Monday, October 17, 2011

Le Dîner à San Francisco

I experienced something kind of amazing Friday night. It all started a few weeks ago. I read about a secret, pop-up, flash dinner in San Francisco, inspired by an event which originated in Paris. It was called Le Dîner. I knew very little except that there would a picnic style dinner, dancing and entertainment. Guests were asked to bring their own meal and table setting. The secret component was that we would only learn the location just a few hours before the event! Oh, yes, and we were asked to wear all white (head to toe). So much mystery and mayhem.

With sweaty palms and an impatient mind, at 4 p.m. on Friday I got a special email, disclosing the secret location: Le Dîner would take place at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park, between the beautiful deYoung and California Academy of the Arts Museums. Evocative of the Jardin des Tuileries, the spot could not be more perfect.

So there we were: me, David, Jen and Emmanuel in our all white attire. Set-up and oh-my-goodness-this-is-so-cool time was from 5:30 - 7:00. At 7:30, we all waved our white napkin, a signal for the commencement of dinner. I must admit, watching as 1,000 white napkins danced in the air was quite magical.

Emmanuel waving his napkin!

The night was full of romance...

...and the wonder of Paris.

People went ALL OUT with their attire.

We waited in line for our photo to be taken against the white backdrop.

Glowing lanterns flew into the air every so often.

This way and that, someone was putting on a show.

The seating arrangements were divided into the 20 Arrondissements of Paris. We were in Bastille, which I guess is a combo of 3 arrondissements?! Francophiles, feel free to chime in here.

We were cozy in our section, until we found where the real party was at:

Le Dîner was a dinner...

...turned dance party...

...turned rave.

It was only a matter of time before people got into the fountain...and it was only a matter of time before the park ranger told them to get out.

Whichever way you looked, the night was pretty fab. Mes amis et moi sure thought so!


  1. Tres jealoux! {Did I spell that right?} xo

  2. It doesn't even matter! {you get an A+++ for effort and love}xo

  3. WOW, this looks like SO much fun. I love how I looked at your sister's blog when I was living in SF on my way to a move to LA ( and it gave me hope that LA was also liveable and good and beautiful) and now I read your blog to remember how magical the city is.

    Is that David that works at Scholar Match??

  4. @Mari: Yes! How do you know him!? What a small world :)

  5. i LOOOOOVE this! such an awesome idea!

    and yes, i will join you in baking when the cold weather actually arrives!

    ; )


  6. There's lots to love here, but your lipstick...Oh là là!

  7. Looks like so much fun! Are they going to do one in LA?

  8. fantastique! i love this....espec. the floating lanterns. and arrondissement seating arrangements. the question--would i have been able to put together an all white outfit? hmm

  9. SF is funny like that, right? Always finding out you know friends of friends of friends.
    I used to be the Programs Director at the tutoring and writing center right across the street from him. Monty was our go-to photographer for a lot of student events and my good friends were running SM. Those orgs are one big happy family so everyone knows everyone around those parts : )
    I was just in SF this weekend and actually my friend's roommate wrote about this event for the Chronicle so she told us more about it. So, so magical.
    How do you know him?

  10. The paris version of this event has been on my bucket list for a long time. I finally found a french friend who gets on the email list for it, so maybe (just maybe) this june will make it happen. So lovely!!!