Monday, December 31, 2012

Farewell 2012...

Each day in the French calendar refers to a Catholic saint (saint Eric is on May 18th for example!) and today is also known for being La Saint Sylvestre. Of course Dec. 31st is more famous for being the last day of the year, the day we celebrate the coming year. I thought a peaceful photo would be suitable... So here you go everyone, let me wish you a great year, wherever you are in the world. See you in 2013! FYI, the top of the tower with the cross in the background of this photo belongs to La Sainte Chapelle, on the the Ile de la Cité.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Spring in December...

If it weren't for the bare trees you could easily think I took this photo last spring, couldn't you? The sky is stunning, the chairs are out, and so are the lovers! Well, I did  take it yesterday (Saturday) at the Tuileries gardens, while I was taking advantage of this stunningly mild weather we have at the moment (15+°C/60°F). I know it's not going to last, but what a nice way of closing the year. In case you're wondering, what's written on the wall is part of a piece of art by American artist Lawrence Weiner

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas is over!

After Christmas, each year, I generally show you a dead Christmas tree that someone left in the street for the garbage people to collect. This year, I've found something different as a proof that Christmas is over: a broken Christmas tree ball! I know it's silly ;-) But when I saw it, I immediately thought it could make a cool photo and, well, I think it does (haven't I been very self-satisfied these past two days?!). I also got scolded by a taxi who probably thought "gee, these silly tourists, they really photograph the most stupid things!"

Friday, December 28, 2012

Still there (just checking!)

I had a meeting in the North of Paris yesterday and on the way back I passed by... Le Moulin Rouge. I photographed it several times here, so I looked for a new angle! And where there is a will there is away... I waited for the traffic to stop (which is not that obvious at this location, believe me!) and made an extensive use of "my" perspective! I'm kinda proud of the result I must say! I think I even deserve a little song ;-)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bye-bye Santa!

I'm just back from a very traditional Christmas with one part of my family and well, even though it's always exhausting (food, food and more food!), it's always a pleasure to take some time of with people who are dear to you. Now is the time to go back to reality! I hope you had a good time too and that Santa (le père-noël !) was good to you ;-). Here is a photo I took in Montmartre where they have a Christmas market. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Monkey chocolate business

Art can find its way everywhere, can't it? Like in chocolate for example... Hence the stunning sculptures that Patrick Roger, one of the finest chocolatiers (chocolate maker) in Paris can do. One of his stores is located at Place de la Madeleine, and that is where I took this photo. This chimp is entirely made of chocolate as you can imagine, and he was not the only one in the store. Huge success! Now I need to taste what I bought there!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Nativity Scene

I bet the title of this post probably surprises you, and though this is... a nativity scene that I photographed at the Madeleine Church. And before you think this is crazy or even Blasphemy, think twice: it was created by artist Gaetan Duthu and scenographer Pierre Bourgois who imagined what it would be like if the Christ would be born today. Television networks would certainly play a large role, wouldn't they? I personally love it. More photos here.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Last minute shopping

Today in Paris, probably like in all Christian tradition countries, was a real nightmare. The streets were packed, the traffic was terrible and the stores were buzzing with extremely anxious people desperate to find a last minute gift for their family reunion of tomorrow and the 25th! I was one of them... But on top of that I had to take a few shots of Paris LOL! Here is one I took in a passage I visited near the  Madeleine called Cité Berryer. I wish you all a very good Christmas - a little in advance, I know, but for once that I'm early LOL!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Brunch by the Seine

This is a Peugeot 203, a car that was produced by French car manufacturer Peugeot between 1948 and 1960 and which sold like hot cakes (well for that time). I found it on the part of the right Seine banks that the  Paris town hall totally renewed last summer (not far from where I took this photo), offering new spots to pass by and... to park péniches. The one you can see in the background is called  Le Marcounet and it is a restaurant. They have a "musical" brunch on Sunday mornings apparently, which looks pretty tempting ! Enjoy your Sunday, everyone...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Face to face

I found this portrait at Boulevard Richard Lenoir and not only do I like the image itself, but also the whole scene (the white bars belong to Apub, a store - I found out later! - specialized in streamers, banners and all kind of placards). Not the kind of places where I'll find my last Christmas gifts LOL!  Have a great weekend everyone, I know you'll probably be busy...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Living in a fantasy...

I knew it, this whole end of the world thing was just a tale... To celebrate, here is precisely something that comes straight away from a fairy tale: Cinderella's horse carriage! Don't look for the horses though, they did not have enough room... "They" are the Galeries Lafayette people, where there have this on display right at the entrance! Huge success.  Are you all set with your Christmas shopping BTW? Cause I'm not! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A view on the Arch...

In December you generally have lots of company parties or so called "end of the year" celebrations. I went to one of those parties yesterday evening, the one of the Internet Manager club, the only French club I belong to! It took place avenue Mac-Mahon, one of the large avenues that go around the Arc de Triomphe. I could not help but taking a photo of course... Notice the ray of light, I think it belongs to the Eiffel Tower even though it's pretty far.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Avenue Gabriel

Could that look more Parisian to you?!The Avenue Gabriel is one of the most prestigious streets in Paris (it's a parallel street to the Champs Elysées and it takes you to, precisely, l'Elysée, the house of the President of the French Republic!) and it was named after Ange-Jacques Gabriel, the architect that created the Place de la Concorde. The street plaque is also very typical of Paris; all of them are provided by the Paris town hall and they are made of enamel on a metal sheet. The street numbers are also made of the same material but they are only provided once by the Paris town hall (when a new building is erected). After they have to be provided by the building manager, which explains why some of them are different.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Watching the world go by...

You're not going to learn a lot about Paris through this photo, but let's say it's a little change from the usual Eiffel tower LOL! I took it Sunday, at rue de Rivoli during a demonstration. This guy was watching the crowd go by from a traffic light control cabinet on which he had managed to climb. To be frank this photo was not that easy to take because of the light coming from the sky. I probably should have used my flash but I did not have enough time to set it. I like the result though and I hope you do too.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Artist squat

Here is a place I've been willing to tell you about for a very long time. It's an artist squat called Le 59 rue de Rivoli (for it's precisely located at rue de Rivoli), where you can find about 30 artists on 6 floors. The history of the building is interesting, as prior to becoming this very artsy place, it used to belong to a bank. In 1999 three artists decided to invade the place and managed to fight long enough to turn it into a legal workshop for artists. Anyone can visit it everyday, except Mondays, and, of course, buy art from them. As you can see the whole place is totally decorated - even the facade is... My photo shows the staircase from the top floor, but I recommend you pay a visit to their site, to see more of it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Music at the opera...

I'm sure you understand why the title of this post is "Music at the opera" and not "opera music"!  For yes, the monument in the background is for sure the famous Opéra Garnier, that is the opera house that was built by Charles Garnier between 1861 and 1875, but the band in front is Les Plaies Mobiles, a horn band that plays in front of several Paris monuments from time to time. I love them!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Santa Lucia concert (Swedish church)

There are about 10 million Swedes in the world. Some of them are in France and in Paris in particular where you can find many things Swedish, like the wonderful Swedish Institute in Le Marais or... the Swedish church at rue Médéric, (Svenska kyrkan) where I happen to have attended a Christmas concert 2 days ago. It was really stunning, even though I did not understand a word of what they were singing! Of course I could not help but shooting like crazy. See for yourself (and enjoy the soundtrack!)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Santa's motorized helpers ;-)

Thanks for you kind support messages. FYI,  my computer is still a mess, but at least I managed to make it start! Woohoo! I also took a break from it for a couple of hours to attend a concert that I will tell you about later... On the way back I came across a weird motorcycle parade called the "Carabalade" (I eventually found out the name after I discussed with one of the participants). Purpose? Drive through Paris from Bercy to the Eiffel tower on a motorbike, dressed up like Santa Claus, and bring as many toys as possible to go to  the orphans of firemen lost in the course of their duties. Very giving and very impressive too, as there were hundreds of  them!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Color festival!

On top of my blue mood, I now have big computer problems... Therefore I'm unable to access my photos ! Fortunately I have a couple spare ones on Blogger that I keep for "emergency cases". I guess tonight is the perfect moment to use one of them. I took this one (in the 11th if I remember well), because of the color mix:  the bike to start with and the Oxfam store in the background. Sorry, lot much more to say, but like I said it's a spare photo, I hope tomorrow I'll have fix my computer problem ;-(

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Red nose not to feel blue!

Sometimes even the most cheerful people feel a little down. I going through that phase at the moment and when I saw this statue in front of La Maison des métallos, it made me think of me! The red nose "they" put on this statue probably comes from Hors-piste, an event that involves comedians from Le Rire Médecin, an association that sends clowns to hospitals to entertain sick kids. Maybe I should do this!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Morning game of shadows

There is very little light in Paris at the moment, due to the season ;-(( But when there is, it can be beautiful. Like the one I grabbed this morning on this very interesting bridge at rue Lafayette (the part that is located in the 10th, not near the famous Galeries). I was on my way to a meeting, running late, but could not help but stopping 30 seconds to shoot! I have shots with and without people, but I finally chose one with. Tomorrow will be even colder than today, but I have to go to another meeting, so... maybe I'll get lucky twice with the light ;-)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Scandal at Place du Tertre!

You remember my Montmartre sunset photo 2 days ago? Well the real reason why I was initially there, was to see for myself what is becoming a true scandal around Montmartre: Starbucks is going to open a coffee place at Place du Tertre! Yes, people, you heard it right, Star-bucks! Needless to say that an online petition has been created, that an association (Paris Fierté - Paris Pride?!) has already organized several anti Starbucks demonstrations, and that several articles have already been written to warn us from the American coffee invasion ;-) It is very unlikely that all this will prevent Starbucks to land on Place du Tertre though...  Besides, technically it's not right on the Place du Tertre, but just around the corner, at the very opposite angle from where I took this photo). 

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Classy entrance

Not all architecture is made of traditional Haussmannian buildings in Paris! A couple of days ago, I went to a company party at rue Marbeuf, off Les Champs Elysées and on the way out I saw this building entrance which I thought was going to make a good photo ;-) I checked afterwards and it turns out this building shelters the offices of Ogilvy & Mather France, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. So no wonder, it looks good!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Steel sunset!

Sometimes you're just plain lucky! Yesterday (Friday), I had to pick up some video files in the 18th arrondissement. I started copying them, then realized it was going to take much more time than expected. So I went out for a while to see if there was a photo opp' in the neighborhood. I ended up on the top of Montmartre, just when the sun was going down on the Eiffel Tower and I took advantage of it to make a little time laps. You will see it one day (hopefully!), but in the meantime here is one of the shots... Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Life on Mars...

I called this photo "Life on Mars", because it made me think of a constellation, but of course, as you can imagine, this is part of the Christmas lights that there are in Paris at the moment. At the Rond point des Champs Elysées, more precisely. I don't like it too much, except for the little shadows of the the passers by... Anyway, breaking news: there is a snow warning for tomorrow, so who knows, there might be some interesting shots to take!

Thursday, December 06, 2012


I already told you about my friend Silvia who gave up a secure career in the corporate world to become what she really felt like: being a comedian. Well, last evening I went to the premiere of her first one woman show at the Théâtre Bô Saint Martinwhich was a real success. I was lucky enough to share the very last moments before she got on stage and since I had my camera, I took a few shots! Here is one of them, that I particularly like. Sorry if it's a bit of a personal post, but I really admire her for pursuing her dreams. Besides it IS a Paris photo!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Christmas animations...

Christmas is everywhere in Paris already... Including on the Champs Elysées (I'm sure you recognized the Arc de Triumph on the right ;-), where I found this animation by perfume maker Guerlain (the oldest French parfumeur which belongs since 1994 to LVMH).  Cute, even though it's very inspired by their latest commercial for "La Petite Robe noir", one of their latest perfumes. Precisely, there is a big controversy (one more!) about Christmas decorations in stores; a lot of people don't like it that a lot of animations no longer are made for kids with no other intentions than to please them, but giant 3D commercials for various brands.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Palais du Louvre

I spent the whole day at "Nikon's school France" to learn how to finally master my D7000(!) and I discovered a whole new world. Unfortunately it was too dark when I went out to put everything I learned in practice! So in the meantime, here is a shot I took last weekend, after I noticed the beautiful light on the Palais du Louvre. You probably all heard about the Palais du Louvre, which was once a royal  residence, until Louis the XVIth decided to move to Versailles in 1682. Part of it was detroyed, what was in it was stolen, but some of it is still standing and shelters now what you all know as the Musée du Louvre. Read more about it if you have the time, it's fascinating... 

Monday, December 03, 2012

Classic Paris view

The weather is pretty cold at the moment, but very clear and dry so I took advantage of it to take this very classic view of the river banks of Paris. I also used a long pause so that the car lights on the right would show like a light ribbon. Nothing to add, it's an easy photo, but still really nice ;-)

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Ready for a book signing!

Who says you have to be French to make a good pâtissier (pastry chef)? But you may have to come to France at some stage! That's what David Lebovitz did in 2004 after he worked and learned his art in the US (California in particular). Yesterday (Saturday) he had a book signing for the release of his latest opus (Ready for Dessert) and I can tell you this guy is a rock star! People where lining up to get their precious signed copy and I have no doubt it's well deserved. The event took place at La cuisine Paris, a cooking school where all classes take place in English. I did not know about it, but I'm sure I'll be back ;-) Bon appétit everyone!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

My street!

1st of the month, it must be a theme day within the CityDailyPhoto bloggers' community! Well, yes, it is... And the theme of the month is "My street". Well, I live in a covered passage (le passage Verdeau), which is not not exactly a street, but almost! Since they put Christmas decoration in it since the end of November I'm happy to show it... As you can see there are several stores on both side, most of them being either art galleries or antiques shops and restaurants (including the brand new Stube, a German restaurant that opened a month ago and of which you can see the red tables on the right. That's it... you know everything about my street, now is the time to check out the other ones!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Where there is smoke...

Where there is smoke there is often fire, but most certainly heat! Precisely, don't go thinking this is some kind of winter mist that I managed to photograph early in the morning! This smoke comes from the earth! It's what is called geothermal energy, that is heat that comes naturally from the "dogger" layer, about 1,800 meters from below the ground. In Paris several buildings use this "free" energy and more and more are equipped every year. I found this "spring" in the 5th arrondissement  at rue Saint Jacques, just behind the Saint Severin church.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Purple rain

OK there is nothing really purple in the photo, but it makes a good title! There is nothing really captivating  about this photo either, and though I really love it. I took it last evening near Les Halles (you can see a tiny bit of the Beaubourg center in the very background) just after the rain stopped. The lights are 100% natural; that's what invited me to take the photo actually... Now on to the Christmas decorations ;-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Paris dragon!

I'm surprised this piece of art is not more famous... It's a part of a "dragon" that seems to emerge from the ground at place Augusta-Holmes on rue Paul Klee in the 13 th arrondissement. It's actually a fountain (there is water running inside, even though there was none when I took the photo) called La Danse de la fontaine émergente. It was designed by the French-Chinese sculptor Chen Zhen (who died in 2000) and it took no less than 7 years to build it. I think it's really cool even though my photo does not do it justice really. Click here for a broader view and here for more information.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Institut du monde arabe

I think I only showed you the Institut du Monde Arabe (the Arab World Institute) only once. An though it's a stunning building, built between 1981 and 1987 by architect Jean Nouvel and located in the 5th arrondissement. The part you see in the background that recalls the Arab architecture, is composed of 240 photo-sensitive motor-controlled shutters, that automatically open and close to control the amount of sun entering the building. I love it! Not to mention Noura, the restaurant located on the last floor where you can enjoy a beautiful view over Paris.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Great idea by Les Papiers peintres

No... the "great idea" is not to show my face on PDP, but what you actually can see in the background of this photo... It's one of the fonds de photo, that is " photo backgrounds" made by two artists Ella & Pitr, aka Les papiers peintres. You can find them everywhere in Paris (and other cities throughout the world), they are glued to any wall and they come with instructions that say "take a photo of yourself in front of this background and send it to this email address". That is what I did (with my camera phone, which explains itspoor quality)! The whole collection can be seen at this address (my photo does not show yet) and also in a book, that is due to be released on Dec. 10. I think this is a great, creative idea

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The long road to learning French...

You may wonder why I gave this title to this photo, but, even though it's a little far fetched, you're going to understand why! Last Thursday I went to the launch of Frantastique a new online service to learn French, hoping to take a photo (the invitation said there was going to be a "happening" during the evening!). Unfortunately, I had my Thanksgiving dinner that night and had to leave before the happening took place. On the way back, however, I passed by the Boulevard de Bercy and saw these sidewalks (the blue light is real) that run underneath the train tracks of Gare de Lyon. Now, you know the story! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pavé parisien

I know it's less impressive than yesterday's photo, but it's also VERY Parisian: le pavé parisien - or les pavés parisiens -, (in English:Cobblestone) are famous not only because they are everywhere in the streets, but also because they are used in several French expressions: "battre le pavé" (long and hard walk in the streets), "sous les pavés la plage" (under the cobblestones lies a beach), slogan used by students in 1968, not to forget "pavé au chocolat" which is a chocolate cake shaped after a cobblestone (which can feel like a "pavé sur l'estomac" ( a cobblestone in your stomach!) if you eat too many of them ;-) Have a great weekend everyone, I'm off to bed after a long long day...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Give your eyes a little peace...

I'm just back from a little Paris Thanksgiving dinner with good American friends (that I met thanks to PDP actually). We went to Le Café de Mars, a delicious restaurant which chef is... American. It was super good and very true to the tradition (well, so I think). We had a very good time and since this restaurant is located in the 7th arrondissement, on the way out we paid a visit to the Eiffel Tower. The night was beautiful, the sky slightly cloudy... I could not help but taking a shot. And when I say A shot, I mean a  zillion... Including this little video: 3 minutes of peace for the eyes...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lamarck without Caulaincourt

Ask any Parisian about Lamarck and he will probably tell you "oh, yeah, Lamarck-Caulaincourt!". It turns out that Lamarck-Caulaincourt is a well known Metro station in the 18th arrondissement, but these two names belong to two different people! Precisely Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck (1744-1829) was a French naturalist who apparently used the word "biology" for the first time. He also categorized 80% of the invertebrates (yeah, he obviously had too much spare time!) among many other things. Of course the reason why I bore you with the life of Monsieur Lamarck is that he is in this photo that I took - obviously at the right moment (look at this sky!) - at the Jardin des plantes. Happy turkey day BTW (this is for my American visitors!).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

French Public Services

Those of you who follow me on Facebook may have seen one of my yesterday updates in which I was "expressing my discontent" regarding La Poste, the French postal service. On the way out I came across this mailbox and I could not help thinking: this is a provocation LOL! To be fair, French public services (have a look at this British site for more, that is all I could find in English) are not that bad, on the whole, they are just like French service in general ;-)   

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What's left of Les Halles

I know it's not the best view of Paris I've ever posted here, but it's an interesting one! Why? Because it shows what currently remains of Les Halles area ( Les Halles, used to be the central market of Paris from  1135 till the early 70's, when they transferred it to Rungis, in the suburbs). Since the 70's it has been turned into a huge underground mall with a big pedestrian area on top. Recently they decided to redo the whole place. Those who have been to Paris may have recognized Saint Eustache church on the right, the Bourse du commerce in the very back and... a piece of the Ecoute sculpture, by Henri de Miller. I can't wait till this goes back to "normal".

Monday, November 19, 2012

Front runner

Friday and Saturday I spent two exhausting days at a "geek" conference and I must say I did not really feel like touring Paris to take photo yesterday! Fortunately I noticed there was a small running race starting at my local town hall which is just a couple of blocks away from where I live. So I went and took this photo (for once, someone who seems happy to be photographed!). I then looked up on the web yo find out more and discovered that there are dozens of events like that within Paris every year: for women, for notaries(no kidding!), for students... not to forget the marathon of course!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

3rd arrondissement town hall

Like you may know, Paris is divided into 20 districts, called arrondissements. Each of them has its own town hall (on top of the main one called Hotel de Ville). Most of them are real masterpieces for they were built during the 19th century, when Paris was growing and becoming richer and richer...  This one, for instance, is the 3rd arrondissement town hall and it's a real masterpiece. It was built between 1864 and 1867  on the remains of an old lavoir. FYI, 34250 people live in the 3rd arrondissement and it accounts for 1,6% of the total Paris population.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


This is a pretty cool photo that I took it at La Défense while I was making a "timelaps" that I will hopefully show you soon. I love it that the clouds reflect in the skyscraper and that you don't really know where the building stops - and believe me when you see it moving it's even more impressive. It was pretty easy to take though, all I did was to lay my camera on the ground and wait for it to shoot! I was just plain lucky. Have a great weekend, whether you'll be watching the sky or not ;-)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Beaujolais nouveau!

And you thought you were going to escape a Beaujolais Nouveau photo LOL?! Nope... I took it near were I live, at the entrance of Passage Jouffroy where each year a restaurant called Le Zefyr puts a huge inflatable bottle by its entrance. So huge that passers by have to go around it (how's that for a marketing tool?!). How good does the Beaujolais taste this year? I have no idea (I very rarely drink alcohol remember?) and who cares! Everyone knows it's not for the taste that this whole thing is organized, but to boost business and provide a good occasion for people to gather. Which is good enough ;-) Have a look at what they do with Beaujolais in Japan though...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Top hat!

I took this photo at rue des Rosiers, which the heart of the Jewish part of Le Marais (a must visit place if you like falafels and bagels!). I fell in love with this coat the minute I saw it, even though it's not exactly everyday wear! Besides since obviously the place (it's called Yoahm, after the name of the owner of this store) was closed, I don't know how much it costs. But i'll go back and ask! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Look before you leap!

You must think I spend my time on the Trocadéro esplanade, but I don't! I just happened to be there yesterday (Tuesday) and witnessed this funny scene: A newlywed couple from Japan was being photographed in front of the Eiffel Tower when suddenly a group of students, who obviously were having a French moment, stood behind them and started applauding and cheering. Everybody laughed, including the couple. Sorry for the bad quality of the photos, there was not enough light (the weather was pretty covered as you can see).