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Javits Gets Classy for Auto Show Party

April 13, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

The Tailgate Party at New York International Auto Show was held in the vast lobby of the Javits Center, and guests could walk through the exhibition hall.

Tailgate Party at the New York International Auto Show The Javits Center Wednesday, 04.11.01, 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
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It was called a “tailgate party,” but the image that name probably suggests to you is completely wrong. When a party has a steering committee with Muffie Potter Aston, Nina Griscom and Arie Kopelman, you don't get a cooler full of brews in a stadium parking lot.

Instead, the Tailgate Party at New York International Auto Show at the Javits Center was a classy, calm cocktail party that gave guests a sneak peek of the cars on the show floor. (The auto companies were still putting the finishing touches on their displays, which open to the public on Saturday.) Sponsored by Road & Track magazine, supported by Chanel and Christie's and planned by the Susan Magrino Agency, the event was also a benefit for the East Side House Settlement. A silent auction included items donated by Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Alain Ducasse, AZ, Daniel, the Four Seasons and Le Cirque 2000.

Believe it or not, the Javits center--normally home to countless bazaar-like trade shows--actually looked kind of elegant. Tansey Design Associates used lots of pretty yellow daffodils, and lime-colored tablecloths that matched the lime and blue invitations, programs and signs (designed by T. R. Nimen, printed by Colorlith). Bright yellow and blue plastic cups from the Dewar's bar also matched nicely. At a venue this big, it's hard to create a sense of visual unity, but this event had it.

Javits also rarely sounds this good. Tom Finn played a fun mix of car-related songs--“Car Wash,” “Drive My Car,” “Mercedes Benz"--much different from the bland industrial music played during many trade shows.

Between browsing the auction items and nibbling on picnic-style hors d'oeuvres from Taste--tiny BBQ pork sandwiches, black bean pinwheels and raw veggies--many partygoers toured the auto companies' displays. But all the car hoopla may have been lost on this tony crowd. Many of them are used to only one type of car: the black ones, with hired drivers behind the wheel.

--Chad Kaydo

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