Don't Drink the Kool-Aid

Getting awesome with Tommy Up.

By Tommy Up
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Feb. 24, 2009

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Five cases of PBR. Eight bottles of various vodkas. Four cases of Red Bull. Two of Vitamin Water. One 40-pound bag of ice. Five hundred plastic cups. One MySpace invite. Add it up. What's it mean? A house party. Seemed like a simple enough plan when it all began. But it became a neighborhood turf war.

I live in NoLibs. The neighbors around me are cool, and we give each other a lot of space. But directly across from my place there's a huge apartment building, and some of the units face me. I don't really see the people who live in them unless they're walking their dogs or venturing out to buy Soy Chips or something, but they're there and they're watching.

The party got packed as parties tend to, because seriously, who doesn't love a house party? It all seemed to go swimmingly until after the weekend when I ran into a friend who told me I needed to check out a community messageboard and read about the calamity surrounding the party. The thread turned into a battle of lifestyles with one side complaining the party kept them up all night and the other side basically saying, "Yeah, that's what Fridays are about." It smelled of post-gentrification demographic homogenization to me.

Here's how it happens. All the fun people live in some neighborhood because the rent is pretty cheap and they can do their thing in a less restrictive environment. The neighborhood becomes known as the "cool place to be," and the late adopters decide they want a little edge in their lives and move there too. Then they find out that the edge sometimes keeps them up on a Friday night. They start going to community meetings and saying the bars they initially thought were charming are actually a public nuisance. The writing's on the wall after that.

I'm exaggerating a little. The late adopters are probably a good time--under the right conditions. And the party was a little loud. And it went pretty late. I think I'm going to make nice to these people. I'm not sure an invite to the next party is the way to go, though.

Holla at party thrower and subversive marketing genius Tommy Up at tommyup@philadelphiaweekly.com

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