August appeared to be a month for parties in New York City. However, some of them were organized on budgets the size of a postage stamp and except for a bunch of people mingling together in a warm hot space. I am not sure these programs even qualify as an event – let alone a “party.”
Hard Candy @ Bryant Park Hotel
I really thought the Wal-Mart sponsored evening for Hard Candy (a budget cosmetic line for tweens and other wannabe’s) would be a fabulous moment to see how this incredibly successful retailer supports a brand. What a major disappointment (close to not qualifying for a Cash for Clunkers stipend…Turns out you need a car! I cried discrimination).
Anyway, back to the horrible Wal-Mart party. It was held at the Bryant Park Hotel (between 5th and 6th). Picture this: NYC…hot and humid; a hotel lobby without ac (not a pretty picture); only one working elevator (to the “event”), again… no air conditioning and the size of a carry-all for a toy poodle – filled with 10 hot and cranky guests.
Then there was the “party.” Again – no AC, one overwhelmed check-in lady (hundreds of guests and no organized list), a very simple buffet but no food safety vigilance (the shrimp were way too warm), one overworked and sweaty bartender (dripping perspiration into the glasses,) and almost no space to look at (or try on) the Hard Candy. When I asked the fellow who manufactures the product packaging why the party was so awful, he commented (since I promised not to use his name) – that this was “the way Wal-Mart wanted it.”
I never did get to try the Hard Candy, not even a sample in my goodie bag.
Glad You Were Not Here
The next no-budget event was held on the trendy LES of Manhattan. It’s mission – to promote new young London designers (who were not invited). Well, it really was not a party (no food and very bad wine). Seems the promoters took over a vacant store, rented a few clothing racks, placed the clothes on hangars, turned off the AC, filled the space with lots of pretty girls (18-25) and unkempt guys trying to look cool, and called this “event” a party!
I did spot one stand with unique blazers (appropriately named Social Suicide), showing a new line of very bold (and well-tailored) blazers; some use Gortex as the outside fabric, while others are more conservative (i.e., linen). This clothing line is for the bespoke guy who is unlikely to have been seen at this event. www.socialsuicide.co.uk
These two no-budget events make me hunger for the next Manhattan Magazine evening. Those folks know how to turn an event into a party.