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31/12/2010

Happy New Year 2011 !!! Winter in Green Park, London


This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago in Green Park, London.
I would like to take today's opportunity to wish you all a very happy, healthy and sucessful 2011 !

30/12/2010

Fluctuat Nec Mergitur, the motto and city coat of arms, Paris, France


This is a photo taken on the main door of the Mairie de Paris.
Fluctuat nec mergitur is a Latin phrase meaning "It is tossed by the waves, but does not sink".
This phrase is the motto of Paris, France, and is present in the city coat of arms depicting a ship floating on a rough sea. Both motto and city arms have their origins in the river Seine boatsman's corporation; this powerful hanse ruled the city's trade and commerce as early as the Roman era. Although this corporation through the centuries became an entity resembling more a municipal government than a trade organization, they maintained their original arms and motto, and it is for this that the Mairie de Paris bears them still today.

29/12/2010

The Little Mermaid (Den lille Havfrue) Statue, Langelinie, Copenhagen, Denmark


This is a photo of the statue of the Little Mermaid (Den lille havfrue in Danish) which sits on a rock in the harbour of the capital of Denmark. Based on a tale by Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and a major tourist attraction.
The statue was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg, who had been fascinated by a ballet about the fairytale in Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre and asked the primaballerina, Ellen Price, to model for the statue. The sculptor Edvard Eriksen created the statue, which was unveiled on 23 August 1913. The statue’s head was modelled after Price, but as the ballerina did not agree to model in the nude, the sculptor’s wife Eline Eriksen was used for the body. The relatively small size of the statue typically surprises tourists visiting Langelinie for the first time. The Little Mermaid statue is only 1.25 metres high and weighs around 175 kg. The Copenhagen City Council decided to move the statue to Shanghai at the Danish Pavilion for the duration of the Expo 2010 (from May to October), the first time it had been moved from its perch since it was installed almost a century earlier.



24/12/2010

Christmas Decorations 2010, Carnaby Street, London


These are photos of 2010 Christmas decorations of Carnaby Street, London.
Happy Christmas to all of you !



23/12/2010

Foie Gras Catinel du Bois Bareirou, Foie Gras, Montignac Lascaux


This photo was taken in Montignac, Dordogne, France.
Foie Gras (French for "fat liver") is a food product made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. This fattening is typically achieved through gavage (force-feeding) corn, according to French law, though outside of France it is occasionally produced using natural feeding. Foie gras is a popular and well-known delicacy in French cuisine. Its flavor is described as rich, buttery, and delicate, unlike that of a regular duck or goose liver. Foie gras is sold whole, or is prepared into mousse, parfait, or pâté (the lowest quality), and may also be served as an accompaniment to another food item, such as steak. French law states that "Foie gras belongs to the protected cultural and gastronomical heritage of France." Another European cuisine employs fattened goose liver almost to the extent as in France; in Hungary, libamáj (lit. 'goose liver') is produced, as in France, both at the small farm and larger commercial levels, and is consumed both plain and in cooking by all levels of society. As with French foie gras, tinned libamáj is exported and can be purchased around Europe and North America.
Today, France is by far the largest producer and consumer of foie gras, though it is produced and consumed worldwide, particularly in other European nations, the United States, and the People's Republic of China. In 2005, France produced 18,450 tonnes of foie gras (78.5% of the world's estimated total production of 23,500 tonnes) of which 96% was duck liver and the rest goose liver. Total French consumption of foie gras was 19,000 tonnes in 2005.
The technique of gavage dates as far back as 2500 BC, when the ancient Egyptians began keeping birds for food and deliberately fattened the birds through force-feeding. Gavage-based foie gras production is controversial due to the force feeding procedure used. A number of countries and other jurisdictions have laws against force feeding or the sale of foie gras.
Though the recent increased availability of foie gras has made it a less exceptional dish (and in some areas of France foie gras is eaten year-round), foie gras is a luxury dish. In France, it is mainly consumed on special occasions, such as Christmas or New Year's Eve réveillon dinners Happy festive season !

22/12/2010

Coprinopsis Picacea, Coprinus Picaceus (Magpie Ink Cap, Coprin Pie)


This is a photo of Coprinopsis Picacea, a species of fungus in the Psathyrellaceae. It was first described in 1785 by French mycologist Jean Baptiste François Pierre Bulliard in 1785 as Agaricus picaceus.

21/12/2010

Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum Berlin), Berlin, Germany


These are two photos of the Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum Berlin), in Berlin, Germany. It covers two millennia of German Jewish history. It consists of two buildings. One is the old Kollegienhaus, a former courthouse, built in the 18th century. The other (on photos), a new addition specifically built for the museum, designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. This was one of the first buildings in Berlin designed after German reunification. The museum opened to the public in 2001, is a twisted zig-zag and is accessible only via an underground passage from the Berlin Museum's baroque wing. Its shape is reminiscent of a warped Star of David. A "Void," an empty space about 66 feet (20 m) tall, slices linearly through the entire building. Menashe Kadishman's Shalechet (Fallen leaves) installation fills the void with 10,000 coarse iron faces. An irregular matrix of windows cuts in all orientations across the building's facade. A thin layer of zinc coats the building's exterior, which will oxidize and turn bluish as it weathers.

20/12/2010

"Showplace of the Nation", Radio City Music Hall, New York City


This is a photo of Radio City Music Hall, an entertainment venue located in New York City's Rockefeller Center. Its nickname is the Showplace of the Nation, and it was for a time the leading tourist destination in the city. Its interior was declared a city landmark in 1978.
Radio City has 5,931 seats for spectators, and additional seating can be placed on the pit elevator during events that do not require that space bringing the seating capacity to over 6,000; it became the largest movie theater in the world at the time of its opening.
Designed by
Edward Durell Stone, the interior of the theater with its austere Art Deco lines represented a break with the traditional ornate rococo ornament associated with movie palaces at the time. The interior decor was created by designer Donald Deskey. Deskey's geometric Art Deco designs incorporate glass, aluminum, chrome, and leather in the ornament for the theater's wall coverings, carpet, light fixtures, and furniture. His work borrowed heavily from the European Modern aesthetic style, of which he was the foremost exponent in the United States.