Paris Plage 2014

Even though the events in the Middle East are really poisoning the relationship between people in Paris (demonstrations, acts of violence in some areas...), life goes on. Like every summer Paris Plage (an event during which they cover part of the river banks with sand and install beach attractions)  has just started and kids - and adults! - love it. I did not take this photo along the Seine banks, where most of Paris Plage takes place, but, by the bassin de La Villette in the 19th arrondissement, where they have many activities, including sprinklers, which are always a big hit!  

Les Invalides Esplanade

Yesterday evening there was a demonstration ending at Les Invalides Esplanade (still about the events in the Middle East). I went there hoping to take good photos, but I'm pretty disappointed with the results. Fortunately, while I was leaving, I took this one, which has nothing to do do with the demonstration (even though you can see marchers in the background, if you look closely). It's the one I prefer! 

Place du Trocadero

I did not go out yesterday to get some rest - even though I'm perfectly alright - so I did not take any photo! Here is one I took about a month ago and never used, even though this scene will probably look familiar to you as I have showed you this statue (the one of Maréchal Foch, a WWI French hero) several times. Traffic on this roundabout is generally very dense, so I must have been lucky!

Miniature Eiffel Tower war!

I went out yesterday! I went out and had a nice walk in Paris, only to find out that the miniature Eiffel Tower war is not yet over! Everywhere you can find a vendeur à la sauvette (street hawker) that will sell you for 1,50 € a small ET replica that you would buy for twice this price in a real store... The police is supposed to chase them, but judging from what I saw yesterday, they are not doing a great job ;-) Maybe because there are more important battles worth fighting for in the streets of Paris?!

Glue paper on Paris walls

I like the way street artists now glue paper on Paris walls instead of painting them with spray paint. It allows passers by to discover new artists without damaging the walls, nor costing money to tax payers (for the city has to clean these walls eventually, no matter what). I really love this one, shame that it's not signed. UPDATE: thanks to the help of a few good visitors ;-) I know now that this image was used for the cover of a record by FKA Twigs (London).

Have a great Sunday

I had a walk in a Paris garden yesterday and I noticed that there are already many leaves on the ground. I then saw that many tree leaves were turning yellow everywhere even though it's only August 10! I don't know why, but it's really early in the season - probably a result of the current bad weather. Have a great Sunday.

La Conciergerie

This stunning building is called La Conciergerie, a building that used to be part of the Palais de la Cité where the French kings used to live. It is also famous for having been a prison, especially during the French revolution; it's were Marie-Antoinette was kept prisoner until they decided to execute her (it's even possible to visit her cell and many other things if you wish - not before October 8 though). I thought it was ironic that because of the fence they installed to protect Paris Plage, this former prison was currently "caged". It also makes a cool photo ;-)

Les Tuileries last week

Summer in Paris, what else?! I photographed this cute couple in Les Tuileries last week; they really looked in love. I was unable to tell if they're French, but I would tend to think they are. Have a love-ly day!

Take Away Store Europe

Today is the 1st of August and the theme day within the CDP community is... Take away store. You probably expected a typical around the corner French take away place, but instead here is the most global fast food company you can think of! Why? 1) because take away is not very French 2) because I just read the news that McDonald's France has had its best year ever since their start in France! Which is ironic since, when they thought  of extending to Europe, the McDonald's management never thought the French would go for such a food... The truth is... "they're loving it!"  If you wan to see real local take away places, check what the CDP community has to offer.

La République Square

I dont' like this photo too much (my fault!), but I like this installation! I found it at La République Square, where the former partner or our President (Valérie Trierweiler) and the new mayor of Paris (Anne Hidalgo) inaugurated it on july 27. Like you guessed it's an installation dedicated to the 220 Nigerian girls who have been abducted by Boko Haram, an islamist group about 100 days ago. These kinds of actions are good, because they help reviving their cause, while the news reporters are busy somewhere else...

Les Galeries Lafayette

I took this photo last evening from the rooftop of Les Galeries Lafayette (yes I went back!) and I really love it. The statue on the right shows Pegasus, but if you were to see it from the other side (facing the Opera Garnier) you would also see Pheme (Renommée in French), a greek divinity symbolizing fame. Its one of the two sculptures that you can see on both sides of the Garnier opera house. It was made by Eugène-Louis Lequesne

Sunset over Paris Plage

Yesterday it practically rained all day, so there was not a lot of people on the beaches of Paris plage, the "fake beaches" that the Paris town hall installs every year on the Seine banks. But last evening, after the clouds were gone, I decided to take a walk along the embankment and take advantage of the stunning sunset

Eiffel Aerodynamics Labs

Sorry I'm late posting, but I had to have my finger operated on yesterday and I was too tired when I returned home. I went to a hospital that specializes in hand surgery and this allowed me to discover the Eiffel Aerodynamics labs in the street nearby (rue de Musset). I did not know that Eiffel pioneered the study of the effects of aerodynamics on objects and that he first used his tower for that (dropping objects  from it!). Later he built a wind turbine, which is in this building and is still in operation. Amazing, isn't it? (Much) more in this publication - in English.

Two Paris clichés

Here are two Paris clichés for the price of one: the Eiffel Tower and a street market! Well it's rather the installation in view of a street market for I took this photo yesterday evening and, of course, the market was long time closed. It makes a cool photo though ;-) BTW the market is on avenue de Saxe, not far from Place de Breteuil

French road network at midday

Every year around the 1st of August in France, the big summer round up takes place: people who took their vacation in July come back to their home and the ones who stayed home in July (more numerous) leave their home. That is why, last Saturday, we broke a traffic jam record! No less that 994 Km (618 miles) of congestion were counted on the French road network at midday! Stupid, isn't it?! As an illustration I used this photo that I took yesterday (Sunday) morning while the yearly "traversée de Paris en Anciennes" (old cars parade) was going through Paris. This is an old 404 Peugeot (well, not that old, my father had one!!) with typical suitcases from the 60's on the roof rack! Have a nice start of the week, whether you're home or on vacation!

La Place Vendôme

It's probably not comparable to the 12 labors or Hercules, but it's close LOL! Because it's August and because Paris is closed (except for tourists of course...) there is - almost - not a single street in which you won't find work! The most symbolic place is undoubtedly La Place Vendôme, in which the Ritz is being totally redone (this has been going on for several years now), but also the famous Colonne Vendôme (behind the scaffolding in this photo) and another building that I did not manage to include in this photo. In short, if you want to see the Place Vendôme at its best, you should not visit it at the moment!

Raymond Berthillon

Everything (and everyone) must come to an end, and the sad news came today that Raymond Berthillon, the founder of the famous Ile Saint Louis ice cream place passed away on Saturday, at the age of 90. If you've been to Paris, you've probably stood in line at least once in front of his landmark store - or in one of his approximately 150 Paris area resale shops. To maintain the quality of his ice cream and sherbets, Mr. Berthillon always refused to industrialize the production and would only offer seasonal flavors (depending on which fruit he would find at the market!). And of course, like any self-respecting Frenchman, he would close every August so that his employees would enjoy a month's vacation! So the next time you enjoy a Berthillon ice cream, remember to think of the man who started it all. 

Paris sunset classic

I know it's a very classic view, the kind of photo you could find on a postcard, but once in a while there is nothing wrong with that ;-) I took this photo 2 days ago, while I was walking down the Seine banks.

Le Pont des arts

I went to Le Pont des arts yesterday because it's a lot in the news at the moment. The thing is that because of the tourist season there are so many "love locks" on the bridge that the panels are collapsing more than usual. To prevent people from adding more locks, the Paris town hall hopes to get the lovers to take selfies and post them on the social networks (and the Paris site Love Without Locks). They also put stickers on the pavement at the entrance of the bridge. Will it work? I doubt it, especially since there are about 10 people selling locks on and around the bridge!

Paris Plage

I don't know if you remember last year's post where I took this close up. Well, the same guy was here this year, only this time I took the photo from above (from the street level). This sand sculptor is really good I must say and he has a lot of success (even though there are probably much less passers by this year because of the poor weather). Anyway, it's Paris Plage's last weekend, pretty soon it'll be time to pack this sand and let the cars back into their realm!

Barefoot in Paris

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, in summer, you also find people walking barefoot in Paris! Well, there was one yesterday anyway.... Judging from the soles of his feet, I would not recommend it too much, but you know what they say: "this is a free country..."! Have a great Sunday everyone. Are you ready to go back to school?! I'm not...

Sky view of Paris

There are many high points and roof tops from where you can admire Paris. Recently I showed you the one of Galeries Lafayette or Printemps, today here is the one from the rooftop of L'Institut du Monde Arabe. It's located on the Eastern part of Paris, where there are slightly less monuments to see, but you can still enjoy a nice view on the Ile Saint Louis and on the back of Notre Dame (in the background in this photo). The entrance is free and if you feel like having a drink, there is, of course, a little Lebanese café/restaurant at your disposal...

Front de Seine arrondissement

I had dinner in the 15th arrondissement yesterday evening and I passed by the Pont Mirabeau. I stopped 2 minutes to take this photo. A nice mix between the old and the new!

Art against Poverty

If you don't speak French it's unlikely that you will be able to understand the play on words in this graffito: "Dans quel monde Vuitton?" sounds like "Dans quel monde vit-on ?  (In what kind of world do we live?). You can also see the Louis Vuitton monogram (LV) on the bucket in which the child is sitting. As you guessed the aim of this clever piece of art is to condemn poverty and the difference between the ones that can buy Vuitton suitcases and the ones that can't. Apparently this artist even belongs to a group called "Art against Poverty" (it's written in the vertical graffito). Beyond the political message, I thought the piece of art was pretty good.

Stunning chimney and the beautiful staircase

You might find it hard to believe, but this building, up until 2002 was... a factory called L'atelier des cendres - the ashes workshop - (you can still see the name above the door). This company used to recycle the "ashes" of jewelers as a way to collect what was left of gold and silver. It was totally renovated in 2013 by Uniqlo, the Japanese clothes manufacturer who kept most of the old features (including the stunning chimney and the beautiful staircase). It's definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in Le Marais.

Paris botanical garden

The Paris botanical garden is one of my favorite gardens in Paris. It's large (28 hectares), never too crowded, offers a lot of shade when it's too hot, and has a lot to offer in terms of plants (including two giant green houses) and animal life. In one of its ends there is a museum (sheltered in the building that you can see in the background) with lots of interesting stuff (including the French Mineralogy Museum, where I was lucky enough to photograph the French Crown jewels once).
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Afternoon in Les Tuileries gardens

Paris is less green than London or Berlin, or course, but it's much smaller and still managed to save some green spots from the concrete invasion! Hence these trees that I photographed yesterday afternoon in Les Tuileries gardens. Don't they seem to belong to a forest? Have a great rentrée everyone...

Commemoration of Paris Liberation

Sorry the photo is not really good, and though the show was absolutely fantastic. The show? Yes, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Paris Liberation from the Nazi, the town hall ordered a splendid light show projected on... the Hotel de Ville. Really impressive, even though the heavy rain kinda spoiled it a bit. Paris was liberated on August 25, by the allied troops with the help of the French resistance fighters. A late aunt that passed away a few years ago told me that it was a very happy day, but also pretty dangerous as there were many snipers everywhere. 

L'Institut du Monde Arabe

I showed you the outside of L'Institut du Monde Arabe, a Paris building (mostly a museum) dedicated to the Arab world, several times, but I never showed you the inside, and especially the clever windows that open or shut automatically like a camera lense (or a human eye!) according to the outside light. Here you go then... A shot that I took on the last floor (Parisians will know that I did not take it yesterday as it rained almost all day!).

Panthéon-Sorbonne university

This is something I'll probably miss when when I move out of Paris, but the thing is that, often, when you walk down a street here, you come across a piece of art (and I'm not talking about the buildings!). Whether it's permanent like the many statues I already showed you or temporary like this one. It was made by Chinese artist Hong Biao Shen who studied until 2007 at Panthéon-Sorbonne university after his Fine arts studies in Beijing. It is now on display at rue Soufflot near the Pantheon, but it's not meant to stay there. Students think it should and they started a petition to "keep the big naked man"! Watch the story in this beautiful video.

Le Bistrot du sommelier in Paris

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to have lunch at Le Bistrot du sommelier, a restaurant located in the 8th arrondissement, where they have a little private lounge where you can have a little privacy. The food is stunning and so is the wine for the owner of the place is one the best sommeliers (wine expert) in the world. He is also a MOF (Meilleur ouvrier de France), which is a prestigious award, granted to workers and artisans who excel in their art.

The rooftop of a Paris building

Yesterday evening I was invited to a farewell party of a friend who's going to work in Berlin. For the occasion he borrowed the offices of friends of his who are lucky enough to have a large terrace on the rooftop of a Paris building. The view was as stunning as was the company...

Old Paris edifice

Sometimes old building staircases are not exactly in mint condition, but they still have this unique flavor that only old Paris edifice have. This one belongs to one of the oldest buildings in the 10th arrondissement and it is typical of the 18th century buildings. Fortunately, the apartment of the friend I visited there is brand new (not the friend, the apartment!). Have a great Sunday.

CityDailyPhoto - Rust is beautiful!

When I heard about today's theme day I really did not know what I was going to photograph. What can be rusty and make a good photo at the same time? Well, I did not have to go very far; the Pont des Arts had all the rust I could hope for! I hope the love between the ones who put them there is less rusty than what their lock shows at present;-)). Have a look at rusty stuff around the world, thanks to the CityDailyPhoto blogger portal!

Fire escapes in Paris

You could almost think this photo was taken in an old American city and though I took it yesterday in the 10th arrondissement in Paris. This is, as far as I know, the only fire escape that exists in Paris! I really don't know why they have it on this particular building, except that it's a theater (but no other theaters have such fire escapes in Paris, so that does not really explains it). I looked on the web and could not find anything about it. Anyway, I'm glad we don't have more of these in Paris, because they are not exactly beautiful...  

Ganesh celebration (2014)

If you're a true visitor to PDP, you know very well of Ganesh, the god who's the patron of arts and sciences, the god of beginnings and the god that helps removing obstacles! Why do you know of him? Because every 1st September weekends he is celebrated in Paris, by the local Indian community, and I always manage to take a photo of the celebration; it's so beautiful...

Can you see Montmartre?

In France, we have a bunch of old songs from the (19)30's that are either funny, silly or stupid, and sometimes all of this! There is one called "Monte la-dessus et tu verras montmartre" (step on this and you'll see Montmartre!) and I could not help but think about it when I saw this photo on my computer - for yes, the little church on the hill in the background is le Sacré Coeur. 

A Remnant of Paris from... 1312

There are several Moulins (windmills) in Paris (Moulin Rouge, Moulin de la galette...) but they're all "fake" or rather old windmills that have been turned into restaurants or cabarets. This one remains in its original state, and it's called Le Moulin de Rouvray. It's located in the Bois de Boulogne (the woods around the Western part of Paris). It was built in 1312 within an Abbey founded in 1255 by Isabelle de France, the daughter of Louis the 8th. The Abbey was destroyed in 1795, but the windmill survived until now (it has not been used as a real windmill since 1809 though! It cannot be visited unfortunately, but you can see it from the street where I was yesterday.

Victory and willpower!

I already said it several times here, I love it that in Paris you can casually come across beautiful pieces of art in many streets. Hence these two sculptures by Emile-Antoine Bourdelle that I found at rue de Lille, near the back entrance of Le Musée d'Orsay. The first one is called La Victoire (the Victory) and the second one La force de la volonté (the strength of willpower). Quick photography remark; I always find it hard to shoot statues, because they always seem to absorb the light. These ones were even harder, as they would blend in the background!   

Big blue...Paris at the moment

I'm not currently in Paris at the moment, but I know the weather is really improving. I kinda knew that before leaving so I packed a bunch of blue sky photos ;-) This one was taken near the Louvre entrance - through the arches that  lead to the Cour du Louvre, precisely. Not much to see, but a cool effect. have a great Sunday everyone, I'll be enjoying the sun on a little island in Southern Europe! 

The canons of Les Invalides

In front of Les Invalides, there are several canons that are either French made or that the French took from their enemies during the many wars that we participated in throughout the years. These ones, for instance, are precisely Turkish. FYI, In France, whenever we have a new President, the Invalides canons are used for a 21 canon salute. 

A day at the races

I don't think I ever posted any photo about the Longchamps Hippodrome, that is the horse track located in the Bois de Boulogne, near Paris. It was built in 1857 and is still in use for mostly horse races (the next big one - the Prix de l'Arc de Triumph - will take place on October 5 and 6) and also for other events like concerts (that is where the Rolling Stones performed in 1995 for instance) or even a mass given by the Pope in 1997!

Each gate of Paris

After a few days in the mediterranean sea (in the island of Malta), I'm back to the big city of light! All French cities have signs like this at their entrance, but in Paris, it's actually pretty rare to see them. When I see one, it reminds  me of an old uncle who used to tell me about the Paris Octroi, a toll that was collected at each gate of Paris (the main entrances are called gate in Paris) until 1943 on certain goods.,. Now it does not exist anymore, but they found other ways of taxing people!!

Paris bench

There are exactly 8,481 benches in Paris (who counted them?!), that is roughly 1 for 260 people, which is not too bad considering the average Parisian does not really have the time to sit in them, during a normal day. I photographed this one in the avenue Foch, once called l'avenue du bois (woods avenue) for it leads to the Bois de Boulogne. Not much to say; I just like the looks of Paris benches!

Traffic Jams

Like in all big cities there are many traffic jams in Paris (we call them "embouteillages" in French - or bottlenecks in English). Paris is not the worst though, according to Inrix (an American company specializing in traffic monitor worldwide), it is the 8th most congested city in Europe. In 2013, Parisians wasted no less than 55 hours in their cars... I took this photo in the tunnel than runs under le Louvre gardens.

Trapped tree!

I stopped and took this photo in this little street in the 7th arrondissement called Cité Vanneau, because of the superb tree that you can see at its end. I often wonder how plants and trees can grow so well, totally trapped in concrete! I looked up the Cité Vaneau on the Internet and I found out that it's the only street in Paris where all porches are similar - which apparently is very rare... Have a great Saturday everyone, I'll be going to the Melac Vendanges, like every year!

Folk danse

Like every year I went to Les vendanges of the Melac Bistrot . It's a fun event that takes place in the 11th arrondissement where they install tables in the streets around the bistrot and harvest the grapes that grow above the café! All this being just a way to drink, eat and have fun! Which I had... This year they also had a crew of folk dancers from Aveyron - a region in France from where most café owners in Paris are from.

A Sunday in Paris

I had a picnic in the Luxembourg gardens yesterday and it was really cool! When I left, passed by the pond where kids can sail little boats rented by their parents. The photo quality is debatable, but the scene is sooooooo French, that I thought you might like it ;-)

Préfecture de Police de Paris

The prefecture is a large building located on the Île de la Cité (opposite to Notre Dame). It is the head quarters of the Paris (and surroundings) police which  manages emergency services, administrative duties (ID cards, driver licenses and "permis de séjour" for foreigners!). Their building (old 19th century barracks) is absolutely beautiful, especially at night. 

Water mirror Lake

In the Bois de Boulogne, there are several lakes on which you can row in little flat boats. At dusk, it's super quiet and beautiful. The perfect location for a picnic!