Though I’ve been living in New York for almost a year now, I decided to make the long journey (5 hours on a Megabus) back to my hometown of Boston for the city’s first annual Dîner en Blanc. The Dîner en Blanc is a pop-up picnic dinner in white of epic proportions which started in Paris and has been expanding to other cities across the world. (I’ll also be going to the NYC version on Monday.) This year, more than fifteen cities on five continents are throwing a Dîner en Blanc. In addition to Boston, new cities include Chicago, Singapore and Kigali, Rwanda.
The great thing about the Dîner en Blanc is that each city operates on its own, independently organizing the event with a local team who knows how to find the best location for the event and how to tap into the city’s spirit. My friend Julia (who has her own travel blog) and I met up with our group at Park Street in the heart of the city center. Everyone wondered where it would be: Boston Commons, the Esplanade, the Greenway? As our table leader led us on the red line and then the silver line, we realized it would have to be on the waterfront. Curious T riders asked us where we were going, and all we could tell them was that we didn’t know yet.
We emerged from the Silver line at Courthouse Square, with the Institute of Contemporary Art to our right and Moakley Courthouse to our left. We watched as other groups dressed in white made their way toward the courthouse. When it was finally our turn, we arrived on the site to find an incredible view of Boston Harbor with Rowes Wharf and the Custom House across the water. I was equally impressed by the style displayed by the usually preppy/casual Bostonians. There were wide brimmed hats, balloons, flowers and candles. Men wore bow ties, fedoras, and one man even had a white top hat. Julia told me that this dinner shows of the revitalization of Boston’s waterfront and proves that the city is becoming more fun. It certainly seemed like everyone was in a festive spirit! While everyone ate, a live band played French chansons and at the end of the night, a huge dance party broke out on the lawn!
Check out photos from this year’s Dîner en Blanc in Paris and stay tuned for coverage of NYC’s Dîner en Blanc on Monday, August 20th.
Get in touch with the author @lauraitzkowitz