Please do not come back, Dîner en Blanc

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1August 26, 2014- By Steven E. Greer

I was in Midtown eating last night and saw a Citi Bike rack. On an impulse, I hopped on and rode home. The weather was great.

As I drove south on the bike path of the HRPT, I saw a yellow cab stopped in the middle of the southbound West Side Highway. In front of it was a stopped car. People were outside of the two cars, drunken beyond belief, looking like they were almost having a picnic, wearing all white.

As I drove by down North End Avenue and the esplanade, I saw PEP officers telling people in white that they could not stay in the park, since it was after 11:00 by this time.

It was the annual Dîner en Blanc – New York, and they chose Rockefeller Park for their destination this year. Reports state that 4,000 people showed up, with their own picnic tables, to eat their own picnic basket food.


There were no portable bathrooms. Where did these drunks go to the bathroom?

Who picked up their messes?

Who in the BPCA issued this permit without community input?

What do you think? Am I just a curmudgeon?



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7 Responses to Please do not come back, Dîner en Blanc

  1. Roman says:

    I disagree with you completely. I’ve seen the party, lots of nice people, they were orderly. There were 10 portable bathrooms! This is one of the best planned large gatherings, and they should be more of events like this, not fewer.

  2. Editor says:

    Fair enough. I stand corrected. However, I did see the extreme drunkeness overflow that you did not, biasing me. People were i the middle of the West Side Highway, with stopped cars. PEP had to chase a few away as well.

  3. Kristin k says:

    I was also there on Monday night. I’m sure there were some drunken partiers, but for the most part it was a very nice respectful group of NYers.

    We were all instructed to take our garbage with us, which we did. I, personally do not drink at all and like events like this.

    C’mon, try it next year…You’ll enjoy yourself.

  4. Editor says:

    To Kristin

    It looked fun for the most part. However, I saw some outrageous drunks. Better off holding it elsewhere next year.

  5. Kevin says:

    Its amazing how everyone in the neighborhood questions the BPCA permit issuance for this event. Do you think only residents of TriBeCa are allowed to use that park? Seems like the usual privileged Manhattan response. They will probably change there tune once they get invited next year.

  6. Editor says:

    To Kevin

    We pay for these parks. Not you. Not people in the rest of the city. Just BPC residents. We have the highest property taxes in the city and we say what goes.

  7. Jared Sheer says:

    Where did the breakdown in communication with the local community occur regarding last week’s Dinner En Blanc in Battery Park City?

    I was extremely put off when I came home from work to find 5,000 people on the lawn, blasting music into the night in this otherwise quiet, residential neighborhood. It just seems like a horribly ill-thought out idea, even just for a single night. I’ve lived here for years and (save for perhaps the 4th of July which is not actually analogous), I’ve never seen anything of this size and scale in the immediate area.

    I know it’s the end of the summer season, but does that mean we just allow for the grass and plantings to get destroyed by 5,000 people who have zero vested interest in what it looks like the next day without any sort of public discourse? Forget about discourse — why was there zero notice given to anyone living in the neighborhood? I know it’s a flash party and that’s part of the concept, but no indication at all? With the amount of food brought in, the rats must be having a field day today.

    Finally, what type of payout occurred to shut down a huge public space for what is effectively a private event of this large scale? Where is that money going? Where’s the transparency?

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