Stress-Eating With New York Artists Through Trump’s Surprise Winby
Election parties with bankers and designers turn somber
‘It’s like being on the Titanic, while it’s sinking’
New Yorkers who arrived at the office wearing black on Wednesday may not be making a political statement. It’s slimming.
As Donald Trump inched higher in early tallies Tuesday night, snacking erupted at artistic nonprofit Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Party guests expecting to watch Hillary Clinton win feasted on satirically prepared pans of nachos, like one labeled “the only known remnants from the 30,000 nachos deleted.” Another, tagged “Feel the Bern,” tried to improve on the quandary that “90 percent of cheese on the nacho is controlled by the top 1 percent of the nacho.”
“This is the only way to ingest the election, eat your way through the pain,” said Toccarra Thomas, a video artist who helped prepare the dishes.
The Nacho Wall -- a nod to Trump’s plan for the Mexican border -- was one of the most quickly devoured.
“It just seemed like the most delicious, and the thing that I’d most like not to see,” said Sean Dales, a finance and law student. “I’m a proponent of free trade.”
Dales had planned to go to a bar, but his roommate, Erik Zepka, took him to Pioneer Works instead. “At least here they’re making satire of the discourse rather than participating in it,” Dales said.
David Sheinkopf, the Pioneer Works staffer who coordinated the event, said gathering around food “was an escape to an older, collective-type of humanity,” which turned out to be much needed for guests (those artists can be so prescient).
While there were certainly New York gatherings where Trump was celebrated, the mood was somber, too, at Bernard Schwartz’s “Non-Partisan Election Night Party” at the New-York Historical Society. With patriotic bunting framing stained-glass windows and a Picasso, people in ball gowns and tuxedos tuned in on large screens.
“Watching the returns like this, on the Upper West Side -- it’s like being on the Titanic, while it’s sinking,” said Stella Rose Saint Clair, a fashion designer. “The formality, coupled with the sadness in the air. I can hear the violins playing in the distance.”
The menu included hot dogs, baked beans, barbecue potato chips, brisket and dishes of ice cream decorated with American flags on toothpicks.
“It was all carefully selected,” said Schwartz, chairman and chief executive of BLS Investments. Though at some point the food became less interesting.
“I have turned to the bottle,” said Robert Hormats, a former vice chairman of Goldman Sachs who served in the Obama administration. “It’s Kahlua, from Hawaii, in honor of the president.” (The liqueur brand is actually from Mexico.)
Hormats had dined, though, and could still wax eloquent on the symbolic meaning of a meal.
“It’s supremely important to break bread together, because we have to heal this country,” Hormats said. “At some point you’ve got to sit down together and figure out how to make this country work for everyone.”