Are you tired of paying attention to developing news stories? Are you sick of respecting other people’s personal space during a global pandemic? Are you tired of paying sales tax?
Here at You Must Miami PR, we believe our winters should be humid and muggy, and our city should be at the mercy of an entire state whose values might be contrary to our own—not the other way around! New York City has been living the high life for far too long.
Lucky for you, Fantastical Florida doesn’t deal with pesky progressive legislation, mask mandates, or securing funding for government projects to better serve the public. And what better place in Florida to capture the diversity and talent incubator you’re leaving behind than magical Miami? You’ll be able to ignore interactions with anyone you may disagree with because we only have two subway lines that go to the exact same places. You’ll meet the same people over and over again, or you’ll buy a car.* The circle of life!
After all, Miami brought you Flo Rida, Pitbull, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Any time you ask yourself, “What’s cooking?” you should immediately pair it with gratitude for mesmerizing Miami. Does ‘what’s cooking’ need spice? We got you—Shakira holds the key to our city. We have our priorities straight and although we know we shouldn’t call Latinas “spicy,” here at You Must Miami PR, we aren’t bound by PC culture or basic human respect.
If our home crop doesn’t entice you, our transplants include Iggy Pop, Gloria Estefan, and Phil Collins. Do you think you’re better than Phil Collins?** Writer of “In the Air Tonight”? Patrick Bateman of American Psycho’s favorite musician?
Miami also has its tech population. Blake Aaron Ross, co-founder of Mozilla FireFox, was born and bred here. Everyone loves FireFox, right? Right?! And he made the browser for his mother who was frustrated with Internet Explorer—WHAT A GREAT SON. Miamians are wholesome people, even if the state around us is falling apart.
See, we’re not like Fanning Springs, FL where 50 manatees have died in 2021 from contaminated canals. In miraculous Miami, we’ve only had 15 manatees die for the exact same reason. But dirty canals, dying mammals, and daily “Florida-man” stories should make you ex-New Yorkers feel right at home. Especially since dolphins have started creeping into Brooklyn?! Ugh. Stay in your lane, dolphins.
Shed your masks, shed your legal protections (unless you’re a cop, of course), and shed your New York blues for red-hot Miami!***
* Don’t use your blinker, though—no one else does.
**Full-disclosure, Phil Collins did move to Féchy, Switzerland in 2008, but that’s a reflection of him—not Miami. Don’t put that evil on us.
***We don’t necessarily believe in climate change, but we’re legally obligated to tell you a mass exodus from the Florida coast is happening as sea levels rise for some arbitrary reason definitely not related to the ice caps melting.
Image: Gian Cescon / Unsplash
If you live in New York, Los Angeles, or any other eccentric coastal city, you’re probably familiar with Soho House, the members-only club for people in creative industries. Founded in 1995 as a private club for artistic Londoners, Soho House has blossomed into a worldwide brand, with members-only clubs located in Berlin, Malibu, and several other chic locales where creativity thrives and cocktails cost $24 a piece. Here is the club’s mission statement, per their website:
“Unlike other members’ clubs, which often focus on wealth and status, we aim to assemble communities of members that have something in common: namely, a creative soul”
Uh-huh. Well, from an outsider’s perspective, all Soho House DOES is focus on wealth and status. First of all, everyone in there is sexy as hell. Just thinking of the swarm of hot mean gay guys lounging by the pool in June makes me feel the need to throw away every pastry in my house and sell my soul to the nearest Equinox. Second of all, it’s expensive—not just the membership dues, but everything. I once paid $8 for a tiny can of diet coke at Ludlow House. That experience alone turned me into a socialist.
Although technically located in the Meatpacking district, the Manhattan Soho House has a lot more in common with, well, Soho—everyone has flawless hair and I haven’t seen a single badly dressed person there in…ever. These are the people whose social calendar is split between finding themselves in Latin America, finding themselves at Coachella, and finding the nearest Le Labo. Not to mention those who capitalize on the whole thing.
“Oh no, you’re crazy, you are full on crazy!”
“That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me.”
-Overheard at Soho House
— Cher Horowitz (@thefakerothko) January 29, 2020
As one might imagine, the Soho House clientele is an eccentric bunch. Here are some of the types of characters you’ll encounter at Soho House, in no particular order:
The Unemployed Elite
Contrary to what the membership committee would have you believe, not everyone in Soho House is an artistic iconoclast. Let us explain what we are getting at: the main point of this entire social club is that everyone who joins is supposed to work in a creative industry. Unfortunately, the other point is that Soho House is expensive as hell, and most real “creative souls” in New York cannot afford to spend thousands on a status symbol membership. You think Penelope the art gallery assistant is about to cough up her rent money? For what? So she can put that damn rooftop pool on her Instagram story once a month? I don’t think so.
Because most young creatives are broke, many Soho House members are just rich kids who sound artistic on paper but don’t actually have a real job. For example, Forty Quinn from You is definitely a Soho House member. If this is your situation, here are some approved professions:
☆ Interior designer (redesigning your own bedroom counts)
☆ Film producer waiting to come into your family’s hedge fund fortune
☆ Consultant. As in, a brand consultant making $15k/year. Not like, a consultant at Deloitte, THE HORROR!
☆ “Influencer” with 5k followers
And so on and so forth. This is truly the club that is going up on a Tuesday. At noon. Because no one has to be at the office.
International Rich People
Remember those international students at your school who would smoke outside the library and make you feel bad for not owning a $1,500 winter jacket? They’re here, too. You see, in the rich European culture, no one “lives” anywhere full-time, but rather, rotates between two or three tax havens residences—in such turbulent times, Soho House is a comforting constant. Catch them splitting a bottle of wine at one in the afternoon…it’s a cultural thing.
Unlike their American counterparts, many Europeans don’t have an obsessive attitude towards work. For example, it is completely socially acceptable for an unemployed twentysomething heir in London to proclaim that he is “just vibing right now”. Meanwhile, Jackie Kennedy’s great-granddaughter is probably off in the trenches somewhere doing her third unpaid Vogue internship that year. VALUES!
Real Successful Creatives
Yes, there are those select few who are fortunate enough to be in a creative industry and also know how to sell a banana taped to a wall. You simply have to respect the hustle.
The Moochers Guests of Members
You can distinguish between members and guests because guests are the ones taking photos of everything, risking life and limb to take stealth pics from the terrace before the staff get wind. Yes, get that geotag in, girl. Ask guests what they do for a living, and they turn their heads down and softly mutter, I’m a lawyer. The shame. I would def join, but like, three of my best friends are members so it’s basically the best of both worlds. That application is doomed.
Freelancers Doing ‘Work’
Ah, so refreshing to see a creative getting some work done! The grind truly never ends. But wait, what is he actually doing over there? Why did he just take an Instagram of his laptop with his glass of wine cropped out? And why, when you look closer, do you see that he’s actually looking at rates for hotels in Tulum for February? Why did he just order another drink?
A Family of Three
Me at Saturday brunch: Ahh. It’s so nice to see all these gorgeous, creative, slightly older couples having brunch together. Wow. You know, seeing these beautiful diverse (as in, ranging from upper-middle class to full-on-rich) families breaking bread together really gives me hope for—wait. What the hell is that sound? Is that—no, it couldn’t be… the laughter of a child?! Whitney Houston said the children are our future, but I didn’t realize that future entailed ruining the painstakingly crafted ambiance of my bohemian champagne brunch. Please, for the love of this $22 macaroni & cheese, find a way to put keep little Gingham down.
Yes, there are some members who are actually famous, and yes you have to pretend not to notice them, and YES I have extended fantasies of seducing Drake at Soho Beach House and making him fall in love with me. He whisks me away on a whirlwind summer trip through South America. Our love is hot, cold, bitter, desperate. His next album is about me. It flops.
Above all, the club’s very specific one-percent-hipster vibe is kind of hilarious in its hypocrisy: bohemian… but make it rich. Starving artist, but like, starving because it’s fashion week and I’m on a diet. Even still, we obviously kind of shadily love Soho House—unfortunately, exclusivity is chic. Sorry, we don’t make the rules. Blame the spectre of capitalism…or…something. We also love the people who work there—they are kind, polite, and attractive (that’s in order from least to most important.) And no artisanal sage tea no shade to all the actual talented, working creative members… wherever you are.
Anyway, good luck applying! And by that we mean, good luck texting a “let’s catch up next weekend!” to your friend who’s a member and hoping they suggest Soho House…because that sh*t’s expensive.
Planning sucks, and bachelorette parties are a ton of work. So we’re taking all the guesswork out of planning a bachelorette party by breaking down top bachelorette destinations. Our guides will tell you where to stay, eat, party, how to get around, and give you a sample itinerary that you can follow. You’re welcome.
? “Concrete jungle where (bachelorette) dreams are made of…” ?
Manhattan is an obvious choice for a weekend of debauchery and making
poor decisions life-long memories with your best friends. Not only is it one of the easiest cities to get to—and get around in—but it has everything, and we mean everyyyyyything going for it. World-class shopping (or questionable thrifted finds), 5-star hotels and spas (plus a gazillion Airbnbs that may or may not be legal), more restaurants, bars, and clubs than you could ever stumble into, and a boss bitch attitude that suits a bride-to-be and her crew planning on taking over the town.
Regardless of your personality, or goals for the trip, there’s a neighborhood that can satisfy the greatest of expectations—and get you drunk at the same time. Go all Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen on the Upper East Side, embrace your inner hipster in the East Village and Alphabet City, and act like you’re better than everyone else in the Meatpacking District. Or go everywhere and do it all, quasi inebriated. That’s the beauty of the Big Apple! Here’s how to bach it up once you’re there.
How To Get There
The great news about choosing Manhattan as your bach HQ is that it’s easy as hell to get to. If you live in New England or the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT) you can drive, train, or bus into the city (not that we suggest the latter, though…it is your bachelorette, after all). And if you live anywhere else in the country, or world, you can fly directly into one of three airports: JFK, LaGuardia, or Newark. There are about a million flights that go in and out of NYC every day, at all hours, and on all airlines, so booking your travel will be the easiest part of your trip. That means more time for researching bars, obvi. It’s also pretty cheap to get to Manhattan and flight deals can be found on sites like Orbitz, Kayak, and Expedia, starting at $50-60 one way, depending where you’re flying from. If you book far enough in advance, you’re only looking at a couple hundred dollars for a roundtrip ticket. That’s less than what you’ll spend on hotels, food, and drinks, and think of everything you can spend that extra cash on like
strippers! quality bonding experiences with your mains.
How To Get Around
We’re pretty sure this city was plotted out with tipsy girls in mind, it’s that easy to navigate. If you have a Type A personality in the group, have her schedule your nights, because arranging dinner, drinks, and after-party spots in the same neighborhood means you can just walk (or try balancing three sheets to the wind in heels) from one venue to the next, without having to go too far. When you need to get back to basecamp, because someone’s on the verge of passing out, Ubers, Lyfts, and cabs are your best friend. They’re everywhere you need them to be, reasonably cheap, and some even come with saintly drivers who honor wasted song requests mumbled from the back seat.
Where To Stay
Pro Tip: Use HotelTonight to book. The top-rated hotel app offers steep discounts on rooms up to 100 days out, as well as suite upgrades and HT Perks (their rewards program).
The James New York, SoHo: This boutique hotel landmark is on the corner of Thompson and Grand and pretty much slays when it comes to checking off every hotel box in Manhattan. The best staff ever? Check. Posh rooms and corner suites for pregaming, glamming, and sleeping in style? Check. A rooftop oasis with a pool and bar? Check. (Jimmy at the James is the jam, as is Gitano Jungle Room downstairs) and it’s in SoHo. You don’t do NYC without doing SoHo.
Lotte New York Palace: If you’ve never watched Gossip Girl, we don’t know you, but if you have, you’ll immediately recognize this one as the courtyard where Blair, Serena, and co. used to REIGN. The Palace is the city’s largest luxury hotel (with a whooping 909 rooms and suites) and perfect for bachelorette groups traveling to New York City. They offer room blocks and extended stay rates, but you’ll want to book in The Towers as they’re recently renovated and more royally appropriate for this kind of event. They even have a Gossip Girl Getaway package available and for that, we’re eternally grateful.
BTW, engagement ring designer extraordinaire Martin Katz designed The Jewel Suite, and there’s a Champagne Suite with an expansive rooftop terrace and custom waterfall spa, so you’re probs going to want to book one of those…just sayin’.
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INNSIDE New York NoMad: If you want to be closer to downtown, but can’t swing (or deal with) hotels in the Meatpacking district, set up bachelorette HQ in Chelsea. INNSIDE by Melià New York NoMad is ideally positioned (on West 27th Street) and features all the things girls gone wild love: reasonable rates starting at $150 a night, selfie-friendly backdrops, and places to rest, work out, and play. The spacious (for New York) accommodations and cozy beds are key for when you’re ready to catch zzzzs, but in-room essentials like Nespresso machines, plush robes, and rain showers will really save your life after a night of not sleeping, when Pedialyte and eye patches just won’t cut it. When you do finally emerge from your quarters to see the light of day, go straight to INNSIDE’s new signature restaurant, The Wilson. The new neighborhood mainstay is known for seafood dishes, al fresco dining, and top-notch cocktails, plus a menu just for dogs, in case your pooch is part of your wedding party.
Le Méridien New York: What used to be the Viceroy New York has recently been rebranded as Le Méridien New York, and after a cute little refresh it’s better than ever, with a penthouse suite that’s begging for a group of girls to move in for the weekend. What you can expect upon arrival: a baller presidential bathroom (plus two smaller ones for guests who don’t deserve to invade the queen’s throne), living room, dining room, kitchen, multiple bars, and two bedrooms. We would argue another reason to stay is because it’s luxe, yet more affordable than some of its downtown counterparts. It’s also within walking distance of Central Park, the Theater District, and Columbus Circle, and it has a roof for Insta opps galore.
Where To Eat
NYC is equal parts brunch culture and then dinner-into-nightlife culture. Listen, we take our “restaurant capital of the world” moniker seriously, okurrrrrr? Basically, you’re going to be wasted all day, since day drinking turns into night drinking and then after-hours drinking. The good news is, we’re going to hook ya up with plenty of spots to carbo-load so you don’t faint midway through the marathon.
Bagatelle: Smack dab in the heart of the Meatpacking District, Bagatelle is a “New York Institution,” and a given for bachelorette shenanigans. Open for brunch and dinner, it deserves a place on your itinerary. After devouring platters of avocado tartine and poached eggs, or truffled gnocchi and smoked salmon pizzas, there are magnums of champagne and rosé to drink, along with Rich and Famous cocktails, and overflowing bowls of booze that come with 20 straws. Then the party really gets started once the sparklers come out and everyone tries to dance on said tables without falling off. Issa French-Mediterranean-live-your-best-life kinda vibe, and we’re here for it.
Añejo: For boozy brunch on a budget, look no further than Añejo in Hell’s Kitchen or Tribeca. There’s no better place to go bottomless! In terms of drinks and food, we mean—it’s too early for the other stuff. Seriously though, they have the deal of the century with two hours of unlimited Mexican-inspired libations and small plates for $47 a person. Cure your pounding hangover with scrambled egg tacos and chorizo hash or carne asada con huevos with grilled skirt steak and yuca tots, then
blackout cheers to the bride with six different kinds of margaritas and Bloody Marias, which sub vodka for tequila. Salud!
Baccarat Hotel: If you don’t wake up in time for brunch, go for fancy AF Afternoon Tea in the Grand Salon at Baccarat. There are tiered masterpieces of crustless sandwiches, tiny cheesy gougères, to-die-for mini quiches, and enough petit fours and scones with clotted cream to make Marie Antoinette roll over in her grave with envy. Arguably the best part of this extra affair will be sipping champagne from cut-crystal tumblers that cost more than your life. That, and ‘gramming it up with the girls in the mirrored jewel box setting. Just try not to break anything.
P.S. The Baccarat’s cushy suites (complete with lacquered red mini bars and Hermès throws) also make a viable candidate for alternate lodging, if you and your crew are next-level bougie.
STK: This steakhouse-meets-hot-spot lounge is where it’s at for sexy GNO dinners. Friday and Saturday get lit (thanks to DJ-spun tunes) and with two locations in Midtown and Downtown (Downtown has a rooftop BTW), you can party wherever’s convenient. Crazy good martinis, surf and turf, and all the apps in between are par for the ordering course (get the lobster mac, tuna tartare tacos, and truffle fries, duh) and if any members of your squad are single, even better. STK is always crawling with hotties you can sweet talk into buying you more drinks, since your tab is bound to be on the pricey side. Whatever, YOLO.
Catch Roof: Celebs, influencers, and social climbers love Catch, and so do we. It’s sushi goals in an upscale venue that’s always packed and high up on NYC bachelorette guides. As an OG Meatpacking haunt, it’s a must. You’re also likely to bump into famous people here (the Kardashian-Jenners, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, and the Biebs have all been), but don’t be that girl who gets kicked out by security trying to take pics with them, alright?? Nosh on over-the-top rolls al fresco, then after the party it’s the after-party when the restaurant transitions into a lounge with bottle service after 10pm.
Santina: Nestled under The High Line, Santina is helmed by the Major Food Group dream team (of Carbone, Dirty French, Sadelle’s, and The Lobster Club fame) and it’s coastal, casual, and chic. AKA necessary for lunch. You’ll feel like you’re in Positano sipping spritzers, even if there are sirens blaring while you do so. It’s also one of the few entirely gluten-free Italian restaurants in the city. Must-try specialties include: squash carpaccio, capellini blue crab, and caprese grilled cheese.
Where To Party
There’s definitely no shortage of places to get f*cked up in the city, but it’s very easy to go down a Google rabbit hole trying to decide which velvet rope blocked door to hit first. So we thought we’d make it easy on you with this vetted list. Oldies but goodies like TAO Downtown, Avenue, Marquee, Up&Down, and 1 Oak are always name dropped, but they often come with long-ass lines, crazy covers, and annoying door guys and can be impossible to get into—unless you’ve got a hookup. Then again, a group of girls on a bachelorette party is basically a free hookup card and promoters are usually creeping around outside ready and willing to get you in. In any case, here are our tried-and-true faves:
PHD: With two outposts in the city—PHD Penthouse at Dream Downtown and PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown—you have double the opportunities to live up your last single days. Both venues have a few things in common: prime outdoor space and killer skyline views, big name DJs, and party people dancing and drinking until the lights come on, so you can’t really go wrong at either. If you want to be Downtown, PHD Lounge is also in the same building as Bodega Negra, Dream Beach, and Electric Room, which is a trendy basement bar in the hotel that goes from dusk to dawn, to dusk again. Our kind of place.
The Box: Things get weird at The Box. Weird as in, I once saw a guy do some pretty questionable stuff to a slice of pizza on stage, but that’s precisely the reason to go. It’s also fun AF when you’re with a big group and feeling rowdyyyy, as you do on a bachelorette. It’s all about the theatrics here, so most people go late for the kinky burlesque show portion of the evening, although they do have a full bar and dining menu so you could technically make this a one-stop-shop for the night. Just do yourself a solid and book a table in advance. You don’t want to deal with any door hassles because you’re queens and shouldn’t have to, k?
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Le Bain: Cat Marnell famously once wrote: “I couldn’t spend another summer meeting deadlines behind a computer at night when I could be on the rooftop of Le Bain looking for shooting stars and smoking angel dust with my friends,” and when you step inside, you get it. The penthouse discothèque and rooftop bar (with a pool in the middle of the dance floor #NBD) is where epic times are had—that you probably won’t remember the next day. It’s also important to note Le Bain is in The Standard hotel in Meatpacking, so you could hit The Standard Beirgarten—an NYC staple for steins, pretzels (which you need to soak up the alcohol), Ping-Pong, and hottie banker boys.
The Fleur Room: Moxy Chelsea has everything you could ever want or need in one hotel (restaurants, bars, bunkbed-style rooms if you want a true sleepover moment with your baes), but the #1 reason to visit is for The Fleur Room. This new(ish) lounge is 35 stories up and swankkkky. Think: dimly lit, major chandeliers, 360° vantages of Manhattan (thanks to all-glass walls) and floral touches everywhere. They are in the Flower District, after all, and love a theme.
Magic Hour Rooftop & Lounge: As you may or may not be aware, the Moxy Hotel Group is all over NYC. They have numerous locations and cool bars at each. Over at their Time Square location, there’s a year-round carnival going on upstairs on the 18th floor. As the largest indoor/outdoor rooftop in Manhattan, it’s sorta like a garden party playground on steroids. There’s Foreplay for mini golf amongst a bunch of fake animals in naughty poses, state fair-style snacks (such as disco waffle fries with nacho cheese), and wild cocktails dreamt up by magician bartenders most likely after a bender. They’re made for sharing—and getting the bride tanked. Order the Disco Ball for All.
Friday, Day 1
Pro Tip: Download the GetYourGuide app so you can easily book last-minute actives i.e. bar crawls, group-discounted meals, and touristy bachelorette sh*t on the fly. Sex and the City Tour, anyone?
- First stop: your hotel to drop your stuff, check in, and aggressively hint it’s a special occasion at the front desk to score free glasses of bubbly.
- Saturday and Sunday are your biggest day drinking times, so take Friday as an opp to do ANYTHING else. Go vintage shopping in the Lower East Side, mingle with the city’s label whores on 5th Ave and Madison, hit up the new Hudson Yards, get your culture on at MoMA, walk The High Line, and once noon strikes, pause for lunch and maybe a shot or three.
- Grab lunch at Santina.
- Insert a meaningful and important culture moment here—like partaking in NYC’s Drunk History Tour, where you visit New York City’s underground and hidden bars while learning about the city’s Prohibition era.
- Chug as much water as you can and, I cannot stress this enough, NAP.
- If you’re still a bit intoxicated when you wake up and can’t work a blowdryer probably—or shouldn’t be trusted with liquid liner—there’s NYC’s answer to the get-ready dilemma: Glamsquad. They’ll come to your hotel room, do your hair, makeup, nails, etc. and have you moving faster (and looking way better) than if you attempted this feat on your own.
- Head to Dirty French, Carbone, or STK for dinner.
- If on the LES, do The Box, if in Meatpacking, end your night at PHD, Le Bain, Electric Room, and Brass Monkey for last call.
Saturday, Day 2
Pro Tip: Book an detox treatment with The Hangover Club, who will send angel registered nurses to your hotel room to IV you back to a state of normal, just in time for boozy brunch.
- Get up and raid the mini bar—for water and electrolyte-packed bevs.
- Make your way to rager brunch at Bagatelle.
- Head back to the hotel to nap. You’ll never power through otherwise.
- Get up, try to rally, and blast single lady anthems with the bride, then break out the concealer and other makeup must-haves…you need extra coverage.
- Do dinner at Catch and then stay for the after-party or try one of the Moxy spots, Fleur Room, or Magic Hour.
- Try not to lose your room keys or your dignity on your way home.
Sunday, Day 3
Pro Tip: Check your wallet before checking out. 9 times out of 10, our credit cards are still at last bar from last night.
- Do boozy brunch at Hotel Chantelle, Añejo, Black Ant, Poco, or Essex on your way out of town. Your liver isn’t going to shut down…for at least another few hours.
Images: Andre Benz / Unsplash; magichourny, fleurroomny, lebainnyc, theboxnyc, phdrooftopny, majorfoodgroup, catch, eatstk, baccarathotels, anejonyc, bagatellenyc, susieisabella, innsidenewycrk, newyorkpalace, jameshotels / Instagram
This year’s Met Gala is just days away. While your favorite celebrities are busy trying to interpret this year’s Camp theme (if you’re imagining tents in the wilderness, please see yourself out), we’ve been thinking about the planning going on behind the scenes. Hosting your average fundraiser is no easy task, and the Met Gala is anything but average (Anna would never hear of it). But how the f*ck do you even go about pulling off an event as massive as the Met Gala? We at Betches have no clue, so we asked the experts at PartySlate to break down what goes into planning an epic fundraising event like the Met Gala.
Selecting the Co-Chairs & Committee Members
Every year, the Met Gala is held on the first Monday in May, and the next year’s planning begins the first Tuesday in May. Yikes, talk about no days off. Much like the beginnings of any large-scale event, one of the first steps is for the host to curate her event team. Hand-selected by Vogue’s infamous editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, this year’s co-chairs are Harry Styles, Serena Williams, Lady Gaga, and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. Plus, 183 Hollywood stars will serve on this year’s committee, including Blake Lively (her new bump pristinely dressed, no doubt), Lupita Nyong’o, Katy Perry, and Bradley Cooper (who can’t seem to stay away from Lady Gaga—not that we’re mad about it).
Picking the Theme
We’ve loved all of the past Met Gala themes. “China: Through the Looking Glass” had us bowing down to Beyoncé and her fierce sheer gown, while “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” brought us Kim Kardashian in liquid gold Versace. Again, this year’s theme is Camp, and Alessandro Michele told the New York Times, “Camp really means the unique ability of combining high art and pop culture; it is not kitsch.” We live for a red carpet just like every other betch, but we’re most excited to see how the team at Vogue carries the theme throughout the evening, from the red carpet welcome to the dinner party decor.
Curating the Guest List
Year after year, the Met Gala is invitation only—and no, you’re not invited. Whether you pay for your ticket (at $30,000 a head, somebody tell Billy McFarland) or are invited by a designer or Queen Anna herself, you can’t get in the doors unless you’re on the list.
“Creating guest lists for high-profile events and fundraisers can become stressful,” says PartySlate Co-Founder and CEO, Julie Roth Novack. “You want to be strategic and get the right mix of people in the room.”
To no one’s surprise, Anna Wintour selects and approves every last detail of the evening, including the guest list. And we’re pretty sure she’s unconcerned with who may or may not be offended by her choices. Many guests are Met Gala vets, while a handful of newbies are added each year.
Preparing for Red Carpet Arrivals
Skinny arms and thigh-high slits are always on display as guests arrive at the Met Gala. But Novack points out that the red carpet is so much more than a photo op. “The gowns and attire at the Met Gala are also decor, just like the florals or lighting or draping,” she says. “The red carpet is one of the most important parts of the event, because it’s the first time spectators are introduced to interpretations of the theme.” The planning team also has to prioritize media and press placement to capture the entrances; details are incredibly secretive leading up to the event, but from the moment the first celebrities step out of their limos, Vogue wants that international buzz.
Creating the Seating Chart
Keeping the peace between Selena and Justin is just the start of the Met Gala seating chart drama. According to Eaddy Kiernan, who organized last year’s Met Gala, the names for the guest list come together in December—and then the seating chart calculations begin. (Your wedding has nothing on this seating chart, sorry.) The final seating chart is never finalized until about a month out from the event, and even then there are always small tweaks to be made. The team at Vogue considers everything from who will have good conversations during dinner to which tables should be placed closest to the front and back of the room. Still, there can be drama, like when Lena Dunham got offended when Odell Beckham Junior sat next to her all night and still didn’t want to bang her. Guests have even gone so far as to storm out of the dinner if they’re displeased with their seats. Hey, Anna: if you ever need seat fillers, we don’t have plans on Monday.
Selecting the Menu
Similar to the design and decor, a fundraiser’s food, wine, and cocktails should always be aligned with the theme of the night. While it’s still unclear exactly what Camp means, we bet it will be seamlessly integrated into the dinner menu, wine selection, and cocktail options. Wintour has been known to ban certain ingredients; don’t expect anything that could stain gowns or teeth. Cuisine is often one of the most memorable elements of an event, so it’s important to make thoughtful decisions, and always choose dishes that are creative, yet universally enjoyed. And in the case of the Met Gala, under 300 calories per serving.
Prioritizing Fundraising Efforts
Let’s not forget: the Met Gala is a fundraiser. The goal (after social media engagement, of course) is to motivate celebrities, guests, and spectators to reach deep into their silk-lined pockets and raise money for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. While some people make donations, many guests don’t actually pay for tickets, so the event is also an important marketing tool to bring in outside funds for the cause. “Charities that create these fabulous experiences always see a return in recurring fundraising,” says Novack, emphasizing the importance of donors who commit to a cause year after year. “A fundraiser like the Met Gala might cost a lot to host, but without a fabulous party, you won’t see the same return.” Last year, the event raised $13.5 million.
Don’t Forget the After-Parties
So, Anna Wintour and her team don’t have a ton to do with this last point, but after-parties are an iconic part of the Met Gala. The fun doesn’t stop on the stairs of the Met, and guests often change outfits before heading to their next destinations. “Only Vogue publishes the full event details—or at least the ones they want us to see—but bathroom shots and after party photos will surface on social media throughout the night,” says Novack. After-parties continue to be a big trend in the event industry, even at the Met Gala.
And that’s pretty much everything you could ever need to know about the Met Gala. Oh wait, we’re sure you’re wondering how you can score an invite, right? Contrary to popular belief, you can go even if you’re not famous, and we broke down how here.
When I was a young and naive college student, every post-grad made me swear to live it up because everything goes downhill after you graduate. I assumed they meant that I should party a lot, so that’s what I did from day one until the night before graduation. I mean, when I was in college, all I had to do was not die, and boom, I’ve had a successful night out. Fast-forward almost three years, and I’ve realized the
washed-up frat boys young adults who warned me about life after college were right. Adulthood sucks, especially in a city like New York, where everything is too small and too expensive. And what terrible excuse for a human being decided that paychecks will be given on the same day rent is due? Show yourself! Anyway, as much as being an adult has ~changed me for the better~, I still like to have a good time on a Saturday night, so here are five places in NYC for you to enjoy your hard-earned night out when you’re not 21 anymore. Blessed be the fruit.
1. Sweet & Vicious
Ok I know Sweet & Vicious like, can be kind of a college bar, but if you go before 3am, you can have a great time while avoiding the underage youths ripping shots and engaging in disgusting PDA. This place also has a great happy hour starting at 2pm daily that includes not one, not two, but seven flavors of margarita. If that’s not a hard sell, you need to reevaluate what’s important in life. It’s also in a truly perfect location, so you can either enjoy a delicious, cheap, après-work glass of wine or ball out on vodka crans at 2am. You do you. I like this place because the DJ seems to only play music from like, weird years in music (remember 2008? If not, that was the year “Love in This Club” came out), but I’m not mad about it. Admittedly, Sweet & Vicious is never the plan, but if we are in the East Village, it’s always where we end up. I like to think that happens for a reason, and that reason is I’ve never paid for a drink there. I don’t think it’s because I’m like, beer commercial hot, I think it’s just because there is always a crew standing near me and my friends with an extra few hundred bucks to burn and we are clearly okay with free drinks. Again, not mad about it. One of the most alluring qualities of this place is that it’s right in the heart of charming and sometimes gross Nolita, which means it’s like three blocks from Prince Street Pizza, Little Cupcake Bakeshop, and my booty call’s apartment.
I went to Pulqueria for a birthday party and when the Uber dropped me off in front of a nondescript red door on a random, lightless side street in Chinatown, I swore my days of UberPOOL were over because the driver clearly dropped me off lightyears away from the restaurant to keep my co-rider on a more direct route. LMK if you’d sign a petition to end that policy immediately. Anyway, plot twist: the weird, slightly creepy red door was the entrance to Pulqueria. (If my Uber driver is reading this, sorry for the bad rating.) Ok so, the inside of this place is not to be believed, as it is the exact opposite of its slightly terrifying surroundings. Not going to describe the interiors (you’re welcome), but this place is insanely chic and that is all I will say about the decor. Anyway, like I mentioned earlier, I was there for a birthday, so we had a Mexican feast of literally every item on the menu, several pitchers of margaritas, and the most incredible tres leches cake I’d ever tasted. Also, the only thing the birthday girl wanted on her special day was for everyone to get wasted and, because I’m such a good friend, I obliged. The margs were incredible and the tacos were…I honestly don’t remember, but I didn’t get food poisoning. So good thing everyone was sh*tfaced because after 10:30pm, half of the restaurant turns into a club complete with incredible music, dancing, a full-service bar, and beautiful people. I felt like I was in that Zoolander scene when Derek tells Hansel that he thinks he’s too cool for school, but news flash, he isn’t. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re too young. Go to bed.
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Ok I shamelessly love speakeasies. Judge me, I don’t give a sh*t because I have no shame in my game. They are always small, dimly lit, and filled with attractive strangers. What’s not to love? Plus, Soul is above a Five Guys in the West Village, which is a game changer if you ask me. If I can drink beautifully crafted cocktails on a velvet sectional all night and grab a burger on my way out—I think it’s safe to say I’ve struck gold. Here’s how I know Soul is a good time: I went there with my friend, her boyfriend, and another guy, who happened to be very attractive. It could have even been a double date, who knew at that point? However, he could not have been less interested in me and definitely made sure I knew that, and I still had a great time that night. We staked our claim in the back room, where they only played Kanye circa 2006 and didn’t let anyone else in after we sat down. If that isn’t good service, someone please tell me what is. Bottom line is Soul is fun and chic, so if you can hold your own in a swarm of Instagram models, whisper the password to the dude near the staircase and head on up.
Ok full disclosure, Feast is neither a bar nor a club. It’s a really small, posh restaurant on Third Avenue where the cocktails are overpriced and so small that they may as well be served in a thimble. But there’s something about this place that is just lovely, and that is the only way to describe it. Call me old
-fashioned but if having a delicious drink with a side of truffle mac and cheese is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Feast is where I go if I’m trying to impress a new boyfriend with my non-divebar taste (is anyone impressed? Text me back and LMK!) or if I’m done with dinner and am not ready to stop drinking/eating for the night. It’s right near Union Square, so if you don’t feel sophisticated enough to be here, there are a ton of sh*ttier options nearby to suit your plebeian needs. But back to Feast: the food is really good, the bartenders are all attractive and want to talk to you (but not in like an Uber driver kind of way), and the drinks are truly works of art. Did you know there are edible flowers out there? This place knows! If you want to have a late but chill and respectable evening, Feast is the game plan and I will meet you there.
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Just 2 more weeks of #nycrestaurantweek ! Bring a friend or come alone. Either way it’ll be a feast 🙂 . . . . . #nyc #restaurantweek #prixfixe #summerdishes #delicious #foodie #instafood #foodandwine #bar #wine #beer #liquor #cocktails #bourbon #rye #spirits #gin #tequila #mezcal #vodka #interiordesign #feast #feastnyc #goodtimes
5. Bathtub Gin
Honestly, the only reason I even went here was because it looked like a blast in Midnight in Paris and I wanted to party like Zelda Fitzgerald. To my surprise, it is actually really fun and there were no tourists in sight! There is always a line out the door and around the corner, so if you want to skip it, you better be wearing something that’s the equivalent of slipping the bouncer a $100 bill. I was legit in jeans and lingerie and, yes, I hate me too. Like Feast, Bathtub Gin is a scene, but like, a completely different scene. It’s a swanky bar whose specialty is gin cocktails. As an expert in all things alcohol, I can say that gin tastes like nail polish remover, but the cocktails have so much other, better tasting ingredients in them that you don’t even taste it. The only not-so-amazing thing about this place is that it’s like, so far on the West Side that if you get there and realize you’re not cool enough to be there, you’ll have to spend a bunch of time and money getting home. But that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Images: feastnyc, pulquerianyc / Instagram
As someone who’s braved the streets of New York for several years now (someone please buy me a medal), I can confidently say that living in New York certainly has its perks. Like, waking up every morning to the smell of fresh garbage and urine or slowly losing the will to live one MTA train delay at a time. Also, I guess we have some good bars too. How else are we to cope with 50 percent of our paychecks going to 20 feet of cubic space in an apartment in the shittiest part of Brooklyn than by drinking our sorrows away with $11 Bud Lights? The city! It’s magical here! If you can imagine, not all bars are as great as I just made them out to be. While some bars have hot AF clientele (re: hot husband material, beautiful douchebags, generally attractive humans), other bars have bigger red flags than my Hinge suggested matches. Luckily for you betches, my standard for bars pretty much begins and ends at “is it open?” So here’s a list of all the trashiest NYC bars you should f*cking run from should anyone suggest it. Learn from my mistakes. I’m super giving like this.
Hair Of The Dog
Location: East Village
Biggest Red Flag: That it’s patrons think it’s socially acceptable to dry hump ON THE FLOOR
I literally wish I made this up. I’m telling you rn the things I have seen at this hedonistic den of sin cannot be unseen. This establishment is what the kids these days call a “trap house” disguised as college sports bar. Located in the East Village, it doesn’t matter what time of day you show up at at this place, you can always find at least one person vomiting in the bathroom sink and/or belligerently dry-humping in the corner. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that I’ve seen a couple start hooking up by the beer pong table, topple over onto the floor AND CONTINUE HOOKING UP. Look, am I saying I don’t frequently hang out at this establishment? I am not. But I
like to sabotage my life and happiness can never say no to a place that sells $12 pitchers. We all have our crosses to bear!
Biggest Red Flag: The line for the bathroom
The Woods is fine during the day, but at night this chill hangout spot gets sketchy AF. Like, watch your drink sketchy AF. The crowd shifts from Brooklynites searching for some sliver of outdoor space to people who think that visiting a bar in Williamsburg will up their street cred. Think: the place where frat bros come after they’ve been kicked out of every bar in Manhattan… before midnight, and girls who think it’s “edgy” to drink ciders. If you like to get propositioned with coke in line for the bathroom then you’ll probs love this place, but if you like drinking literally anywhere else in an environment that’s not filled with literal sea creatures, then maybe try someplace else. Idk.
Location: Greenwich Village
Biggest Red Flag: That there’s a stripper pole in the middle of the bar
Where do I effing begin with this place? First of all, Greenwich Village is one of my favorite areas in the city, and the fact that this establishment dare bring A PIRATE THEME to this otherwise chic AF environment is a crime against humanity. Yes, you heard me right, this bar is entirely pirate themed. And while that in itself should be a reason for no human with working eyes and ears to ever step foot in this abomination, there’s actually even more disturbing sh*t that happens here. Like the fact that there’s karaoke and A STRIPPER POLE in the middle of the goddamn building. There’s also beer pong in the back! You know, in case you didn’t already humiliate yourself enough with your belligerent rendition of “Baby Got Back” while using the stripper pole as a prop to showcase your immeasurable talents. So, what I’m saying is, I guess there’s something for everyone here.
^^ actual footage of things I’ve seen go down at this bar
Location: Midtown East
Biggest Red Flag: Its patrons
I generally try and stay below 34th street, because upper Manhattan is about as easily accessible from my Brooklyn apartment as the Moon. That said, every once in a while I’m forced into going out in that area by my one friend who’s always telling me how “fun” midtown is and how all the “hot guys” frequent those bars. First of all, I’ve never felt so betrayed in my life than when I showed up to her beloved Turtle Bay only to be surrounded by what can only described as a mix between a 30-year-old frat bro and a Jersey Shore club extra. (I must have come on a good night, because any other night it’s literally just college kids with fakes.) These are the kinds of dudes who show up at happy hour and immediately start pounding shots of Jäger before they have to catch the last train back to Jersey. Charming. If you’re into meat heads, then by all means
ruin your life hang out at this bar. The free happy hours you can “win” (by just showing up one time and being female) are tempting, but just be aware that there was a recent stabbing—STABBING!—at this cesspool of an establishment earlier in the summer. Literally the NY Post agrees with us on this one—please just stay away.
Images: @mdisc /Unsplash.com; Giphy (2)
As a Brunch Boy, I’ve been brunching my way through the boroughs for years now. Usually, I’m just looking for the best avocado toast and a bloody Mary, but today I’m here to help you find guys! So here is my top five list of brunch spots where you can find not only great food but also brunch boys like me!
If you don’t want to make it out on a Saturday night, go to Freehold, located in the heart of Williamsburg. This is not—and I repeat, NOT—a date spot, but it’s definitely a place to meet some potential suitors. There’s a nice grassy outdoor space and a DJ. And they have skeeball, a super approachable way to start talking to someone new. Why not challenge a guy to a game? It’s the perfect “chill” space to mingle. DO order the brunch burger; it comes with a fried egg on top, muenster cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and tots. If you’re trying to be healthy for beach season, try the impossible (meatless) burger. DON’T be the girl stumbling over on the street waiting for her Uber at 4pm. Pace yourself, it’s an all-day event.
Another Brooklyn brunch spot on my go-to list to meet new people is Pilot. The place is quite literally a docked boat, anchored at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, right on the East River. It’s not just any old boat; the Pilot was built to race as one of the fastest sailboats in the world and was a ferry for soldiers in WWII. The view you see of Manhattan is totally insane and makes a great backdrop for an Instagram photo. A nautical niche place, Pilot has oysters, rosé, lobster rolls, and fun beachy cocktails. They have six different types of oysters on the menu, and I would suggest trying them all. You know what say about oysters… ahem, aphrodisiac. The seaweed salt fries are also a must-have! Pilot is absolutely perfect for the summer. It closes in October, so make sure you check it out this summer into fall. The place is owned by the same people as Grand Banks and Island Oyster (other NY locations) and Seaworthy, if you ever find yourself in NOLA.
If you’ve lived in the city and haven’t been to Bounce, do you even live here? They have your standard typical brunch basics like eggs Benedict and french toast, but you should probably order some bar food. The BSC All-Star Combo gives you a little taste of everything: fried mozzarella sticks, grilled jumbo shrimp, mac and cheese bars, fried chicken strips, and two types of wings (classic buffalo and Korean). There’s always bouncers (haha) outside, giving it somewhat of a clubby vibe. The second you step inside this place, no matter what time of day or what season, it automatically becomes 2am. You end up dancing on tables and ripping shots like it’s nobody’s business. The entire floor fills up with people as the day goes on. I’d recommend going to Bounce during a sporting event—March Madness, World Series, World Cup, you name it. There are TVs on every inch of the bar, so it’s basically a giant indoor tailgate. Go in groups to meet other groups.
My next recommendation is a hidden gem in Williamsburg. If you go down Bedford Ave, a little past the main strip, you’ll find Spritzenhaus, an outdoor beer hall (biergarten). This place has high-quality micro-brews on tap: ales, wheats, lagers, ciders, Belgian-style, etc. It’s always slammed on the weekends and since it’s outside, now is the perfect time to go. You will find a ton of dudes hanging out at a long, shared table. The buzz from the beer will get you tipsy and talking. When brunching, you select your sausage first: Bratwurst, Krainerwurst, Biala Kielbasa…and then after a few more beers, you can select your next “sausage.” You name it, they have it. Since there’s not much space between parties, it’s the ideal atmosphere to meet someone new!
My final recommendation is a little more upscale. Magic Hour, at the top of the MOXY Hotel in Times Square, is owned and managed by TAO group. Once you’re on the roof you feel like you’re at a carnival for adults. The giant stack of pancakes with cotton candy on top is picture perfect. Yes, I’m talking about Instagram. And there’s a carousel that spins you around, slowly, as you drink. Magic Hour is a place where you either go big or go home. The drinks are the size of a soccer ball and are definitely made to share—another convo starter. See if a guy needs help finishing his drink, or maybe he’ll ask for your help to finish his. Drinks like the Disco Ball for All and Popcorn Anyone are among the most popular cocktails. Like Freehold, this outdoor spot has games. Specifically, a miniature putt-putt course called “Foreplay,” with animal statues in flirty poses instead of your typical windmills. If the drinks and fun atmosphere put you in the mood and you wanna make some magic of your own, check out the “Crash Pad” option on the menu. Yes, you can order a hotel room on the spot. If that’s what you’re looking for.
Follow Jeremy on Instagram at @brunchboys for more brunch porn!
Images: Jared Arango / Unsplash; Brunch Boys
Brunch is obviously a worthwhile occasion any time of year—if just for the mimosas. But there’s something about digging into a towering stack of pancakes on an outdoor patio that makes us smile with satisfaction—vitamin D and all that. In fact, having an alfresco brunch attitude in the summer is the way to go for three reasons: you maximize your chance of seeing a Corgi waddle down the sidewalk, ensure sun exposure so you can get your glow on, and get tons of natural light for your Instagram food porn. (We all know how important that last one is.) Our recommendation? Make like the Europeans and relinquish yourself to the sun at our pick of the best outdoor brunches in NYC. Cheers to an endless summer…
1. Llama Inn
Sometimes you need to get the F out of dodge but don’t have any funds to travel. Head to Williamsburg to the Llama Inn for some urban oasis vibes courtesy of its rooftop patio that’s overflowing with plants, decorated with Peruvian décor, and just generally gorgeous. It doesn’t hurt that the food is inventive and delicious. Don’t sleep on the spicy pork shoulder sandwich; it’s one of our favorites. 50 Withers Street, Williamsburg.
2. Harlem Tavern
Into soccer on the big screen? Into large outdoor patios with picnic tables and umbrellas and pitchers of craft beer? Into being within walking distance of Central Park and Columbia? Yes, yes, yes! Great, head to Harlem Tavern, a restaurant and beer garden at 116 and Frederick Douglass Boulevard that will make you wonder why you don’t go uptown more often. During the live jazz brunch on the weekend, all brunch entrees include a free a drink, so you can buy three more and not feel guilty about spending money. 2153 Frederick Douglass Blvd, Harlem.
3. Mermaid Inn
So someone told you you’re In need of some Omega-3s, and now you’re freaking out. Head to brunch at the Mermaid Inn on the Upper West Side for a seafood-filled occasion that will drown out your worries in no time. This neighborhood staple just launched a new brunch menu that includes one of the best smoked fish boards we’ve come across in the city, which makes heading up there worth having to weave in and out of families with strollers and octogenarians with grocery carts. Sit outside on the sidewalk patio right on bustling Amsterdam Avenue and see how many oysters you can slurp down before the waitstaff starts to look at you funny. It’s fun, we promise. 570 Amsterdam Ave., Upper West Side.
You can’t talk about New York and not mention this iconic West Village institution with walls that open up to allow fresh air from the Hudson (it’s a stone’s throw away) to filter through the restaurant on warm summer days. You’re basically eating elevated Italian food in a garage, but it will be the best garage brunch you’ve ever had in your life—guaranteed. Start with a breakfast pizza, and don’t you dare skip dessert. 775 Washington St., West Village.
Head to Gilligan’s in the summer to get shipwrecked on their delish frozen watermelon margaritas. This seasonal outdoor pop-up at the SoHo Grand Hotel will have you feeling so tiki chic, you’ll forget we all actually are all stranded on a tiny island we can’t afford to leave, just like the folks in this spot’s namesake TV show. Our favorite part of this brunch locale? Getting dusted by misting fans while stuffing our face with lobster rolls. 310 W Broadway, SoHo.
6. Grand Banks
Pretend you’ve been whisked away into a French Riviera daydream while brunching on board Grand Banks. You’ll be surrounded by finance bros and attractive wannabe finance wives within the confines of a thoughtfully decorated sailboat—and to us, there’s nothing better. Sip on a heavy pour of rosé and shoot some of the freshest oysters in the city with an impeccable view and aspirations of one day getting to brunch without 50 random strangers on your schooner. Hudson River Park Pier 25, Tribeca.
7. Magic Hour
Magic Hour is this cheeky rooftop at the Moxy Hotel that is guaranteed to make you oddly uncomfortable and incredibly intrigued with its urban amusement park theme and a provocative putt-putt course cleverly named Foreplay. They recently launched brunch (look out for our review in July) with over-the-top versions of classic brunch dishes like a stack of 20 pancakes, Jenga-style stacked French toast, and a 200 oz. spritz—FYI, that’s gigantic. So whether you want to drink away your summertime sadness alone under the Empire State building or bring your lame friends from your hometown to an unforgettable rooftop brunch, we suggest Magic Hour. Oh and if you get too tipsy, you can literally order a mini hotel room labeled “crashpad” on the bar menu. 485 7th Ave 18th floor, Times Square.
8. Gallow Green
Live your best garden party life with your ladies at Gallow Green’s brunch. You’ll feel as if you’ve been dropped into a theatre production as you’re escorted up a silent elevator to a dark train station and finally emerge into a lush, secret garden-esque rooftop. Best part? This brunch comes with unlimited coffee, cocktails, and farm-to-table food in an elevated, non-germy buffet way. You’ll enjoy carbs on carbs and Southern fried chicken all with 360-degree views of the city and the Hudson river. Feeling posh under the sun and avoiding the summer stench of the NYC streets, the joy rooftops bring us is truly unbelievable. 542 W 27th St., Chelsea.
For more brunch reviews and recommendations, visit bitcheswhobrunch.com and follow them on Instagram at @bitcheswhobrunch.
Images: Bitches Who Brunch (4)