Before Saturday night, I picked out a white dress and filled a white basket with sugar-dusted cookies. The only hitch? I had no idea where I’d be taking them.
But a few hours before heading to Prospect Park for an all-white PopUp Dinner Party, I finally learned that I – and 4,200 other guests – would be drinking, dining and dancing at the Peninsula, a cosy little nook overlooking a lake and sheltered by trees. Fellow park-goers must have wondered what was happening as swarms of us descended on the area, armed with white balloons, flowers and bottles of fizz.
You might remember from a previous blog post that this weekend was hosting the PopUp Brooklyn dinner party. It was inspired by the ‘Diner en Blanc’, which originated in Paris in 1988 when a group of friends wanted to gather for dinner and decided to dress in white so they’d be able to spot each other. Since then, the impromptu white dinner parties have spread across the world, and this one was hosted by Hand Made Events.
I was covering the night for Edible (you can read my story here) and the kind people at Acura, who were hosting the night, picked me up in a slick ride.. that was white, of course.
When we reached the Peninsula, a swathe of white stretched before us. We wandered around, mesmerized by the beautiful details and tasty snacks. And everyone was so nice.
I had a chat with Senator Chuck Schumer, whose wife Iris heads up the Prospect Park Alliance, before he gave a toast to the park and signaled the start of the feast.
After a busy day of flat hunting and birthday parties, I was relieved that Hand Made offered to make our picnic for us. We ate Mexican food from La Gringa and bite-sized baked goods from Blue Sky Bakery next to some film directors and PR peeps. They were so interesting, but I couldn’t help but think we’d missed the point a little – it would’ve been far more party-like if we’d brought a few other friends and our own homemade dishes.
After snacking, we checked out the view across the water.
Then came one of the highlights of the night: a solo performance from Ben Folds, who played his best-known tunes on a white piano while we bopped away.
It was a perfect choice for entertainment; the solo piano on a bare stage and just Folds’ voice made it so intimate. The whole event was very intimate – the other popup parties I’ve seen have always been very visible to members of the public who aren’t in on the secret, whereas this one was tucked away. This event was all about us.
What a beautiful night. I’d definitely go to another – all that white and all of the effort people go to is such a sight to behold – but next time I’d gather a crowd and bake my own snacks. And I’d encourage you to do the same!
>> Thanks to Ryan for some of the photos! (The better ones)