More hazards of living in Brooklyn: you might end up crammed into someone’s tiny studio with pretentious vulgarians drinking eggnog from plastic cups while the Cure is played at you (via Instapundit):
So when Claudia Argiro, 33, gave a holiday party last Saturday night, she pared down her guest list to about two dozen of her closest friends, hid the TV behind an industrial column wrapped with holiday lights and turned the media console [!] into a bar.
But one thing she had to have was a bartender. “I’m an adult now, living by myself, and this is my sh-bam, my moment,” said Ms. Argiro, who runs a clothing boutique nearby called Charlie and Sam.
She called up Tealicious, a catering company in Queens, which sent over Eric Villani, a 33-year-old bartender, who was stationed in a two-foot-wide triangle in the middle of the room. For the next four hours, 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.
As a free-market type, I approve of service industries that fill niche needs. If Argiro is unaware that it’s more traditional to ask trusted friends to pour for guests from a teapot or punch bowl at a small party at home, I think it’s great that she was able to find Villani to help her out. He gets rent money, she gets to enjoy being a hostess without having to worry about the drinks table, and everyone’s happy.
What’s touching is that anyone in the scenario thinks there’s anything sophisticated about it.
His presence did not go unheralded in the apartment, in a new warehouse conversion along the Brooklyn waterfront, although the intimate cluster of guests could have easily served themselves. “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.”
“If you can’t afford to hire a bartender,” he added, “you shouldn’t be having a party.”
Ah, yes—I remember well when I was a boy and dear mama told me that you must always look for guidance in the social graces from gentlemen who make their living trying to wangle admission to glitzy nightclubs for jumped-up trash that can’t get in by reputation or mien.
Me, I think that the people who shouldn’t be giving parties are those who, in the words of one bartender, “don’t want to have to look after their guests’ needs.” That’s what giving a party’s about, even if you have a footman for every pair of dinner partners. If your priority is “bringing your party to the next level” (barf!), it’s not surprising that that gets lost.
One last thing that caught my eye was this parenthetical attributed to some event planner: “Putting out a tip jar, said Lyndsey Hamilton, a New York events planner, is a definite ‘faux pas.'” Is it, indeed? Why on Earth would that be? It seems to me that a bartender who was asked to shoehorn himself into a 2’*2′ space in someone’s studio to ladle stuff into plastic cups—just so the hostess could show the assembled revelers that she can afford a bartender—might as well appropriate a disused KFC bucket, wrap it in construction paper, scrawl “TIP$ MUCH APPRECIATED THANX!” across it with a glitter pen, and park it prominently in front of himself. It would be in perfect keeping with the setting.
Hope everyone’s weekend is starting well.
Added later: The Go Fug Yourself ladies noticed this article, too, and they mention something that also struck me: “I feel like the reporter just cackled with glee as the people he interviewed said yet douchier things.” He must have, yes. The whole thing sounds like a parody; on first reading, I hoped it was a parody.