Michelle is the founder of Untapped Cities. She can usually be found in New York (where she grew up), Paris, backpacking in South America or Southeast Asia, or in-transit between. She has an obsession with buses, shoots with a Nikon SLR camera, and destroys cellos on stage with her indie rock band. She’s traveled to 35 countries, including working for earthquake disaster organizations in Peru and Sumatra. She is an author of 100 Ways to Make History, published by the New York Public Library. She holds a masters in urban planning from Columbia University, a B.A. from Harvard in the History of Art & Architecture, and is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. Follow her on Twitter @untappedmich.
When we first posted the painting of the “Happy Negro (Au Nègre Joyeux)” above #12 Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter, we were (admittedly) less well-versed in French history than we are now, and there were some wonderful comments on the article from readers situating the historical artifact properly. There was also a fun comment that the very building was mentioned in The Sun Also Risesby Ernest Hemingway: “Music came out of the Negre Joyeux. Through the window of the Café Aux Amateurs I saw the long zinc bar.” The same café is mentioned in A Moveable Feastas well. (more…)
We forgot to mention in our photo slideshow of last night’s 2013 Dîner en Blanc at Trocadero and Eiffel Tower that it was filmed using a drone by Gregoire Tiberghien and the company Locadrone. Enjoy this video of the 2013 Dîner en Blanc, showing the event from an all new perspective and check out our still shots of the festivities here. The footage was filmed with a mounted Objectif Sunex Gopro HD DSL377.
On our way to meet the blogger behind this awesome website Messy Nessy Chic, we came across this man, “levitating” at Saint Michel next to Notre Dame in Paris to the wonderment of the crowd in front of him. Just in case you’re in doubt, we walked all the way around to double check. We think the trick is that the stick he carries continues into his arm (which he doesn’t move), and down his back where a seat is attached. According to a reader with knowledge of these type of tricks: (more…)
Someone told me on my first Dîner en Blanc at the Louvre and Tuileries (a location what was repeated tonight for some guests), that it never rains for the event, and this year was no exception. At 5pm, as we prepared for our fourth year at the Paris Dîner en Blanc, the sun peeked out of the sky. Rain and clouds threatened all day, replaced by sunshine, seemingly just for the event.
It’s a special year, marking the the 25th Anniversary of this pop-up dinner phenomenon that began humbly as a reunion when François Pasquier returned to France after living abroad. Now in 18 cities, the magic has spread worldwide, as far as Rwanda, Haiti, Australia and many cities in the United States, including New York City. Tonight, the Paris Dîner en Blanc took place in two locations: at Trocadero, with a majestic view of the Eiffel Tower and at the Louvre. (more…)
Paris may be most famous for its catacombs, explored officially by tourists in some areas, illicitly by “cataphiles” in others, but did you know that catacombs exist all around the world, including in New York City? Originally the term “catacomb,” in its singular form, only applied to a group of underground tombs on Appian Way in Rome under the Basilica of St. Sebastian, where the bodies of apostles Peter and Paul were believed to have been interred. By 1705, the word was being used to describe subterranean cemeteries elsewhere, and by 1836, it also included the catacombs of Paris.
The now famous Dîner en Blanc began in Paris as an impromptu get-together by François Pasquier 25 years ago, and was spread worldwide by his son, Aymeric Pasquier, to 18 cities around the world including New York City, Boston, and even Kigali (Rwanda) and Haiti. The event is loved, sometimes derided, and not without controversy, but here at Untapped Cities, we regard it as a beautiful tribute to a pure spirit of gathering and conviviality. (more…)