Cool Stuff in Paris. By Manning Leonard Krull.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Awesome view in a Louvre bathroom

Haha, oh man, check out this awesome view that reader Zelda Greenstein found in a Louvre bathroom.
Zelda says, "Manning- I got so much great stuff from your blog I wanted to share this quirky picture that I took. Thought you might appreciate it. I was in a bathroom on - I think - the second floor of the Louvre. It is a single room toilet in between the painting galleries. And these are the pictures I took. enjoy."

I don't know art, but I know what I like! Thanks, Zelda!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Stencil graffiti on Rue Chapon. He or she looks so calm about it!

Pig in an art gallery on Rue Chapon

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sainte Geneviève statue on the Pont de la Tournelle

In all my years in Paris, I'd noticed this very impressive statue on the Pont de la Tournelle many times but never knew what it was all about. After taking these two pictures a while back, I finally just now remembered to look it up, and I learned that this is a statue of Sainte Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris. The statue was constructed in the 20th century, and when you get a good look you can see how relatively new and clean it is, but despite the fact that it's visibly a recent work I've always thought it had very somber, heavy, almost ancient look about it. Now I realize this may be owing at least partly to the fact that it's a monument to a 6th-century saint. I've always really liked this statue and I'm glad to have finally found out what the heck it is.

I took these pictures from the Pont de Sully, facing west toward the Pont de la Tournelle. Pont de la Tournelle connects l'Île Saint-Louis with the left bank. And that's (obviously!) Notre Dame in the background there.

I wish I had a better camera that could really zoom in close! You can click the photo at right to see a somewhat zoomed-in view of the statue.

Incidentally, the statue was made by Paul Maximilien Landowski, a Polish-French monument sculptor whose best-known work is that big ol' Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

If you're interested, Sainte Geneviève's tomb is in a church called Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, near the Panthéon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Danger de mort

"Glass roof; access forbidden. Danger of death." This glass roof is just behind the weird fountain near the Centre Pompidou with all the big ugly colorful sculptures in it. It's not often you see a skull used to denote, like, actual death. 99% of skulls you see these days are on t-shirts or other fashionable items. Two hundred years ago, 99% of the skulls you saw meant either poison or pirates. I don’t know why I find that so interesting.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

No Swimming (??)

I was sitting on a bench in Place Suzanne Buisson, up in Montmartre, reflecting on this neato statue of Saint Denis brandishing his chopped-off head (as he is wont to do; see my article about Saint Denis here), when I noticed this hilarious sign next to the ten-centimeter-deep pool in front.
Seriously, please do not swim in there.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Headless corpses found in Paris picnic spot

I bet it was an orang-utan!

"PARIS (Reuters) - Police were questioning a couple on Monday about two headless torsos and a footless leg discovered near a popular picnic spot on the eastern edge of Paris.

"The macabre mystery began when a jogger found a rotting leg in the Vincennes woods earlier this month and a guide dog then unearthed a torso nearby, a source close to the inquiry said."

Read more

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fountain behind l'église Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis

Haha, this is rich; I was wandering around the Marais with a friend, and we noticed this nice fountain, situated directly behind l'église Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis (which is beautiful and very much worth visiting, by the way). I spied the roman numerals "MDCCCXL" up at the top and started trying to figure out the date out loud, and my friend started to help. (Is it worth mentioning that we were kind of halfway drunk?) Then I noticed some helpful person had climbed up on the fountain and scribbled "1840" in good ol' normal modern-people numbers. Thanks, mystery person who's good at roman numerals! You saved me a lot of complicated thinking, for which I am not suited.

Incidentally, I cropped the bottom of the fountain out of the picture; the date is about twelve feet up off the ground! I miss being young enough to be climbing up on fountains and vandalizing them pedantically.
Anyway, I'm glad I zoomed in to take this picture of the date, because otherwise I wouldn't have noticed the tiny lil' dragon at the top of that arch. Not to mention the fish monster off to the right. Good stuff.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Les Arènes de Lutèce in the snow

Les Arènes de Lutèce is ancient Roman arena hidden in Paris' 5th arrondissement. (I have an article about the place here, with some photos in nicer weather.) I stopped by recently and took some pictures of the arena in the snow, which was lovely, but I'm mostly posting these for the great signs I found just outside...

I love this "no drinking in the park" sign (and also no picking flowers!).

Closeup: vin, bière.

It was so nice and quiet and peaceful to wander around Les Arènes de Lutèce in the snow.

Haha, "This zone is open, [but] be careful!"

Check out more Weird and Cool Paris History.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Notre Dame under the winter sun

A few weeks ago I was walking across the Pont de la Tournelle, leading onto the Île Saint-Louis, when I noticed that the back of Notre Dame was getting some really pretty (and rare for Paris in winter) sunlight.

I usually only take pictures when I have a specific article in mind that I want to write; this time was just because it hit me, as it often does, that Paris is gorgeous and wonderful.

(I do have an article that I wrote about Notre Dame a long time ago, with another pretty picture, here.)

Le Petit Resto Dans La Prairie

Yes, there is actually a Little House on the Prairie-themed restaurant* in Paris. When my (French) friends told me about it, I was A) surprised to learn that Little House on the Prairie is well-known in France, B) amused to learn that some enterprising Parisian decided to create a restaurant with the theme, and C) baffled that my friends wanted to go. The place is loosely decorated in a sort of American frontier style, with farm tools and horseshoes and stuff on the walls, so, nothing terribly interesting or exotic for Americans, but I can get why it's cute for French folks. I personally wasn't really impressed with the atmosphere or the service or the food, but my gang of French friends really dug it, and it's clearly more for them than for foreign visitors. I just wanted to take a picture of that adorable menu and and show you readers.

*Quick French lesson: the French word for restaurant is, of course, "restaurant," but "resto" is a common, informal word for the same.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

WWI facial injury models and drawings at Librairie Alain Brieux

While on my way to have coffee with a friend a few weeks ago, I wandered past Librairie Alain Brieux (48, Rue Jacob, 75006 Paris, and had to stop and take a few pictures of their fantastic window display. Check out these amazing World War I facial injury models and drawings.

I wish I'd been able to visit! It was much too early and they were closed. But here's a wonderful blog post with beautiful pictures of the place.

Librairie Alain Brieux

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tree shadows mural on the Hotel de Chevreuse

I was wandering around the Montparnasse neighborhood a couple weeks ago and I happened upon this small hotel with a really neat mural that's reminiscent of the shadows of trees being cast onto a wall. A little Googling reveals that this is the Hotel de Chevreuse, on Rue de Cheuvreuse in the 6th arrondissement.

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