“I’m always enchanted by being in a situation where you don’t know who you’re going to meet,” said Fern Mallis in today’s Style Section of the New York Times.
Mallis, along with an impressive Rolodex of names you know and perhaps those you should, ate at the communal table of a young man named Jonathan Levy last month. Levy is garnering his own kind of name for these bi-monthly dinner parties. According to the article, he gets 12 or so influencing individuals with impressive resumes together for dinner at his home. They’re instructed to conceal their professions during the cocktail hour and mingle without pretense. Then, during the meal, Levy instructs the diners one by one to guess who does what.
Though the reporter touched on a few tense moments where certain guests didn’t mesh particularly well and noted that Fern Mallis was a bit annoyed at having to do her own dishes (Levy, it seems, likes to put his dinner party to work — perhaps to keep everyone on the same playing field) I found the concept fascinating.
The idea of hosting a meal as the evening’s activity is nothing new. In fact, it’s incredibly old school — especially the idea of sitting strangers next to one another. But at age 25 I’ve only been to one real dinner party and I can’t help but feel enchanted (to steal Mallis’s word) by the concept of them. It seems so old New York; the idea that you could sit down at a table and if seated next to the right person your life could in some way change. And as soon as I own an apartment that can fit more than one Ikea ottoman, I’m going to host my own.
What are your thoughts on dinner parties? Are you going to them, hosting them, hate them, love them? What do you think about Levy’s concept of inviting influencers only, and having them go incognito until the food is served?
It’s just about lunch time here in Manhattan so if you write your comments while you eat your sandwich, I’ll devour my burger and we can pretend like we’re having our very own party right here on Man Repeller. Maybe we can get Leandra to make the salad?