Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hot seat

More and more people travel by bike in Paris now and quite logically they carry their children (well, more likely their child) on their bike too. Of course it's a little dangerous (those who came here know that the Parisian driving is not very pedestrians or bikers friendly) but with the new bicycle lanes it's not that bad. I just liked the contrast between the orange seat and the grey sidewalk.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Joan of Arc's death anniversary

All French pupils learn how Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) heard the voice of God telling her to go and see the King of France (Charles the VIIth) and urge him to give her troops in order to retake the French territories that had been under English dominance for years. Needless to say that, despite the many historians that say this story is totally made up, Joan is a true heroine in France. Today is the anniversary of her death (she was burnt at the stake in Rouen's market square on May 30th, 1431) and I thought it was the perfect day to take a photo of her statue on the Place des Pyramides (off rue de Rivoli).

Monday, May 29, 2006

Bamboo grew overnight in the Luxembourg gardens

It's fascinating to see how Bamboos - and Palm trees - have become so popular recently in Paris although the climate is not really adapted to that kind of plants (it's not humid and it can get pretty cold in winter). The latest evidence of this sudden climate change is this bamboo forest that they planted (in pots) almost overnight about a week ago. They also spread little blue rocks on the ground and the overall effect is really worth the look.

PS: I am just back from a week-end in Provence and I did not pay too much attention to the news there. I found out yesterday about the earthquake in Indonesia. All the City Daily Photo bloggers immediately thought of Santy from Jakarta Daily Photo.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

It works fine now!

Do you remember this shot? Well, here is what this fountain looks like when it's not under maintenance and from another angle (you can see the building of the French Navy Ministry in the background). Really magnificent, don't miss it if you come to Paris.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A beautiful theater in the theater district

On the Grand Boulevard (precisely 30 Boulevard Bonne Nouvelle, 10th arrondissement) there is a beautiful theatre called le Théâtre du Gymnase Marie Bell. It was built in 1820 and became quickly a very hot spot (a that time, this area was a very "in" place) where the Paris bourgeoisie had to be seen... Today, theatre is less popular but le Théâtre du Gymnase still stars the greatest actors and comedians of France. Click here if you want to see some photos of the inside.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Don't even think of taking you dog here!

Frankly with a sign like this dog owners cannot pretend they did not know this freshly cut green lawn was only for humans! I found this colorful sign close to the Arts et Métiers museum, a place where I will take you later. For your information there are about 200,000 dogs in Paris and as far as the "gifts" they leave on sidewalks is concerned (I know you're dying too ask!) the situation has improved a lot, thanks to a better education of dogs owners.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Ascension of Christ

Today is L'Ascension that is, according to the Catholics, the day of the elevation of Christ into heaven, the fortieth day after his resurrection. You can say I took the wrong photo of course - since this one shows the Virgin Mary - but it's the only religious one I have taken recently! I actually took it last Sunday inside the Sainte Marie des Batignolles Church in the 17th arrondissement. And by the way It's also a Holiday so I take advantage of it to go to the South (Avignon) until Sunday. There will still be a daily photo here, of course, but I won't be able to answer your comments.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Public toilets

OK this may not be one of the most glamorous "monuments" you want to visit when you are in Paris, but it's undoubtedly the most useful! There are 420 of these public toilets in Paris and they are now totally free (until recently you had to pay about 20 cents). The big advantage is that they are automatically - and totally - cleaned every time someone uses them. Really a big progress compared to the previous model (les vespasiennes, named after Roman Emperor Vespasien) of which only one sample is still in use (in the Luxembourg gardens).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Designer's Flea Market (Le Puces du Design)

If you think Flea Markets are nothing but a huge garage sale you would have been surprised to visit the latest edition of Les Puces du Design (the designer's flea market) that took place last week-end in the Montorgueil quarter (2nd arrondissement). Among other stuff my eyes got mainly caught by the furniture of the 70s : the "Lounge Chair" designed by Eames, the "Ant Chair" designed by Jacobsen, and, of course, the "Tulip" tables and chairs signed by Saarinen! But in the end I chose to photograph this unforgettable "shoe screen" (see another view here) and this fish bowl.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Givers prefer blondes

If you were to give money to the Red Cross would you be more likely to give to a superb blond model or to the average Joe?! Well, don't bother, we all know the answer... That is why, following to this very intelligent advertising campaign in which Adriana Karembeu featured, some money collectors played the game and wore a blonde wig. Here is one of them. I can tell you this guy was having a big success!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A cool way to catch the eye attention

In the Galeries Lafayette area (precisely rue Caumartin, 50), there is a large sport equipement store called Citadium. Quite cleverly, they took advantage of a concrete "bench" outside the store to install this big poster with this giant jumping women. It really looks like she is jumping above the head of people who sit there.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Be nosy!

This is the Medicis Fountain, located in the Luxembourg gardens. It was originally built in the 1630's at the request of Marie de Medicis (an Italian Princess who married Henry the IVth) and was moved thirty meters closer to the Luxembourg Palace to accommodate the widening of a street (incidentally also called la rue de Médicis) in 1862. The statue group in the center, Polyphemus Surprising Acis and Galatea, by Ottin (1861), was not originally part of the fountain but was added at the time of the relocation. What is interesting is that this fountain is also used to show modern art, like this huge, impressive nose. I have been unable to find the name of the artist. Click here to see a broader view.

Update. Thanks to the talent of PDP readers (namely Frances and Elle44!) I know now who the artist is: Lotta Hannerz from Sweden. Thank you very much.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A cool place to stay in Paris for students

If you are a student currently planning on going to Paris to study and if you are looking for a place to stay you might start by having a look at the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris, a huge park where no less than 5 600 students can find accommodations, libraries, sport facilities, concert halls, etc. It's a great place to stay and to visit for the 38 houses that have been built between 1925 and 1969 all have a different style. Have a look at their web site to find out how to stay there. (View on Google Maps)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Brasserie reflexion

It may not look so but it took me ages to take this photo. The round frame is actually a mirror on display in a pharmacist store in which I could see - from a particular angle - the brasserie (restaurant) located on the other side of the street. Right when I pushed the trigger this man went by. He looks like he belongs in the 19th century that is why I turned this shot into black and white!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The juggler of Chaillot

You may have heard of la Folle de Chaillot a play by Jean Giraudoux (also featured in English in a film by Bryan Forbes called The Madwoman of Chaillot, with Katharine Hepburn) - Chaillot being the name of hill on which the Palace of ChaillotTokyo was built - but all I found when I went there to take this photo was not a madwoman but a happy juggler training himself. Quite unusual in the middle of Paris I must say...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Spring at Le Trocadéro

If you come to Paris you will undoubtedly end up visiting the Esplanade du Trocadero from where you have the best view of the Eiffel Tower. But what I like the most on this square are the 8 golden statues located on each side. I chose to show you this one in particular, called Le Printemps (spring) by Paul Niclausse. Really fantastic.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Back on track

Now here is a scoop! If you are a true PDP lover you surely remember (here and here) that a tramway is being built around Paris. Well, it's not open to the public yet, but they have just started training the drivers. So here is a photo of one of the first trams to run on the brand new railway. Just for you! Have a nice week.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Not always the most beautiful city in the world...

For once, it's good to remember that Paris is not all about fashion, flowers, haute cuisine and architecture. There are also about 10 000 to 15 000 homeless people (sans domicile fixe).

Saturday, May 13, 2006

May flowers!

At last it's really spring. The weather is very nice, people are sitting outside the cafes, I just had a nice ice cream while wandering in the streets of Paris and flowers are blooming in the Luxembourg gardens. I just love it!

Friday, May 12, 2006

The blue door to Paris underground...

This manhole cover may not be as glamorous as yesterday's fashion museum photo but if you open it, it will take you to something very unique in the world: the Paris sewers network! This network is more than 1 300 miles long and it's really like an underground mirror city (there is a tunnel under almost each street and they have their own street signs). Paris is so proud of its sewers network that there is even a museum you can visit (I actually have done it once and I loved it). Click here to find out much more about it on this excellent blog.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Paris fashion museum

I have been living in Paris for ever and I did not even know there was a fashion museum. The reason I found out about it is because of this superb little Italian style palace I came across near the Trocadero (16th arrondissement) a couple of days ago. It is called the Galliera Palace (after Duchess of Galliera) and was built between 1878 and 1894 and now shelters the fashion museum of Paris where almost 100 000 garments and jewelry can be seen. I have not been inside yet, but I will...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Europe celebration

May 9 is apparently Europe's celebration day and this year we've been hearing a lot more about it than previously. There are many events going on around that date but the most impressive, from what I have seen so far, is this exhibition in front of the Hôtel de ville (town hall) : a collection of stars made by 25 European artists. Click here to see close ups). Idea credit: nasty GG!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Champs Elysees port

Very few Parisians know that Champs Elysées is not only a famous avenue but also a port on the Seine. This port is located by the Place de la Concorde (on both sides of the Pont de la Concorde, on the right bank) and needless to say that very few people can afford to live in this prestigious area. Those who are lucky enough to have a boat there (or more likely a "péniche" - a flat boat specially conceived to carry goods on the river) can enjoy this view, all year long...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Paris honey

Funny how you can still see remains of the past traditions in a big city like Paris. I already showed you the Montmartre vineyards where "real" wine is produced but I never posted a photo of the beehives in the Luxembourg Gardens (6th arrondissement). About 10 of them are used as a "school" to train future apiculturers apiculturists to harvest honey which is sold every year in the nearby Orangerie. These beehives are protected by a fence so that you cannot go too close to the bees.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Paris Postcards

Postcards dispenser (the main one shows the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre) in the Passage Jouffroy (9th arrondissement).

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Hotel Lutetia

Built in 1910, the Hotel Lutetia may not be the most luxurious hotel in Paris but it is definitely a classic. First of all, it's the only one of this "standing" located on the Left Bank. Secondly, it was the first Art Deco building in Paris. Thirdly, it has a long and interesting was the Gestapo headquarters during WW II and then became the place where the camp refugees were put in transit while the authorities were looking for their families right after the war. And maybe the most interesting of all, it is also the hotel where General De Gaulle spent his honeymoon!

Friday, May 05, 2006

No more parking on the sidewalk

Since a lot of you mentioned the word tickets after yesterday's post, I thought of this photo that I took a couple of days ago on a scooter. Due to the new anti car policy of the Paris mayor, the number of 2 wheel vehicles has skyrocketed. And so has the number of tickets for illegal parking on the sidewalk (35 €). Fortunately there are more and more 2 wheel vehicle parking spaces. If only they weren't totally full!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Roller Police

It may sound surprising to come across a policeman "on wheels" in a big city like Paris and though now we're used to it... This special roller brigade was originally meant to monitor the huge roller rides that I already showed you here, but now they are just "normal" policemen that give tickets and chase outlaws throughout the streets of Paris. They look cool, but they are not really.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A bridge on a bridge

In some areas of Paris the Metro (subway) has to cross the Seine to go from one bank to another. On some lines they dug under the water and on some other lines they built a bridge on a bridge... I already showed you one example, here is another one on the Bir Hakeim bridge close to the Eiffel tower. It is also interesting to know that, on this line (line 6), trains run on tyres and not on regular steel wheels to be less noisy during the 6 km long aerial portion that runs in the middle of buildings.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

4 000 feet of red carpet

You do remember my last Wednesday post about Tom Cruise's visit to La Défense right? Well for this special occasion they installed a 1.2 kilometer (40 000 4 000 feet) long red carpet. Quite impressive and quite a nice opportunity, for a Paris daily photo blogger, to take a cool photo. As a matter of fact I am not the only one among DPs who has been recently inspired by red carpets...

The city Daily Photo family is growing very quickly at the moment. Please welcome Wellington, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Ljubljana and Réal (France) among the City Daily Photo bloggers.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Happy Labour Day !

Today is May 1st and like in most countries in Europe, its "labour day" (la fête du travail). And to celebrate labour we don't work! Instead, we pay a visit to our relatives and bring Lillies of the Valley (muguet) for this flower is the symbol of the day. Incidentally, it's also the only day in the year where anybody can sell muguet in the street without paying taxes... Happy 1st of May everybody, as for me I'm going back to bed to celebrate my holiday!

Since I'm here working anyway, let me take the opportunity to welcome Beirut, Lebanon to the Daily Photo family!