BY: ALEX NGUYEN
8:00pm, Saturday, March 4th – Colonnade Row
Upon arrival at the nondescript door, Alyssa and I utter the requisite password, and are ushered inside the pop-up speakeasy. Entering the apartment hosting New York Adventure Club’s Gilded Age soirée, we take store of the rather intimate setting. This apartment, purportedly once the home of John Jacob Astor II, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Washington Irving, is itself the size of a studio, with vaulted ceilings and an anachronistic mix of modern and antique décor.
Retreating to the chaise lounge in the corner, we take note of the other guests. What is striking is the guests’ collective commitment to the Prohibition-era theme, the most sartorially-minded of whom are sporting top hats, gilded dresses, chained pocket watches, resplendent furs, and tuxedos.
At the opposite ends of the room are two notable exhibits – the first of which is a sleight-of-hand magician entertaining pairs of guests at a time; the second, a table holding a collection of antiquated radios, sliding calculators, Edison cylinders and other trinkets, courtesy of the Museum of Interesting Things.
While some guests had initially been surprised to discover the apartment to be a more intimate setting, this atmosphere gave Alyssa and I a chance to strike up conversations with mostly everyone there – with the Prohibition Punch and flowing champagne a catalyst for easy conversation.
Among the cast of curious characters populating the space, I strike up a conversation with the owner of the apartment, and we discuss (rather anachronistically) the deep history of Colonnade Row and this particular apartment’s place within it, as well as our differing viewpoints of the current state of the equity markets.
By this time, the spirit of the evening had become quite clear. The true splendor of the event was less a product of the physical setting itself, but more so about the type of guests it attracted – a self-selecting group of naturally captivating, extroverted professionals (myself notwithstanding) looking for an excuse to masquerade as members of 1920s New York high society. As such, this company of new friends found in each other kindred spirits.
Upon closer inspection, perhaps the most often under appreciated advantage in curating a more intimate environment is that it allows for a natural cultivation of conversation.
I once had a friend lament that it was difficult to find like-minded people in the New York after a certain hour in the evening.
Perhaps you just need to know where to find them.
Great for: Extroverted personalities who value interactions with others partygoers over the interactions with the party setting.
The NY Adventure Club hosts unique events, tours and experiences several times a week. To learn more visit NYAdventureClub.com.
We were guests of this event but the opinions are our own.