Sometimes you just get caught up in living, not in the reporting thereof.
The most GLARING no-show from “Subtitles” past was any mention - in words - of our fearless leader’s annual St. Patrick’s Day party.
I know, I know… May is here and NOW the old(e) Cow is finally going to give a play-by-play about some event that happened in the middle of March. Oh, just shut up! I mean, if this was one of those big slick fancy monthly magazines, it would be THREE MONTHS before a March event would have appeared. Small wonder why, when you write a social column for one of those periodicals, most P.R. types don’t pay you much mind. They want INSTANT gratification for their precious offer of access, not something that will give a payback way after anyone cares or remembers.
Nevertheless, there were lots of pretty pictures posted on the site, so you can go into our Events section … where they’ve been shuffled off to… and check them out. That also frees me from giving you a Suzy List of who was there. For that, alone, we should all be grateful.
I could just cop to the obvious excuse and claim to have had such a great time, I’ve only NOW recovered. Actually, I DID have a great time, but since my alcoholic consumption amounted to one martini at dinner and one light beer at the club, there was little to recover from. I am REALLY a lightweight drinker. Even my mother would deride me for my inability to keep down more than two alcoholic beverages. “At LEAST make them pay for it!” She would chide me with disgust. The fact that no one in our family was a “drinker” never occurred to her. The generations before mine weren’t attuned to the importance of genetic circuitry.
Mac Patty’s annual St. Patrick’s Day party is SO renown, most people think it’s his birthday. Because his birthday is at the very end of August, few are even around to know differently. Luckily, the Huntington, L.I. native haunts the Hamptons once the weather gets warm, so he always has enough ready-and-willing folk to “make a minion” (metaphorically speaking)(or not).
Despite the popularity of Patty Melt’s yearly throw-down, we should be thankful that he still has enough of a grip to have, thus far, resisted the urge to dictate any sort of wonky dress code. Not to mention NAMES (ahem!), but, consider the torture of having to wear WHITE to an outdoor party at the beach during the Dog Days of Summer! Just what you want to feel like when you’re on display… fat, dirty and sweat-stained! Oh wait, I forgot that Botox injected into the armpits can prevent sweat. Ouch.
When one considers that the obvious choice of color for Patrick’s bash would be GREEN… well, it just makes one shudder. Who REALLY seeks out anything in green when one is shopping? Even though the fashion world has been trying to shove it into our consciousness that green is THE color this year, unless you are getting the garment for free or on loan… like everyone famous who is photographed is… there is no way in hell you are going to plunk down your hard-earned dollars on anything GREEN if you have options. Or unless you play golf. Then again, maybe the Irish chose green as their national color because it’s the same shade they turn after a really good night out?
But, I digress…
Usually, I don’t have such a fine time at this party. That’s because it’s usually a work night for me. Last year I deejayed, I think I deejayed the previous year, and the year before that, I ran the karaoke portion. Though I’ve thoroughly welcomed the paycheck, I’m sorry to say that I’ve never equated work with pleasure. So, this year, when I was asked to be the DJ, I respectfully declined, opting instead for an evening devoid of schlepping hundreds of records and putting in long hours fraternizing with drunken people whose names I don’t remember and whom I haven’t seen for years … for the most part, voluntarily.
(To answer the inevitable question that ALWAYS arises whenever I mention DJing and/or records… “Do you use vinyl or CDs?”… I use both. Why wouldn’t I? Note to those who ALWAYS ask this: It’s a really stupid question because it’s meaningless. And if it DOES have meaning to whomever you’ve asked the question, they’re a poseur. Why not use ALL tools at your disposal? It would be like asking a builder if she/he uses power tools or not and forming some sort of opinion about their competence and/or “purity”. I thought THAT silliness would have ended when Bob Dylan responded with a giant “Fuck you!” to those who booed him off the stage at the Newport Folk Festival for “going electric”.
But, I continue to digress…)
The night of St. Patrick’s Day was such a blast because I was sharing it with someone who has been in my life for a long time: Miz Jenny Lumet. I’ve known Jenny and her sister Amy since they were wee ones slinking around the clubs. Most of the people you meet in clubs are merely Disco Friends with whom you shared the most superficial of relationships. Oh, you have good times and good memories connected to this bunch, but they pretty much began and ended with whatever delicious mischief you shared and whatever exchange of goods and services passed between you before the sun came up.
Jenny and Amy were different: They were REAL people and real friends. When Amy grew up, she moved to D.C. for a bit, and then went out west, so I saw her rarely. Jenny, and I wove in and out of each other’s lives much more because we both remained here. We saw each other less than I would have liked, but we lived at different ends of the city and both of us had very full schedules: I had my life and Jenny had hers, complete with a gorgeous son named Jake to raise and teaching Drama at Manhattan Country School. That’s the only downside of one of the great reasons to live in Manhattan: It gives you many options and little time.
Surprise, surprise, Jenny phoned to get together for Patty Mac’s party. Though we had spoken a few times, the last time I saw her (besides on TV, with Amy and Stepmom Piedy, cheering daddy Sidney on from a special perch at this year’s Academy Awards when he received his Special Oscar) was at her house for a fun day-after-Thanksgiving bacchanal at her home. It was then that I got to meet the new-ish man in her life (he had been with her for a number of months already), writer Danny Greene. He was floating with happiness, she was floating with happiness… I couldn’t wish her any better.
Jenny, Danny and I met for dinner at The Red Cat, a restaurant near Spirit, where the party was. I didn’t even know that the restaurant existed – it was Danny and Jenny’s choice and a super one. The comfort food was fabulous (Potatoes! Steak! More potatoes! Chicken! Even more potatoes!) (How Irish is THAT!?!) and they make EXCELLENT Martinis.
Half way, or so, through the meal, Jenny and Danny’s pal, Matthew VanOrden, the head instructor at the Upper West Side’s Manhattan Tae Kwan Do, joined us. I may have been feeling that giant Martini more than I would have wished, but I felt SO safe with this bunch. How Jenny met Danny was when he was teaching at the school. Jenny can now break through multiple slabs of wood or concrete or something. Her son is a student, as well. Am I missing something, old Pilates Whore that I am? Here I am concentrating on my “core” and this lot are smashing shit. Sounds like fun.
Speaking of smashed…
By the time we left the restaurant, no one was feeling much pain. Even Jenny, who didn’t drink anything harder than a Coke, was totally giddy. I seem to recall a gas station at some point… though I can’t remember WHY. What I DO remember is that we all became… ummm… characters (?) between the restaurant and that gas station. Jenny was a pirate, Danny was a lascivious Leprechaun (his family is so Irish, even the name is You-know-what), Matt was a Thai Prostitute (AKA Thai Kwan Ho) and I was a chicken. And all night long we were a spouting various versions of “argh!” and “bawk!” and Irish lilting, all punctuated by Matt’s pole dancing.
Sure beat playing records for hours (and hours and hours) on end!
Poor Johnny Dynell was doing the honors. He looked beaten down. First Patty Mac was in the booth “suggesting” that the music be less loud. Patrick always thinks music is too loud. I think I created this monster when, LONG ago, being stuck behind my turntables, I innocently asked Patrick if the level was right in the middle of the room. He made a face & kept giving me a thumbs down. It didn’t take long before I realized that if I continued to keep listening to his critique, no one in the room would continue to listen to the music. And from that day onward, EVERY time he entered a room in which I was spinning, he stood in the middle of the floor giving me the signal to lower the volume. I learned to ignore him.
Unfortunately, Johnny hadn’t. As Jenny and I passed Patrick as he made his way out of the booth and we were ambling in, he asked me if I thought the music was too… I didn’t even let him finish. “Behave yourself!” I ordered. Patrick started laughing so hard; he KNEW I KNEW what had just gone down.
“I told Patrick to behave himself.” I said to Johnny when we entered. “God bless you!” Johnny yelped. “Don’t worry, he always thinks it’s too loud. Even when you remind him it’s a DANCE CLUB, he still can’t understand why people should have to yell over the music to speak. He was cracking up when I knew what he was doing up here!” I assured Johnny. Of course, in a DJ booth, the music is at a nice level to talk over because we’re not nuts enough to blow out OUR ears!
Back on the dancefloor, Jenny, Danny, Matt and I danced and danced. A funny moment was when Jenny went over to a Go-Go Boy and shoved a bill into what little he was wearing. He flashed her the biggest smile and did some passionate thrusts her way. Then, when she turned her back for a second, he pulled the bill out of his jockstrap to see how big it was … and, no, I won’t say something crass like it was probably bigger than what was in his jockstrap. No, I wouldn’t EVER say that.
All of my co-workers at Patrick McMullan’s studio were out and about, shaking everything that could shake, bustin’ moves, getting’ down with their bad selves. It’s funny to work with people, and then see them on a dancefloor. When I came into the studio the following day, I got my share of kidding – deserved, I might add. There were pictures to prove it… so how much could I protest?
At the end of the night, when Jenny and I went up to the DJ booth to collect our coats, Johnny looked really whipped. “I wanted to play such great music tonight, but they wouldn’t let me!” He complained. “We had a great time!” I said, truthfully. “The music was great!” “Oh, yeah, it was a lot of great OLD records.” Johnny moaned, “Whenever I tried to play something new or more interesting, they wouldn’t respond!”
Johnny knew that I, of all people, would understand THAT. The joke had always been that I had made my reputation as a dance DJ who never cared if anyone danced. I didn’t. If the dancers didn’t “get it”, fuck ‘em. I liked to break records. Unless you’re playing for a group of really open-minded people, dancers turn off and shut down once they hear something unfamiliar. It’s been proven by radio that it takes people around three weeks of CONSTANTLY hearing a new song to become familiar and comfortable with it. By that time, other deejays would be playing my new find, I would be onto something else. That’s why I always had to DJ for a club owner who trusted me. That’s why I continue to only do parties and events for people I’ve had a nice long talk with before I commit. And that’s why I became very agile when it came to avoidance of flying objects projected my way, such as glasses, ashtrays, lit cigarettes (when they were allowed)…
So, what did the Man of the Hour have to say about this year’s party?
“You were waiting for a parade, but they all followed a different route.” Mac Patty intoned. I’ve yet to figure out if he was talking about the OFFICIAL parade, or the one that came through the club – the one with Little People and other heavily painted and garishly outfitted delights. The route THEY took was to the stage, where much jigging and step-dancing and giving-away of prizes (A trip to Dublin! A box of Lucky Charms! A bar of Irish Spring!) ensued. “You know, St. Patrick drove all the snakes away at the party.” He continued. I pointed out that I had seen the infamous Shaggy. “He’s not a snake; he’s just a crasher. There were no snakes at the party.”
So, there you go… go to one of Patrick McMullan’s St, Patrick’s Day parties and you won’t have to worry about snakes. At least, during the time you’re there. What happens to you after you leave… well, don’t come crying to me.