Russia! Magazine Party, Former Playboy Penthouse, New York
June 25, 2008
I put my bouncy skin on today, anticipating being jumped all over. Last night I headed to the former Playboy Penthouse for a cocktail party on the terrace to "celebrate" the sexy summer issue of Russia! Magazine. Anticipated: showcase of Russian-centric items, Russian beverages, some pass-around Russian fare, and a guide through all things glamorous in Russia. Received: lackluster welcome, empty trays of what may have been food, and nary a Russia! Magazine in sight. Ugh, I feel like the party cynic.
"I know where it is! When I used to work around here I would walk by and... linger," was my +1's reply to my exasperation of already forgetting the location. We entered the wrong lobby first, did an about face, swooped in next door, and punched the #23 button in the gold mirrored elevator. The doors opened to an old -New-York style room and my eyes took in the outside terrace as I gulped down an intimidation bubble. I, in my inexpensive dress felt dowdy again as a man with a clipboard approached.
"Hi!" I warmly greeted him. Wait a minute, isn't he the greeter? I want to be warmly greeted! He just balanced his tiny plastic cup of wine and regarded me with vague confusion. I tried again.
"Do you need anything from me?" I felt the heat creeping into my cheeks as I realized that I had wrongly assumed that the pen and clipboard indicated his greeting position; possibly telling guests where key items are being displayed and, what I thought would be most important at a party celebrating it, where the damn Russia! Mags might be.
After taking my name and saying "yup, you're here" the managing editor limply waved me towards the bar and that was that. I stepped out onto the terrace while +1 waited in the long and very slow moving cocktail line. What an incredible view. Small-town Kelly tried to absorb every Manhattan smell, sparkle, reflection, and drift of air that swirled around the terrace. I could have stood on the edge staring at the enormous green rectangle of Central Park all night. No really, I could have.
Remember when I wrote about that RADAR/Campari party? And I was all "no food boohoohoo"? I'm sorry (no I'm not), but even at the most chichi art openings you get cheese and a sad wafer. After last night, I think I would rather have zero food options than passed sweets. For the record, I was there by 7:40 and there were pineapple carcasses lying around, discarded grape skeletons, and molested cups of mousse. Eventually we were found by a man bearing a tray of mousse, but by that time my stomach had eaten a hole in itself that was slowly being burned wider by the straight cup of Russian vodka I was sipping.
I focus on food because didn't your mommy tell you that it's the food that makes the party? Maybe that was Bobby Flay, who my mom resembles (not really). Either way, I'm pretty sure my mommy also told me that you shouldn't smoke - especially next to $100,000.00+ fur coats at the former Playboy Penthouse. Oh that's right, we walked through the inside space to see an airfed woman lazily puffing her tiny cancer stick next to a rack containing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of fur coats. Individual cost, people, not the net worth. I'm not saying I'm a huge fan of fur, but I'm a moderate fan of manners.
Call me gauche, call me unRussian, call me whatever you like, but if I hadn't read my invitation, I would have though I was on the terrace to celebrate terraces. Maybe I'll make MP3 recordings before I go to parties and just walk around with headphones on like on Ellis Island - giving myself a tour and nodding knowingly at people I pass and gesture at them like "oh, you should TOTALLY get the guided tour" and point at my head.
Having a huge or tiny blowout celebrating your online awesomeness and you want it covered in Just An Online Minute? Send invitations to firstname.lastname@example.org