Aug 2, 2009
It’s been happening for the past 18 years. On the first Wednesday of every month, families in this neighborhood in Oakland, CA have been sitting down to dinner together.
Everyone brings something, but there aren’t any assigned dishes; people just bring whatever they like. So some First Wednesday dinners have turned out to be all-salad, or all-pasta, or sometimes all-dessert, and once everyone brought beef stew. But wine is consumed, babies grow up and get married, and friends share their joys and sorrows at this neighborly tradition.
In this New York Times story, former New Yorker Patricia Leigh Brown describes what it was like to move to this neighborhood where first Wednesdays were, and still are, special.
“To my then-New York eye, the idea of making time during the workweek just to hang with neighbors, enveloped by–let it be said–far too much wine, felt foreign and a little crazy, the same way the Pacific initially felt like the wrong ocean. But soon, like the crescent-shaped avenue we live on, the sheer predictability and endurance of First Wednesday began to feel like an embrace.”