Monday, August 31, 2015

The Tale of Two White Parties Closing Out the Summer, Diner En Blanc LA & Walk With Sally's 9th Annual White Light White Night

By Laura Medina

 A fascinating lady with blinking fascinator & the Chairman of the Board.

Back in the East Coast, where this socializing-loving scribe hailed from, they welcome Summer with White Parties, when the temperature is just right.

Over in the West Coast, they close this current Summer with two White Parties in two distinct locations that span the opposite ends of wide-ranging Los Angeles.

Due to location permits on a location last year, Diner En Blanc Los Angeles did a skip a beat last year but they returned with party vengeance this recent Thursday night.

A party army in white, representing a wide swath of Los Angelenos who love to dress up, feast on fine dining-catered or home-cooked, and party, descended on the under-utilized Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles.  An ample, centralized park with a decent amount of underground parking.  Heaven-sent.

Anyone can join Diner En Blanc.  No one has to be a celebrity.  There might had been some celebrities incognito but anyone can participate, as long as they dress up in all-white and haul their own gear.

Think of Diner En Blanc as all-white version of this scribe's favorite holiday, Halloween, with better cuisine.  Everyone has a chance to dress up...but it has to be in all-white.

Diner En Blance, dress-code wise, allows everyone's inner party animal to fully all-white of course, whether you be a 18th-century aristocrat in a powdered wig and coat-tails or an Indian raj trimmed in gold.  Fascinators abound and glowed, flashed, and blinked since this is an evening picnic as well.

This scribe loved that Diner En Blanc LA's unofficial mascot is a Frenchman decked out in full United States Naval Admiral regalia.  He's Mister Captain Diner En Blanc.

 Diner En Blanc LA is a full cast of characters...this scribe loves this.

Diner En Blanc, the Los Angeles Edition, is fortunate enough to have polite volunteers who are willing to be team leaders for each neighborhood, directing their neighborhood team to their designated table site to...

set up their fancy-schmancy, gorgeous table setting, decorations, and their gourmet dinner, whether it be catered or home-cooked.  Where lighted candles and silverware in gold were considered de riguer basic, the Diner En Blanc army goes all out on table-setting...that they gladly hauled themselves.

These glamorous hardy souls hauled their own table, chairs, tablecloth, decorations, silverware, and obviously their own multi-course gourmet meals.

The table decorations would have an home decor magazine editor in a tail-spin of an decor orgasm.  Tents, tamed flamed candelabras, and crystal chandeliers were abound but so too, were the glowing and spinning decorations.  This scribe's fave was the glow-in-the dark mini Ferris Wheel that you can spin on a dinner table. Spectacular..;and these party animals did this all themselves.  Imagine if they actually get paid for this.  Think of the food and decorations.

Diner En Blanc is a party army, this scribe tells ya.

Can't forget the food, the meals, and the feasting, it's called Diner En Blanc for a reason.

The food has to be equally fancy and chic to match the diners' outfits.  There are some rules to be followed:  white wine, champagne, white sauces and dips, seafood, and poultry.  Basically, chicken, crab, lobster, and shrimp cocktail...encased in puff pastry... ruled.  Plus, it's handy to have some club soda to dissolve the food stains off your white outfit.  Basically, any food and drink that doesn't stain the all-white attire.  White chocolate was very popular that night.

One reason doing any type of event in Los Angeles is jaw-dropping awesome is that Los Angeles is the world's entertainment capital where all sorts of musicians abound.

From the start for an hour and an half, Diner En Blanc LA had a full concert then the party raged on when the electronic violinist closed out the party.

This is why the Diner En Blanc LA is such a loyal party army.  Bringing out the best of LA is alchemy.  

At the end of the night, everyone...celebrity or average Joe...has collected then toss away their own trash then politely haul away their gear then magically disappear as though as if nothing had happened at all.

Diner En Blanc LA is a polite, party army.

 El Segundo's Walk With Sally's 9th Annual White Light White Night

Diner En Blanc and Los Angeles proper weren't the only ones who ruled the White Party circuit.

Keep your eyes out on the emerging South Bay area, just below LAX airport.

The South Bay may be a world unto itself but it's equally just as swanky and fabulous as Los Angeles proper above but the celebrities who do show up are from a different league...professional athletes.  

Plus, El Segundo's 9th Annual White Light White Night party is for charity, Walk with Sally.

Basically, this White Party is a fundraiser for a "Big Brother, Big Sister" mentorship program where an available, caring adult is willing to be a substitute parent/sibling for a child whose parent is stricken by cancer and is unable to take care of them.  These "Big Brothers & Big Sisters" consistently take care of the kid until she or he graduates from high school and turn 18.  Unlike most mentorship programs, "Walk with Sally" match-make the kids with a Big Sister or Brother who has also witnessed a love one who has suffered or died from cancer.  This creates a special bond between the adult and the kid so none will not feel isolated or different.

If Los Angeles proper, okay, Hollywood has it's cadre of actors and musicians, even the South Bay can rely on being home of the professional women vollleyball players, L.A. King hockey players, and L.A. Lakers and L. A. Clippers to bring on the celebrity game wattage.

They also have television personalities as well,  KTLA Cher Calvin, Dallas Cowboy's James Anderson, ESPN Sports Reporter Arash MarkaziGood Day LA Liz Habib, Fit TV's Devin AlexanderFood Network Star Adam Gertler, Framework's Nolen Niu, beauty media maven Dawn McCoy and the stunning American Fitness Instructor, Denise Austin,  Fox Sports host, Jessica Rosales, Greg Daniel, from True Blood, actresses Linsey Godfrey, Jacqueline Macinnes Wood, Ashleigh Brewer and Kim Matula from Bold and the Beautiful.

Walk With Sally's 9th Annual White Light White Night has the coolest red carpet.  It was curvy, making the gala more surreal, more awesome.

The walkway leading to the white tented fete were dotted with inspirational stickers and data from the Walk with Sally charity leading up to...

twenty-something booths of the best restaurants in the South Bay, from Manhattan Beach to Redondo Beach to Hermosa Beach, served up the best meals that the South Bay has to offer.

McCormick & Schmick's served up platters of the new So Cal cuisine and this scribe's new fave, ahi tuna in rolled-up cones, served up like ice cream cones but will ahi tuna.  Since California is bursting out in strawberries, drought or no drought, best to use them up in strawberry shortcakes.

People do the White Party circuit prove to be a fun-loving, tenacious sort.  Gotta applaud this lady who still dress appropriately despite having an amputeed leg, go get'em!

Alright, personalities and sport celebrities were in attendence but the headlining entertainment was Super Diamond, Neil Diamond Tribute band but they had the crowd jumping well into the night.

But,you gotta remember what this charity white party fundraiser is all about. Throughout the evening, Walk With Sally hosted a silent and live auction which led to a net profit of more than $220,000 raised!

White parties is Los Angeles' way of saying "good-bye" to Summer.  This White Party loving scribe can't wait for another year to arrive, while savoring the delightful memories.

Cheers to Summer.




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