Today is the last day of summer, so it seems like perfect timing to write about a big event that capped off the summer season — Dîner en Blanc , which is French for dinner in white.
I wrote about this event back in 2015, but had never attended it. If you’re not familiar with the event, it’s basically a dinner where everyone dresses in white. Plus, the location is secret until a couple of hours prior.
When the location is emailed to the attendees, they gather up everything that they need for their dinner — tables, chairs, place settings, food, etc., and quickly go to the now revealed location. Then they set up their tables and have their meals.
Dîner en Blanc started in Paris nearly 30 years ago and events are held in cities all over the world with thousands of people attending each one.
This year I finally attended! A friend of mine happened to mention that she was on the waiting list and wanted to go. Since I was invited to go as media, I brought her along as my guest.
We had a great time! That’s me in my new white outfit! One of the perks of going as an invited guest was that we didn’t have to bring anything with us. We got to hang out in the comfy media lounge and enjoy sandwiches and champagne courtesy of Bon Me and Taittinger.
One of the best things about this event was the diversity of the crowd.
There were many people of color and people of all ages too. The range was probably from 20s to 60s. I feel like this doesn’t happen too often. It was nice to see, especially considering all that is happening in this country right now.
When the dinner started, it was light out. If you can’t tell where we are, it was at the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. The location was perfect. The weather was perfect. It was maybe mid 70s, so it was warm enough out even as the sun set.
We were near the Rings Fountain, which lit up and spewed steam and water. With everyone dressed in white and walking around, the effect was just magical. Dreamy. Enchanting. It’s hard to describe.
There was live music playing during dinner, with singer John Everett Martin featuring Bob Christopherson and Gregory Holt. Click here for some video that I took so you can see, listen and get a feel for the ambience. It was so very nice. Smooth and jazzy. Singing one of my favorite Sinatra tunes — Witchcraft.
After dinner the band left, then DJ Ryan Brown got everyone up and dancing. He played music that appealed to the whole crowd and everyone really seemed to have a good time. Including me! What a night!
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Disclosure: I attended the event as invited media. My guest and I were admitted free of charge.
For people who are most beloved by the masses, one of the things that people most often say about them after they die is that they were always themselves. They were authentic.
Somehow during their lifetime, they found the courage to be true to themselves and showed it to the world. However, like most things in life, it’s easier said than done.
After the Memorial Service for Muhammad Ali yesterday, many of us have had the chance to reflect on his life. The choices that he made and what we most respect about those choices. He risked and lost everything in order to be true to his beliefs. He had moral integrity.
As we reflect on our own lives, it’s easier for some of us to take a stand in public than others. For those who are naturally extroverted, it may not be quite as difficult. For the introverts among us, myself included, it’s a bigger stretch to speak out in public. Many of us are natural writers and work well behind the scenes.
I just watched this video showing a conversation about introversion between Eileen Fisher, famous clothes designer, and Susan Cain, who started a Quiet Revolution and has made it her life mission to show the value of introverts. One of her most recent projects is Quiet Schools Network, so that introverted students are not overlooked in school.
This video is inspiring to watch. It’s a bit long, just over an hour. But it’s well worth the time. I had not known much about Eileen Fisher, except for her beautiful clothes that I wish I could afford.
After watching, I learned that even though she built her widely successful business from the ground up, she was painfully shy and introverted. Which is probably why most of us have not known much about the woman behind the brand. She did not want a public life.
With Fisher’s recently launched Learning Lab, she is pushing her boundaries and working on this new project that means so much to her. It’s very much in the beginning phases, so she is bringing us along on the journey to see what it will become.
The actual lab is located in an historic building overlooking the Hudson River. She has events and workshops that you can attend in person, then she makes them available online for us to watch for free.
I love the idea of this experiment, because that’s all that life really is. We’re all just trying to figure it out and experiment with what could be.
So that we all can try to live a life as well-lived, remembered and cherished as Muhammad Ali.
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Screenshot: Eileen Fisher Learning Lab
The thing about having a life list is that it’s written at one very particular time. As we all find out eventually, the only constant in life is change.
There must be something about May, because I wrote my life list back in May 2010. Well, a lot happens in six years. Some of the things on my list I have accomplished already. Others I don’t particularly care about anymore at all. Or they can happen in a way that I didn’t anticipate. Like #49 for instance.
Gather fresh eggs and cook with them.
I no longer feel the need to gather the eggs myself. But I have always wanted to cook with farm fresh eggs. As far as I’m concerned, #49 is now accomplished.
This past week, I noticed that most of the eggs were gone and it was only the middle of the week. I sent a text to G asking him if he could stop and buy some. He texts back that he just passed a farm stand with eggs for sale. So he went back and bought a dozen. Talk about perfect timing!
One of the things that I noticed about these eggs is that each egg looks different. Different shades, spots and speckles. Unlike when you buy eggs at the grocery store where they are all sorted to look exactly the same.
But with farm fresh eggs, brown eggs are mixed with white eggs. They are integrated! The eggs were bigger too. I buy large eggs, but these seemed extra large. Also they were longer and less round. The yolk seemed bigger proportionately and the flavor seemed a bit deeper.
Now that it’s spring and summer is coming soon, I’m going to be on the lookout for more farm fresh eggs!
Many of us don’t want to only enjoy the beauty of trees and plants when we’re outdoors, but we want to bring the lush greenery inside as well. I’ve been blessed with a green thumb and have plants and trees growing quite nicely in my apartment. Tending my plants is very relaxing and a kind of meditation for me.
It seems that I’m not the only one who feels this way about plants, because a new zen trend that I see growing 😀 is terrariums.
Trident Booksellers on Newbury Street has a weekly “Plant Nite” where you can build terrariums and enjoy food and drinks. But it’s not the only place. Plant Nite, similar to Paint Nite, brings people together at different restaurant venues all around the Boston area where they can drink and go home with a terrarium.
If you’d like to go west of Boston, on June 5th, Tovah Martin of Terrarium Wise will be speaking about terrariums and there will be a workshop as well. This event will be held at Brandt House B & B, located in Greenfield, Massachusetts and sponsored by the Greenfield Garden Club.
If you can’t make it to an event, or even if you can, maybe you’d like to wear a terrarium. Dara Cheek, of Hieropice, who I met at ASSEMBLED in Somerville, makes the cutest terrarium necklaces that you can buy from her Etsy shop.
Whatever way you choose to enjoy terrariums, you’re sure to have some fun!