We had been scouring the weather report for the past week, trying to decide which ones were the most reliable, and definitely leaning toward the sites that forecasted no rain. ‘Our thunderstorm’ as we ended up referring to it, kept moving from a.m. to p.m. on the 12th of July. And although we were hoping for the best, we were preparing for the worst with tents and contingency plans.
See, July 12th was the Here Magazine launch party, and after months of work by the Away team and Ally Betker, our editorial director/wizard, the magazine was ready to be seen by the general public.
We selected North Brooklyn Farms for the shindig, an outdoor venue right on the Brooklyn waterfront with incredible views of the Williamsburg Bridge. Rain would have been a bit of a spoiler; so we did our opposite rain dances and prayed to any higher being that would listen that the weather would spare our party.
The evening came, and the skies were clear. Here Magazine was placed on the picnic table benches alongside mini Away suitcases. The guests, including Phoebe Lovatt, Nate Brown, and Thaddeus O’Neil arrived to views of the sun setting on the New York City skyline, with no clouds in sight. The cocktail menu was inspired by cities featured in the first issue of Here, including Jaipur and Cape Town, and guests sipped on those, as well as the wine provided by Winc as they mingled. Setting the scene was music from Gillian Sansky, who has DJ’d for everyone from the Tribeca Film Festival to Bulgari.
As the sun began to disappear, guests took their places at one of 14 tables and enjoyed a three course meal created by North Brooklyn Farms’ in-house chefs, featuring locally grown produce that was literally from the on-site farm to the table. Very Brooklyn—very yummy. Although there was a touch of rain during dinner, it somehow only made the meal feel more intimate, and was long gone by the time the guests got up.
After dinner, there was a speech and a hug by Ally and Away’s co-founder Jen Rubio that had the whole place tearing up. “I didn’t know I wanted to start a magazine,” said Ally. “Until Jen asked me to.”
More people arrived, and the after party went into full effect. Gillian got back on the decks, the bars did their very best to keep up with demand (and demand we did). A Here neon sign provided the perfect backdrop for photoshoots, along with the glowing greenhouse/art piece by Tom Fruin. A photo booth provided endless entertainment, and at one point a bulldog made an appearance in the booth (always the mark of a successful night). DJ Leslie Kirchoff joined Gillian behind the board, until the venue physically unplugged them to get people to stop dancing. It was a night to remember, and one that felt big enough to do Here Magazine justice.
As we approach Labor Day and the start of fall, this will stand out as our summer 2017 highlight. Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate the launch: we’re already looking forward to the anniversary party.