Thursday nights are one of my favorite nights for parties. There’s usually a lot going on and I can partake in my favorite sport: party-hopping. Last Thursday I was invited to two parties downtown. The first was a Sugar party hosted by the amazeballs Julia Walsh at the Gap. The second was a jewelry showing of the designer Stephen Webster at Nieman Marcus. Since the Gap party started at 6 and the jewelry one at 6:30, I hit up the Gap party first. What with it being the holiday season, I was in a festive mood: wearing a black fur shrug and an olive green dress.
However, when I arrived at the Sugar party, I did not find a memorable amazing party. Instead I was met by chaos. UGH! Since it was at the San Francisco flagship on Powell Street, the store was very crowded. Although the invitation specified that one must RSVP to be admitted, I waltzed right in to the store. The place was packed and the staff was overwhelmed. There was no bar and finding a waiter with a tray of drinks was harder than finding a tear in the sand. When I finally did find a waiter with drinks, he wouldn’t give me one because I didn’t have a black wristband. I had to go back to the entrance and get a black wristband.
At this point I noticed a large line of people waiting to get into the store. The girl at the door wasn’t checking names off a list, she was merely making sure people who got wristbands were old enough to drink. Once I finally had a glass of white wine, it was hard to move around because the store was super crowded. There was a DJ and a candy bar, but at 6 PM, I’m not in the mood for cupcakes and cookies, I want something savory. Needless to say, I was utterly unimpressed by the party. There was no sense of exclusivity and a severe lack of food, alcohol, and space.
I lingered long enough to chat with some old friends, check in with Julia (who looked gorgeous), and finish the wine. Then it was off to the Nieman’s party. It was the pure opposite of the Gap party. The ladies at the entrance to the Rotunda crossed my name of a list and as I scanned the room for a friend, a waiter walked by and offered me an amazing truffled grilled cheese sandwich. When I inquired about the specialty cocktails at the bar, I was pleasantly surprised to hear one of my favorite phrases, a magical trio of words, really: it’s open bar. I was in the mood for bubbly, so I headed to the other side of the event where bottles of Mirabelle were displayed on intricate ice sculptures. Although this event had everything the Sugar party lacked, it was missing something, too. The vibe was stuffy and it just wasn’t very much fun. While it had plenty of food, alcohol, and space, it had no soul; there was no sense of excitement in the air. The fashion bloggers hung out on one side of the tables and the wealthy regular shoppers on the other.
As I stood there, champagne glass in one hand and duck confit mini taco in the other, I couldn’t help but wonder: what makes a party memorable? It’s more than just a great atmosphere, engaging playlist, and flowing alcohol, right? An amount of exclusivity is nice, but a successful party is fabulous fun because the hostess makes the guests feel special. Noteworthy parties also often have a sense of community: mingling is encouraged and everyone becomes friends with everyone else. It’s been a week since these parties left a sour taste in my mouth and I’m still trying to figure out what exactly makes a party unforgettable? What do you think?
I’m going to research the subject a little more. Stay tuned for my findings!