Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blitz and Glitz

On the way into a reception at an art gallery a few nights ago, I tripped up the stairs. As I grabbed onto a railing to keep from falling down, something about the railing, this set of stairs, and the front lobby area felt familiar. It quickly all came back to me - I’ve probably hit this place up before.

When we were younger and didn’t have much disposable income, an ally and I occasionally went on art-gallery-opening crawls in Chelsea. After (easily) tracking down the locations of that week’s opening-exhibit receptions, we would appear at one gallery on a Friday night and have a few plastic cups of wine while taking in some art for about 10 minutes. Then it would be off to the next opening in the neighborhood to run the same game.

Almost everyone at the other night’s quasi-gala was around the same age I had been during those heady high-culture hustling nights. But they’re having markedly different twentysomething experiences. When I was in my early to mid twenties, I didn’t theatrically click-clack into informal after-work cocktail parties in Christian Louboutin heels looking as if I were about to present the “Best Original Song in a Motion Picture” award at the Golden Globes. If you’re an entry-level-job-holding 24-year-old who lives alone in the West Village and/or talks about going on a weeklong “theater blitz” before leaving for a 2-month trip abroad, I’m onto you. Stop calling that Soho loft yours when it really belongs to your parents or whoever else is funding your blitzing.

This might have been my first Chelsea gallery reception where the wine was served in glass instead of plastic. It didn’t taste any better.

1 comment:

  1. Chelsea openings really are a struggle. I went to one about three years ago, thinking I would get back into the swing of things. Instead, I fled as quickly as I could. It was in the Fall on a good-weather day, and I almost could not believe how many hundreds (thousands?) of people were trolling the streets, attending a whole flock of openings on a Fall evening.