Friday, April 04, 2008

Drums beating

Yesterday, as I was passing by the Musée d'Orsay, I could not help stopping and take my camera when I saw this scene. At first I noticed the light - once more the sunset! - and they I saw this little man playing the drums. From where I was - the other side of the Seine, there was no way I could hear him play, but I thought the scene was really good. BTW, did you notice how high the water is? Soon the embankment will be closed...


  1. You work wonders with lighting! That shadow makes that picture!

  2. Once again your photo's are beautiful. Thanks for doing such a great job and then sharing with all of us.

  3. Hey, now that would be a great place for a little music!!! Beautiful indeed. Biddaboom, biddabam!!!

  4. I love how it looks like he is utterly alone, when the big city is all around him. He looks content.

    I wonder how high the water will get?

  5. Hey Jeff, that could be the place for this year's PDP picnic!

  6. It reminds me of an Asian print on silk. Lovely!

  7. I love it! Another winner as far as I'm concerned. And I can't help but noticing how clean the wall and the stones are.

    It's quite an accomplishment to keep the walls of anything clean in Paris! ;)

  8. walking on either side is such a treat :-))) AHH Paris ...

  9. Oh, to be there! Eric, the Parisian tourist bureau ought to pay you and give you awards. Every day you entice us to return.

  10. Gorgeous!

    Eric, you have such a vision.

    Now don't go torturing me with talks of a PDP picnic! It was bad enough I had to miss the one in my own backyard last year.

  11. The colour is quite stunning. See; only Eric could find such light, i mean that would have been beautiful enough but no, our Eric then has the luck to find a man sitting in an interesting position. Then, of course, just for Eric, the man happens to be drumming. I tell you; only Eric, only Eric.

  12. Terric lighting, outstanding composition, suits the brown/cream tones.

    Is there a race to post the first comment?

  13. No, babookska, there isn't a race to be first. There is no prize, no reward or even any verbal gratification. So don't bother trying. Really.


  14. What awesome framing of a subject! The lighting, the color, and the subject are all so amazing!

    I didn't know that the Embankment was closed due to high water. When in the year does that happen and for how long?

  15. Suzy, Suzy, Suzy. Tsk.

    Actually, babooshka, there used to be a contest. But I won the other day and I think I was the only one who noticed, except maybe Eric. Of course he's the most important one.

  16. I am relatively new to your blog and am truly loving it.
    About 5 years ago my husband took me to Europe. The questions us USA coastal people kept asking was how high the tide was on the Seine.

    It didn't dawn on us until after we left that all the funny looks were because there was not tide, this river ran like the Mississippi (or the Nile) not at all affected by Tides, just running through the city. And it was definitely NOT this high - Wow!!!

    I assume the rings on the wall are mooring rings. If so, these must show some of the heights the river has been in Paris' past.

    I love your blog and have shared it with the children's French teacher.

  17. Anne in SC: The Seine doesn't follow tides but once in a while, it takes over.

    Check out

    to see what happened in 1910!

  18. Not only in 1910, actually. When I was a kid, my mom always asked us to make sure the Statue on Pont de l'Alma was clear off the water She said "Regardez si le Zouave du Pont de l'Alma a les pieds mouillés!"

    So I found this cute video showing another flood in Paris in 1930, entitled "Inodations à Paris: Zouave du Pt. de l'Alma"

    (it takes a while to load) Enjoy :)

  19. OK here is one more, showing the "Zouave du Pont de l'Alma"

    with feet in water (and more) in the past century.

    Good night everybody!

  20. Certain moments in life can't help but be both intimate and immense. When you're in such a moment, don't be in too much of a hurry to move on. Just a few more beats of that drum, of the clock, of your heart...And, if you're fortunate enough to be in Paris, a few more of each, just for good measure!

  21. Thanks for the links, Tomate. Great stuff.

  22. Tomate great links, thanks for that.

    This man sitting there playing by him self, inspired by the sunset, the river, the city... that is trule the parisian spirit.

    Lynn I agree with you, Eric is most talented to capture interesting things or people. But let me reassure you, walking the streets of Paris we find so many interesting things, and people and sights, it's a delight for the senses!

  23. Suzy, you're bad!

    Hey! Where is Guille with the photo of the Eiffel Tower she promised us to take while riding the metro outdoor?!

  24. Such a soulful scene, the man playing a drum, bathed in sunlight and shadows, as the Seine rises. Love this photo, a reminder to live, to sing, and to express your humanness. (just back from "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" a w-o-w)

    Tomate, Thank you for the links! It is amazing to find a video from 1930 on-line. :)

  25. This is how I dream Europe to be. I am so happy to see scenes like this actually do exist!
    Thank you Eric.

  26. Another marvelous sunlight photo. Hail, Ra, god of the sun.

    Yes, great place for the picnic this year. Would we be looking across at le Musee d'Orsay, or sitting beneath it? Maybe Guille will bring the drum? No, she promised wine and food. I guess Michael will bring the drum then, n'est-ce pas?

  27. Eric I was looking at a photo I took in this same part of the embankment, probably very near the point where this man, so that I could see the difference in the level of the water. Pretty impressive how high it is now.
    I know exactly what the view is from this point of the river... you couldn't have chosen a better place for the picnic. I'll be so envious of all of you drinking wine and staring at Musée D'Orsay!!!

    Think of me when you all make a toast!!!

  28. I wish I could be at the picnic, too. Please post a picture for us!

  29. Oh I can't help it. I have to say that this post reminded me of the lyrics:

    "Oui mais à Paname
    Tout peut s'arranger
    Quelques rayons
    Du ciel d'été
    D'un marinier
    L'espoir fleurit
    Au ciel de Paris"

    Changez l'accordéon pour le tambour et.. voilá!

  30. Nice pic Eric... amazing blog!!

    I'm from Mexico and i have never been to Paris... yet.

    ¡¡¡Viva México!!!

  31. Gosh, this one is wonderful...
    I have a strange feeling, it looks like a rocky cliff, an "into the wild" movie scene...Am I alone to feel that? Of course there is the steel rings and the stairs but the whole of the picture is really wild...
    You're right Eric, nice place to have a pic nic.

    Talking about drum makes me think about that.
    Jeff, I play drum as good as he does (video), but I don't want to spoil my drums if the rain comes, so I'm sure you understand that I won't bring them with me in May...LOL

    Monica, did I promise a picture? Really did I? Hmmm well, actually I have a knackered camera, not good enough to take a nice picture when we cross the Seine, but I want to buy a better one before going to Tokyo, so I PROMISE you to take one asap. Ok?
    De qui est cette chanson Monica?

    Babooshka, yes, there is a race for the first comment.
    Suzy, Rhoooooo!

  32. Guille: "Knackered!" LOL!!

    No offense, but the only thing funnier than stumbling across this expression in your last comment would be hearing you actually SAY it! I've tried simulating what it might sound like by putting on my best French accent, but it just isn't the same. Ten out of ten for your love - and use - of such colourful adjectives! ;)

    I'd laugh all over again, but, after a day on my feet, I'm feeling...well, a bit knackered.

  33. Lucio, Conte di Crispino, I'm offended! My accent is WONDERFUL.(Okay, it's not true) But to think about an English speaker trying to imitate a French girl using an English's too much for me LOL.
    But I'm wondering: did I use it in a wrong way? I wanted to say that my camera is rubbish,old and doesn't really work anymore. Tell me!

    For your personal information, I pronounce it "knack heard", so, LAUGH. ;)

  34. Your Majesty,

    I beg you, please don't put me back in the dungeon! It's taken me weeks to get rid of all those fleas and lice - not to mention the smell! - after my last, seemingly endless (but obviously warranted), internment.

    Yes, you did use "knackered" correctly. It can mean "worn out" in two senses: something that is broken or someone who is tired.

    If only I could write and speak as fluently in French as you can in English, Your Royal Highness!

    And, well, I would laugh, but I know how temperamental you royals can be, and the thought of those long, malodorous nights in a cell without a window, or even a pile straw on which to sleep, are still far too fresh in my memory for me to venture even so much as a smile.

    Your humble servant...etc., etc.

  35. Tsk Tsk Suzy. Yay GF Petrea for the other day!

    he he to Guille for using knackered. lol really made me laugh imagining you using it with your accent. Great! (pronounced nakurd) We don't mind pics with a knackered camera. Mine's pretty much knackered too.

  36. Hi Eric,
    Wonderful image... looks as a quite moment in rush of city. wonderful feeling of solitude.
    nice use of light and very well compossed... as always.
    Have a great day,

  37. That's lovely, Eric - a little solitude for the drummer, just enjoying the sunshine and peace!

  38. Thanks Lucio, I prefer this behavior. he he.
    You deserved the dungeon last time, you were too irreverent. You have to learn the rules of decorum.

    After having looked up in the dictionary, I realise that "knackered" doesn't belong to the refined language! hm hm. We have two different words in French: "mon appareil est pété" (my camera is knackered) and "je suis crevée" (i'm knackered).

    Lucio, when I write here, I always have a dictionary to correct my sentences. And it takes me time to write in a proper way you know.(10 min for this one for example!)

    Lynn, I prefer "knack heard" if you don't mind. LOL. No actually thank you because I pronounced the "k", I forgot that it was a silent letter...

  39. Guille: Just as I never tire of serving or pleasing you, I never tire of being chastised by you, as I know you do it solely for my benefit and not for any perverse pleasure of your own. (Or so you claim.)

    As for my irreverence...well, I'm afraid that betrays the fact that my ancestors were not all born of the nobility, and that I am therefore not a "pure" aristocrat (yet another reason why I deserve, and value, your advice, your criticisms and your punishment).

    Your lessons are inspiring - as is your example of scholarly exactitude. So much so that I will never use the words "I am knackered", or even "je suis crevée", in your presence - unless, of course, NOT doing so would earn me a ticket back to that horrible, horrible cell! I will also, like you, make a habit of carrying a dictionary. Not so much in order to correct my sentences, but to show solidarity with you in your ongoing quest to master English...

    In all seriousness, Guille, I admire your pluck and perfectionism. When I finally muster the courage to start posting here in French, I give you and anyone else reading this to make (gentle) fun of me as I bumble my way through your elegant and enchanting language.

    Oh, and thanks for sparring with me, Your Majesty. It's been fun.

    Your obedient slave...etc, etc.

  40. Needless to say that I'm blushing. hmm hmm.
    Your comment made me laugh, when I will be able to write in such a good way, with humour, I'll say that I'm fluent in English. And thanks for your dictionary-solidarity toward me, I'm touched.;)
    About your fake aristocrat backgroung, well, I'm going to forget it if you stay obedient and flatterer, okay?

    (You taught me a word: to bumble. I'll do the same when you'll write en français).

    Guillemette the First. hehe

  41. Just for the records (to elaborate on Guille's comment) we have "Je suis pété" too, but it does not mean I'm knackered (which as far as I remember I only heard in England but never in the States - am I wrong?) but I'm drunk ;)

  42. he he Guille you've amused me much today. Pronouncing the knackered WITH the k at first made me laugh out loud. Also Guillemette the First, i adore. I applaud your call for decorum and i, too, am a huge fan of such behaviour. Despite my flirting with Eric. Oops. We all slip from time to time. With kind regards, i remain, Yours, Lynn the First. On here at any rate. I think? Oh maybe not. Pah! You're funny AND unique, Guille. How very unfair.

  43. Eric: We use the expression "I'm/it's knackered" here, too - but not, of course, when speaking or writing formally. "I'm/it's buggered" carries the same meaning (here in Australia, that is), despite its patently scatological origins.

    As for "je suis pété", that's a phrase I find myself using less and less these days - hardly at all, in fact. Which, in itself, is not a bad thing, as quality is always preferable to quantity when it comes to pleasures of wine.

  44. Has anyone noticed Eric's funny little Tour Eiffel on the URL by the way? It's very cute - i admire his attention to detail. I still think he should come into the comments box more often though. On a non-flirty basis, of course.

  45. Beautiful color and positions.

    I am not up to normal yet, so am only trying to pop in here and there. As I get better I will try to get back on schedule.

    Abraham Lincoln in Brookville home from hospital.

  46. Abraham Lincoln: I'm sorry to hear you've been unwell. I hope you make a speedy, and complete, recovery!

  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. The expression I know with the word "pété" is:

    PTDR = pêté de rire

    I guess we can say it's something like the "LOL".
    And pété for meaning that one is drunk too.

    Right Guille?

    BTW Guille, yes you did promisse a photo. Don't pretend you don't remember that! And the lyrics are from the song "Sous le ciel de Paris"

  49. Ooohh lala!! nice...!
    maybe the guy's lonely or he doesn't know what to do at home.. that's why he's drumming away the boringness he feels.. hehe..

  50. Awesome picture and so pieceful in our cluttered world. Elaine Cooke

  51. A delightful conversation. You are such interesting people, my French, British, Australian, Brazilian friends (did I leave anyone out?).

    Guille, even if I sat avec ma dictionnaire and wrote french here, it would take me ten minutes to do each sentence. When I can do each post in French in ten minutes, I'll post more in French. Your English is wonderful. I like hearing you say knackered as much as I like hearing Holy Mackerel. (Eric is right, we don't say knackered in the States. Perhaps we should.)

    Monica is correct, Guille, you promised us a photo of La Tour as she looks on your way to work.

    I wish I could come to the picnic. Maybe I'll have to visit each of you individually, whether you like it or not! I'll just pop by.

    Abraham, I didn't know you were ailing. Get well soon.

  52. Lynn, I (of course) noticed the tiny Eiffel Tower! I wish I knew how to do such things.

    Hugs and kisses to you, Abraham Lincoln. Get well soon.

    Guille, I'm very glad I don't have to learn English as a second language. Take any word and I bet you'll find 3 different uses for it.

  53. The photos and movie that Tomate Farcie has shown us are brilliant. Thanks for these links. Wet feet takes on a whole new meaning, now.
    I hope we can see more shots of the river banks later on, Eric.

  54. Thanks for sharing those historical photos and film of 1910 and 1930 with us Tomate Farcie. It looked like Venice in some of those photos from the first group of 1910 photos. Romantic looking; but it must have been devastating for the families that lived on street level.

  55. Oh yeah, look at that "mooring rings" -- they are all over the place, and so high up. Anne in SC -- I noticed that, however, didn't really notice it consciously until you pointed that out. Thanks! I love the Seine. I'm working on a painting which I call "Kissing Sur le Seine". It is the designated place for kissing, that's nice -- don't you think. Every city should have one of those places. You could also drum there if you are alone. Kissing is much more fun though.

  56. Hey Monica you should go over to Katie's blog and scroll down. Macarons are there. he he.

    Suzy i thought you might notice it lol. He is beyond compare isn't he, our Eric. Sigh.

  57. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would assume that this rise in water level is not tide driven, but water runoff (rain, snow, etc)driven. Otherwise it would be happening with 8 hour frequency, not multiple year frequency.

  58. Wow, I love this picture... Nice lighting, and the man just adds a humane touch to the composition...

  59. Abraham Lincoln, sorry to hear you weren't feeling well and glad to know you are home. Sending {{{hugs and kisses}}} and some spring flowers from Virginia. p.s. hope that's "ok", I mean the xox's, a girl needs to be careful these days. :)

    Ahhhh, There was a party last light, Eric was drunk, Guille has been annointed Guillemette the First! and Lois is painting "Kissing Sur le Seine" hehehe, such fun on PDP. ;)

  60. Oh, this photo is gorgeous -- steeped like tea in the light. The splash of colour from his jacket (bag?) adds so much to the scene.

  61. Abraham my best wishes to you. Get well soon. Really soon!

    Lynn did you say macarons? I'll be right there!

    Petrea you can stop by anytime you want!!!!!!!!!!

  62. Monica I meant to tell you something -- I remembered that you said that you were "fascinated by Marie Antoinette's story." I am reading "Memoirs Of Madame Vigee Lebrun". She was the painter that painted all those paintings of Marie Antoinette (and other royals). She was fortunate enough to have the insight to leave Paris before getting her head removed. She wrote her memoirs when she was old and had returned to Paris. It's really interesting, and you feel like you are really seeing the Queen -- for real. Not some second hand account of what she was. Anyway, I thought you might like to know this. >^..^< You can also see the entire book on line.

  63. Ra, Dieu du Soleil.
    Reine Guillemette I, Maîtresse d'Anglais et des Tambours.

    Throw in a couple of Yanks, and this could be a fun party. I've always wanted to rub elbows with royalty and deities. Too bad we can't have Comte Lucio de Cellule de Prison.

    (Get well soon, M. Lincoln)

  64. Eric, "Je suis pété", moi je n'ai pas osé!! LOL.

    yes we also use this word in "PTDR" but it means "broken" by laugh more than drunk. :)

    you're funny AND unique too. Trust me! ;)

    I swear I'll try to use special words to please you. I have to thank the American/English series, they help to learn some expressions that an English teacher would never teach you! And don't forget, you're welcome anytime you want.

    I'm very glad I don't have to learn French as a second language. Take any word and I bet you'll find 12 different uses for it. At least. LOOOOL

    About the picture, I won't use this metro until monday, so I'll try to take it, but it's uncomfortable to look like a tourist among all this friendly and funny parisians on monday morning (okay, boring and sad parisians)...LOL They will hate me to be happy and smiling.

    See, I'm now answering like Eric, quoting the names and the sentences to answer! I'm definitely too popular here now. Maybe I have to leave you. Adieu

    Guillemette the First.

  65. Hey Eric - thought you might have a good answer for this meme, which I've posted on my Blog (I was tagged, now I'm tagging others).

    The idea is to write a story in 6 words. Hemmingway was once challenged, and came up with "For sale - baby shoes, never worn." Talk about a master - that's an entire story you instantly understand with only 6 words.

    I thought you'd think of something good, and a photo to illustrate it!

    (It's what used to be my main Blog, but now I tend to mostly use my photo Blog).

  66. Lovely photo & beautiful place. Thx for this photo.

    Take care,


  67. Lois: thanks for the tip!!!! I'll be very interested in reading it. Which site can I find the online content of this book? (since you mentioned it is available)

    Lynn my dearest, I've just answered your email.

    PTDR Guille!!!! That's how I am now because of you comment "They will hate me to be happy and smiling".
    I say, never mind them!
    And you know what? I agree with you 100%, American/English tv series teach us so many expressions that we'd never use at the English school. I love it!

  68. Lois in Versailles it is possible to see some of the paintings by Mme. Lebrun, they are indeed very beautiful. I just was in doubt if they were original or maybe a replica in case the original ones were lost/damaged during the revolution.
    Do you know if they're authentic?

  69. Wow! Thanks for the kind words, guys! I didn't realize these links were going to be so popular! Glad to help :)

    (By the way, I din't mean a "cute" video of the flood, don't know what possessed me to use that word... I think I meant to say "cool" but I guess that wouldn't be a good word either, oh well.)

  70. "Sweetheart: No. In Paris now. Goodbye."

    6 words and a good caption for this photo.

  71. Yes..I know about the feet of the "Zouave du Pont de l'Alma"..and I often wonder[worry]if the great flood could happen again. I have read many articles saying it is only a matter of time[like the coming earthquake in California]and I shudder at the thought of the metro in Paris being closed due to flooding. Merci for the slap of reality tomate!! LOL!!

    Great shot Eric...M. le Maitre!! ;-)

    **Get well soon are a great photographer and the photos on your blog are amazing!

  72. Hello Monica, I bought the book, however, there are several pages missing because it has long been out of print. (Don't waste your money or time on that one.) The on-line book is in its entirety. It is 117 pages not including copies of the paintings.

    Before the Marie Antoinette exhibit left for Paris, it was here in SF (I saw it). The paintings are all "originals" and are on loan from various museums and private collections. Marie Antoinette would have Vigee LeBrun make several paintings of one sitting. Marie Antoinette usually gave these portraits to her friends or to foreign diplomatic envoys. So they are all over the world. Versailles was attacked by the fish wives and everything was destroyed. Vigee LeBrun said in her memoirs, "It is really to the Queen's sensitiveness that I owed the preservation of my picture, for the fishwives who soon afterward came to Versailles for Their Majesties would certainly have destroyed it, as they did the Queen's bed, which was ruthlessly torn apart." >^..^<

  73. So sorry you guys, I don't know why it posted that twice -- weird. We are having trouble with our server though.

  74. Il y a une autre Justine ici, ce n'est pas moi. Je n'ecris jamais mon nom comme ca...

    I know my French is rusty... I'm just trying to use it more...

  75. Tomate, don't worry about it. It was cute and cool. It reminded me of one of those 8mm films from a long time ago. You know, like "home movies" -- which were definitely cute and cool even though they were amateur (like this one could have been). What is great is that it is preserved; because, film decays rapidly, and many of these old films have been lost to eternity. Thank you again for sharing your research.

  76. Lois thank you so much for the link!
    How great is the internet?! I'm reading two other books now but I can't wait to read this one of Mme Lebrun so I'm starting today.

    Gosh and I'm still reading the site about Madame de Pompadour that Lucio recommened the other day. If only my day had 34 hours instead of 24h...

  77. Drums beating for such a lovely light.
    Have a nice week-end, Eric, since you are in the mountains. Wish you a good snow and a lot of sun!

  78. Love the giant tree's shadow as it plays across the rock wall.... lovely

  79. Great photo. I really like it!

  80. this is the first time that i read on your blog. aside from my fascination with your country, i also cannot stop myself from admiring the pictures and the articles that you posted. you have an the eye of a real photographer and i must say you can also be one of the best tour guides paris will be proud to have! thank you for the paris virtual tour that i had today. i will add your blog to my favorites so i will get a glimpse of paris everyday!