22 thoughts on “What I Would Never Do For A Party”

  1. Relatives of mine hired a bartender out of concerns for liability. According to their thought process, someone who has drinks sitting out is liable for someone overindulging. A hired bartender takes on that responsibility. Not sure it’d be quite that cut-and-dried.

    Remember that most of what happens in New York is status seeking, so hiring a bartender isn’t much of a reach.

    Love this part: Putting out a tip jar, said Lyndsey Hamilton, a New York events planner, is a definite “faux pas.”

  2. Of course Rand wouldn’t. You don’t really need a bartender for a bunch of white, middle-aged aerospace engineers to talk shop — you need No Doz.

    Carl Pham’s house parties, OTOH, well, let’s just say that if you roll up with a bunch of crap from Home Depot, a keg and enough booty to go around, a wonderful evening of building beer bongs (and Lord knows what else) in the backyard will be had by all.

  3. “HER studio apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is just shy of 400 square feet, barely enough room for an Ikea open-shelf bookcase, a chocolate-brown tufted couch, a full-size bed and her brindle-coated Shih Tzu, Charlie.”

    Good lord. Everything in that first sentence is a SWPL cliché.

  4. Also, “two dozen of her closest friends”? Unpossible! That’s 24 people. I don’t think I even know 24 people in passing, much less are “close” to them. But then again, I’m a misanthrope. I’m also cringing at the thought of cramming 24 people — well, 25 if you count the bartender as a person which I’m not sure tony New Yorkers do — into 400 square feet. I felt crowded when I lived in an 800 square foot apartment with two cats!

  5. T, you’re definitely on the guest list for the next one. Also, you forgot the need for various pure chemicals, electrical apparatus, good neutron sources, large caliber weapons, and flux capacitors in various amperages. I should perhaps mention ahead of time that while the construction of time machines and space warp drives is perfectly acceptable, House Rules require one certifiably sober “designated driver” participate in any actual operation of them. No exceptions!

    I had to laugh at this, though:

    “I’m an adult now, living by myself, and this is my sh-bam, my moment,” said Ms. Argiro

    Shakespeare had an apt quote about this goose’s protest.

    Also this:

    “In my opinion, if you don’t have a bartender at your party, you’re a loser,” said Dustin Terry, who lives a floor below Ms. Argiro and said his job was to get models and Saudi royalty into hot clubs. “The bartender brings class and sophistication.”

    I can readily imagine why he feels the need for external sources of “class” and “sophistication.”

  6. I think I feel ill after reading this. I think this article heralds that we’ve reached the moment when the world’s dolphins are going to fly off into space any minute now.

    You know besides being a bartender in a closet an equally useless job is running a boutique clothing store. Of course, if fashion was left up to me we’d all be wearing burlap sacks with duck tape belts.

  7. Oh come, Josh. Boutique clothing stores serve a very useful social function: they take money from wealthy idiots and distribute it to Peurto Rican immigrant salesgirls trying to pay for night classes in Java programming, truck drivers squirreling away pennies for the gifted daughter’s tuition at MIT, and even a few pennies to hungry Chinese seamstresses fresh off the farm.

    It’s true a big cut has to go to the narcissist clown store manager, so she can keep herself in shoes and hire bartenders for her long-delayed coming out microball, but that’s still cheaper than paying the salaries of unionized government redistributors.

  8. Well, I concur regarding the status-seeking … but …

    If you are a cocktail aficionado, and none of the guests is particularly adept … there is something to be said for having someone on-hand who can truly mix quality drinks to-order, particularly when that means freeing-up the host for other things! No different (in my opinion) than paying someone to prepare the fancy food (presuming you want fancy food and don’t have a chef handy).

    Bartenders need work, too!

  9. If you are a cocktail aficionado, and none of the guests is particularly adept … there is something to be said for having someone on-hand who can truly mix quality drinks to-order

    In my opinion, if you need a bartender at your party, your guests are losers 😛

    (Like Andrea, I don’t think that I know 24 people. If ever I give a party, the guests will have a choice of a variety of Belgian ales, of white and red wines, and bourbon and/or rye. And if they want cocktails, they can mix their own damn drinks.)

  10. I have parties with more people than that at our house all the time – but we don’t drink…

    What can I say, I’m boring!

    (I can’t see doing that in 400 sq ft, though)

  11. “Boutique clothing stores serve a very useful social function……..”

    Oh don’t forget the army of effeminate designers leveraging their 3rd grade glue and portrait skills to patch together an amalgam of hot new designs that will set your pants on fire (flaming pants will be the next hot trend just wait). Or, the hosts of reality TV shows that feature competitions of bitch slapping, back talking designers that won’t take none of that sass if you diss their potted plant headdress, *snap*.

  12. Haven’t read the article, but there seems to be a definite wannabe status whoring vibe around the whole thing.

    I’ll speak only for myself and my immediate family. We’ve had a couple of large parties at our home where we’ve had a bartender as a part of the catering service. The last one was this last Winter. My father-in-law turned 85, and we had about 100 people over. It as fun, and the bartender was definitely necessary. Yes, we probably could have tended ourselves, but it would have been a full-time job for one of us, and that does kinda cramp the “pleasant host” roll that’s wanted for a more formal affair.

    We’ve also had lots of Summer blow-outs, with >>100 people for the day in the backyard, with bar-b-que, kegs, and coolers full of soda. A lot less formal. And, frankly, a lot more fun.

    There’s a time and a place for each. As long as it’s done for the “right” reasons, I don’t have a problem with either.

  13. I think I’d hire a bartender long before I ever started going out of my way to referring to my Christmas party as a “holiday party.”

  14. …midtime at redeye…

    Andrea, if you go to the party yourself, that makes 26.

    Carl, Titus, you would replace the bartender with somebody that would really liven it up, say… a clown… or a sniper?

    We can’t forget that Manhattan apartments have vaulted 8 ft. ceilings so you actually have 3200 cu. ft. to work with… divided by 26 gives you 123 cu. ft. per person. A seven passenger Dragon has 245 cu. ft. or 35 cu. ft per person and that’s before adding a keg. So if you could just put that apartment in freefall their would be plenty of room.

  15. Well, ken, my pop used to weld in his spare time, and for a while on the 4th of July he would fill trash bags with 50/50 acetylene and oxygen from the tanks, throw a lit firecracker at it, and run. Great fun.

    One year I think he used a somewhat larger plastic bag than usual, and he couldn’t see for the flash for about 30 seconds, and we heard the boom echo off hills on the far side of the bay, a good 10-15 miles off. At that point his wife, normally a truly phlegmatic soul, put her foot down and banned the practise. This of course was long before 9/11.

  16. Your mom and pop sounds like salt of the earth. I envy you. When my family moved from WA to CA we couldn’t blow things up as much as we used to. We only launched a few trash cans and such, but it was great fun.

    My step-son was 12 for his first 4th of July and we lived in WA at the time so had access to lots of goodies. We went out in the street (a cul-de-sac) outside our apartment and I put him in charge of several hundred dollars worth of festive explosives and turned him loose. We soon had a block party as all the neighbors brought out what they had. Collectively they had more than we did, but we had more than any other family. My son took charge of the whole thing and everybody had a blast. Then I did the same thing to him that my family did to me. After that it was just watching from the pier in San Francisco.

  17. The Weekly World News has Elvis sightings and space aliens; the NYT has hired bartenders, man-dates and other phony trends. What’s the difference? It’s all make-news to entertain the readers and bring ad revenue.

  18. Sayeth Eric W:
    If you are a cocktail aficionado, and none of the guests is particularly adept … there is something to be said for having someone on-hand who can truly mix quality drinks to-order, particularly when that means freeing-up the host for other things! No different (in my opinion) than paying someone to prepare the fancy food (presuming you want fancy food and don’t have a chef handy).

    I originally thought something similar.

    Until I got to this line in the article:

    “Mr. Villani stood there, not to make special cocktails, but to pour a vodka punch or a rum eggnog into clear plastic cups, trimmed with sugar-coated cherries and cinnamon sticks.”

    So, not only is he not mixing drinks, he’s not even being afforded the dignity of using glassware while he’s ladling out punch.

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