Saturday, May 31, 2014

The end of a rainy week...

I'm glad this week is over, not only was it a very slow one (we had a holiday on Thursday), but also very humid. I took this photo on the Champs Elysées, one of these rainy days and I kinda like its atmosphere (and despite what you may think this is not advertising for HSBC!). Today, the sun will shine they promised, so I'll go out and take new photos (I'm going away for a week so I need to stock a few ;-). Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Look at the sky!

This is a typical Paris zebra crossing - that is a recent one, for when I was young we had Passage Cloutés - literally "nailed pathways" that is pedestrian crossings bordered by big nails hammered into the cobblestones. Anyway... I thought this was funny because someone used one of the stripes to write a pretty poetic sentence:  "look at the sky!"

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Affordable housing

In Paris, you'll find several red bricks buildings like this one. Most of them were built around Paris between 1920 and 1950 and are what we call HBM (for Habitation à bon marché). Their rent is controlled by the government and adjusted according to your income and the number of children you have. Needless to say that you have to register on a list and wait for years before you get an apartment  like this! They are considered as less classy that the typical Haussmannian buidlings of course, but they are definitely part of the Paris landscape!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Secret garden...

Even in a very busy city like Paris you can manage to find some peace. Like in the secluded garden of Le Mandarin Oriental, where I had the opportunity to take a few photos yesterday morning. It was raining, unfortunately, so I could not sip my drink outside, but I could take cool photos... It's been a long time since I've made a little Animoto, so here you go; it's short, but gorgeous and you can see the amazing one piece marble var, the glass curtain and a few other things that make this place pretty exceptional (and this is NOT paid advertising!).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day in Paris

Yesterday was Memorial Day in the US and I thought that since I have many visitors from North America I would take this opportunity to show you one of the monuments that was erected in honor of all the Americans who died during the WWI in France. It's located at Place de l'Amiral de Grasse in the 16th arrondissement. Of course I don't forget that Americans were not this only ones to die for France, Canadians, Australians, English, Scottish... and many more also came to our rescue. May this never happen again.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Red Cross march

How unexpected. I was coming home last evening after a day in the suburbs and I came across a French Red Cross  march on the Champs Elysées ! I suppose it was to celebrate the 150 years of this fantastic organisation. For once I did not have my big camera so I used my phone instead (hence the bad quality). 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

European elections... Yes oui can!

Today is a very important day for Europe because for the first time, we are going to vote for the President of the European parliament which is the closest thing we have to being a President of Europe. To do so, we first need to vote locally, in each European country, for representatives that will then elect the President. Unfortunately, even though we all share more or less the same lifestyle and the same currency, there is no such thing as a European nation nor United States of Europe. You feel French or Italian or English before you feel European here, which explains why so few people bother to vote for these elections and why there are many small, sometimes odd political parties. Like this one, whose sole platform is to legalize cannabis! I bet they have high hopes...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Trapped in the city

In front of Le Musée d'Orsay, there are 3 magnificent animal sculptures. I already showed you one of them once (a horse if I recall), which used to be on my way to school when I was a little boy. I used to climb on it, for I thought it was just a game for kids!). Now that there are in front of the Musée, I know that they are real pieces of art! Like this stunning "trapped Elephant" made by Emmanuel Fremiet, a French sculptor who was obviously very gifted.

Friday, May 23, 2014

When the sun goes down on Paris...

I was coming home a little late yesterday evening (around 9 pm), while the sun was going down on Paris. I could see it in the mirrors of my scooter and I was thinking to myself: "I must stop and take a photo, the light must be beautiful!". So I did... and I don't regret it! FYI, the opera house (Garnier) is at the end of this street.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Little red man...

A few days ago I did a "micro trottoir" (vox populi in English) at La Défense, the business district just outside of Paris. I had to get the people to explain -  in front of a video camera - how they manage to protect their private life from the professional intrusion caused by mobile phones and email. It was pretty hard because no one wanted to talk (they were probably afraid to be recognized by their boss!Anyway, when I finally finished, I managed to get a few good interview clips and... take this gorgeous photo from the side of the Grande Arche as a bonus!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Samaritaine won't reopen before a long time...

If you came to Paris, you probably know about La Samaritaine, and old department store located at Pont Neuf and named after an old water pump that was near the bridge. Well, this Paris Landmark was closed in 2005 and was suppose to reopen in 2013, after a large renovation. But two associations (L'association Société pour la progtection des paysages et de l'esthétique de la France (SPPEF) and SOS Paris) pressed charges, claiming that the project does not respect the aesthetic rules of Paris. I don't know how it's going to end, because the Paris town hall and the developer appealed of course, but one thing is sure, it won't reopen before 2017 at the earliest... In the meantime, it can still be photographed!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A church not to miss in Paris

Not all Paris churches are made of beautiful stones with golden fixtures and stunning sculptures! Some are simple, yet worth the visit, like Notre Dame du Travail. This amazing church can be found in the 14th arrondissement at 59, rue Vercingétorix. It was constructed around 1900 for the workers who used to build the pavilions for the world exhibition that took place in Paris during this period. It is fascinating indeed, because it looks like a regular Roman church, except that its frame is made of cast iron.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Molitor (Part II)

Do you remember this photo? Well, I told you how this swimming pool was part of my childhood memory and that I could not wait until they opened it to the public to see what it looked like. Little did I know that... the PR person in charge of Molitor spotted my photo on PDP and contacted me to let me know that she would be happy to let me in if I wanted to! It took me less than 1 second to reply! And voilà... This was taken from the new rooftop of the building that is going to be a restaurant/terrace. I have a zillion more photos, needless to say, but I have to wait until tomorrow when the grand opening takes place to publish them ;-) 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Saint Louis procession

No this is not a fancy dressed parade nor the Paris carnival, but a real procession that I photographed yesterday in the streets of Paris, not far from my home! This people celebrate King Saint Louis the 9th (aka Saint Louis) and monarchy in general, for yes, there are still monarchists in France. Passers by were a bit puzzled I must say, but everything went smoothly - at least for the part I saw. Have a great Sunday everyone, whether you have a king or not!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Drinks at Kong

If you happen to be in Paris and look for a cool place (with a view) to have a drink, I suggest you pay a visit to Le Kong, a restaurant located on top of the Samaritaine (well, one of the old Samaritaine stores). Of course it's a little "trendy" (meaning expensive!), but the view is really worth it and you don't have to have dinner there, you can simply have drinks until 6 pm. And the good thing is that it's really not too crowded (meaning, you can take the table at the very end of the top room which offers the best view;-) FYI: The decor - which includes these big heads on the plastic chairs - is by Starck, bien sûr...).

Friday, May 16, 2014

The sun is back!

Nothing else to add! Oh yes, I took this photo on the Pont Notre Dame...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gare d'Orsay

Yesterday, I passed by the Gare d'Orsay round 2 pm and realized that I had never taken a photo of it from this side! So here you go...  For those of you who don't know it, this building used to be a train station (that is why it's called La Gare d'Orsay) and became a - must see - museum in 1986. The building, is stunning whether you're inside or outside. As you can see the sun is back is Paris and people are out! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rain remedy!

How cool is that? These are not actual graffiti , but collages that I found in the 19th arrondissement, along a staircase that goes to the Butte Chaumont. I did not know how to photograph the whole scene without having the rail of the staircase in the picture. Then I decided it could be a plus to have it... And I think it is.
Tomorrow the sun is back...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

It looks like rain!

We've really been lucky for the picnic as, since yesterday evening, it's been raining like crazy in Paris! Photowise it's not that bad, for all these black clouds offer nice reflections and dramatic skies ;-) Anyway... Like you probably guessed I took this photo at the Très Grande Bibliothèque in the 13th arrondissement. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

From Paris with love

Yesterday took place the last PDP picnic and despite the threatening weather (it poured in the morning!) we managed pretty well. The thing is that I started the PDP picnic series in 2006 because of Jeff (with the blue jacket on the left) - I did not know him at that time - and ever since I always organized them around his Paris visits (I'm working on a PDP book at the moment and I'll have the occasion to disclose more info about these picnics). This year again we had a wonderful time, I met great new people (people who follow PDP, but never comment) and reconnected with older ones. It almost did not rain...  ;-) BTW, what do you think about the true Frenchman with the beret?! ;-)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A must eat at!

No, this photo has nothing to do with today's picnic! for the food will be much less sophisticated, but I happen to have walked by this Paris landmark restaurant two days ago and well, I could not help but take a photo. La Tour d'Argent may not be the best restaurant in the world, it may have lost a few stars along the years, it remains a unique place with a breath taking view on Notre Dame (take a look at it on their website). Besides it probably has the best cellar in Paris and a new chef (Stéphane Haissant) has been in charge since 2006. Definitely a place to visit if you can afford it.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The breathing city...

I've found this stunning piece of street art in the rue des Recollets, near the Canal Saint Martin. It was made by Spanish artist  Dourone, who I did not know. The title of this work of art is "listen to the breathing city", which I thought, was appropriate to announce that, despite the weather, the 2014 PDP picnic will take place at the usual place, that is at the end of La rue de l'Amiral Coligny, on the Quais François Mitterrand. Metro station: Louvre Rivoli (See this little video if you're coming by metro, I made it in 2006, but the directions haven't changed). Don't forget to bring something to eat and drink! (More on Facebook).

Friday, May 09, 2014

Playing with fire on the Quais...

It's an amazing show that I witnessed yesterday from the Ile Saint Louis: a bunch of artists were literally playing with fire in front of a crowd. It was beautiful, much more than what this photo suggests. I searched on the web and did not find anything about them though. PDP picnic - still scheduled for Sunday, but I still have very little visibility about the weather, so I don't know about the location yet. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The end of WWII

Today is May 8 and exactly 69 years ago it was the end of WWII and France will celebrate it of course... This year I will not post a photo of de Gaulle, but of (Sir) Winston Churchill who also played a major role during World War II - especially towards France. Here is a statue of him, which is located not far from the one of de Gaulle ; it was made in 1998 by Sculptor Jean Cardot.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

PDP friends

I've often told you how PDP allowed me to meet people from all over the world that I would never have met otherwise. Last evening I had the pleasure to have a drink with three people that have long time been in the PDP galaxy: Guille, Jeff (left) and Michael (right). We met at Chez Prune, a cool bar/restaurant located along the Canal Saint Martin. It was fun... BTW the PDP picnic is still scheduled for Sunday, only the weather won't be very nice, so I'm looking for an indoor place. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Through the keyhole

I felt like a voyeur when I took this photo yesterday afternoon from the Quai Malaquais! And though this courtyard, that belongs to the Beaux Arts (fine arts) school, is widely open the the public eyes. It's probably the way this lady hides her private parts that made me think of that! That's all, I just wanted to put a smile on your face and I hope I did!

Monday, May 05, 2014

Comédie française : a side view...

Since they completed the renovation of this building, the Comédie Française never ceases to amaze me, especially at night. I already showed it to you once and told you the history of it, but let me refresh your memory: it's the only state theater in France, it was founded in 1680 and that is where famous French play writer/actor Molière used to perform. I never visited this inside, but I plan to!

Sunday, May 04, 2014

2014 French soccer final

You may wonder why the title of this post is about soccer and the photo shows someone in a traditional costume! Well, it's easy, yesterday evening is Paris, the French soccer final took place and the two teams competing were from Bretagne (Brittany in English), a beautiful region located in the north western part of France. People from there are extremely proud of their origins, culture (and even language) and they managed to keep it alive - in a nice way, that is without rejecting the others, like in some other regions of France (I won't disclose any names LOL! - So you can imagine the atmosphere in the streets of Paris last night; they were sure that... Brittany would win! I did not taken this photo last evening though, but during a parade in Paris in 2007 (you may remember). Vive la Bretagne !

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Rainy day

It's a classic, but I've rarely done it! For yes people, it's currently rainning a lot in Paris at the moment and especially yesterday around 1 pm when I was having lunch on the top floor of the Printemps (where I took this photo, remember?). It was raining so hard, that it was leaking inside the restaurant! The view was still amazing though and I had a real nice time with the person I was having lunch with (disclosure, a true PDP follower!). 

Friday, May 02, 2014

Striking installation!

The Louvre Pyramid has sheltered the work of artists many times. At the moment, it's a piece by French artist Claude Lévêque who installed a huge red lighting from the top to the bottom. Very impressive and beautiful. I went last evening to photograph it, especially for you! If you want to see it for real, you still have some time... It'll be there until 2015!

Thursday, May 01, 2014


May 1st, it's Labor Day in France and it's a theme day among the CityDailyPhoto bloggers community. Today's theme is "Squares" and, well, I did not really know what to choose... And then I remembered a photo that I took Monday from the office of someone I had a meeting with. Aren't there enough squares in these old buildings (old warehouses) to comply with today's theme day?! I thought so too ;-)