House Parties

Face it -- on any night, any nimrod can talk good enough game to get past even the most discriminating doorman. Veteran night owls are sick to death of elbowing Lil Jon off the sidewalk on Washington Avenue and shoving past Katrina Campins to get to the free Grey Goose bar at the National. Celebrity-hosted parties in public are over. What's really cool is to have friends, or at least acquaintances, who will invite you into their homes. There you can listen to whatever music you like, pour your own free drinks, and avoid all those annoying famous people. And going inside satisfies those voyeuristic urges as well, without the Plexiglas barrier. "The Miami of the moment is all about price per square foot," says designer and consultant Russell Hassell, who maintains residences in Manhattan as well as Miami Beach. "People want to see what Enrique bought for one million three years ago and sold for seven million today as validation for their own purchase of the half-million-dollar, loftlike, 655-square-foot condo with soaring eight-foot ceilings and glamorous sunset views of the MacArthur Causeway." Besides, Hassell adds, "House parties appeal to the suburban adolescent in all of us. The sight of all those cars on rich people's lawns is very Fast Times at Ridgemont High, only with valet parking."


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