The Parlor Club first sent out invites in 2009 stating their exclusivity: "The club is not for everyone: we seek members who are intelligent, professionally ambitious, and never boring - whether in style or in conversation." Scheduled to open in March 2010, it was pushed back again and again. They finally opened their doors just last month to 100 friends and family. They're accepting new members now and have been sending out applications once again, seeking the same sorts. We managed to get our hands on one. Let's take a look at how difficult the process is:
"New York is undergoing an awakening and we invite you to join us in the adventure.
Refined and discreet, Parlor is New York’s first premium lounge - a private environment where members experience the rare and the exceptional in cuisine, spirits, wine, and curated art and music.
What happens within the walls of Parlor awakens the senses and encourages each member to discover the best. Without pretense, our members enjoy bespoke service, a relaxed conversation-driven atmosphere, and a food, wine and spirits program that surpasses high-end.
Discover. Experience. Repeat.
It sounds exclusive, fancy, hoity, and oddly at times like an advertisement for shampoo. Discover. Experience. Repeat. Follow with conditioner.
So how about this application: Do they go Norwood-esque with questions like "What is your most satisfying accomplishment?" and "What would you expect from a modern day arts club?" or go the Soho House-styled route with a soul probing, highly selective, "Put your credit card information here."
Neither. The application is simply a sheet with one block of text that despite trying to sound high-minded, basically boils down to the age old slumber party favorite: If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be:
"BACKGROUND: THE PSYCHOANALYST CARL JUNG BELIEVED THAT HUMANS ARE BORN WITH AN INNATE ABILITY TO RECOGNIZE ARCHETYPES – PEOPLE OR THINGS THAT EXIST AS UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZABLE SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATIONS. PREMISE: THE PEOPLE WITH WHOM WE SPEND TIME, THE MUSIC WE ENJOY,THE FOOD AND DRINKS WE CONSUME – THESE ARE SOME OF THE CRITICAL ELEMENTS WE LIKE TO ASSEMBLE IN ORDER TO CREATE EXPERIENCES THAT GIVE OUR SOCIAL LIVES MEANING. IN OUR MINDS, THE PEOPLE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT, AND A MEMORABLE PARTY TENDS TO INCLUDE A RANGE OF PERSONALITIES. TASK: IF YOU HAD TO ORGANIZE A DINNER PARTY WITH ARCHETYPES WHO EMBODIED YOUR PERSONAL DEFINITION OF HUMOR, SEX APPEAL, INTELLECTUAL DISCOURSE, AND MUSICAL VIRTUOSITY, WHO WOULD THE GUESTS BE?"
Do you think there is a wrong answer to this completely subjective "application?" Like if you say things that would generally be taken as bad taste (humor-Carlos Mencia, sex appeal-Charlie Sheen, intelligence-Sarah Palin, musical talent-Ke$ha) would you not make it in?
We asked Parlor what the exact criteria was and what they are looking for in new members, as well as the cost, and were told, "Unfortunately we are not sharing any information." However, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about receiving your own "application" to join.