So, I had closed on my first apartment. It was an insane, sad, former-coke-palace-looking affair with no functioning appliances and the electricity hadn't been turned on in 6 years. Clearly we needed to throw a party.
Since the closing didn't happen until mid-December and contractors wouldn't be able to begin work until after the holidays, we took advantage of the weird open space and hosted an 80s New Year. ConEd had only turned on the electricity that morning, and I had no idea what did or did not work. Armed with a huge bag of xmas lights and crossing every digit I own, I plugged the strings in and... nothing. PANIC. 35 friends were coming in 6 hours, dressed in their thrift-store best, and it was maybe/probably going to be pitch black. I wanted to call up the hoarder guy and borrow his lantern.
But, Jose to the rescue!!! Jose is my wonderful Super, who I regularly choose to chat with for 15 minutes or so in passing instead of being on time for work. This says a lot about my timeliness, yes, but also, Jose is a delight. We chuckle over his cute grandkids in Cali, I exclaim (quite sincerely) over his tricked out muscle cars, he occasionally gossips about the other tenants in whispers with me. I love Jose. And on New Years' Eve 2010, upon our first meeting, Jose saved my ass by suggesting we check to see if the breaker in the basement had been flipped when ConEd turned the power back on. Bam. Xmas lights galore. And a surprise.
Remember this bad-boy? That handsome arch harbored a secret. When the breaker was flipped, we discovered that it LIT UP.
There was a cove built into the top of the whole soffit for ambient up-lighting, which I can tell you sent me into a total rapture at the idea of it being lit during the 80s party. It promptly burned out. To be fair, those were 20 year old bulbs. They did their time. Pour one out for the bulbs.
The best reason to have a New Years' party in this apartment is the roof. Yes, we had a roof deck, but its view is not in the right direction for the annual fireworks; the real treat is the Skytrack. Is that not the most 80s' name for a building ever? Boy George would have named his building the Skytrack. The Skytrack would be where Tom Hanks' character bought his apartment in BIG. The Skytrack might be where Falcor landed should the Story ever end. Oh, man, I could keep going with that a lot longer than you want me to.
But as you see with the healthy little jogging logo man up there on my building's entrance, that's what she be named. Back in 1982, when this building was first converted into condos from the original 1901 warehouse shell it had been, this neighborhood was, how you say... bad. My friend Sebastian grew up a few blocks away, on a street that his parents said was used at that time as the burial ground for the carcasses of stolen cars that had been stripped of their sale-able parts and needed to be burned out to avoid identification. I later learned that was, like, every street. Brooklyn, y'all!
So the building, converted with yuppies in mind who were beginning to gentrify the neighborhood, included a big blue metal jogging track that wrapped around the roof of this building, the one next door, and a third that touched it on the back sides but has its actual entrance around the corner. All three properties were developed at the same time by the stellar-morals-and-building-practices idiot who owned them (more on him later), and the swingin' pads sold here thus provided joggers with a place to run without getting mugged by the locals, who knew better than to run for fun. Running is nonsense.
Also, according to an amazing archived article from the NY Times that my friend Marli found, this building used to have a hot tub on the roof that could fit upwards of 17 people. WHERE IS THAT, CONDO BOARD??? I feel equal parts envious and skeeved out by that news. 17 people is a lot of STD opportunity. It's so gross it's impressive.
So, at the end of 2010, the party happened. I have no photos from it, but about half the guests bothered with the dress-up theme. I had one friend show up in these elaborate-framed gold wire glasses with octagonal lenses, which no fewer than three guests told him were a hilarious costume, only to be told curtly that these were not a costume but his brand-new (expensive) prescription glasses. He had recently moved to Williamsburg, and I think it got away from him.
My favorite moment of the evening was when someone picked up my phone when my dad called to wish me a happy New Year (presumably thinking it was their phone and their dad calling) and drunkenly spoke to him for two minutes before hanging up abruptly, again presumably when they realized it was a different dad. He still thinks it was me. Please, Dad. I know better than to pick up the phone while drunk.