Projections and Expositions. That is how "Nuit Blanche" was explained to me. I have been in Paris long enough to understand exposition is usually an exhibition in a museum. Projection did not make any sense to me until I was out on the streets that night. Exposition do not bring any excitement as the my last personal experience of museums-open-till-midnight was not worthy of mention.
So, what is "Nuit Blanche" all about? In simple words, a select few institutions in Paris are open till 3 am. As a result, Parisians & tourists can move from one point to another visiting these institution and enjoy what they offer. The trains run till early in the morning. If trains aren't, Paris isn't a difficult city to find a cab. Of course, the aim is to promote tourism and also the image of the city. You remember, Paris is also called the city of... Yeah yeah.
I chose to spend the evening with a photography group. Although there were multiple places participating in this event, we chose the locations close to Place de Clichy. Parks were open luring in kids along with their parents. Grownup kids in costumes entertained the crowd. A nearby church remained open. They had an exhibit; a long circular ribbon held up above the ground using the air blown by multiple fans located around it. It was an amazing sight but also makes you realize iPhone is not powerful enough to capture the moment. A school remained open with a giant screen set up in the middle of school-courtyard. A short film was projected non-stop in a continuous loop.
While walking around the city, I figured out what my friend meant by projection. All around the city, giant projectors were set up. Using these projectors, moving pictures were displayed on tall buildings. This was a unique sight for me.