Which is taking place tomorrow at Lotus. Yes, Lotus. The festivities begin at the usual time, but apparently the “real party is starting around ten,” which is when John Mack will be showing up, after having pregamed with us at Tortilla Flats, because, you know, when in Rome. Anal_yst will be TiVo’ing “Gossip Girl,” and he doesn’t even work at Morgan, so you know the expectations are high.
Holiday Party Watch:There Will Be Unlimited Mike’s Hard Lemonade At The Morgan Stanley IBD FIG Holiday PartyBy John Carney
Among the more amusing items in our inbox this morning was an invitation to a party in Williamsburg, Brooklyn sporting the theme “Wall Street Circa 1987.”
“Two dark events are upon us: the end of my 20s and the beginning of the recession,” the woman throwing the party writes. “Let’s fight both Brooklyn style with a giant dirty bomb of a party.”
We’re taking this as a hopeful sign. If Steve Schwarzman’s lavish $5 million birthday party rang the bell at the top of the credit driven leverage buyout boom, a party thrown by Williamsburg hipsters build around downbeat market sentiment might be a sign of the bottom.
Dow Jones’s Evelyn Juan reports that Winthrop Smith Jr., son of the Merrill Lynch founding partner of the same name, is planning a little party next month for firm alums in New York. Mostly because he’s spent the last couple of years holed up in Vermont (running Sugarbush) and “really, really needs to get out” but also because it’s time to start reminiscing about the days when Merrill still gave out bonuses and wasn’t a stupendous failure. John Thain’s been invited, as has most of Citi (in order to make the MER guests look good), but guess who’s name is decidedly not on the list? Starts with an ‘S’, ends with a ‘tanley O’neal’ (also: starts with a ‘t,’ ends with an ‘ech sector,’ and a ‘J,’ ‘ohn Carney,’ though he plans on crashing and I may even come with, because I love the Time Square Doubletree). The burn isn’t really that surprising, considering that Stan got the job Smith wanted, but it nonetheless chafes, according to a receptionist from the office of O’Neal proctologist, who violated a host of ethics rules when she snuck a peak at his chart and called us with the results. Stan is said to be planning his own Merrill reunion for the same night, to be held in the office space the board’s letting him use for the next 3 years. Who will go where? We guess it really comes down to a matter of preference—Smith will have a piñata, Stan will be jumping out of a cake naked and serving Chex MixTM. Which one would you attend?
If you happened to skip out on the Schwarzman party before his 30-minute self-tribute, before the hired orchestra did the Zeppelin cover, or before party favors were handed out, the Schwarzintor has a pocket full o’ reckoning to issue your lowly $5 per crab-claw eating self. After all, what is there left to live for after attending Schwarzman’s 60th Birthday Party to End All Parties (La Fiesta Terminal)?
This was the reasoning of party planner Philip Baloun, who passed on 6/28, shortly after losing all sense of purpose in the grim spectre of Schwarmapalooza. New York Social Diary commemorates Baloun’s passing by adding him to “The List.”
Baloun, pictured here with a girl wearing a purple tablecloth, ninja Martha Stewart and fashion designer Edna Mode from the Incredibles, was the go-to submissive when it came to Wall Street ragers.
Some background – Baloun started out as a high school English teacher and completely freaked out when he turned 30 (in 1976). He ditched his students (right in the middle of the Heart of Darkness unit), “changed his life,” and moved to New York to become a theatrical director (translation – out of the closet, with a punctuation mark). A short three years later, Baloun started his own design firm in New York and the rest, as they say, is
According to New York Social Diary, Baloun “became a pioneer in combining forestry, interior design, lighting, exfoliates, carpenters, pipe cleaners, painters, early Bowie LPs, seamstresses, livestock, epidermis and funnel cake into transforming an ordinary room into a palatial confection.”
Baloun’s catalogue of notable ragers included George Soros’ Millennium Party, Saul Steinberg’s $1mm 50th Birthday Bash, a Sandy Weill Sock Hop, a Richard Lefrak C’est Chic Fete, an Alfred Taubman Date Auction, a Steve Cohen Bris and an Evening with Journey featuring Jamie Dimon.
Baloun was not a stranger to his own “artistry,” frequently decorating his own residences (notice the plural). For instance, Baloun acted as contractor, landscape designer, hedge trimmer, decorator and freshly manscaped lawn boy for his own East Hampton house.
Philip Baloun, dead at 61. R.I.P.
Old Rich People Are Productive Normal Members of Society [New York Social Diary’s “The List”]
On the eve of the company he co-founded with Stephen Schwarzman going public in the sixth largest IPO in US history, Pete Peterson threw a party for his daughter Holly at the Four Seasons. The party, ostensibly to celebrate the publication of Holly’s debut novel The Manny, attracted a host of notable guests from the world of finance and media. It was a lavish affair in the grill room of the Four Seasons, defying expectations that Blackstone’s founders would be shying away from public exhibitions of their wealth after recent attention on Schwarzman’s wealth seemed to provoke a public backlash.
Our invitation must have been sent to the wrong address because we’re pretty sure Pete and Holly wouldn’t have neglected to invite DealBreaker. After all, they had invited riff-raff from New York magazine and “Page Six.” So we crashed the party. And promptly got tossed out into a raging storm.
We’ll forgive the Petersons because they have far more money than we do. Besides, being outside gave us the chance to pall around with CNBC’s Bertha Coombs and her team, and snap some pictures of the arriving guests. And eventually Holly stopped by to speak with us. She mentioned that she was proud of her father and that she thought that video for the Manny was “very funny.” But we wanted to know the answer to the most important question: was the publication of her book and the scheduling of this party the reason the Blackstone IPO was moved up an entire week.
“That’s just a coincidence,” Holly said.
A long time after all the important guests arrived, the party crash team from Gawker showed up, dressed in costumes that were part Eastern European goth and part Williamsburg drunktard. They tried to sneak into the party. No dice. Security and the PR girls blocked them like a third-rate Jersey City hedge fund trying to buy into the BX IPO. Instead, they hung around in the rain with us, chatting up the wealthiest cougars they could find.
[After the jump we bring you a slide show of Scott Bressler’s photos from the Peterson party.]
More coverage of the events from around the internet:
Crashing The ‘Manny’ Book Party [Gawker]
Liz Smith Gets Grabby at ‘Manny’ Celebration [New York Magazine]
Ever wondered what it would be like to party with a bunch of hedgies? Besides the obvious—Loeb is a mean drunk,* Hudson claims he has no idea why he woke up wearing a skirt and heels,* Griffin is always suspiciously missing when it’s his turn to pick up the round*—there’s not that much in the public records about what doing lines off of a HF manger’s girlfriend’s girlfriend’s exquisitely sculpted (and handsomely paid for) breasts feels like (Stevie Cohen owns the rights to publish those photographs).**
Thanks to hedge fund manager Saleem Siddiqi, who threw a soiree for his HF friends (in the name of charity) we’ve now got a hazy picture of what a bitchin’ time we’re scheduled to have with James Simons next Thursday (quant guys always have the best acid). Let’s take a look.
*Libel lawyers please note : We’re kidding around here. Obviously we’ve never actually seen Loeb drunk, Hudson in drag and, for all we know, Griffin might totally be generous when it comes to buying shots for the table.
**Yeah, sorry, we also made up that thing about Cohen. The guy has lots of pictures but we don’t really think he owns the rights to those ones.