New York's Dîner en Blanc

• 14 July 2011























Yet another way we Americans seek to imitate the French...:)

Have you heard of Paris' Dîner en Blanc? It's a private, impromptu pique-nique where everyone dresses in white, brings their own dinner, and after a few hours of eating, drinking, and making merry, they pack up their mess and say bonne nuit. The trick is that no one knows where it's going to be until the last moment, no one knows who is in charge of it (you apparently have to know the right people?), and therefore it's unclear just how to be invited. I have to admit, it's look downright spectacular and I'm very impressed with reports that such a large crowd leaves their picnic areas so tidy afterwards.

Interestingly enough, the American version is in the works and is slated to take place on August 25, 2011 in New York City (of course). The main differences are 1. municipal authorities will be involved (they are planning the location) and 2. instead of being completely private, half the guest list is open invitation. While I love the idea of trying to host a large, spontaneous picnic like the French, I wonder if it's going to be as fun if government officials are involved. Isn't half the fun just showing up without anyone knowing? Also, I'm curious if we will leave the party grounds as clean as our friends over the Pond. I can't wait to read the reports!

You can read more about Dîner en Blanc in a NYT article, and also find out how to be invited. Do any of you know more about the Dîner en Blanc? Have you been?

Update: Jordan created something similar in Versailles today...doesn't it look fun?

Thank you Christelle for the heads up on NY's Dîner en Blanc!

image by Gonzalo Fuentes for the New York Times

7 comments:

Ana Degenaar said...

I never knew this. So interesting. I love Bastille Day.

Lori Cartwright said...

I read about this idea on Oh Happy Day a few months ago and I had to try it! Here is my post about it:
http://heythingschange.com/2011/06/celebrate-change-le-diner-en-blanc.html

Fun thing...I used your lemon curd recipe for our dessert.

Love from Lori C.

Anonymous said...

Rude comment toward Americans! I think it's so annoying when bloggers act like they're so "cultured" and too good for themselves.

Jennefer said...

When I lived in Paris in the year 2000, they held a 600-mile long picnic for Bastille Day. They even provided the enormous tablecloth which was laid out on the street! (Wish I could post my photo here.) It was a blast! Everyone just came together and enjoyed each other's company and ate (which the French do best, of course).

Here is a link to an article, if you want more of the fun specifics: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1348691/French-celebrate-Bastille-Day-with-600-mile-picnic.html

Stephanie said...

Lori! I am so happy to hear you loved the curd. Curd has changed my life :) ha!

Anon: I don't understand the basis of your comment and don't believe anyone here is acting too good for themselves. We are simply discussing a fascinating and very interesting event.

Jennefer, I can hardly fathom a 600 mile picnic. And to think you were lucky enough to be a part of that! How fun!

Cat said...

Montreal (Canada) also copied the french idea. I didn't attend but here is a link:
http://fr.canoe.ca/divertissement/arts-scene/nouvelles/2010/08/19/15081801-qmi.html

Susan said...

Yes, I posted about it last week (or so), as I have always wanted to attend the Paris one. I'm honestly not too keen on the magical event coming to NYC, or anywhere other than Paris.

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