The event called 'the longest table' was organized by New York City Next, where neighbors from all over Chelsea participated to celebrate the spirit of New York.
Sharing meals together is an intimate activity that brings families and people together. We all have dinners with our family, lunches with our friends and breakfasts with our colleagues and it is a profound experience. Recently, 500 New Yorkers came together to share a meal on a busy street. The video recorded by New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher is winning the hearts of people around the world.
Hey NYC: an idea for your block. 500 neighbors shared a potluck meal together in the middle of the 21st Street “open street” today in Chelsea. It’s called “The Longest Table.” Thank you to @newyorkcitynext and everyone who organized this special event. pic.twitter.com/ay0iptN0QX— Erik Bottcher (@ebottcher) October 16, 2022
The beautiful event happened in an open street in Chelsea on 21st street between the 9th and 10th avenues. Bottcher turns the camera toward a huge table around which 500 neighbors have gathered and are eating peacefully on the street. "Take a look at that," Bottcher says in the video which has gone viral on the internet. He explains that this initiative is called "the longest table" during which neighbors are showing up from all over Chelsea. He turns the camera around to reveal more tables and hundreds of people gathered to share a meal.
Bottcher says, "This is what open streets do when you dedicate the street to people instead of through traffic or cars." He added, "We've got community members coming together to be together." He concluded the video by saying, "Can't beat that." The event was organized by New York City Next, whose goal is to "help the city we love recover and rebuild, and to energize and inspire others to act by creating moments of joy."
The video was reposted by Goodable on Twitter with the caption, "There were no cars. No fights. Nobody complaining. Just neighbors being kind and neighborly." People on social media were absolutely impressed by the event with one person commenting, "Look at all that diversity!"
"Exactly what streets should be used for!" noted another.
New York City Next works closely with the creative community of the city to bring it back to life. Their goal is to "To help the city we love recover and rebuild, and to energize and inspire others to act by creating moments of joy. If you love NYC, this is a chance to give back and make a positive impact on the place we call home." They have organized several events around the city in order to achieve their goal.
They set up a pop-up concert outside the Met on December 9, 2020. It included members of the Met Opera Chorus who have been out of work during the lockdown. Moreover, they organized a Covid-19 memorial in November of that year to recognize the lives lost due to the pandemic. They made a floral arrangement that was cast out in the Atlantic Ocean. The organization also organized an event to honor the New York public libraries.
They hold a segment called "Love Letters to New York" in which residents are encouraged to submit videos, poetry, and videos about their love for the city. In addition to that, the non-profit created a new music video for Billy Joel's song "New York State of Mind" to "lift the spirits of New Yorkers, and motivate them toward civic action."