Diner En Blanc Baltimore 2017: All That Glitters Isn't Gold
Diner En Blanc or Diner En Blah, I am still not quite sure! This is an abnormally long post for me, so you have been warned. This was not a simple event, so neither is this post. LMAO!
On Saturday, July 15, 2017, the lucky 1500 Baltimoreans who were able to secure a spot at the inaugural Diner En Blanc Baltimore got dressed in their "finest" white or some interpretation of white to head to the affair. I saw so many cream, off white, or white and gold outfits, I was a bit confused. I will admit I was highly skeptical of this event after I read the instructions in the email you received after registering. I had no idea all the work. You can read my initial thoughts here.
However, I arrived at my meeting location in Owings Mills, MD to board my bus to head to the secret location. My table host, Jade of Charm City Pretty, was excellent and provided detailed instructions leading up to the big day. God bless her, because there is no way I could have or would have done all this work for the love of a good time! I know people who commented on my Instagram or that I spoke with, stated that their table hosts were terrible! So I really lucked out on that front.
My table boarded our bus, ready and excited to head to the secret location. We all decided that we wanted to be surprised, but we all threw out ideas of possible locations. I jokingly said Druid Hill Park and was totally shocked when our buses actually turned into the park. However, none of our table-mates thought about the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore (which is housed in aforementioned park). I must say the location was not an exciting choice for me. I recall other cities having really cool and PUBLIC locations like the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia or on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Don't get me started on the Paris locations. LOL! Although the Zoo was a cool location, it had no WOW factor for me. I thought one of the whole concepts was that the event was to take place in a very public place! We seem tucked deep into the park away from any foot or car traffic. I wonder if they could have gotten a permit to close down some streets to host it on the streets surrounding the Washington Monument or on Art Museum Drive in from of the museum. I really would love to know the rationale behind the location selection.
After arriving, we all grabbed our things and began the long, DIFFICULT walk to our table space. It wasn't even that it was hot, but it wasn't a flat paved walkway to get to the grassy area. It was wood chips, dirt, etc and people were carrying heavy bags and pushing carts and wagons up and down hills. We witnessed people break glasses and dishes and even one couple lost their entire meal when their cooler flipped over. So sad! But we finally made it to our space! PRAISE THE LORD!
I think the setup process was my least favorite part of the whole damn event. Like it was getting dark and it was hot as fucking fuck! I am so happy that we did rent table and chairs, but it was a bit difficult initially trying to coordinate space with everyone and all their things! People were still setting up their tables at 9:30pm. Thankfully by 9:30pm my crew had begun to enjoy the meals and libations that we had prepared! I will say I enjoyed my dinner and our conversation. I was a bit sad that the infamous white napkin wave happened in the dark. The pictures I saw from other events in previous years in other cities, it seemed that this occurred while there was some daylight left.
Our Owings Mills table host gave us some nice treats - a branded coaster and a really yummy cookie! It was a very nice touch, that they didn't have to do. Once we were done eating, I was sitting there thinking when is the fun going to start? I mean everyone promised me that the fun would start after we set up. I was still waiting. However our table host passed out "sparklers" -- which were essentially those light up things they sell overpriced to kids at the circus. Again in past events in other cities, they had FOR REAL sparklers. What another let down! I mean they say "Comparison is the thief of Joy," so mine was totally robbed based on what I saw happen in other cities. AHAHAHA!
The only true highlight of the night for me was when the Baltimore marching band showed up. Y'all know I love me a Baltimore marching band. That was the best part of the event! Hands down! It was something so true and unique to Baltimore. Who's ever idea that was deserves all the praise. All of it! However, the DJ fell flat! The marching band had everyone so pumped and up on their feet and ready to party, that it sucked when the DJ could not keep up that momentum. We danced for a bit on the dance floor, but it was so hot we eventually made our way back to our table.
Once I sat down I realized that we had about 15 minutes before we needed to start breaking down our table. ALREADYYYY?!?! Then I notied the DJ finally wanted to play good music music. WOMP! The event seemed so short. We had to breakdown and be out of the venue by midnight. It really seemed like we had just sat down at 9:15pm and here we are at 11:00pm and we already had to pack it up. And yes, you did have to take your trash with you. That literally made me laugh. We gathered everything we had and began to walk back to the buses. Alot of people must have been over it or completely not interested in taking the buses back, because it was plenty of ubers and taxis waiting to take people home or back to their cars. Honestly, if you go next year, maybe miss the bus completely and have someone text you where they are and just show up at the venue. Save you some hassle! :)
So just like that, the event was over! It was over! I didn't have a bad time, but I don't think the fun times outweighed the "OMG what the fuck moments." I am glad that I went to see this for myself and I can speak from experience now.
So let's be real here. I shelled out $166 total (but I could see how you could pay less or wayyyyy more) for a picnic in a public place. Something I have the capability to do at any time in some capacity. The only difference with Diner En Blanc is that I paid for a surprise location and the exclusivity to be seen. And sadly at Diner En Blanc Baltimore, no one saw you. It was so damn dark in the zoo and it was no spectators to look at from afar to wonder "what all those people in white were doing." So I never got seen. LMAO! The event literally had no view.
Diner En Blanc Baltimore you were cool, but I don't think this event was for me! I am also not quite sure that this event was for Baltimore either. After going, I STILL don't get the overwhelming appeal of this event. I stand by my thought that the "exclusivity" of the affair is the main draw. I mean the ticket process alone is fucking pretentious and completely absurd, but I said that already, LOL! I mean like this has to be a form of masochism? Right?! I know I paid a membership fee for my ticket, but I was a guest of someone's so I don't even know if I could attend again on my own merit. Then I get angry, like what kind of shit is this?! LOL! It doesn't matter, I just don't think this was my kind of event. And that is ok!
I am just happy that it didn't rain! I would have been down right miserable!
So talk to me did you attend this inaugural event? What were you thoughts? Do you want to try another city?