Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New year et Bonne Année 2011-2012

Photograph taken in the Palais Royal, Paris

Palais Royal at nightfall

Yesterday the kids and I headed down towards Opera to go to the bank. Oh yes, I know how to spoil the small people round here. Who needs Disneyland when you have a banks?! The plan was to go roller blading in the beautiful square at Palais Royal afterwards. Of course we got to the bank three minutes after it had 'exceptionnellement' shut early and by this time it was drizzling. Great.

Not to be thwarted and not wanting to feel we'd completely wasted out outing I suggested we go to the Palais Royal anyway and see how we felt. The courtyard of the Palais Royal is called the Cour d'Honneur. It is dominated by 280 black and white striped columns of varying heights, an art installation conceived by the artist Daniel Buren in 1986. I think it's pure genius. 

We got there as it was getting dark, the ground was wet. The light and the reflections were amazing.

Gradually it got darker.

And darker.

Until I could no longer focus.

The kids had a ball.


Friday, 23 December 2011

The Montmartre Merry Go Round

Between the 17th of December and the 2nd of January you can ride the old fashioned merry-go-rounds of Paris for free. I love this Parisian Christmas tradition. Anybody who wants to, young or old, can have a go.

We were walking past the manège at the bottom of the Sacré Coeur steps the other evening and decided to have ride. There was quite a queue. Once the barrier went down though, there was a mad rush and everybody managed to fit on.

Seated on my white horse I looked up.

And across.

I started to feel a bit queazy after a few turns, so sat out for the next round and took photos instead. Much better.

Merry Christmas. Weeeeeeeeee...!!!

The list of which Paris merry-go-rounds are free and where they are, can be found here

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Place de Tertre on a dark wet December morning

Only five days until the shortest day of the year. This shortest day of the year is always a hurdle I'm glad to have crossed. Today is the last day of school and I decided to go up the hill to see how things looked by the Sacré Coeur and the Place de Tertre in the semi darkness. I certainly won't be doing it next week on the 21st December. I will be in bed, dieu merci!

Coming up Rue de l'Abreuvoir, the street lights were still on.

Glowing doors.

Car headlights.

The Place de Tertre is beautiful, no wonder it's one of the most visited squares in the world.

Cosily lit restaurants.

Lights reflected on the wet cobbles.

This shuttered made me smile, is it just me or does the above window look like it's being kept warm by a street level fire?

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Chasing the moon and the stars

I went for a walk this evening. I chased the moon. A full moon.

I also saw stars. Bigs stars.


The Sacré Coeur and the moon.

The Place de Tertre was scattered with stars.

Then I saw some shooting stars. Lots of shooting stars.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Time for more Oddities

My collection of quirky Parisian snapshots has been building up in my 'Oddities' folder. What do you make of this fellow (spotted in the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen)? How would he look in the corner of your living room? Maybe in the kid's bedroom?

Or maybe you'd prefer this fine gentleman?

This cockerel, spotted in La Cité des Fleurs, made me smile. Could you look a bit more furious Monsieur Coq? Et bah non. Not possible.

Yoohoo! I'm over here.

Refreshment drink?

Perhaps you'd like to grate some carrots?

Flipflop art...really?

I prefer these giraffs.

I'm also quite partial to the plaster art, prevalent in our neighbourhood.

A love this giant silver scoubidou on Rue Chappe near the Sacré Coeur.

I found this silver human statue making his way home after a hard day's work quite sobering.

I didn't know what to make of rue Durantin covered in feathers. Where did they come from?

This cat, watching the world go by, made me laugh out loud. Can you see it wearing a virtual flowery house coat? I can.

A previous 'Oddities' post can be found here.