Friday, December 01, 2006

New York parties go on without me

I am not staying at the Waldorf-Astoria.

NASCAR broke me of that a few years back when they overbooked reservations for championship weekend and I got placed in a room in the Waldorf Towers at about $575 a night. The Observer paid that bill, but they weren't too happy and I don't blame them.

I always try to find something in the neighborhood, and for the past few years I've been in a little hotel down about two blocks that's nice and costs, by New York City standards, a reasonable rate. I won't tell you the name, though. Find your own secret New York City place.

Anyway, Friday I had an afternoon meeting up near Rockefeller Center and decided to swing by the Waldorf to pick up my banquet ticket on the way. As I went into the massive lobby (the Waldorf really is a fabulous place, until you actually go to the closets they call rooms), I started seeing a few NASCAR folks.

Some of them looked OK, but several of them were kind of, well, bleary-eyed. One guy I won't name was asking me if they had a Starbucks in the hotel because he needed coffee, badly, and was afraid it was about to start raining outside. Acutally, there is a Starbucks off the entrance on the Park Avenue side.

This guy, and several others I ran across, had been to Thursday night's big party at a place called Marquis. This is the second year that party has been held, and last year it was by all accounts quite the throwdown. That event, in fact, was the final blow for the Myers Brothers Breakfast that used to be held on Friday mornings. Several people who were supposed to give or receive awards at that breakfast last year had not sufficiently recovered from the Marquis party to do so.

No, I didn't go. Not last year, not this year. I am too old and too married for that kind of foolishness. I don't drink, either, and that pretty much seems to be the whole point of this party, too.

Anyway, initial reports are that while this year's event was wall-to-wall people having a very good time, there were far fewer misbehaving celebrants than last year.

There's another chance, though, after the awards ceremony tonight. The post-banquet party seems to have calmed down some in recent years, too. There apparently still hasn't been one yet to match the 1992 party thrown by Alan Kulwicki, which legend has it included Richard Petty dancing in a Conga line and Kulwicki and several Winston officials digging in their tuxedo pockets for enough money to pay the band, Jack Mack and the Heart Attacks, to keep playing for an extra hour or two.

Sorry, but I won't be able to confirm or deny what happens there, either. I have to file a story after the banquet, and once I am back in my room it'd take an act of Congress to get me to go back to the Waldorf and get in the middle of all of that.

-- Written by and posted for David Poole


Anonymous said...'ve got so many great stories! Maybe it's time to write another book?

Anonymous said...

One word descibes the awards show-BORING!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Your recap of the banquet is exactly right. It is a travesty of an awards event when more time is spent listening to a disconnected comedian than the man who just finished spending a grueling season reaching the pinnacle of his profession. Chad Knaus deserved recognition in front of all his peers in that setting.

Your ideas on the points system are solid too. Here is a way to make the regular season races more racy, and ensure the truly best 10 teams are in the playoffs; the points leader and the next nine drivers by points WHO HAVE WON A REGULAR SEASON RACE make the Chase. It culls those who can't close the deal, and will make wins mean more in the regular season. Earnhardt and Gordon would have made it last year, and Stewart this year.

Anonymous said...

It is just a very extravagant and wasteful event. Since it is Christmas season why don't they take it down a few notches and send the savings to St. Judes Research Hospital or some other charity that sends over 70% of funds through to its recipients (ths Salvation Army is highest at over 80%!)?


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Anonymous said...

The awards banquet was disgusting...the pre-show black/yellow carpet with Melissa Rivers and Mikey Waltrip was Mikey gay when he asked Kasey for a hug? How stupid was that! Jay Mohr's opening monlogue was dumb and we turned the TV off after listening to him for about 10 minutes. WE WANT TO LISTEN TO THE DRIVERS, NOT A PATHETIC $10 COMEDIAN! NASCAR NEEDS TO MOVE THE SHOW TO RACIN' COUNTRY........CHARLOTTE, NC.

Anonymous said...

Any chance that this will be moved now that a NYC track isn't going to happen?