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Who Made That Picnic?

[2018年4月16日] 来源:纽约时报 作者:PAGAN KENNEDY   字号 [] [] []  

“It’s part of our DNA,” says Walter Levy, author of “The Picnic: A History,” who points out that “picniclike” events appear in the writings of Ovid, Plutarch and Seneca. The word “picnic,” however, is of more recent vintage. An early mention can be traced to a 1649 satirical French poem, which features the Frères Pique-nicques, known for visiting friends “armed with bottles and dishes.” In 1802, the term made a hop to Britain after a group of Francophiles in London formed a Pic-Nic Society to gorge, guzzle and perform amateur theatricals. Participants drew lots to determine who would supply which dish — from calf’s-foot jelly to blancmange. “Depending on your luck,” Levy says, “you might have to bring something expensive, like pie made from truffles.”

“这是我们DNA的一部分,”《野餐史》(The Picnic: A History)的作者沃尔特·利维(Walter Levy)说,他指出“类似野餐”的活动曾经出现在奥维德(Ovid)、普鲁塔克(Plutarch)和塞内加(Seneca)等人的著作中。不过“野餐”(picnic)这个词要算是近代的产物。最早可以追溯到一首1649年的法国讽刺诗歌,里面的“野餐兄弟”总是“带着酒瓶和菜肴”去拜访朋友。1802年,这个词来到英国,一群热爱法国文化的人在伦敦组成了一个“野餐社”,专门大吃大喝,还排演业余的戏剧作品。参加者抽签决定谁来提供哪一样食物——其中包括牛脚冻和牛奶冻。“运气不好的话,”利维写道,“你可能不得不提供非常昂贵的食品,比如松露饼之类的。”

In the 1800s, British authors began to chronicle the adventures of picnickers who staged their meals in pastoral locations, almost like theater sets. In “Emma,” Jane Austen’s character Mrs. Elton plans a “sort of Gipsy party. We are to walk about your gardens and gather the strawberries ourselves and sit under trees. . . . Every thing as natural and simple as possible.”

19世纪,英国作家们开始记录野餐者们的活动,这些人把食物带到田园风光的景点去吃,置身于舞台布景般的环境中。在《爱玛》(Emma)中,简·奥斯汀(Jane Austen)笔下的人物埃尔顿女士计划举办一次“吉普赛派对。我们将在你的花园里散步,自己摘草莓,坐在树下……一切都尽可能简单自然。”

Cars, Levy says, may have been the best thing ever to happen to picnics. In the early 20th century, the automobile was built more for amusement than long-distance travel — the early Oldsmobile, for instance, could be set up as a dining room on wheels with a strap-on “motor hamper” behind the passengers. In 1911, Mrs. A. Sherman Hitchcock instructed hostesses on how to put on a motor party with gadgets and foods designed specially for car picnics — doilies, motor-themed napkins, thermos bottles and “an envelope-shaped leather case containing aseptic cups that are destroyed after use.” Picnics, she advised, were not just divertissements; our health depended on them. “There never was, and never will be, such a remedy for the tired, overworked human body.”

利维说,小轿车或许是野餐史上发生的最好事情。20世纪早期,汽车更多是用来娱乐,而不是用来长途旅行。比方说,早期的奥兹莫比尔(Oldsmobile)车可以用来当做有轮子的餐厅,只要在乘客的位子后面安上一个“机动车食品篮”就行了。1911年,A·舍曼·希区柯克(A. Sherman Hitchcock)夫人教竹夫人如何使用为汽车野餐特意设计的小玩意和食品来举办机动车派对,比如小型桌巾、汽车主题的餐巾、保温瓶和“信封形状的皮箱,里面是一次性的消毒水杯”。她认为,野餐不仅仅是一种娱乐,也有利于我们的健康。“它是一剂对抗疲惫与过劳的空前绝后的良药。”

Perhaps the picnic has endured because it can be adapted to so many tastes. “A picnic can be anything,” Laurie Colwin wrote. “It can resemble the Mad Hatter’s tea party if you want it to. It’s heart and soul is breeziness, invention and enough to eat for people made ravenous by fresh air.”

或许是因为野餐可以适应多种不同的品味,所以才一直长盛不衰。“野餐可以变成任何样子,”劳里·科尔文(Laurie Colwin)写道,“只要你愿意,它堪与疯帽匠的茶会媲美。它的核心是和煦的微风、邀约与足够的食品,新鲜空气总是令人胃口大开。”



Rachel Gant — along with Andrew Deming — designed the Yield Picnic Bag, a tote that can be turned into a picnic blanket.

瑞秋·甘特(Rachel Gant)与安德鲁·德敏(Andrew Deming)设计了Yield折叠野餐包(Yield Picnic Bag)——一种可以变成野餐毯的手提袋。

How exactly does the bag turn into a blanket? There’s a zipper running through the handle and the seam. When you unzip it, all the fabric lies perfectly flat.


How did you come by this idea? We were just observing how people would go to the park on a lunch break. They’d have a bag, and they would have stopped by a market for food, but they didn’t have the blanket, so they would use their coat or a paper bag to sit on. That’s why it made sense to me that the blanket should be incorporated in a bag.


Now that you’ve started a design company, do you still have time to go on picnics? We make a point of going on weekend trips. The last time we used the bag was up in Marin County; we found a little spot in the redwoods. We try to document the different places we’ve been with the bag. We’re not filming. We just like to take a photo or two.




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