The elevator doors slide open and we step into a dim corridor, then out to a loading dock. The only sign of the Flatt party anywhere amidst the vast concrete columns and box trucks beeping in reverse is a gentleman with a clipboard. We are checked in and stamped, then ushered down a black tiled hallway and into the Electric Room.
A wonderful aroma is the first thing I notice, and wonder why more establishments don’t softly scent their rooms with custom candles and such (my compliments to Nur Khan on such a stunning detail). The lighting is soft and moody, to match the music presumably- Nirvana covering David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World. Leggy models, young (and less young) ambiguously intellectual types, and scruffy, attractive men in spectacles and bowties trickle towards the bar.
Editor Christina Lessa makes room near the faux-fireplace, and welcomes the now substantial crowd. Susan Kaplan of NPR speaks briefly and poignantly, urging the artists and creators in the room to “illuminate your work”. She announces Emily Chamberlain as the winner of the Flatt Prize and recipient of a gift from the DiMaggio family. Miss Chamberlain accepts proudly with the poise of a professional and earnestness of an ingenue.
The guests gather closer in the darkened nooks that line the room and on the enormously plush couches clustered under chandeliers that can only be described as modernist-speakeasy. Singer Angela McCluskey rises and strides towards the microphone, hushing the crowd as her accompanist begins the opening strains of her set. Four songs later, she makes her way back to her companions and the DJ’s take over, setting a lively beat. Martinis tremble and threaten to spill as girls in sequins navigate through a crowd that livens an atmosphere far more festive than a publication for the New Angst Group might connote.
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