Tourist Mag Turns One With NYC Style

March 22, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

In New York first anniversary gala celebration Whitney Museum of American Art Monday, 03.18.02, 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
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“You guys are the nicest New Yorkers because you're the only ones who don't bitch about the amount of tourists here,” Primedia CEO Tom Rogers declared to guests at In New York magazine's first anniversary party. The upscale tourist magazine put together a New York-themed party inside the Whitney Museum of American Art's first floor lobby and basement area, and considering the tough magazine publishing climate and the state of the hospitality industry, the mag certainly had a reason to celebrate--survival.

The event was coordinated by In New York's director of marketing, Kimberly Tryba; Connie Sherman of Wink Studio put together the event's decor, which featured numerous nods to New York. Upon entering the museum, guests were greeted by Jennifer Stewart (aka Living Liberty) who posed for pictures in the lobby with guests.

One cool, original decor touch--which stylishly complimented the New York theme--used black and white cityscapes taken by photographer David Paler, which Duggal Color Projects printed onto frosted resin sheets. The sheets were attached to boxes that were placed at the bases of tall floral displays (cherry blossoms and calla lilies provided by Starbright Floral Design). Votive candles were set behind the pictures to illuminate the images.

Another fun, New York-themed touch was the creation of a miniature Central Park complete with park benches, foliage and lights brought in by Props for Today. Large blowups (also printed by Duggal) of more New York cityscapes covered the walls.

A long buffet table covered with white tablecloths--called the “Great White Way” cuisine concourse--featured tastings from several local bars and restaurants (Sugar Hill Bistro's spring rolls were our fave food option). Lundy Brothers' raw bar was displayed on a large ice sculpture provided by Ice Art with the ubiquitous “I Love New York” logo front and center. A video produced by Kipany Productions was shown on plasma screens (from A/V Workshop) set behind a beverage bar. Kipany also filmed footage of the event for promotional videos for In New York.

Entertainment came in the form of the lively No No Nonet jazz band and the rousing New York Gospel Matinee, both booked through Huff & Puff Sounds. And the second floor of the Whitney's Biennial exhibit was open for viewing, so the museum-lovers in the group could take advantage of the lack of crowds.

One unexpected and slightly bizarre turn at the event was a performance by In New York's president/publisher Merrie Davis and editor in chief Trisha McMahon Drain, who sang a duet to the melody of Oklahoma's “I Can't Say No” with lyrics customized for the event by songwriter Rachel Stone. We're not sure if it was a coincidence that something of an exodus began after their performance.

The event included--to no one's surprise--a benefit component with a silent auction set-up in the lobby that offered everything from Broadway theater tickets to hotel stays to airline tickets (it is a tourism magazine, remember). Proceeds of approximately $5,100 went to City Harvest.

--Suzanne Ito

See more pictures of the decor from this event...

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