Pasadena City Hall The Perfect Location For LA’s Exclusive All-White Dinner Party
This year, we arrived early.
I wanted to catch and observe the people arriving to Le Diner en Blanc – Los Angeles. After going to this exclusive all-white pop-up dinner at a mysterious location not revealed until two hours before it starts last year, I was curious to see people bringing their own chairs, tables and place settings, and setting them up in a public place reserved just for them.
The location for 2017 was Pasadena City Hall and I don’t know if you’ve been there or not but it’s gorgeous. It’s an elegant domed building that makes you think you’re in Europe.
The event took place in an open space in front of it (while a wedding was taking place in the courtyard behind it, by the way).
Last year, when my associate Angelika and I arrived to Le Diner en Blanc, which took place next to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion downtown, everyone had already set up their tables. We were blown away by it so much we almost felt as if were on the backs of our heels the whole time trying to take all of it in, it was so incredible.
So this year, we wanted to be there from the very beginning. And we watched in amazement as, almost at precisely 5:30 on a warm Saturday afternoon in October, more than 2,000 people all dressed in white appeared from seemingly nowhere, and from every direction, at the venue.
They were pulling coolers with handles as if they were going to a tailgate party.
They brought and set up their own tables and chairs. (I asked one group how their tables managed to all be the same height. “I told everyone where to order them!,” came the smiling response).
They came in groups, as couples, and as friends.
And they all sat down together, or at least in the same general area, for this dinner phenomenon under a fading blue sky that gave way to a night under the stars.
The setting and the atmosphere was perfect and to add to it was live music, which at first was kind of light and classy tunes – there was a violin – that later turned into a party band.
As I did last year, I walked around in complete amazement at how people would go through the considerable effort it takes to plan, prepare for and attend Le Diner en Blanc. But I also got it, because it’s such a different, wonderful, breath-of-fresh-air event it’s hard not to become entranced by it.
This year was different than last year, and I suppose that’s part of the continued attraction of these events. Each is unique. Because of the music and the setting of this one, I kind of felt as if I were at a private event in a public square in Vienna, being serenaded by members of the Philharmonic Orchestra.
I love the table settings people bring to Le Diner en Blanc. There were lighted Eiffel Towers, a row of large plumes set at the top of vases, even those signs you see at beach bars in the Caribbean with worldwide destinations and distances on them.
Of course, you must wear white to this event and the creativity of the wardrobe was almost as creative as the table settings. There were masks, top hats and tails, tutus and a girl with angels wings.
It was a stylish addition to another stylish evening.