I finally got to be part of a flash mob of sorts. The Dîner en Blanc, while secretive, has become a Paris tradition. I’d never heard of it, but lucky for me, I’ve got classy friends who organize events like this.
Here’s the basics, so you can organize your own.
- Picnic organizers invite people they know to be table captains. They work to find a proper “secret” location (and with 250 people at this small gathering, that takes coordination with the city). They find a band. They get some sparklers. They establish the rules: dress in white, be fancy.
- Table captains organize tables of six, eight, twelve, whatever. The tough bit is finding your pals who are truly going to play the game: no mean feat, in a casual city like Seattle, where folks often have a tough time managing simple costume parties. They get the table ready, and establish the menu for the table.
- The organizers then tell the table captains, an hour before the picnic, where it’s going to be. The table captains swing into gear to get their table there and set up on time.
- Table is set and at 7 pm, the assembled diners wave their white napkins in the air, not in defeat, but in a grand gesture of joie de vivre!
- The picnic commences, the champagne is sipped discretely, until a set time when the sparklers are lit to signify the dancing has begun and dinner is complete.
Here’s what the dinner in Paris looked like and here’s a link to the New York Times’ article on organizing one in New York City.
I don’t know about you, but who needs the fancy Louve or Notre Dame? Seattle’s was awesome! Thank you Lieberman-Cohens and all the folks we supped with.