At Untapped Cities, the recent terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris hit extremely close to home. As the city recovers, it is important to remember Paris’ vibrant and sometimes tragic history so we can appreciate the city’s ongoing strength and vitality. While the New York Times recently featured vintage photographs of the blocks in the Paris attacks, Vincent Mahé’s new book, 750 Years in Paris, published by Nobrow Press, brings to live the City of Lights’ many triumphs and trials through architectural illustrations. Dating back to as early to 1265 and ending in 2015, Mahé focuses on a single block in the to highlight the historical events and time periods that have shaped this magical city.


1 WTC-Paris Terrorist Attacks-Lights-France-NYC-World Trade Center-20151 World Trade Center via EarthCam

Here at Untapped Cities, we have strong ties to both New York City and Paris. As the founder of Untapped Cities, I was born in New York but lived in Paris in 2010, and my husband Augustin Pasquet, who manages partnerships and advertising for Untapped Cities, moved to New York City from Paris in 2012. Many of our contributors live in Paris and for many years we ran a subsite, Untapped Paris as well. This year, part of our team spent all of April and May living and working in Paris, and a large portion of August.

There is a kinship between New York City and Paris – so different physically, even culturally, but similar in spirit. When I was married, I thought long and hard about whether to change my last name. In the end, I kept both, and I’m glad because today I also feel French. It is with sadness that I see what people are willing to do to the places that so many call home, places that have such rich history and culture, whether New York City or Paris, or elsewhere. But we cannot succumb to fear. Cities like New York City and Paris must continue to be melting pots, to welcome the world to its doorsteps and to invite them in – porte ouverte.


EIffel Tower climb-Kingston-Paris-Untapped CitiesA precarious view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower

As one of the world’s most famous landmarks, the Eiffel Tower is always under heavy security. However, City Lab recently posted a video of a British urban climber and his friend successfully climbing the its framework at night-without getting into too much trouble.

Their adventure is exciting and makes you hold your breath at the sight of them precariously climbing the beams without any kind of harness or support (if you’re not one for heights, maybe you should pass this one).


Grenoble-Short Story-Poetry Vending Machine-FranceGIF via Inverse

Standard American vending machines sell items like chips, candy, gum and soda. In New York City, we’ve found five quirky ATMs that sell more unusual things such as bike parts and Sprinkle Cupcakes. But no vending machine in the U.S. has yet produced anything as radical or progressive as those recently installed in the French city of Grenoble, which dispense poetry and short stories for free to readers.


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: