Dispatch From The Drift Magazine’s Latest Party

I’m a firm believer that lit-mag parties are no fun: the food is lacking or abysmal, egos and alt-lit discussions are rampant, and I always end up trudging back to the subway feeling underread. On Wednesday, I decided to put my theory to the test as I joined the long line of young media people, pure randos and up-and-coming writers lining up outside Ainslie on the Bowery to celebrate The driftthe latest edition. I brushed aside a group of winged liner girls lighting cigarettes in the freezing wind and got one X scrawled on my hand and went inside.

In the rise and fall of light magazines and journals (RIP astra), The driftrecently endorsed by David Zwirner art gallery seems to be doing well, not only staying afloat, but also getting nods of approval from established bigwigs Harpers And The New Yorker. Founded in the summer of 2020 by recent Harvard graduates Rebecca Panovka and Kiara Barrow, the magazine bills itself as a politics, literature and criticism journal for “young writers who haven’t yet been absorbed into the media crush and don’t feel constrained through the confines of the existing discourse.” In case that doesn’t make sense to you, the site has clues as to what they want (“optimistic cynicism; insensitive screeds”) and what they don’t want (“thoughts on Heidegger , Nietzsche, Foucault)” and what they want are bored of (“your love life”).

Their parties have become a media frenzy of their own and provided endless Twitter fodder the morning after, but a friend of mine best described the whole evening when she said: “They’re a gathering of nerds who want to drink and talk shit The New Yorker.” Plus a few hip downtown Yids who were just there to party. Below a dispatch in the evening.

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As a small person in a dimly lit restaurant, it was difficult to tell if famous writers were present, but I enjoyed the low-key atmosphere and anonymous crowd. I met my ninth grade writing camp roommate and met a co-worker drift editor See Micahand was said chandelier Author Raven Leilani was there, but who’s to say.

I stayed here for the spaciousness and ambiance of the multi-level Italian restaurant, which falls somewhere between dive bars and rustic date night: cans of tomato sauce, packaged ronzoni, and wine bottles lined the walls; Plants sloshed from a rowboat suspended from the ceiling; Gaudy chandeliers almost kissed the tables, including the foosball table where I watched a horny couple shake hands.

Photo: Tanya Kulesh

After the reading and rehearsal mic tapping was done, the DJ did whatever he wanted, from “Them Changes” to “Walk on By,” prompting a man next to me in button-up to nod his head. Who isn’t here for Warwick?

I stuffed myself for the occasion with a huge blazer and jeans and appreciated that anything casual or semi-casual worked: the night was a sea of ​​denim, black dresses, sweaters and tiny buns mingling, until all outfits looked more or less the same to me.

Photo: Tanya Kulesh

I heard a rumor that there would be free pizza at some point, but it never materialized. Some attendees, seated at tables in the back room, ordered food; I sipped my $20 martini and watched them, hungry and frugal. One of the couples at the rotating date table next to me was eating what appeared to be fried chicken and some kind of creamy potato soup; a friend of theirs came by and inhaled longingly. “It smells divine,” she said. You take what you can get.

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I sat down at a table where two women were eating a full Italian meal of salads, flatbread, red wine, and chunks of burrata. None of them subscribed the drift or has read an issue. “I’m just super online,” one told me. “‘Heterosexual Oppression,'” her friend read on the back cover. “I could get into it.”

In the farthest dining room of the third venue, a group of women caught up; none of them subscribed the drift either me Do subscribe to something New York magazine,” one tells me). I was chatting with a friend of a friend who joked that John Grisham was her sugar daddy and then Irish finally left.


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