So as you might imagine, there are lots of opportunities to get down and “jiggy” with it here in the Big Apple. Throughout the five boroughs, one can jam to jazz clubs in Harlem, or salsa dance in the South Bronx. There are wild “artstar” parties in factory lofts in the Lower East Side and thematic soirees in converted garages in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. But sometimes the best parties are the parties you throw yourself.
The Levys recently had two excellent reasons to celebrate – Mark’s 60th Birthday, and the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) convention. Mark’s 60th birthday was a fun, raucous affair held at Casa Levy with over 60 family members and friends of Poppa Levy descending on the leafy green streets of Ditmas Park. We had a big stereo pumping out cocktail tunes, we had a healthy mix of Mark’s favorite foodstuffs – from East Village Cheese, sliced meats & spreads to banchan – Korean snacks and appetizers from Woorijip, Mark’s favorite K-Town resto.
Add to this list a Jamaican Rum Punch handcrafted by Gideon and lots of beer and wine, and it was a solid party. We had friends from Mark’s years as a City Employee a decade ago, as well as members of the LUNYverse – our guides and business partners.
It was a big hoot, and after Mark blew out the candles on the cake and everyone sang happy birthday, there was a lovely couple of speeches by 2 of Mark’s sons and 1 of his business partners! Then it was back to drinking and dancing. A solid party all in all. More pictures on Matt’s facebook page.
Just last week, the SYTA convention came to town. SYTA is the 700-member trade org that works with everyone involved in Student Travel – from State Convention & Visitors Bureaus (Come to Pennsylvania – we’ve got Hershey’s!) to restaurants (Eat at Hard Rock!) to Attractions (Check out Top of the Rock!) to Tour Guides (Us!). All these “Associates” meet with “Actives” – the Student Tour Companies that book school group trips. The convention skips around cities – last year was Sacramento, next year is Nashville. But this year it was held at the Sheraton Hotel on 53rd street in midtown, and WE threw a PARTY for our clients!
You have to understand, we only see our clients face to face once a year, at these conventions. All our business is done via email and over the phone, and our clients rarely visit NY with the school groups they send, since they’re too busy booking trips to actually travel. So with our clients all descending on NYC, we figured we’d throw them a party!
The SYTA Swanky Soiree was held in the Madison Club, on the 30th floor of Alisa’s apt building, overlooking Madison Square Park. Although the weather was mostly overcast, all who attended said that the views were the most stunning they’d ever seen, including the aforementioned Top of the Rock! (Sorry ToR! But when you’re 30 stories up on a balcony, so close to the Empire State Building you could almost reach out and grab it, it beats a 78th floor observation deck.)
We had more meats and cheeses from EVC, a bunch of spinach pastries from Damascus Bakeries in Brooklyn, a full bar, and the aforementioned views, which were worth the price of admission (being a client of the Levys!) More pictures available on Matt’s facebook page. It just goes to show, whether for fun or for business, the Levys’ know how to throw a party!
By Matt Levy