Under the stars, a taste of life outside the bubble

18930-dinner_102512-thumb-300x448-18929.jpg
(Photo: John O’Neill ’13)
The orange bubble was clad in white Oct. 25 for Forbes Diner Inn Blanc, a family-style dinner that brought together University students and Princeton community residents.
 
Inspired by “Diner en Blanc,” a flash-mob phenomenon in which hundreds of diners dressed in white picnic at landmarks, the event drew several hundred students from Forbes College and community members to Scudder Plaza in front of Robertson Hall.
 
The University and Corner House, a local family crisis counseling center, collaborated on the event in order to provide family-style dinners at an inexpensive price.
 
For University students, this was not only a much-needed taste of home but also a way to better connect with the community.
 
“It was nice to talk to people whose lives didn’t revolve around our crazy and weird Princeton schedule,” said Elizabeth LaMontagne ’14, who sat with a seventh grader from Princeton Middle School and her mother. “We talked about a range of things, from what Kate [the younger girl] was going to be for Halloween to the mother’s thoughts about an article by Peter Singer that my friends and I read for our Ethics and Public Policy class.”  
 
Though life outside FitzRandolph Gate often seems worlds away, it was refreshing to see an outside perspective of the University.
 
“I never realized how often people who live in Princeton take advantage of the opportunities Princeton has,” said LaMontagne. “Kate mentioned that she attended a bat mitzvah held at one of the eating clubs, the mother spoke of coming on campus for arts events … and both of them were huge fans of the arch sings that ‘seemed to just pop out of nowhere.’"
 
Both students and community members said they hoped that the success of Diner Inn Blanc would lead to similar events in the future.