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We've decided that Waris Ahluwalia is all about bringing back the 19th century. First, he opens a pop-up tea room. A tea room! Next, he decided to use the space to host high-brow, salon events, such as last night's dramatic reading of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary (read by Paz De La Huerta no less!), co-hosted by Playboy. Flaubert, tea, and Playboy, how's that for a New York evening?
When Madame Bovary was first published it was attacked for obscenity, so it's only fitting that Playboy co-hosted the party celebrating Lydia Davis' new translation. Still, the Playboy connection and the presence of crazy-sexy Ms. De La Huerta isn't enough to obfuscate the fact that this was a party centered around drinking tea and reading 19th century French literature.
Yesterday evening was like the fantasy of every French Lit Grad Student at Middlebury College in Vermont. What happened to drugs? What happened to rock and roll? Why were these people all politely listening to a novel that was scandalous in 1856 instead of getting shitfaced at Don Hill's? It's like the best way to be edgy these days is to be....not edgy. At all.
Waris, you've really pulled a number on New York nightlife here.
Guests at last night's event included Jonathan Ames, Byrdie Bell, Derek Blasberg, Brooke Geahan, Jay McInerney, Helen Lee Schifter, and of course, Waris himself.