• Monday, September 28, 2020
On the Scene

Dinner in the Park

White Nights
September 22, 2013
By , Galavante Contributor

As New Yorkers, we’re used to sitting in small, quaint restaurants, forced to listen to uncomfortable conversations that are taking place only inches away. But what if you and 2,000 of your closest friends were to instantaneously create an outdoor dining and party experience in an iconic New York City location that rivaled any hot spot? It happened last week in Bryant Park with the annual Diner en Blanc, a pop-up, do-it-yourself dinner that has become so popular that it was a Top Chef challenge. The rules? Dress in all white, and tote your table, chairs, flowers, food, drink, silverware, and china to an undisclosed location in the city. Field questions from unsuspecting people on the way: “Is this a mass wedding?”  “A detergent commercial?” And then overtake the subways with your mobile restaurants as you struggle to follow your group leader, all the while speculating on where you will end up. And then… well, and then you hold witness to a poetic time-lapse experience unfolding in real time: the elaborate homemade food, expensive cheeses, multi-layered table settings, gorgeous white dresses, designer shoes, Derby-worthy hats, and that feeling of being part of something special. The chaos gets absorbed into the civility and sophistication of the night with a perfect balance that makes Diner en Blanc and New York City a perfect moment in time.

(Photos courtesy of Michael Boord)