Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas SIN New York

Usually at this time of year I am completely booked and busy managing someone else's holiday party. But due to the economic meltdown I am all freed up to actually attend a few soirees. And while my people skills are still not what you would call advanced, at least I am no longer plagued by a crippling fear every time the prospect of being in a room full of strangers rears it's head.

Which is why a week ago Saturday I attended the holiday party for the East Village Gay-A group I belong to. It was a pretty good meeting and some OK food (I cooked) followed by a funny albeit pretty dreadful "show". In their defense, I had heard that their entertainment chairs had resigned less than two weeks before the party, so any show was slightly miraculous.

This past Saturday I had the good fortune of being free to join the peeps of SIN NYC at their holiday hoedown, and I have to say, it was an amazing party that put any other I attended to shame.

They rented a really cute space waaaay down on Bank St. in the West Village. Worked out great for me because I was close by taking a class, but it was practically in the Hudson River. Fortunately, it wasn't particularly cold that night, so I didn't have to fuck up my hair with a hat. I hate fucking up my hair.

Anyway, it meant that I had to get up and get going really early that day, as I finally decided the night before that I would be able to (read: could afford) make a pan of lasagna. I also managed to scrape together an extra 10 bucks and stop by a discount store and pick up an offering for their toy drive (more on that later). I felt a little bad that I had to go the discount route, that is until I saw two other toys in the pile that night from the exact same shelf I selected my toy for a tot. It's still charitable if it's budget, right?

The party may have been off the beaten path, but they did an amazing job decorating the space. Some cleverly hung divider curtains and some obviously smart planning meant there was a designated dining area, a lounge-y, food/buffet/bar and a dance floor. The dining tables were really pretty.

While the dance floor ended up more VFW hall but who cares, it worked.

Things took a decidedly upscale turn with the dramatic and timely arrival of a perfectly coiffed Anne Chilada, who gamely entertained the troops. Poor thing, always having to sing for her vodka ... er, supper.

Now pardon me while I rave, but if there was a single highlight to the night, it was most definitely the food. There was So. Much. Food! When I first arrived there was an area next to the bar for appetizers, a long table and a half for main courses, and a separate dessert table. They were just heating up dishes and sending them out when I plopped down my meat (HAR!) and zucchini lasagna. There was already a lot of food out when more and more people started arriving, each carrying a box or a bag or multiple bags of everything. Appetizers, cheeses, main dishes and cake after cake after pie after brownie. There was even the cutest "Candy Land" display already set up full of all manner of goodies. And anyplace that puts out Sweet Tarts for the taking is all right in my book.

And let me tell you, while some people went with the store-bought desserts, albeit three and four at a time, most of these these queens COOKED! And chopped and sliced and baked. The tables were absolutely loaded with food and there was still more coming in an hour and a half after the party started. I was totally gratified that my lasagna offering was absolutely scarfed down within the first half hour. That's the only part I don't like about cooking for a party. I tend to hover around my dish obsessing every time someone passes it up. No worries this time. It was a hit. Or rather the entire buffet was a hit. I had some delicious fried chicken, a piece of a giant hero sandwich, some fried dumplings, and I gorged on appetizer cheeses, meats, shrimp and fresh cut fruit. I was stuffed! Several people were manning the kitchen and the ovens as well as the buffet set up, but for the guys that handled the bulk of the work and planning, they did an absolutely amazing job. And I'm a little cunty so you know that must be true.

The bar was really well stocked (although I obviously didn't partake) and replenished with every new arrival. Plus a certain naughty elf made sure the holiday punch was good and "punchy".

And finally, I want to tell you all that in addition to making me practically roll back to the East Side, the SIN organizers announced a toy drive in conjunction with the party. It wasn't mandatory or heavy-handed, but they did announce ahead of time that the toys would go to families dealing with HIV/AIDS. And isn't it typical that a bunch of homos and those who love them, already with plenty to deal with in their everyday lives would take a few minutes and dollars out of the shopping budget to do this?

All in all I had a great time and took a lot more pictures, which I will post on the SIN photo page later. The music was great (that Joey is kind of yummy, no?), the food was to die for and the whole vibe was about as friendly and no pressure as a room full of fags can get. Thanks and well-wishes go out to SIN co-managers David and Chris T. as well as Anne, Mickeal and everyone who obviously worked so hard to create a fabulous night out for everyone at a time when one can easily lapse in to melancholy.

It was about the best party I've been to in years.

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