How to Pick a Up a Deusch Bag in Patrick Bateman’s NY Circa Le Bain 2013
My favorite scene in American Psycho is the one where they compare the various whites of their business cards. I like the white on white background of cards against crisply ironed tablecloth, framed by gleaming silverware and with a row of dark suited, immaculately groomed automatons making banal remarks. It’s choreographed and designed to perfection and so easy to make fun of. These bankers may be wealthy but they are paper cut-outs, indistinguishable and replaceable with each other.
But there’s another side to wealth and glamour and money and privilege, the kind that makes you go, “Damn, this doesn’t look bad. I could do this. Where do I sign up?” It’s the
Enter Le Bain at the Standard – a rooftop bar with fake plastic grass (the kind you find at mini golf courses), $14 cocktails, and enough Patrick Batemans per square foot to burry you in a flurry of ivory, off-white and cream business cards.
In comparison to the bankers at the restaurant in American Psycho Le Bain is vibrant hues – the men are wearing cranberry pink shorts and untucked pastel polos. The girls are giddy, lines of clothing stick or flow – nothing is ironed or immaculate. The adventurous ones lay full out on the grass holding a cigarette as if it’s a joint and blowing blissfully into the air – Bloomberg’s smoking bans be damned. But let me note that it’s not a joint.
There’s a girl with cascading waves of red hair and aviators looping her hands in the air as if she was at a rave – she could have been a model in a recruiting poster for Woodstock except that it’s 5 p.m. in the meatpacking district in Manhattan … and while there may be lines of coke in the bathroom there’s no one visibly shroomed out or high on anything besides nicotine and their own self-importance.
You ask, “Oh scornful one why are you here?”
My answer, “I have no fucking clue.”
Somewhere in me there are two people – one who desperately wants to have a concave bare to the world tummy and wear a fluorescent yellow bandeau bra with wayfarer raybans and have bottle blond hair and take the attention seeking from the potentially Patrick Bateman-esque deusch in cranberry colored shorts very seriously. There is a part of me that wants this. There is a part of me that grew up in Connecticut after all.
There’s also a part of me that says, “This would make the best blog ever, and I can walk around here and feel superior and smarter and know that I am not one of these women who will date and then be subsequently divorced by guy in cranberry shorts for the next generation of long-haired bandeau wearing hotties. This is the part of me that got me through high school (and middle school) in Connecticut.
And then there’s the rationalization part that says, “It’s 93 degrees and humid in a city where you can’t crack the window open because the air that comes in will turn the window sill black from all the pollution. It’s called summer in NY for the peons that can’t afford the Hamptons, and yeah I’m willing to spend $14 and wait in line for twenty minutes for a pineapple margarita for the moderately cool breeze and fake grass of Le Bain on the roof of the Standard. There’s a view – the skyline and the people – and I still have a faint hope that somewhere in that sea of untucked button down shirts and cranberry shorts there may be a normal guy.
And I get elbowed in the head – maybe not.
Gigi is all scorn. She was scornful when I suggested Le Bain (though she agreed to come) and is scornful now, gasping from the gut at every passing comment that doesn’t meet her 800 verbal SAT score standard. But she is still sashaying around in a red dress and white heels surveying the crowd – we both are.
I still don’t have a good answer for why I wanted to come – there are rooftops in the Lower Eastside or the East Village or even the digiratti crowd at the Nomad or the Ace Hotel suits me better. But it’s the Patrick Batemans and their women tonight, a world I’ve always looked into and couldn’t quite break through the glass to join – but do I even want to be here?
I cannot bring myself to want to talk to anyone – I feel intimated and out of place. The dude that elbowed me in line walked off and his friend expressed some contrition. I smiled, laughed it off and he nodded and kept walking.
But there are seats. We rush over and grab a pair, and I look around bored. The view’s gorgeous, the breeze is blowing, but I want a man. I want to flirt and laugh and not feel like this weird out of place Amazon.
Because I secretly am attracted to the Patrick Bateman types. I like men who like power, have passion, know what they want. A guy just dumps a pitcher of cocktails on his head three feet from us – okay maybe Le Bain isn’t the cream of the crop place to find them.
I look around for an in, and there’s a group of guys more casual – wearing real t-shirts – laying around on the “grass” next to us and I reach over and ask for a cigarette. A blond one, looks over at me and says, “Sure, but you have to tell me a joke first.”
Gigi and I look at each other – we cannot be funny on command. “How about trivia?” I ask.
“What scene out of a movie does this remind you of which was also a book where the writer talked about sweating bodies of flesh pressed against each other, trying to impress each other and oblivious to how fake it all was.” – Okay I know that wasn’t the total Bret Easton Ellis quote from American psycho but it was close enough.
We teased it out – wall street, eighties, he was getting into it throwing at random suggestions that showed he was a zygote born in the nineties. When we finally told him American Psycho though, his face fell and shrugged. “It might be fake, but you’re here anyway right?”
So on that note here are the top six ways to ensure you catch the guy in cranberry shorts, and an untucked button down shirt at a pretentious meat-packing rooftop club this summer. Don’t deny it, you know you want to – hell I did.
1. Underwear is now outerwear as bandeau bras are a must have accessory, preferably with a long, loose drooping sleeveless that allows us to see both front and side-boob.
2. Mid-riffs are preferably exposed and must be concave
3. Hair is long, blonde, red only if you want to be seen as an eccentric hippy and brunettes need a mandatory ombre. Unless you’re South American, Asian or something else deemed as “exotic.”
4. Work in a ‘cool’ industry – fashion, start-up potentially focused on fashion, media, social media, film. Drop the names of companies that make people go, “I love Tumblr” or “Nice…” When I told cigarette boy where I worked, he stopped sulking about Patrick Bateman and got friendly again.
5. Smoke a cigarette and pretend it’s a joint, act stoned, act like its Woodstock in 1969 or rave in a wearhouse in the late 90s and you’re on “e.” No one cares if you’re pretending, we’re all faking a story here.
6. Be skinny, very very skinny. See tip #2 about concave mid-riff.
7. Assuage ego at all times – you are there to compliment, make people feel good and otherwise smile, grin and giggle. Refrain from American Psycho references unless it’s to talk about how much you love bankers who are secretly serial killers – psychopaths do run Wall Street.
8. Don’t get hung up on one guy. Use the male approach to hitting on women – if one is not interested move on to the next one. Groups of men all wearing cranberry shorts and untucked button downs or polos have largely similar tastes – there’s not much differentiation there.
9. Be willing to be a little messy drunk, stagger in heels and fall into someone – drunk girls are sillier, more fun and easily laid. Do you want to be all these things with Mr. Cranberry shorts? Drink those cocktails!
10. There’s always power in numbers – bring some girlfriends. Even if you don’t get what you want you can laugh about it later.