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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Lonely in a Crowded Room


There was always a bit of drunken revelry - such were the times and so was my family. Alcohol provides not only a social lubricant, but often social embarrassment. Now out of harm's way, those times provide rich fodder for stories never told.

Those parties were some of the highlights of my sisters' and my childhood. Family was involved and so they were much more than parties, they were reunions. The affairs I have attended at gallery openings and such in New York City always feel so vacuous to me. Admittedly, their function and the attendees reasons for attending are entirely different, but nonetheless, I cannot help but feel disappointed.

One trend in retail in recent years is the pop-up store or gallery. As our economic times worsen, many businesses look for new ways to market existing brands, feature new products, sell seasonal goods or just make some needed cash with reduced rent in a temporary space. Marketers are all looking to create buzz these days, and in Manhattan, many of these pop-ups will certainly create some buzz.

I strolled through SoHo with a friend when returning from our expedition to Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown. At 18 Wooster Street, we stumbled upon a major soiree in full swing, with the gallery's front completely open to the street. It was a Fiat pop-up store. The front was cordoned off and the entrance guarded by the requisite bouncer and a woman with the guest list. There are the practical concerns of controlling attendees, however, I suspect the greater reason for admission is to create the illusion of exclusivity and desire to get in, a technique employed for decades in private clubs. After all, what retailer really wants to restrict admission to their showroom?

When we arrived however, there had been a break in policing the gate and we were encouraged by a bystander to enter. The place was replete with booming music, fashionistas dressed to the nines, hors d'oeuvres and snacks on immaculate trays offered by formally dressed servers. There was all manner of meeting, greeting, eating, drinking and flirting.

Oh, and yes, there were a few that looked at the new Fiats. A few snacks and the feeling for a few minutes that I was worthy to be at an event so important was enough. But really, deep inside, I was anxious to go home. There was no better evidence of how someone could be lonely in a crowded room ...



10 comments:

Someone Said said...

There's one person looking at the car. The rest are eating.

Brian Dubé said...

Someone Said - exactly.

Shane K. said...

I think theres two! The girl in the middle of the picture at the bottom of the frame and the guy on the far left.

Brian Dubé said...

Shane K. - wow - a real promotional success, wouldn't you say?

gianna said...

very beatiful your blog
I undestand something but no all.
Please can you put the google traductor for the people that no speak english?
tk

Shane K. said...

Brian Dube - For FIAT? Definitely! :D hahaha

Terry B, Blue Kitchen said...

I get the loneliness thing, Brian, but I have to say, I love gallery openings myself (I know that's a tangential topic here). I also do love the pop-up phenomenon, which is largely a New York one because New York has the critical mass to support such events. And even though people weren't totally focused on the cars, I'm sure Fiat is getting plenty of the buzz they were seeking from the event, as people talk about having been there.

Gunn said...

LOVE the FIAT!;)
Thanks for sharing both the photos and your thoughts about the event, with us your fellow bloggers.

Mary P. said...

Had a 1969 Fiat 124 Sport Spider, also a 124 Sport Coupe. Great little cars. Had a great mechanic for them, too. (A little too free with his hands on a test drive, tho... He came straight from Italy.)

DrBOP said...

Why do I see many of the ills of our society, ESPECIALLY the Big Onion, represented in your re-representation of this pop-up event?....have/have not....class conflict....foodie nazis....frat boys....homeless-fashionistas....

....man, I've GOT to relax....chillll....NICE CAR!

PS EVERY event like this anywhere gets a little more down home if you/they have some downhome (check Slum Goddess, etc.) live music happenin'....but soulless is as soulless does, so it will NEVER quite have that verve of your fondly remembered parties....where's drunk Uncle Charlie with the spoon trick when you need him?