Monday, January 16, 2012

How I spent my New Year's Eve

Taylor, Worful, and I rang in the new year at The Royale, where they had closed down dinner service to the private party and newspapered up the windows and printed signs that said the bar was closed "due to prohibition", which incidentally was the theme of the party, co-hosted by the young friends of the MO history museum (who btw has the cutest logo ever) We enjoyed a delicious and stuffing 5 course meal for only 50 bucks, including tax and tip, a midnight champagne toast, and some sort of hot bourbon spice based punch from a crock pot upon our arrival. It was totally worth it and awesome.

All our friends that work there were dressed in period attire rented from the Vintage Haberdashery and all but maybe three awkward feeling people in the whole restaurant (save for the occasional kitchen staff coming up for air in street clothes looking out of place) were totally in costume too! It was wild, it felt like that scene in The Shining (below) where Jack Nicholson starts hallucinating that there's a fabulous old timey party going on in the ballroom. Worful kept calling out continuity errors like people should not be using their iPhones on the set of this period accurate movie, it was cute/funny and less snobby than I'm making it sound.

The tickets came with "instructions for entry" which were to find the paperboy on the corner outside by a fire in a drum barrel type thing, and ask him if there are any copies of "The Late Edition" available. Now, this is the part that tripped me up because we spent so long getting ready, that we arrived just before 9, dinner said "arrive anytime between 7-9 for dinner) and Taylor hates to be late. We know pretty much everyone that works there, so I thought this part would be fun and corny, but then the paperboy kid was someone I'd never seen before, so for some reason I got really nervous and just ended up asking him if he's worked here for long and other smalltalk! Geez. Then Steve, the owner, came out and said hello, and was like, "Oh, hey, HL and these guys, we know these guys, they are always welcome here! I'd show you in myself, but I can't be seen taking anyone into the building, you understand." so... dodged that bullet...the paperboy kid told us to go in the alley and ask for "Tiny and Snowy" which were my friends Patty Bo-Bo (shoulda just used his real nickname for his prohibition era gangster name) and John Fausz (I think I'm spelling that wrong, but he went to high school with some of my Reilly cousins in Florissant) in costume and they offered us a swig of "moonshine" (or maybe just whiskey??) out of a flask and jumbled some dice around in their pockets before opening the garage and letting us in through there to get to the back patio and into the building. Elaborate, right? Everyone stayed in character!

When we got inside, Steve led us in and gave us our warm boozy punch and was rambling on about "if we get this new president into office, he's promised to give us our beer back at least" and stuff like that, which he continued throughout the night, including when someone from the new St Louis based microbrewery (shit, there are like 5 new small craft breweries, I can't remember the name right away, but I think it might've been Civil Life?) brought in a skinny keg of some delicious dark beer that they took upstairs (Steve's private residence that he so graciously opened up to the party) and served out of an old clamp to the countertop pour was cool. He also let us know that upstairs there was a photo booth (which we tried but then got sick of waiting in line and didn't try again for because there were several other professional photographers snapping pics of the party throughout the night, I'll find out who ran it, I forgot to ask) and a poker game going with a dealer that would teach you how to play and stuff, it was really fun. We went home around one or one thirty when the party was about to close down, and when I got home I felt the urgent need to watch Bugsy Malone...if you haven't seen it or heard of it...well, I want to say you're missing out but let's just say I liked it a lot when I was a kid. Here's a musical number from the film having to do with speakeasies!

PS- While we're at it, let's bring another clip from Bugsy Malone in that I really loved as a kid, paired with a similar clip that I also loved as a kid:

All hail teenage Jodie Foster and Jessica Rabbit!

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