Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Perhaps Susan Cheever is just running with the wrong crowd

Susan Cheever writing in the Times:

The New York apartments and lofts which were once the scenes of old-fashioned drunken carnage — slurred speech, broken crockery, broken legs and arms, broken marriages and broken dreams — are now the scene of parties where both friendships and glassware survive intact. Everyone comes on time, behaves well, drinks a little wine, eats a few tiny canapés, and leaves on time. They all still drink, but no one gets drunk anymore. Neither do they smoke. What on earth has happened?


In the old days, drunkenness was as much part of New York City society as evening clothes. This is the city where Zelda Fitzgerald jumped wildly in the fountain in front of the Plaza, the city of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” written by another fabulous alcoholic, Truman Capote. It’s the city of late nights with sloshed celebrities at the Stork Club. It’s the city that gave its name to Manhattans and Bronx Cocktails, the city of John O’Hara and Frank O’Hara, of drunken brilliance and brilliant drunks.


Mykola Dementiuk said...

I guess all the drunken writers went to AA and talk therapy where they learned to get it out...What rot!...and there went the city...


Mykola Dementiuk

Kirby Carnegie said...

Well, she obviously has never attended one of my parties. It's not considered a success until somebody passes out, one guests steals another's husband/wife, fornication in the storage loft, somebody gets slapped, or something is set on fire. That's when we know we're having fun.

EV Grieve said...

Ohhh....Don't forget to send me an invite to your next party!

esquared said...

In Vino Veritas! No one can stand the truth anymore. This is what the city is lacking, catharsis. We, in the past, were able to purge, via drinking, which either leads to creativeness or destructiveness (thus we had the Truman Capote, Zelda Fitzgerald, etc.).

Nowadays, perception is the reality; people get their emotional cleansing via consuming/shopping/etc/ the latest trend/fashion to conform, or as Jeremiah has said, to keep up with the Joneses, to have that perception that one is well-off.

And one thing I disagree with Cheever when she says: "I don’t drink. I know the savage, destructive power of alcoholism. It’s a soul stealer." To me NOT being able to drink is a soul stealer; it numbs the mind and the soul.

Then again, how many $15+ watered down cocktail must one drink at the uber ultra exclusive wine bars like the Eldridge or Beatrice Inn, before they can get drunk?

EV Grieve said...

Well said, Esquared.