Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ashes to ashes, concrete to dust!

Everything comes to an end in this world, especially old and ugly buildings, even if the once sheltered art... For yes, ladies and gentleman, this is where I took this photo, and this photo, after I initially took this one... I guess you know what I'm talking about now, don't you?! Update: thanks to Flore, a true visitor to PDP, here is a link to the "live" feed of the demolition

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

La Brigade, the food truck for meat lovers!

It's absolutely fascinating to see how "food trucks" (we don't even have a French word it) have multiplied these past two years in Paris. I already told you about Cantine California, the one that makes the best hamburgers in Paris, here is now another one for meat lovers. I found it in the 13th arrondissement near a movie theater, it's called La Brigade (after the name of what we call a crew in a restaurant kitchen) and it sells juicy slices of meat to die for (if you like meat, of course!).

Monday, April 28, 2014

Commemorating WWI

Yes it's a map and yes people are walking on it! Why? Because it's meant to be that way! To commemorate the 100th anniversary of WWI, the Senate - withe the help of map maker Michelin - put a giant map in the Luxembourg gardens on which it is possible to see the major battles that took place in the North-East of France. Very clever idea, even on a rainy day like yesterday! On the Luxembourg grids that surround the gardens, you can also see photos that were taken on the battle fields by photographer Michael St Maur Sheil. More (in English and in French).

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Waiting in the cold!

Here is a photo I took from a boat that runs on the Canal de l'Ourcq. I never posted it and though I like the lighting effect on these two ladies that look really cold! Have a good Sunday everyone, here it's cold and raining, but... I'm planning to have the PDP picnic on Sunday May 11.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Piscine Molitor

Every city has its landmarks and Paris has many. The most famous ones are world widely famous, but there are a few that are mostly known by Parisians... The piscine Molitor (Molitor Swimming pool) is one of them. It was inaugurated in 1929 by... Johnny Weissmuller (aka Tarzan!). It had two pools (one indoor and one outdoor that would turn into an ice ring in winter) and was a typical art deco building. It was closed in 1989 because it was too old and will reopen on May 19 this year! Only now, it will be a luxury complex with a fancy bar/restaurant, a hotel and a private gym club. I'm dying to see the new Molitor because it's one of my childhood memories: I used to go there quite often when I was a young boy!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ghost of a chance...

Odd isn't it? There is no one under this shirt (or rather shirts for there are two), just a pole, like the many ones we have in Paris to prevent cars from parking on the sidewalk. How on earth did these shirts end up there, I will never know, but I really love the effect! Now I have to be frank I did not take this photo myself, but my friend Martine Castro did while she was wandering on the Boulevard Pershing in the 17th arrondissement. I, did not resist stealing it from her ;-) (with her permission).

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Gare du nord is 150 years old!

The Gare du nord (North station) was open on April 19 1864, it had 8 tracks and people at that time complained because it was too "gigantic"! Little did they know that 150 years later it would be ranked as the 3rd largest station in the world (after Tokyo and Chicago) with no less than 180 million passengers per year. It offers connections with several urban transportation lines, northern France cities and... London with the famous Eurostar. Last, but not least, it's a stunning building that we owe to its achitect Jacques Hittorff.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cool store

Here is a cool store front that I found at 52 rue des Trois frères in the 18th arrondissement. I was lucky enough that there weren't any cars parked in front of it for it's a pretty narrow street full of cars. Fyi it was painted by Raphe and Caligr, two street artists that apparently are well known. Now what does this store sell? I have not idea... I'm not even sure it's still a store to be honest..

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The love lock disease is spreading!

Sorry for those of you who follow me on Facebook for I already posted a similar photo recently. The thing is that when I went to Montmartre last week I noted that the love locks craze (some call it a plague!) has started over there too. There is a grid from where you can see the Eiffel Tower - from where I took this photo - and people have started hanging locks on it. The Paris town hall is trying to do something - especially on the Pont des Arts - see this little timelapse - but I'm not sure what will finally be done...

PS : if you understand French, I also encourage you to have a look at this interesting TV report.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Seasonal post!

Yes it's La Basilique du Sacré Coeur, yes you've seen it a dozen times here and yes this photo is pretty dull... But it's a long week-end, I'm feeling lazy and since I was in Montmartre a couple of days ago and that they dressed it up especially for Easter I thought this was the perfect occasion to post this photo ;-) As you can see, the tourist season has begun! Today is a holiday in France, so I shall do... nothing! [Sorry for the late posting, my fault!]

Sunday, April 20, 2014

And the top 100 most expensive Paris streets are...

Tempted to move in Paris to start a new life or to retire? Well, you'd better play the lottery first, because a magazine just released the top 100 most expensive Paris streets list and, well, the least you can say is that some of them are out of reach of most people (especially Parisians LOL!). This year (for yes, it changes every year) the most expensive arrondissement is the 7th (near the Invalides), and especially the Quai d'Orsay where each square meter costs 17 000 € on average... If you're poor and can't afford it, you might try finding a deal in the cheapest street of this list, the rue de La Sourdière in the 1st arrondissement, where a square meter only costs 10 961 € (I told you: a real bargain!). More (in French only) on the magazine's site.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Record stores day

The French dislike big companies, big supermarkets, big online websites, big everything... They like little shops around the corner or the small artisan who inherited his handicraft from his father... We have all sorts of laws to protect them (there are only 2 supermarkets inside Paris, the price of books cannot be discounted more than by 5%, movies are prohibited on TV three nights per week to protect movie theaters, etc.), but nothing to protect disquaires, (the traditional record stores). That is why today (Friday) is... Disquaire day! With the Internet, the Fnac (a sort of French Barnes and Noble for books and music) and other large stores thy are not that easy to find any more, but I found one at avenue Trudaine in the 9th! So I went especially to take this photo ;-) Have a great Easter weekend everyone, for those who celebrate it.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sewer street!

Had you walked in this street (Léopold-Bellan) about 500 years ago, you would have needed a good pair of boots or even a small boat for this was a huge sewer (it was even called sewer street - rue des Aigouts - at that time. It's only around 1815 that the sewers were covered and the street turned into a "real" street. If the people who used tho live there would come back today, they would certainly be surprised to see that it's now a pretty trendy area ;-)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Picking up confetti!

It's the Easter holidays in France at the moment (Paris is slightly emptier than usual). Before they went on vacation, some of the kids of the school near my home had a fancy dressed party and it was really cute to watch them march to the local town hall where they would probably have an Easter egg hunt or something. The funniest - and most touching - scene was this little girl trying to consciously pick up all the confetti she could from the pavement. A life allegory, no doubt! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And my favorite florist in Paris is...

...Hervé Chatelain, a very talented artist that I always admire the work of, when I pass by his shop at 140 rue Montmartre, in the 2nd arrondissement. I did today and took this photo in his shop window, I'm sure you'll agree with me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mythical Orient Express

If you come to Paris before the end of August and want to see what the original Orient Express train looks like, you only need to go to the IMA (Institut du monde arabe) and visit the exhibit they're having at the moment. The Orient Express is still a mythical train for us Europeans. It used to go from Paris to Istanbul (Constantinople before 1930)  in "as little as"  80 hours or so! No wonder it stopped in 1977... The SNCF (French railway company) wants to reopen the line eventually and turn it into a high-end "cruise".   

Monday, April 14, 2014

First color run in Paris

The color run seems to be a pretty well known race throughout the world, but, believe it or not, I had never heard of it. Main reason: it had never taken place in Paris before yesterday! It's a dream event to take cool photos of course... so I did not resist. In the end I selected this one that sums up the event pretty well ;-) Given the amazing number of runners with GoPro cameras, I bet today you can find a zillion video clips of this race on the Net ;-) 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Contemplating ET!

I went to the Trocadero esplanade yesterday and simply took this photo. Nothing extrordinary, but I like it because you can almost hear how these four ladies talk about the Eiffel Tower and how happy they are to have made the trip (maybe I'm totally wrong and they're saying "what?! So this is the famous Eiffel Tower everyone is talking about?! We should have stayed home!" LOL Happy Eiffel Tower Sunday everyone... 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Going up the Champs Elysées

Two days ago, I was driving on the Champs Elysées and I came across a group of people walking up the upper part of the avenue towards the Arch of Triumph, probably to revive the flame of the unknown soldier. I don't know exactly who participated in this march (there were military men first, then civilians), but I like the photo ;-)

Friday, April 11, 2014

How French are you?

It's Friday, let's have fun! I came across this little "How French Are You?" quiz on a website and it really made me smile. And since a few days earlier I took this photo on the Champs Elysées (it belongs to the window of the French car manufacturer Renault) and I thought this was the perfect match. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Optical illusion

A few days ago one of my nieces moved in a brand new apartment in Levallois (a suburban city very close to Paris) and I went there to have a little preview... Before going into the building, I had a look at one of the facades and saw that there were plants on most windows and that there was a nice balcony on the last floor. But when I looked closer, I realized that all this was... fake! Fortunately, her apartment is on the other side of the building, so she be able to grow real plants on her window ;-)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Graffiti or painting?

Here is a garage door I spotted in rue Saint-Nicolas and I thought it was truly amazing ! Not that I particularly like the actual painting, but because it's a really elaborated street work, closer to a painting than a graffito. [Sorry for the late posting, I was so tired, I screwed up with the posting time!!]

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Bagatelle park

I promised I would tell you where the Belvedere I posted 2 days ago is... Well here is the answer (even though someone already mentioned it in the comments!): it's in the gardens of Bagatelle, a free entrance park (except between June 6 and November 2, 2014 located in the Bois de Boulogne not far from Porte Maillot and where you feel like miles away from Paris. I love it. They also have a rose garden, but I didn't go this time. This is the Orangerie (orange garden)

Monday, April 07, 2014

Paris Marathon 2014

For once I went to the arrival. It looked like hell! I could not help, but play with my shutter speed though ;-)

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Paris Belvedere

It may be an Italian word, but we do have a "belvedere" in Paris, that is a very high point from where you can see a 360° panorama. I went there yesterday and it was the perfect day for it, for the sun was really shining. I'm not telling you right know where it is, but I will later this week... Hint: it used to be a previous ice "factory" !

Saturday, April 05, 2014

A day at Club Med!

Well... when I say "A day at Club Med", I really mean: "a day near the offices of Club Med", for yes, yesterday morning, for my first day out after my sick days, I had a meeting at 11 rue de Cambrai, a former warehouse area (mid 1850's)  that has been turned into office space in the 1990's. Great location, that look a bit like "Venice" due to the many canals that run through it. The photo is less interesting than yesterday's one, but it's fresher! 

Friday, April 04, 2014

Paris Laundromat

Don't ask me why, but laundromats fascinate me! Not that I ever use any (like a lot of French people I have a washer in my kitchen - yes kitchen!), but probably because they look a bit depressing. When I saw this one a few weeks ago (I'm still sick so I did not go out yesterday), I immediately thought it would make a good photo (mainly because of the lonely guy in it of course, but not only). Have good Friday everyone, I'll finally go out again today so expect more fresh material soon!! 

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Fontaine des Mers

I've caught a big cold on the way back from the US and I really did not feel like going out yesterday. So I took a sick day and dug out a stock photo - well, actually one I took just before my trip to San Jose. You've see it a zillion times on this blog, but I'm sure you'll be happy to see it once more; it's really beautiful, even when noone put green stuff in the water! Off to bed now!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014


Or rather... IN the spot(light)! For yes ladies and gentleman, this is Johnny Hallyday, a French signer who is extremely popular in France. Sometimes he also appears in movies and that is exactly the reason why I got to photograph him last evening... I went to see Salaud, on t'aime, a movie by Claude Lelouch in which a friend of mine had a small part. It was fun to see all this fuss around a movie and its actors from up close. The photo is a bit fuzzy of course, but I like it, precisely because it is... fuzzy! 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Look for the triangle...

No, it's not an April fool's day joke, it's simply a theme day! For yes, ladies and gentlemen, if you visit the city daily photo blogs today you will find triangles in each photo. Silly? Yes, but funny. BTW, did you spot the triangle in this photo?