The Neurotic Boys of Summer


Last Thursday marked the opening of Glory Hole, an art party helmed by Rachel Rosen and Natalia do Amaral Leite a few blocks from the Graham L train stop in Williamsburg. Fifteen artists and four DJs slated for the inaugural show, titled Fey, seemed to promise a sweat-soaked danceathon—particularly since two of the four manning the beats were Luiza Sa from Brazil’s CSS, in town to play a free show at Studio B the next night, and Le Tigre’s JD Samson, whose birthday (like mine!) was on Saturday. Also didn’t hurt that posted a message that day from Sa, who apparently claimed the party would be “better than hitting your boss in the face.”

The walls of the smaller-than-expected space (two rooms, but one’s more like a walk-in closet) were lined with a mishmash of photography, paintings, and installations, including some nudie-Judy watercolors and a spindly, sheet-covered sea horse. According to the curators, the events at Glory Hole seek to promote art as a celebration—”experiential, voyeuristic, and interactive.” What I really wanted to experience was some air conditioning. At least half of the crowd was camped outside, where the 90-degree air felt positively balmy in comparison to the wall of heat on the other side of the door. This wasn’t a sexy, sultry wave of warmth; this was like a lake of fire. I thought of my college roommate, who frequently used the expression—and sincerely thought it was correct—”hotter than Haiti.”

“Welcome to Brooklyn in the summer,” noted a Pratt grad I’d been chatting with. “Everyone trying to get to the ‘right’ party, which is always too fucking hot to stand, so you just hang out on the sidewalk drinking beer, smoking pot, and hoping the cops don’t show too early.”

He wasn’t being insulting: That is what it’s like, and what this party was like—40 or so twentysomethings sitting on the ground or leaning against cars, drinking the cheap beer Glory Hole was selling for a buck, ignoring the police cars that paused out front, then drove on. Though mildly uncomfortable, that experience still defines summer for the Brooklynites who aren’t bothered by a weekday hangover. Most of us just see it as an excuse to, you know, wear even less clothing.

Earlier in the week, I hit up Gen Art’s advance screening of Two Days in Paris, followed by an after-party at Boucarou Lounge, where all the staffers wore red berets. The theater saw its fair share of couples looking to compare their relationship with that of Julie Delpy and Adam Goldberg (Are they happier than/as miserable as us?), but most of the attendees who made the trek from the theater to the bar seemed to be on the hunt for action. Which was weird, because writer/director/producer/star Delpy hadn’t written a particularly romantic film, and the short that Gen Art screened before the feature, Daphne Lambrinou’s Paper Boat, didn’t exactly have a happy ending, either. Plus, it was Tuesday.

Regardless, within 20 minutes of the closing credits, Boucarou had filled with girls chatting in the bathroom about potential hook-ups—and fishing for their cell phones, trying to look distracted when approached by an older gentleman with a halo of coarse gray curls who repeatedly asked the question, “Have you considered a career in acting?” Regardless, the lounge was dimly lit and the drinks were free.

Goldberg’s character, cute and funny and painfully neurotic, is unfortunately a type to which I’m attracted—and I don’t think I’m alone, because Goldberg always plays that role, and he seems to be working pretty steadily, so someone else has to like him, too. I met a girl working toward a graduate degree in abnormal psych and thought, of anyone, surely at least she avoids that type.

“Nope—my boyfriend’s one,” she admitted. “Sneezing all the time, can’t have pets, etc. After our second date, I invited him upstairs and we started making out, and he started having this horrible reaction. Apparently, he couldn’t be around my cat. So he had to leave, like, right then. The next day I thought, ‘Wow. I like this guy, but . . . he’s, you know, literally allergic to my pussy. Can I deal with that?’ ”

And then, just as suddenly as the room had filled, it seemed everyone was gone. The gaggles of girls wised up with regard to their chances, heading elsewhere in the East Village, if not home; the remaining twosomes scooted closer together on Boucarou’s long wall of banquettes. While Gen Art has a long history of great parties with high-profile crowds, I don’t really think this was one of them. And I’m not saying that just because I went home alone.