For my 30th Birthday I decided early on to do a “Great Gatsby” theme, due in part because I was saying goodbye to the roaring 20’s and hello to the great depression of my 30’s. However, also because I have always wanted to do a 1920’s theme party and am obsessed with the book. N.B – I wanted my Mum to marry Robert Redford when I was a child, mainly from seeing him in his stately glory playing Jay Gatsby.
You can see my initial inspiration board here: https://talesfromtheprfrontline.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/great-gatsby-30th-inspiration-board/
Normally I prefer big blow-out parties to celebrate my birthday’s, with me inviting the more the merrier, but being in NYC I didn’t know that many people, and quite frankly good friends were few and far between – so I settled on a dinner party, which ended up being a really great idea.
The task of finding a private room at a Manhattan restaurant on a weekend without extra additional exorbitant fees was no mean feat. However, I struck gold with Supper Restaurant as it was:
a). Located in my hood East Village
b). Of the famous Frank branch of restaurants, so good food was guaranteed
c). Cheap (by Manhattan prices at least) Italian, meant no one would be put out by paying for dinner, and my unemployed self didn’t feel obliged to comp everyone
d). Private room that I could bring my own Ipod, plus dessert table and decorations – at no cost
e). Serendipity! The private room was next to an old wine cellar and had a decidedly 1920’s feel
So with my colour scheme of white and green, I decorated with a few items (I had plenty more ideas, but did not want to overpower the very Prohibition esque room): green,white and gold old style vintage napkins, with “N’ for Natasha for good measure; lots of tealight candles; white hydrangea held in green buckets that had Great Gatsby quotes inscribed on them; and a mini dessert table, featuring chocolate cigars, wasabi peas and mint julep candies as an ode to the drink famously described in the book.
I developed an electic playlist for the event, featuring 4 hours of carefully selected songs, from today: Empire for the Sun, Lady Gaga, Phoenix, Usher, The Killers etc. and from late 70’s/early 80’s: David Bowie, Roxy Music, Blondie, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson.
The highlight of the night was my friend Chris giving some of us girls a lesson on how to do the “Bad Romance” dance by Lady Gaga. This came in handy later in the night at Karaoke, where this was once again performed in a drunken haze (after dinner at 1am half of the group headed to a private room at 2nd on 2nd Karaoke – highlight being 4 boys in all white – thanks to my birthday theme – singing “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys and looking very much like a boy band).
Supper Restaurant do a fantastic house Prosecco, so I made sure this was flowing all night. I also took the liberty of ordering myself 30 mini cupcakes from the Lower East Side cupcake institution Sugar Sweet Sunshine, I maintained the green and white theme, but ensured two different flavours were ordered: Pistachio and Red Velvet (with white icing and green sprinkles).
I had lots of comments from all that this was a fabulous night, which is more than I could have wished for as not many people knew each other. I would highly recommend the private room at Supper for private dinners- as was cheap, great atmosphere and you have free rein, especially with music. I was so pleased in the end by doing a special dinner as it is one I will remember always.
Being back in Australia, now at least I will look back and remember the time I turned 30 while living in New York City!
Quotes from The Great Gatsby I printed on clear labels and stuck around the green buckets decorating the middle of the table:
- Tom came back, preceding four gin rickeys that clicked full of ice. Gatsby took up his drink. “They certainly look cool,” he said.
- “No . . . I just remembered that to-day’s my birthday.”
- Open the whiskey, Tom,” she ordered, “and I’ll make you a mint julep. Then you won’t seem so stupid to yourself. . . . Look at the mint!”
- I was 30. Before me stretched the portentous, menacing road of a new decade. 30, the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning brief-case of enthusiasm
Dinner Venue – Private Room: Super Restaurant (156 East 2nd St, East Village, NYC)
Karaoke Venue – Private Room: 2nd on 2nd Karaoke (27 2nd Ave, East Village, NYC)
Invitations: Flapper Doodle Etsy Shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/flapperdoodle I bought “Flapper Doodle Party Invitations” and had Kate change the colour of the confetti and wording to sage green.
Green Buckets, “N” Napkins and Candy Labels: Kate’s Paperie (72 Spring St, Soho, NYC)
Candy Scoops: Sur La Table (75 Spring St, Soho, NYC)
Chocolate Cigars and Wasabi Peas: Economy Candy (108 Rivington St, Lower East Side, NYC)
Mini Cupcakes and Cupcake Stand: Sugar Sweet Sunshine (126 Rivington St, Lower East Side, NYC)
Mint Julep Candies: Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Necco-Mint-Julep-Candies-Count/dp/B001BEZ57C)
Costume pieces, such as, Long Cigarette Holders, Long Gloves, Pearls and Flapper Headbands : Halloween Adventure NYC Mega Store (104 4th Ave, Noho, NYC)
White Hydrangea: Local corner store on 1st Ave