Pound for Pound Sterling: We Still Have the World’s Top Shallow Set

imageThe English are having a fine old time in New York — we’re sort of like their Mexico right now, a place where you can throw around your powerful loot and loosen your tie, get away from real-world concerns back home … just unwind a little. Witness last week’s unprecedented bubbly fest at Pink Elephant, financed by the crass, beleaguered billionaire who owns troubled English Premier League squad Newcastle. While he was being shredded back home in the press, heavyset honcho Mike Ashley dropped $220,000 on bottles of Cristal, even finding time to spread the champagne love with various bottle hawks and other moochers who reportedly knew him only as “soccer guy.” UK tabs brilliantly referred to the beneficiaries of the clueless Ashley’s largesse as “Manhattan’s shallow set.”

These included, according to The Daily Mail, the runoff from an Entourage party wrapping up down the street: “Actors Kevin Connolly and Jeremy Piven swilled champagne with former Dallas Cowboys star Deion Sanders, ex-Boston Red Sox baseball star Mo Vaughn, and Black Eyed Peas’ singer Will.I.Am. They all joined in, but none of them knew who Ashley was.”

Moving on to some higher brow though equally shallow set-worthy festivities financed by UK funds, last night we checked out the opening of “The Outsiders” show at the pop-up Lazarides Gallery space on the corner of Bowery and Houston. The turnout for the UK gallery’s temporary spot represented the cream of the downtown scene. We spotted round-rimmed Jeffrey Deitch surveying the foreign invaders, select art world players from London/New York gallery Haunch of Venison, and of course the ubiquitous Beatrice Inn types who unanimously agreed the show was stellar as they got loaded on endless, quality booze courtesy of Belvedere. Cool French performance artist Coco Dolle scouted for Amazons in the crowd while supporting a creepy, masked pal who was shrieking like a hyena while injecting a blonde model with black ink that dripped off her back in the form of a Chanel logo, much to the delight of all.

The highlight was the impressive quality of the pieces on display — even if seeing lots of “street art” co-opted and put on display by a fancy gallery is always a tad unsettling, like seeing a bunch of sad elephants prancing around a circus tent. The lowlight — and the proof that the shallow set extends to both the haute and base elements of Manhattan — came toward the end of the vodka-fueled festivities, when a pleasant little old lady from the neighborhood approached and asked the clipboard chick working the door if she could come inside to take a look. As the door girl informed her (with the efficiency of a 1Oak door diva) that she did not make the cut, a pretty model girl breezed past her with nary a problem. Proving that New York’s economy can explode, but our shallow set will always be world class.

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