Tuesday, December 06, 2005

To Russia with Love

Friday night was my first night out with friends in more than a week, as I’ve been seriously ill, and not just in the head. The plan was to take it easy; the doc said it may take a while to feel completely like myself again, that I should do what felt comfortable, but not overdo it. So we head to the Guggenheim, which has, in partnership with Flavorpill, begun to host a party the first Friday of each month. There’s a well-known DJ, cash bar, etc. Well, Gawker, which probably gets hundreds of thousands of readers a day, put the event on its “To Do” list Friday afternoon, so I should’ve known that it would be absolutely packed. We arrive at about 10:15 and the line is already backed up nearly to Madison Avenue from the entrance on Fifth. We end up waiting in line for about 45 minutes, and, of course, genius me once again chooses fashion over comfort. Decide to wear my fall, not winter, coat. Also don my hottest, but somewhat open, 3” Manolos, so that by the time we reach the entrance, my tootsies are so cold they are literally numb. I’m sure my doctor would be proud.
And, since I’ve been severely dehydrated due to my illness, I’d consumed, oh, probably 100 ounces of water prior to hopping in the cab. After we finally get inside, after it’s begun to snow, after the temperature outside has dropped another ten degrees, after my bladder has reached capacity, I bolt for the restroom. There is one stall; there are about seven girls ahead of me. By the time I reach the single stall, I’ve bonded with all the other urinators and wasted another 20 minutes; I’m hopping from numb foot to numb foot like a kindergartener. I finally get some relief and join my friends at the bar. The party is totally rocking; the entire first floor is packed with people, varying in age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and sartorial expression. It’s the most diverse crowd I’ve seen in a nightlife environment in a long time. In short, it’s fucking awesome. The coolest part about the experience is that the museum and all its galleries are open, so that you can walk through the museum and peruse the current exhibition to the soundtrack of pulsating electronica. The exhibition—RUSSIA!, the most comprehensive collection of Russian art outside Russia since the end of the Cold War—is phenomenal. And I’m not a big fan of, well, anything Russian, except maybe vodka. People are dancing; people are drinking; people are schmoozing; people are looking at art. It is the perfect, quintessential New York experience. Well worth the line, the numb feet, the full bladder. Well worth the wait—and I’m the most impatient person ever.
And on a completely narcissistic note, a funny tidbit about cyber-friendships from my new blogger buddy: The Devil's Playground