Sunday, June 30, 2013

The return of the sales...

It's the soldes again (the sales) and everywhere in Paris you can find signs like this in store windows (I took this photo in the Agnès b store). This year you can make really good bargains as stores still have a lot of summer inventory: 1) because the weather has been terrible these past months and  2) because the economy is pretty bad at the moment and  the French prefer to save than to spend money ! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Station entrance!

Believe it or not this is a train station entrance! The one of La Gare des Invalides, which goes to the suburbs - that's the line that takes you to Versailles for example. I never knew there was an entrance there - and to be honest I'm not even sure they really use it even though ther is a stair case and track signs. Another question is... what happens in case of floods? For this entrance is right by the Seine.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Dancing the salsa in Paris

Last evening I went to a Microsoft press conference at the Cuba Compagnie, a Cuban style café near Bastille and on the way out I noticed that there was a Salsa session going on on the ground floor (apparently organized by a "coconut water" drink. So I took a photo... Salsa dancing is very popular in France - so is Cuba - and you find many places where to dance it - and/or learn it - in Paris. I like this photo because of its colors and energy. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Big dog, small dog!

Let me introduce you to Doggy John, a sculpture by Julien Marinetti that I photographed near the rond-point des Champs Elysées yesterday. The photo is not really interesting, but I find it  funny as just when I was taking the shot a "real" dog turned up and showed some interest in my camera!  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Photo exhibit

Can you see the photos in the background of this shot? There are part of a really cool exhibit by Reza, a very famous Iranian/French photographer who went all over the world and took the picture of people who grow coffee around the world. The cool thing about this exhibit is that it takes place on the Quais des Tuileries, opposite to the Musée d'Orsay, where people can walk (well not in this kind of weather!). You can also enjoy it if you take a boat trip on the Seine, like on this Vedettes de Paris, that I grabbed in this scene! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Contemplating the sky...

If you ever went to Nice, on the French Riviera, you probably visited the Place Massena and saw the stunning sculptures by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa. Well... I found two of these in Paris - or rather near Paris to be frank as they are located in Vitry, a city that is part of the Paris suburbs ! They are huge, posted on a pretty high poles (overlooking the road) and they are lit at night. Really beautiful, and frankly, quite unexpected in this neighborhood. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Farmers protest!

Life is not easy for a lot of people in France at the moment, due to the economic situation, but it's probably even tougher for our farmers - well some of them - who have to deal with the retail people who are not known for being very giving when it comes to negotiating margins! To let the Parisians know about their situation they organized a protest yesterday which ended at Les Invalides. Lots of talks of course, but also some interesting "live demo" like the shaving of sheep (big success!)! 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Never seen before...

After 8 years of posting a daily photo on PDP I feel like I've shown almost everything in Paris (as if that were possible!). For once, however, I'm sure I never took a photo from this angle, simply because it was nearly impossible... Why? Well because this is the Pont Alexandre III from the Seine level, a piece of embankment that was almost unreachable a few weeks ago because of the many cars that would run alongside. Like I told you about a month ago, this part of the left bank is now closed to traffic and is being turned into a giant pedestrian walk, which is why I could now take this photo. Needless to say, car drivers are not too happy about this!

Saturday, June 22, 2013


It was "la fête de la musique" (music party) yesterday and I spent most of my evening at the Swedish Institute (Institut suédois) in Le Marais. They had a band (not exactly the Abba type LOL!) and... a lot of beer and wine of course. I was with a group of friends, including a very good Swedish friend of mine (not in this photo) who announced she was expecting a baby! So for once here is a not very Paris centric photo, but a rather personal congratulations message, which of course also includes the father who happens to be Taiwanese! I'm really eager to see what their baby is going to look like, and especially its hair color!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Short term garden

Like every year, the square located in front of the Paris town hall (hotel de ville) has turned into a huge temporary garden. All what you see in this photo is meant to last until July 12 only! No pond this year (it was probably too expensive!), but many different kinds of plants and trees and even an... insect hotel ! OOOPs sorry, I made a mistake when posting and the photo did not show up in due time!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tax evasion...

Like in many countries at the moment, there is a big debate in France about tax evasion... It is said that every year the French government loses about 80 billion euros in unpaid taxes, mostly because of tax havens. Up to a point that several insiders (mostly people who used to work in banks) have decided to disclose key information to the authorities (read more here). Why I am saying all this? Because, by pure coincidence, I happened to have a meeting in front of the Brigade financière (a sort of  French IRS) today and that is where I took this photo! Pretty cool isn't it? (And before you ask, NO, I did not go there because I cheated with my taxes!)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Playing with water

On the "new" Place de la République, there is a sprinkler fountain (I don't know how to describe it exactly) coming up from the ground and children love it! Yesterday I was passing there and I saw two kids dressed in flashy raincoats playing in the water and I could not help but running and taking a photo. I hope that this will put a smile on your face, like it did on mine!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

18 June Appeal/Call

In France the 18th of June is a very famous anniversary date that everyone knows about. It celebrates l'appel du 18 Juin (The Appeal - or is more a call? - of 18 June) when, in 1940, Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the Free French Forces, addressed the French people on Radio London to let them know that the war against the Germans was not over and urged everyone to resist the occupation. This is why this famous speech is also often considered to be the origin of the French resistance. Since today is June 18, I thought I would tell you a bit of our history, while showing you this magnificent statue of de Gaulle that I featured several times already (not with this sky in the background though!).

Monday, June 17, 2013

The mayor of Paris...

I very rarely showed you the mayor of Paris for I thought you probably weren't that much interested in French (local) politics, but for once I'll make an exception. First because, he was this morning at Place de la République for its reopening (it's been totally renovated, I'll show it to you later...) - he's the man in the grey suit shaking hands (he a politician, remember?) - and because he'll leave his office next year which gives way to a new race between two - or three - female candidates (and if you want to know how I took this photo, visit my Facebook wall!)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Almost summer!

The statue of Henri the IV on the right, typical 18th century buildings on the left... This must be le Pont neuf on the l'île Saint Louis l'île de la Cité! I was there yesterday, the weather was so beautiful I almost went on a cruise on the Seine (the boat departure is on the right, by the statue. If only this weather could last...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cool tunnel!

I know it's not the most glamorous scene you can think of when thinking about Paris (there are no white dinner parties everyday!), but it's also part of Paris! It's a brand new tunnel I came across with in the 13th arrondissement, in the brand new area they built recently over there. I love the street lights they used. That is all. Have a good weekend everyone. Sun is supposed to shine in Paris...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dîner en blanc 2013

Like every year around the 10th of June, Paris had its diner en blanc (white dinner Party). And like every year I went there to take a photo (several actually!). I posted this one because it allows you to see the amount of people that were there (obviously at the Louvre!) - even though this year the bad weather (it rained all day and it was pretty cold) probably discouraged a lot of guests. I get more and more message asking me "how to attend", but like I already explained, you have to know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone... and I don't have contacts anymore! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Industrial buildings of the past...

I doubt very much that, when Joseph Leclaire conceived this building in 1890 he imagined that in the 2000's his building would be listed among the protected buildings of Paris! And though it is and I can understand why, because it's a real masterpiece. Originally it was a compressed air plant that would power many things in Paris including what I once introduced you to as the Paris Wide Web! They apparently closed it in 1994. now it's an architecture school and a public library. I must visit the inside... 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Théâtre du gymnase

Here is a theater I've been willing to show you for a very long time. But each time I tried to photograph it, they had scaffolding on it! Yesterday evening, I finally managed ! It's called Le Théâtre du Gymnase and it's a beautiful little theater. It was inaugurated in 1820 (it's located in the theater district, along what is usually called Les Grands Boulevards) and its facade has recently been totally renovated.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Last evening I had a drink outside near the Eiffel Tower, at La terrasse, a restaurant at Place de l'Ecole Militaire. Not only were the waiters extraordinary nice, but on top of that the food was excellent. We had a little bit of everything, including foie gras of course, and... escargots (well "they" had escargots, of which I'm not a big fan!). I could not help but taking a photo. And if you're tempted... Here is a recipe

Monday, June 10, 2013

Vide grenier !

In France we don't have garage sales, we have... Vide greniers (clean your attic sales), but the principle remains the same: try to sell for the best price the junk that you have accumulated over the years. I'm not a big fan (I prefer new stuff!) but a lot of people are and it's always a big success. Yesterday (Sunday) there was one at rue Cadet which is right by by home, so I had a glance... And here you go; I found this little no head mannequin that I thought was pretty cool. Did I buy it? Hell no! FYI, if you're interested to visit one of these Vide greniers the next time you're in Paris, here is the list!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Not the last tango in Paris!

Along one part of the embankment in the 5th arrondissement, there are several amphitheaters that are used for several purposes (exhibitions, picnic areas...) including, in summer - and providing it does not rain ! -  dancing sessions. All sorts of dance are represented including the Tango, like in this photo that I took just before my departure to Nice. All this is entirely free, of course. More info (in French) here.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Riciotti's nest

I really look up to architects. Not only do they have to know what is physically feasible when they build a building, but on top of that they have to make it original/nice/creative... Hence this one, called Le nid (the nest), a stunning building designed by Rudy Riciotti which is soon going to be completed (the building, not Rudy!). I really fell in love with it and I can't wait till it's opened to the public, for, I read, the inside is going to be as spectacular as the outside...

Friday, June 07, 2013

Stack overflow!

This may look like a fake or like a mockup, but I promise, it's a real building that I photographed along the embankment on the left bank. Like you probably already guessed this building is meant to be destroyed soon and a few people took advantage of this to paint it and turn it into a giant paint bucket! Funny as hell...

Thursday, June 06, 2013


There are days like this. I'm currently in Nice for the week and I'm trying my best to keep up with PDP while I'm gone. But... the electricity in the room I rented just went off, therefore I have no wi-fi and I have tried all possible networks around me to connect, nothing works! Last, I tried what they call "tethering" with my phone and it seems to work. Only it's very very slow... SO I hope you'll this photo on time. I took it near the rue d'Eupatoria in the 20th. cool isn't it?!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Farhat Hached square

I'm sure you all know who Farhat Hached is... Yeah... I did not think so! Well, I did not know either. I only found out recently after I took a trip to the brand new quarter they built in the 13th arrondissement, next to the Très Grande Bibliothèque. It turns out that he played an active role in the decolonization of Tunisia (the French colonized Tunisia until 1956) and several other things . Anyway, the Paris authorities decided to honor him and named a square after him. They also asked Mehdi Bouanani, aka DaBro to paint this giant portrait on the side of a building. Su-perb!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Notre Dame de la Gare

Here is another Paris church I never showed you, even though it's interesting. It's called Notre Dame de la Gare, after the area it's located in (the Gare - station - d'Ivry)It was built around 1850 when this area was still pretty poor (the East of Paris has always been poorer than the West). That is why they say that this church would specially take care of the poor (they must have succeeded, because now the area is definitely richer!). I like it because its shape is really different; it looks like a church you could find in South America almost...

Monday, June 03, 2013

National Library of France

Believe it or not there are still printed books nowadays (hence this one, that has just been published by one of the most loyal visitors to PDP, aka Petrea!). Almost all French books (14 million in total) are kept in La très grande bibliothèque (also called the BnF, for Bibliothèque nationale de France) that  I photographed yesterday (there are actually 4 of these buildings in total). Every year 150 000 new ones add up to the pile because of a law that makes it compulsory to give a sample copy of anything that is published in France to this library. If you like to read in French, you can also browse through 1,8 million French publications of all sorts, directly on line and for free...

Sunday, June 02, 2013

A day at the Spa

There are now many spas in Paris. I'm not talking about hammams, like the most famous one at the big Paris Mosque, but real spas, like this very famous one in Le Marais, precisely called Les Bains du Marais. Very cosy, beautiful, and, of course, relaxing, it's a real nice place to take a break from the busy streets of Paris. Avoid weekends if you want to try it for it's really busy.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Beauty of decay

Today's theme day within the City Daily Photo community is "The beauty of decay". I must say that I really did not know what to post! I thought of digging something into my street garbage cans(!), but I quickly gave up! Instead I chose this shot that I took a few months ago that shows a "decaying" building somewhere in Paris. Whenever this happens graffiti artists take advantage of this "open air canvas" to turn it into a fancy (well sort of...) painting. So here you go... (I know it's a little far fetched!). Check other "decaying scenes" throughout the world!