Archive for August, 2009

Rediscover : St-Germain-des-Prés

It is very easy to walk along Boulevard St Germain and not give the Abbey of St-Germain-des-Prés a cursory glance. Afterall, in a city of grandeur and one that contains many magnificently ornated Gothic cathedrals, a small stone Romanesque church would have a difficult time competing.

The Romanesque square tower of St-Germain-des-Prés

The Tower of St-Germain-des-Prés

The Gothic choir of St-Germain-des-Prés

The Gothic choir of St-Germain-des-Prés

Windows designed by Flandrin

Windows designed by Flandrin

The church was built characteristically Romanesque, with thick stone walls, round arches, large tower, groin vaults, sturdy piers, Corinthian capitals, and latin cross floor plan, containing several chapels on the East end of the church. Nonetheless, the church also retain some early Gothic features, following renovations and additions, including flying buttresses and four-part groin vaulted roof.

The next time you find yourself passing by the area, why not drop in for a little visit. It is pleasant, silent, not overrun by tourists, and it’s free to enter. If there are performances scheduled, buy a ticket and marvel at the acoustics of the church.

Great Paris Photo Competition

At first glance, this is a photo competition that anyone (particularly photography enthusiast) who loves Paris would gladly take part in. Organised by Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, it’s a competition that will attract both residents of Paris and visitors alike. There are no entry charges, and contestants are to submit 5 photos – making the task for contestants to choose their entries a little easier, since I’m sure one would easily have hundreds of wonderful photos and be torn about which to submit.


The prizes are quite attractive, and here’s the list of the prizes:

  • 1st : Canon EOS 450D Compact Digital SLR Camera
  • 2nd : Canon Powershot G10 Compact Digital Camera
  • 3rd : Paris Dinner Cruise for 2 on Bateaux Parisiens
  • 4th : A night for 2 at 3*** Exclusive Group Hotels
  • 5th : 2 Tickets to Disneyland Paris

Now, why 5 photos per entry, you ask? Well, there are 5 different categories that one can submit their photos for, although you’re not obliged to submit 1 photo per category and instead you may choose to submit varying number of photos per varying number of categories of choice. The categories are:

  • Paris Mythique : Concorde, Champs-Elysées, Tuileries, Louvre
  • Paris Monumental : Eiffel Tower, Champs de Mar, Invalides, Trocadéro
  • Paris Seine : River Seine, the bridges, the quays, the ports
  • Paris Tendance : Marais, Montorgueil, Hôtel de Ville, Les Halles
  • Paris Populaire : République, Bastille, Oberkampf, Père Lachaise

But, before you whip up your camera and roam the streets of Paris, or dig up your digital archive of photos that were taken this year, you must be aware of the following entry requirements:

For initial submission:

  • Photo digital file size at about 3Mb
  • Dimension approximately 10cm x 8cm (1200 x 900 pixels) at 300dpi
  • Format : Jpeg

Final submission if chosen as winner:

  • Photo digital file size of minimum 25Mb
  • Dimension approximately 30cm x 20cm (3500 x 2500 pixels) at 300dpi
  • Format : Jpeg

I am as casual a photographer as any amateur may be, and I have never taken any photo with my trusty compact digital camera that has final size of 2-3Mb, let alone 25Mb. It somehow makes me believe that, this competition is not really geared for just an average photographer. You’ll probably need to be shooting with a digital SLR in RAW format or something like that. (If someone can correct/confirm my assumption?)

If this is really the case, now look back at the prizes again. Do the rewards corresopond to the amount of effort put in? And if you do need more than just a digital compact camera to produce final photo of 25Mb (you must have that for submission after announcement of winners, within 5 days, or a new winner will be chosen), then how likely are any amateur/casual photographer be able to meet this entry rule? I understand that such huge size is required so that an exhibition of the photos may take place later on, but it is quite an imposition to anyone who would like to take part but do not have fancy high-end camera.

Nonetheless, if you have what it take, do submit your best shots. Take part in the competition here before 31 August 2009, and please do read through the entire competition rules before you get started. Bonne chance!

Salmon in the Seine?

A number of salmon have been caught/seen along the Seine lately, all the way up to Suresnes which is just next to Paris! This is not due to any work of reintroduction of the species apparently but a natural recolonisation by a number of fish. Apparently, these fish come from here and there, other French rivers but also abroad. Though scientists caution that there hasn’t been any proof of salmon reproduction along the Seine yet, so one can’t say it’s an enduring return for the time being…

See article in

Kandinsky exhibit: final days

Wonderful Kandinsky exhibit at the Centre Pompidou is open from 11am to 11pm daily until 10th of August (Monday!). The price is steep (12€) but gives access to all the exhibits and the museum, so allow time to enjoy it ;) And don’t forget your camera for the great view of Paris rooftops you see on the top floor!

Eiffel : The Wizard of Iron

The name Gustav Eiffel is synonymous to the iconic Eiffel Tower of Paris, of which the latter celebrates its 120th anniversary this year. It is therefore, a fitting tribute, that an exhibition is currently taking place at the Hôtel de Ville to pay homage to Eiffel.

While the exhibition is chiefly related to the design of the Eiffel Tower, the building processes, modellings and the likes, some of Eiffel’s other works were also on display. Drawings and blueprints, models and armatures of bridges and Statue of Liberty were also on exhibit.

A model of armature of the Statue of Liberty; a painting of the construction

A model of the Statue of Liberty's armature; a painting of the construction of Statue of Liberty

The exhibition hall is largely divided into two sections, of which a smaller on to the side showcases Eiffel’s various achievements. In the larger part of the hall, the predominant topic is that of the afore-mentioned famed tower by the River Seine.

The display is also supplemented with works that have been inspired by the aesthetically symmetrical steel tower. From various proposed modifications following the original expo to the series of 36 views of the Eiffel Tower by Henri Rivière (of which incidentally, there was an exposition of his works at the Bibliothèque Nationale recently), and from paintings by Robert Delauney to photographs by Man Ray.

The exhibition runs from Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 7pm, at the Hôtel de Ville. It closes on Sundays, as well as on public holidays. There is no admission charge.

It is initially slated to run from 7 May to 29 August, but is now extended to 30 September. There are also exhibition tours for adults every Thursday at 11am, of which booking is required. Please call 01 42 76 51 53 for reservation and/or further information.

Et si on se bougeait cet été ?

Coincée à Paris cet été, j’essaye de trouver le moyen d’avoir de micro vacances ici et là…

Comme chaqué été, il y a bien sur Paris-plage pour ma part, si vous trouvez les quais de Seine trop peuplé pour être agréables, allez voir du coté de la nouvelle “extension” le long bassin de la Villette (métro Jaures ou Stalingrad) où a aussi lieu L’été du canal. Transat, partie de pétanque ou “bal barge” vous trouverez forcément de quoi vous occuper.

Si vous êtes sportif ou plein de bonnes résolutions, je vous conseille de tester la gym suédoise des courts gratuits ont lieu jusqu’à la fin du mois dans les parc de Choisy (mardi, jeudi à 19h) et Montsouris (lundi, mercredi à 19h, samedi à 11h). C’est mon coup de coeur de l’été ! L’ambiance est sympathique, on se défoule en musique et en plus pas de courbatures ! enfin à part après le 1er cours…

Et vous vous faites quoi cet été?

Hush hush

August is here!

It’s the same thing every year, I’m not sure why I keep noticing… Paris is empty (apart for the tourist centre): the market stalls are empty, the offices are empty, the shops and restaurants are closed… Well, not all of them, of course. But too many for any Parisian stuck in town for the time being! O well, time to try out new places ;)

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.