Dîner en Blanc in Philadelphia!

Sooo this year’s D.E.B was held at……30th Street Station!  We all dined and danced on the JFK Bridge, which leads to the biggest transportation hub in the city.  If you’re not from the area, pay it a visit on your next trip.  Below are some of the 2,500 stylish guests in blanc, elegant decor and happy faces.  A little bit of FrEnglish too!

Had no idea we were feet away from the main event.

2013-08-22 19.24.09 He was relieved when he reached the top.2013-08-22 19.31.54Cupcakes & Cookies
2013-08-22 19.46.40

French-looking platter.2013-08-22 19.47.30Global Lipstick, Denise Fike and her fashion-forward hat.
2013-08-22 20.42.22 Eiffel Tower Table.2013-08-22 20.53.31 Les Cupcakes
2013-08-22 20.54.18 Les Macarons
2013-08-22 20.55.00 La Lovely Lady
2013-08-22 20.56.06D.E.B in a ville near you ;-).
2013-08-22 21.00.22Super Fly
2013-08-22 21.01.40 Those glasses…winniiiing.2013-08-22 21.02.03Dapper Gents
2013-08-22 21.02.45Sheer rules!
2013-08-22 21.07.51Les sparklers!  Light up the city.
2013-08-22 21.16.09 More sparkler fun.
2013-08-22 21.18.55Emily Tharp, blogger behind HerPhilly.  J’adore!
2013-08-22 21.20.05And j’adore her dress!
2013-08-22 21.20.56 New friend 🙂2013-08-22 21.29.29 She WAS the party!
2013-08-22 21.37.40 Had to make it to the stage…
2013-08-22 21.46.27Très elegant.
2013-08-22 21.55.23Quick break inside the station.

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Then back to la fête with Kory Aversa, one of the many brains behind the magic! 

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Merci beaucoup to all that put this together.  See you next summer!!

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Throwback Thursday: Dîner en Blanc’s

François Pasquier had no idea that back in ’88 his Dîner en Blanc (Dinner in White) would become an international summertime phenomenon.  25 years ago François wanted to reunite with some of his amis (friends) with a picnic in Paris and requested that they all dress in white to easily identify one another.  Here we are in 2013 and the reunions of amis in white have expanded to Singapore, Mexico City, Montréal, Haiti, New York, Brisbane, Barcelona, Kigali…yea, all over.  And tonight, for the second year, Philly is joining the fun.  The plan for guests is byob (b for baguettes), byowine, byocheese, byotables, byochairs and wait for instructions to the secret location.  Where will it be?  I haven’t the faintest!  But I will gladly report back tomorrow with full details.  In the meantime, watch the video below to see le Dîner en Blanc in its earlier days and how much it’s grown to date!

5 Pasos a un Viaje Inolvidable

Ya has elegido el vuelo perfecto, compañero de viaje y has puesto ropa suficiente en tu maleta.  Ahora empieza la diversión!  Aquí tienes cinco maneras de tener un viaje excelente.

1.  Utiliza una combinación de guías turísticas y vagando.  Hay sitios que necesitas visitar un todas partes del mundo.  Por eso, tenemos los libros de Rick Steves y Lonely Planet para ayudarnos.  Estos libros nos da información de esos lugares, las horas que están abiertos y como encontrar entradas baratas.  Sin embargo, no es possible que ellos saben el plan entero de la ciudad.  Tienes que andar por la ciudad y descubrir algunas cosas por ti mismo.  (Este es más importante para la gente que tenga planes de quedarse en un centro turístico. La vida afuera es diferente y merece la pena conocer.)  Lo puedes hacer por un día o una hora. Cuando viajo, la único información que necesito es lo que es la mejor comida y en donde la puedo encontrar.  Eso, busco antes de salir y me sirve como una base de mis planes del viaje.   La caza- el encuentro – la satisfacción son gratificantes!

2.  Obtenga la perspectiva de una persona nativa.  Este y explorarando la ciudad van de la mano.  ¿Quién conoce la ciudad mejor que la gente que vive allí?  Si tienes la oportuniad, busca las opiniones de la gente native.  Te dirá las maneras más baratas de navegar la ciudad (por ejemplo, alguien en Las Vegas nos informó que pagamos menos por el autobús si subimos detras de la calle principal), restaurantes escondidos, (los “mom and pops” siempre son los mejores) and lugares buenos para ir de compras (como mercados locales).  Esa mezcla te dará un viaje complete.

3.  Disfruta de la vista nocturnal.  Este es principalmente para cuiudades grandes.  Todo se ve mejor por la noche.  Si estas cansado de un día de hacer turismo o si tienes planes de hacer fiesta toda la noche, toma un momento para absorber las luces y una atmósfera más tranquila.  Lo más bueno es que la escena noctornal es perfecta para sacar fotos bonitas!

4.  Saca fotos turísticas.  Sí, son muy cliché y quizás te sentirás un poco tonto en el proceso.  Pero son muy divertidas y memorables.  Cuando pienses en el viaje, agredecerás apareciendo que tienes un pirámide egipcio en la palma de la mano o que estás derrumbando el Torre de Pisa.

5.  Que tengas un estilo de recuerdos.  Postales son sencillos y capturan el punto esencial de un destino.  Pero hay otras opciones.  Si decides en los postales, hazlos el tema de todos tus viajes – una colección.  Puedes hacer lo mismo con llaveros, prendedores y camisetas.  Otra opción es comprar algo que se usa en ese lugar especificamente.  En México, me obsesionaba de todo exprimido fresco y compré un esprimidor pequeño.  Es pequeño, practical y cada vez que lo saque, siento nostálgica de una visita estupenda.

Bon voyage!

5 Steps To An Unforgettable Vacation

Now that you’ve selected the perfect flight, travel buddy and packed just enough clothes, it’s time for the fun to begin!  Here are five ways to make the most of your journey.

1.  Use a combination of travel guide books and wandering.  There are some “must-sees” in every part of the world.  For that we have our Lonely Planets and Rick Steves books to help us along the way.  These books provide information on sites to visit, hours of operation and how to score cheap entrance fees.  However, it’s impossible for them to know the entire layout of every city.  That’s where wandering and making your own discoveries come in.  (This is especially important for those staying on a resort.  Life is different outside of resort property and worth knowing.)  You can make a day of it or just an hour, either is worth the effort.  When I travel, the only information I need in advance is what the best food is and where to get it.  That, I look up prior to my departure and build my plans around it.  The hunt-find-satisfaction are rewarding!

2.  Get a local perspective.  This goes hand-in-hand with exploring the city.  Who knows the city better than those that reside there?  If you have the chance, get some native insight.  They’ll let you know the cheapest way to get around (for example, someone in Vegas informed us that it’s cheaper to purchase bus tickets if you board behind the strip, not on it), little known restaurants (mom and pops are always the best) and great places to shop (such as local markets).  Combined, it makes a well-rounded trip.

3.  Enjoy the night view.  This is mainly for big cities.  Everything looks better at night.  So, if you’re tired from sight seeing all day or if you have plans to party the night away, make sure you take a moment to absorb the lights and calmer atmosphere.  Best of all, it makes for a great photo!

4.  Take touristy pictures.  Yes, they are cliché and you may feel a little goofy in the process.  But they’re so fun and memorable.  When you glance back, you’ll appreciate looking like you have an Egyptian pyramid in the palm of your hand or you’re kicking down the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

5.  Have a souvenir style.  Post cards are simple and they capture a destination’s gist.  But there are additional options.  Should you go the post card route, make that the common thread of all your travels – a collection.  The same can be done with key chains, pins and t-shirts.  Another option, is purchasing something that’s useful in that specific place.  In Mexico, I was obsessed with everything that was freshly squeezed, so I bought a small citrus squeezer.  It’s small, practical and each time I pull it out, it’s a quick flashback to a great visit.

Bon voyage!

Art Outside of Le Louvre

DSCN1269

Yes, the Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa and the Victory of Samothrace are all masterpieces that attract visitors to the Louvre.  But there happens to be phenomenal work just before the museum’s entrance.  This modern muralist may not be as acclaimed but there’s no denying his talent.  If I could name his piece, I’d call it Parameters for Sale.

Throwback Thursday: A Letter to Dear Abby from Mata Hari

This letter is fictional, created by moi.  Mata Hari was a muse, dancer, prostitute and inadvertently became involved in espionage activity during World War I, which led to her execution.  If Dear Abby was around at this crucial time in Mata Hari’s life, her story may have changed (assuming she’d be willing to write).

Dear Abby,

I recently returned to my birthplace of the Netherlands after years of living in Paris, the only place that ever felt like home.  While there, life was exciting.  I managed to become one of the most highly acclaimed (and controversial) female modern dancers thanks to my introduction of sensuality to the stage.  Sure, that led to an indecency charge, but the policeman dropped it.  He and I even went out for dinner!  Impetuous situations as this happened often.  It’s almost as if I was living a dream.  Fancy dining, exquisite clothing, and my own petit château very close to the city.  Now that I’m back in Holland, everything feels bland and meager.  I have been longing to return.  Thankfully, one of my neighbors from Germany has offered to send me back but there is a small clause.  I must obtain information for him.  I do not know what it is for and I do think it is harmless.  But I hold some reservations.  See, I’m a modern woman.  We are in 1915 and have come a long way, right?  But in this wartime one can never be too trusting.  This is why I am writing you.  Should I take this opportunity to return to the life I was destined to live or should I stay in a place that leaves much to be desired?

Sincerely,

Messenger in the Making

Mata Hari Pose

Dear Messenger in the Making,

Stay put!!!

In memory of Margaretha Gertruida Zelle, also known as Mata Hari (1876-1917) and Pauline Phillips, also known as Dear Abby (1918-2013).