Saturday, June 16, 2007

BEA Party Girl: Chelsea Green

After ducking out of the Editors Buzz Forum, I met up with Renaissance man Digby Diehl (author, reviewer, TV correspondent, former head of Harry N. Abrams, journalist, etc.), who was to be my date for the Chelsea Green party honoring Naomi Wolf, author of THE END OF AMERICA: Letters to a Young Patriot (coming out in August). Digby had an entourage with him: agents BJ Robbins and Rich Barber, and husband-and-wife authors Sid & Nancy (yes, I made the obvious joke) Kirkpatrick. I only had a plus-one invitation, but we figured what the hell and took off en masse.

The line for taxis was appalling at the Javits, so we walked to 9th Avenue, thinking our chances would be better there to catch a cab downtown. As did about 100 others, so we trudged another long block and oozed our hot and sweaty selves (did I mention how repulsively hot the Javits Center was?) into the subway.

After some touristy wandering back and forth across lower 8th Ave., we located the party site in a residential building on Gansevoort Street. The lobby was deliciously air conditioned, and some of us were all for staying down there. But we thought there'd probably be COLD DRINKS upstairs, so we trooped into the elevator.

We piled into the party, which was crowded, noisy and very very hot. (Does no place in NYC have properly functioning air conditioning any more?) I was swilling water till Digby led me to the table where a sweet young couple was dispensing wine sorbets. Ah bliss! There's nothing like getting tiddly on a snow cone...

We sought shelter in the much cooler living room, where I talked with Joyce Meskis of the Tattered Cover (my neighbor in Denver) and others. Then we were herded back into the kitchen area for a talk by Naomi Wolf (left).

And can she ever talk! That woman could sell shoes to snakes; I was ready to follow her anywhere. Per the catalog description: her book "exposes how the escalation of Executive Power has eroded the Constitution's core values and systems, limiting our Congress to make laws, and our courts to interpret them – a scenario that our Founding Fathers foresaw and warned against."

We were ready to storm the barricades after that; instead Digby, the Kirkpatricks, Barber, Chelsea Green rights guy Henry Poirot and I went storming into the streets in search of dinner.

After more wandering about, we settled on Pastis Brasserie on 9th Avenue. The Restaurant Gods must have been smiling on us, as walking in and getting a table for six at 7:30 pm on a spring Friday is nearly impossible. (I didn't know that Pastis is a sibling of Balthazar.) A half-hour later, the place was jammed. Someone in the group spotted Laurence Fishburne waiting for a table, but I didn't see him. Our table was right by the door to the toilettes, which have a common sink for femmes et hommes. We noticed a few people doing a lot of scurrying in and out of there, followed by nose wiping and sniffing. I remember similar activity at a SoHo boîte I used to frequent way back when. Le plus ça change...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Besides the wine slushies, there was a fine selection of finger foods, and ample frosty adult beverages. Naomi is indeed a powerful speaker, whose passion on the topic will surely make this campaign a huge success!