Two weeks ago I took a trip back in time to New York City in 1995 thought the amazingly hilarious movie “Party Girl” starring Parker Posey. This was a movie that was completely off my radar until Tommy suggested that we go and see it at 92Y Tribeca. The real kicker? Not only was the movie going to be gracing the big screen again, but there was also a Q&A with Miss. Posey herself! Would she live up to the love I’d felt for her since she had braces in Best In Show?
The night was rainy and gross, but the stroll through China town was refreshing. The parks and open areas at the mouth of the Lincoln Tunnel give a feeling of peace and tranquility (or as close as you can get to that in NYC) to a usually hectic area. The Q&A was happening between the two performances that evening. Upon arrival, the theatre was not open yet, and I was surprised how few people there were waiting to get in. Usually if its free in NYC, and there is a celebrity (of any level) scheduled to attend, people will flock to it (this is why I have yet to go ice skating un Bryant Park). The theatre opens up and we file in and grab seats. Very comfortable and not overcrowded, Parker Posey walks in wearing her jacket, carrying her purse, and wearing brown riding boots like she had just rushed from the 1 Train. She sits down and immediately makes herself comfortable.
As Writer and Film Programmer Miriam Bale asked her questions, she told stories and memories of making a movie so quickly (some 18 days) and on such a low budget (150,ooo Dollars). I began to think that I was experiencing New York at the wrong time in history. In ’95, going out was all about what people were wearing, who was at the party, and dancing, lots of dancing. These days, NYC dance clubs are lit by the hundreds of glowing iPhones screens that their owners refuse to give a break to. The typical evening that she described reminded me more of my college days, but just in NYC. The evening would start at home getting ready, pre drinking and dancing (At one point we were hooked on the Amy Winehouse Live from London DVD), and warming up for the evening ahead. Picking one of about five acceptable bars, you were sure to run into people you knew from class, groups, or from the party the night before. It was all about seeing people you knew, dressing up, and having a good time, busting into individual dance performances throughout the evening. These days, the dance floor seems more of a lineup of targets for an evening fling, than a glowing floor of personal expression. The dancing continued until the place closed, and then a search for food would begin before the journey home.
Seeing NYC as it looked in 1995 was surreal. The main Falafal stand that Mary (Posey) goes to, is across the street from one of my favorite bars Puck Fair. Not built yet, I immediately recognized the alley next to the building that we refer to as “Piss and Sh*t Alley”….because of the visual signs painted on the brick. The graffiti covered everything, old buildings where new ones now stand, and the fashion were all things to take in.
To say that Mary’s wardrobe was outrageous would be an understatement. Just check out some of her looks.
Of course, because this movie exhibits everything that I stand for, I of course loved it. I can’t wait to get it on DVD and experience it again. Perhaps one day, we’ll get back to the dancing that this city once produced on a nightly basis.
Keep Dancing and watch Party Girl for a little bit of NY Social Scene History, and as always live for fun, spread joy!