Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy New Year (again!)

Like every year, about one month after the Gregorian calendar's new year celebrations, the Chinese celebrate their own. In Paris, the celebration is bigger every year (I took this photo in 2012), and in Asia, where I am at the moment, it's crazy! The stores are full of Chinese decorations, there are Chinese people on vacation everywhere, and... a lot of noise in the streets (you've got to scare these bad spirits away!). I wish you xin nian kuai le (happy new year) and gong xi fa cai (may you be prosperous!)  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

It had to leak out...

The story did not make it to the news so much, but the thing is that about two weeks ago a huge leak damaged  no less than 12 000 books in the National Library (which is located in these big buildings in the background). Fortunately none of them were totally destroyed... Only a few (1,500) will have to receive a special treatment such as... - who would have known... - freeze drying! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Paris real estate price to drop, at last!

I have - good - news for you (well for those of you who're interested in buying an apartment in Paris!). For the first time in 15 years, prices have stopped going up. They even started going down (a little), by almost 4% in 2013. Now a square meter in Paris "only" costs 8 190 € on average! I took this photo a long time ago, in the 13th arrondissement. It's not very good, but I thought it was perfect to "celebrate" the news!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vivons heureux, vivons cachés

In France - a country of Catholic tradition - showing your wealth is very badly considered, if not a sin! Therefore, if you happen to be richer than your neighbour, you may want to hide it... We even have a saying that sums it up "Pour vivre heureux, vivons cachés" (If you want to be happy, keep your head down) Therefore, it's not very surprising that in Paris, the chicest places to live are generally concealed from the view of everybody... Hence this Square du Croizic, a sort of "gated community" in the heart of Montparnasse where no cars are allowed and where all buildings were built  according to the Haussmann rules. There are many many places like this in Paris in all arrondissement, even in Montmartre. Needless to say they're pretty expensive!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter sun

According to my favorite weather forecast website it's not too sunny in Paris at the moment, but I thought it was a good idea to start the week with this shot that I really love - and that I took just before my departure. The light is really great. I hope it'll be as sunny when I return...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Learning geography in the street

I"m not particularly proud of this photo, but I'm still publishing it as I think the idea is cool. You remember the new pedestrian area they created on the left bank after they banned all traff- ic from it? Well they had to turn it into a recreation area as quickly as possible without spending too much money! I already showed you the chalk board and a few ther things, but never this huge world map on which kids and their parent can walk (almost like on a hopscotch!) and learn about the world... I was near New Zealand and Australia when I took the photo ;-) Have great Sunday everyone, I'm currently in Kuala Lupur where it's very warm!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Remains of our industrial past

High labor cost, price of real estate... When it comes to manufacturing products, a country like France can only compete in high-end industries (nuclear power, planes...) or in niche markets. This building is a very good example of this phenomenon. It's located in the very center of Paris (at rue du Louvre) and it used to belong to a huge post-war industrial group (Boussac-Saint Frères) that went bankrupt in the 70's. Workers used to actually make bâche there (protective coverings) which is today totally unthinkable since the price of this beautiful building is probably worth more than the profit that 50 workers could produce in a 100 years!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Running in Paris

Before I left for Bangkok I went early in the morning to several places around Paris and I was really amazed to see how many people run. Hence this photo that I took on the Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, where you can see the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand in the background. I  just love the point of view.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Souvenirs from last year...

Last year around the same period, Paris was full of snow. Before leaving I thought it might happen again, so I took a few snow shots with me ;-) "Unfortunately", I keep checking the weather in Paris everyday and I don't see any snow alert (unlike in New York!). But I don't resist posting this one. It's the Opera and it's the first time I've this area covered in so much snow. Beautiful, isn't it? 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Counting the French!

There are precisely 65,7 million people in France (well there were in 2012). How do I know that? Because the French bureau of statistics (which is called INSEE - for National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) counts the French every now and then. Before it used to be every 4 years and now it's every year, but only in certain areas (which they extrapolate afterwards I suppose). This year, in Paris, it's the 6th, 14th, 16th and 18th arrondissement. It's compulsory of course... I took this photo during a sort of Flashmob on the trocadero esplanade ;-) Totally unrelated of course.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sky is the limit!

I took this photo in the 13th arrondissement, in the main "Chinese quarter" of Paris. In fact there are three Chinese quarters in Paris and this one is the most recent one. A lot of Asians - and not only Chinese, but people from Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia who fled the war and/or communism - settled down there in the 70's because... there was room for them in this area. Why? Because several towers had just been completed, but the new French young middle class which was originally the target rejected them... Now, we still find them pretty ugly, but we're used to them and on a clear day they make interesting photos!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Les enfants du monde...

In the Parc de Bercy in the 12th arrondissement, you can see a bunch of sculptures representing the "children of the world". They were made by Rachid Khimoune and they show children from 21 countries. A bit stereotypical of course (Mexicans have large hats Asians pointy ones...), but really cool to see. And this park is great too - I already posted several times about it. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Like a cobra in Paris...

Last Sunday the 14th "Traversée de Paris" took place in Paris. I was not there of course, but I took with me in Bangkok a bunch of photos from last year's race (as I generally only publish one single photo per event, I always have extra ones!). So here you go, an old AC Cobra from the 60's. The engine was made by ford and the bodywork by the Brits! And the French love it... Have a fun Sunday everyone and drive carefully ;-)

Saturday, January 18, 2014


As you may know, we have several open air metro (métro aérien) lines in Paris. This one is on the Boulevard de l'hôtital, in the 13th arrondissement and I took the photo just when the metro is about to go back under Paris. The big VP in the foreground simply means Ville de Paris! Have great weekend everyone.

Friday, January 17, 2014


It's been a while since I've posted a photo of lovers... I found these ones at the tip of l'île de la Cité (where Notre Dame is) in a little garden that is worth going to in the summer (it's very quiet and you can sit on the grass!). But when you're in love you don't care about the outside temperature, do you?!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A little moment of rest...

Even though I'm thousands of miles away from Paris at the moment, I still follow the news. You may have heard that our President was caught cheating on his wife a few days ago. And even though the French tend to respect the privacy of people in general - including politicians - this triggered a big turmoil in my homeland. I'm very French in this regard - his love life is none of our concern - I just wish he would dedicate more time to us and less too his flings! Anyway, I thought this nice view that I took somewhere in the 13th arrondissement (I'll tell you more another day) was perfect...   

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Music station

Like I already said I'm not in Paris right now (I'm in Bangkok - there I said it!) so I've prepared a stock of Paris photos that I can publish daily from there. The problem is that it's not easy to stick to what's going on in Paris when you're miles away ;-) Like yesterday, when I saw on Facebook that the SNCF (the French railway company) had organized a symphonic concert in the Gare Saint Lazare one of the largest train stations in Paris. How frustrating to have missed that. So I emailed the SNCF who kindly sent me a choice of photos (I think it deserves a little "like" if you're on Facebook). FYI, the orchestra that plays is the OSR (the Orchestre symphonique du rail) in which a lot of (ex)employees of the SNCF play.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cool reflection...

Here is a view of La cour carrée du Louvre, a stunning square located on the Eastern part of Le Louvre. There is a little fountain basin which reflects one of the pavilions that run around the yard. Really beautiful.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lost and found

Whose glove is this? I'll never know... And I did not even bother bring it to the Lost and Found office of Paris, which is located in the 15th arrondissement (at rue des Morillons, an address that all Parisians have heard of!). In fact that's where all objects (apparently there are 600 to 700 lost objects every day in Paris!) end up eventually, but there is always a transit period where you should first inquire; it all depends on the place where you lost it: public transport, public places, taxis... The Préfecture de Paris has a whole page about it, but stupidly only in French. Being away in a country where I don't understand a word, I now realize how tourists who don't speak French must feel hopeless in France...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Express yourself!

Where does this irrepressible need to write, draw or paint on walls come from? It's hard to tell, but it started a long time ago with the cavemen, who did marvelous things (remember the Grottes de Lascaux that  I already mentioned some time ago). And it starts early too judging from this photo that I took on the left bank where they installed a huge blackboard (the one I shot for my Joyeux Noël post) where everybody can "tag" with a chalk. Children have a blast!  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

From Paris, with love....

 The contagion is spreading!  I did not take this photo on the Pont des arts, but on the Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir, in the Eastern part of Paris. For the time being there are only a couple, but I bet that pretty soon it'll be covered in love... locks. Ah well, at least it allowed me to take a nice sunrise photo.

Friday, January 10, 2014

In the Louvre gardens

I took this photo just before my departure in the Louvre gardens and I really love it. The statue in the middle is by Maillol of course (there are plenty in these gardens!) and the color and the trees are by mother nature, a true artist too! 

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Bye bye Paris...

I'm so afraid that the cold wave currently in North America crosses the Atlantic soon, that I felt the urge to leave Paris for a few days! I leave my dear home town, but I don't leave you as I'll still be posting a Paris photo a day from where I'll be ;-) Starting with this view of terminal 2F at Charles de Gaulle airport, that I took just before my departure...

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

After the market

I took this photo just after the end of the market at avenue de Versailles in the 16th arrondissement. There are 82 food markets in Paris (including 3 organic ones). Here is the list by arrondissement.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Inspiring ceiling

Next to my apartment, there is a church called Notre Dame de Lorette, that was built between 1822 and 1836 when the area started to be so popular that they badly needed a church for the ever growing population. The outside architecture is very classic (after the Roman basilicas), but the inside is reallly superb. Especially the stunning ceiling that I photographed yesterday afternoon. A real masterpiece made by Hubert-Nicolas Lamontagne.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Thinking of the future...

I wanted to start this new week with a photo I love. I took it at the Institut Hongrois (the Hugarian institute) at rue Bonaparte where they have, just outside their door, one of the most captivating sculpture: a barefoot woman sitting on a bench. It was made by Hungarian artist Lapis Andras, it's called "Kalap alatt" (under the hat) and it's a replica of an original one that was first made in 1975 and can be seen in the city of Szeged. Those of you who have been following PDP for a very long time may remember the first shot I made of this statue. I did not know the lady who was sitting next to it, but she was kind enough to come to the PDP picnic afterwards!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Sunday, lovely Sunday

Have a peaceful Sunday everyone, just like in Paris at the moment, where everyone is out celebrating this extraordinary mild weather. I took this photo just outside the Musée d'Orsay where the line to get in was so long that the people who were at the end of it probably waited two hours before reaching the ticket booth! Why? Because there are a lot of Italian and Spanish tourists in Paris, because apparently the 6th is a holiday there...

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Eiffel Tower Anyone?

When I see the poor guys trying to illegally sell Eiffel Towers near all the tourist areas I always think to myself, "Who on earth would buy an ET from them? - besides Suzy of course!! (<--private PDP joke)" And though, it works. I had to wait several minutes before I could take this photo without anyone blocking the view! Kids love them too and a lot of parents give in and pay a Euro or two to put a smile on their children's face ;-). As you probably guessed, I took this photo in the Tuileries gardens, near the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.

Friday, January 03, 2014

The sunny side of Les Invalides

I had a very nice walk in Paris yesterday morning and I was really amazed to see how nice the weather was. Then I thought "what a difference with last year, when it was so cold and snowy..." In fact, I was wrong... I checked my last year's photos (especially this one) from the same period and it was exactly the same. I took this one on the Esplanade des Invalides and I almost felt like laying in the sun! Now, will the end of January be as snowy as last year?! Wait and see...

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Paris New Year's Parade

I was not supposed to be in Paris yesterday, but for many reasons I decided to stay. I could witness all the New Year's festivities including, Wednesday morning the New Year's Parade on the Champs Elysées. Great moment! Not only was the parade good (mostly circus people), but also also I got to enjoy walking on the Champs Elysées without any cars! Check this little Animoto to have a better feel of the atmosphere.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Best photo of the year!

Like every 1st of January since 2005, the CDP tradition is to post the best photo of the past year... This year I thought of a recent one that I took at the Eiffel Tower. I know a lot of you liked it too ;-) Happy new year everyone! Check now all the other "year photos" throughout the world.