Friday, December 31, 2010

A new year full of vitamins!

As I was in the 7th arrondissement at the marché rue Cler, I stumbled upon this stand of bright orange Clementines. Knwowing that I over indulged myself this year at Christmas (as always), I picked some up. In France we eat these during the Christmas season and winter months. I love them because they are
seedless, sweet, juicy, and packed with vitamin C and the fiber content helps fill you up and satisfy hunger! Some believe that it was Father Clement, an Algerian monk, who discovered them in the mandarin garden at his orphanage and named it clementino. Others claim that the Clementine originated in China much earlier and then migrated to the Mediterranean.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Man and the moon

I found this sculpture in the 10th arrondissement at the beginning of rue du Faubourg Saint Denis, and since I did not really like the surroundings (too busy!),  I managed to find a little trick to help you concentrate on them: Cool effect isn't it?! FYI, the man on the left is called "The man who carried the moon" but I don't know what the sculpture of the woman is called (maybe "The woman who carried the Earth"?). Apparently ,the artist who made these sculptures is Turk and his name is Cem Sagbil.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And now the floods!

I don't know if we offended the gods or anything, but this year's weather really sucks. No only have we broken a cold record (the coldest December since 1969!), not only did we have snow like - almost - never, but on top of that, now the Seine is overflowing! I took this photo yesterday near Notre Dame, where the water even dragged a garbage can out of its normal location. Quite impressive. Even the Bateaux Mouches are currently stopped because there is not enough space under the bridges! The funny part is that I'm leaving today for Chamonix, a ski resort in the Alps. More snow for me!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snow remains

So I hear it's Northern America's turn now! I just saw a TV report about New York City in the snow and, well, the least I can say is that it's much worse than it was in Paris last week... And though there is still snow around here, for it's so cold that it does not melt. I took this photo in Montparnasse where they have a large Velib station. Needless to say that at the moment Parisians are a little reluctant to biking nowadays ;-)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Marché de noël

You think I took this photo in a ski resort in Switzerland or something? I did not! I took it on the lower part of the Champs Elysées where they have a huge Marché de noël (Christmas market). These markets originate from Germany (apparently at the beginning of the 15th century) and progressively "overflew" to the east of France. Now they are everywhere in France, including Paris. You find there typical Christmas stuff like decorations, food, candies... and gifts in general that are of lesser interest, for not very typical (mostly made in China gadgets!)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Party is over

So your head aches too? Well, no wonder after all this eating and drinking! I found this remain in the glass container down my apartment building, as I was heading to my gym. Moët & Chandon is actually one of my favorite Champagne brands ;-). But wait it's not over yet... I can see New year's eve coming and that means more food and more drinks. Why do we have to associate celebrations with stuffing ourselves?!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Joyeux noël everyone

I know, it's not very original, but, hey, when else could I use this photo?! I took it 2 days ago on the lower part of the Champs Elysées where they installed a cool merry-go-round for Parisian kids (tourist kids are welcome too ;-) I found this puffy face was a good way of celebrating Christmas. If only next year would be as smiley as this Santa... Anyway, when you read this I should be on my way back to Paris, ready to pack for some other adventures in the snow! I hope you had a nice, warm family day.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Shopping (Part deux!)

I had a long and tiresome day. Since I did not find anything 2 days ago at rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, I spent part of my day in the Galerie Lafayette area. Needless to say that the place was totally packed ;-) It serves me right, I should have hunted for gifts much sooner than that. Those who follow this blog for some time may have a Deja vu feeling though, as every year I post more or less the same lines ;-) Tonight (Friday) is Christmas Eve and if everything goes well (that is if my plane is not cancelled because of the snow!) I'll be in the South. But I'll have my computer with me, checking on you guys ;-)

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I went to the prestigious rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré today, where they have all these luxury stores hoping to find the last minute gifts I'm desperately seeking for. I did not find anything - way out of my budget! - but I found this cute little dog in the shop window of Lanvin. I did not have my proper camera with me so the quality of the photo is not too good (a little grainy), but good enough for you to have the spirit of the scene ;-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


No more snow in Paris now, traffic is back to usual, including motorbikes. I was in the 7th arrondissement this morning just by the Ecole Militaire and I took this shot which, of course, is less attractive than the snowy ones, but I like the graphics and the atmosphere. FYI there are more and more 2 wheeled vehicles in Paris and it's no longer legal to park on sidewalks - I got several tickets! Pretty soon I'm sure they will have us pay for the parking in the designated areas...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lost in the snow!

It was Monday yesterday and, as usual, I went to La Défense. I looked for photo opportunities as it had just stopped snowing and suddenly I saw this "lady in red" cross the snowy "field" between two paths. FYI, I took this photo from the office where I was, on the 33rd floor. Isn't IT cool?!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Week

It's Christmas week in Paris and people are not only looking for these very last gifts that they still haven't found yet (I'm sure you see exactly what I mean!) but also for the perfect dish to serve on Christmas eve or at lunch on the 25th. I'm a fish person personally so if I may send a personal message to the part of my family that is hosting me for Christmas this year, here is what I would love to have ;-) I took this photo at La halle aux poissons, 69 rue Castagnary, in the 15th arrondissement). A little far from the center, but definitely the largest and the best in Paris.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Yes, snow again...

Yes it snowed again over Paris today. And yes, it's a blessing for photographers! I'm sure you will love this photo, as much as I do. Only, I have to be honest and give credit to Stuart, the friend of mine who lives by the Eiffel Tower and actually took this photo. Enjoy! Maybe I should have more guests from time to time ;-)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Only in France...

About 2 weeks ago Quick - a French (ex Belgian) hamburger company - announced they were going to sell a foie gras hamburger between Dec 16th and Dec 19th. I happen to have a Quick restaurant in the street where I live, so I could not resist! Of course you don't need to eat it with a fork and a knife in a real plate ;-) BTW, if you're wondering where the foie gras is, enlarge the photo a little bit, you'll see bits of melted foie gras. Is it good? I thing so. But of course I'm biased: I'm French and I love foie gras!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Metro for sale...

It is so cold in Paris at the moment that I gave up using my scooter and... take the metro whenever I have to go somewhere far. That's what I did last night. When the train arrived I saw it was all covered in Christmas decorations. I  had never seen that before. Of course, it's not the RATP (the Paris Public Transport Authorities) that wish to celebrate Christmas with its customers, but a brand willing to attract our attention ;-) What brand? Well I'm sure you know it all. But to find out, click here, you'll have a broader view of the train and you'll see the name of the brand.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Train spotting?

Yesterday evening I had plans to go to the Raymond Depardon Exhibit at the Grande Bibliothèque (a famous French photographer among other things) for he was going to be there and it would have been interesting to see him. However, due to the low temperature we currently have in Paris,  I must confess I had - should I say it - cold feet! So instead of a very cultural/informative photo, here is the lovely grid I passed by every other day when I go to the gym ;-) Sorry, but I am no hero LOL!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A new snow disaster?

Funny how when something "bad" happens, people (I mean the French in particular!) like to blame it on someone. IE last week when the massive snowfalls disorganized the whole city, the people blamed it on the government, the government blamed it on the meteorologists and well, the meteorologists blamed it on someone else! So today, as there is a slight chance of snow, there has been warnings everywhere, inviting the people not to take their car, nor to even think of going out of their home! I'm ready to bet that nothing will happen though... I'm glad I got to use this photo that I took last week though, for I really like it!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hermès Ad

Don't go thinking this poster is a small image that I photographed closely. In fact it's a huge Hermès ad on a canvas made to hide a facade while they're doing work in the building behind it. When I saw it at rue du Général de Gaulle in Neuilly (a suburb just outside Paris) I could not help but stop and pull my trigger. Frankly, isn't this photo amazing?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hide and Seek

 I played a little hide and seek game with Miss Eiffel Tower yesterday ;-) As you can see the sun has returned, and we're not expecting snow before Thursday now. I took this photo from the right bank, at the Musée d'art moderne de Paris level. Enjoy the beginning of the week everyone. Remember: there are only a few days left before Christmas... Don't wait till the last minute to buy your presents!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Tree

Time to set up the Christmas tree! They are everywhere in Paris at the moment: in front of supermarkets, of florists and you can even order one on line, of course! The price varies according to the size of the tree, from 40 € for a 1 meter (30 inches) high tree to 150 € for a 3 meter (118 inches) high tree (which does not really fit an average Paris apartment!). Mine is... 0 meter high as I don't want to go through the hassle of undoing it after Christmas ;-) Not that it's messy, but simply sad... I took this photo at rue Cadet, a litlle street by my home, where there is a daily market.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's back!

I know this photo probably reminds you of one you saw last year and the year before and probably the year before! For yes, like every December the big Ferris wheel has returned to the Place de la Concorde. I must say I've found it hard to look for a new angle, so I chose to keep the Obelisk in the picture. Not extraordinary I agree, but good enough to feel the Christmas spirit ;-) As you can see, the snow is already gone (until next week it seems...).

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nativity Scene

The Christians believe that Jesus was born in a stable surrounded by a his parents (Joseph and Mary), a donkey, an ox and a few shepherds. It is generally called a Nativity scene and you find many everywhere in Christian countries like France . Here is one of them, that I found on the door of the Notre Dame de Lorette church. Really beautiful.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Paris is not Montreal, so when an exceptional amount of snow falls, the whole city is paralyzed. That is exactly what happened yesterday (Wednesday) after 5 hours of constant snowfalls that lead to a semi record: 11 cm (4,33 inches) and... almost 400 kilometers of traffic jams (250 miles)! I even had to leave my scooter at Le Web and take the metro back home. It was fun, but a lot of people are still stuck in their car as I am writing this caption. They say that now the snow could turn into ice during the night... This photo was taken on the Pont Alexandre III, as you may have recognized it.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Morning Snow

I don't know what's happening in Northern Europe at the moment, but we keep having cold waves and snowfalls! I took this photo in the morning near the Opera (at Boulevard des Capucines, more precisely), the ceiling was really low and the light could not really go through the clouds. At first I thought the garbage cans would not really look nice in the picture, but on a second thought I think they match the leave pretty well LOL! Today is the first day of Le Web, so I'll be pretty busy.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Like every week I took a little trip to La Défense, the main business district of Paris, and when I went out it was already dark and my eyes got attracted to the Agam Fountain (named after Yaacov Agam) again. With a little bit of the Grande Arche in the background the scene was really stunning. I recommend you enlarge the photo to feel the same I did (without the cold!)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Inside the Hotel Athénée

I don’t always get invited to big hotels like Le Royal Monceau... sometimes I also have the chance to see charming little hotels that are definitely worth the visit. Hence the Hotel Athénée, a 20 cosy room hotel in the Opera area, facing the backstage entrance of the Olympia Hall. The whole place was entirely redecorated by Jacques Garcia (who’s apparently a famous designer) and each room has an Opera theme (see more in this little Animoto). Really beautiful. My advice, if you want to have the best value for money... Book one of the rooms on the top floor: they are a little smaller but as nice as the other ones and less expensive.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Snow White?

There was more snow this morning (Saturday). It did not last very long but it was pretty strong. I found this little lady pretty cute so I could not help taking a photo of her. That's all, have nice Sunday everyone, I'll try to stay warm - and so should you! (of course the ones who live in the Southern hemisphere won't find it too hard ;-)

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Meet Denise!

Yesterday I had lunch at rue Lepic, with Grazia, an Italian friend of mine who lives in Paris and knows it like the back of her hand. When she asked "what's going to be you PDP photo today?" I replied. "Er... I don't know yet". She said "follow me I have the perfect idea for you..." Then she dragged me into Denise's A l'étoile d'or boutique, the chocolate lovers' den,  at rue Fontaine (a few feet away from the Moulin Rouge). Oh my! What a gas. Not only is Denise an extraordinary character, but on top of that she really knows what she's talking about when it comes to chocolate. You HAVE  to visit this place if you come to Paris. No wonder David Lebovitz (the Paris chocolate master, among other things) spotted her a long time ago already...

Friday, December 03, 2010

A must visit building

I may have found a more beautiful ceiling than the one of the Sistine Chapel in Rome! OK, I'm kidding, but it's really worth the look (besides I don't think it's in many Paris guidebooks...). It's located in the Paris Bourse du commerce (commodities market) that is located near Les Halles. It is built on the former wheat market and from what I read this glass ceiling is the only remain of this early building. The painted part is also stunning: it was made for the world exhibit of 1889 and it shows the history of commerce on the 4 continent. You HAVE to see this if you come to Paris.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The first snow (for real!)

It's very rare to have snow in Paris, but it' seven more rare to have snow in early December. And though I swear, I did take this photo today near the Gare de l'est at the rue de l'Acqueduc where there is this magnificent metal bridge that runs over the train tracks. I had to wait for the traffic to stop which was pretty painful, because of the cold LOL! The snow should stop tomorrow and the cold weather on Saturday. But I'm sure there will be plenty of other occasions to take snowy photos (I love Paris in the snow)...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

It's time!

1st of the month = theme day! The one of today is: Time. When I saw this, I immediately thought of a photo I took at the crossing of rue Lafayette and rue du Faubourg Montmartre where there is public clock. I looked on the web and found out that there are 101 public clocks like this one - or the same kind - in Paris, that is on average 5 per arrondissement (and that doe not include the ones in shop windows of course!). No excuse to be late... See the rest of the community to see if everyone thought of a clock when the heard about our community theme day...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Working late

Who said the French don't work long hours?! For even if it's true that the legal number of work hours per week amounts to 35, most people work much longer than that. Besides, to remain synchronized with the "the rest of the world", a lot of French companies agreed with their employees that they would continue to work 40 hours a week and would be granted 12 to 15 extra days of holidays as a compensation. Worldwide comparisons must then be made on a yearly basis, but I have been unable to find reliable figures... FYI, I took this photo last evening at La Défense.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Not far from the Eiffel Tower, there is a sort of business center called Cap 15, that companies can use for special events (including a nice terrace over the Seine and overlooking the Eiffel Tower. The building in itself is pretty tacky, but they recently installed these modern frescoes all around it, which gives it a pretty cool effect. If you want a personal detail, this is also the building where I did one of my first training periods, when I was a student... (well, at that time it was not a business center but very old offices that they actually demolished to build this one, that shows you how old I am LOL!).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Swedish moment

Don't ask me why - probably because the terribly cold wave we have in Paris at the moment comes from Northern Europe, I had lunch at the Paris Swedish Church where the Paris Swedish community had their annual Christmas market. Not surprisingly I had salmon, a few smoked reindeer slices, a bit of ginger bread and a glass of delicious "Glögg" (Mulled wine). On the way out I stepped inside the Church and admired its stunning Christ statue. Nice unusual moment - especially in Paris! (And yes, before you ask: ALL the furniture they have on site is Ikea made ;-))

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Of course in France Thanksgiving does not really mean anything, but I know I have a lot of American visitors on this blog. And since you guys are probably enjoying a nice family weekend I thought a nice turkey photo was appropriate for today... I took it during my own Thanksgiving celebration in Paris, that American friends of mine organized a few days ago. Always a fun moment. So let's see, what are you thankful for?!

Friday, November 26, 2010

My new friend!

I don't know if you remember this last year's photo, but it happened again this year... "it", is the Geek Party, an event where a bunch of high-tech people gather and show to "the rest of the world" what they created. I saw many interesting things again this year, and especially this guy, called Nao, a French robot made by Aldebaran Robotics. Nao is by far the cutest robot I've ever seen in my life and even though he's only able to do what programmers tell him to do, he is still very cute! Check for yourself in this little video...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

An inviting grave

Call me weird, but sometimes, when I want to take a little break from the rush, I take a walk in one of the many cemeteries that we have inside Paris. And for the first time in my life I visited the one of Montmartre, right at the bottom of the "Butte", near the Place de Clichy. A very interesting one, with many famous people. I took a few photos while I was walking without knowing exactly whose grave I was taking. It's only when I came back home that I discovered  that I had taken the tomb of a famous French actor who died recently: Jean-Claude Brialy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Palais Garnier in the light

You may think this is the normal lighting of the Opera, but it's not. They probably had a special night or something, when I passed by it a few days ago. The quality is not very good (it's really time I change my camera!) but... you get the picture! FYI, this the Palais Garnier, after the name of the architect who built it and it's a beautiful building both outside and inside (you can visit it daily from 10 am to 5 pm for 9 € and it's worth it...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The birds!

No, these birds did not dive on me like in The birds, the movie by Alfred Hitchcock, but I've found the scene pretty scary. I took this photo near the Châtelet, by the Tour Saint Jacques, that has recently been renewed (see this post and this post). You can also have a good look at the weather we're experiencing in Paris at the moment. Grey and cold - and even colder soon... I'm off to Lille today, in the north of France, it'll be even colder!

Monday, November 22, 2010

No to prostitution

I often  go to rue Doudeauville in the 18th arrondissement at the moment (that is where I shake my body on a Powerplate to keep in shape!!). It's not exactly the best neighborhood in Paris - it's not the worst either - and obviously they have to deal with prostitution problems. Apparently the best way inhabitants of this apartment building have found to protest is to hang this huge sign saying "no to prostitution!" (I once almost did the same to protest against noise coming from a restaurant beneath the place I used to live in). It reminded me of this sign. I really wonder if it's going to be any efficient...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Going around...

This may be hard for you to see, but if you look closely in the background of this photo, you will see the lights of a merry-go-round that I photographed at Place de l'hôtel de ville (town hall). This is one of the many free merry-go-rounds of our capital - there is one in almost all arrondissement. The water in the foreground belongs to a fountain that they have over there - not the rain! Have a soothing Sunday everyone.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cloudy Paris

So this is definitely November and it shows! The Eiffel Tower was in the clouds last evening when I returned from a meeting at Boulogne Billancourt (in the close suburbs of Paris). I took this photo from the lovely Passerelle Debilly that you may remember because of this love story... We're expecting more cloudy weather this weekend and a drastic drop in temperature next week!

Friday, November 19, 2010

First snow!

What? This is only mid November and it already snowed?! And no, I did not take this photo in Canada, but yesterday in Paris ;-) Explanation: for a conference, I had to go to Heavent, a trade show that is currently taking place at Porte de Versailles in the 15th arrondissement. This show is dedicated to events planning and all that revolves around this industry. There were lots of service providers that operate in this field, including a fake snow maker. Here you go LOL!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

French Cuisine at Unesco!

You probably noticed it if you came to France, food plays a really large role in our culture. Everyone knows how to cook - at least a little - and when you go to any restaurant you expect the food to be good! Of course things have changed (a lot of restaurants use ready made dishes now), but the demand for quality is still there. So I guess it's no that surprising that, as you may have heard, Unesco officials just declared “French cuisine” as part of the “intangible cultural heritage of humanity" (read more on the NYT)! It's probably a little far fetched, but it's good for our nation self esteem. And to illustrated this, here are some zucchini roulés. What's good, must also look good ;-)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pavillon de Flore

The light was really wonderful last evening (well around 4:30 pm), when I came back home - and so was the sky. You know me: I stopped right in the middle of the street and took a photo ;-) This is Le Pavillon de Flore by the way, it's part of the Le Louvre and it was before part of the Tuileries Palace (its construction began in 1595). Really beautiful.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Busy crossing

I don't know why, but I love this photo. Probably because it shows that Paris is not just an "open air museum" like I often hear, but also a "real" city with heavy traffic and busy streets - which also means traffic accidents (there were 44 deaths on the road in Paris in 2009...).  I took this photo at the crossing of rue de Rivoli and rue des Archives, right by one of the entrances of the BHV department store.

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Government

As of today France has a new government. Don't go thinking President Sarkozy resigned or anything, no, in France we have a weird system: the President is elected every 5 years, he then appoints a Prime Minister who appoints the other ministers. When things go a little shaky (like recently with the retirement law that put many people in the streets), the President calls for a new Prime Minister who then appoints new Ministers... This time though, the new Prime Minister remained the same as the old one (François Fillon), only the rest of the team got reshuffled (more on France 24). Are you still following? Anyway, it gives me the opportunity to use a photo that I took about a month ago while Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand (the nephew to François Mitterrand, the former French President) inaugurated le Studio 13/16, a place dedicated to Teenagers in the Beaubourg center. He happens to remain at the very same position in the new Government...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Culture on line...

Who said people prefer to surf the web than going to exhibitions or museums?! Look at this line. I took this photo on the back side of the Hotel de Ville (Town hall) where there is the entrance to an exhibition hall where they regularly have very good - and free! - exhibitions. The current one - and until the end of February - is dedicated to Andrée Putman, a very famous French designer who was born in 1925 and is still alive an well. Check her website if you want to find out more about her work.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Good deed!

This is probably not the nicest Paris photo you've ever seen here, but it's very Parisian! This, ladies and gentlemen is a Calendar (not as good as the PDP calendars of course ;-), but still!). And from whom did I buy it? From a Paris fireman that knocked at my door yesterday (Friday). It's the tradition here that before Christmas (and obviously much ahead of Christmas!) Firemen go from door to door and sell calendars to fund an association that helps firemen' family in need. I was happy to buy this calendar to support these courageous guys (and that includes going door to door selling calendars too!). That's all. We're still in the middle of a very long weekend here, and I enjoy it ;-)

Friday, November 12, 2010

A fun way to visit Paris

If you're looking for a different way of visiting the Paris covered passages, here is a fun thing to do. Every Saturday and Wednesday (and more often during holidays), you can help Jean-Jacques de La Tour, solve a cold murder case (very cold, as it took place in 1870 in Le Passage Jouffroy!). Along the way you come across witnesses and clues... All this is fake of course and the witnesses are all actors (like this "Gavroche" that I photographed in this photo) and part of the L'enigme des passages couverts visit. The fun part is that I came across this tour by sheer coincidence, as I was going back home.