When The Dream Becomes a Nightmare

Entrance to The Dream Downtown, Opening Night

Rounding the corner of 16th and 8th we could already see the line. It was the Dream Hotel’s event for Hypnotiq’s new Harmonie liqueur hosted by perennial third child Khloe Kardashian. We were surprised that so many people would show up on a Tuesday night for a B-list celebrity and a C-list alcohol.

We walked up to the burly bouncers. “Where is the press check-in?” we asked with added sweetness.  “You have to get in line for a stamp,” he barked. “Even the press?” we appealed indignantly. He gave a brusque gesture toward the line. We looked at the ever-growing queue, sighed and trudged to the back.

The line was absolute mayhem. People were shimmying in and out of the police fences, desperately trying to see if they were on the list or if their roommate was going to be able to get in. “She’ll be right here, I swearrrr,” we heard over and over again. Countless girls in ass-revealing bandage skirts walked by, pouting for having to wait with the rest of the rabble.

Without any rhyme or reason (and we were vigilantly probing for either) the bouncers would lift the velvet ropes and let someone inside with their entire extended coterie.

Meanwhile the hotel paid no recognition to established regulars. One fashionable young lady in a full-length gown was denied entrance at the door. “I come here like twice a week,” she said without pretense. “I’m embarrassed because I brought my clients. He’s a Hollywood director and she’s a legendary fashion designer. It’s like ‘what are you doing at your door.’”

Each new arrival felt more entitled than the next. Throngs of self-important young upstarts flashed their best puppy-eyes to the bouncers. Periodically some unrecognizable socialite would be allowed to pass while others, with confirmation emails pulled up on their iPhones, were sent packing.

The entire event was poorly organized. The Harmonie fete was just one of two parties being thrown at the Dream Downtown last night. No one knew which line to stand in and the bouncers mumbled and grunted like Neanderthals unable to offer any sound advice. One female hostess had an iPad and was maladroitly trying checking names, while another young man had a printed list with names redacted or added in chicken scratch.

The Dream’s layout is part of the problem. The party was at P-HD, reachable only by elevators built for anorexics. With only one point of entry to the lifts, bottlenecking is inevitable. Bouncers trying to limit the fracas inside create a pile-up at the door.

We waited for half an hour, much more than we felt we owed either Ms. Kardashian or the Dream. Finally reaching the front we gave our name and the name of the unreachable PR contact who had confirmed our attendance. “You’re not on this list,” the iPad-wielding woman pronounced. “Maybe you’re on the other one.” Meanwhile another reporter pulled up out of nowhere and was told to wait at the front of the line with The Observer.

Finally our PR contact came out. “You’re not on this list, sorry,” he said. We looked down at our phone and re-read the invitation we had received from the same young man now brushing us off. “Thanks anyways,” we said curtly, turning on our disgruntled heels.

We hailed a cab, terribly annoyed for having to waste an hour of our life standing outside a luke-warm new hotel enjoying its twelve minutes in the spotlight. Sayonara, Dream Downtown. We don’t plan on visiting you any time in the foreseeable future.

When The Dream Becomes a Nightmare