May. 10th, 2010

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On Friday, I went to Alaya Dawn Johnson's launch party for her 1920s vampire novel Moonshine. It was a flapper party. I was not missing that.

It was a great party - live music, performances, people complaining about their suits at length. But the best part about it was that the gallery was so far on the West Side that hipsters piling onto the street from out of nowhere just looked as though they had crawled out of the slime of the River, adjusted their ironic 80s fashions, and then set out their shamble across the city. I am not exaggerating when I say that literally hundreds of hipsters passed us, on this non-major cross-street at the far edge of the city, over the course of the evening. I still don't understand where they all came from. Eventually partygoers gave me possible transportation options like "magical bridge" and "dirigible," and I believed them all, because THEY JUST KEPT COMING.

Bonus: that party also ruined my impression of New York as a place where hipsters are obsessed with being seen in superhip exclusive nightclubs with five bouncers, which I carried over from my time working for an event planner. Turns out this is wrong! People in New York will, in fact, enter any venue where lights are on and sound is coming out, much like moths, or nightgown-wearing young ladies vacationing in remote locales. A good two dozen people walked into this party off the street, saw that 95% of attendees were dressed like a silent movie, AND WENT WITH IT. Twenty minutes later, they would wander out again, looking confusedly at the book they had somehow bought. Meanwhile, all the costumed partygoers were sipping drinks and giving them the side-eye. It was glorious.

There is photographic evidence of this nice party, but this photo in particular captures the mood of the room:

Photo: Ellen B. Wright |

It catches that sense of fun that was going around all night, with Alaya soaking up the good vibes, AND a pair of party-crashers doing the Charleston in the foreground. Dance away, participatory hipsters! (SERIOUSLY, WHERE DID YOU COME FROM.)


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Genevieve Valentine

September 2010

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