Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Hot Town, Summer in the City"

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting burnt and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

But at night it's a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come-on come-on and dance all night
Despite the heat it'll be alright

And babe, don't you know it's a pity
That the days can't be like the nights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city

Cool town, evening in the city
Dressed so fine and looking so pretty
Cool cat, looking for a kitty
Gonna look in every corner of the city
Till I'm wheezing at the bus stop
Running up the stairs, gonna meet you on the rooftop

...

And babe, don't you know it's a pity
That the days can't be like the nights
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city.

~ Summer in the City by the Lovin Spoonful

I am so grateful that I have friends that have connections and are willing to share their good fortune with me. I have often mentioned Christine on this blog, and once again, her goodness has allowed me to share in a very special evening.

As a Special Events director, Christine deals with lots of events planners, caterers, and vendors. One of those caterers has recently entered into a partnership with a swanky venue group and invited Christine to a cocktail party in the City. Christine in turn, found out if she could bring guests. (Thank you Christine. You know I need a buddy to schmooze. Left on my own, I will a) not go and/or b) lurk about on the periphery. I have, at parties, been confused with the caterers, because I'm in the kitchen hiding out or helping.)

It was a perfect, late June evening, with no humidity, with the temperatures hovering in the low '80s, when Christine, Amelia, and I met at GCT and decided to walk over to the party. Held at the Skylight West space, we checked in, received our complimentary flip-flops (for those ladies whose high heels were high torture), and headed up to see the 6th floor indoor event space --a lovely, cool, all white, multi-purpose party space. Beautiful, truly, but please--we were there to enjoy a NYC summer night on the rooftop. Instead of heading up in the elevators, we took the stairs up.

This was the view framed out the 6th story staircase window, which only meant that the view from the roof had to be equally as fabulous.

There's that New Yorker hotel again, framed by another iconic New York landmark, the Empire State Building.

The views from the rooftop were amazing. The Empire State Building and the hotel were to the east. To the north, was a 10-15 floor converted warehouse building, with amazing floor-ceiling windows with loft apartments/business spaces. To the south, there was a straight view clear down the canyons of 10th Avenue with the Statue of Liberty perfectly framed in the harbor. In the foreground was the curve of the High Line Park, where you could see people out walking in the summer light. To the west was the Hudson River, a view of New Jersey, and the perfect summer sun in twilight and dusk. The sunset? Ah, the sunset was magical.

The view on the roof was equally as amazing. For this party, it was set up with club tables, lounge couches, bars, a cabana, tables and chairs. The large rooftop signs were set up for projections, but not used at this event. The steel girders under the billboard frame out a shallow water feature and serve as additional surfaces on which to place food and drinks.

Great Performances knows how to showcase their food. There was a salad bar, with a corn salsa, black bean salad, plantain chips, a jicama/papaya salad, corn breads, and pan con queso. The grill bar (above right) had mini hibachis with beef, chicken, veggies, shrimp, and chorizo with a variety of toppings. There was a vodka infusion bar where I watched the girls try whiskeys and vodkas infused with fruits like pineapple and blackberries or veggies like cucumber.

My favorite was the combo regular bar and the Jerk Bar. All jokes about Jerks aside, it was nice to see the vintage touches of blue glass for the seltzer bottles. (They were retro-vintage local. The seltzer company is a Brooklyn-based one. P.S., I really want one for my house - my handbag wasn't big enough to walk off with one). You had to make sure to specify whether you wanted your drinks spiked or not. (Thanks for asking Mr. Soda Jerks. I appreciate it.) On the other side of the Jerk Bar, you could get a chocolate cherry milkshake - which was SO yummy and just the right size.

I loved all the little touches: the Soda Jerk caps, the etched vases telling you what the stations were, the lanterns, the party lights reflecting the colors of the evening, the pillows on the floors, and the magnolias floating the in water. The DJ was also super super fabulous. I wish she had burned her set list for the evening so I could add it to my library.

It was a night for the pretty people (so I don't know why I was there), who were posing and posturing all over the place while they networked. Mother Nature has a funny sense of humor though, as she would sent brisk breezes to make skirts do some flying away. There was a pair of full moons over the City. At least I only saw a pair of moons. I think there might have been more. (Ladies, wear underwear with more coverage, and, more importantly, wear age appropriate skirts and fabrics!)

I didn't need dessert after that shake, but that didn't stop GP from passing out specialty cocktails and fabulous frozen desserts. Here Amelia reacts to the S'more Dessert Cocktail and Christine shows off the party trick to the frozen popcorn ball treat. Luckily no one caught me "smoking" on film!

As the sun set and the party wound down, the views remained fabulous. Sadly, it was a "school night" and we all had to work the next day or we would have stayed longer. We said farewell and thank you to our hosts and headed out into the evening. One last special touch greeted us outside - a Great Performances ice cream truck, dispensing mini cones of mocha-flavored treats. Just the right final impression to a wonderful event.


As previously mentioned
, June was a crazy month for me, socially. This evening in the City with my girls was a perfect way to end the month on a high note. It's REALLY going to be hard for the rest of the summer to measure up.


Thanks again Christine!

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