Murakami Placemats

by AMANDA MELILLO · April 8, 2008

takashi murakami[Photo via The New Yorker] So, when public figures from politicians to socialites attend anything from charity benefits to art retrospectives, it was always my impression that they really just went for the swag….right? Right? Apparently I was mistaken in believing whatever event has the best free stuff will draw the biggest number of wealthy people. Which is why everyone was so peeved that the Jamie Snow made off with some placemats after the gala honoring Bruce Ratner at the Brooklyn Museum's Takashi Murakami exhibit. Murakami had designed special edition fiberglass placemats for each guest who was allowed to take his or her own, but wife of Brooklyn Borough President Marky Markowitz took off with eight. Each was autographed by Murakami and they have been known to fetch up to $1,000 on eBay from past events. When the guests complained to her for taking their placemats, she said, "You guys really should have acted faster. This is Brooklyn!" according to Radar, and her husband kind of shrugged along and said, "Just try being married to her." (Oh no, buddy. That was your mistake.)

But now people have made such a big deal that they've spoiled her fun, and the happy couple is going to sell them off and give the money to charity. Now, I'm not one to turn down free stuff, believe me, but 1.) She did kind of break gala etiquette and 2.) Maybe we should rethink how we do events in New York. Cindy Adams points out today that tickets to the St. Jude's Children's Hospital gala cost $200, but you can walk away with $500 worth of swag—and you KNOW the people going to galas are not the ones who need the items in the goodie bags to come to them for free.