Friday, October 31, 2008

Coat check meltdown

October 31

I think Aureole invited the entire Upper East Side to its 20-year anniversary party, and all of the food, travel, real estate and probably gossip media.
I know at least one member of the real estate media was there, as I had the chance to catch up with the fun-loving Chris Shott of The New York Observer. You may remember that when I met him at Scarpetta’s opening, he complimented my necktie. This time he complimented designer Adam Tihany’s sport coat. It was, indeed, a very handsome sport coat, but what I liked best was that his pocket square was a different pattern from his tie. He’s Adam Tihany, so he can do that.
Chris also complimented my tie (a Boston Trader floral thing that I’ve had for years, but I still like it a lot), but he admitted that it was a cheap ploy to get mentioned in my blog again.
Like that will work. Ha!
Anyway, the place was packed, and I had been drinking with colleagues the night before and had overindulged a bit, so I wasn’t in the mood to party, really. I realized I’d be doing everyone a favor by calling it a night so other people could get in and eat and drink, and so I stood in line to get the coat and bag that I had checked.
Chaos ensued.
The nice-seeming women who were in charge of checking coats were clearly accustomed to checking a couple of coats at a time, at a rather leisurely pace. Aureole’s not a club with velvet ropes and bouncers, after all, it’s a posh restaurant where people spend leisurely hours relaxing over a meal. It had nothing like the capacity necessary to deal with all of the clothing and baggage that was thrown at it last night.
So I waited. Grill Club members Michael Park and Sara Bonisteel came in. I chatted with them and waited some more. I greeted Regina Schrambling as she came in, told her I was on my way out and waited some more.
Publicist Shari Bayer came in. She was the plus-one of Food & Beverage magazine’s Francine Cohen, whose husband Jake didn’t feel like coming. Francine soon arrived, too, and they stayed with me for awhile while I waited for my coat, but Francine got pulled away eventually.
Michael and Sara, having had enough of the party, were heading out and saw that I was still waiting for my coat. It was amazing.
I’m not exactly sure what the problem was, but the coats and bags were being stored in two separate rooms and it seemed that somehow the coat-check tags were no longer anywhere near what was checked with them. I was eventually brought in to see if I could find my own coat and bag, which I did, although, since it was a standard-issue Midtown black cashmere-wool blend overcoat just like everyone else’s, it took me awhile.
In the meantime rebellion had begun among other people who were trying to leave.
“This is ridiculous, I’ve been waiting 20 minutes!" I heard one guy rant. I mean, really, it was a fair rant, but the coat-check system had been overwhelmed, it had melted down. It was ugly.
Good party, though. Great turnout.

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