Two years ago as I was on my way home to my Upper West Side Manhattan apartment, I heard music coming from the outdoor plaza of Lincoln Center. When I walked across the street to check it out, I saw thousands of people in a sea of white – all-white clothing, white tables and chairs, white china place settings. I finally buttonholed a couple on their way out and found out that this was the second appearance in New York of Le Diner en Blanc (The Dinner in White), a French-inspired flash-mob-type event, described more elegantly as a "smart mob," and available by invitation only.
I didn’t know anyone who could invite me, but I went online and found a place where I could sign up to receive notices of the next year’s event. And then I promptly forgot about it. Although I never heard from the website the following year, I did get an email a couple of weeks ago telling me I was now eligible to vie for a spot online. Actually two spots: no one can come to the event alone; you have to bring a friend. I called a friend who immediately accepted. I was accepted to this august company of about 4,000 people who will gather tomorrow evening at various meeting places throughout New York City, and only then will we learn where the event will be held.
I pulled together the “elegant” white outfit I was instructed to wear, as did my friend, buying a few items that we didn’t have. I paid my $5 membership fee and the $30 each attendance fee. I ordered wine from the approved store, since we are not allowed to bring any alcoholic beverages; to prevent bringing in such contraband our picnic baskets will be checked upon entrance. Oh yes, we have to bring our own picnic supper (an “elegant” one, to be sure), along with white china place settings (no plastic!), white napery, cutlery (again no plastic!).
I have looked at the photos of others who will be attending, and I'm sure that my friend and I will be the oldest people there. And that's part of the fun and excitement of this adventure. More to come after tomorrow night.
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