Monday, March 31, 2008

Disabled Demonstration

I know it's less fun than yesterday's post, but, well things are not always romantic in Paris... Hence this demonstration that took place last Saturday (see more photos in this little slideshow). Several thousands of disabled people marched from République to the Opéra to ask for better living conditions. This implies more money from the Government (they are granted 628 euros/month which isn't a big difference compared to what somebody with no income is guarantied: 448 euros/month). But above all the handicapped don't receive the same amount of respect. An American friend once asked me "Do you hide all your handicapped people?" That says a lot...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I met them!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I did meet Manu and Smitha, the young couple that moved you - us - so much these days. Where did I meet them? Well, I'm sure you can easily guess from the background of this photo... No wonder Manu did all this for his future wife; she's absolutely adorable. Anyway, they promised they would post something on PDP when they return to DC (that is where they're from), that is today Sunday. I wish them a very happy life - and thank them for the delicious macarons from La maison du chocolat they offered me!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Searching for Utopia

If you'd walk by the Grand Palais today (a huge exhibition hall originally built for the Paris Exhibition of 1900) you'd see something pretty unusual: a huge turtle made of bronze (it weights no less than... 5 tons!). The little man on the turtle is... a self-portrait Jan Fabre, the Belgian artist who actually made this masterpiece (called "Searching for Utopia"). BTW, the reason why this turtle sits outside the museum is that the Grand Palais is going to host ArtParis, a pretty famous modern art exhibition.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Almost redone!

Those of you who are true long time visitors of PDP may remember this photo from September 2006, in which I photographed a stone cutter currently working on the renovation of The Tour Saint Jacques. Well the tower is now almost renovated as you can see on this photo that I just took on my way back home (yes, the sun provided me with a wonderful light...). If you want to know more about this monument that originally belonged to a church destroyed after the French revolution, go here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The revelation!

Let me start with the news you've been expecting: I got an email from Manu, Smitha said yes! I'll know more if I manage to see them before they return to the US. Let's us all drink to their happiness! Update: Talking about the Eiffel Tower, here is a project that is making a lot of noise around the world (thank you Vicki for attracting my attention to it). Unlike what the news near you may say, it's only a project, nothing already ordered... yet!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cool Graffiti

OK, after yesterday's story, I think we all need to come back down to earth! Down to earth is exactly where this boy is actually sitting, - or more accurately, on the sidewalk, right at the bottom of an apartment building located in the northern part of the 17th arrondissement (rue La Condamine). I thought this graffiti was really cool. It was made by a pretty famous street artist called Jeff Aerosol (Aerosol means spray paint in French). BTW: I'll keep you posted if I hear from Manu and Smitha ;~)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Will you marry me?

I'm sure that once you've read this story, you'll go "Awwwwwww!" On March 6th, I received an email from a young man in the U.S., Manu. He said something like, "My girlfriend, Smitha, and I have been reading your blog every day for the past two months in preparation for a trip to Paris. What she doesn't know is that I plan on proposing to her while we are there, in front of the Eiffel Tower. Could you happen to secretly be there to take a photo of us and then we can surprise her by publishing it on your blog?" My romantic soul couldn't resist, so, we arranged for a time and place (for me, this is the best place to propose in Paris!), and there I was last night (Monday) at 7:45 pm sharp on the Passerelle Debilly. By the way, we did not even talk. All this was to remain a secret until today! - so I don't even know if she said yes. I'm pretty sure she did though...who could resist a fiancé who does all this to win the heart of his wife-to-be? P.S. My camera could have done with a little more light, for sure, but it's enough to keep the memory.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Rings a bell?

In France, on the day of Easter around noon, kids are told to search for eggs (generally made of chocolate) in the garden of their house (or on the balcony if they live in an apartment!). These eggs are supposed to have been brought back by bells that just returned from a short trip to Rome (home of the Vatican) to be blessed by the Pope... Yeah, right! Anyway, I don't know if kids buy it, but they certainly love this little treasure hunt! These bells belong to Saint Ferdinand's church, located off the avenue des Ternes, in the 17th arrondissement. First time I noticed these bells actually... Today (Monday) is still a holiday here by the way ;)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Higher and higher

How about a little jump into the sky? These skate boarders never cease to amaze me, I must say. I would love to do this! I took this photo in the same park where I took the windmill photo - the one called Paris Texas. They installed several skate board facilities there and teenagers love them. Hope your Easter week-end goes well, here it's freezing cold...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Marie-Antoinette makes it to Le Grand Palais

For some reason queen Marie-Antoinette is probably the most famous French queen in the world. Most of the people remember her 1) because she was beheaded during the French Revolution - well technically, slightly after - and 2) because she's supposed to have said "If [people] have no bread, let them eat cake". I say supposed because apparently this quote already existed in a book written in 1736 [Les Confessions] by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (a French Swiss writer). Anyway, they're currently having an exhibition about Marie-Antoinette at Le Grand Palais which has good reviews. I went last night but taking photos is prohibited, so I stayed at the entrance... Hope your Easter [for those who celebrate Easter!] weekend is doing OK, mine just started!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Water Games

Since you like water, here is more! Just kidding, of course, but I'm glad you liked yesterday's photo because I like it too ;) I photographed this fountain yesterday morning (Thursday morning) on my way out from a press conference in the Parc André Citroën, located in the 15th arrondissement. This park was created in 90's at the exact same location where the old Citroën factory (Citroën is a French car brand) was. BTW, good news my scooter is finally fixed; it'll be much easier for me to go around the city and take more photos! Have a nice Friday everyone.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's raining again...

The nice weather could not last forever... The forecasts are absolutely dreadful! Cold and rainy. Or rather, what we call "Les giboulées de mars", that is a mix of rain and sun within the same day. After all it's not that bad, at least for me. My scooter is still down so I take the Metro and the rain allows to take cool photos, like this one! FYI, if you're interested in the Paris weather, let me recommend this website or this one.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Death Danger!

You can find this sign above most of train tracks (I took this one near the St Lazare train station) and it never ceases to amaze me. It says roughly "it's prohibited to touch the catenary : death danger". Really?! It seems to me pretty obvious, but maybe not to everyone... These signs are pretty popular in France, some are even sold on ebay...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Paris Texas?

I know this does not really look like Paris France, but I swear I did take this photo here! This windmill actually belongs to new gardens, located in the northern part of the 17th arrondissement, on former premises of the SNCF (the national train company). These new gardens are very environment friendly, hence the presence of this windmill used to drain water. If you're interested in visiting them, the access to these gardens is located by the rue Cardinet.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tit for tat!

I also took this photo Saturday, a little before the anti Scientology demonstration started. I was sitting at a restaurant terrace enjoying a Caesar salad (yes, some French restaurant have Caesar salad on their menu!) when I saw the clown you can see in the background of the photo. I grabbed my camera, zoomed in and discovered that this guy was actually taking a photo towards my direction. We exchanged glances through our lenses and could not help smiling. I bet he has a photo of me in his camera!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Science Defiance

On Friday, a colleague of mine sent me a note saying: "check this, they're having an anti Scientology demonstration on Saturday, isn't that a good photo opportunity for PDP?" I was a bit doubtful, but today the weather was nice, it was in my old neighborhood (Les Batignolles), so I decided to give it a shot. And I did! Let's face it, I don't think the Church of Scientology may be threatened in any way by these people, but it still makes a cool photo!

No O-fence!

It's been a long and tough week, I'm happy the weekend is coming up ;) Let's celebrate with a little quiz: where did I photograph this fence? It's a pretty touristy place so if you've already been to Paris, it's should be easy ;) Answer tomorrow (French time zone)!

Friday, March 14, 2008

In Memoriam of Lazare Ponticelli

Today (Thursday), Lazare Ponticelli, the last "Poilu" (Poilu literally means "hairy man" and was the nickname given to all infantrymen during the first world war) died at the age of 110. He was born in 1897, joined the foreign legion in France to escape poverty and his destiny is absolutely incredible (see more info here). Since he's the last survivor of this war he'll have State funerals on Monday, but I thought I would celebrate his memory on PDP today, with this photo. I found this mailbox in a cemetery the 15th arrondissement. It says roughly: "Since you came here to celebrate your dead ones, think of those who died for France".

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ice Bar at the Kube Hotel

It's been a while since I wanted to visit Hotel Kube, a very trendy hotel located in a very unusual place of Paris - for high-end hotels anyway; the 18th arrondissement? Last night, thanks to Packard Bell who had a product launch over there, I had the opportunity to go there and test what this hotel is famous for: its ice bar. Funny as hell. Everything is made of ice:the bar itself, the "furniture", the sculptures... even the glasses! Of course you have to wear a warm outfit, gloves, a ski hat... and you cannot really stay more than 20 minutes. And all you can drink is vodka! Check this little video clip that I made with the rest of my photos.
Thank you very much for all your nice congratulations, I cannot reply to every one but it really makes me happy;)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One million visitors milestone

Today is a great milestone for PDP... First of all I just celebrated my 3rd year anniversary (I almost forgot about it!) but it's also a big day for my stats; within the next 24 hours or so I will greet my one millionth visitor. I'm also approaching my goal which is 100 000 monthly unique visitors (over the last 30 days I reached 70 000). Let me dedicate today's post to you all. Like I said many times, you're my fuel...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Canned Parisians!

The holiday season is over (the ones we call Les vacances de février or Mardi gras) and my scooter is still en panne (down)! This morning I had no other choice than to take the overcrowded metro to work. I love this photo though, it's kinda like witnessing the rat race (Metro Boulot Dodo/ Metro, work, sleep) right in front of you! Meanwhile, in Papua New Guinea...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Inside the voting booth

The quality of this photo is not very good nor does it show much of Paris, but I found it funny to take a photo inside the voting booth! I took it today (today was the first round of the elections for the mayor of Paris) just before I slipped my ballot paper into the envelope. In order to vote, in France, you must be registered on a voting list (generally the one where you live) and have your ID ready; that's all. Who won the election? Well, we have to wait for the second round to be over (next Sunday) to know for sure sure, but there is no suspense: like I already told you, it'll be this man!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sunny shopping day

The weather is still pretty nice in Paris and despite the unstable economical situation, people still go shopping, like this lady. Not sure she'll go for the sexy outfit though... Have a nice Sunday everyone. It's a voting day for us.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A day at the Vanves flea market

Isn't she pretty? I found her at Les Puces de Vanves, one of the 3 Paris flea markets, located, quite logically, at Porte de Vanves (14th arrondissement). It's really the perfect place to go to (it's open every weekend of the year) if you like to chiner (that is to go through all sorts of junk and find hidden treasures!). That is exactly what I did for you today... with my camera. Here is the result with a little help from the guys at Animoto.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Welcome to PDP!

Wow! Yesterday, the people at Blogger's featured PDP on their Blogs of Note blog. As a result this blog remained 24 hours on the home page of the blogger dashboard. Needless to say, that it kinda boosted my stats... I received 7 000 visitors yesterday, against 1 900 on average on a "normal" day. Thank you Mr Google! On this special occasion, I'd like to welcome those new visitors who landed on PDP for the 1st time today, with these giant flowers that I photographed in the Jouffroy Passage, right near my home.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


No, I did not dig out an old photo from a trip to Mexico(!), I took it right in the middle of Paris, in the backyard of the house where I took this photo. Not much to say, I just thought this scene was quite unexpected ;)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The most successful film of all times?

I'm just back from the movies... I had to see the most successful film of the moment: "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis!" Don't expect to see it in your country, there is very little chance this film will ever be exported because it's... er... very very French. Ch'tis is what the people in the northern part of France call themselves - and also the language they speak (with a very strong accent!). Let's be honest, this movie is not a masterpiece, but it's funny and highlights all the stereotypes that people from the South have about the French Northerners! What is interesting is that it's a huge success ; eventually it's very likely that more than 10 million people will have seen it. Talking about accents, have a look at this.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Desperatly looking for a star...

You know how food is important in France... It's so important that we even have an "official reference" for restaurants, called Le Guide Michelin (Michelin is a famous French tire manufacturer). This guide is published yearly and lists more than 3,500 restaurants to which the critics grant 0, 1, 2 or 3 stars. Needless to say that restaurants with 3 stars (only 26 throughout France) need not to worry about having customers! Now, every year also, some restaurants lose one of their stars. That is what happened to Le Véfour (better known as Le Grand Véfour) a very famous restaurant near Le Palais Royal. Still, I would not mind having dinner there!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Spring has started

We're currently experiencing one of the hottest winter since 1950 (1,1 °c above the average temperature since the beginning of winter). It's not only warm, but also very sunny: the sun shone almost 300 hours between December and February (against 187 hours over the same period on average between 1991 and 2000). Consequently cafés and restaurants have reopened their terraces and Parisians are already having lunch outside (I did last Saturday!) ! It's a moment I love - and I'm sure you do too ;)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

A building in danger

I don't know if you remember this photo that I took about a year ago. I went back to the same street today and found out that this amazing building, built in 1891, is falling apart. Mind you, looking at the old photo I could have seen it coming, for there were several cracks on the wall already! Anyway, nice and sunny day in Paris, I had a nice time walking around the Bastille area.I hope you have nice Sunday everyone, wherever you are in the world!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Theme day : Mural or Graffiti

Time flies... It's the first of the month again. As you must all know now it's a theme day! And today's theme is: mural or graffiti. So here you go; a mural I've been willing to show you for a long time, simply because I like it. BTW, if you wonder how theme days are decided, it's very simple : we have a "voting booth" on the portal - under the high surveillance of Jenny from Sharon Daily Photo!- and we get to vote every month. Who knows, one day, we might make this vote available to every visitor...

Almost 150 City Daily Photo blogs participate in this theme day today. Time for you to (re)discover our new portal. You may also visit each blog individually, but please bear in mind that we're all on different time zones!
Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, Aliso Viejo (CA), USA by Rodney, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Guntur Purwanto, Baziège, France by PaB, Belgrade, Serbia by BgdPic, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Boston (MA), USA by Fenix, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Bucaramanga, Colombia by Fernando, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chicago (IL), USA by b.c., Chicago (IL), USA by U R us, Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Cologne, Germany by April11, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Detroit (MI), USA by Taittems, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, Evry, France by Olivier, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Guelph, Canada by Pat, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Le Guilvinec, France by ds2944, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Jsaltao, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Mainz, Germany by JB, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Mazatlan, Mexico by Kate, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico, Mexico by Poly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montréal, Canada by Douber, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Mumbai, India by MumbaiIteanu, Naples (FL), USA by Isabella, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK by Cassie & Chris, Niamey, Niger by Dinabee, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Radonvilliers, France by Deslilas, Riga, Latvia by Prokur, Rome, Italy by Giovanni, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation by Lark, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Diego (CA), USA by Zentmrs, Santa Fe (NM), USA by Randem, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Silver Spring (MD), USA by John, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Terre Haute (IN), USA by Zann, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Wrocław, Poland by Loompi, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn