Monday, April 30, 2012

Morning traffic

This morning I had to wake up very early and guess what... It was still pouring! I tool this photo while crossing the street... Not fascinating I agree, but I still like it, I don't know why! I'm going to stop taking rainy photos though, because I have the feeling I'll bore you LOL! Still, just so that I can rant on a little more; have a look at the weather forecasts for this week! And to think it's a long weekend...

Sunday, April 29, 2012


It's a shame I cannot show you faces (the French law is very strict about this), for I would have loved to show you this very touching young couple who was spending some time outside the Musée d'Art moderne de la ville de Paris. I don't regret it that much actually as I really like the composition in this photo. I hope you do too. Have a nice Sunday everyone, mine will be very quiet, like Paris at the moment!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Leaving Paris...

Yesterday (Friday) was the eve of a long weekend for us: the 1st of May, which is for Europeans - Labor day. This year it's a Tuesday, so you only need to take Monday off and you can enjoy a 4 day weekend ;-) I took this photo at Porte de Saint Clould, near the motorway that leads to Normandy, a region in the north west of France where a lot of Parisians have a country house. As you can see, it was pretty busy. BTW, I never told you about "Bison futé", a public service that gives information and forecasts about traffic in France. It's even in English ;-)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Riding a bike in Paris

We're starting to feel like the Brits now: the rain won't stop us to do things outdoor LOL! Even riding a bike in the slippery streets of Paris (that is actually why they replaced the traditional cobblestones with tar...). I like these kinds of photos from time to time because they force you to be quick and to press the trigger at the right moment (needless to say the blurry effect is 100% natural, otherwise it would be cheating, something I never do... (ehem!)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Boulevard Saint Michel

The rain never stops in Paris these days, which is good for the crops maybe, but not for the mood of the Parisians (including mine LOL!). If it continues like that I'll take a break in the sun... Anyway I took this photo this morning at Boulevard Saint Michel, right by the Sorbonne, after a meeting near Pantheon. I like the reflection effect and the colors. Hard to believe this boulevard was empty though... That's all, sorry, not much to say today ;-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

French tableau...

Could this view be any more French? I don't think so ;-) I took it near the place du marché Sainte Catherine, in the 4th arrondissement, where the restaurant Le Marché (to whom this very charming, old fashion mini van obviously belongs) is located. Do also have a look at the windows of the apartment building in the background; they are typical of the architecture of this area.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Rainy days...

Those who follow me on Facebook know that last weekend I had lunch - and what a lunch! - at Thib's (and his wife Clotilde), a regular contributor to the comment box of PDP and spent the rest of the weekend with Stuart and Elizabeth in Amboise, in the Loire Valley (Stuart is the one who took the most popular photo on PDP!). Long story short, I did not have the time to take new photos... So here is and "old" one, that I took during the Marathon and that I love! Very timely too, as... it's raining cats and dogs in Paris at the moment ;-)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Trading meat...

In the rue des Hospitalières-Saint-Gervais there is a superb building that used to be a trading place for meat (it was called le pavillon de la boucherie). That is why there are two ox heads on each side of the entrance door - made by sculptor Edme Gaulle. Incidentally, on one side of the building, there is also a brand new Nike shop, decorated with fancy lights - the ones you can see in the background of this photo. FYI, this building is now a school.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

French elections, 1st round

Do you remember this post? Well, 5 years have passed and it's time to vote again... The French elections take place in two rounds, today (Sunday) is the 1st round and we have to chose between 10 candidates! According to polls the winners of this first round will be François Hollande (left) and Nicolas Sarkozy (right). Nothing very surprising... And you, if you were to vote for the French elections, who would you vote for (I only kept the 5 main candidates!).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tour Saint Jacques

I already posted several photos showing the Tour Saint Jacques, before and after its renovation, but it never ceases to amaze me, especially when the sun adds a little "salt" to it! FYI the tower Saint Jacques was originally a bell tower that belonged to a church built between 1509 and 1522 then destroyed after the French revolution. Have and excellent Saturday everyone.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A new food experience

You have probably all noticed in your own country how cooking shows are popular on TV. They are in France too and they have also opened the way to new cooking experiences in real life... Hence this social network called Food Reporter, where people take photos and share the dishes they eat, or this "food lab" called Mademoiselle M, where I had the pleasure of having lunch a couple of days ago. It's not a restaurant, but a lovely place dedicated to cooking, that companies of groups can rent on special occasions. What's in the foreground? Yummy beet mousse.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Doisneau exhibit at Hotel de Ville

It's cold and rainy in Paris at the moment (which might explain why I have a terrible cold right now!), but it's also a good occasion to take interesting photos... Hence this one, that I took at Hotel de Ville today right under a poster that promotes the Doisneau exhibit they currently have there. Not surprisingly this exhibit is very successful, that is why people have to line up, even when it's rainy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Meet true Parisians!

Did you ever come to Paris and complained that it was difficult to meet - or even simply talk - to locals (ie Parisians?). Well, yes, it's true. Some even call us the rudest nation... but it's just that we are brought up with the idea that "you should not talk to strangers" and that "nobody is interested in your stories, keep them for yourself...". Nothing to urge us to communicate with the rest of the world... There is a solution though! It's called Franglish and it takes place regularly in Paris (and in Nice). Principle: 7 minutes of exchanges in French then English, so that you get to learn the language on top of meeting nice people. I witnessed last night, and it sounded really fun. Try it out next time you're in Paris, they have several sessions, not all in the dark, like last night at the Lizard Lounge!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Perched firemen!

I generally don't post two photos that deal with the same subject twice in a row, but this time I did not resist... These are firemen watching over the marathon runners from a fantastic point of view: their truck ladder! On a more serious note, French firemen have just released a communication campaign to urge people to only call them in case of emergency and not just to rescue their cat or open their door after they forgot their keys inside or any other reasons that can be solved by someone else... (update, look at what digital artist Bill Charlebois did with this photo)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Paris Marathon 2012

Running for 42 kilometers (26 miles) is hard, but when you do it in the streets of Paris it's probably easier (not that I would know, when I run it's on a treadmill at the gym LOL!). I suppose that's the reason why each year, about 40 000 people run the Paris Marathon. Some take it very seriously (like  Stanley Biwott from Kenya who won today's race in a little more than 2 hours!) and some with humor,  like this one that I photographed in front of Le Louvre!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Remains of the past

In the past, France used to be a pretty industrial nation. But like many developed countries  - except Germany maybe -  we're constantly losing ground... Coincidentally, today I passed by the old factory of Renault (one of the major French car manufacturers) in Boulogne a very close suburb of Paris and the only thing that remains is... the facade that they keep as a proud testimony of the past! Of course, it would be unfair to let you believe that this is what's left of Renault, as it is now a large, pretty successful multinational group, but still...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hep Garçon !

Hep garçon ! (hey waiter!) is supposedly the words you're supposed to say to attract a waiter's attention in a café... Nowadays, however, nobody would say that: first, because it's a bit rude and condescending and second because waiters are more and more waitresses! You just say "s'il vous plait" (please), or raise you hand in their direction and go "excusez-moi" (excuse me)... showing this way that you have respect for their job. I took this photo  at rue de Buci, right by a florist (obviously!). Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Quenelles bar

Macarons, pasta, Thai-in the box, choux à la crème (cream puffs)... the food business continues to specialize, mainly for cost reasons : less inventory, less waste, less need for multi-qualified chefs... I recently found new evidence of this trend at the marché Saint Germain: a Quenelle bar (by famous maker Giraudet). Quenelles are a typical dish from the Lyon region (south /center of France) coming in different varieties, the most famous being made from pike (brochet).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fontaine du Théâtre Français

There is a beautiful fountain at Place André Malraux (right at the entrance of rue de Richelieu, where the street merges with avenue de l'Opéra) called la Fontaine du Théâtre Français. It's beautiful during the day, but it's even more beautiful at night, thanks to the very "French" lighting they installed! That is also where they installed Christmas trees made of recycled bottles a few years ago!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Look at the sky....

In 2 weeks we are going to vote to elect - or possibly reelect - a new President of the Republic, and even though there are pretty strict rules in terms of access to the media (all candidates must have the exact same airtime for instance), there are no rules when it comes to bill posting. I don't like it too much as I think it really dirties our walls, except when it's funny or aesthetic. I thought there was both of this in this photo that I took at rue Mazarine. The man in the poster is a left candidate (his name is Jean-Luc Mélenchon) and the graffiti has probably been added afterwards (it says "look at the sky").

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Venus of the arts

I never noticed it, but at rue Jacques Callot, there is a stunning sculpture by Louis Arman (a famous French sculptor). It's called La Vénus des arts (apparently after the Venus de Milo, a well known sculpture that can be seen at the Louvre museum) and it's made of several musical instruments and picture frames. It's been in this street for more than 14 years and I only discovered it last weekend!!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Paris Meridian

No, it's not a manhole entrance (it's much smaller, about 4.7 inches - 12 cm), but just a metal piece embedded into the sidewalk of Paris that I found somewhere near the Boulevard Saint Germain... I looked up on the Web and found something very interesting. It turns out that there are 135 of these "medallions" throughout Paris and that they were  installed by Dutch artist Jan Dibbets in 1994 in honor of François Arago, a French scientist who "discovered" the Paris Meridian. Quite logically all these medallions are installed along a line that represents this Meridian. I had never heard of this...

Sunday, April 08, 2012

The most expensive book in the world!

You have a lot of money you don't know what to do with? Let me help you... Tashen, a publisher that is usually known for offering beautiful books at a very reasonable price, is currently showing in its Paris store, this 464 page "sumo" book (26.7 x 37.4 cm or 10.5 x 14.7 in.) in which you can find most of the photographs by Helmut Newton. Stunning! Why is it on display in the Paris Tashen store at the moment? Because there is a huge Helmut Newton exhibit at Le Grand Palais at the moment... Last but not least, you can buy it for as little as 10,000 euros/dollars!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Happy Easter!

It's Easter weekend in Paris, like in all Christian tradition countries (it's also Pessah the equivalent for the Jews) and tradition has it that children are supposed to look for Easter eggs in their garden (or apartment. A new site/mobile application called Urban Pulse took advantage of this period to organize a giant Easter egg hunt throughout Paris and promote their app. Principle? No proper "eggs" but QR Codes that can be found everywhere in town. If you flash the right one you can win Prizes, including a trip to NYC! I did not win... But I'm happy to support entrepreneurs!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Becoming French!

Today, someone you all know if you're a true visitor to ParisDailyPhoto, has officially become French! Yes, he's on the left in this photo, yes his name is Michael and yes he is of American origin (Florida to be exact). But he's lived in France long enough and apparently intends to stay here, so he went through the hassle of applying for French nationality - without giving up his US one though. I attended the ceremony which was pretty moving actually - everybody (about 40 applicants) had to sing the Marseillaise!, watch a movie about "the values of France", listen to a welcome speech by the nice lady in blue in this photo and wait for one's name to be called. I'm glad France is fortunate enough to welcome a new member like him, even though to me, he'll always remain "mon Américain favori !"

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Paris discount drugtore

Sorry, this is probably the ugliest photo you'll find on PDP (actually no I've done worse!), but if you come to Paris, you'll be happy to know about this place. It's the only discount drugstore ("Pharmacie", in French) in Paris, with prices that are usually half the ones you can find in a "normal" drugstore - and I'm not talking about "comfort products", like lotions or magical slimming pills, but about "real" medicines like the anti-allergies pills that I bought there today. Last thing: the address... Despite what you may think it is not located in a poor ex-centered area, but right in Saint Germain, at 26, rue du Four in the 6th arrondissement.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Metro spotting

I'm not a train spotter, but I happened to find myself at Pasteur metro station today where the line leaves the underground and continues all the way to the 16th arrondissment (including the crossing of the Seine on the typical Bir Hakeim bridge) on the open air. When the metro was built, the idea of having elevated sections like this one was pretty controversial as you can imagine. People were afraid that it would destroy the nice perspective of our streets... Which it does! But only partly, and only in areas where going underground was difficult (at that time anyway). It is also noisy, but less since they replaced the steel wheels with tires.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Paris Jogging at dawn

This is not an extraordinary photo, but I'm sure it'll please a lot of you... Why? Because it really is a very Parisian scene, with the typical street lamps in the background, the street plaque on the right, and of course the bouquinistes boxes on the left. I took this photo pretty early in the morning, that is why there is little traffic and an almost colorless light.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Paris Art fair 2012

Like I mentioned a few days ago, I was lucky enough to visit the Paris Art fair 2012 last Friday at the Grand Palais, when it was just the opening and not yet too busy. I was in a rush so I could not see everything, but my eyes got caught by the work of Petr Lovigin, a Russian Photographer who was featured on the Galerie Clair stand. I could not find much about him on the web (well not much in English and I don't speak Russian!)... As always, I find it very hard to take photos of photos, so this time I played on the format and the composition of my photo. I kinda like it, even though it's not very original!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

April theme day: cobblestones

Due to the hacking of the servers that host the City Daily Photo portal, it is down at the moment, so that we were "in the dark" regarding this month's theme day. Thanks to Julie in Sydney, we have a workaround, even though there will undoubtedly be less participants this time - but I'm sure you will survive ;-) ... The theme day for this month is "Cobblestones" which was a piece of cake for me, as in Paris, we're not short of cobblestones, every though they are regularly covered with tar, that is considered much safer (especially when it rains when it becomes very slippery...). I posted several photos of them, but for today, I took a very very traditional one.