Tag Archives: Pont Alexandre III

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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A Weekend in Paris

Here are a few snapshots taken while sightseeing with my latest set of guests at Chez Jacqueline this weekend. Besides getting to catch up with an old college friend, one of the highlights was finally going up the Arc de Triomphe for my first time. It was incredible to watch the sun set over Paris and the Eiffel Tower begin to glow a warm gold with the moon shining just above it.  I love this city!
Moulin Rouge

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Pont Alexandre III

Eiffel Tower


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Recently on Instagram

I know I don’t post nearly enough about Paris. The simple fact is I don’t visit any tourist sights unless guests are in town, and I don’t necessarily feel comfortable looking like a tourist or snap-happy blogger by whipping out a huge DSLR camera (or even a regular point-and-shoot camera for that matter) when I’m out trying a new bar or restaurant. I’ll occasionally sneak in an iPhone photo, but even then, those aren’t the best quality since I’m trying to be pseudo-discreet. I’m also just not the kind of person that simply wanders around the city for hours with a camera taking photos of beautiful everyday activities and sights. I really wish I was, but I’m not. In fact, I’m afraid that if I ever leave this beloved city of mine, that I’ll regret I didn’t do that. All this is to say that this is the reason most of my photos tend to be of my recent travels (apparently, I don’t have any qualms about looking like a tourist then), with an occasional Paris shot in between. Oh, and a shot of Tyler too, of course.

However, since I did have guests in town recently and even got to visit Barcelona and Madrid again after nearly 10 years, here are a few things I managed to capture on Instagram, Paris sights included.
Après New York on Instagram
Clockwise from Top Left:

  • This is actually an Instagram video. I know it’s cheesy to say this, but there’s something about a French flag waving in the wind that really resonates with me. Yes, I know I’m American, but I can’t help but feel some sort of heavy connection when I see a French flag. Rio thinks I’m nuts. My friend Alan says I’m a romantic.
  • We’ve been lucky with the weather in Paris lately (I know I just jinxed this now), so for the second night of my friends’ visit, I took them to En Attendant Rosa on Les Berges by the Seine for evening al fresco drinks and apéros. This is the view we took in – my favorite bridge Pont Alexandre III. If you’re ever visiting Paris and the weather is nice, then I recommend settling in at one of the few riverside bars or restaurants on Les Berges and doing the same.
  • On the last day of my friends’ visit, I took them to one of my favorite sights: Sacré-Coeur. Did you know the reason Sacré-Coeur always stays so white is because it’s made of a type of limestone called travertine that constantly self-cleans because it exudes calcite when it rains – kind of giving it a fresh coat of white paint? I always love sharing this fun fact with guests when playing a “Paris Fact: True or False” game with them. And oui, I actually do this because I am a nerd.
  • My parents also visited this past week. Before arriving, my dad said to me, “I’ve already been to Paris, I want to see another city and country”. Um, ok. What am I, chopped liver? So with that in mind, I took them to Spain for the week. For our last day in Madrid, we visited El Retiro Park, which is where this pond is located.
  • We also managed to take a day trip from Madrid to Segovia. This is a shot of the impressive Cathedral of Segovia, located right by the main square Plaza Mayor.
  • After literally two weeks straight of traveling and entertaining guests, I was one exhausted lady. Coupled with the fact that I ended up catching the cold my visiting friend Brian had, I decided to stay in and rest all weekend. Tyler did the same.
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Les Berges de Seine

Les Berges de Paris
Last week, Rio and I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and took a stroll along the new Les Berges de Seine (The Banks of the Seine). The Seine Riverbanks are a UNESCO World Heritage Site (who knew?!) and in an attempt to revamp the unattractive Georges Pompidou highway on the Left bank between Pont Royal and Pont Alma, Les Berges de Seine was created. Running 4.5 hectares, the space has been converted into a riverside park that combines elements of nature, sports, activities, and of course, drinks. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Want to veg out? Take a stroll along the floating garden, do some sun salutations on the Zen platform or simply lay on the sun loungers or Mikado benches whilst enjoying the riverside view. Got company? Score a game-equipped table in the YOU area and brush up on your Backgammon or Chess skills. Looking for something more private? Book a free ZZZ “container” where you can play cards, take a nap or enjoy some QT with your friends. (Unfortunately, alcohol is forbidden in the ZZZs.) Or pop a squat on “The Emmarchement” for stadium-style seating in front of Musée d’Orsay to take in the city views.

Looking to burn calories? There are nine fitness stations to help you get lose that extra wine, baguette & cheese weight. Warm up & stretch, build your biceps on a suspension beam, sprint along a 15m track or even channel your inner Tarzan on a ring and rope structure.

Got kids? Challenge them to make it through the climbing wall, have them learn about their five senses in a funky green caravan, test their Hopscotch or Labyrinth skills in the Ground Games area, or channel their inner artist on the slate chalkboard wall. If you’ve got a birthday tot, then make a free reservation at one of the “Birthday Teepees” that come complete with Mattel games so those little rascals can celebrate with friends. If they’re budding Tony Hawks, let them take a spin along the skate ramp. Although, I should note the skating ramp at Parc Clichy-Batignolles is infinitely better.

Hungry or thirsty? Whether it’s an actual restaurant for a sit-down meal, a glass (or three) of wine or a grab-and-go sandwich, you’ve got plenty of options at Les Berges. I personally enjoyed une verre de rosé at Flow while taking in a view of the gorgeous Pont Alexandre III and I couldn’t have been happier.

After you’ve relaxed, worked out, drank or babysat at Les Berges, it’ll be time to hit up Paris Plages, which opens up tomorrow! You’ve got to love all the summer events and cultural activities this gorgeous city plans.
Modern Museum
While walking to Les Berges, we passed by the Musée d’Art Moderne and came across this graffitied statue. it’s such a shame these delinquents do this! Ok…I kind of sound like an old lady, but it really is terrible.
Berges de Seine
Les Berges de Seine
Berges de Paris - 2

Berges de Seine

Berges de Seine  Flow

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Sunday Snapshots in Paris

When you are deprived from sunshine, it is mandatory to maximize your time outdoors when the weather is actually nice in Paris. Sunday was one of those days. After training for the 10km l’Equipe race Sunday morning, I dragged Rio to Le Bloc café in the Batignolles for lunch, then took Tyler for a nice long stroll along Pont Alexandre III (approx. 30 minute walk chez nous), and then a picnic dinner date at our beloved Parc Monceau. It might not have been as relaxing as Rio had hoped for, mais il faut profiter le soleil!
Pont Alexandre III
Champs Elysees
This was a sponsored bike ride called 24h Vélib where people could ride free vélibs (city bike sharing system) and pledge how many laps they’d bike around a section of the Champs-Élysées. The goal was to bike 25,000km in 24 hours so that the government would then make donations to three charities. This city really comes up with the most random events, but I’m glad that at least this was for charity.
Free Wifi Pour Les Filles Parisian Building
Pretty Porte
J’adore the doors in Paris.
Lovers in Parc Monceau
Lovers in Parc Monceau.
Monceau Metro DSC_0865

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Tyler’s Pic of the Day: Pont Alexandre III

Connecting the Champs-Êlysées to les Invalides and the Eiffel Tower, Pont Alexandre III is considered Paris’s most elegant bridge…and happens to be one of my favorite sights in Paris. Since Tyler’s already been to the Louvre, Eiffel TowerPont des Arts, Notre-Dame and countless other Parisian historical sites, I thought it was about time to take him to Paris’s grandest bridge.
Tyler Family
Tyler and Rio
Me and Tyler

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