Sunday, March 31, 2013

Eco-friendly courier

If you come to Paris, you'll probably see one of those many couriers on bike that move around town to take little parcels from one place to another. Most of them belong to company called (coursier means courier in France) that only uses bikers to avoid polluting when they deliver their customers' stuff . They even use little trailers - still pulled by biker - when the parcel is too large! I've always been intrigued by them; it takes a lot of "different thinking" to choose to use a mean of transportation that is slower and less profitable than what your competitors use!  

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Old and new Paris

Here is a little store I saw near Montmartre that I thought was really cute and could have belonged to the "old Paris" (It sells Papier peints, that is Wallpaper). But the real reason why I chose this photo today is because I want you to try this fantastic before and after photo selection of Paris that allows you to see simultaneously a street/square/building around 1900 and now. Very very cleverly made (on top of each photo you'll see Faites coulisser la poignée rouge. It means: "drag the red handle". I'm sure you'll understand how it works anyway. You have to try it!  

Friday, March 29, 2013

The most valuable service station in Paris!

OK, this place may look a little messy - and there's a car in the middle - but don't you think this would make a cool loft? Well, I'm saying this because, I'm sure this is really how it's going to end for guess where I took this photo? At rue des Archives, in the heart of Le Marais, one of the most expensive areas of Paris. I'm sure that a zillion realters are on the watch, waiting for the owner of the place to sell it, so that they can turn in into a super cool apartment! In the meantime it makes a cool photo too ;-)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Another church to put on your list

Here is another church I had never been inside of before I took this photo (not surprising, there are more than a hundred of Roman Catholic churches in Paris!). It's dedicated to Saint Philippe du Roule and, well, it's worth the visit, especially at its end, where you can see this superb dome. It's currently Lent for the Christians at the moment and that is when they are supposed to fast or at least make penance and refrain from consuming goods like crazy (nothing to worry though, we have another sort of penance called "the crisis" for that ;-)).

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Beautiful doors

Aren't they stunning? I found these doors at 288 boulevard Saint Germain (one of the most expensive areas of Paris), right next to the Assemblée Nationale (the French Parliament/House of representative). To be quite  honest I had never noticed them before... The good news is that it's possible to visit the inside (apparently a stunning hotel particulier from the Second Empire) for that is where the European parliament information center for France is located! I could not go inside when I passed by itthe day I took the photo because it was closed, but I'll definitely go back.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dream apartment

Living in Paris is your dream? Well, good news, I've found the perfect apartment for you! It has two floors, therefore two terraces (well technically one is a balcony!) and probably enough room to through parties for 100 people every night! Oh, I forgot, it faces the Seine and the 7th arrondissement (where I was when I took this photo Sunday). Interested? Have your checkbook ready, for this little pied-à-terre is probably worth 15+ million! Besides, I saw it first ;-)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tough demonstration

There was a pretty big demonstration in Paris this weekend. Protesters were only allowed to go from La Défense to the top of Avenue de la Grande Armée (a straight line), but not until Place de l'Etoile and even less on the Champs Elysées (in France anybody has the right to demonstrate, but you must first ask for a "permit" and tell the Police which way you intend to go, prior to marching). Of course, demonstraters did not stick to the permit and... invaded the Champs Elysées. The situation got really tense and for the first time in my life I experimented tear gas! But it allowed me to take this photo which I'm proud of ;-) 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

More beautiful than ever...

Well, it may be cold and rainy in Paris, but we have this! I passed by "the Tower" last evening on my way to a dinner party and thought it was more beautiful than ever... So here you go: Miss Eiffel Tower, in the "flesh"!  FYI, it took 2 years, 2 months and 5 days to build it and inaugurated on March 31st, 1889.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Pereire perspective...

There is a long, well known boulevard in Paris called le Boulevard Pereire (after the name of the Pereire brothers two businessmen of Portuguese origin - their actual name was Pereira - who were very famous and influencial around 1850). Among many things in Paris, they built several train lines and one of each would go from les Batignolles area to the Porte d'Auteuil, partly along this boulevard. Since then, it has been covered (and obviously turned into gardens) but the train tracks are still there underneath; they are now used by the RER, our suburban metro. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Where is Spring?!

Soooo... Yesterday was the 1st day of spring. Too bad the weather gods of Paris are not aware of it ;-) It's cold and rainy, but it's also a good occasion to take cool photos ;-) Here is one I took today (Thursday) at the Hotel de Ville (I'm sure you recognized the building on the left and the beautiful street lamps). I don't know why, but I feel like going on vacation at the moment ;-)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Shaking the Pagoda tree...

After the "forest" house I found in the 20th arrondissement, here is another odd looking building that can be found at the corner of rue de Courcelles and rue Rembrandt, a pretty chic neighborhood where you find more high-end Haussmannian buildings than... Pagodas! For yes, lady and gentlemen, this is a real Chinese Pagoda, built by a rich Chinese art dealer (Ching-Tsai Loo) in the 1930's (I've been unable to find the exact date). The place is still an art gallery nowadays, it has been recently renovated and can also be used for private parties. But it cannot really be visited, like a museum or a monument. Too bad, for the inside really looks interesting! Check for yourself on their website.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Seeing flying blue elephants...

If you walk down La rue du roi de Sicile and see a flying blue elephant, there is nothing wrong with you! It simply means you've passed by the Le Petit Thai, a... Thai restaurant. I haven't tried it yet, but I fell for its cute little sign that you can't help seeing (and photographing!) when passing by. Talking about restaurants, here is a very useful piece of advice (no it's not paid advertising!) if you come here and want to find/book a restaurant: first check with La Fourchette, a very popular website in France where you can see reviews and get very good deals (like 20% off on certain week days, for instance) in most Paris (and the rest of France, of course) restaurants. Too bad Le petit Thai does not seem to be listed...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The little house in the Paree (part II)

Here is a very unusual house that I spotted at Place Martin Nadaud, in the 20th arrondissement. If you look carefully you'll see it has a "forest theme" : the steps are shaped like tree logs, there are several "branches" embedded into the walls and  even the entrance "grid" is shaped like a little wooden fence! I read that it was built in 1900, but nobody knows why the architect used this theme. Anyway, I thought it was photo worthy. BTW nobody really lives there, it's a day care facility. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

The little Munchkins of Agnès Baillon!

You might find them a little scary, but they aren't. I even find them really fascinating. "Them", are the little friends of Agnès Baillon, a French sculptor, who created them "almost by chance" - she says - just because she wanted to break away from her paint class that she was attending at Les Beaux Arts, the most famous French fine arts school. I saw them in an art gallery at rue Vieille du temple in Le Marais and could not help but stopping and have a better look at them. FYI, this is the exhibition poster that I shot outside the gallery.   

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Scots invade Paris...

There was a very important rugby game in Paris today between France and Scotland, so our streets where full of men in kilts playing the bagpipe - OK maybe not ALL of them playing the bagpipe, but at least the ones I photographed at Montmartre during a little gig they did near Abbesses! France ended up beating Scotland, which allows us to remain in the Six Nations Championship! Had they won, we would have still remained good friends anyway! After all, our two countries have been long time allies and fought England for about three centuries (between 1295 and 1603)! It still remains in our collective memory!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Parisian dinner

I may be wrong, but to me these two women look very Parisian. Of course, it's hard to tell exactly what a female Parisian should look like and though, we all have a pretty sharp idea of how she dresses, behaves and thinks! I know it's stupid or at least only based on stereotypes, but still, we can't help having preconceived ideas!  In 2009, Le Figaro (a French newspaper) made a survey asking the people to vote for the woman who best represents a typical Parisian... Inès de La Fressange, once a Chanel top model, "won"!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The modern side of Paris

Manhattan? Dubai? Nah... Paris! Yesterday evening, in the heart of the 14th arrondissement ! Contrary to a popular belief, Paris is not all about Haussmannian buildings, but also about new(er) architecture like this building that I came across with yesterday. It's always a big controversy here: must we keep the "traditional Paris" as it is (leading most of the time to tearing down the whole structure of a building, but its facade!) or must we erect buildings that match their time, like this one for instance. I don't have the answer to that...  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Doll museum

I've been willing to go to the musée de la poupée (doll museum) for a long time - not that I'm particularly into dolls, but because I was curious to see what's in it. I took advantage of the free entrance special (every second Friday of the month between 10 and 12 am) to check it out. Of course it's more appropriate for kids, but adults may also find food for thoughts there. At this very moment especially, they have a "dolls of the world" special exhibit and it's very interesting to see how these toys actually teach the kids what they should look like when they grow up! For once I've posted two photos : one main one and a few of the other ones I've taken.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Snow storm

The Northern part of France and many countries in Northern Europe suffered a huge snow storm today! In Paris in snowed all day long, causing trouble in train stations, airports and in the streets. I personally love it, but that's because it gives a certain atmosphere to the city, leading people to behave with a much more friendly attitude than usual. Hence this cyclist who obviously was happy to be photographed! On a different note, I really want to thank you all for your very nice comments after yesterday's post. Thank YOU for being such true visitors - and Paris lovers ;-).  Update: make sure you have a look at this litlle ski at Montmartre video!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

8th anniversary facelift!

Soooooooo... It's been 8 years now that I've been posting a photo everyday on this blog and quite some time since I last changed its layout. I went for a much more simple template this time and included what some of you have been demanding for a long time: the possibility of interacting with social networks. Now, you can like +1, tweet, you name it... and you can also comment on Facebook which is directly integrated into this platform. Not everything works perfectly yet, but it will soon, I promise! For now, let me welcome you to the new PDP; I hope you'll like it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Living poet society

What are these people dressed in black are doing with their umbrella in the sun?! A bit surreal isn't it? Surreal  maybe, but before all poetic, as... they are precisely taking part in the 15th Printemps des poètes (poets' spring), an event that has been taking place in France for 15 years now and during which all French poets (foreigners are welcome too I suppose) are invited to celebrate poetry and recite a few verses altogether. I came across this group by pure chance in front of the Beaubourg center, where they currently have en exhibition about Dali (as you can see in the background), another poet!  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Another sunny day in Paris...

What a great day we just had today! Everybody was out, the ice cream places were full, people were dressed like it was summer and you could even see many more smiles than usual... I took this photo at the Pompidou Center (near Beaubourg) because I thought the effect of all these people leaning on the wall, grabbing all the sun they can was really great! When I think the temperature is going to drop like crazy tomorrow... ;-(

Saturday, March 09, 2013

The two week Eclair feast!

Only in France can you organize a whole event around a piece of pastry! For yes, ladies and gentlemen today the Quinzaine des éclairs (two week eclairs "feast") officially starts and will last until March 24. Principal: go to one of the boulangeries or patisseries that take part in the event (there is a map here) and taste one of this year's recipe (peach/raspberries, hard caramel/vanilla and apple/almonds). Of course it's all a big promotional event to drag customers into boulangeries, but still, I may give it a try (only because I feel my arm is being twisted!!). FYI, I took this photo at L'atelier de l'éclair, a new concept store I already told you about.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Women's day!

I know, you must be a bit sick with it by now, but I could not help it! I had to go to Trocadero for lunch and, well, on the way back to work, I went to the Trocadero esplanade and took this shot. I thought it was very appropriate to post a photo of this beautiful, ever young lady to celebrate women's day! I like that you can only see its silhouette and that it's so high (320 meters / 1,050 ft, depending on if you include the TV antennas or not - which is some kind of a cheat in my opinion ;-)) in comparison to the rest of the city. FYI, I just read that "The third level observatory's upper platform is at 279.11 m the highest accessible to public in the European Union and the highest in Europe". I did not know that... 

Thursday, March 07, 2013

No pink elephants!

Here is a cool sculpture that I found in front of the Institut du monde arabe (the Arab World Institute) . It's called "Trio Elephants" and it was made by Nadim Karam, a Lebanese artist who was born in Senegal. He has this "thing" for elephants and likes to sculpt them in bronze, wood, metal... Anyway, on top of the sculpture, I really love this place which is like heaven for photographers ;-)   

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The city of love (and marriage!)

I know I already showed you a similar scene earlier, but it always fascinates me to see how many people - from China in particular - come to Paris, just to have their photo in their wedding outfits taken. Mind you I guess this is the only place in the world where you can have such a decors (you will all have recognized the Invalides dome in the background of course ;-)) As you can see, from the way the photographer and his help are dressed it was not that warm when I took this photo (Sunday), so the poor bride was probably very cold! But, you only get married once (well...).

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Playing soccer in Paris

I'm just back from a dinner party in the close suburbs of Paris, precisely on a little island called L'île Saint Germain. This place used to be a pretty bad neighborhood when I was young, but now it's a great place to live in. They even have a real soccer field, where I took this pretty cool photo just a few hours ago. Playing soccer in Paris is pretty easy, as long as you belong to a club; there are 32 "real" outdoor fields around Paris,  75 smaller ones and 5 indoor fields.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Welcome back Mr Sun!

After a loooong and dark winter, the sun has decided to return yesterday! I heard on the news that we broke some sort of records (number of days without sun...) and that the number of people who suffered from "winter depression" has doubled this year! Anyway... this Sunday was a lovely day and everyone - I'm talking everyone! - went out to celebrate (you should have seen the line in front of Angelina!). I took this photo towards the end of the day; I like it because of the light and because it's - to me anyway - very Parisian.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Inside Saint Pierre de Montmartre

As I was saying yesterday, I spent my whole Saturday afternoon in Montmartre, listening to a former colleague of mine who, now that he is/has(!) retired, organizes tours of Paris for his friends and friends of friends (he as a very interesting website too, but only in French). It was fascinating, for even though I've been living in Paris for many years and have been many times to Montmartre, I never really took the time to learn more about its history. During the tour, we went to Saint Pierre de Montmartre, the little church located behind the big Basilica that miraculously survived the French revolution!. It was my first time there and I did not regret it (and I strongly recommend you go there if you come to Paris).

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Happy Paris!

I'm sooo glad this week is over! I can't wait till resting a bit and... take part in a group visit of Montmartre a friend of mine will host on Saturday (no doubt you will find lots of photos of "Le mont du Martyr" (mountain of the martyr, the "original name of the hill) on Sunday. In the meantime here is a cute, little postcard I spotted during my last trip there (a little tacky, I know, but still ;-)) Have a GREAT weekend everyone, spring is just around the corner now! 

Friday, March 01, 2013

Cafe chairs...

I had a long/busy/bad day! and only realized at 11 pm that tomorrow (today) was March 1st and that I had nothing for the CityDailyPhoto blogger's theme day... So I rushed out of my house and took a photo of a café chair. Alas I did not like it, so I went back, walked a little further and found this one - which is rather a combination of a bench and chairs, but I'm sure you'll forgive me! I took it at rue Saint Marc in the 2nd, and I think the café was called Le Balto. You want to see what café chairs look like throughout the world? Well, check out for yourself!