP will continue, as always...

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Paris Plage sprinklers

Yesterday, an anonymous commenter requested Paris Plage photos... And since your wishes are my command(!), well, here you go ;-) Besides, can you picture a summer on PDP without a shot of the Paris Plage sprinklers? Enjoy (especially if you live in a hot country!).

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Where has everybody gone?

Those who have already been to Paris will probably recognize the Assemblée Nationale, the French Parliament, one of the chambers where laws are discussed and voted (and where our representatives sometimes behave like 4 year old kids... but that is another story!) It is located in the middle of Paris, right by the Pont de la Concorde, near the Champs Elysées. Needless to say, normally there is an enormous amount of traffic on this bridge. But not in August... Paris is almost empty at the moment and that is why I love this particular time of the year!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


It may not be the perfect summer dish, but since it's not really summer at the moment in Paris, well, there are no rules any longer! That is why I did not hesitate to choose this Mille feuilles de Poire au foie gras at the restaurant where I had lunch, at Place du marché Sainte Catherine. Yummy! But not really light... If you want to try this (or almost) on your end, here is what I found for you (in French)!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Postcard worthy

So... It's August 1st and like always it's a theme day, among the CDP community. Today's theme is "Postcard Worthy" and, well, when it comes to Paris, you have the choice LOL. So I chose something typically Parisian, but with a different angle: Le Moulin Rouge. A place to see by all means - even to go in, if you can afford it - a real Paris landmark, and also the name of a fabulous movie. Like always, check what's "postcard worthy" in other parts of the world.