Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sacré Coeur (again and again!)

Someone (disclosure, her name is Heather!) lent me a camera with a "fish-eye" lens and I could not help but giving it a try... So here you go, one of my favorite places in Paris, taken from my favorite angle: the pavement! Cool isn't? I must say I love it, but I'm not sure I'm going to fall for one of these cameras, as I think I would be tempted to overuse it! Still... I love it ;-)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sunset in Paris (another one!)

I guess this photo could have been taken in any city, but I can assure you it was taken in Paris! I took it a couple of days ago at  rue Lafayette, on the way back home . The weather is really warming up at the moment and we're already thinking spring is not too far... That's all! And by the way, thanks for your nice words about yesterday's post; I'm really happy The Artist won so many awards.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chapeau l'Artist!

You know I'm generally not too patriotic on this blog, but today, I'm compelled to be! Tonight, the Academy Awards will take place in the City of Angels and perhaps, a French film - the Artist - may win... Needless to say, most of the French are holding onto their berets with anticipation! We won't know before tomorrow morning's news (or your comments on PDP...) for it takes place at 4 am French time. Anyway, I hope you'll forgive me for not showing you Paris today, but today Silence is a virtue!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The largest French farm...

Like every year, my favorite trade show returns! It's called Le Salon de l'agriculture and it just opened today. People call it "the largest farm in the world" for its spreads out on 150 000 sq meters (1 614 586 sq feet) and shelters no less than 4,000 farm animals ! Since this year is an election year, all candidates will visit it as  farmers' votes are very important - even though they only accounts for 3.6% of the active population nowadays. The guys in this photo are obviously from England. After all, it's also an International show!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

French drive through

Something pretty unusual happened next to my home today... A car backed into a restaurant! Nobody was injured or anything, but the owner of the place must have been pretty frightened by this very pushy customer! One of the guys contemplating the scene while I was taking the photo said to me "you know, it was a woman who got confused between the brakes and gas pedal!" My guess is that he did not really know...

Friday, February 24, 2012


Yes, I spoiled myself today! No, I shouldn't have! But sometimes you just feel like giving up you good resolutions ;-) Besides, it was an exceptional moment ; I was meeting a good friend of mine at Café de la Paix, a very chic café at the opera... The cake in the background is called a mille-feuille (thousand sheets) and it's to die for when it's well made (this one was, believe me!), for it is very hard to make - look up on Wikipedia. What about my diet? Well, I'll start Monday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Oh, my God!

Cool statue isn't? I never noticed it until this afternoon when I happened to find myself at the Tuilerie gardens, on the right end side. The "guy" is not mad because it's going to rain, but because he... just killed his brother! For yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is Cain (one of the sons of Adam and Eve in the Bible) and the statue was made by Henri Vidal, a French Sculptor (1864-1918) I know absolutely nothing about!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

AI Wei Wei takes over Paris

Berenice Abbott was not the only Exhibit at the Jeu de Paume museum yesterday... On the first floor there was another one going on, a more political one, a more provocative one... It featured the work of Ai Wei Wei (艾未未) ; a Chinese activist who spent some time in the US in the 80's. He went back to China in 1993 and  started criticizing the regime through his art and on a blog that is now closed, but which photos are presently exhibited in Paris at the moment (after many other places). The place was packed, but I managed to take this photo, that I love.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Berenice Abbott exhibit opening

Last evening I went to a photo exhibit opening at the Jeu de Paume museum (located in the Tuileries gardens at Place de la Concorde). The exhibit was about Berenice Abbott, a photographer my American visitors may know of, for she was American and famous for her black and white photos of New York. The reason why I went to this opening last night is that it was staged by my friend Nino Comba who I already featured on this blog a few years ago on the occasion of a Nuit Blanche event. Some may also have recognized the mystery visitor in the photo ;-)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Paris Carnival 2012

If you ask the average Parisian he will probaly tell you that there is no carnival in Paris, that if you want to see one, you have to go to Nice or to a Northern city. And though there is one carnival in Paris each year... And guess what, it took place yesterday (Sunday) between the 20th arrondissemment and the 4th. To be fair, even though the Paris Carnival was big in the (very) old days, it kinda disappeared between 1950 and 1993. So it's not really surprising that people don't really know it. Read the whole story here. PS: I took a zillion photos of course, but I have had no time to file them yet.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chatelet Theater

Here is a pretty famous Paris theater, called Le Théâtre du Chatelet, located, quite logically... at Place du Chatelet. It's a beautiful theater, inside like outside, inaugurated in 1862 by the wife of Napoleon the 3rd (Empress Eugénie). They show a lot of music there, like operas or recitals and even musicals ; last December they had "the Sound of music", called La mélodie du Bonheur in French (happiness melody) and pretty soon (Feb 24) they are going to host Les César awards ceremony (the equivalent to the Oscars in the US)...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The world of Doisneau

When you think of Doisneau, you probably have in mind black and white photos and more particularly this one... And though he also made a few shot in color as the current exhibit about his work at Les Halles (the former "belly of Paris", like Emile Zola used to call it - that is the place where all the food for Parisians was traded) during the 60's shows it. I have not seen the exhibit yet, but I will! More on the website...

Friday, February 17, 2012

The most beautiful place in Paris?

Not far from the Bistrot Vivienne where I was yesterday, there is La Place des Victoires, which is to me the most beautiful place in Paris (with the Place des Vosges maybe...). It has an interesting history too: it was inaugurated in 1686 and was then dedicated to the victories of Louis the XIVth. About a hundred years later, the statue of Louis was taken down by some angry revolutionaries(!) and was melted to make guns! In 1810 a new statue (the one of General Desaix) was put in place in the center, but since it would show the general in the nude, it was removed and replaced by... one of Henry the IVth on a horse (the one you can see in this photo)! More on Wikipedia if you're interested!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dinner at le Bistrot Vivienne

I know some of you think I spend my evenings going from one fancy place to another, but in fact I don't! Far from that, whenever I need to organize a dinner party outside in a restaurant, I never know where to go... Last evening, I was recommended to go to Le Bistrot Vivienne, a restaurant adjacent to the famous Galerie Vivienne and I did not regret it! The place is very very nicely decorated and the food is super good. I had fish and café gourmand (yes, again!) and I spent a nice evening surrounded with friends... Do pay the place a visit if you come to Paris.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Inside Saint Germain

I was supposed to attend an event at Place Saint Germain last evening, but once I got there I realized that I had the wrong date! So I went inside the beautiful Saint Germain Church, on the other side of the street. There was a mass going on, so I tried my best to be discrete and took this photo, which I really like - don't ask me why, probably because of the light and the peace that it conveys. That's all!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love, from Paris!

No, it did not snow again in Paris today (the weather is actually slightly warmer and is expected to be even more towards the end of the week), but I saved this photo from last week for today because it's... Valentine's day. Cute, isn't? I'll never know who L and R are, but let me dedicate this shot to all the lovers in the world.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Disco bus!

I was not going to use this photo for its quality is really bad, but then I heard the news about the death of Whitney Houston, so I did... This bus is a "Disco bus"; it moves around Paris (very slowly) while people are dancing in it (I know it's hard to see!). Quite an idea isn't?! I took this photo  on the river banks, just by the Musée d'Orsay, while I was passing the bus with my scooter. Have a look inside on their website... BTW, coming back to Whitney Houston, here in France, she's pretty famous for the encounter she had with Serge Gainsbourg on a television set (don't be horrified...)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Konny's work of art

I found this painting at Beaubourg on one of the chimney that vent the underground parking lot and I really froze when I saw it - not because of the cold(!), but because of the strength of this work of art. I did not know anything about Konny, but I looked up on the Web and found out her full name is Konny Steding and that she is German. Have a look at her website and have a good Sunday.

Cold doggy!

I very rarely take photos of animals, but this time I could not resist! This dog was so cute, waiting for its owner juts outside Muji, a Japonese stationary and home furniture store at rue des Francs Bourgeois. The coolest detail is, of course, its T-shirt that says "I love art" and that is probably very useful in these times of fierce cold... Paris facts: there are between 160 000 and 200 000 dogs is Paris, which is not bad for a 2.2 million inhabitant city...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Café gourmand

In most Paris (and probably French) restaurants you can now order a Café gourmand (greedy coffee) at the end of your meal. You then get a coffee plus 2 or 3 (and sometimes more!) bits of pastries, cream or pies to go with it. The idea being that more and more people are reluctant to have a real dessert, because it can be expensive, because it's fattening and because it can be long to get it... By offering a café gourmand, restaurants manage to sell a bit of dessert (with a profit margin that is probably more favorable than regular dessert!) and people don't feel "guilty" for their sweet tooth! A win-win deal in other words...

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Place du Tertre

Small photo today... Small, but wide! For yes, ladies and gentlemen, it snowed again in Paris last night and I took advantage of it to photograph the famous Place du Tertre (located at the top of Montmartre) with a small camera I recently bought that has a built in panorama function. It's also one of the rare occasions where you can see this place almost empty, for it's usually packed! Don't forget to click on it if you want a larger view.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Coldest day of the year?

According to the weather people, yesterday was the coldest day of the week - and probably of the year! - We even broke an electricity consumption record: 100 500 megawatts at 7pm, which won't tell you much I'm sure, but apparently it's a lot for a sixty million people country (a lot of our heating systems are actually electric, so no wonder...). Anyway, just FYI, I took this photo in Le Marais, I suppose there was a leak somewhere at the top of the building... I did not know exactly how to take the photo, and then I found this angle, which makes the scene even more impressive. Today let me think of the people in South Africa who, together with the Australians, seem to suffer a lot from the heat (if I believe the emails people send me!)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

En route!

OK, let's forget the cold and the snow for a little while... I don't know why I have soft spot for these little Italian cars called Cinquecento (Fiat 500 in French). They don't make these "classic" models anymore, but you can still see some in the European streets, including Paris of course. This one is even more unique as it has a little boot/trunk attached to the back (where the engine is located, actually). Very neat...

Monday, February 06, 2012

Paris in the snow

It had to happen... With the cold weather we're having at the moment, you won't find it surprising to hear that it snowed in Paris. I thought of you and went out this morning around 11 am, took my scooter (yes!) and went up to the Sacré Coeur. The place was full of tourists, but I managed to take this pretty Parisian scene ;-) I hope you'll like it. If not, I'll show you some more, later this week ;-) A special thought to the poor people in Perth (Australia) who suffer from the heat at the moment!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Good old stove

I'm full! I had lunch at Chez Paul, then had a pretty filling snack (galette) at 5 and could not resist a little choux à la crème at 8! Not very reasonable, I know... Anyway, all this because I wanted to show you this beautiful stove (probably wood fueled) that I found precisely at Chez Paul (a restaurant near Bastille, I already mentioned). They don't use it any more, but I've found it's a nice change from today's boring stoves! Have a great Sunday, stay warm - unless you're in Australia or New Zealand, or anywhere in the Southern hemisphere!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Petit déjeuner (Breakfast)

I would not recommend to anyone having breakfast outside at the moment (far too cold!) and though, I promise, I took this photo yesterday at rue Cler! In fact, it's just "advertising" that the Café Central invented to get the people to go inside, of course... In France we mostly eat sweet stuff in for Le petit déjeuner ("small breakfast") that is croissants, pains au chocolat, jam and baguette... and very rarely ham, cheese or sausage like they do in Northern Europe.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Paris fashion museum

If there is one last "industry" where the French still have a pretty good position, it's la mode (fashion). No wonder then, that we hold on to it as much as we can... I already mentioned the Institut Français de la Mode, a school that is more a business school dedicated to fashion than an actual designer school), and here is the fashion museum. It's called the Galliera (after the name of the Italian Duchess who once owned the place - a stunning palace surrounded by a 17600 sq meter garden in the heart of the 16th arrondissement!) and it owns no less than 90 000 fashion pieces (from dresses to gloves, fans, umbrellas...). I've never visited it - and I won't before another year and a half for it's currently closed, but the outside is already something!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Cold wave!

After an amazing period of mildness, winter has finally decided to come! Europe is currently experiencing a massive cold wave which includes France, of course. We had -6° (21.2° F) this morning and forecasts show that it's going to be worse towards the end of the week (-11° C - 12.2° F)! (See more here). Wearing these warm "space" boots was definitely a good idea! FYI, there should not be any snow in Paris though... Too bad ;-(

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Paris menagerie...

There are many many animals in Paris, and I'm not only talking about pets. There is a big zoo (in Vincennes, which is very close to Paris - and currently closed until 2014), the Ménagerie du jardin des plantes (with about a 1 000 animals!), le jardin d'acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne (West of Paris) and a few other places where you can mostly see birds or fish (like in the superb Trocadero Aquarium). One ting is for sure, there are NO tigers hanging out at Bastille, unless they are stuffed, like the ones I photographed ;-). Click here to view thumbnails for all City Daily Photo bloggers who participate in this theme day.