The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, June 13, 2005  

Flaunting It -- Oh So Carefully -- in New York

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently hosted a casual party to celebrate the nuptials of his daughter, “casual,” it is clear, being in the eyes of the beholder, as revealed in an article in Sunday’s New York Times (“A Backyard Casual Feast for a Bloomberg Wedding,” by Campbell Robertson [hyperlinks and bolding added]):

It is important to note here that casual does not always translate into downscale. The wedding of Emma B. Bloomberg, 26, the eldest daughter of Michael R. Bloomberg, to Christopher P. Frissora, 25, is an interesting case study in the meaning of casual, when the father of the bride is a billionaire several times over and the mayor of the capital of the world [sic].

First of all, there is the meaning of “backyard” in the phrase “backyard barbecue,” which is how Ms. Bloomberg described the reception to [t]he Daily News last week. In this case, it refers to Gotham North, Mr. Bloomberg’s 20-acre horse farm in North Salem, N.Y. A huge white tent was set up for the event, which began yesterday evening with a ceremony at 5 p.m. Shuttle buses had been dispatched for many of the 400 guests, as the couple encouraged people to leave their cars at home. It was so casual, in fact, that representatives of the news media were asked to stay at home, too. […]

Following last night’s ceremony was the cocktail hour, then an informal dinner arranged by Feast and Fêtes, the catering arm of the restaurant Daniel on the Upper East Side. The informal part was primarily in the execution, with self-service stations instead of a sit-down dinner. While the grown-ups were provided tables, the younger crowd sat on sofas and at low-lying tables as if at a nightclub.

As for the menu, well, this is where the definition of informal might stretch a little thin, at least beyond traditional associations like pizza and Budweiser. There was the tapas station with lobster and mushroom cannoli; the barbecue station with miniversions of the DB burger, the chef Daniel Boulud’s unceremonious sandwich of sirloin filled with short ribs, foie gras[,] and truffles; the carving station with Guinea hen terrine; the seafood station with Scottish salmon; and even a homemade ice cream station. For extra measure, Nobu threw in assorted sushi rolls.

After dinner came the dancing. The Easy Star All-Stars, a 10-piece band known best for its 2003 album, “Dub Side of the Moon,” a reggae interpretation of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” was planning to play reggae covers for their first set. When the reception officially ended and the after-party unofficially began, the band was to play the album in its entirety. The dancing was to last, according to the couple’s Web site, until sunrise or “whenever you get tired.”

Sort of makes one long for the days of Ed Koch, doesn’t it? Naw, scratch that. Fiorello LaGuardia, anyone?

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