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Best of Burque Restaurants 2016

Best of the Rest

One-of-a-kind winners.
V.25 No.39 | 09/29/2016
Megan Reneau

Dinner and a Wedding

I had never heard of Dîner en Blanc until I was invited to attend one in good ol' Burque. My coworker Courtney had planned on going but realized she wouldn't be able to make it due to a prior commitment, she asked me if I would like to attend in her place and I told her I would think about it. I looked it up and it seemed interesting enough—a party where people are required to wear all white at a mystery location—so I agreed. I was put into contact with a lovely woman named Kristi D. Lawrence, the event's PR manager She sent long, detailed messages about what was going to happen at the dinner, which confused me at first because I haven't experienced people actually planning their events in Albuquerque.

She said that guests were expected to wear all white, bring their own meals, table, chairs, utensils and décor that had to be all white, as well. She told me I could partake as media (walk around and observe) or as a guest. I typically wear all black, so just finding an appropriate outfit was a struggle; I opted for the media option. She emailed me the time and location the morning of the event.

I wondered why people would commit to bringing so much to an event like this—I've never been expected to provide my own food, tables, chairs, utensils and decorations at any event, so naturally, I googled it.

The technically illegal event began around 1986. A man named François Pasquier began hosting pop-up parties at historic and culturally important landmarks in Paris, France, telling his friends (who told their friends, and those people told their friends) to dress in all white so they could find each other easily. Eventually the event became legal with better organization and looked pretty fucking classy compared to local hooligans (or tourists!) running around said landmarks smoking, loitering or taking pictures.

Nowadays we don't have to depend on word-of-mouth but people do need to know someone to be a part of the event. To join you need a sponsor or be put on a waiting list which will make you wait a pretty long time because Dîner en Blanc events often sell out.

Those lucky enough to make the cut are told a meeting place and time, from there they are taken to the end location—which is a public space—and take over it. They set up a table for two (did I mention you have to have a date?) with all the bells and whistles: chairs, decorations, plates, glasses, utensils and most people bring their own meals and wine. The end location for this year's dinner was the BioPark's beautiful Botanical Gardens.

It took a bit over an hour to get all 1400 guests in and set up (a record for anything being done in such a timely fashion in this state). Then people stood up and waved their napkins above their heads like lassos meaning the space had been taken over and it was time to begin the meal. Everyone looked gorgeous. Outfits ranged from two-piece suits, either with a blouse or a fitted button up. Dresses were popular—everything from short and fitted to long and flowing. Lace was very popular amongst the lady-folk, and fedora and trilby hats were popular with the men-folk. There were also a surprising number of white wigs.

I began wandering the space trying out my new camera (and super-zoomy lens) on people eating, which I noticed made folks uncomfortable so I just did the socially acceptable thing and watched people eat instead. I saw most people brought their own meals, I saw everything from steaks to salads to fried chicken. In regards to beverages, most people opted for the wine on location.

A lot of folks were excited to get to the party part of the evening and drifted toward the stage where there was live music. I was pulled to the back of the venue by some unknowing force and heard people cheering in the ceremonial garden so I decided to pop back there for a minute to see what all the hubbub was about. As I passed the wall a voice became clearer, talking about marriage. I found a surprise wedding was in progress! The crowd seemed to be primarily family and friends of the happy couple-to-be, with the groom and officiate standing on the side closer to the Jardin Redondo. The bride joined them quickly and the ceremony was brief and lovely.

Soon after, sparklers were passed out to the guests on the green and the entire crowd lit huge sparklers at the same time. The enchantment that sparklers bring at any time lasted longer than expected, but that describes the entire night, to me. It was such a positive experience; families and friends gathering together civilly, sharing a meal with hundreds of strangers without anyone being rude or mean. Sure, it was a little hectic at times, but isn't that what makes things exciting? Unpredictability prompts bonding.

Many guests (including myself) left early because of rain, a magical end to the night. As I left I asked some people how their night went and everyone said they had a great time and the hosts—Cat Hanna, David Stroud, Taylor Trodden and all the group leaders—were marvelous and created a wonderful environment. Their guidance and efforts created a wonderfully relaxing and fun night.

The Daily Word in the VP Debate, Marionberries and Grumpy Old Man Syndrome

The Daily Word

Since you didn't watch the VP debate last night here's the rundown, you gad damn millennial.

Old people, amiright?!

Just in case you're being monitored, encrypt your messages on Facebook just in case.

Are there limits to aging?

If you need to calm down for a minute, I highly recommend checking out these works of art.

What the fuck is a Marionberry and why are Oregonians obsessed with it?

Evacuations are beginning as Hurricane Matthew hits the US.

Jessica Kelley has a long history of assaulting people before she allegedly tortured and murdered 10-year-old Victoria Martens.

V.25 No.38 | 09/22/2016

Alibi Picks

Latte Birthday Wishes

Saturday, Oct 1: Birthday Bash

Enjoy the signature brews, live music, live art demonstrations, games and a special beer release while raising money for the charity There's A Better Way to help local homeless families.

Event Horizon

OPA!

Friday, Sep 30: Grecian Festival

Taste authentic Greek cuisine, watch dancers streaming by in colorful costumes, enjoy browsing imported jewelry, gifts, foods and pastries, and tour the St. George Church.
V.25 No.37 | 09/15/2016

Event Horizon

Support your Local Non-prophet

Sunday, Sep 25: Albuquerque Pagan Pride Day

Over 30 exotic merchants, workshops, ritualistic plays, belly dancing, artisan displays and games and activities for the whole family.

Event Horizon

District 505

Saturday, Sep 24: International District Festival

A showcase of the diverse art, food and entertainers from the southeast area of Albuquerque.

The Daily Word in Shrinking Ice Caps, Jim Carrey and Eating Off The Floor

The Daily Word

Arctic sea ice is melting, and is currently at the second-lowest on record.

The number of smokers in England is at a record low, with just around 17% of adults lighting up.

Obama gives his very last address to the United Nations.

Hate to break it to you, but the 5-second-rule is a myth.

Mark Burton wrongfully files lawsuit against Jim Carrey claiming the actor supplied his girlfriend with prescription drugs that she used to commit suicide.


Gas prices spike as a result of a 330,000-gallon pipeline spill in Alabama.

Professors at New Mexico Tech are working to recreate the explosion that injured dozens in New York's Chelsea neighborhood.

Since trending news is generally depressing and the Internet probably won't put a halt to the constant headlines any time soon, here is a virtual bioluminescent forest for at least some temporary relaxation.

V.25 No.36 | 09/08/2016

Event Horizon

Cyclists Laugh Longer

Sunday, Sep 18: Bike In Comedy

Cyclists and residents ride in to see local comedians, a cappella infused improv, sketch comedy, musical ensemble Rumble perform. Food trucks and Tractor Brewing on site.
V.25 No.37 | 9/15/2016

Best of Burque

Last week to vote in the 2016 Best of Burque Restaurants poll

When it comes to Best Chile Cheese Fries, there can be only one

[ Wed Sep 14 2016 4:44 PM ]
Voting ends MIDNIGHT TUESDAY SEPT. 20. That makes this the final week. Procrastinators may now get it in gear. Thank you.
V.25 No.32 | 08/11/2016
Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Event Horizon

Wild West

Saturday, Aug 20: Westside Summerfest

Enjoy live music from Big Head Todd & The Monsters, a microbrew garden, food, art and family-friendly fun.

The Daily Word in New Businesses, the Olympics and Homelessness

The Daily Word

Have you heard about the trend of men taking advantage of homeless women?

The Blue Cut Fire in southern Calif. has forced over 80,000 people from their homes.

Who knew gray could be so beautiful?

Diversity in television has become expansive over the last few years, but let's be real—it could be better.

Free coffee and free shame available this morning.

A Brazilian judge is detaining two American athletes after they filed a report saying they were robbed by people “posing” as police officers.

The Northeast Heights is finally getting a taproom that it deserves.

V.25 No.31 | 08/04/2016

The Daily Word in Birds, Tim Curry and Hate

The Daily Word

The Olympics are getting better, right? Right???

From the mouth of the Doctor himself, Tim Curry is going to be in the new Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Which came first, the corndog or death?

Donald Trump thinks he's not violent at all.

Do you really know what birds look like when they fly?

The last liberal newspaper in China is fighting for it's life.

Who do you hate, you dummy?

V.25 No.24 | 06/16/2016
Pixabay / Public Domain

Event Horizon

Get on Your Kombucha Goggles

Saturday, Jun 25: New Mexico Fermentation Festival

A series of fermentation workshops, chef demos, local food trucks and kids' activities.

Today's Events

Death educator Gail Rubin discusses her newest book on organizing your life, death and legacy.

Yule Logs and Jingle Balls • Holly Rebelle • Mena Domina • burlesque at Low Spirits

Brewhouse Toy Drive at Drafty Kilt Brewing Company

More Recommended Events ››
 

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