Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stupid is cool!

It's a weird advertising campaign I came across today at the Palais Royal (well, Place Colette, to be more accurate). It promotes... Stupidity! Well apparently it's a little more subtle than that of course (according to what the messages say, stupid people take more risks than smart ones, which is seen as a positive thing). Intriguing and original. BTW, the clothes brand Diesel is behind all this (check this little video).

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Invalides Dome

I'm just back from a dinner at dear friend's who live in the 7th arrondissement. On the way to their home, I passed by the back of the Invalides and I noted these green statues just to the right of the dome. It's probably a monument dedicated to the WWI soldiers, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I could not help but taking a photo. I love this place at night.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Metro out of the metro!

Most of you may know the daily paper Metro for, according to its publisher, it is distributed in over 100 cities throughout the world. We have a French version in Paris, of course, and quite naturally you can find it every morning outside many metro (underground!) stations (that is where I took this photo). This is the Wednesday issue, the day new movies are out - that is why the cover story is about Up in the Air, the latest movie with George Clooney.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Ministry with a view

Yesterday morning (Wednesday) I attended a presentation of the new blog of Anne-Marie Idrac, the French Minister in charge of foreign trade at the Ministry of Finance, also referred to as "Bercy", because it is located in an area precisely called Bercy! It's a magnificent building, very modern and very impressive, on the edge of La Seine. The presentation took place on the 7th floor and you know me... While I was waiting for the Minister, I took my camera and started shooting! It's not every day that you get to overlook Paris from that part of town.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Inside Repetto

Do you remember this photo? I took it at Repetto a famous store at rue de la Paix, where they sell tutus and ballet stuff. This time I took the inside of the shop, where they have their ballet shoes (well so I suppose, as I'm not really ans expert and I took the photo from the outside). I really love the display. BTW if you're into classical music someone passed me a link today that is really fantastic. Check it, it's called and it allows you to see, live, concerts, operas and, I suppose... ballets.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Back to the rink!

I have a special guest from Ohio at home at the moment and last night... she absolutely wanted to "go to the ice rink located where the famous kiss photo by Doisneau was taken!" So we went. I did not really feel like skating, so I remained on the side of the rink to play paparazzi! I had a blast! My dear visitor is going back to the States tomorrow morning so I just wanted to give her a little tribute on PDP to thank her for coming. BTW, most of you also know the second skater in the photo...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thomas Jefferson in Paris

This statue of Thomas Jefferson has apparently been here (in front of the hotel de Salm, by the Seine banks) since 2006, but I only noticed it recently... It was made by French sculptor Jean Cardot’s and it shows him holding a quill pen in his right hand and a drawing of Monticello in his left one. The statue was donated to the city of Paris by the Florence Gould Foundation and art dealer Guy Wildenstein. Have a good week everyone. I should have more time for more photos this week...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rainy Paris

I went to the Galeries Lafayette Maison (the part of the Galeries that is dedicated to house stuff) and, like you can see, it was raining. On the way I passed by a hotel (I think the Hotel Ambassador) and I took this photo. Nothing extraordinary, just a casual Paris scene...

Friday, January 22, 2010

What can I say?!

For once, you won't have a proper photo today, but a big Merci instead! Believe me this has been a long day, as I am very busy at my office at the moment and as I also had to attend a business dinner tonight. That is why I did not yet manage to answer everyone on Facebook (I will...) and I will not even start here! I'm always amazed and touched by the number of people from all over the world who wish me well on January 21. Like I said many times here, it's because I feel I'm surrounded by lovely people that I continue this blog. So, don't stop! Next anniversary... in March, for the 5 years of PDP! Love you all.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Birthdays and anniversaries...

Today is January 21st and on top of it being my birthday (and a VERY important one !!) it's also the anniversary of the death of Louis the XVIth. He was guillotined around 10 am on January 21st 1793 on Place de La Révolution (Revolution Square) which was renamed Place de La Concorde in 1795 (read the whole story here). So guess where I went to take a photo last night?! It's not very good, but at least it's appropriate!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Holy Address!

Yes, this is graffiti, but it's not just any graffiti… I took this photo at 5bis rue de Verneuil in the 7th arrondissement which happens to be the former home of Serge Gainsbourg, a very famous French singer who died in March 1991. His fans contributed all of this graffiti (see this stunning video to watch the evolution over the past 5 years). Serge Gainsbourg was very talented, but he was also an alcoholic and alcohol, sometimes, made him say stupid things to say the least… A movie about his life is released today which is why he is in the news a lot.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ice Hockey in Paris

Every year they install an ice rink in front of the town hall (and in front of the Montparnasse station). I passed by it tonight hoping and noticed that they saved some of it for hockey players. Quite impressive I must say. Ice Hockey (le Hockey sur glace in French) seems to be pretty big in France, I had no idea...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Top of the Eiffel Tower

Few people know that on top of being one of the most visited monuments in France (about 7 million people on average, that is the 9th most visited monument in France) the Eiffel Tower also has a very practical usage: it's a huge transmission center. No less than 120 antennas are installed up there and most of the TV channels (and a few FM stations) broadcast from there. That is also at this level that the first telegraph transmission (with the Pantheon) was made in 1898...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Drink at Café Brébant

When you read this I'll probably be holding a baby over a Baptismal font or something, while eating some dragées (typical French candy you offer at christenings) and admiring the medal the Godmother and I have given to the baby! (See yesterday's post if you understand nothing to what I'm saying!). So let me show you a photo I took last week while I was having a drink with a fellow CDP blogger (Virginia from Birmingham DP - Alabama, not England) and a few other people like Peter (who also has a blog about Paris) at Café Brébant, a nice café near my home.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Air France office

Like I said previously it really was hard for me to readjust to the Paris time. Right now I could do with a quiet do nothing weekend in Paris, but I have to go down to Nice for a couple of days. I should not complain, as Nice will probably be warmer and sunnier than Paris and because I'm going there to attend the Christening of a little niece I'm going to be the Godfather of! By the way, this is the Air France office at les Invalides. It's located in the magnificent ex Gare des Invalides, built for the 1867 world exposition.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sunny morning

The past days (since my return from vacation) have been pretty hard. I have been extremely tired, it was dark and cold, and I really felt like hibernating! And this morning, when I woke up, the sun was shining. I then went through the Carrousel du Louvre (two 'r's in French to Carrousel!) like every morning and saw this. And "this" put a smile on my face that remained all day... "This" is the arch of the Carrousel, it was built in 1806 to commemorate Napoleon's military victories (more on Wikipedia). It's a beautiful monument and with this light it's even more beautiful. did you notice the Ferris wheel in the back?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The last flakes?

Here you go! I took this photo this morning on my way to work (well I made a little detour because I knew I had good chances of taking a blockbuster shot!) while the snow had not yet melted. You may have recognized the Luxembourg Gardens with its little kiosk on the left, the Senate at the very back and its big trees. The garden is actually private(!), but open to the public - for it belongs to the Senate, which is in charge of its maintenance. It was "built" (or for? I'm not sure) by Marie de Medicis between 1614 et 1631. More here (French) and here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Marchand de couleurs

In French we call Hardware dealers (ironmongers) Marchand de couleurs (color dealers). It does not really mean anything, but we know that in this particular case color does not really mean color but nails, washers and screws... Today though, I passed by a store called Marchand de couleur, that really deals colors! It's located at rue du Maine, near Montparnasse and what they have in their window is obviously really colorful. I could not help but stopping and taking a photo. Too bad they don't seem to have a website.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rising stars

I do not like the post Christmas/New year period for all the excitement seems to vanish all of a sudden. This is mostly due to the Christmas decorations being taken down from the streets (they removed the ones of the Champs Elysées 2 days ago...). So before they take ALL the Christmas lights down, let me post a last photo that I took at rue de Rennes, in the 6th rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré in the 8th arrondissement. Remember my favorite quote by Oscar Wilde? "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars..."

Monday, January 11, 2010

The new Buren columns

If you came to Paris you've probably seen the Colonnes de Buren, a piece of art made of several columns located in le Palais Royal. Whatever one may think about these columns (they were - and still are - pretty controversial when they were erected in the first place in 1986) they needed to be redone (as I already mentioned here). And here they are. Brand new! To be honest I did not notice much difference, but there must be one!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Classic Sunday pic!

I had to get up at 6 am on a Saturday morning just to take this photo for you! No I did not... I'm kidding. In fact I took it much later, but it was still grayish/blueish and covered, so they left the street lamps on. There is not much to say about it: it's Paris, it's La Pyramide du Louvre and yes, it's beautiful (and for once empty!). Have agreat Sunday everyone, I still find it hard to recover from the Jet-lag on my end (but I know I mustn't complain!).

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Crawling in the Metro

I know you're going to say "can this guy take photos from anywhere else than on the floor?!" Well, you're right... Only this time I was in the Metro (because of the really cold weather today that prevented me from riding my scooter). And believe me, the people around me were really wondering if I was a lunatic or a terrorist! I actually happen to like the result pretty much, but I am unable to tell you why - probably the light. Anyway, I'm glad to me home by the heater right now...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Paris in the snow

It did not snow much inside Paris today, but enough to cover the streets (here le Boulevard des Italiens, right were the Olympia hall is) and make them slippery. It's funny to hear people talk about this bad weather as if it was exceptional. In fact, it's pretty common at this time of the year; I looked at last year's January 8th PDP photo and saw this... (not to mention the one of January 11th...). FYI, according to the site, there are on average only 15 snowy days per year in Paris (60 in NYC!) so it's easy to cope with them.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Paris on ice?

I'll be honest, I don't know exactly what this is, but when I came back home today on my scooter, I was freezing so much that I immediately thought of ice "cubes" when I saw this. "This", precisely belongs to a tarpaulin that hides a facade while they're working on it in l'Avenue de l'Opéra. The weather is getting colder and colder and it is very likely we will have snow tomorrow (like most of Northern Europe - and the UK in particular!) apparently . I'll save some time to take photos for you ;-) BTW. Someone had the idea of creating a birthday page on Facebook (no, not for PDP yet...) for the author of this blog...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


It's always a pleasure to come back to Paris after some time, even when it's freezing! I passed by the Pantheon this morning and the Christmas trees were still standing in front of it. The weather was so gray, I decided to turn the scene into a typical black and white photo. For the records this monument shelters the tombs of the French National Heroes but was originally built to be a church (read the whole history here). It's a fascinating place to visit if you come to Paris.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Even statues have to wear a scarf!

That's it, after a few days in cold Boston, here is time for me to go back to... cold Paris! When you read this I'll hopefully be flying towards my beautiful city, ready to start a new round of Paris photos. I did not have much time to read all your comments these past days (that is also what vacations are about, aren't they?!) but I'll catch up tomorrow... Again, a happy new year for everyone. We want a booming economy in 2010, no depressions!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Movie business!

Paris is a heaven for cinema lovers. Not only are there 95 theaters within Paris, but on top of that they don’t all show the latest blockbuster (you can see a lot of old good movies too). Moreover you can see most movies in their original language (version originale). There are 2 main networks (UGC and Gaumont) plus smaller ones like this one (Pathé) or MK2 and many independent theaters (visit Allocine to know more). A movie ticket costs about 10 €, but you can have cheaper deals if you buy a card or subscribe to a year plan that allows you to go as often as you want for 20 € a month (that's what I have). Despite piracy and VOD, the movie theater business is still doing pretty well : it increased by 4% this year (almost 200 million tickets sold).

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Guaranteed Good Food

I took this photo at Le café de l'Epoque, a typical Paris restaurant in the 1st arrondissement. I took it because of what a friend of mine told me once: “food is always good in restaurants where they have Vichy table clothes and lace at the window”! I don’t think this advice works all the time, but it surely shows that the place is very traditional and that it should have an influence on the food they serve. In this particular case it worked!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Metro Umbrella

If you come to Paris in winter, you may purchase one of those umbrellas, after all not only will they protect you from the rain, but also guide you in the Paris Metro ! There are 14 lines in Paris (plus too diversions). The first one was built in 1900 for the world exhibition, and the last one in 1998) - More on Wikipedia. The network never ceases to grow (they are still extending existing lines, especially towards the suburbs) but it’s never enough. Some lines – like line 13) is actually saturated and in the morning you often have to wait 2 or 3 trains before getting on board. Well, so I’m told, as I’m really allergic to the metro and try to stay away from it as much as possible!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Attitude change

Before I left for my vacations I thought today was going to be "the best photo of the year theme day", just like last year. But... I discovered only after my departure that it had been postponed to January 15th and that, instead, today's theme day would be "changes" (click here to view thumbnails for all participants). So let me show you a change... in attitude. The French are now more conscious than before of the damage caused by drinking and driving. And in case they would forget, the government  has a few messages for them. Hence this campaign that goes "For the holidays, the best gift is to come home alive" which I think is pretty effective. I know it's not a very festive photo for the first day of the year, but it's at least an optimistic message! Happy new year everyone, don't forget that this year PDP will turn 5.