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The Whitney Breaks Ground and Champagne Glasses in the Meatpacking

The uptown institution feted its soon-to-be new digs with a downtown crowd on Tuesday night.

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Amare Stoudemire Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo

Jason Wu

Photo By Steve Eichner

The week’s barrage of art-related parties continued downtown Tuesday night, where the Whitney celebrated its groundbreaking in the Meatpacking District earlier in the day.

 

Honorary co-chairs Amar’e Stoudemire, Shala Monroque and Eddie Borgo were on hand at the cavernous Highline Stages, where guests like Lauren Santo Domingo, Maggie Betts, Brooke and Dan Neidich, Joan Smalls, Lily Kwong and Kate Schelter roamed freely through the large, brick lined rooms.

 

“This is an art party, all right,” one guest laughed, “It’s too loud and too crowded.”

 

Stoudemire avoided the issue of crowding by spending much of the evening solo in a cordoned-off VIP area, which consisted of several pieces of leather furniture surrounded by velvet ropes, which hit him seemingly at the kneecap. Joanne Cassulo posed with the basketball stud towards the beginning of the night, laughing about their height difference, “We’re happy to have him here,” Cassulo grinned, “Certainly brings the room up.”

 

The party ran from 9 p.m.- 1 a.m., with the hip-hop hits of the early Nineties (music was by Slater Bradley, Ben Brock and Harley Viera Newton) punctuated by the periodic sound of shattering glass. More than one waiter had issues navigating the rough-hewn brick floor. Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie picked their way through the shards of what used to be Champagne flutes, while May Anderson embraced Erin Fetherston near the silent auction table. Rahma Mohamed posed for photographers with Johan Lindeberg while Hannah Bronfman, Rebecca Minkoff, Ashley Wick and Monique Péan chatted by the bar.

 

Emma Snowdon-Jones and Lauren Remington Platt were also on hand, the latter greeting Bettina and Jamie Prentice near a potted palm tree. Jen Brill slipped in and out of the ‘do, mugging for photographers against a brick wall outside. Mimi Ritzen Crawford also spun through the event, pausing to chat with Lulu Frost’s Lisa Salzer. Yigal Azroeul and Prabal Gurung were also on hand, dancing until late.

 

As the night wound down, and partygoers smoked outside the entrance, a few had to dodge orange traffic cones thrown by an angry, uninvited paparrazo who was threatening police action against the event’s security. “I’d like to see your permit,” the camera-wielding aggressor cried, attempting to stun the guards with his camera flash after he ran out of cones.

 

Guests seemed unruffled, snapping photos of him on their iPhones, instead.