Picture of the Week

28 March 2019

Week 12: Paris / OECD

Filed under: — Administrator @ 07:26

The main event during the week was a trip to Paris from very early Sunday morning until very late Tuesday night. I had all-day meetings at the OECD Monday and Tuesday, so I would have to travel on Sunday anyway; and I chose the earliest possible flight to ensure that I had the full day to enjoy the city.

The photos are presented chronologically. I have created a separate gallery from the trip, but the images I show below are mainly of people and from around the OECD headquarters.

12_1
I landed at Orly airport around 9:30 a.m. and took the express bus to the city. On a Sunday morning, with little traffic, it was nice and quick. I got off at Etoile and walked to my hotel, about 1.5 km away. There were not many people about, but I liked this woman engrossed in her phone:
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12_2
This couple were doing some kind of semi-serious photo shoot, clearly something beyond simple selfies:
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I got to my hotel on Rue Copernic, and even though it was only around 11 they already had my room ready. Having hung my clothes for the next day, I went out right away. I crossed the street to read the memorial plaque on the wall of a synagogue. It turned out that rather than being one of the usual WWII plaques commemorating someone who had been murdered by the Nazis, this was much more recent. The synagogue was attacked by a terrorist in 1980, using a bomb hidden in a motorcycle parked outside. Four people were killed–two of them had been attending the synagogue, one just happened to be passing by, and one was an employee of the very hotel where I was staying:
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12_4
I walked to the Victor Hugo metro station to go to the Rodin museum, the first item on my agenda:
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The Rodin museum turned out to be an awesome, wonderful place. Of course everyone goes there to see The Thinker:
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But the real revelation was the sheer size of the collection and the scope of Rodin’s work. I was amazed just like this boy:
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Art being created amid art:
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I then made my way to Notre Dame and the throng of tourists on the square in front of the cathedral:
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I thought for a second about going inside (it has been several years since my last visit) but the queue put me off very quickly. Instead, I walked around in the neighbourhood, photographing this and that, like this couple on the banks of the Seine, near Hôtel de Ville:
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The river seemed to have enough water in it:
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I do not think he was a stray, but probably belonged to some of the people in the previous picture:
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Suddenly this group of people appeared. I never found out the detail, but it was clearly some kind of organised event, with police escort in front and at the back:
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All ages were represented:
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And the lanterne rouge were not even on rollerblades:
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Continuing to walk around, I came across this sign, announcing that urinating in public carried a fine of 68 Euro. It stirred some interest in me, as I happened to need to pee:
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Of course I was not going to pee in the middle of Paris, so I looked for a public toilet and found this one, close to Notre Dame. It was the most expensive pee I have ever enjoyed. I can understand why some people would prefer to play the probabilities (I did cough up my 2 Euro, but when the need arose again later, I went into a bar and invested the savings in a pint):
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12_17
I visited this iconic bookshop, a Paris legend just like the City Lights bookstore in San Francisco. Amazingly, I resisted the temptation and walked out empty-handed:
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On the way back to the hotel in the metro, I happened on this classic Paris scene:
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12_19
On Monday morning, I walked from my hotel to the OECD, a pleasant walk of just under 2 km. Along the way, I took in the views of the city waking up along Avenue Victor Hugo:
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12_20
Morning sun:
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12_21
During my stay in Paris, I did not see any signs of the recent disturbances; the only yellow vests I saw were various road workers etc. But this boarded-up wine shop on Avenue Victor Hugo made me wonder. However, I think it was a coincidence; to my knowledge, the protests had not spread to this posh area (16th Arrondissement):
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I arrived at the OECD early, before most of the employees, partly because I wanted some decent coffee at their cafeteria to supplement the slush I had at the hotel:
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I very much like the OECD building. It is very airy and luminous and there is a nice inner courtyard:
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12_24
The courtyard / smoking area:
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12_25
This is the conference room in which I spent most of the two days, attending a meeting of OECD’s Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, a body that concerns itself with all types of trafficking including narcotics, human trafficking, illegal wildlife trade, and trade in counterfeit goods (the latter is why my office cooperates with this task force):
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On Tuesday morning, I again enjoyed the morning sun while walking to the second day of my meetings:
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The OECD conference centre, with the many meeting rooms like the one in picture 25:
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12_28
Aside from the modern building where most of OECD’s employees work, there is also the Château de la Muette, built by Henri de Rotschild in the early 1920s. It served as the OEEC’s (the original name of the OECD) original headquarters when the organisation was founded in the late 1940s. Today it houses some ceremonial meeting rooms on the ground floor and the offices of OECD’s Secretary-General on the first floor:
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One of the reasons I enjoy visiting the OECD is the whiff of history:
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There is a lot of art around the OECD buildings. Since the current Secretary-General, Angel Gurría, is Mexican, there are many works by Mexican artists, like this one by Adriana Lobo:
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This sculpture is by a Polish artist whose name I did not record:
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This is Piotr Stryszowski, a Polish economist working at the OECD. He and one of the economists working on my team in Alicante are the principal authors of a joint report on international trade in counterfeit goods which we launched during this particular meeting. Here, Piotr poses for me in front a display shelf of the reports:
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Piotr snapped this portrait of me as well, with his phone:
iPhone

Should anyone wish to see the report we were launching, it is available for download from the web site of my office.

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Late Tuesday afternoon, I walked to Trocadéro to take the bus to the airport. While waiting there, I looked at the traffic on the very busy roundabout, including some brave cyclists:
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Full moon over Trocadéro:
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The following evening, back in Alicante, I photographed the same full moon over our beach:
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On Friday morning, the wind was blowing in, creating nice big waves:
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Also on Friday, I went out for lunch in the city with a visitor from the Polish Patent Office. I enjoyed sitting outside in the sunshine and taking in the sights of Esplanada de España, like this street musician:
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A chat and a laugh:
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The people at the neighbouring table finished their lunch and left, and the local wildlife swooped in to take advantage of the leftovers:
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Finally, a picture from home to finish the week. Our lemon tree has responded well to the trimming and other care my wife has lavished on it, and is rewarding us with a stream of nice lemons for use in our cooking and drinks:
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