thevintagenews paris catacombs swimming pools-NYC-Untapped CitiesAll images via messynessychic.com

This just in: the famous catacombs of Paris, holding the centuries-old bones of at least 6 million people since the early 19th century, aren’t all that dry.

In fact, it was found by a group of explorers, showcased in the French short film “Cité dans la Mer” (City Under the Sea), that there are not only submerged tunnels of the catacombs underneath Paris but whole subterranean swimming pools. The video, which appeared first on messynessychic.com takes a positively claustrophobic look into these tunnels’ dark depths, relatively unknown to the public and strictly off limits.


haussmanhattan-Paris-NYC-photomontage-Luis Fernandes-4NYC’s Flatiron Building on Île de la Cité with the Pont Neuf in Paris

You may remember one of the early Fun Maps that we made, What If Manhattan Were Like Paris? where we superimposed the Hausmannian street grid of Paris onto Manhattan (retaining Central Park for orientation). Now, in Haussmanhattan Luis Fernandes has taken the concept to cityscapes using vintage photography. We’re not surprised Fernandes is both an architect and photographer, as the ties between the two cities have endless possibilities for comparisons, whether in graphic design, illustration, video, photography or more. And we’re honored that he did a reversal of What If Manhattan Were Like Paris? too!

In this series of photos, we’ll break down exactly parts of the urban fabric he pulled from both cities and the famous buildings you’ll see:


Diner en Blanc Paris-2015-Palais Royal-NYCParis Dîner en Blanc at Palais Royal. Photo by heleneworldwine

The Paris Dîner en Blanc remains one of the most exclusive pop-up dinners in the world but it’s getting bigger and bigger by the year. In two simultaneous locations since 2011, this year it was reduced to one for 10,000 people–the Palais Royal–but we received confirmation from an official Dîner en Blanc organizer that a second rogue dinner was started unofficially by a group that was removed from last year’s dinner on the Pont Alexander III due to bad behavior. Waste left behind by that group was documented by locals and the Paris press. As for the official location, the Palais Royal recently underwent a renovation (and is home to the fun Colonnes des Buren art installation). The Louvre/Tuileries gardens had an official Dîner en Blanc there in 2010.


Traboules-Lyon-Passageways-Alleys-Courtyard-UNESCO World Heritage Site-Vieux Lyon-Croix-Rousse-France-006

New York City has its hidden alleys, Paris its passages, and Sydney its laneways. But Lyon, France has something even more astonishing perhaps–the traboules. These medieval/Renaissance architectural gems hidden behind closed doors are part passageway, part tower, part courtyard. Predominantly located in Vieux Lyon (old Lyon), the Croix-Rousse, a hillside area that dates back to the Roman period, and the Presqu’île neighborhoods, traboules are examples of urban architecture that are both functional and symbolic. The official number of traboules in Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site, vary from 230, as specified on Lyon Traboules to 500.


Eat the Road-Airstream Food Truck-Paris

Paris has really been pushing the envelope of mobile services (come on New York!). The latest is a mobile barbershop from the startup Big Moustache, retrofitted from a three-wheeled, rickshaw bicycle. Here’s a list of more clever ones we’ve seen recently, that go beyond the now-expected food truck trend.

5. Clasiko Tuk-Tuk, Food Truck

Food Tuk Tuk-Truck-Paris-Clasiko

Clasiko is an Argentinian food truck run out of a tuk-tuk, hearkening back to the days of 1950s Buenos Aires. Clasiko serves gourmet empanadas and homemade helados.

Disquaires de Paris-Lost Record Stores of Paris-Fun Maps-Phonographic History-NYC.40 PM

Paris was once at the forefront of the music industry and dotted with phonographic shops. The project Disquaires de Paris has created an impressive interactive map with archival material documenting 120 years of sound recording, all locations which are no longer in existence today. The list includes retail shops that sold recordings (what we traditionally would think of as a record store), stores that sold phonographic cylinders and other methods of recording (which appeared in the city starting in the 1890s), as well as luthiers who who were among the first to get on board with sound recording.