The "pip" (that's: Picnic in the Park) people emailed us today about their curated (their word!) picnic baskets. Curating boxes of things has become a whole thing in the past few years, so it comes as no surprise that pure, humble picnics are now being tarnished by the tyranny of curation. But doesn't this seem like kind of a massive rip off? Or maybe we just irrationally hate curated boxes of things?
They explain: "The pip team has carefully curated basket options with iconic NYC favorites, and assembled each spread with classic picnic equipment. Everything you need for a perfect picnic in the park, and its super simple & convenient." As a seasoned picnicker, I will say that picnics are sacred in their simplicity, and aside from a blanket, a paper cup of wine, and whatever snack you like, you don't really need "picnic equipment."
But if you really want someone to curate your goddamn picnic for you, here's how it works. Order your basket online, pick it up yourself from either Williamsburg or near Central Park (you can pay additional for delivery), and after you picnic RETURN the basket, which you do not get to keep, along with the "picnic equipment," which you also do not get to keep.
Is it worth it? You decide. We broke down "The Vegetarian Pip," which includes: Fresh Pita Bread, hummus and baba ganoush from Oasis, marinated Australian feta cheese from Bedford Cheese Shop, and olives from The Pickle Guys. Served with berries, Vernors Ginger Ale and Fine and Raw Chocolate. This serves two and costs $125. If you were to get this on your own, here's about what you would spend:
- Large orders of hummus and baba ganoush are $5 each at Oasis, they are served with the pita. So that's $10 total for that part.
- You can get a whole cheese basket for $35 at Bedford Cheese Shop, and you probably won't even get that much in this Pip.
- You can get a quart of olives for $10 at The Pickle Guys.
- A bar of Fine and Raw chocolate is $8.50.
- And a Vernors Ginger Ale will set you back like one dollar.
- For berries, let's say, $5?
Keep in mind, this is a rough estimate based on their "serves two" description, and again, the one cheese they include likely will not come to $35 worth of cheese, so you could probably safely say this will cost anywhere from $50 to $70. But you'll pay $125, will have to pick it up yourself anyway, and then return the basket and equipment.
We did ask the pip-ers more about their offerings, including what "picnic equipment" is included in these Extra Mooga Picnic Experiences, and will update if we hear back.
UPDATE: The people behind pip tell us, "We've met as a company and have made some changes to our pricing, service and business model. As an example, our vegetarian pip is now appropriately priced at $70. More over, each customer will keep our pip'quip with each order."