Friday, May 31, 2013

Snake preview: Hotel Banke!

Last evening I attended a little party for the birthday of someone that true PDP followers know well ;-) It took place in the beautiful bar of the Hotel Banke at rue Lafayette. Of course I could have shown you the actual bar or the stunning hall or the silky entrance, but no... I couldn't resist posting a photo of their bathroom! Truly amazing... (And in case you're wondering, no, it's not real snake!). I know, it's weird ;-) 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Place Saint Georges

I managed to go out a little today. I had to buy a microphone so I went to what I call "microphone street"! No kidding, this street is located in the upper 9th arrondissement where you find a lot of audio equipment stores, don't ask me why! Anyway, next to this area, there is a beautiful square called La Place Saint Georges. In the center there used to be a fountain where horses could drink. It was replaced, at the turn of the 20th century (in 1911) by a statue of Paul Gavarni, a famous French drafter specialized in the drawing of carnival characters. I just love this square!  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Paris Skyline

I'm so busy at the moment that I barely have the time to go out. In fact today I did not! So here is a photo I took last year (when we had more sun!) from a terrace on the Champs Elysées (that used to be called La terrasse Maritini). I love the view!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A dry day!

Hurrah, we managed to see the sun for almost a whole day yesterday! It felt nice, so I went out near the Montorgueil area and too this photo at rue Réaumur, a typical street of the 2nd arrondissement. Nothing much to add, I just like the light in this photo ;-)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Beautiful Beethoven

It's been a pretty busy weekend in Paris (demonstration wise...) and there is nothing like a little music to soothe everyone (well I'm not so sure it works with ALL Beethoven's pieces, but that's the only music related photo I have in stock at the moment!) I took this shot at the Luxembourg gardens in which you can come across many sculptures and busts. This one is by Bourdelle, a very famous sculptor (which museum I strongly encourage you to visit if you come to Paris). Last piece of info: the European National Anthem is by Beethoven...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Buy French!

You know how I like to support young entrepreneurs! Well I found two of them on my street yesterday... They opened a brand new shoe store (Thomaas & Nicolaas) where they sell French manufactured (or at least designed) shoes (which is really not common these days...). But the real plus of this store is that you will find there models that you won't see anywhere in the world like in chain stores! Besides, let me remind you that on this very same street, you can also visit another extraordinary shoe store that I've already featured on PDP. I wish them a lot of success!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cloclo for sale!

If you're not French - or haven't lived in France in the 70's! - you probably did not understand the title of this post... Cloclo is the the nickname of Claude François, a very famous French singer who lived between 1939 and 1978 (he accidentally electrocuted himself in his bathtub). You surely don't know him (even though he wrote and composed Comme d'habitude, the original version of My Way and Parce que je t'aime mon enfant, the original version of My Boy), but here he was extremely popular and still his... To a point that today they are selling some of his stuff at Drouot, one of the main auction houses in Paris. I live right next by it, so I did not resist going there and take a few shot. The place was packed with old fans!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Rotten spring!

You may think this is an old photo that I took last winter, but no, I took it very recently, while I was having dinner at a friend's house in the close suburbs of Paris. It was sooooooo cold, that my friends decided to start a fire! I just read that today, we're going to break a cold record for this time of the year! This terrible weather also has a tremendous impact on the economy; not only are the terraces empty, but there is not even a line in front of Berthillon!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Let's get married!

"Hurry honey, we don't want to be late, do we?" I can think of a zillion silly caption to go with this photo that I took yesterday around six on the the Pont Louis Philippe - a bridge that goes to the Ile Saint Louis. Of course this couple was not on their way to the church or the town hall, but in between two photo shoots with their photographer! But I thought it was a cute, funny scene. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Soon, the new Les Halles !

Those of you who came to Paris surely remember Les Halles, this large area in the very center of Paris that novel writer Emile Zola once called "the belly of Paris" (it used to be the wholesale market of Paris). Well, in the 70's they closed it and replaced it with a huge shopping mall that is now closed again and is in the process of being replaced by a brand new project still including a shopping area of course, but also a huge garden covered by a canopy. Well, that is precisely this canopy that I managed to catch on "film" from a restaurant. Not the most glamorous photo I posted, but interesting! Have a look at the final project here

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Big flood!

If you were in Paris at the moment (maybe you are!) you'd hear people complain about the terrible weather, for sure... Today I had to go to the left bank to meet an old friend of PDP and, well, I passed by the Louvre and almost drowned the engine of my scooter there! Here is why! And this shot was not taken after a big storm, just the result of a non stop rain! There are worst things in life, but it's really getting my nerves! Time to go back to Miami?!

Monday, May 20, 2013

What's the trick?!

I know there is a trick to do this, but I really wonder what it is! I saw several of them in Paris these past weeks (I think also last year) so I suppose it's the new trend (the fake still statues are so passé now!) - I photographed this one at the Beaubourg center. It's quite impressive anyway - If ever you have an explanation, please let us know! Have a nice week everyone... Here, it'll be raining until at least next Sunday!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Golden door!

You must think I have a door fetish(!) for I posted several ones on this blog already, but what can I say... Paris has a lot of beautiful doors and I can't help noticing them! This one belongs to the Hôtel de Ville (the Paris town hall) and I was lucky enough to photograph it while there was a cool reflection on it (I doubt it was the sun though for it's been a long time since we've seen it here! Anyway, have a great Sunday everyone (it's the museum feast in many countries this weekend, so how about a little visit to your favorite museum?)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The longest graffiti wall in Paris

I had a super long day in Lille (North of France) today and I'm REALLY exhausted, but I managed to save some energy (the very little one that I still have tonight!!) to post this photo that I took a few days ago along the longest graffiti wall I know if in Paris. Look how vivid the colors are, it's amazing. I don't even know what's behind this wall located in the 18th arrondissement, the only thing I know is that every time I passed by it, the scenery changes!

Friday, May 17, 2013

An ode to economy?

You see this band in the background of this photo? I photographed them in front of la Fontaine Saint Michel and found later their trace on the Net. It turns out that  and found out that they are the Porto (in Portugal) university of economics chorus! (In Portuguese: Tuna Académica da Faculdade de Economia do Porto, or Tafep). Who knows, the next Finance Minister of Portugal was among them! (Listen to what they do here if you're interested). As you can see the weather in Paris is still... well... humid!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Firemen training tower

You think these two buildings have more or less the same height? Well, they don't! The "old" one is a 6 or 7 typical Paris story building, and the "modern" one is only 11 meter (36 ft) high. The latter is actually a  sculpture made by Chinese artist Wang Du and is dedicated to the Paris firemen (it's actually a replica of a training tower) next door. For yes, the "old" building next to it is a fire station. Pretty cool ;-)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A cool café

Last evening I had a meeting at a pretty cool café, near Les Halles. It's called Le bon pêcheur, the decors is really very Parisian and so are the waiters (all dressed up in traditional outfits, including a cap (you can see one on the left by the cash register). They are very nice and friendly too (which is not very Parisian LOL!). If you notice the heater in the foreground is on... This shows how cold it is in Paris at the moment! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bridge drinking...

A few days ago the Paris soccer club (Paris Saint Germain) won the French championship. The supporters had been waiting for this for a very long time (19 years exactly!) and wanted to celebrate. So they all went to Le Trocadero and later on the closest bridges (including the one that leads to the Eiffel Tower). Problem: they are soccer supporters, therefore not very bright (I said it!), they got drunk and started causing trouble and putting themselves in danger. So all I did was to take this photo (that does not show violence, I agree!) and leave! Not exactly the extraordinary, moving shot I was expecting, but... 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Brownfield land

After my Barbecue yesterday, I passed by this "Brownfield land" (I just learned about this term!)  - that is an abandoned industrial facilities waiting to be reused - in Montreuil, a close suburb of Paris. Until recently this was apparently a Romani camp, but now I have not been able to find out what it's going to be (nor what it used to be!). You can easily imagine how it could be turned into lofts or a covered market or garden. Anyway, in the meantime it makes a cool photo ;-)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Around Notre Dame

Not far from Notre Dame Cathedral, on the Ile de la Cité, there is a little bridge that is used by roller skaters to train. I was there yesterday and loved the effect of the street light on the people who were watching them. That's all! Have a great Sunday, the weather in Paris is pretty bad, but I'm due to attending a barbecue party in the suburbs... I'll bring a sweater and an umbrella LOL!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A must visit place on the left bank

Here is a stunning building that I don't think I ever showed you. It's located in the 13th arrondissement and it's called La manufacture des Gobelins (after the name of a family of dyers named Gobelin). It's a tapestry factory that was created by Louis the XIVth in... 1601 and it is apparently still in operation. I suppose you can have a tapestry made there if you want, but you're most likely to visit the place and admire the beautiful piece of work that they have over there (I plan to!). Like all national museums, the entrance is free on every last Sundays of the month. The entrance is free either on every last Sundays of the month - as indicated on their website - or on every first Sundays of the month - like all French National museums.

Friday, May 10, 2013


I love it when they hang the huge French flag between the "legs" of the Arch of Triumph on top of the Champs Elysées. They only do it on special occasions, like, at the moment, the celebration of V-E day. I like the street lamp style too, that's why I did everything I could to include it in the frame! Don't get fooled by the cars there, Paris is really slow at the moment; if it weren't for the tourists it would be totally empty! 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

V-E day celebrations

It's been very hard for me to fight the jet lag this time, but I think I managed to be almost back on track now. Proof is that today yesterday I managed to go out and take photos! Hence this one that I took on the Champs Elysées today where they had several marches to commemorate the end  of WWII. Tourists loved it! This band belongs to the Garde Républicaine which is the a part of the French Gendarmerie in charge of the security of Paris. Nice, but expensive... We just heard that it costs 280 million euros per year for only 3 000 men...

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Faire le pont !

If you were in Paris this week you'd find it pretty empty... Why? Because a lot of Parisians made "Le pont" (the bridge), that is took advantage of a holiday to go on vacation for the whole week. To be accurate there are actually two holidays this week (the 8th of may which commemorates the armistice of WWII and the Ascension which a Catholic feast). Therefore if you take 3 days of vacation (out of your 25 yearly allowance!) you get a whole week vacation... FYI, there are two bridges in this photo: first one is Pont Marie and the second one is Pont Louis Philippe. BTW, the picnic video is finally edited... Check it out here.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Paris Underground!

Like I already told you, the Pont du Carroussel has two entrances: one at the Quais (Embankment)  level  and one at the street level; both merging in the middle of the bridge. I took this photo from the street level looking down to the bridge entrance at the Quais level  where this couple was heading (exiting to be more precise - yes, it's becoming complicated LOL!). Anyway, all this to say that I like this photo, not only because of the game of shadows, but also because it looks like a spy photo! PS: I did not have the time to work on the picnic video yet, you'll have to wait a little more ;-)

Monday, May 06, 2013


I was really lucky today: the weather was great, I was not not too jet lagged and the company was, once again very pleasant. We really had a great time for this 2013 PDP picnic, even though I had an unexpected surprise when I arrived on the premises at 1 pm: the designated are for the picnic was all flooded (you'll see in the video tomorrow). Fortunately, not far from the initial location, there was this little "headland" which allowed us to eat and drink while remaining dry! It was fun ;-). Thanks for all your good wishes everyone, speak to you tomorrow when I have spent a good night in a real bed!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

La "Grisette"

A Grisette was a young dressmaker or female worker that would make and mend the dresses of La Bourgeoisie women during the 18th and 19th century. At that time, of course, there were no sweatshops in Bengladesh and if you needed a garment you had it made locally at a pretty affordable price. Workers in 1830 were paid next to nothing and their average annual working time was 3 000 hours against 1 620 hours today. BTW, last reminder, the PDP picnic is today!

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Thank you!

Yes, yes, I know after 2 weeks in the US, it's now time to get myself ready to go back to Paris (and of course the PDP picnic), but no need to clean especially for the occasion ;-) Jokes aside,I really look up to the people who contribute to Paris' cleanliness; no less than 2 400 km of streets are swept daily (of which 1 500 km are washed , and about 30 000 garbage cans are emptied 1 to 6 times a day...

Friday, May 03, 2013

Who "stole" Le Printemps?!

Here is a view of one of the buildings of Le Printemps, one of the major department stores that we have in Paris. Printemps means spring in French and from what I understand weather-wise it's not exactly spring in Paris at the moment (but it will improve for the picnic which is this Sunday at one o'clock, bla bla ;-)). Hence my title... But that's not all Le Printemps is also in the middle of a controversy here because it's currently being bought by Qatari investors and some people think that Qatar is buying a little too many things these days (including the very famous Paris soccer team...).  

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Paris in a nutshell!

To me this photo sums up Paris very well: the typical Parisienne, the river banks, the beautiful architecture and  a certain mystery (what is she looking at?! - and don't say the PDP picnic for it did not take place yet it's this Sunday (May 5th) at one o'clock at the "usual place" that is on the Quai at the end of rue de l'Amiral de Coligny). Am I being a bit repetitive?! Nah... I'm like lounge music, never exactly the same also it sounds the same ;-) 

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Creative artisan

Before going on vacation I took enough photos to be able to publish one a day while away from Paris, but... I forgot to take one for the CityDailyPhoto community monthly theme day which is: "The creative artisan". So for once, I'll republish one: the one of a Tailleur de pierres (a stone cutter), that I took in 2006, while they were renovating the Tour Saint Jacques. I had been fascinated at that time by the work of these artisans who did all the cutting and the carving exactly like in the old times, when the tower was built (between 1509 and 1522). Fascinating. Of course, do visit the page dedicated to our theme day to see other artisans in the world.