Saturday, April 30, 2005

Place de Breteuil in the 7th arrondissement arround 7:30 pm. In the center there is a monument by Antoine Falguière dedicated to Louis Pasteur (the scientist who discovered rabies - and more particularly the anti-rabies vaccine - and developed the process that later became known as... Pasteurization, of course). Far in the background you can see the dome of the Hôtel des Invalides (former military hospital and resting place of Napoleon). On the left - still far away - the Eiffel Tower and, oops, on the bottom left, the windshield of my motorbike!

Friday, April 29, 2005

You should know it by now! Paris has applied to host the Olympics in 2012... Everywhere you can find the Paris 2012 logo, on the town hall of course but also on the Parliament (Assemblée Nationale), facades, etc. (remember this photo?). Here, it's a "sculpture" representing the Olympic rings. It is located in a field (near Les Batignolles a former village that was "swallowed" by Paris in 1860), which is presently used to park and maintain trains. If we get the Olympics, that is where the future village will be located.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

You're presently looking at "Marianne" the woman who symbolizes the French republic in many town halls throughout France. Depending on which story you listen to, Marianne was born either in 1792 or 1797, just after the French revolution, and is now represented by famous actresses each year. The bust shown here is a photo that I shot in the Senate, during the "Les blogs" day and is of Brigitte Bardot (a famous French actress who was a sex symbol in the 60's for those far younger than I care to imagine). If you wish to find out more about Marianne and other French Republic symbols, click here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Yesterday, I had lunch at La Défense, a Business quarter just outside Paris. I took several photos there and the first one I would like to share with you is this one. It's an advertisement for a shopping mall that is going to extend, just like the lady's leg!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

(Originally posted yesterday). Don't go thinking I spend my time in Brocantes (local flea markets) but coincidentally, I went to 2 different ones two week-ends in a row. I thought this head was really cool, don't know why.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Today I attended "Les Blogs", a special event promoted by Loïc Le Meur (who plays a large role in the fantastic expansion of blogs in France) and VNU (the company I work for). It took place in Le Senat (Senate) in the 6th arrondissement and attracted more than 300 bloggers from all over the world. Here is what they look like from the balcony of the 1st floor!

I am really amazed! Last night, according to my stats (statcounter), I greeted here my 10 000th visitor. You may wonder how I reached 10 000 so fast whereas my last Milestone (1 000) was April 15 only? Well it's simple, I had the chance to be listed on >attu sees all (a site that has thousands of visitors everyday - and not exactly a religious site...) which opened the way to Russian sites (>Stopper), Estonian (>, and so on... Many thanks to everybody and let's meet again at the next Milestone: 100 000 visitors!
To celebrate this "event", I have enlarged the publishing size of my photos. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

This is what my barbershop looks like... He's located on rue du Faubourg Montmartre (n°29 more precisely, a couple of numbers under Chartier if you remember this photo) and decorated his salon with this old wooden piece of furniture that belonged to a real barbershop back in 1860! Of course the pipes and taps are new (mirrors too) but the marble and the wood are original.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Yesterday morning I had a press conference with Microsoft. They have superb offices in the 7th arrondissement on rue de l'Université which is one of the most exclusive areas of Paris. I could not help taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower from the roof of the building...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Valet parking - in French: voiturier - at restaurant Garnier (opposite to Saint Lazare train station, 8th arrondissement).

Thursday, April 21, 2005

This is one of the rare royal statues that went through the French revolution in 1789 without damage! It was made by sculptor Antoine Coysevox (1640-1720) in 1689 and shows Louis the XIVth, one of the most famous French kings. It can now be seen in the courtyard of the Carnavalet museum (3rd arrondissement) - it's a must go if you come to Paris! - where it has been sitting since 1890.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Samaritaine is a famous department store in Paris (near the Pont Neuf) originally created at the very begining of the 20th century by Ernest Cognacq and his wife Louise Jay (their name is still famous in Paris for everybody knows the Rue Cognacq-Jay where the first television studios were installed). As you can see from this 3D picture that can still be seen on the top floor of the store, it all started with a small shop arround the corner...

The name "La Samaritaine" comes from the name of a waterpump that was located by the bridge and were Parisians used to get water from until 1813.

On the top floor, you can have a drink on a very nice Terrace - a bit touristy, of course... - where you can see the typical roofs of Paris and a magnificent view on the river Seine. I went there last week-end for the first time in my life!! - I probably would have never gone there if it weren't for this blog!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Even chairs need a rest on a Sunday! Photo taken yesterday outside a café, in the 17th arrondissement.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Trains leaving Paris from the Saint Lazare train station (8th arrondissement) - taken from the Place de l'Europe.

Gare Saint Lazare is the oldest station in Paris. It was built between 1842 and 1853 by the architect Eugene Flachat to serve the Paris to Saint-Germain line. It was the first train line to be built in Paris (it was 19 kilometres long and trains could run on it as fast as... 40 Kilometres per hour!).
As with all new inventions, trains were very controversial at that time; Francois Arago - a French politician - claimed that travelling by train would trigger nervous diseases and that human eyes would surely not be able to adapt to the quick change of scenery when looking out the windows! Jules Michelet, a famous writer and historian mentioned that people would become ill - and possibly die - because of the sudden climate change when travelling at such a high speed...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Today I went to a "Brocante" (a small flee market) on Rue de Rochechouart (9th arrondissement) and took a couple of pictures. This one shows old Arts Ménagers (literally household arts) magazines from the mid 60's at a time where French women were asked to be good housewives. No wonder then, that titles on the cover deal with bed linen, ironing tables and recipes... French women started their "liberation" in at the end of the 60's but there is still a strong discrimination.

Friday, April 15, 2005

According to my stats, last night I received my 1 000th visitor! It's far from my goal (1 000 visitors per day) but considering I started less than one month ago, I am pretty happy. Thank you to all referers and to my daily visitors.

Another Paris "monument"! This is Jacques Chirac, the French President of the Republic who appeared yesterday evening on television to promote the European constitution which is currently being discussed within all European countries at the moment. The French people will vote on May 29 and according to recent polls a slight majority of voters will reject it. The funny part - or should I say the sad part - is that most people admit not to be able to understand what this is all about...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

This is the front of a building called l'Entrepôt (the warehouse) located in the 14th arrondissement where many cultural gatherings (concerts, science debates, movies...) take place. Yesterday evening more than 200 Paris bloggers (including me!) gathered there thanks to the initiative of several Parisian blog portals. Many thanks to the organizers who did a wonderful job and long life to Paris blogue-t-il ?

I had the chance to meet for real Benoît Dausse (and oldboy from the EBS, like me!), Jean-Michel Gobet, Christophe Ginisty, Cyril Fievet, Philippe Pinault, Bruno Ferret - who directed and excellent special issue on blogs - and many more...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Monday, April 11, 2005

Chartier restaurant is located at the beginning of rue du Faubourg Montmartre (opposite The Palace (see below)) and used to be the cheapest restaurant in Paris. Now it became very touristy and besides its typical beginning of the century scenary that has not changed a bit, I would not recommend it.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Arrival of a suburban train in gare St Lazarre (8th arrondissement) late in the afternoon.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Located 124 rue Réaumur (in the 2nd arrondissement), this building was designed by Georges Chedanne in 1905. What makes it different in this area where all buildings are very old is that it is entirely made of steel except on the last floor where you can find brick. Also, the layout of each floor is different as each occupant is free to raise partitions as he wishes.

Friday, April 08, 2005

This was our version of Studio 54 back in the 80s. Named “The Palace” and located on rue du Faubourg Montmartre in the 9th arrondissement, it used to be a theatre until Fabrice Emaer bought it in 1977 to turn it into the hottest club during the disco years. The Palace opened on March 1st, 1978 starring Grace Jones on stage. Fabrice Emaer died in 1983 of kidney cancer and the club barely survived him. Now it is closed – as you can see from the picture – and nobody knows what the Palace is going to become. Are you a potential buyer?!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

I know this restaurant looks like a fake movie scenery, but it is real! It's located rue des mauvais garçons (no kidding?) a very small street off la rue de Rivoli (that you can see in the background of the photo) in the 4th arrondissement. Never had dinner or lunch there, just found the colors were cool...

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

If you've been to Paris, you know more or less what Metro stations look like. Well this particular one, located very near the Louvre, on the Place Colette (a famous French female writer born in 1873) , is really different. It is called the Kiosque des noctambules (night birds kiosk) and its structure consists of two domes made of glass spheres, looking like jewels. It was made under the supervision of contemporary artist Jean-Michel Othoniel for the RATP (the French public transportation organization). If you come to Paris, don't miss it.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

In 1798 the "Directoire" (the Government) decided to raise taxes on... Windows and doors considered to be popular among the rich. Right away people started to wall their windows in order to avoid paying. There are still remains of this phenomenon nowadays, as you can see on this picture, taken rue de la Colombe in the 1st arrondissement.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Women praying in Eglise Saint Paul (4th arrondissement).

Sunday, April 03, 2005

And you thought one does not ride horses in large western cities anymore? Well you were wrong! In Paris we still do ; well the Police still do... at least until this week-end, when I took this photo. Quite unusual though, I must say.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Sitting on the left bank (in the 6th arrondissement) the "Academie Française" (French Academy) - presently shot from the Pont des Arts - is the place where 40 academicians regularly gather and discuss the French language.
The Academy was founded in 1635, under the reign of Louis the XIIIth by Cardinal de Richelieu and already at that time it was meant to be the place where the French language would be best kept.
If you want to know more about it, meet the academy on the web but, no surprise, you will find no trace of English whatsoever on their site!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Quite fascinating! I took this photo at the crossing of the Champs Elysées and Avenue Georges V where one of the main Vuitton outlets is located. At the moment it is being redone and to hide the works they installed two huge suitcases before the windowshops, directly on the two avenues. Quite unexpected and a brilliant idea.