Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or treats?!

It's not really a French celebration (here we celebrate the dead on the November 1st), but... since it's a good business booster (for restaurants and shops that sell scary costumes like the one where I took this photo), you can see a lot of calls to attend Halloween parties everywhere in Paris right now (no trick or treats though...). So I thought I would play the game... On a different note - and believe me, with absolutely no relationship with scary witches! - I had the pleasure to have breakfast with Kim from Seattle Daily Photo this morning (see for yourself ;-).

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Giant artichokes at Invalides

A-ma-zing. As I was coming back from the 15th arrondissement yesterday, I passed by Les Invalides and saw this giant artichokes sculpture (by Patrick Laroche who claims to be fascinated by nature) in the middle of the pavement! Really cool ;-) Turns out it's part of a contemporary art trail organized by the art gallerie 208 and a local association. So it's not the only piece of art you can come across in the 7th arrondissement at the moment ;-) Here is the only online information I could find about this (in French).

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Alone in the city

I'm always embarrassed when I take such photos, because even though they have that kind of dramatic atmosphere that helps making good photos, they also contain a lot of suffering. There is not much to add, I'm afraid.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The 1st good-for-the-planet merry-go-round!

Low consumption bulbs, hybrid cars, windmills... everybody claims to have sustainable development solutions for the planet nowadays. In Paris, we've gone a step further! Now we have an ecologic merry-go-round, one that is powered by solar cells, a small windmills and... human power (that is the power of people - kids? - that pedal while going around!) Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Marcel Campion, invented it - OK, maybe it's a little far fetched, but still ;-) If you want to see it, it's easy, it's right at the bottom of La Tour Eiffel where I took this photo this morning.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Biking on the Champs Elysées

Another nice dawn view on the Champs Elysées. Nothing to add, I'm sure you'll like it too ;-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Through the Cité de la Mode

You may remember La Cité de la mode et du Design, a pretty new building (it was inaugurated in 2007) that looks over the Seine. Very creative, it was a bit controversial (isn't everything?!) because the architects Dominique Jakob and Brendan Mac Farlane added a sort of green glass skin on the facade that faces the water (see some photos here). Last week I went there and here is the photo I took from the inside. I love the effect!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Champs Elysées at dawn...

OK, it was not exactly dawn, but 9 o'clock... But at this time of year (we're about to change time this weekend) it's almost like dawn! The light was really beautiful and since it was Sunday morning Les Champs Elysées were almost empty.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Vive la France!

So we did not win (the World Rugby Cup final) yesterday, but I had great fun. I woke up early to make it to "The Freedom" a pub located off Les Champs Elysées that I already mentioned here where the owner of fashion store Koko (a true Kiwi!) had organized a giant NZ meetup (French could join too ;-). Needless to say that the atmosphere was, well, very festive and that we heard a lot of "La Marseillaise" (listen) and "God Defend New Zealand" (listen) singing. Great moment.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reading by the Canal

I just spent two days hanging out at the Webdeux Connect event (a cool French networking event for geeks like me!) and I did not have a single minute to take my photo du jour... So here is a very peaceful Sunday shot that I took by the Canal Saint Martin a few days ago, when it was still a little warm. There is nothing extraordinary in this photo, but I like it. Off to bed now, tomorrow morning (Sunday), France plays New Zealand at the Rugby World Cup and I want to see this ;-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

How I became a comic character...

Do you see the character in the upper left of this comic book, well it's me! Don't go thinking it's an actual drawing, for it's a piece of art by Christophe Weber that I saw at the Galerie W corner, at the Chic Today exhibit at La cité de la Mode, by the Seine. This is actually a live image, projected on a huge screen, with two cameras on each side; each of them films the people in front of the screen and turns them instantly into comic strip characters. Great idea! On top of that the Galerie W people had the marvelous idea of using polltogo to get people's reaction on the spot. Really Fun!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pont des arts padlocks

I passed by the Pont des arts today on my way to La cité de la mode (I'll show you why later) and every time I go there, I'm amazed by the increasing number of padlocks that lovers from all over the world attach to the grids. I read that the Paris Town hall is not too happy about it, but that there is not much they can do - especially with the large padlocks! As you can see from the way people are dressed, it was pretty chilly today - but not as cold as I expected.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cold attack!

It had to happen... The summer is definitely gone in Paris, and the temperatures are about to drop dramatically - they said the thermometer would go down to 2°C (35°F) tomorrow morning (Thursday). To "celebrate" here is a photo of the "famous" mantelpiece of the Murano hotel (or rather as they like to call themselves the "Murano Urban Resort"!") at Boulevard du Temple in the 3rd arrondissement. This mantelpiece is located at the entrance, and it's really worth the look.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

French Mothers

I don't know if you remember, a few years ago I posted a photo of a monument that I found by pure coincidence in the 13th arrondissement, dedicated to Les mères de France (French mothers). Well a few days ago, I passed by this place again... It's a stunning monument that recalls some of the soviet union ones (massive and somewhat univocal). It was erected in 1938 and served many political purposes throughout our recent history. Thus being said, the fertility rate in France amounts to 2,01 on average, which is one of the highest in the western world.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A modern man

I took advantage of the last day of sun (they said it would start raining today) to take a photo of a statue of Vauban, located in the Invalides gardens. Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (his full name) used to live under the reign of Louis the 14th (to which he was an adviser) and is known for having designed almost unbreakable fortifications in many places in France (about 100). From what I read he also suggested to change the tax system, which created a big scandal at that time. What he did sounds strangely similar to what some of our today's politicians (we're are in pre-election times at the moment) suggest: protect France (not with fortifications, but with tariffs), change the tax system... Tools and methods change, but the problems to solve remain the same throughout the centuries !

Monday, October 17, 2011

The provinces in Paris

There are about 30 000 "new Parisians" every year in Paris. I'm not talking about newborns, but French people from the provinces who come to Paris to study or find a (better) job. Some stay, some don't, but globally studies show that one in three Parisians was born outside Paris. Yesterday (Sunday) I went at Place Stalingrad (where I took this photo) to one of the events that are regularly organized in Paris and where regional producers can sell their products (Crèpes from Brittany, cheeses from everywhere, beer from Corsica, etc.). Huge success (I personally stuffed myself with a slice of Far Breton!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Château de la Reine Blanche

If you've been to Paris several times and want to visit something very old, very original and that very few people will have seen, here it is! It's called Le Château de la Reine Blanche (The white queen's castle), it was originally built in 1290! but what you can see now is actually a "new" building that was erected around 1500, following to a giant fire. This "castle" which is more like a big mansion really has a stunning history - linked to the Gobelin family (which is very famous in Paris) among other things. It has been recently renovated (as you can see) and can be visited. Of course, it's not in the center of Paris (it's in the 13th arrondissement), but sometimes, it's worth going away from the beaten tracks, isn't?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The world's fifth largest economy?

This is not the prettiest picture you'll see on PDP I agree, but it's also Paris... I took it at Boulevard des Italiens, near the Opera, a pretty rich area. I could not help but stopping and taking this shot that looks like a scene from the 3rd world: someone sleeping on the sidewalk on the right, garbage cans that still wait to be picked up (at 10 am!)... (and yes, the famous Tenin's perspective LOL!). Isn't France supposed to be the 5th largest and wealthiest economy in the world? Is that a preview of what's ahead of us?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Mysterious Collage...

Funny collage isn't? But it becomes much more interesting as you get closer. You obviously can't because you're viewing this on PDP and not at rue des Blancs-Manteaux where I took this photo, but if you click here, you'll see a blow up and I'm sure you'll recognize what this mosaic really is about ;-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New parking tickets

Increasing productivity is a concern that has no limits. Even when it comes to parking tickets! Hence these new electronic parking tickets that have been introduced in Paris over the last months. No more papers to fill, the license plate number and the reason why the ticket was given are entered directly into a portable terminal and drivers are noticed via a simple note like this... To pay, you simply need to go online, enter the number that is on the notice and hand out your credit card! Simple, efficient and... very cost effective! According to studies, it reduces the ticketing time by 2!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Paris Café

I took this photo this morning at Saint Germain at the Café Bonaparte. Of course it's a little too much (too typical, too French, too blue, white, red!) but it's kinda cute ;-) I searched the web and found out that the first café appeared in Turkey in 1554 and that the first European one opened in 1615 in Venice. Paris had to wait until... 1643! Of course now we also have Starbucks LOL!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Red Wallace Fountain

I already told you about the Wallace Fountains (Les Fontaines Wallace), named after Sir Richard Wallace - a very wealthy AngloScottish-French philanthropist who used part of his money to improve the life of Parisians. Well, there are still 108 of these still up and running fountains throughout Paris (the first one was installed in 1875), but it's the first time I see a red one! I found it at the Porte de Versailles, Sunday, right after my speech.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A nice experience

Thanks everyone for your nice comments yesterday. Browsing through 6,5 years of photos to prepare the presentation, I relived many nice memories (picnics, PDP meetings in SF, NYC, the 1st anniversary of PDP, the Smitha/Manu proposal...). Today at the Salon de la photo, I told everyone how much PDP brought to my life in terms of knowledge of the world. It also allowed me to make good friends. A special thank to Michael (for his help), Stuart (who took this photo), Cathy who came to see me talk (and someone from Canada whose name I forgot) and to Benoît from Le Déclencheur, who gave me the opportunity to give this speech today. Update: I just entered a Blog contest, can you please vote for me? Thank you!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

2411 photos to date !

Today (Sunday), I'll have the pleasure to present ParisDailyPhoto at a conference at Le Salon de La Photo in Paris at 4 pm (apparently in a place called l'Agora du net or near the E15 stand) - you can have a free entrance ticket here with code DCL11. Preparing my presentation, I went through a lot of my previous photos (including the very first one actually) and it brought back a lot of nice memories. I find it hard to believe that it'll be 7 years in march that I started ParisDailyPhoto. So today, I'm offering you a little mosaic!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Don't call her Mademoiselle...

Is it a sign that we are more under the influence of the US, or that we have reached a certain level of maturity when it comes to women's rights, it's hard to tell. The fact is, that French female activists are now demanding that the term Mademoiselle be removed from official papers and forms. They claim that there is no male equivalent (we had Damoiseau in the middle ages, though ;-) and that there is no reason to make the distinction between single and married women. They have a point, don't they? To illustrate this news, I took this photo in the windows of Le BHV especially made for Steiner.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Margaret Cho in Paris

I'm just back from an evening at La Java, a former dancing hall that is now a bar and shelters a stage where comedians can perform. Last night, I saw... Margaret Cho, an American comedian that I never thought I would see in Paris. Why? Because she only performs in English and mainly deals with american issues. No wonder 99% of the audience was American! I, as a French, had a good laugh though, for she really pushes it very far and is really politically incorrect! Check it for yourself, but watch out, some bits could be rated PG99!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Reading in the sun

When I saw this old lady reading peacefully in this garden I knew right away it would make a nice photo. I think it does ;-) Of course, the black and white adds a little to it, but not only. Anyway, FYI, I took this photo in Le jardin des Invalides. BTW, don't forget, if you're in Paris, next Sunday I'll be talking about PDP at Le Salon de la photo on Sunday at 4pm. Free tickets available here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A tribute to Aznavour

I already showed you the front of the Olympia (probably the most famous music hall in Paris), but it was never totally covered with a huge poster like this... They only did it because they are currently hosting Charles Aznavour, a super famous and loved French singer who had not performed there in... 55 years! For yes, ladies and gentlemen, Charles Aznavour was not exactly born yesterday! He's going to be 88 soon, but still sings like he were 20! Check that.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


Yesterday I walked by the Pont Alexandre III and found out that they had installed a new monument not far from it (on the place du Canada)! It was made by Russian artist Vladimir Sourovtsev, it's dedicated to the Russian soldiers who fought with the French against the Germans during WWI. I must say I did not know they did (5 000 of them died actually...). I love the perspective with the fall /autumn colors.

Monday, October 03, 2011

A super classic!

I'm just back from a dinner with good friends at Place de Breteuil in the 7th arrondissement and on the way back I passed by the Saint-Louis des Invalides Church which always amazes me! It was inaugurated in 1706 and it is still standing (well the golden globe had to be regilded 5 times since them, but still!).

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Musical Intermezzo

I don't know if you remember, last year, I attended an art opening organized in the offices of Mac Allister, a head hunter company. Well, this year I went back! Only this time on top of showing paintings they also had musicians! And not just any musician, a cellist (Hugues Lassere) and No Yon Kwon, a soprano who sang all kinds of music, including this famous one. A perfect moment for a Sunday ;-)

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Mysterious object?

October 1st (already!), therefore a theme day. The CityDailyPhoto community chose "Mysterious Object". I looked and looked and looked and really could not think of something, until I came across this photo that I had taken a few days ago and never showed to you. It's part of a huge open air photo exhibit located on the Quai Branly, near the Eiffel Tower that features artists from all over the world. This one is Russian, he's called Sergey Loier and he loves surrealism! Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.