Friday, June 15, 2007

White Dinner party


Every year around mid June, a big open air white dinner party is organized somewhere in Paris. The funny part of it is that its location is kept secret until the very end. Participants are asked to go to a certain spot and wait. 15 minutes before the actual start they get an SMS or a phone call that tells them where to gather. As a sheer coincidence (ehem!), I happened to be passing by... This year it was around the Arc de Triumph on the place de l'Etoile - and it was quite impressive as you can see from these photos I took from the top of the Arch.

33 comments:

  1. Hey, look at that! Everyone is wearing white! That is so refreshing, especially since everyone in Chicago is wearing black, even though it is 87 degress F today!!!!!

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  2. Hello Eric from Sydney,Australia. My wife and myself are heading to Paris in September, and I have been scanning web sites for things to do and see whilst there. During my searches I came across your PDP site and have found your photo's and comments a real source of valuable info for our time there. I now have your PDP set as a favorite and can't wait to log in each morning to view the day's posting. Thanks.

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  3. Very cool or should I say, very elegant!!! And they're all wearing white, too! So who are these lucky people being wined and dined by the Arc de Triomphe?

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  4. how did these annual white dinner parties start? and why white? but this is so neat! :-D

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  5. I,too, have similar questions: who are the lucky participants, who organizes the party and determines the guest list, and what is the history behind it. I know I should have answered my phone!!

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  6. Les "Dîners en Blanc" have been around for a while, I would say 15 years. Used to be much more of a adventure before SMS time, as it is crucial to spread the gathering point at the very last minute to avoid Parisian Police to prevent the event from taking place: gathering on public place is supposed to be forbidden in Paris.

    Used to be very posh. Eric, you tell us if it's still the case. Restricted to Happy Fews. Allfree event but on invitation only.
    The concept was to bring along food for one + a chair (tables are provided). When everyone is ready, you sit down and then pass (not share, just give) the food you brought to your neigbour sit next to you.
    It's very convivial. And good fun.

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  7. Monsieur Eric, Extremely cool...as is your site, as are your photos. For any Francophile, this PDP is tres magnifique. (Sorry, I learned my French in Texas.) Merci and safe travels to the States. BTW ever come across any jazz clubs/events in Paris? Ahem. I do miss the city of lights. Ciao! (First time commenting)

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  8. Going back home last night at 00:15, I was so amazed to see this in l'Etoile !!!
    I'ts funny, I've immediately told my boyfriend ... "I don't have my camera, maybe it will on PDP tomorrow ?? Well I don't think so, it is really by chance that you can catch it !"
    And that's what you did !! félicitations !

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  9. What do they do with gate crashers???
    If you wore white would they know if you had been invited or not??? Not that I would even consider it.............!!

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  10. what do you think about Sensation White Dance event? :D http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sensation_%28event%29

    almost the same, no ? :D

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  11. En Australie, we have street parties, where the council gives permission for the street to be closed for the night.
    It's so nice to see the Fench adopting true Australian values !!!

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  12. Ehem Eric,are you sure you were coincidently? ;o) oh yes,I can understand as Arc de Triumph is one of the main tourist object in Paris ;o) like me always around place de l'Etoile in my 3 times visited :o)

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  13. Please please guys (Eric & Beetle) "Arc de Triomphe" it's the only one in the whole world people know. As non french speaking, may I ask you to not turn it in English? If not, place de l'Etoile must turn in "Star's place" :-(

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  14. Eric,

    This is exactly why I wish I lived in Paris. This looks like a great gathering, on a beautiful day. Something about the French philosophy of life comes through too, I think. I like both the main image, with the white of the clouds echoing the white of the diners, and the visually rich image of bottles, the red in the food, and the white clothed diners in your other image.

    Cheers, from Madison, Wisconsin

    Kirt

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  15. Oh I Have so many questions! If the location is secret til the end, is it like a secret society that takes part in these gatherings?
    Once they choose a place, they just show up there with tables and chairs and food and plates in the middle of the street? Is it allowed, I mean, can anyone do it in any public space in Paris?

    Does each person bring their on food or what? Where does all the food come from so sudden?! This looks funny but quite intriguing... and I assume you belong to this group/secret society since it was no coincidence that you wee there too right!!!

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  16. Who do you have to be to get invited to these things?

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  17. so fun!
    if only someone would organise something like this in Singapore.

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  18. looks fantstic- love the idea of this happening in my city

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  19. I love this picture and I love the idea of this - sounds so fun! Eric, did you climb up all those stairs in l'Arc or did you take the elevator?? ;)

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  20. Fantastic! It looks like great fun. Who organizes the party?

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  21. I'll answer your questions tomorrow, I just arrived in the States today and I'm kinda jet lagged to be honest...

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  22. Oooh! How very interesting!:) I do wonder who gets invited to these dinners...hmmmm.

    BV thanks for that information.

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  23. C travelling gal @ 'BurgJune 16, 2007 at 5:52:00 PM GMT+2

    How very lovely! 3 of my many favorite things...food, wine, and white...! :)

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  24. I love it when you can take those photos that look like you are out in the countryside somewhere and then right there in the background is the flaming Arc de Triomphe, for crying out loud! Well spotted!

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  25. Hey Eric, I happened to have passed by this scene the other day and I was wondering what it was all about. I actually thought it was a wedding or something. Wish I had run into you, peut-être une autre fois!

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  26. HALO THIS IS Carré FROM HK:)
    I REALLY WANNA BE ONE OF DA PARTICIPANTS IN DA DINNER:(

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  27. Hi Eric,
    One day on our trip to Paris we went to see the Arc de Triumph and suddenly saw this interesting thing. There ware many people wearing white, from head to toe. It was amazing.
    I have got same shots here: http://www.treklens.com/themes.php?thid=3013

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  28. Hello Eric et bonjour du Canada.

    My partner and I walked from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe on the 15th and watched the dinner from on top of the monument. How wonderful, in hindsight, to have seen an annual even. How lucky were we. We took some pictures too. It was amazing! I wish we had something like that in Vancouver...

    Chris

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  29. Hi Eric...Nice pics of the white dinner party. I heard it was quite an event. A friendly parisian..I like that. Im planning to move to Paris soon but still feelin a little skeptical whether that is the right move. As a friendly parisian, whats your take on this?
    Sonia

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