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New York City  Dîner en Blanc went through all the stages of hyped events–buzz, controversy, confusion, resignation, elation–and ultimately went off without a hitch. I’ve attended the Paris  Dîner en Blanc several times, and New York had a distinct flair. In Paris, the events take place at the most well-known monuments amidst the architecture of Napoleon and Louis XVI. In New York, we were at the World Financial Center–the Cesar Pelli-designed buildings that so iconically rose from the clouds of ash during 9/11. In the background, the yet-to-be-completed 1 World Trade Center commanded our attention, whether one liked the monolith or not. The attendees were a blend of French transplants (my table) and the mix of what makes New York, New York. It lacked the homogeneity that is the Paris  Dîner en Blanc, but it was refreshing. Passerbys said, “This is so New York,” and fittingly they had already claimed it as our own. And by the end of the evening, random strangers had become friends. Still, it is much better told in pictures.  On the way to the dinner–chairs, tables, picnic baskets, umbrellas and table settings in hand:

This cop was really concerned about the where the location was going to be.

Our row, setting up and getting ready:

We ordered our picnics from Telepan on the Upper West Side, which after extensive research into the picnic basket offerings all over New York City, we determined to have the most variety and flexibility:

One of the more fantastic outfits of the evening:

An early toast, as I was with a group of French friends:

Less flash-mob, more reception but still great to be able to eat outdoors:

 Respecting the French tradition of waving your handkerchiefs:

 World Financial Center and 1 World Trade Center:

Our food from Telepan:

Two weeks will mark the 10th anniversary of September 11th. This is One World Trade Center, in the evening.

Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.

24 Comments

  1. [...] IN PICTURES: The NYC Dîner en Blanc 23 comments Recent [...]

  2. [...] IN PICTURES: The NYC Dîner en Blanc 22 comments Recent [...]

  3. derrick kabayiza says:

    hello michelle,
    can i please have ur number or mail adress. inbox me your number please.or see me on fcbk account which is (A thousand Hills).

    cheers

  4. [...] This is a public service announcement to New Yorkers who are already fretting about registration for this year’s  Dîner en Blanc New York City. Registration is not open yet nor is the date and time confirmed. But expect it to take place near the end of August or beginning of September. As always, the location will be in public space. I’m secretly hoping it will be more architectural than last year’s World Financial Center location. [...]

  5. [...] the last two months, New York City (8/25) and Chicago (8/27) have played host to their first white dinners, and the public response [...]

  6. [...] for 9/11), as protest (Liberty Park for Occupy Wall Street), as spectacle (The Diner en Blanc in NYC and Paris). These movements are coming both from the ground up and top down, in what is possibly a [...]

  7. Old Skool says:

    Michelle, Nice pix girl. How was dinner? I wouldn’t mind making this partay, looks like fun. Especially with the nice outfits. :-)

  8. Fsfs says:

    WOW, so many people drinking the Kool-Aid.

  9. Anon says:

    I have to say the NY DEB seemed to lack the elegance that the Parisian DEB has. Maybe it’s simply the difference of the landscape??? I am one of the people who was told I was going and then was refunded so I would have liked to go. But the diner just doesn’t seem to have to same life as the event in Paris.

  10. [...] Last night, the threatening thunderstorms held off, offering a lovely, if muggy, evening for New York’s first Diner en Blanc, a pop-up picnic party in which all attendees dress all in white. The Parisian version of this flash mob fest recently took place at the Louvre and Notre Dame; ours went down at the World Financial Center in Battery Park City, no surprise really given the ample space and views of both the waterfront and the emerging 1 World Trade Center tower. 1,000 or so attendees converged on the space at 7 last night, set up their tables and chairs (which they brought), unpacked their picnics (also BYO), uncorked their wine (though officially alcohol was banned from the NYC version) and hung out with strangers. See more photos over here and over here. [...]

  11. Pearl Feder says:

    Congratulations on the 1st white dinner. I hope to be there next year.

  12. Gennyjolie says:

    How many people was there?????

  13. Jlccwu says:

    Enjoy the photos and writing
    so beautiful done Michelle!

  14. kayli says:

    I loved meeting you last night! Simone and I expect you to appear in an enormous tutu next year.

    • I loved meeting you too! I am honored that I can join the tutu club next year. If you ever want to borrow my black and enormous yellow tutus, just let me know :)

  15. Guest says:

    Unfortunately, I must say, very poor. The word of the day should have been elegance, however, it was far from it. The tables weren ´t aesthetically aligned, many weren ´t the same size, as specified, tupperwares and cheap material, more “costume dress” than class and style. Many French, Parisian and Canadian transplants which just proves how little this event represent New York and New Yorkers (vide the disastrous sale of 200 tickets which turned out to be 1.600 tickets on top of the catastrophe of 3.200 sold). Disappointing yet not surprising. From day one, this event has proved to be a let down. DEB should be lived in Paris. They have produced a replica in NY but we all know that replicas are never the same, specially poor ones. I ´d stick to Paris or, a new magic touch, the DEB in Mallorca. Who knows, perhaps New York will embrace this event but even if it does it will never have a New York spirit.
    That being said, good to know most enjoyed a great evening and that it wasn ´t ruined by the rain.

  16. Guest says:

    Unfortunately, I must say, very poor. The word of the day should have been elegance, however, it was far from it. The tables weren ´t aesthetically aligned, many weren ´t the same size, as specified, tupperwares and cheap material, more “costume dress” than class and style. Many French, Parisian and Canadian transplants which just proves how little this event represent New York and New Yorkers (vide the disastrous sale of 200 tickets which turned out to be 1.600 tickets on top of the catastrophe of 3.200 sold). Disappointing yet not surprising. From day one, this event has proved to be a let down. DEB should be lived in Paris. They have produced a replica in NY but we all know that replicas are never the same, specially poor ones. I ´d stick to Paris or, a new magic touch, the DEB in Mallorca. Who knows, perhaps New York will embrace this event but even if it does it will never have a New York spirit.

    • Happy guest says:

      Awesome snobbery, Guest. I saw 1000 people having a blast. Finding problems is easy. I wonder if you were even there given your poor review or were you sitting with Marie Antionette?

  17. [...] IN PICTURES: The NYC Dîner en Blanc Commented [...]

  18. MM says:

    agreed that was a fantastic outfit…

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