Here’s something you need to know about me before I tell you more about the awesome SSR one-year anniversary party I threw this past weekend…
I am not one to throw myself a party.
Why not? Well, I really hate being the center of attention. Need proof? I had to excuse myself at my college graduation and basically every single one of my wedding-related events to cry in the restroom because I was feeling so overwhelmed by eyes looking at me and people talking about me. (Luckily, this didn’t happen at my actual wedding, since I was sharing the spotlight with my new husband!) I threw a joint birthday party with one of my friends a few years ago at a bar on the Lower East Side here in NYC — hoping that it would be a fun excuse to put on a cute dress and also to get over my weird hang-up about all of this — but by the time the night of the party actually rolled around, I was more or less just telling people that it was for my friend, laughing off my role in it. I know that this is kind of an annoying quality, because it’s nice to give people the opportunity to celebrate you now and then, but it’s just not something I’m very good at.
As the one-year anniversary of the podcast drew closer, though, I decided that it was time to get over myself and celebrate. Maybe throwing a party for one of my things — in this case, the podcast — would feel different than throwing a party for me as a human. I was also highly aware of how lucky I’d been to have the support of so many friends and family members as I launched and built the show… not to mention all of the listeners and fans who gave me the confidence to keep making new episodes when it felt like I was talking into a vacuum. Even if I felt weird celebrating myself, I liked the idea of celebrating all of those wonderful people (like you!). Also, I REALLY wanted an excuse to get some giant SSR balloon letters.
The planning was on. I started researching party spaces for rent in Brooklyn, excited to welcome fans and loved ones to my neighborhood shortly after the podcast’s “official” anniversary. Who would have thought that renting a space in Brooklyn was sooo expensive? After seven years of living in New York, I probably should have known better — nope, a dedicated space was most certainly not in the budget for this little indie podcaster. Instead, I decided to invite everyone to celebrate with me at Pig Beach, one of my favorite summer hangout spots. It’s kind of a beer garden/BBQ restaurant hybrid, and since I don’t really love beer or eat BBQ, I can’t say I totally understand why I love it so much. They do happen to have the most delicious frose on the planet there… plus, we could have the party outside, which meant Irv would be able to come! I was fully comfortable with the fact that lots of people would mostly show up to the party to meet my dog, so we went ahead with the plan.
Butttttttt leave it to the girl who never throws a party for herself to schedule an outdoor party on the single hottest day that New York City has seen in years. L-O-L.
I’m stubborn, so as word spread about the oncoming heat wave, I tried to convince myself that we could still make it work. We’d find a table in the shade! We’d get there early! We could pop into the air conditioned indoor space at Pig Beach if we needed a break!
Luckily for me, one of my closest childhood friends happens to be a hot shot at the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club, a super cool venue just a block away from Pig Beach. Hours away from the party, she asked me if I wanted to move things inside and offered to get a space set up for me at Royal Palms… in the AC! By that point, Matt and I had basically ruled out the possibility of bringing Irv to the party (too hot for him!), and since that had been the primary reason for us to stick with the outdoor plan in the first place, I gladly accepted her offer. Phew!
The next morning, I was totally panicking. I had woken up to a few messages from people who had planned to come to the party, but were (understandably) opting to stay close to home because of the crazy hot temperatures. I had a vision of myself standing alone — well, maybe with my mom and my husband — in a big empty party space with my giant SSR balloons. Lame! I congratulated myself on all of the good judgement I’d practiced to that point in not throwing myself parties.
But, guess what, friends? It wasn’t lame! It was so, so fun. My loved ones are champs and ventured out in the heat wave to celebrate with me at the Royal Palms, and I even got to meet a few listeners for the first time! One SSR fan happened to be in the area all the way from California, and she trekked from Connecticut to Brooklyn to hang out! We played shuffleboard and drank piña coladas and took pics in front of the balloon letters and talked about the podcast and I did everything I could to just be present and enjoy the moment. It was really special!
I’m so grateful to everyone who was part of the party, and I know there are so many members of the SSR community who were there in spirit! I have big dreams of hosting podcast events in other cities in the future, so hopefully we’ll have a chance to meet and book talk IRL down the road. In the meantime, here are a few photos from Saturday! Enjoy!