Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunset over Paris

I'm just back from dinner with the Benauts - and Michael who showed them Montmartre and Le Sacré Coeur this morning - at the excellent Le Georges restaurant on top of the Pompidou Center (also called Beaubourg Center) and here his the view we could see from the table we where sitting at until the sun went down for good. We had a lovely time and I'll post more photos on the making of later. But right now I just want to go to bed! Have a nice Sunday - and a good Labor day weekend if you're in the US.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

G'day mate!

You're looking at a little piece of Australia in Paris! No, this is not the Australian embassy, but one of the famous Café Oz's in France, true Aussie bars, where they sell Australian beer, show rugby matches and speak with a funny accent! Why am I dealing with Australia today? Well simply because after Cheltenham and London, the Benauts are in town and I just had a wonderful dinner with them (for those of you not familiar with the Benauts (Ian and Andrea), let's simply say, they are regular visitors and commenters to PDP, true francophiles and genuinely nice people.

Friday, August 29, 2008

To all unknown soldiers

If you already visited Paris and went under the Arc de Triomphe you probably know the story, but I think it's worth telling. So... Under this arch, there is a tomb, dedicated to all soldiers who fought during WWI (right behind the flowers in the foreground in the photo). To make it more universal, the journalist Gabriel Boissy came up with the idea that an anonymous soldier should be buried there. To do so, they picked 8 coffins of soldiers who were never identified and asked the Private Auguste Thin to choose one by dropping a bouquet of flowers on one of the coffins. The soldier was transfered to the Arch of Triumph on November 11, 1920 and every day, at 6:30 PM they revive the flame that burns next to the tomb.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Paris Bike Tour

I found something that will prove useful if you come to Paris and want to discover the city "differently": English speaking organized bike tours. The Fat Tire Bike Tours (that is what they are called) have apparently been going on for 9 years but it's the first time I noticed one of their bikes in the street. I never tried them either, so if anyone had, please give us some feedback. I love the Paris Tips section of their website, it's always fun to see what foreigners are interested in ;)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

La chèvre et le chou

No, it's not usual to come across a goat and a cabbage in the middle of Paris ! I simply spotted this cute little scene in front of a restaurant in the 15th arrondissement (235 bis rue Saint Charles more precisely) called La chèvre et le chou (the goat and the cabbage). The funny part - well, if you're interested in improving your French - is that this name is also a pretty common expression that we use when we're in a situation where we have to please two opposite parties. I believe the translation in English would be "To have one's cake and eat it too".

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back to school!

August 26, the holiday season is almost over, people have started coming back to work, there goes my tranquility at the office! Traffic has gotten worse too... But it's probably nothing compared to next Monday ;) Anyway the press conference season will also start soon, so here is one photo I took at the occasion of the launch of new products. They rented a loft for the occasion and I thought the setting of the room would make a good photo - taken from above (I took it at the end of the conference, when they started clearing the room). It's not a black and white photo, although it may look like one...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Gone with the sand

Somebody asked once what they did with all of the sand after Paris Plage was closed. No I don't think they dump it in the Seine ;) but Saturday, I came across these tractors(?) that were offloaded to help clean things up. There are even color coordinated! This is undoubtedly my last post about Paris Plage for year 2008. I don't think it was too much of a success, mainly because of the terrible weather we experienced...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

If the shoe fits

I met up with some friends the other night to catch up after vacations and drown a few sorrows for the upcoming rentrée, and discovered this bar called La Cordonnerie. Located at 142 rue St Denis, this former shoemaker's shop now boasts some of the cheapest beer and happy hour in town, along with what I'd consider to be the aged clientele where those points are extremely important!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bruit !

The weekend is coming up, time to party and... possibly make a little noise! I found this interesting work of graffiti in the 13th arrondissement atop a little restaurant in the area. I don't know if it was a message to the owners to quiet down at night, or just a general message to the PDP readers! You tell me... (quietly!)

Friday, August 22, 2008

An unexpected market

I heard the news on the radio this morning: "farmers are selling their products to Parisians on an improvised market on Place de la Bastille". I went there, thinking this was definitely photo worthy. And apparently I was not the only one to hear the news on the radio! There were several hundreds of people waiting in line to buy fruit and vegetables at a supposedly better price. In fact, I did not really see the difference (actually melons are even presently less expensive in the shop around the corner than there - 1,65 € against 2 €...)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trimming the Paris trees...

Following to yesterday's debate in the comments on the meaning of "Se raccrocher aux branches" - hi Guille! -, I thought this was the most appropriate photo du jour! Soon it will be fall and this morning, I happened to witness a tree triming. Doing a little research on the web, I found out that there are no less than 95 000 trees in the streets of Paris (that does not include the ones in gardens, woods, etc.) and that each of them is identified by a chip that allows the city gardeners to know everything about their history! Dingue non?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bye bye Paris Plage

Everything comes to an end and so does Paris Plage... This year I did not even have the time to visit it more than twice (that is day one and today, for this photo!). This year was bigger than ever: 400 tons of sand were used (twice as much as last year), new "beaches" were created, both the right and the left bank hosted the event and an extra spot was even created along the Bassin de la Villette (not far from where I took this photo) in the 19th arrondissement. Shame the weather was so bad this year...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Scandalous train

Big turmoil Sunday: several trains traveling from the South to Paris were delayed. That, in France, is scandalous, believe me! What happened? There was a problem with the catenary between Marseille and Nice and some people had to wait up to... 10 hours to go back home. I was in one of these trains, but was lucky enough to be delayed only 40 minutes. No harm ;) And I really enjoyed my 3 days in the south (in Languedoc, more precisely).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Obama bucks the status quo

As you may or may not be aware, Barack Obama is winning over hearts and minds in Europe. I'm sure you'll have something to say about that, but Iwanted to mostly share this interesting piece of graffiti I found along the Seine at the Port autonome de Paris (11th arrondissement). I recently heard an American comedian (John Stewart) mock the implication by others that a black man on the U.S. currency would be quite difficult for the public to handle. His reply, "Why? Because he's green?" Anyway, here's an interesting link about the subject that you might like.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A cute little Place

Not much to say about this photo, I just like it because of the atmosphere. The statue in the middle is of Sergeant Bobillot, a soldier who apparently displayed heroic behaviour during the Tonkin (a part of Viêt Nam) war - and more precisely during the siege of Tuyen Quang (which I'm sure you're familiar with LOL!) when France started the conquest of Indochina around 1885. I took this photo at the Place Verlaine (named after French poet Paul Verlaine) near La Butte aux Cailles. It's a nice area to visit if you want to go off the beaten track.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Everybody's welcome!

To prove to you that Paris is such an open-minded city, I wanted to show you this woman and her dog who decided to take a stroll between the revelers of happy hour one evening. I realize that for some of you, you'll be disappointed to notice that it's not a "French poodle", but therein lies our diversity. We welcome most any animal and their owner when it comes to sharing mojitos in the 2nd arrondissement!

Friday, August 15, 2008


Today (Friday) is August 15 and like in most Catholic countries it's a holiday. What are we celebrating ? The Assumption of the Virgin Mary who, according to the Roman Catholic Theology, "was transported into Heaven with her body and soul united". Besides being a religious feast for some, it's also the last day off before the going back to school period and, for a lot of French people, the end of the holiday season. I'm sure that the traffic will be bad again on Monday! BTW, I took this photo in Sainte Anne de la Butte aux Cailles, a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary which I visited for the first time for this occasion.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Garçon !

One job I've never done and I'm quite sure that I wouldn't be very good at, is that of a waiter. I took this shot at the Häagen-Dazs off the Champs-Elysées (see it in video here then click on Champs-Elysées) where this hard working garçon was doing a great job. Perhaps he is in training for the annual Course des garçons de café (et des serveuses) which is held in Paris and in many other cities around the world.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The wisest among the wise

This is the main staircase of the Senate in Paris, near the the Luxembourg gardens. And guess who is likely to use it today (Wednesday)? Well, the Dalaï Lama who is currently in France and has been invited to pay a visit to a bunch of Senators, but only in private (sorry, I won't show you the Dalaï Lama climbing the stairs!). His visit is highly controversial - as many things in France are. Some regret that President Sarkozy won't see him, some say it's normal and some find it suspicious this sudden fad for a man that represents the 3rd 4th religion in France (600,000 Buddhist followers in France) .

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A French designer you may not know

Curiously enough, most of the famous clothing designers are men. France makes no exception, even if we've had Coco Chanel of course and a few others. That is why today I would like to introduce you to Nathalie Garçon, one of the rare French female "Stylistes" (designers) we count. She started her own company in 1989, after working for several senior designers, and sold it 10 years later to a larger group (Garella), but she still continues to design clothes for the brand. Last but not least, she claims she designs them for "the average woman in the street" not for anorexic models!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Velo !

I waited some time to take this one! The red sign says "Vélo", which is short for Vélocipède, the first name given to bicycles in French. Of course, when I saw this sign, I immediately thought to myself "It would be cool if a bike would go by when I take the photo..." So I waited! And here you go!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Have a drink!

Wow, "ça chauffe sur PDP!" (I'm talking about yesterday's photo comments!). Let me buy you all a drink to cool off a little. And don't start commenting about me advertising for Cuba and the Castros (Fidel and Raùl!), I just like the colors of this photo. Besides, I understand Havana Club is a brand owned by Pernod Ricard (the company that makes Pastis a very French drink that you find mostly in the south) and yes, also by the Cuban State. Have a nice Sunday.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Good luck for the Olympics!

OK, it may not be very original to post a China related photo today, and you've probably already had your fill of the Olympics in the news, but I just saw the re-run of their stunning opening ceremonies, and I could not help paying the Chinese a small tribute (I took this photo during one of their New Year celebrations in Paris)! I've never really visited China, but I hope I will soon.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Stormy weather

We are going through a period of very unstable weather here in Paris - and in France in general - at the moment. Here is what I photographed tonight right outside my office. Needless to say I had to wait a little bit before riding my scooter! A few days ago a large storm struk a village in the north of France causing a lot of damage and yesterday a young girl was killed by a tree that fell because of a storm. Don't worry, Paris has not turned into Venice yet, though! Once again, let me offer you the soundtrack of this photo ;)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Seing Grace

Only a few more days, before the Grace Kelly exhibition closes at the Paris Town hall. On display: many photos (from when she was a Hollywood actress till when she became Princess of Monaco), clothes (her wedding dress) and a few letters she wrote to Jackie Kennedy, Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant… No less! Oh yes, I almost forgot, they also show the purse that then became to all the French "Le Kelly" by Hermès (which was not invented for her though). I know she was originally American, but she slipped into the French (well Monaco !) lifestyle with a lot of ease... (Bonus: the soundtrack!)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Walking Cello!

A very Parisian scene today and... a very odd way of carrying such a music instrument through the streets of Paris! I took this shot rue Montmartre (2nd arrondissement) while I was having a drink with friends on a terrace. Of course, I found out later that this lady did not just happen to carry her cello (is it really a cello?)... She was actually playing it in front of each café, to collect a few euros - (of course, I contributed ;).

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Open Air Movie Theater

We don't have drive-in theaters in Paris but, during summer, we have "Le cinéma en plein air de la Villette" (open air movie theater of La Villette). For only 2 € - plus 5 € if you rent a lounge chair and a blanket! - you can see good old classics (mostly American and French). It's very nice to go there with friends and have a picnic before the movie starts (around 10:30 when it gets really dark, for obvious reasons... Check the complete program (in French) here.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Abercrombie & Fitch?

What's the connection between the current hippest clothing brand Abercrombie & Fitch, and this beautiful golden door that I photographed at 23 avenue Champs Elysées? Well, according to some "well informed sources" that is where Abercrombie & Fitch should open its first shop in Paris. It's hard to believe though, as number 23 is located on the "wrong side" of the avenue (the one that does not get the sun) and in the lower part, that less people visit. At the same time, there is not much space available on the Champs Elysées, so they may not have that much choice. In any case they need to get a special authorization by the Paris town hall which is very picky on who sells what on the "most beautiful avenue in the world!"

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sunbathing in Paris

I may not be taking any vacation this year, but I still get to lay in the sun right in the middle of Paris (presently near Le Louvre). It's not that bad actually, considering how the city is almost empty and all I hear around me are people talking in everything but French. I feel like I'm a foreigner in my own country! Nice feeling actually. Here is my postcard to you. Wish you ALL were here! ;)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Restaurant "Le Saut du Loup"

Gee! Like some of you mentioned it, it has been 3 days in a row that I posted a photo expressing movement, I think it's time for a still one! I passed by this restaurant - Le saut du Loup - at night the other day and here is what I saw first at the entrance (of course my photo is a little darker than what it looked like in reality!). Le Saut du Loup is a very pleasant restaurant/bar especially in the summertime because you can have lunch or dinner outside, in the Louvre gardens - that is on the other side of the rue de Rivoli, where I took this photo (which reminded me of an old one I took in 2006.

Friday, August 01, 2008


It's August 1st, the heart of the summer! It's very very hot in Paris at the moment (currently 90 in my apartment!) and it's even worse in the Metro where there is no air conditioning. But that is not the reason why I'm showing you this rolling sidewalk that they installed at the Montparnasse metro station, but because today is a theme day and the theme is... metal!

As usual, there are many participants (183)in this theme day throughout the City daily Photo community and you should pay them a visit. Either one by one (see links below), or click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, Aliso Viejo (CA), USA by Rodney, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Ararat, Australia by freefalling, Arradon, France by Alice, Aspen (CO), USA by IamMBB, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Baruch, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Harry Makertia, Bandung, Indonesia by Eki Akhwan, Bandung, Indonesia by Bunyamin, Barrow-in-Furness, UK by Enitharmon, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Birmingham (AL), USA by VJ, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Brantford (ON), Canada by Nancy, Bucharest, Romania by Malpraxis, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by agrajag, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Château-Gontier, France by Laurent, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chennai, India by Ram N, Chesapeake (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Cincinnati, USA by Erik Laursen, City of the Blue Mountains, Australia by Richard, Corsicana (TX), USA by Lake Lady, East Gwillimbury, Canada by Your EG Tour Guide, Edinburgh, UK by Dido, Edmonton (AL), Canada by , Evry, France by Olivier, Folkestone, UK by Piskie, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA by Gigi, Gabriola, Canada by Snapper, Geneva (IL), USA by Kelly, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hamilton, New Zealand by Sakiwi, Hampton (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Haninge, Sweden by Steffe, Hanoi, Vietnam by Jérôme, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Old Hyde, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jerusalem, Israel by Esther, Kansas City (MO), USA by Cate B, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Lakewood (OH), USA by mouse, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Leipzig, Germany by weltbeschreiber, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Lynchburg (VA), USA by June, Mainz, Germany by JB, Manila, Philippines by Heyokity, Mashhad, Iran by Meead, Melbourne, Australia by John, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Menton, France by Jilly, Mesa (AZ), USA by Mesa Daily Photo, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Middletown (MD), USA by Bernie, Milwaukee (WI), USA by karl, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Scott, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Misawa, Japan by misawa mama, Molfetta, Italy by saretta, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Nancy, France by yoshi, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Delhi, India by Delhi Photo Diary, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, New York City (NY), USA by • Eliane •, New York City (NY), USA by Kitty, Newport News (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norfolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Oklahoma City (OK), USA by ananda.tashie, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Owasso (OK), USA by Jennifer, Palos Verdes (CA), USA by tash, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Petoskey (MI), USA by Christie, Philadelphia (PA), USA by Stephanie Craig, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Cheryl, Phoenix (AZ), USA by Sharon, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Pretoria, South Africa by Sam-Ruth, Quezon City, Philippines by ann pablo, Quincy (MA), USA by slim, Ramsey, Isle of Man by babooshka, Rancho Palos Verdes (CA), USA by Sarah Adams, Riga, Latvia by Riga Photos, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Rouen, France by Bbsato, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by atc, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, Schenectady (NY), USA by Buck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sequim (WA), USA by Eponabri, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Singapore, Singapore by Zannnie, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, South Pasadena (CA), USA by Laurie, Springfield (IL), USA by Aubrey, Stanwood (WA), USA by MaryBeth, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Suffolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Ann, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Sydney, Australia by Julie, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tamarindo, Costa Rica by David, Tempe (AZ), USA by angie, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Torun, Poland by Glenn, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Villigen, Switzerland by z, Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by D.C. Confidential, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Williamsburg (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,