Sunday, February 28, 2010

Climate change?

According to the data, this winter has been colder than the average (have a look at this excellent site to have a better picture) and people - including me! - are really  longing for some warmer weather (mind you at this very moment, I'm not, but that is just because I'm on vacation in the Southern hemisphere!). Usually towards the end of February we have nice rays of sun, and birds start feeling spring coming up... These don't because they're fake! I photographed them on the Quai (the river banks) where they have a flower and animal  market).

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Here is a nice Graffiti I found on rue Clavel. I know nothing about it, I haven't been able to find anything about it on the web... But I like it. In this street there is also a theater called le Theâtre Clavel, of course!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Meulière House

Here is a type of house that is pretty common in the Paris area (more in the suburbs than inside Paris in general, for there are mostly apartment buildings in Paris and few houses). It's called a Maison Meulière (Meulière house) after the type of rock that was used to build them. I photographed this one in the 15th arrondissement, avenue Félix Faure. It is actually a foundation, created by Maria Chauvière (the mother of Claude Chauvière who became the personal secretary of Colette) and who dedicated it to children. It is now a child day care center.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Saint Jean-Baptiste de Belleville

Few tourists go off the beaten track, that is outside the very center of Paris (within the first 9th arrondissements let's say). And though there are treasures to see further away from the center. Hence this superb church located on rue de Belleville (number 139) - precisely called Saint Jean-Baptiste de Belleville - which is one of the first neo-Gothic churches in Paris. It was built between 1854 and 1859 and was conceived by Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus. If you want to see and visit it you just need to go to Metro station Jourdain.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ice rink closing soon

Hurry, hurry! There are only 10 more days before you can enjoy a nice ice skating in front of the Hotel de Ville. The ice rink will close on March 6 and, as usual it's been a big success. I love the way this lady keeps her handbag no matter what... Like, she did not know she was going to ice skate on that day - Well, maybe she got dragged into it, like some people recently!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Léon Blum

Léon Blum was a French Politician who was born in 1872 and died in 1950. He is famous for taking part in a government called Le Front Populaire (Popular Front, that is a coalition of left parties) in 1936 and 37. That is when - among other measures - payed vacations (2 weeks per year), a work week of 40 hours (instead of 48) and the right to strike were enacted. Léon Blum was also Jewish, and for a Catholic country like France, having a Jewish Prime Minister (well Président du Conseil, was the exact term) was really a small revolution! I photographed this statue at Place Léon Blum, in front of the 11th arrondissement Town hall.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Anti Graffiti Humor

I love that kind of humor! This poster says "I would rather have a blank wall than this crappy poster!" which is totally absurd, of course. I found it, at the very end of Le Marais, in a small passage called  le Passage du Pont au biches (deer bridge passage) where, believe me, it's been a very long time since the last deer went through it!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Monumenta 2010

I took this photo at the Monumenta 2010 exhibit at Le Grand Palais. Each year Monumenta hosts the work of an artist. This year it is - well was, as the exhibit closes tonight - Christian Boltanski who covered the floor of Le Grand Palais with old garments and clothes... That's not all, he also built a mountain with them (that is what you can see in this photo) and added moaning loudspeakers at every corner. I'll be honest, even though I generally love modern art work, I really haven't been touched by this one. But a lot of people have - well so some bloggers say. Anyway, like I said, today is the last day, so if you want to find out for yourself and if you're in Paris, well... pay it a visit.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ecole Estienne

There are several prestigious schools in Paris, especially in the art industry. You may know the Beaux Arts, for instance, that I already mentioned in this post, but I never told you about another one, also prestigious called l'Ecole Estienne (aka L’École supérieure des arts et industries graphiques). It was founded in 1889 and is dedicated to the "written arts" (fonts, binding, engraving...) and now to more "modern" techniques such as animation, movies, communication techniques and digital arts. It belongs to the city of Paris and it is located in the 13th arrondissement.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Chinese New Year

This year in Paris the Chinese New Year celebrations have been taking place since February 14 and they will end on the 21st in the 13th arrondissement, which is where you will find the largest Chinese (but not only Chinese - people from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) communities. There are fours parades in total (in the 3rd, the 20th, the 13th and, for the first time this year the 17th arrondissement). May crackers and dragons scare away the bad economy and happy new year to my Chinese visitors (actually Blogger is blocked by the "Great Firewall" in mainland China, so, I don't have many visitors from that part of the world...).

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Paris, the city where even the sewers maintenance service have a cute little house! I found it at Place du Guignier in the 20the arrondissement and I could not resist. I read on this excellent site called "Paris Cool" that it would be for sale, but I doubt it. According to this site, you can find a large vaulted room underneath. Note the Paris coat of arms under the Service des égoutes sign: a boat with a latin motto "fluctuat nec mergitur" (floats and never sinks!).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cold, cold, cold!

It is too cold in Paris, I HAD to go away! When you read this I'll be in a warm country in the Southern Hemisphere so I don't have to worry too much about the cold in Paris! Lucky? Yes, for sure, but I did not take that much vacation this year (only 2 weeks in summer and one at Christmas!) so I deserve a little break in the sun ;-) BTW, this is a view of Le Canal Saint Martin and this photo has been taken by a co-worker with her brand new iPhone, she's so proud of!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardis Gras

I did not know until I had to check it on Wikipedia for this post, that Carnivals have a religious origin - and more precisely, Catholic. They celebrate the end of Lent (and conveniently take place in winter when there is nothing to do in the fields!). Anyway, in Paris, we stopped observing Lent a long time ago(!) and therefore "Carnavaling" too! However, some people remain nostalgic for this festive time and they are trying to (re)relaunch one in Paris. I went to the latest one that took place on February 14 between Place Gambetta and Hôtel de Ville. It was cute. Small, but cute. We still have a long way to to beat Rio or Venice!

Monday, February 15, 2010

An evening at Versailles

Photo blogging about Paris has got a few advantages. One is to get to receive nice words from people from all over the world (!), another is to be invited to special events. Hence the private visit of the Versailles castle Saturday evening thanks to the wonderful team of Flickr France who currently sponsors a photo exhibit called "Versailles Photographié - 1850-2010" (see some examples in the making of and a little Animoto too). Wonderful exhibit (see the flickr page, especially made for the occasion), followed by a walk through the various corridors. I'll never get bored with such a scenery even tough, this is actually the second time I have the chance of attending an event in Versailles:  last time was for a Charity in 1994 where Lady Di was the guest of honor! (Me, bragging?!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's day

Well, this year, I have no Baiser de Beaubourg like last year, but a cute little sign that I found in the shopping mall of Le Palais des Congrés at La Porte Maillot, where I rarely go. They had two of them, and people could write on them whatever they wanted (note that a lot of messages are in English, because this area is full of tourists who come to Paris for business). Let me add my own personal message: happy Valentine day dear PDP visitors...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Puppets Show!

A lot of big public gardens in France have a Puppets show. No miss Piggy, nor Kermit in there, but Guignol, a on Wikipedia)! Almost all French kids have attended a Guignol show at least once in their life ;-) One of the main Guignol Theater in Paris is located in the Luxembourg Gardens. And don't go thinking that there is no performance during winter... The theater is heated and there are performances on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays (more - in French - here).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Love PDP!

I know it's a little tacky, but I could not resist! After all it's Friday, and the news is not too good in Europe (the Euro is dropping and the employement predictions for France in 2010 is as low as in 2003...), so we can do with something light. As for me, I will be going on vacation for 2 weeks starting Monday, and I don't think I'll see much snow where I'm going! But as usual, the "PDP service" won't stop, there will still be a photo for you every day here!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

More snow...

I know the snow we have currently in Paris is nothing like the one that is currently falling in Washington DC (I just saw the images on the news...), but for Paris it's quite unusual. So yes, it snowed again today and despite the terrible cold I handed out my camera and pulled the trigger with my frozen finger! This is "La Nuit" a statue by Charles Alphonse Achille Gumery, located in the Robert Cavelier-de-la-Salle gardens, right next to the Luxembourg gardens.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

La Samaritaine: work in progress

You may know of La Samaritaine, the large department store founded in 1869 by Ernest Cognacq and Marie-Louise Jaÿ located near the Pont Neuf... (I already posted twice about it). It's currently closed while it is being turned into a hotel, offices, stores, etc. Before it's done (2013), they installed a huge painted wall around it. On this wall you can read about the history of the store and see a few photos and ads from when La Samaritaine was the place to shop at. If you're not currently in Paris and have no way of learning about this Paris monument, well, you can always check Wikipedia!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Open air toilets

I know it may not be the best taste graffiti I ever published here, but it's undoubtedly the funniest (that is, providing you noticed the drain pipe on the right!). To be honest I did not find it myself, but noticed it first on the excellent blog I love Paris then went to La rue du Colisée in the 8th arrondissement. If you're a true PDP reader, you will probably have noticed that the author of this graffiti is is Miguel Donvez, aka "Mimi the clown", whom I already featured in this post. You can also check his website.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Alice in wonderprintemps...

It's been a while since I've shown you the windows of Le Printemps... I passed by this department store Saturday and saw that they dedicated their windows to Alice (Alice in Wonderland of course). All this in association with Disney who produced this new version of Alice made by Tim Burton ( I can't wait!). A lot of designers and clothes manufacturers participated in the event and the windows are really cool. Check the other ones directly on the Printemps' site and the movie trailer in French.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Guitar Player in the Metro

I happened to find myself at the Champs Elysées Clémenceau Metro station last evening and I came across a pretty unusual scene. The Paris transport authorities (RATP) had invited 5 musicians (I could only photograph 4 of these musicians, see them on the making of) to perform in the station just before their "real" performance at the Grand Palais (see more here), right outside the metro station. Interesting, and pretty unexpected I must say...

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The home of the homeless?

I think it takes much more than an exhibition to eradicate the homeless issue, but this morning, when I heard about the photo exhibit that the NGO Médecins du monde (doctors of the world) had just installed at Place de la Bastille, I felt like checking it. It takes place in the little glass house you can see in the background in this photo and it gathers several photos by Olivier Jobard that depict the life of immigrants who come to Europe and don't manage to live anywhere else than in the street. It's not exactly the merriest exhibition in Paris at the moment, but it's worth the look. More on the website.

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Grand Rex is more than

I already showed you Le Grand Rex, a famous movie theater located on the Grands Boulevards in the 2nd arrondissement. Well, since last November it has changed a great deal as they added a huge digital wall on its facade, kinda like a small Time Square in New York. Very impressive and very unique for Paris, it's definitely worth the look. It's also much more than a movie theater... Last evening the famous Pr. Muhammad Yunus, the famous economist from Bangladesh who developed the concept of microcredit made an appearance there. I wish I had seen him.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Pont Alexandre III

It's a classic, but I'll never be bored with it... It's the Alexander 3rd bridge, a bridge that was built between 1896 and 1900. Tsar Alexander II of Russia (the son of Tsar Alexander III to which it was dedicated) laid the foundation stone in October 1896. It was inaugurated, like many other structures nearby, in 1900 for the World’s Fair. I had dinner on the left bank tonight and I took this photo on my way back home (to the right bank!), about 30 minutes ago.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

La République

This is "La République", the statue that symbolizes the French republic which is, quite logically, located at Place de la République! It was built between 1880 et 1883 after the work of two brothers: Léopold and Charles Morice. The red "scarf" does not belong to the original work! It's made of plastic and was probably put there by a bunch of demonstrators (this location is very often used by protesters) just before I took this photo (on Sunday). I found it funny (the blue sky is real, but it's long time gone now!).

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Paris Blizzard!

No, I did not take this photo in Montreal last weekend, but from my office in Paris this morning! It' was really impressive, even though it did not last very long (about 15 minutes). That's it, nothing much else to say... I just love it!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Bubble Wood

Today is the first of the month and therefore it is a theme day... I  found out that the theme was "Wood". In Paris we have two woods (the Bois de Boulogne on the west side and the Bois the Vincennes on the East side) but I did not really feel like photographing a forest! Instead I chose to show you a "concept store" as we call it in "French", incidentally called Bubble Wood. I know it's a little lot far fetched but I like the photo... If you want to know more (providing you understand what you'll see!) check their stunning web site. Also check what the other City Daily Photo bloggers have come up with for today's theme day.