Aboard the L Train, Luncheon Is Served

Imagine a fancy luncheon -served on a subway train! That's exactly what happened in New York City on Sunday, aboard the L train bound for Brooklyn. The guests only knew they were there for an "underground dining experience." What they got was an experience, all right.
The event was the work of several supper clubs, and the menu they devised was luxurious: caviar, foie gras and filet mignon, and for dessert, a pyramid of chocolate panna cotta, dusted with gold leaf. All of it was accessible with a MetroCard swipe (Michele handed out single-ride passes) and orchestrated with clockwork precision. The six-course extravaganza took only a half-hour.

It wasn’t rush hour, so seating was easy. The tables (lap-width black planks, with holes cut to fit water glasses) were tied to the subway railings with twine. Tucking in behind them felt something like being buckled into a roller coaster. At 1:30 p.m., a few minutes ahead of schedule, the train lurched off.

It was a lovely meal, but it was, after all, illegal.
Paul Smith, a CUNY professor, encountered the meal on his way home to the East Village and was invited to join. “I had this fantastic lunch,” he said, “very exquisite. And then I thought, am I going to get arrested?”

There was no sign of the police or even a conductor, but officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, reached on Monday, were not amused. “A dinner party on the L train?” said Charles F. Seaton, a spokesman for the authority. “No. Subway trains are for riding, not for holding parties.”

In deference to the authority’s rules, the hosts did not offer alcohol. This did not assuage Mr. Seaton. “No beverages at all with open containers,” he said.

After clean-up, the organizers called it a job well done. They had spent over $1600 on the stunt, but the publicity for pulling it off was well worth it. Link -Thanks, Bill!

(Image credit: Yana Paskova for The New York Times)

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