Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bonne année !

I know I'm a little early, but since the 1st of the month is always a theme day within the City Daily Photo blogger community (and namely, on January 1st, it's the "best photo of the year"), I thought of wishing you a happy new year now! Let's leave behind us the crisis, the Israelo-Palestinian conflict revival and the terrorist attacks in India and step into 2009 (in French 9 - neuf - means nine but also new...). Wishful thinking, me?! Come on...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Christmas Tree slaughter has begun!

Generally people wait until the beginning of the year to get rid of their Christmas trees, but this year, it seems to have started earlier... Blame it on the crisis! I know it always shocks people when I tell them the way we usually get rid of our trees in Paris... We simply wait until late at night, open the window, check that no one is coming and throw the freaking tree out of the window!! Dangerous? Yes, a little, probably, but I've never heard of Christmas tree's accidents. The alternative is to wrap it into of of these bags that the NGO Handicap International sells each year; not only you don't have to worry about putting pins everywhere in the staircase, but on top of that part of the bag money goes to a good cause...

Monday, December 29, 2008

A superb exhibition

I saw a stunning exhibit today: It's called "Recup" ("récup" is colloquial for "saving old stuff to turn them into something else, like saving Styrofoam to insulate a room) and it is to be seen until Jaunary 4th, at L'Espace Blancs Manteaux in the heart of Le Marais. As you guessed, most of the art pieces exhibited there are made of plastic wastes, soda cans, bits of wood... But don't go thinking the result looks like the last Ikea cabinet you assembled! Most of the pieces are stunning. I chose to show you a sculpture by Julien Allegre, which may look a bit "rough" to you, but I really loved it. Check his website.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Champs Elysées at Christmas

I'm just back from the movies (an excellent French thriller called Secret Defense - see trailer here) and I exceptionally went to a theater on the Champs Elysées. There was the photo I was going to post tonight: The Christmas lights! You probably saw this many times already on this blog, but hey, it's my photo of the day! Not to mention that it's really cold in Paris at the moment believe me, so I don't really feel like wandering everywhere ;)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Buren under repair

If you went to Paris, you probably visited the Palais Royal and saw the Buren columns (I already showed them several times on PDP). These famous columns have always been controversial, of course (the art minister who ordered them was pretty provocative at that time and some found it outrageous that a modern art piece could be installed in the middle of a 17th century building) but they rapidly became part of the scenery... After 22 years though(they were installed in 1986) they needed some renewal. That is the reason why, at the moment, they are concealed behind these walls and can only be - partially - seen through color screens like the orange one you can see in this photo (enlarge it if you want to see the work in progress). To add a little flavor, I waited for a passer by before pulling the trigger.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Another portrait!

Thank you sooooooo much for your messages yesterday, you know you're all my fuel, if you weren't that nice to me, PDP would have gone dormant a long time ago! I'm just back from Normandy where I had a family gathering and I really enjoyed it, despite the obscene amount of food that was on the table! I don't resist showing you the deer that sits in the art gallery next to my building entrance ;)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas... you all! Thank you for your kindness, your nice comments, your puns, your cheerfulness, your compliments... Let me me send you a big kiss from Paris!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2008 Ice Rink

Like every year, they just installed the ice rink in front of the town hall. It's always a huge success (it's free if you bring your own blades). I already posted two shots of this rink on PDP, so for a change, this year, I tried the blurry effect ;) Don't forget to come back here tomorrow BTW, I've got a special message for you, around midnight!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Farewell my lovely blue lady...

I happened to pass by the Eiffel Tower this evening and I could not help thinking this was probably the last time I would see it in its blue dress. If you remember, the reason why it turned blue 6 months ago, is because France took over the European Presidency. At the end of 2008 it'll be Tchequia's turn and God knows what the Eiffel Tower will end up wearing... PDP will keep you posted, needless to say!

Monday, December 22, 2008

No to Yes!

When I first saw this billboard in rue de la gaité, I was really puzzled. What company on earth would promote such a basic message... And then I found out by guessing the web address underneath the other bills, that this was to promote a movie with Jim Carrey called the Yes Man! The whole scenario is based on a simple idea: in order to spice up a little his miserable life, Jim commits himself to saying yes to just any proposal. The web site (in French) they made looks pretty cool and the scenario sounds like a good idea for a comedy, the problem is that Jim Carrey gets on my nerves! I'm afraid I'm going to have to say no to yes! Besides, I already say "yes" far too often in my life, I don't need to be encouraged LOL!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Watering Can to save the planet

I found this big water can at the entrance of Le Clos de Blancs Manteaux, a place where the Paris town hall is currently hosting an exhibition to show kids - and grown ups! - the right things to do ecologically in their house or in nature. Like being aware that even if you turn off the TV set, it's still in sleep mode and still uses electricity, how to sort garbage so that it can be recycled, why it's better to avoid off season fruit, etc. They also have little workshops apparently... Have a resting Sunday.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fish Market

I don't know if you remember this photo, from August 2006, but I told you then that the lighthouse belonged to a fish market. Last evening, on my way back from the office, this fish market was still open - probably because people buy more fish (and seafood) for Christmas - and I could not help stopping and taking a little snap(per)shot! Good luck on your almost last minute Christmas shopping by the way...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Close encounter of a mankind lover

Last evening, thanks to Natasha and Sacha QS, I've been lucky enough to have been invited to a meeting with Yann Arthus Bertrand, one of the most worldwide famous photographers. If you know him, you also know he is also a true lover of mankind and nature. That is why he committed himself to a fantastic project called 6 billion others, which purpose is to discover what human beings from over the planet feel about happiness, love, money... and the meaning of life in general. It's fascinating. Please visit the website (there will be a new version early next year, that is why this little gathering was organized) and do pay a visit to the exhibition in Le Grand Palais too, if you're around in January... (I'll keep you posted!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More than 2 million Parisians, and counting...

The news broke a couple of days ago, we finally know how many Parisians there are: precisely 2,201,000! The population is increasing, slightly but surely, (+ 77,000 more inhabitants now than in 1999, last time "they" counted). People in Paris also tend to be younger and younger (retirees prefer to leave Paris to go to the South) and as a result, there are less and less deaths (15,000 against 18,700). They also studied the increase or decrease in population in each arrondissement. Interesting. If you want to know more - and read French - please have a look at this.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Can you park you lion please?!

As you may remember I live near Drouot, the main Paris auction house. The nice thing about living there is that sometimes, in the morning, you come across weird scenes like this; a lion sculpture being delivered to the house, probably to be sold in the coming days. Passers by were really intrigued and so were the delivery guys when they saw me take my camera and shoot!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hey you!

As Christmas is approaching you find many surprising characters near the main shopping areas, or, like here, in shopping malls. This character was not very friendly to me actually (he would not help me take a picture of him!) but I finally managed ;) I don't know if this character exists in real life - I mean in a cartoon or comic strip - but I'm sure it will put a smile to your face for at least 10 minutes ;) PDP is also about putting a smile on faces from time to time ;)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bye Bye Europe Presidency...

Thank you very much for all your nice messages yesterday. I did appreciate them a lot and I'm sure my father did too ;-) Now back to a Paris monument. I already posted a pretty similar photo some time ago but here is a new one for, pretty soon, France will give up its European Presidency (and pass it on to the Czech Republic). The system is such that each member of the EU has the right to a 6 month presidency every 12 years or so! My opinion is that it's about time we all agree on an elected European President...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

An old Parisian!

You know I generally avoid photographing the face of people and I try to keep this blog Paris centric as much as I can. But for once I'll make an exception, as I'm just back from the 80th birthday party of my father - where I took this photo - and that I can't help making him the "star of the day" on PDP! My father is the kindest man on earth, very giving, I never heard him complain about anything (and though, I swear he's French!) and he's always been extremely committed to his family. Last but not least, he is in a real good shape for his age. Happy birthday dad ;)

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Technically this photo should not appear on PDP as I did not take it inside Paris, but in a very close suburb called Aubervilliers... At the turn of the 20th century, this small city became a heaven for industries and workers from all over the country. The plants are now long time gone, but the big industrial buildings still remain. A lot of them have been redone and turned into cinema studios, convention centers, concert halls... Some of them have a real cool shape, like this one I photographed today, while the sun was shining over Paris.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Notre Dame Christmas Tree

I love the holiday season decorations, even if every year it's more or less the same... The lights on the Champs Elysées, the ferris wheel in the Tuilerie gardens and... the big tree in front of Notre Dame. Nothing much to say, it's beautiful, that's all ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Liberté, égalité, Fraternité, Mesnager!

I already posted one of these stencils once on PDP - photographed in Montmartre - but at that time I did not know who the artist was. Now, thanks to the last post, I know his name is Jérôme Mesnager and that he's done this on several walls in Paris, especially in the 20th arrondissement. I photographed this one in the 3rd, on the back of a building that was probably previously a school or some sort of official building for, as you can see, it shows our motto: "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" !

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The best movie theater in Paris

I wanted to show you a photo of Paris in the snow - for it snowed in Paris today for the 1st time in several years - but I did not take a good shot. So instead, let me show you a photo that I took last night after I attended Le Web '08 conference on the Quai de Loire. This neon portrait belongs to a movie theater called MK2, pretty famous in Paris for showing "non blockbuster" movies and for offering more than just a movie! The architecture of the place is really cool, the lighting is fantastic and the experience is really different. If there is a place in Paris where you want to go to the movies, it's there.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Let's shake hands...

Funny little neon lamp... I photographed it in the 7th arrondissement, near the Boulevard Raspail, on rue de Varenne in a shop called Sentou. It's a wonderful place to visit (there is also one store in Le Marais) if you're looking for objects that are not just designed for a mass market. Most designers of these objects are French - like the famous Tsé & Tsé associées who made this world famous vase - but not only. I think I'm going to go back there to buy some of my Christmas presents!

Monday, December 08, 2008


If you're looking for the best tea place in Paris (not only to drink it, but also to buy some), the place to go to is Mariage Frères (Mariage mean marriage in French, but in this case it's the last name of the founders Pierre and Nicolas, who started their "business" back in... the 17th century). They now have several outlets - they actually call them Comptoirs, like in the old times - throughout Paris, France and even the world. I took this photo in the original location of the company, rue du Bourg-Tibourg, in Le Marais. It was packed, even more than usual, due to the pre-Christmas period.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


It's 12:30 am here and in a few minutes that is what I'm going to look like in my bed (I'm talking about the sleeping bit...). I had a very nice dinner out in a restaurant called Le Bistrot de Paris, where, once again I had too much wine and food (I'm definitely under the influence of the British friends who are currently visiting me this weekend!). Anyway, on the way out I came across this sculpture in gallery called Chaulet in rue de Baune (7th arrondissement). I thought you'd like it too. Have a resting Sunday.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas at Tour d'argent

I already posted a photo of famous Paris restaurant La Tour d'Argent in February, but I could not help taking another one today. The place is all decorated for Christmas and they've done a real good job. For those of you who would not know, la Tour d'Argent is one of the most legendary restaurants in Paris (it was founded in 1582!) with the most exclusive view on the city. It also has, probably, the largest wine cellar of all restaurants. Enjoy your Saturday everyone. It's about time to go Christmas shopping!

Friday, December 05, 2008

The point of no return?

I work so much lately that I barely have the time to go to out. Last night I did though - well it was a product launch, so technically it was also work LOL! To give a spooky atmosphere to the place, they hired some weird characters to greet you. One of them was this guy, who made me think of the Phantom of the Opera, the character from the novel by Gaston Leroux written in 1910 then adapted many times since then (including the famous musical by English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber). And since you've been good lately here is a little music clip from the French version ;)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

African Baby

How cute is that? I took this photo in the Strasbourg Saint-Denis area (10th arrondissement), one of the several "little Africas" there are in Paris and its surroundings. According to very old stats that I found on the web there are approximately 80 000 Africans (from black Africa only) in Paris. A lot of them come from former French colonies where they used to - and still - speak French.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Christmas Chocolate

You can tell Christmas is coming when you see decorations and... advertising for chocolates everywhere!! This one shows an old ad for Suchard, a very old Swiss brand (founded in 1825!) that I remember clearly from my youth (no, I was not born in the 19th century!!). What I just found out is that now this Chocolaterie belongs to Kraft Foods, the the second-largest food and beverage company in the world. Things change...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A yearly Tribute

I know that most people don't want to hear anymore about AIDS. Some even think that now that new therapies have been found, it's not worth talking about it as much. And though, on one of the billboards they installed today at the Opera on the occasion of worlds AIDS Day, I learned that still todays, every 6 seconds in the world, someone gets contaminated with the virus. In France, the most famous organization that fights AIDS is called Aides, and they are currently raising money to pursue their struggle against what will probably be remembered as the plague of the 20th century.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Hi there!

All Christmas decorations are out in Paris at the moment. I used one of them to take this "theme day compliant" photo! For you may not remember but today is December 1st and like every month it's a theme day within the City Daily Photo community. Today's theme is: "Circles/Spheres". If you look carefully, the little man in the middle, is... me! If you want to see how the other 187 participants to this theme day managed to photograph circles and spheres around the world, please visit the community portal.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who stole the paintings?

I took this photo in an art gallery next to my home. I can't help thinking they had a hidden message to the artists in mind... Kinda: "sorry guys, but the paintings you ask us to sell are not worth any more than what they are framed in... As a matter of fact, even empty frames are sometimes better than your art!" And they proved it. PS: my thanksgiving party was really great, but now I have to digest all the food I had!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Ferris Wheel is back

Like every year the Ferris wheel is back. It's located at the bottom of the Champs Elysées (actually in the Tuileries gardens on the Place de la Concorde side) and you can see it from miles away... This year, due to the Color feast I was telling you about a few days ago, it also changes color regularly. Have a nice Saturday everyone. I will be celebrating Thanksgiving with American friends tonight (I love Turkey!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Another dawn photo

Yes, I know, it's another of these dawn photos, but I can't help it, when it's sunny in the morning and that I pass by the river banks: I have to stop and take a photo;). I'm not 100% sure what this bridge is - yes you can boo me! -but I'm pretty sure it's Le Pont Neuf. I also realized today I forgot to wish my American visitors a happy Thanksgiving, so let me do it tonight... Have a nice sunny Friday (ours won't be that sunny...)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hunting Museum

Once again I discovered a museum I had never heard of before: the nature and hunting museum (Le musée de la chasse et de la nature), located in Le Marais, where I went this morning for a press conference. I first was attracted to this very original sculpture (I have been unable to find out who made it!) then to the beautiful building that shelters this museum: l'hôtel de Guenegaud, a "palace" that was built between 1651 and 1655. I did not visit the museum though, because I did not have the time, but I surely plan to go back.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

PDP dinner at General Lafayette's

OK, I'm late... But it's for a good cause! I'm just back from a Paris PDP dinner, where, as usual, I had a wonderful time. I finally got to meet Carrie (who was at the South California PDP gathering, if you remember), and I had the pleasure to greet newcomers: Michelle, Elisabeth and Stuart. Of course the loyal attendees were there too: Guille, Thib, Michael and... Jeff via email and telephone! All this took place at General Lafayette, a restaurant near my place were I took this shot. But of course, there is the usual "family photo" - plus a little extra! - to discover here...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Babies at La Samaritaine

La Samaritaine - a former Paris department store - is the site of an unusual exhibit of photographs by Thierry Bouët: Newborns. This is a photo of one of the 50 on display - a baby boy just 55 minutes old. Why? Well, as Christmas is coming, it's the way LVMH (the owner of La Samaritaine) and the Paris 1st Town Hall have found to celebrate the nativity. The exhibit will run until January 20, 2009 (see a wider angle here).
Don't forget if you are in town:
a little PDP gathering will take place tonight (Tuesday 25) at General Lafayette (a restaurant located 52 rue Lafayette). If you want to joint just email me (eric at so that I know approximately how many people will show up. Thank you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé

You must know it since their marketing is now worldwide, the 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau has arrived! Beaujolais is a region above Lyon (the second third largest city in France) which former capital was Beaujeu and which is known for its wine. Every third Thursday of November since the 1950's they produce a special Nouveau wine that is supposed to be drunk a few weeks after the grapes have been harvested (you'll find the whole story, and much more in here). Every year it's a big event and cafés and restaurants take advantage of it to boost their business. I took this photo yesterday at the Zephyr Café, on Les Grands Boulevards. As for the quality of this Beaujolais Nouveau, I let you fight over it in the comments box!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

En trevlig dag at Ikea!

You knew it was coming, didn't you?! I'm surprised how many reactions I had (here, on Facebook, etc.) after I mentioned I was going to Ikea yesterday! Apparently, everyone has his own experience of this Swedish institution! There are no less than 7 Ikea outlets around Paris (and 19 in the rest of France) and they are extremely successful. I went there to buy a new bed and ended up buying all sorts of junk I don't need instead! But isn't that what makes the fun at Ikea?! FYI. A little PDP gathering will take place Tuesday 25 at General Lafayette (a restaurant located 52 rue Lafayette). If you want to joint just email me (eric at so that I know approximately how many people will show up. Thank you.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Green Green

I came across this row of trees this morning on my way to work and I could not help but stop and take a photo ;-) They were being delivered to a florist in Rue de Richelieue and formed an unexpected scene in this very urban area where absolutely nothing grows! Like I already told you there are 484,000 trees in Paris, 96,500 of which are to be found in the streets. These ones are not included! Have a nice weekend everyone, I will be visiting Ikea tomorrow, how is that for a treat?!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fête de la couleur

It's the color feast in Paris at the moment! This means that every now and then throughout the city you can come across spots of orange or pink, like in this photo where you can see a few stripes up top this Morris Column (these columns are normally used to promote shows and plays). The color feast has actually been adapted from the Holî in India and it is currently used to raise awareness of children in need on the occasion of the 19th anniversary of children's rights.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Last sunny days?

Who said it's not sunny in Paris in November?! Well, this morning it was... It did not last very long, but long enough for me to take this funny photo of a colleague. This weekend will be very cold, we may even experience some snowfalls. I read all this on the Paris Meteo Website, that I already mentioned here, and which is the best source you can find if you're planning a trip to Paris. BTW, there is a new PDP gathering in the pipe... It will take place on the 25th and I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The aesthetics of politics...

"Capitalism allows the rich to decide for you. Act now!" is basically what this message says. You won't be surprised if I tell you I photographed this on the window of one of the local offices of the French Communist Party, which, even if it is in bad condition, is still alive (unlike the other communist parties in Europe, the French one never changed its name). I know the political message behind all this is probably the most important(!), but I was mostly attracted to the aesthetics of the scene... [Sorry for the late posting, my fault!]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Karma Kameleon

Keep cool! I came across this cameleon (I'm not actually certain he's a cameleon to be honest...) on the Quai de la Megisserie, a place by the river where they sell plants, flowers and... pets. You find more puppies and pussies kittens than giant green cameleons there ;) but they do sell small crocodiles, reptilians and all these creatures that we call NAC (for Nouveaux animaux de compagnie - new types of pets). I'm sure hey would be better off in their homeland than in a cage in Paris, but that is another story. Anyway, do visit this place if you happen to be in Paris, the set is gorgeous.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Controversy over Terrace heaters

"Would it make sense to heat your house and leave the windows open?" recently claimed 3 Green members of parliament (well "Députés" in French) who are currently trying to pass a law that would prohibit the use of terrace heaters in France. Needless to say that restaurants and cafés do not really share the same opinion; they argue that since the smoking ban it's the only way for them to keep smokers within their reach! Both parties use figures (CO2, watts, gas...) that do not match, of course. A very French debate... BTW, I took this photo rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, at the restaurant chez Julien, very nicely decorated.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pont Marie at night

Is there anything more beautiful than the bridges over the Seine? This one is Le Pont Marie and I took this photo yesterday evening from Le Pont Louis-Philippe right when a Bateau Mouche was passing underneath it (you can see the additional light coming from the boat). Le Pont Marie (named after its architect, Christophe Marie) is very old ; it was built between 1614 and 1635 and at that time several houses could be found on it. A huge flood destroyed 2 arches in 1658 and several houses - and inhabitants! - were taken away by the river... They decided not to rebuild the houses when they fixed the bridge...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More after our commercial break!

If you like commercials - I'm talking good commercials - the place to be tonight and tomorrow is... Paris! Why, Because you could attend the 28th Nuit des Publivores (The night of the Ad eaters!), a 5,5 hour long "commercial break" that takes place in one of the most famous movie Theaters in Paris: Le Grand Rex. This show, created by Jean-Marie Boursicot in 1981, is now so famous that it even takes place in many cities around the world (not in the US yet...). I attended one, in the 80's, and I must say, it was a lot of fun : partly because I love creative commercials and partly because the fun was also in the audience ;)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dolly goes to Paris...

I'm home sick at the moment (nothing serious, don't worry) so it's difficult for me to take photos any further than around the corner of my house! And today I really regretted it as I could have taken this extraordinary scene: a sheep roundup on the Champ de Mars, by the Eiffel Tower! Explanation: about 700 several sheep breeders thought it was the best way to attract the medias attention on their low incomes. It worked! It was in the news everywhere... I had to cheat a little bit (this is a photo I took at the Salon de l'Agriculture some time ago) to report the event, but I'm sure you'll forgive me ;) And if you want to see the real thing, have a look at this photo by François Lafite.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A museum for fun

A lot of big cities have their wax museum and Paris makes no exception, of course. Ours is called Le Musée Grévin (after the name of the artist who made the first wax sculptures around 1880 - the museum was inaugurated in 1882) and it's located 10 Boulevard Montmartre, in the former "in" area of Paris. There are about 300 wax characters in there; most of them are French centric (Brigitte Bardot, Charles Aznavour, Michel Drucker (a TV guy) and... of course, Nicolas Sarkozy - since July 2006) but a lot are internationnaly famous (Céline Dion, Jimmy Hendrix, Zinédine Zidane, Tony Blair, Ray Charles...). Kids love this museum and there are big lines on rainy days!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Le Sentier

Here is a very typical and historical area of Paris I never told you about. It's called Le Sentier (after the name of one of the major streets that runs through it) and it's the heart of the French clothing wholesale. It's a place where a lot of immigrants started their company - and sometimes made their wealth: originally mostly Jews (from North Africa), but now more and more Chinese and Pakistani. It's also a place known for its illegal workshops (constantly chased by the Police though) and illegal day workers hired to carry loads of garments and fabric from one place to another on these little red and blue trolleys that you can see in the photo. And, last but not least, in my opinion, it's the next up and coming area of Paris...