I am a graduate student in a city renowned for its high expense and its infinite migration of hustlers and starf#$%^s. It is glamourous city and everyone wants a piece of the action. The broadly advertised lifestyle of classic 6 apartments and nights on the exclusive Thompson Hotel roof bar is like the cheerleading squad in high school – small, out of touch and open to very precious few. Whatever the locals here will tell you, almost everyone who has migrated to Manhattan has done so for the tried and true plot details of a Jacqueline Susann novel with a twist of Truman Capote casual high-life references. Everyone who has migrated into Manhattan has at one time had the highest hopes that great success, sex and love will be the outcome of the inevitable thousands of fabulous restaurant openings, book launches and exclusive magazine parties. Graduate students, who must balance years of self-imposed poverty driven unhappiness with fantastical delusions of City society are no exception. I, like so many other 20-somethings, raced to New York in the early 2000s with the idea that my life would be an episode of Sex in the City.
Five years later, Tom Ford’s invites are not littering my mailbox. I am still a graduate student.
What do you do here when you want to bite the Big Apple, but you are impoverished and have a healthy respect for your bank balance? You own that you aren’t living the life of a Candace Bushnell blonde. You embrace your horror at paying $300 bottle service for a $25 bottle of Absolut vodka and you take advantage of the well-connected free events in the City.
These events are bountiful. Ultimately, thousands migrate to Manhattan every year to be a part of the social fabric and when they get here they make their own wildly, neurotic fun. Here are three suggestions if you can’t watch Park Avenue princesses sipping cabanas during the month of May.
1)Style Wars: The Battle Royale
May 9, 2008
Stoli Hotel, 330 West st. RSVP http://www.houseofdiehl.com/
Part Project Runway, part American Gladiator done in the style of the “walk off” from Zoolander, this even is being held at a hot hotel in Chelsea. The vodka bar is open, competitors are shredding clothes, the models are walking a wild runway and DJs promise great beats. It’s worth RSVPing for the free view of what promises to be an only in NYC spectacle.
2) The Chelsea Gallery openings
Every Thursday and Friday all year
With the birth of the art market in the 1950s came the birth of the dating market. NYC galleries have so embraced that free drink and the promise of sex will bring in the crowds and heighten their chances of a sale, they have set up their own singles scene. Thursday and Friday nights are wildly popular for gallery openings, that are typically stocked with interesting people, free or cheap wine and sometimes munchies. Most importantly, you can see some pretty amazing art, meet the artist and if you have more money than I , maybe even buy. These nights are always a blast. Look for the schedule and maps at New York Art World
3) The New York YAK book launch, readings and seminars
Many great pics for May – too many to mention
Free subscription and Free admission
Must subscribe to find event locations
New York is the publishing capitol of North America. Part of the business of getting things printed on paper and sold is promotion. Luckily, for New Yorkers, this means great access to great authors and their promotional events. There are so many published works being launched in the City all the time, that it isn’t possible to list them all. Book events of interest include Ted Sorenson May 12, Siri Hustvedt May 13, William Shatner May 14, Lincoln Hall May 15, Alison Weir May 22, Lauren Weisenberger May 27, Ed Koch May 27 and Theresa Rebeck May 28.