Hell’s Kitchen has come a long way from the gang rule it was once under. Today its real estate prices are skyrocketing, new construction projects are constantly underway, and trendy, tourist-friendly bars and restaurants are popping up on almost every corner. Many now mourn the area’s increasing gentrification, but they can take comfort in the fact that there are still some largely undiscovered places in this once-gritty neighborhood. (more…)
Over fifteen building walls and facades have been pasted by the French artist JR in the framework of his project “The Wrinkles of the City“. After Cartagena, Shanghai, L.A. and Havana, Berlin has become the fifth city to host the project. (more…)
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 Rises by 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 Feast as well. (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…)
New York is the ultimate city of water. With its 578 miles of shoreline, its tidal rivers and straits, bays, harbors, and ocean frontage, New York became fabulously wealthy over the centuries by ruthlessly exploiting the surrounding waters for shipping, commerce, and energy. For 300 years it has expanded its territory into the sea, building bulkheads and walls to protect the land from surges and storms, whose turbulence and unpredictability have served as a regular threat to the city’s welfare. But its shores were for industry, not people. In the name of protection, it closed off most of its dangerous, wild waterfront to New Yorkers until the late 20th century. (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.
Fire-thrower in the Paris Underground. Source: National Geographic, by Stephen Alvarez (more…)