Dîner en Blanc
I finally attended Dîner en Blanc event; couldn’t be happier about it. When I came to NYC six years ago and saw photos of people in white at the dinner tables outdoors in various locations in NYC, I wanted to be part of that. I had no idea how difficult it is to be included in that event until the day I went.
Dîner en Blanc is an event that was originated in Paris in 1988 and came to NYC in 2011(it’s held worldwide now). How it works is that you bring…everything. You bring your table, chairs, food; you can’t bring wine though, you have to order it in advance. And on a top of that, you pay $53. I had no idea about the rules, so when my friend Raj texted me if I wanted to go with him, I wasn’t sure, but agreed after an hour. Had I know that the waitlist for this dinner is a few years, I would scream HELL YES! Right away. I thought you buy a ticket and that’s it. No, you put your name on a waitlist and wait…a few years to be accepted. I’m lucky that Raj’s boyfriend was out of town and another friend had unexpected plans. Thanks, guys!
It was boiling that day, and I didn’t feel like going, but when I commit to something, I go (just a reminder – I had no idea about the rules.) I don’t cancel my plans after I promised someone to do something; that’s the deal I have with myself.
To get to the place of the event, it’s an experience itself. The spot is secret until the last second. There are many different groups (since over 5000 people attend it!) and they meet in various spots in Manhattan. They divide us into groups of 10-15 people, and they give us transportation clues. We met downtown at 5 pm and had to take the subway and walk for another 15minutes. Walking in that heat and with all the stuff was a bit challenging, but then joining this huge “white group” at some point was fun; it looked spectacular, people were stopping us and asking what was going on.
This year’s event was downtown at Rockefeller Park by the Hudson River. You get there, set up your table and chairs (they have to be attached to your neighbor’s table; no spaces) and make your table pretty. People were coming up with creative table decorations and outfits; you could tell who is a pro. Everything has to be white, including plates and napkins. There is a live band playing, some entertainment, and you can walk around other tables if you would like to. We had actors from „Hamilton” and „Waitress” musicals performed! There is this one moment in the beginning when the host welcomes everybody, and we all wave our napkins in the air.
We started eating right away because we were hungry and Raj made my favorite Indian food; we finished eating at 8 pm when the party was taking the next phase. Since the storm had been hanging above us all the time, right after we ended eating Raj suggested to take it down, because the sky got black. We had perfect timing and were able to escape, we got only a few raindrops on us, but others weren’t that lucky.
It was a great experience, and I will put my name on a waitlist. Hope to come back there in… a few years. Thank you Raj!
Check out my photos and my short video.