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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

Got Minerals?

Friday, Sep 30: Fall Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show

Browse gemstones, mineral specimens, rough rock, slabs, jewelry, beads, cabochons, fossils, tools and equipment.
V.25 No.39 | 9/29/2016

Restaurant Review

The Gold Standard

In Gold Street Caffé we trust

Monica Schmitt says depend on Gold Street Caffé for a delicious meal and a more than satisfying coffee fix.
V.25 No.38 | 9/22/2016

Restaurant Review

Eat Like No One is Watching

Seriously, keep your leftovers from Kyana's Kitchen

Maggie Grimason says it's easy to imagine drunken, late-night conversations happening in the spacious confines of Kyana’s Kitchen, Albuquerque's newest Vietnamese spot and a restaurant that notably keeps late-night hours.
V.25 No.37 | 09/15/2016

The Daily Word in Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont and Police Brutality

[ Wed Sep 21 2016 11:21 AM ]
The Daily Word

Two brewing companies are opening up shop Downtown.

Astronomers found some blobs within some other blobs (scientifically speaking).

Archeologists have discovered human remains at the largest shipwreck which was also where the Antikythera Mechanism was found.

Five medical personal were killed after the collapse of the cease-fire in Syria.

A 13-year-old boy was shot this month by police while playing with a BB gun.

Tulsa police fatally shot an unarmed man on Friday.

Charlotte police say fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott was holding a “gun.”

Since Colin Kaepernick has started his silent protest on Aug. 26, 15 black people have been shot during police encounters.

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
Green chile chicken enchiladas
Eric Williams Photography

Restaurant Review

Louder Than Enchiladas

And I know because she said so

August March manages to conjure El Patio’s time-tested version of Nuevo Mexicano cuisine while invoking The Smiths.
V.25 No.36 | 9/8/2016

Restaurant Review

El Paisa, Take Me Home

Feed your need for Mexican

Joshua Lee finally gets his Mexican fix at El Paisa.
V.25 No.35 | 09/01/2016

Event Horizon

Get Lit

Friday, Sep 9: Umbrella Week

Kickoff Umbrella Week with ten-minute performances by musicians, comedians, dancers and poets.

Event Horizon

Free Play

Friday, Sep 9: NM Game Jam

A 48 hour game development challenge uniting industry veterans, students and hobbyists to create new opportunities for game development growth in New Mexico.

Event Horizon

Spend a Day at the Barre

Friday, Sep 9: Envisioning Inclusive Dance 2016 Regional Convening

Discuss the regions existing resources and expertise and begin to craft goals and action items for enhanced opportunities in the field of integrated dance.

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    Salsa Dance Party!!!
    Salsa Dance Party!!!11.5.2016