Entertainment, Foodie Fridays, New York, Travel, United States

Le Diner en Blanc; a New York City Tradition

Do you ever look at pictures of a vacation spot or a party and you think, “man I would give anything to be there!”
Well folks…this is that moment in my life.  Something I have had my eye on for years – “Diner en Blanc.”
This year was our lucky year!  One of my friends is a volunteer and had extra invitations.  Now, I should also state that you can ONLY go if you are a member, and you can only be a member if you have gone before, AND you can only go if you are invited by a member.  Get it?
Okay going on…  Now you might know what I am talking about, or you might be thinking ‘what the hell is Diner en Blanc!’  Literally translated it is ‘Dinner in White’.  And well that is exactly what it is.
A designated spot is announced to the invitees and after we all meet there we walk to a secret location all in white. You don’t get to know where the final destination is until you get there!
Every person who passed our massive group gave us questioning looks and yelled comments like “Why is EVERYONE wearing white?!” By the way, best response was “We’re in a cult!”

Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder

Prepping for Diner en Blanc is no joke.  It is FOR REAL a prep! You need a table, chairs, food, plates, silver wear, glasses, white tablecloth, white napkins and if you are feeling really fancy (and I recommend it) a center piece! Oh and of course ALL white clothing!
We opted to rent our table, chairs, tablecloths and napkins but if we do this again, (and since now we are members! Sorry I just keep telling myself that!) We will definitely get a table in a bag.
So you will receive emails as to where you meet on the day of the event.  You will meet with about 100 other people in white, jump on the train, and get off at the announced spot. They will point you in a direction and you will walk till you see the other 5000 people in all white!
Once you are at the location, for us this year it was Pier 26 off the West Side Highway, you will be funneled into your location to set up your table.  It is the most organized chaos I have ever experienced.
Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder

We opted to preorder and pick up our food there and you have to order the Vino from them as well.  Once we collected our goods we made our way back to our table that we had set up.
You have to wait for everyone to be set up to start eating and you will know this because they will announce that it is the start and for everyone to wave there white napkins in the air.
Now is the time to take everything in.  There is just something so beautiful about looking around at the group of people all dressed in white.  It is the largest dinner party I have ever been to that is for sure! And is probably the first and only time I felt so connected with thousands of complete strangers.
After dinner we took pictures, danced, and really just enjoyed the company of our friends and people around us.  Once it was time to leave we weaved through the masses, got back on the subway, and made our way to the car all smiles at the fact that I can now check this one off of my bucket list.
Photo Credit: Tamara Bachelder

If you ever have the opportunity to go DO IT! However, learn from our mistakes! Here are a few tips I would definitely heed:

  • Seriously, invest in a table in a bag. If you can’t, bring something to carry your chairs and table or a dolly to help.  It is a lot of walking and you WILL get tired.  Trust me my arms hurt for about 2 days after.
  • Bring your own food. While their food was great, there’s just something about having your own options that makes the experience a little more inclusive. With that, bring a cooler on wheels and ice to keep everything cold!
  • Don’t be afraid to make your little table space pretty. Some ‘fake’ candles (cause you can’t have real flames…hello liability!), flowers, napkins in pretty holders…this is your chance to be fancy! Take advantage!!

Anyone can go. Old, young, male. female, gay, straight, or anywhere in between. It was a true, carefree, unifying, all-inclusive, fantastic experience. It is to be noted, however, that upon signing up, you must specify who is male and who is female in your party. For those in a same-sex relationship, just put down one person as the ‘male’ and one as the ‘female’. This way you will get to sit across from one another rather than side by side. While this detail is annoying and definitely should be changed, once you are there, this particularity won’t matter at all.
Have fun and Bon Appetit!

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