Tag Archives: Pictours Paris

Dîner en Blanc: A Secret Dinner Soirée in Paris

Diner en Blanc 3
Last Thursday, Rio and I got to experience one of the most interesting nights we’ve had in Paris: Dîner en Blanc.

Thanks to our friend Stacy of L’Amour de Paris, we joined approximately 13,000 other guests for this pop-up, invitation-only dinner on Pont Alexandre III. For the past 26 years, thousands of people who are dressed exclusively in white meet up at a secret location and set up rows upon rows of tables complete with flowers, candles, and even candelabras for a chic soirée.

Diner en Blanc

Diner en Blanc
Here are some must-knows about Dîner en Blanc:

  • Want an invite? You have to be invited by a friend who attended the previous year. Those friends must have been invited by a friend (or a friend of a friend) of one of the original organizers. There are actual designated rows that are accounted for the number of people, so there is no crashing this pseudo-flash mob.
  • Around 8pm, your group converges on a designated location that’s around where the dinner will take place. We didn’t find out what our designated location was going to be until around 4:30pm. And then at approximately 8:45pm when we were all together and ready to go, we received a final text letting us know where the actual dinner was going to be.
  • Dîner en Blanc takes place from approximately 9pm to midnight, complete with DJ post-dinner and sparklers at 11pm.
  • Everything must be white! I’m not just talking about your outfit, but your table, chairs, table linen, plates, etc. must all be white. There are a few exceptions (i.e. shoes), but for the most part, this is a sea of white.
  • Not all 13,000 of us dined and partied on Pont Alexandre III…because well, we wouldn’t all fit. So the event took place across six bridges (I think we got the best one) and the grassy area by les Invalides.
  • Technically, Dîner en Blanc is illegal. If you have a group of more than 30 getting together in a public space, you’re supposed to have a permit. Luckily, the Parisian police turn an eye on this since no one gets too rowdy, we all clean up after ourselves, and it just adds to the beauty of Paris, non? (Can you imagine the police force in NYC letting us get away with this?! Ha – je crois que non.)
  • Speaking of cleanup, oui, once the clock strikes midnight, you are all expected to quickly pack up, throw away your garbage, and get the heck on out of there.

Want to know more about Dîner en Blanc? Here’s the official Facebook pagemore information with photos from one of our fellow table attendees, and more pics (spot us in the last pic), and more pics (again in one of the photos!), and more pics.

Diner en Blanc 2
Chef Justin came with a propane tank to sear chicken he sous-vided the day before, Jason entertains us with his ukelele (or is it a banjo?) and the night begins!

Diner en Blanc

Diner en Blanc

Photo Courtesy of Pictours Paris

Photo Courtesy of Pictours Paris

Photo Courtesy of Pictours Paris

Photo Courtesy of Pictours Paris

Diner en Blanc

Photos Courtesy of Pictours Paris

Diner en Blanc

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One More Month in Paris

Paris
July 16. That’s the date we move back to New York, which happens to be exactly one month from today. I can’t believe my two-plus years have flown by so quickly…and that I have a mere month left. I don’t even want to think about what moving back to NYC is going to be like. From fellow friends who have loved Paris as much as I do and have been forced had to repatriate, it is going to blow big time. Always the planner though, I’ve decided to combat the inevitable repatriation woes with the following action plan:

  1. Experience NY as an expat! When you’ve grown up in a certain city, you always take it for granted. Not this time around! I’m going to take on NY as if I never lived there. Museums, tourist sights, local events – sign me up tout de suite!
  2. Catch up with old friends, and especially, new friends. We’ve been lucky enough to make friends in Paris who have now returned to NYC. There’s an undeniable bond for those of us who have lived abroad together. Only they can truly understand the ups and downs of your time overseas, resulting in a friendship that will last a lifetime. I’m thankful that if we have to leave our friends here, we at least have many old and new friends to return to.
  3. Travel, travel, travel! Although it won’t be as easy to hop to a new country for a weekend getaway, and I’ll only have a mere three weeks of vacation, it’s time to start exploring Les États-Unis more, and the Americas side of the world.

As for now, many people ask what’s remaining on my bucket list in Paris. So here’s what we’ll be up to with our time left here:

  1. Go to a Crazy Horse cabaret show, which is a raunchier version of Moulin Rouge…I think.
  2. Capture a piece of our Parisian life. Instead of being photographed in front of a slew of tourist sites, I’m hiring our friend Lindsey of Pictours Paris for a family shoot in our apartment, neighborhood, and one or two touristy spots.
  3. Discover a new view of Paris courtesy of Messy Nessy Chic.
  4. Ride bus 69. No, I’m not being a pervert. Paris’s public bus #69 happens to have a très scenic route that includes the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.
  5. Shop! Luckily, les soldes begin June 25 so I can stock up on a much-needed new wardrobe for my new job and return home! I have to attempt to look Parisian chic, after all!
  6. Consume as much cheese, baguette, and wine as possible.
  7. Finally take advantage of the free English guided tours at Notre-Dame de Paris.
  8. Je voudrais faire une réservation, svp! As you can see in my Google map, I’ve eaten at a lot of bars/restaurants in Paris…but there are so many more I still need to try!
  9. Spend quality time with my beloved friends here. Oh, how I’m going to miss them! I love you!
  10. Enjoy Paris!
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Recently on Instagram

Wow – it’s been more than two weeks since I’ve last posted! With work, vacation, planning vacations, socializing and overall laziness resulting from the heat in Paris without any a/c (but I’m not complaining!), I’ve been so bad about posting. So here’s a little Instagram post to catch you up a bit. Because you’re all so interested, right?! Riigghhhhtt.

I do oftentimes think about all the topics I’d post about if I made the had time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. But I do hope to write some posts soon about my recent Amsterdam trip, a visit to the “I love you” wall in Paris, a delicious financier from Normandy and more.
On Instagram
Clockwise from top left:

  • I can’t escape photo booths post-The Knot, and that’s just A-ok with me! Here are some of the boys at Lindsey’s (of Pictours Paris) birthday party posing. This photo helped me realize what the duct tape prop was for as I wasn’t sure at first…
  • I got to see the Tour de France at the Champs-Élysées for my first time! We were supposed to go to a pop-up rooftop bar to watch the race, but alas, RIo was wearing flip-flops, so we were denied entry and ended up on the ground with the rest of the minions. Here’s a link to an Instagram video I took too. Those bikers sure are speedy.
  • The long queue at the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. We ended up waiting on line for an hour and a half. Tip – if you want to go, make sure you book your tickets online at least two weeks in advance. I tried to do this the week before and it was already sold out – thus, the waiting on line. For your reference, this line is shorter than the one at the Vatican Museum in Italy.
  • Rio’s office recently moved from La Défense (the horrid soulless Financial District area, which even got some NYT attention recently) to the Trocadéro neighborhood! This means I’m actually willing to have lunch with him during the week now – and why not when you get to pass by this gorgeous lady right around the corner.
  • Last Tuesday was my first expat lunch date anniversary with one of my besties here Robin. We naturally celebrated with nine hours of drinking and about four bottles (maybe more??) of rosé.
  • August = vacation time in France. If you thought Mondays were dead in Paris, well, just experience Mondays in August. The city is desolate, sauf for the tourists, and many of your local shops and restaurants are closed for the month. All this makes me wish I was away as well. Thank goodness I have a vacation to the South of France coming up. It’ll be our first big road trip and we’ll be hitting up Provence, the Pyrenees and the Basque country. The phrase you’ll hear often now is “à la rentrée”, which essentially means “see you in September” because that’s pretty much when the city is returned to Parisians. So if you ever visit Paris, don’t come during August – you won’t truly experience la vie Parisienne during this month.

Bon lundi, mes amis!

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