Friday, June 13, 2008

Le dïner en blanc 2008


I'm just back from Le diner en blanc (the White dinner party) where I had a lot of fun. Unlike last year, where I only took photos, this time I also participated. What a thrill! I received my instructions from my contact (there is no central organizer - at least nobody knows him/her - but only contacts of contacts...). I was supposed to join my group at 9 pm on Place Saint Philippe du Roule. Around 9:15 pm, someone - who obviously knew where the dinner was going to take place - took the group to... the Champs Elysées. Within the blink of an eye the whole lower part of the avenue was covered in tables, chairs, candles... and people dressed in white. Fascinating. Around 10 pm a band started to play music and at 11 pm sharp everyone lit sparkling sticks. Beautiful. Magical moment - even if the weather was a little chilly. Check here for more shots.

77 comments:

  1. oh -- did you have a fabulous time? This looks like so much fun! Now, va faire dodo, Eric!

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  2. I am (going to faire dodo!) Right now. (1:40... Tsss tssss)

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  3. Good -- you've clearly had way too much fun tonight. Just looked at your video, and there was YOU, with an appropriate big white-toothed smile. And are those your sparkling white shoes?

    Why can't we do this in NYC (or if we do, why don't they invite me)?

    BTW, Coltrane, it's all your fault I'm GF -- never met a dare I could ignore.

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  4. How fun! It all sounds so secretive, how do you "sign up" or get invited to participate? Particularly if nobody knows who is the organizer?

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  5. I love it! Eric, this photo reflects the mystery of the event, with the masked characters and the one very charming eye peeking through.

    I've got to figure out how to do this in Pasadena...

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  6. Oooh fun! And I'm sure the sparklers just added to the magic of the night. Why can't we ever do anything that cultured around here? Pfff, we St. Louisans are so uncouth!

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  7. Which I'm sure you can tell just by me. I'm not exactly the height of class!

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  8. Eric, what a great idea, not mention a great photo and video.

    What are the odds? I met someone who had either been to the White Dinner Party or was on her way. Check out Paris Photo Art recent post.

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  9. How very imaginative! It is awesome! Can you imagine the planning it would take to get this ready and pull it off with the secrecy necessary for magic? Incroyable!

    I'm so glad you had a good time, Eric!

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  10. I believe you posted something about this before, didn't you, Eric? Wasn't it your photo taken from atop l'Arc de Triomphe?

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  11. That eye spying out really is perfection. 6^)

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  12. Magical evening. How amazing to keep is secret and whip out those tables, etc., at the last minute. This kind of thing gives Paris its charm.

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  13. Great photo, and what a super fun sounding event! I agree with Petrea that the eye in the middle is very charming. To me it looks like Prince!

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  14. petrea, uselaine & katie -- I'm with you, love the eye!
    Also love it that the other two in the photo are both wearing their mask on the back of their head.
    When Eric awakes from his well-deserved dodo, I hope he'll tell us what food was served. I'm imagining an all-white meal: veau ou poulet (with cream sauce, of course), asperges blanches, puree de pommes de terre, chou-fleur, fromage blanc, glace a la vanille, les guimauves et chocolat blanc -- et Champagne, bien sur! What am I forgetting?

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  15. What a privilege for us to be given this participant's "eye" view of this magical event and, also, how lucky for us that you were an invitee. The next best thing to being there must surely be being shown it at PDP.

    The masks are haunting. Like Venetian Noh masks come to Paris for some ephemeral, and therefore all the more special, good times with convivial people.

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  16. Tall Gary - I was thinking Venetian too! You summed it up perfectly.

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  17. The masks remind me of the black masks in the film version of "Amadeus."

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  18. alexa - jicama julienne? rice? pearl onions? hot latte? coconut macaro(o)ns? un-toasted marshmallows?

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  19. I went to a White dinner party in Paris in 2006. I was in the right place at the right time because I had no idea. My girlfriend told me only minutes before the party -- I asked her what was all the rushing around for; and she said, there is going to be a Le Diner en blanc. I said what? And she explained. And you know I never dance, however, I did do some Latin dancing at about 2 am in the morning -- Peggy insisted that I show her some dance moves. I did not realize until last year that this was a yearly event (thanks to Eric).

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  20. Looks like so much fun! How'd you snag an invite?

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  21. Eric, this has got to be one of the coolest ways to party! And on the "Champs" too. How you do keep a secret. Merci for the insight. Like Petrea, I too thought of "Amadeus"--mainly because I had just watched it on TV a few days ago (BTW...still a great movie; I hadn't seen it for years).

    Alexa...I bow to your speedy fingers! I didn't even double dog dare you.

    Midwesterners out there...be safe; these tornadoes been a nightmare the last few weeks.

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  22. What a gas. I do remember Eric's photos from last year. I think this would be really fun. Hmm, I already blew my party budget, but maybe next year...

    Alexa and Uselaine, I think the only missing chose blanc is la blonde!

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  23. Sounds fantastic Eric. I really love the video this time and it must have been hard for you to choose only 1 photo to post.

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  24. Awesome Eric!! Maybe one day I'll attend the "White Dinner"!! At least the cuisine didn't have to be white also!

    You look marvelous in your hat! Did anyone spill red wine all over their "Summer White" attire?? ;-)

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  25. How elegant and exquisite -- and fun! And your video brings us into the spirit of the dinner.

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  26. And I say again -- I love the LIFE of Paris. Always something interesting and inviting taking place -- And I join in being grateful to Eric for allowing us a virtual share in the experience. Thank you for offering us a video, too! Love love love it! As I've been enjoying the PDP archives, I came across last year's picture, too -- great perspective on that one -- appropriately enough taken from a bit of distance last year, while this year's pictures are captured from within the activity. I hope a photograph on PDP will become part of the event's annual tradition! (And I, too, would love to be part of this event one day!)

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  27. I second all these comments. This is just magical and even experiencing a glimpse of it vicariously is exciting. Wonderful photo (and slide show!).
    -Kim
    Seattle Daily Photo

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  28. I LOVE Paris in the summer/I LOVE Paris in the.... I do, I do, I DO LOVE PARIS...
    for all the beauty, the people, the events that takes place all year round, and it just can't happen anywhere else.

    Great photo and slideshow,Eric. It look as if you had a good time.

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  29. Looks like your did indeed have a wonderful time Eric and your video is fabulous.

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  30. That is what I call fun.
    It is amazing!!!

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  31. I have been reading more about it and I can only admire the creator of this concept! Only a person with an incredible sense of adventure could come up with such fantastic idea...

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  32. comme disait la MISS !

    ( le trou entre les deux commentaires n'est pas du à une grasse matinée mal digérée mais à un bug de mon ordi, si, si...)

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  33. Encore une fois je me suis faite avoir, j'ai mis 5 minutes à comprendre que ces gens étaient de dos. J'adore ce regard sévère qui passe entre les deux têtes.

    (Désolée, aujourd'hui c'est en français... :S)

    Je suis jalouse! J'aurais adoré participer à cette soirée qui ressemble plus à un happening qu'à un simple dîner!!
    Simple coincidence, hier j'étais en blanc de la tête au pied. Inconsciemment, j'attendais d'être invitée... ;)

    En parlant de happening Eric, es-tu allé au Flashmob organisé il y a 15 jours?

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  34. What fun! We all wish we could have been there. I'm laughing at the bloggers menu, quite frankly, the French one sounds better!
    La donna e mobile, your soundtrack, means woman is fickle if I remember my Italian correctly, and my Italian is as BAD as my French,, but in English, I think of Eric being so mobile around the city of Paris!

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  35. I'm so glad you were invited Eric. Thank you for sharing such a great event with all of us, sitting at home, with houseslippers on, eating leftovers, staring at our monitors...

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  36. Guille "En parlant de happening Eric, es-tu allé au Flashmob organisé il y a 15 jours?"

    Au Panthéon ? Oui, mais c'était un fake ;~(

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  37. Non?! C'est vraiment dommage.
    Un de mes amis s'est retrouvé dans le Freeze de Copenhague début mai, une expérience à vivre d'après lui.
    J'ai peur que le Flashmob n'arrive pas à rivaliser. Mais c'est peut être tant mieux, l'unicité et la nouveauté du Freeze faisaient l'intérêt de la chose.

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  38. What fantastic fun!! things like this are what makes paris so special...

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  39. uselaine -- of course, and whitefish too. btw, guimauves ARE marshmallows (and so much better than the degueulasse Kraft ones in a plastic bag).

    guille -- c'est quoi donc, le Flashmob?? and the Freeze?

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  40. Oh my goodness this is right up my street! Oh how i wish it was... White is my thing. All my soft furnishings are white, my curtains, my fireplace, i adore white. I like to wear white, too even though i'm not stick thin. I would have ADORED this dinner party. What, with all these organisations, would have happened if it had rained though? Ohhh i'm so English.... sorry....

    Eric you look fanTASTIC in that hat. Are you sure you're attached....? ;)

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  41. Oohhh, this looks like it would have been so much fun!!

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  42. Quite lovely...I can imagine your anticipation as you waited for it to begin not knowing where you would dine !!! Thanks for sharing this with us !

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  43. It's too bad that "Little G" wasn't invited to the dinner since she was already dressed for the party. Next year, hang with Eric. He's always got the inside scoop to what's happening in Paris, eh?

    BTW Eric...I dig that white hat you're wearing.

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  44. Parisian Heart, do you remember the date of last year's post? (Approximately?) I'd like to go check it out... Anyone remember?

    Actually, it was probably about exactly a year ago. Duh.

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  45. Eric, you do live a charmed life, don't you! You are in white and I am green with envy.

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  46. Couldn't figure out how to link to it, but it was June 15th. Lovely. Right at l'Arc.

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  47. I always look forward to your photos of this magical event. I think this is the third year you've covered it, n'est-ce pas? I'm so glad you actually got to attend this year!

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  48. Mind you... those masks are pretty freaky aren't they? Anyone else jump as they load? Just me? Oh.

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  49. Suzy
    Maybe you and I could start the "green with envy dinner"!
    I bet we would not be the only ones in it! :)

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  50. Eric, those are really hot shoes. Are those yours? BTW, did you dance? I was hinting around in my earlier comment, did you, did you, did you dance? :)

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  51. alexa - and here I thought... why didn't I take French in high school?... you can take the girl out of the Scouts, but you can't take the Scouts out of the girl. 8^)

    ... steamed diced turnips, sauced with powdered white pepper and minced garlic in yogurt.

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  52. Eric, thank you for sharing this wonderful event with us. Paris is truly a magical city.

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  53. ps Pont Girl, you REALLY received the royal treatment at JV. I just went for lunch. Dinner, I guess, gets all those other treats between courses, you lucky canard!!!

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  54. uselaine -- you are truly a master of la bouffe blanche, alors!

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  55. Alexa, the Freeze is something fun, a kind of happening. People are suggested to come in a public place, train station, mall, museum, and when the magic word is said by the organizer (it was "Freeze Mother Fucker!" the last time in Paris. LOL) , people stop to move for 5 minutes, as if they were frozen. Those who didn't know are completely lost and distraught, wondering why 3000 people stops to live!
    The flashmob is smaller and a pale imitation. :)

    Coltrane, Little G waited and waited and waited and fell asleep before she got the invitation! Too bad! ;)

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  56. They really say that, Guille? Freeze, mother F? OOooooh goodness i feel quite a sheltered little soul... I mean, in public, with strangers? GOSH.

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  57. Kelly "How fun! It all sounds so secretive, how do you "sign up" or get invited to participate? Particularly if nobody knows who is the organizer?" Like I said, you must know someone who knows someone, who knows someone....

    Soosha "Why can't we ever do anything that cultured around here? " Why don't you start it?

    David LOL. Nahhh Her boa does not match!

    Petrea "I believe you posted something about this before, didn't you, Eric? Wasn't it your photo taken from atop l'Arc de Triomphe?. I sure did. Last year... Good memory Petrea.

    Uselaine "That eye spying out really is perfection." Perfection, I could not say, but it's definitely the reason why I chose this photo.

    Alexa "When Eric awakes from his well-deserved dodo, I hope he'll tell us what food was served. I'm imagining an all-white meal: veau ou poulet (with cream sauce, of course), asperges blanches, puree de pommes de terre, chou-fleur, fromage blanc, glace a la vanille, les guimauves et chocolat blanc -- et Champagne, bien sur! What am I forgetting?" Sooo. Actually you have to bring your own food. I brought sushi (because of the white rice) white wine and... vanilla ice cream. But that was a little far fetched; bringing white food is not a request.

    Petrea "The masks remind me of the black masks in the film version of "Amadeus." True. Maybe that made me think of it and that is the reason why I chose opera music (Verdi though!) for the Animoto sideshow.

    Lois [...]she said, there is going to be a Le Diner en blanc. I said what? And she explained.[...] Actually, what was funny last night was precisely all the passers by reactions (and especially tourists) wondering what all this was about!

    Etienne "How'd you snag an invite?" Eh eh...

    Coltrane "I too thought of "Amadeus"--mainly because I had just watched it on TV a few days ago (BTW...still a great movie; I hadn't seen it for years)." I love this movie too. I haven't seen it in years... hint hint!

    Parisian heart "I hope a photograph on PDP will become part of the event's annual tradition!" I'll try too ;)

    Thank you Kim & Bettina & Madame Benaut& Rose ;)

    LOL Marylène

    PHX-CDG "La donna e mobile, your soundtrack, means woman is fickle" I don't know what fickle means but Mobile means "Women change their mind easily" how do you like the Paris weather Lynn ;~((

    Lynn "What, with all these organisations, would have happened if it had rained though? Ohhh i'm so English.... sorry...." Well the instructions were: "no matter what, the dinner will take place..." But frankly I would not have enjoyed it in the the rain.

    Manu "Oohhh, this looks like it would have been so much fun!!" You would have loved it (actually it took place a little under the place where your hotel was located.). I'm sure your engagement party was more fun though ;))

    Coltrane "BTW Eric...I dig that white hat you're wearing." LOL

    Petrea "Couldn't figure out how to link to it, but it was June 15th. Lovely. Right at l'Arc." Er... there is a link to it in the caption LOL!

    Rose "Maybe you and I could start the "green with envy dinner"!" Excellent!

    Lois "Eric, those are really hot shoes. Are those yours? BTW, did you dance? I was hinting around in my earlier comment, did you, did you, did you dance? :)" Yes, they are my shoes. I bought them 2 hours before the dinner started ;) I did not dance, but a few people did (le Rock, as we call it) - on the champs Elysées. Pretty unusual I must say.

    Guille : really?!

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  58. Guille -- thanks for the explanation. I think you've all been seeing too many American cop movies (Freeze, motherfucker!).
    uselaine -- thanks for the link to the video. I work across the street from Grand Central & would have loved to take part in this!

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  59. Anyway, glad there has been a White Party yesterday on the Champs Elysées because there won't be a "bleu-blanc-rouge" party tonight for the French result in soccer !

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  60. Eric, I really want you to know how much I enjoy the way you have shared all of that today. And I must say I have been very spoilt, speaking of sharing. I was very interested in what you showed.
    Thank you indeed!
    Now I know what I love so much in PDP : the soul you put into it. And I know you agree with me ;)
    That makes me feel good.
    Good night & w-e.

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  61. RE: the Freeze...I wonder how many froze out of peer pressure? and their thoughts? Certainly a great study in human nature.

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  62. That is a good point eric, but I wouldn't know where to begin with starting something so cool and cultured like that. That and not many people around St. Louis are going to listen to little ole me saying "Hey, we should have a white party like in Paris!" They'd probably just shake their heads and go, "And who are you again...?"

    BTW, you look simply dashing in your tres chic white outfit. The most handsome man in Paris, I'd say (or at least tied with Michael for that title!!!).

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  63. Petrea "Couldn't figure out how to link to it, but it was June 15th. Lovely. Right at l'Arc." Er... there is a link to it in the caption LOL!

    I am such a dork.

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  64. I can't even say how inspiring this is. So I won't. I'll just go watch the video again and dream...

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  65. I love the guy peeking at you between the other two!

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