Tuesday, July 12, 2020. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day in New York with temps touching the low 80s and the perfect Summer day.
Today we’re running some photos from Mark Gilbertson’s annual late Spring cocktail party which he’s been hosting for years — more than 25 years ago at his Upper East Side apartment, and for the past 20 or so years at a private club here in Manhattan. He made the move to the club, I’m assuming, because his apartment wasn’t big enough to accommodate his list which is somewhere between 275 and 300 guests. The reception room in this club is enormous and it was overflowing with guests so much so that they had to open up a room next to it.
Cocktail parties have different personalities, depending on the host or hostess, the guest list, and the space allotted. Mark is a long time great party host here in New York and his guest lists often accommodate large numbers for the charity events that he organizes for a variety of philanthropies.
Cocktail parties are different experiences for different individuals. Some of us love them; others hate ‘em. Many of us are indifferent to the event, depending on our relationship to the guests — friends, neighbors, mutual supporters and individuals supporting a charity. So a guest enters the room with a variety of feelings about it. Do they know others; or are they basically strangers supporting an event?
Mark’s annual party is so big and relaxed that any guest can enjoy him or herself even just standing there and watching people meet and great, even if they’re strangers. And at Mark’s many actually know each other, often don’t see much of each other over the course of a year, and the visit is always a treat. Plus there are so many in attendance that it’s physically impossible to connect or even see a good number of those attending at the same time.
That’s a big part of the fun of it. That and just the simple people watching. I always enter and rarely get no more than ten or twenty feet into the room and never move any farther because the action there is always changing, and it’s fun just to say hello and “see” old friends and acquaintances.
This year was a resumption of the custom after a two-year hiatus because of You-Know-What (C-19). Initially there was the worry that people wouldn’t show but then of course people were anxious to get out and see and be seen especially after that long hiatus; and so it was fun. And as usual, Cutty McGill captured many a fun moment.
It was was scheduled from 6 to 8 on a Wednesday, the last day in May. I got there early because I had a dinner at 7. It was crowded when I arrived and crowded when I left but I later learned that there was still a mob scene at 8:45 and 9. Too much fun to leave; that’s the secret of Mark’s party always.