Thursday, June 30, 2011

Free, at last!

Unfortunately, it's not the first time I mentioned that some French people are held hostage somewhere in the world... (remember Ingrid Betancourt?). Well two of them (Stéphane Taponier et Hervé Ghesquière) have just been freed today after 547 days in Afghanistan, among the Talibans. I took this photo in September 2010, during a demonstration to support their cause, but never used it because I did not think that adding more publicity (even though PDP is not exactly CNN LOL!) would help. Now I'm glad to use it!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Optical Illusion at Paris town hall

Fa-sci-na-ting! I passed by the Paris town hall today, where they currently have an open air exhibit about Paris trees (there are 485 000 of them!). On top of the various - very interesting - explanations, they also installed an anamorphosis work of art by François Abelanet. Anamorphosis? Let me borrow Wikipedia's definition: " it's a distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image." Well, since an image is worth a 100 words, click here, you'll see that what you get in this photo is not really what you see! More, in French, on the Paris Website.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Paris pollution

Pollution is a topic I rarely talk about, or it's generally not too much of a concern in Paris, except when it's hot and there is absolutely no wind, like yesterday (Monday). Airparif is the office that controls the air in Paris and, well at the moment, the various indexes (don't ask me too much about them, it's pretty complicated) that they produce don't look too good. Parisians should avoid going out, running exercising... You can see it in this photo I suppose, which is a little yellow and foggy... I've seen worse though! But God was it hot...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Painted Window

Look at the cute window I found in Le Marais! It's located just above the Brasserie La Perle, at 78, rue Vieille du Temple and it probably belongs to it (in fact, it's pretty common that the apartment just above a café or a restaurant be attached to it. Have a nice week everyone, ours will start with a super hot day - I'm talking really hot (+13° C compared the normal average)!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I'm not in Paris today, but I know the sun is shining. And I know that there must be plenty of lovers by the Seine... Now tell me you would not like to be in their shoes! See here the next episode...

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Weird and enigmatic graffiti I found at rue Léon Frot. It says "Waiting for the accident"... What accident? A place one, a nuclear one, a new economic crisis? I really would like to know what the "artist" had in mind when posting this... Anyway I thought it was funny, in a provocative way. Have a nice - accident free - Saturday ;-)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Paris bloggers Meetup

Two evenings ago, I attended a Paris blogger meet up, organized by About a hundred "Paris lover" bloggers were there and it was fun. It took place at La Bonne Franquette, a non too touristy Montmartre 400 year old restaurant - I had Boeuf Bourguignon, as some of you who follow me on Facebook may have already seen ;-) During the evening, a young woman showed me a photo a photographer took of her. Stunning! I wish I had taken it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Big J(D)ump at the Modern art Musuem

There is a fantastic museum near the Trocadero called the "Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris" (that I mentioned several times here). They recently worked redid the main esplanade which was really old and dirty and did a real good job. Only, recently, they installed this roller skate ramp, and now the place is slowly turning into a dump again... Weird.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Music at the opera

There was music at the opera last night, but it was not the usual opera music and it was not inside the opera, but on the steps, outside! A huge band, mostly wind instruments (listen to them on Myspace), very good. Huge success! Earlier, I came across another band, in a very typical café (look at them here). Well, it was a fun Fête de la musique (music fest), like always.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pick up after your dog

As I already mentioned here, there are about 200 000 dogs in Paris and according to Wikipedia and other sources, they produce daily 16 tons of, well, this! The thing is that since 2002, dog owners must pick up after their favorite companion. To remind them of this there are several signs like this one throughout Paris. This one is different, because it's been a little tagged. There is also a guide on line on the site where you can read things like "don't try to teach your dog about cleanness, it's a human concept" LOL!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Helicopter ride over Paris

Lucky me I went on a helicopter ride above Paris yesterday (Sunday)... Well when I say above, it's more accurate to say, around, because flying over Paris is totally forbidden. It was nice, but not extraordinary, because for legal reasons (helicopters are noisy!) they have to take you away to the west suburbs as quickly as possible and you don't get to see much. I would not really recommend it, unless you have never been on a helicopter before. In which case, it's still a nice experience. More photos on the making of.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bikers demonstration

Bikers are not happy and they want the government to know it! Why? Because of the recent measures I already mentioned here - mostly the fact that radars won't be notified before you come across one, like it used to be. It's very unlikely that this demonstration will change anything, but it allowed me to take this cool head! FYI, there are roughly 2,5 million bikers in France in total, and according to statistics, they are 3 times more likely to be killed than car drivers. And they demonstrate against seucrity measures? Er...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cour Carrée du Louvre

Sorry, I've had a terrible day today and no time to go out and take a photo (nor to file the ones I took of the white dinner party, needless to say!). So in the meantime here is one the the Cour Carrée du Louvre, that I took when it was beginning to get dark. Sorry, no time to complete my caption with historic facts, now I have to rush out...

Friday, June 17, 2011

White dinner 2011

Here we go again! Like every year I found myself at the white dinner party (le dîner en blanc) last evening. Or should I say white dinnerS, as, for the first time, there were two; one in the square courtyard of the Louvre (la cour carrée du Louvre) and the other one at Notre Dame. I took a lot of photos, but I won't have time to select them before this weekend, so be patient! In the meantime, here is a pretty unexpected one: a chef (dressed in white, bien sûr...) cooking in front of Notre Dame ;-).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ticket to ride?

Caught in the act... These two police officers may look "cool" on their bike, but they also give tickets! According to various sources about 5 million parking tickets are given every year in Paris and their price (11 € - when you pass the meter time, 35 € when you're parked in a forbidden area) should increase this year by 6 to 10 €... Two wheel vehicles also get tickets now for it is now forbidden to park on sidewalks, unlike when I started driving one...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Signing (not singing!)

It's not everyday that a friend of yours publishes a novel and invites you to the book signing... That's what happened to me last evening at the Librairie de l'Inconnu, where Bruno Vinay Garenne was singning his first novel called Sens Interdit (no way out?) - don't ask me what the plot is, i haven't read it yet! I know it's a bit personal and not really interesting for you, and even though I climbed on a chair I did not really manage to make a good photo(!), but, hey once, in a while, you want to share the happy moments of your friends don't you?!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Spelling Bee

Only in France? Yes probably... During the past months about 5000 7th grade pupils throughout France took part in a huge spelling bee competition. The final was broadcast yesterday evening on national television ! I'm sure it was a huge success as, for the French, getting the right spelling is like a national sport! Before, adults would even take part in it... Why? Because we suffer so much with our grammar rules and weird spelling that once we sort of master them, it becomes like a game...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Giant walk through Paris

We're all familiar with city marathons. But what if you're now a running champion and still want to discover Paris "with your feet", with a bunch of other people? Simple: you take part in the GDF Suez (Gaz de France - Suez) walk, that - as I only found out today - has been taking place in Paris for four years now. More than 22 000 people took part in it this morning, and since they passed right by my home, I only had to walk a few blocks to take this photo! Clever: you could follow their progression, live, in this map (go to the bottom of the page).

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Veggie Pride

I found myself in the middle of a "Veggie pride" today - that is a march to support vegetarians - at Les Halles. There were celebrating their tenth anniversary apparently, but it's the first year I heard of it - which is not surprising as Veggies are not numerous in France (only 2% of of the French population according to Wikipedia. Their protest is not only in favor of vegetarian food, but against the daily slaughtering of animals for their meat (3 million a day, the say). I don't think it will stop anytime soon, not to mention that the use of animals goes now widely beyond their meat...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Arts et Métiers Statue of Liberty

Thursday evening I attended an event at the Arts et Métiers museum, a great museum I already mentioned several times here, where they have all these cool inventions on display (the first "car", the first telephones, cameras...) including mock-ups and photographs of the Statue of Liberty (which you probably know, was made by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi in France and given as gift of France to the US on July 4th, 1884. Recently the photographs have been restored, that is why the organized this event that the US Ambassador to France attended. See more photos here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Biological attack?

Today two packages containing "a chemical substance", were sent to the Mondadori press group in Montrouge (close to Paris). This lead to the evacuation of the building and the intervention of the firemen. Nothing too serious apparently, but with the recent bacteria affair that lead to the death of several people - mainly in Germany - the good old chemical terrorist attack is now regularly mentioned! FYI, I did not take this photo personally, but I asked Guillaume Frat, who works there and who owns a great blog (in French) to lend it to me ;-)

Thursday, June 09, 2011


I'm just back from a dinner with very good friends of mine, in the suburbs. On the way back, I drove through the Champs Elysées and saw the French flag was hanging, in between the arches. This generally happens when we celebrate something, like Bastille day (le 14 juillet,) or the end of WWII. In this particular case I don't know why... Maybe one of my readers will give us the solution. Anyway, it's a classic, but it's still beautiful ;-)
Note to the people who are having trouble loading PDP with Internet Explorer: I have removed the Facebook Like button, as I think this is what causes the problem, can you let me know it it's OK now? Merci.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

La Grande Halle de la Villette

Last evening I went to La Cité de la musique to attend a concert conducted by Les Arts Florissants, a Baroque musical ensemble conducted by William Christie. It was... Baroque! On the way out I took this photo of La Grande Halle, a remain of a former slaughter house that was built between 1865 and 1867 and was still used until 1975. Beautiful.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Stunning ceilings

Yesterday evening I attended the Parisapps meetup (organized by Mobile Monday France), an event that took place in the Paris City Hall town hall during which the five best mobile apps dedicated to Paris got featured. It was interesting (have a look at them and at all Paris applications, here if you're interested). What was also interesting was the cocktail they served afterwards stunning ceiling of the ballroom we were in. This is just a small bit, as the whole ceiling (painted by Henri Gervex and Aimé Morot) is 50 meter (164 feet) long!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Back to work

It's been a very quiet long weekend in Paris, the city was almost empty, but now the time has come to go back to work... I actually took this photo last Friday, when I had to take the metro to pick up my scooter that was being serviced. I saw this scene and thought it would make a good photo. The rectangle tile you can see on the wall is typical of the Paris Metro.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Playing Shi Fu Mi

I found another of these intriguing slogans that they post on sidewalks regularly. This one said "Do you want to play Shi Fu Mi?" -which apparently means "Stone paper cloth". Turns out it's a French clothing brand, for women. Anyway, I waited for people to pass by on it and took this photo that I kinda like a lot without knowing exactly why! Probably because it reminds me a bit of the Beatles Abbey Road album...

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Flower power!

Here is another jump in the past... Those of you who are less than 40 probably have never used this slogan - and even I was a little too young when it was on - but they probably heard of it. That is why when I saw this old Ami 8 (a popular French car from the 60's) at rue Vieille du Temple I could not help but taking a photo of it. No political claim, though, this car only belongs a florist (L'artisan fleuriste). Have a great weekend everyone, ours will be sunny!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Return to the 40's

I came across these two young ladies in the 3rd arroundissement and for a moment I thought I was travelling in time! They really looked like they just came out of a movie from the 40's or something. I looked up on the web and there is apparently such a fashion trend (look at this article in Elle), but it's actually the first evidence I witnessed! I'm not sure it's really suitable for a sunny day, but who am I to judge? ;-)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Where is everybody?

Those of you who visited Paris will probably think this is a fake! Why? Because generally, at this very famous location (Le Sacré Coeur), there are dozens of people running around, like little ants... (depending on the sources, it's the second or third most visited places in Paris, with 10 million visitors per year!) , but not this morning at "dawn", when I passed by there just before going to a meeting in the neighborhood. Enjoy...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Theme day: under (re)construction

Shame on me, I almost forgot it's a theme day today... What theme? "Under construction". You can imagine that in a city like Paris, there are more reconstructions than actual constructions... Hence this very famous Carreau du Temple, a huge covered market in Le Marais, that was built in 1863 and was pretty dormant lately, until the Town hall decided to give it a new life (check this animation). I can't wait... Click here to see what is under construction throughout the world!