by Melissa Kravitz
|You're invited to my super awesome house party --credit|
In the interest of saving money and succumbing to laziness, my roommate and I decided to host an impromptu house party last Friday night in our rather compact NYC apartment. We texted our friends, acquaintances, prospective guests who would bring good wine, and people we wanted to get to know better to arrive at our place around 10:30, still early enough to go out after our home festivities had ended.
There are certain goings-on at a New York party that wouldn't happen in any other city.
Firstly, the party will take place in private quarters. You may have room for some guests on your futon (if you have a living room), and you may put out extra camping chairs, pillows, and ladders for extra seating, but bedrooms are fair game. This isn't a high school, off-limits-secret-make-out-room bedroom party though, it's merely extra seating. I think of my bed as a big comfy couch (pro tip: it also doubles as a desk and a dining table).
|It's a seat, duh --credit|
Everyone arrives late. Fashionably late, maybe, but expect at least one guest to walk in complaining about the L, J, or G Train, regardless of the fact that they may live down the street from you (because who has friends outside of their micro-neighborhood, anyway?). This will certainly start a rousing conversation! I kid you not, the time I rode the G train to the end of the line and then had to wait half an hour to travel in the reverse direction, eventually missing brunch, all because I was engrossed in reading Fifty Shades of Grey, is a top-notch NYC party story. "Oh, the G" my friends will laugh, "the Ghost train! It never comes!" New party game: take a drink every time someone complains about the MTA.
|The life of the party, right here! --credit|
So most of our guests arrive shortly before midnight. Some have found better things to do on the way (hey, who can blame them? It's a NYC weekend), and others triple-booked themselves, only to decide to stay in and watch Netflix instead. Sad, but oh so true. We pay so much for our apartments, we may as well live in them from time to time.
|Hint: This weird thing in Union Square is not a clock --credit|
The party will then continue with people sharing where they purchased the wine/cheese/kombucha cocktail, and any other unheard of items brought to the party.
"I had a sample of this gruyere at Bedford cheese and just couldn't not bring it."
"I stopped by Trader Joe's Wine Shop, but realized you're worthy of something from Whole Foods Beer."
"My neighbor brewed this lager."
"I didn't think a dozen Momofuku truffles would be enough, so I supplemented with some faux-cronuts."
I don't think any other party food in the world comes with such explicit stories of origin-- picking up a bag of chips at the supermarket just won't cut it!
|Dumplings are always a welcome party treat. Bonus points if they're from Flushing, Queens --credit|
We'll eat and drink and complain more about traffic and city scents and then the inevitable comes up. "How much is your rent?" To some, this may seem tacky, unrefined, or altogether rude. But most New Yorkers are upfront about how much they pay, glad to find a good real estate deal or complain that 97% of their paycheck is spent on a windowless closet in an "up and coming" neighborhood in the outer-boroughs. Once rent prices are exchanged, we will all share our apartment horror stories.
Eventually, we will all settle on this uplifting conclusion.
"It's better than living in a box."
|I'm not cute or furry enough to live in these quarters --credit|
And then begin the homeless stories. The heartwarming, the tragic, and the horrifying. The stories of moving and near homelessness. The stories of a cousin's friend's ex's in-laws who were kicked out of a rent-controlled classic six and forced to move to an affordable suburb.
But we're here, and we're happy to be in New York. Let's blast "Empire State of Mind", share some gossip about mutual friends, and take a shot of local artisan gin before we head out to the nearest dive bar.
Party on, New Yorkers.