In the sixth iteration of the New York City Diner en Blanc, almost 4800 guests converged onto Robert F. Wagner Park, just north of The Battery. From the main party area between Pier A and the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the pop-up white dinner extends into the gardens, grasses and waterfront walkways of Robert F. Wagner Park, named after Democratic senator who originally hailed from Germany. The views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty on this clear day were simply stunning and possibly for the first time in the history of the dinner in New York City, the weather was comfortably cool.
On September 15th, the 6th annual New York City Dîner en Blanc will be back in a yet-to-be-disclosed location. The first round of registrations began yesterday, which are open to guests who attended last year and the second phase, guests of sponsored guests from the first phase, will open on Friday. After that, the tens of thousands on the waitlist might get to sign up if the dinner doesn’t fill up before then.
Here at Untapped Cities, we’ve had a long history with this pop-up white dinner – from our attendance annually in the Paris Dîner en Blanc, the original incarnation of the dinner, to our role in organizing the dinner in New York City since its inception.
While we can’t share any secrets of the upcoming dinner, we thought it would be a great moment to look back at the previous locations and speculate about where it might be this year. Let’s go back in time first to the year 2011, when the Dîner en Blanc first launched in New York City:
At the 2015 New York City Dîner en Blanc this year, 5000 guests in white took over Pier 26 in Hudson River Park. Despite the fact that the location was geographically close to that of last year, in Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, there’s one very unique fact, as pointed out by Aymeric Pasquier, co-founder of Dîner en Blanc International: this was the very last event held on the empty Pier 26, before it’s converted into a mixed-use recreational facility.
The New York City Dîner en Blanc, the pop-up white dinner for thousands is returning to a new surprise location in just two weeks. With previous appearances at Bryant Park, Lincoln Center (check out our timelapse video of the event), Nelson A. Rockefeller Park and the World Financial Center, this fifth edition of the flash mob dinner will be the largest yet with 5000 guests. While the Paris Dîner en Blanc, most recently taking place at the Palais Royal, now counts up to 15,000 guests, the New York City dinner is catching up–and with a 35,000 person waitlist. The New York City dinner, unsurprisingly, also comes with some star power.
Paris Dîner en Blanc at Palais Royal. Photo by heleneworldwine
The Paris Dîner en Blanc remains one of the most exclusive pop-up dinners in the world but it’s getting bigger and bigger by the year. In two simultaneous locations since 2011, this year it was reduced to one for 10,000 people–the Palais Royal–but we received confirmation from an official Dîner en Blanc organizer that a second rogue dinner was started unofficially by a group that was removed from last year’s dinner on the Pont Alexander III due to bad behavior. Waste left behind by that group was documented by locals and the Paris press. As for the official location, the Palais Royal recently underwent a renovation (and is home to the fun Colonnes des Buren art installation). The Louvre/Tuileries gardens had an official Dîner en Blanc there in 2010.
Image by Dennis Gault
After two years in rather epic locations in Manhattan–Bryant Park and Lincoln Center, the pop-up Dîner en Blanc returned to the New York City waterfront last night at Nelson A. Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City, not too far from the World Financial Center where the dinner launched in 2011.