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.
We recently covered six of our favorite secret supper clubs in New York City, but in terms of large scale dinner parties, nothing quite tops the pop-up Dîner en Blanc. Readers of Untapped Cities over the years know that we’ve been covering the flash mob white dinner since 2010 in Paris and our founder Michelle Young has been involved in the leadership of of the New York City dinners since its inception. Last year, 4,000 guests flooded Bryant Park for a stylish affair, the year before 3,000 took over Lincoln Center. This year, the dinner returns to a secret location on Monday, August 25th for approximately 4,000 people again.
Photo by Fabrice Malard via Dîner en Blanc de Paris
The banks of the Seine in Paris are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites in themselves and this year, the river was front and center at the 2014 Paris Dîner en Blanc, which took place on the bridges Paris and at the Invalides. After last year’s event simultaneously at Trocadero and the Louvre, once again people wondered how the event could outdo itself for a 26th year in a row.
After this years’ breathtaking dinner in Paris with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop and New York City’s answer at Bryant Park, we wondered if we’d seen the best of the secret pop-up dinner that originated in Paris. Amsterdam and the organizers of the Netherlands event answered that with a resounding, “Niet” by putting on a spectacular evening, festive in food, while celebrating history and the city’s close ties to its waterways.
Are you sure this is actually New York?
Last Wednesday almost 4,000 people dressed in their finest white clothes gathered in Columbus Circle, hopped on the subway, and flooded from Times Square to eventually pool in Bryant Park for the 2013 NYC Dîner en Blanc. This was my first year participating, and it did not disappoint in the least. My personal style philosophy these days can best be described as “funereal,” so while I’m no stranger to dressing in monochrome my all-white dinner party ensemble felt a lot like looking at myself in negative.
Every year at the Dîner en Blanc, there’s a magical moment. At Bryant Park this year, it was mid-dinner when the back facade of the New York Public Library became packed with guests dancing and drinking wine (in public, *gasp!*). Last year at Lincoln Center it was when the 3,000 guests flooded the geometric plaza, which we captured in a time lapse video.