Manhattan Yuppies Raving On Their Lunch Breaks

NY Times – When lunchtime comes around, Laurie Batista often grabs a salad near the Flatiron ad agency where she works as an executive assistant and eats it at her desk. But shortly after noon on a sunny, 65-degree Friday in April, Ms. Batista, 31, jumped into a cab with three co-workers and headed west to Marquee, a nightclub on 10th Avenue. After waiting in a line that wrapped around onto 26th Street (and attracted the attention of the police, who wanted to know what was going on), she redeemed a drink ticket for a free cocktail of vodka and fruit punch. A half-hour later, she was wearing purple lensless Wayfarer-style glasses, waving a footlong foam glow stick and mouthing the words to Warren G’s “Regulate.” Around her, hundreds of other revelers did similar things: a guy in Chuck Taylors moonwalked across the dance floor, a man in a hoodie threw up his hands to form the “W” that stands for the rap group Wu-Tang Clan. Strobe lights bounced off a giant disco ball. Sweat glistened on foreheads. “Gin and Juice” thumped. Cheers erupted. It was midday, but inside Marquee, it could have been 2 a.m. Ms. Batista was one of more than 300 people who attended the latest Lunch Break, a free midday party series whose hosts are Flavorpill, the online culture guide, and Absolut vodka. Introduced last summer, it is the most raucous of a group of lunch-hour dance parties starting up in New York City and around the world. The goal: get the screen-addicted masses to move and groove, often with the lubrication of alcohol. But don’t get drunk: this is not the three-martini lunch of yore (or lore), ending with secretaries being chased around a desk. At Lunch Break, the free cocktail helps (“It’s just one drink, it’s not like you’re going to get hammered,” said Kiran Sachdeva, a student at the New York University Stern School of Business) but the D.J. carries the bulk of the burden.

Whatever happend to a good old Liquid Lunch? Does that not exist anymore? When I was in the cages if you could escape from your desk for any extended period of time you sat outside somewhere and drank a few beers. Like Andy Dufresne and Red and the rest of the Convict Crew who tarred the roof in Shawshank Redemption. “We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and we felt like free men…we did it just to feel normal again, if only for a short while.” The last thing I wanna do when I escape from the dreary brown and tan cubicle walls and immerse myself in complete darkness with strobe lights and womping techno music and some idiots raving completely sober. I mean unless these yuppie chicks are gonna get naked and make out and shit like they’re at a Blackout, give me a beer, some sun, and a TV with a baseball game on it and let me enjoy my 60 minutes of freedom.