Thanks and best wishes!!

Time for a little break. See you again in the beginning of 2016!


Work in progress.

Along a little walk the other day… 

The Pont des Arts (see previous posts here) is getting rid of its overloading by padlocks – about a million weighing some 50 tons. One side is now completely equipped with plexiglass panels, the other side will follow. Work should be finished in February.

There is always one part of the Louvre being cleaned (see previous posts here). This has been the case for the “Pavillon de Marsan” for some time.

I was surprised to see that the queue to get a hot chocolate at the “Angelina”, rue de Rivoli, was longer than the one to the Louvre.

Another little parenthesis: The starting point of the “Historical Axis” is not the central part of the Louvre, nor the pyramid – it’s the equestrian statue of Louis XIV. This is obvious when you stand in front of the statue and then turn around.

The renovations of the Vendôme Column (see previous posts here) and the nearby Ritz Hotel are almost completed.

Another prestigious hotel, the Crillon, on Place de la Concorde (see previous posts here), seems to be reopening later (late 2016?). The nearby Automobile Club de France is also behind covers.

Not during the same walk, but here are some pictures of the (almost) finished renovation of the clock tower of the Gare de Lyon (see previous posts here).


Square des Batignolles - again and again

Perhaps too much of “parks”, but walking through “my” park, Square des Batignolles, the other day I could not resist. It started with a pigeon which was so happy to be photographed and let me come quite near for a good moment.

Just to remind you about this little park on which I have posted frequently, here are some general views, a grey December day…

… but when you start to look for “details”, there are still many colours around.

You can also admire these trees which have been there since the middle of the 19th century…

… and, of course, the birds.

During the recent ceremony to honour the victims of the November 13 event, Natalie Dessay performed a song by Barbara, which mentions the Square des Batignolles, where Barbara often played as a child.

Here is the same song is performed by Barbara herself.


Earth to Paris

Obviously thanks to this blog, I had the privilege to be invited to a conference, "Earth to Paris", organised by the UN (and many other sponsors - read more about it here), which took place at the Pertit Palais in Paris, December 7.  First some views of the beautiful building (see previous posts). The security control on arrival was of course important. I left when it started to get dark, after a full day.

The audience varied in size according to who was speaking. There were some standing ovations.

Some examples of speakers:

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, Cathy Calvin, President & CEO of the UN Foundation, Tom Steyer, swimmer and Founder of Mission Blue, Jerry Brown, Governor of California…

Sylvia Earle, Founder of Mission Blue, Jane Goodall, UN Messenger of Peace (and a lot more), Tim Wirth, ex-Senator and ex-CEO of the UN Foundation, Gro Brundtland, ex-Prime Minister (Norway), UN Special Envoy and one of the “Elders”, Joel Sartore, National Geographic photographer…

Runa Khan, Founder of Friendship Bangladesh, Yann Arthus Bertrand, filmmaker, Carter Roberts, President & CEO of WWF…

Adrian Grenier, actor, Bill McKibben, Co-founder of 350.org, Emma Ruby Sachs, dep. Director of Avaaz, Nicolas Hulot, President of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation (and a lot more)…

Alec Baldwin, actor, Christina Coc, Mayan Leader and winner of the UN Equator Prize in 2015, Bianca Juti, talking about the “Angry Birds”, Ban KI-moon, UN Secretary General, interviewed by a young Yugratna Srivastava

Tony Lake, Executive Director UNICEF, Angélique Kidjo, singer and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Tatiana Kondo, a young Climate Mapper, John Kerry, US Secretary of State. These are only examples of a long and interesting list. 

Here is a video prepared for the conference, text read by Morgan Freeman.


Parc Monceau in the rain

Referring to my recent post “Dancing in the rain”, I feel that I would like to show some more photos from my walk in the Parc Monceau. There was a special feeling with the autumn, the rain, the few people…

Some people walked under umbrellas…

… others looked for a shelter.

Some birds worried about the weather, others didn’t.

Many leaves on the ground, but some still on the trees, and some trees and bushes even offering flowers…

Fewer leaves on the trees makes it easier to view the remarkable buildings around the park.

I already made a post about all the statues to be found in the park. Here are just a few of them: de Maupassant... and Chopin (composing “Marche Funèbre”, let’s listen to it once more).


Flags... or other solutions.

Normally, the French flag is supposed to decorate only public buildings. However, in order to honour the victims of the November 13 terrorist attack, people were last week encouraged to “show the colours”. Here are some samples from windows in my home area. It was not always possible to find a flag and many people improvised other blue-white-red solutions…