Robb Report iPad Application Launch Party, The Rose Club at The Plaza Hotel, New York
February 1, 2011
When I first started writing this column, the immediate obvious stress was knowing absolutely NO ONE at these shindigs, with the sub-stress of what the hell to wear. I had spent the earlier part of my career in an Internet technology lab where jeans and hoodies were the norm, and then I also observed other bloggers and the hipster tech crowd sporting more of the same. But the events were different and my role was different. I had to blend, I had to be part of the party, not the frumpy weirdo in the corner creeping and taking notes. Last night as I prepared for The Plaza Hotel, I felt that sneaky little twinge of outfit intimidation yet again.
The Rose Club, where the Robb Report launched its iPad app, freaked me out with their little home on the Plaza web site. "I am out of my league here," I said, to myself, because I work from home and spend 90% of the time in deep discussion with myself. REEEEEERRRRRPT! (that's me rewinding the tape) Right, the Robb Report, what is it? If you already know, you're either an advertiser or much more wealthy (or aspiring to be so) than I. No big whoop. I suppose if I needed to know the resale value of my Ferrari or which private island to spend my surplus millions on, I would be more in the loop. Obviously, Robb Report is a luxury lifestyle-focused magazine. And you know what brings us all into the same yacht? Cocktails. Smartly, Robb Report launched an iPad app (the reason for the party) inspired by their Host Guide, featuring goodies like mixologist-guided videos so you can impress the Bud Fox in your posse.
Last night was probably the best second-to-last event for me to cover. You don't have to twist my arm to brave the slippery slush to cover the launch of an iPad app when said launch is feted by the finest champagnes (Dom Dom DomDom...DOMMMMMmmmm), obese Riedel goblet of teeth-staining purple red wine, paper-thin slices of roast beef on tiny pretzel buns, chicken salad that I didn't touch, but Thought Equity Motion's Gail Hilton declared it "better than Lenny's," an evil spirits bar with chubby bottles filled with amber and clear liquids, and smoked salmon sandwiches that, when arranged on their serving plate, looked like a cluster of alligators for the belly.
Milling around The Rose Club, I found a variety of people. There were asset managers ("and that's all I can tell you") and tech writers. And there were food and drink critics like Sheri (whose card declares her Baroness) De Borchgrave, whom I first met on the rough seas on the Glenfiddich yacht. She was with Laurie Guernsey and Jay Cheshes, a food critic who prefers to remain faceless, muttering "I cannot be in a photo in your blog" while trying to ooze out of the group I was shooting.
Jay is always a good party find because he'll talk forever about my favorite subject: food. He informed Gail and me that he remains unimpressed with Tartine, but discovered a brunch spot in Queens, M Wells Diner, that is worth the two-hour wait he put in. I don't know man, around brunch time, if I have to wait two hours, you can probably find me gnawing the head off of a baby in hunger rage.
Full of roast beef and Dom Pérignon, I struck back out into the slushy night, which smelled like summer rain, oddly enough. I slipped and slid back home, empathizing with the poor souls who would have to make the icy trek the next morning, happy that my commute (not for long!) is a small jaunt from bedroom to couch.
Which brings me to my next point: my new job has me back in an office every day. I may now know the strange socialization home-schooled kids go through when thrust into public school. I hope I don't forget where I am and burp loudly throughout the day.