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Packing in Hipsters at the Gotham Launch

March 2, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

Gotham magazine launch party Cipriani 42nd Street Thursday, 03.01.01, 8 PM onward
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It seemed that every young twenty- and thirtysomething media hipster in New York showed up at Cipriani 42nd Street for Gotham magazine's huge launch party. The magazine's event organizers Anna Martins and Stephanie Horton planned for a crowd of 2,000, but by the night's end, more than 3,000 partygoers had packed the bash, which featured performances by Run D.M.C., D.J. Mark Ronson and girl-group 3LW. Celebrity guests included Liv Tyler (the premiere issue's cover girl), Dr. Ruth Westheimer, John Leguizamo, Monica Lewinsky, Donald Trump and Mira Sorvino.

Creative director Grayson Handy and event producer Alice Siess of Prudence Events parked two antique New York City yellow cabs--apt props for a New York-centric magazine--inside the event's entrance, and set up a gigantic bar in the center of the room to keep the drinks flowing all night. Siess also brought in costumed cigarette girls to work the room, offering candy to the guests. Bentley Meeker put together a striking lighting design for Prudence that included purple lights illuminating the venue's grand columns, and gobo lights with the Gotham logo shining on some mirror-topped cocktail tables. Luce Group provided computer-projected images of New York City at night against the curtain behind the stage.

Outside, the check-in staff from Lizzie Grubman & Peggy Siegal Public Relations had their hands full trying to appease the huge line of people that snaked all the way down to Lexington Avenue trying to get in. (We heard one disgruntled person loudly complaining that he was one of the magazine's advertisers.)

Those who made it inside encountered some confusion: There was no clearly labeled place to check coats, so if no one was in line to check something, it was difficult to find where to stand to drop off or collect belongings. And because the event staff used the same stairway to get to the food staging area and the coat room, trays of dirty plates, discarded food and half-full glasses frequently passed precariously close to guests checking their fur and leather coats.

--Suzanne Ito

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