Are NYC tots the new event accessory?
Mon Jun 9 2008
A few nights ago, I was over in Chelsea at Milk Gallery for the opening of a retrospect on the photographer Ricky Powell (otherwise known as the fourth Beastie Boy, a revered '80s and '90s lensman who has shot the likes of Cindy Crawford, Andy Warhol and loads of other icons), when I noticed three little ankle-bitters just chillin' between a skateboarding hipster and a waifish model. I paused for a second to take it in; could these under-five babes really be taking part in such a sophisticated New York evening? After all, I felt like I barely belonged in the space as a mere twenty-four-year-old. What were they: impostors or the new inhabitants?
Walking home I realized I had more mixed feelings about the situation than I thought I did. At first, I dismissed them entirely, thinking it was inappropriate to be taking kids to such an event (I should also add that wine, beer and vodka were flowing without restraint). I also wondered if attending events like this at such a young age would make them jaded; being a guest would seem so ordinary by the time they reached their twenties that invitations would probably be taken for granted. But then another thought occurred to me: Has acceptance of the kiddie set become so widespread that it's not even a question whether or not to tote them along?
Funny thing is, this actually sort of works in New York City, though I don't think it would fly anywhere else in the country (even in my hometown of San Francisco, one of the most liberal cities). Watching the kids at the gallery, I realized how well behaved they were; sure, they were enthralled with their Game Boy, but they weren't screaming, running around or fighting with one another. And in all honesty, I saw some teenagers at the event that were behaving much more childishly than the kids before me.
I'm still not sure exactly where my sentiments really lie on the issue--I can't say I would like to be seated next to someone at Fashion Week still donning diapers--but I'm much more open to this trend than I was before I moved to New York. Who knows, maybe I'll find myself bringing my own kids to the otherwise grown-up events I attend when I have a family. But one thing's for certain: I'll be sure to pack that Game Boy.
What do you think about taking kids to adult events? Welcome attendees or obnoxious invaders? Leave a comment!