Thrillist Hamptons Launch Party, Day & Night Restaurant Beach Club, The Hamptons
July 25, 2009
Believe it or not, I have a few cardinal rules of party writing. The big one is to not become a cautionary tale. One notch down is not to die. I think I'd rather die than become a cautionary tale. But sometimes the stars align, the sun comes out, and a party bus of NYC party-focused social types parks itself in front of you. And when that door swooshes open, there may be a little "do I really want to do this?" hesitation, but then you step inside, stuff the beachball up your dress to reenact "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" (one of my favorite shows on the tube) to Pitbull's Calle Ocho, and just become part of the party.
It all began innocently enough. I stood on the curb with Joe Ciarallo of Horn Group and PRNewser, Ryan Lawler, senior editor at Contentinople, and Heather Eng, freelance writer and Web editor, waiting for Gail Hilton of Thought Equity Motion. I had arrived entirely too early and had in fact approached the wrong bus, which switched sides of the street as I stood next to it. From my position in the bushes I then saw the Thrillist crew trundling boxes onto the same bus -- and then trundling them right back off. The driver had asked them if they were with the bar mitzvah. Things would definitely have turned out differently if we were. Parked in front of the right bus was a stretch Hummer. I thought to myself "No, that's not how we're getting there." And I was right. WE weren't, but there were a handful of others who were. I'm glad we had the party bus, though, because it's hard to stand up and dance like an idiot in a Hummer.
It was kind of funny to see everyone's apprehension. I mean, yes, the event was sponsored by Stoli, but it was 11:30 a.m., would there really be road beverages? No sooner had my brain uttered the question when Nick MCGlynn popped onto the bus, wielding his camera with a firm hand, and wielding an even larger mound of energy that I don't think anyone was prepared for. "Thrillist, wooo!" he yelled and encouraged everyone to pose with the goodie bag stuff. I looked across the bus at Tiffany from TargetCast and we shared an "it's too early for this" eyebrow squeeze. It also seemed too early for vodka drinks, but ah, the power of peer pressure coupled with club thumpers and Thrillist's Communications Queen, Flavie Bagnol's contagious-like-swine-flu (H1N1 heehaw) energy. We only hit one minor snafu on the way. We pulled over and when I got up to investigate I found the bus driver punching the address into his GPS. Hazel Sanchez, a Reporter for Channel 2, danced any locational challenges away. Oh right, during our trek we watched episodes of "Michael And Michael Have Issues" - a new Comedy Central series. I think I enjoyed the Michael and Michael promo M&Ms more than the show.
We arrived at Day& Night properly warmed and feeling like part of an integration movement. As the city kids piled into the country club, any judgments were hidden behind "Magnum P.I." silver reflective sunglasses. As we weaved around tables I found myself giggling at the stares. Ryan Lawler said, "Why do I feel like we all just totally ruined their day when we arrived?" We stepped up to the gate, where Ben Hindman, Events Manager at Thrillist, welcomed everyone to the pool in his deep Pepto -pink polo over auqa marine swim shorts (I can't say trunks without feeling uncomfortable). Quite the color combo for a redhead.
Through the gates was a mouthwatering azure blue pool that made me wish I wasn't publicly body-conscious (no suit for me!) because kids, it was HOT. There wasn't a cloud to be seen through the constant flow of drink-laden, white jumper clad waitresses and fist-pumping Hamptonites (oh, I heard you're supposed to say "out east" if you're in the know). I don't recall there being a breeze either, but after being thrown into the pool in my dress, I didn't really need it.
The people-watching was nothing short of memorable. Now mind you, this was my first jaunt out to the Hamptons. I have neither infinitely wealthy friends with homes, nor the funds to make it happen myself. So needless to say, I was overstimulated by the bikinis + sky high wedges and heels combos, all of which, to this Ohio girl, just seemed impractical for the pool! As the drinks runneth over and the sun sank lower, clothes came off, suits came out, and the pool turned into a roiling mess of warmed skin, hormones and abused liver function.
Drew Grant, formerly of Jossip, currently of ASSME.org and various other blog-type things and a girl who dances to the beat of a different drum (quite possibly even bringing her own drum, so there), left the party within minutes of arriving -- on the hunt for a bathing suit. When she returned what felt like two hours later (vodka drinks mess with time/reality), she meant business. She and her sister Hannah Grant, current art student, plunged in, joining Erika Panasci of Reindeer in the floaty star. The beachballs were flying while Joe Ciarallo and Megan Diamondstein of Conde Nast occupied a corner with their feet dangling into the cooling wetness.
Surrounding the pool like Romans watching a coliseum death match (probably involving a lion of some sort, maybe Russell Crowe -- maybe even Russell Brand) were partially reclining futons covered in sun-soaked revelers. Popping champagne and arranging themselves in some sort of pink-shorted pyramid were Thrillist's Ben Lerer, Mike Rothman, and David "Will It" Blend. Around the edges I saw CNET's Caroline McCarthy, Melique Williams, Simone Lengyel of Ignited, Kim Bach Le, and Nick McGlynn who worked his tush off -- appearing around every floatation device and settee -- and he's the perp who threw me in the pool - snapping for Guest of A Guest and his site RandomNightOut. I was relieved when Flavie started rounding everyone up for the bus ride home , thinking we'd just chill out and get sobered up for reality.
I was beyond wrong. We were joined by Hummer defectors Seth Porges, Editor of Popular Mechanics, Emily Liebowitz, and another gal whose name I didn't get, and after the bus demanded a beer stop, well, things get a little hazy. Like I said, sometimes, you just have to grab the beachball, stuff it up your dress, and say "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant!"
Also, it's OK to embrace the fun. Own the fact that because you wore your suit and knew what you were getting into. Love it. It was Saturday. It was "out east" and it was with a ridiculously eclectic and fun group of people.
I'll be reporting from rehab starting tomorrow.