For many, the existing ambiance is enough to set the mood. When The Observer dropped by on Thursday night, one dark corner (by day, the hostess stand) was visited by no fewer than four couples intent on swallowing each other’s faces.
The party had been billed, in a last-minute email blast from party planner Sydney Racquel Reising, as a Thanksgiving get-together for “misfit orphans,” but the attendees appeared to know one another as well as we know anyone who ever passed us a gravy boat.
The vibe was so friendly, in fact, that some seemed reluctant to reveal that they didn’t know us. On three occasions we were warmly embraced by complete strangers, with unspecific but familiar greetings.
“I love this look on you,” a Canadian photographer said, of our family holiday uniform of sweater dress and loafers. It was easy to get into the spirit of unqualified flattery.
“You too!” we replied.
For him, Red Egg’s allure was basic.
“I’m trying to find coke,” he said. In New York, he explained, one could easily find a late-night holiday dinner (his had been jerk turkey at model canteen Miss Lily’s) but it was impossible to score holiday drugs.
“Even dealers have families,” he reasoned.
He nodded and surveyed the dance floor, momentarily subdued by the beginning of Pulp’s “Common People.”
“So do you want to go make out in the corner?”
We weren’t feeling that chummy. We excused ourselves with the intent of catching a cab. Outside, the line to get in was deep. A brunette in a knee-length red knit poncho stood spread eagle against the building next door, palms pressed into the brick tenement wall, elbows straight, head bowed. She murmured something in a French accent at the sidewalk.
We joined a handful smokers who watched as her companion knelt behind her and dutifully tended to her boots, which laced up the back and had come undone. He was about to tie one off into a bow when she rose violently, nearly tripping over him as she flung herself at a street lamp, Singing in the Rain-style.
“She’s always like this,” yet another stranger whispered in our ear.
From her perch on the street lamp, she took in the scene.
“Are these my friends?” she slurred, pointing at us, the witnesses to her Thanksgiving excess.
Actually, we thought, in America we call us family.