after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

a response to the response to Diner en Blanc

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t says:  As the years go on since the start of Philly Diner en Blanc, there has been an increasing tide of anti-DeB sentiment.  For instance, in Main-Line Magazine (i.e. “Philadelphia Magazine”), the fashion/lifestyle/home-and-design editor (who LinkedIn claims her first job out of college is “Senior Lifestyle Editor” for Philly Mag – you may draw your own conclusions regarding qualifications) wrote this little opinion:

http://www.phillymag.com/shoppist/2014/08/13/this-is-hilarious-diner-en-sweatpants-mocks-fancy-pants-diner-en-blanc/

In short, Ms. Goulet complains about the inconvenience of gathering everything, the inconvenience of lugging everything, and the audacity of having to pay for something (and it sounds like she wasn’t thrilled with her pre-packaged dinner by virtue of making no mention of delicious food).  And then she whined that 30th street wasn’t as beautiful as the Eiffel tower.

Oh, and then she links to some anti-DeB dinners taking place as mentioned in another little article in their magazine.

http://www.phillymag.com/ticket/2014/08/12/diner-en-sweatpants-gives-middle-finger-diners/

It got me wondering: am I un-cool?  Are we un-cool?  If PhillyMag can take an anti-DeB position (and they’re usually a year behind the times), does that mean that now DeB is so not a cool thing to do?  I felt torn, as DeB was fun for our gang (g + t + a + v) both years we went.  There are some things we think could be better:

1)  We think there is a fair amount of rules violations (creme is not white) that lends to the “tacky” appearance – but come on – everyone is at least trying!

2)  Transportation is difficult in a city where the trains don’t exactly get to everywhere/anywhere.  So if you’re not mentally prepared, you might be miffed to have your sparkling white dress rub up against the “plebians” who are riding SEPTA (you know … to get home from work … because it is like 6pm on a Thursday!!).

3)  There’s also a fair amount of “trying too hard to be cool” (i.e. you’re not the first person to think of FedNuts fried chicken … or sushi … or delivery pizza).

But outside of these, the ability to look around and see a sea of white is fascinating.  Enjoying the moment as you’re eating a picnic with total strangers, possibly even sharing wine and having each other take pictures – what’s not to like?  And normally I hate being in crowds of strangers!  Maybe I’ll change my tune if it rains on us this year?  I guess what I’m trying to say is: “if you don’t like it, fine, don’t come!  But just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean the people who do are deluding ourselves into “pretending we’re Parisians” – we’re just enjoying the opportunity to create a spectacle.

But I am curious about the anti-DeB dinners – are they cooler or more fun?  Should I want to do them instead?

a says:  I heard about those at work today.  This is what hipsters do because they have been left out or are, true to form, too lazy to make something like DeB work.  I really don’t get the blowback to this event – it shows a​ lack of understanding between something that is exclusive vs. exclusionary.  DeB’s limit is based on location logistics and the fact the previous participants get first dibs, both of which seem fair and necessary.  The only exclusionary aspect of DeB is that it has a fee but I don’t know the world where something like this could be free.​  Unlike the Union League, where people are excluded based on gender, whether they know a member, and in the end, class, DeB is just semi-tough to join.  And guess what, that’s OK! Not everyone can do or be a part of everything. Sometimes you get lucky and the computer server lets you join (DeB, The Philly 10K, concerts, etc.) and sometimes you don’t.  Tough nuggets.  I’m pretty sure Harvard has a few more applicants than spaces and you don’t see every reject starting “an alternative, sweatpants version of Harvard.”  (t’s disclaimer: no one who contributed to this post has ever been admitted to Harvard).   ​It all comes back to FOMO – people want to (have the option) of doing everything in their purview.​ Go cry into your PBR while riding your fixie and stroking your handlebar mustache.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

20 August 2014 at 11:54am

Posted in Happenings

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