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.
Still, New Yorkers who haven’t attended wonder about the purpose of lugging tables, chairs, place settings and all your food through the NYC street and subways while wearing your finest. Why do so many participate? First, for the spectacle. What could be better than dining outdoors in one of New York City’s most beautiful locations? Perhaps more importantly, it’s one of few events that’s organized simply for spontaneous gathering, without commercialism or profit in mind.
Sure, there’s a registration fee but that’s used to cover the high costs to rent “public” spaces in New York that are actually privately run and to cover the small staff that produce these events in more than 40 cities a year. And as individualistic as New Yorkers are, we think deep down you guys also love some singular moments of solidarity.
Registration opens on Monday for those who attended last year. Guests from last year who sponsor new guests from this year register beginning next Wednesday, and then registration for wait list opens in two phases on August 15th (1pm for those who registered before June 30th this year, and 3pm for those who registered after). To get added to the wait list, sign up on the Dîner en Blanc website. If you attended in previous years, you’ll be getting registration information in the mail.