I throw around the word “surreal” quite a bit, but how else can I describe finding myself on an island crowded with more bowties than are probably in Andre 3000’s closet, where $170 bottles of champagne sold out in an hour? This strange dreamscape has a name: the 2011 Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic.
The Polo Classic was held on Governors Island, and I took the ferry from Whitehall with a crowd that seemed to have just left the Kentucky Derby… or The Great Gatsby. The island was equally swarmed with wide hats and shorts/blazer combinations in pastels. Silly me, I thought that since we would be sitting on the grass that people would be dressed so casually. I should have known better for an annual event that had Prince Harry competing last year and Hugh Jackman as the master of ceremonies this year.
I guess this is what life must be like in Nantucket. I’d never been to a polo match before so I was completely unfamiliar with the rules, but the internet tells me it was created in Iran and it’s something like lacrosse on horseback. The two teams of horse riders, including the apparently famous Nacho Figueras of Buenos Aires, met each other at the middle of the field to the sound of “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones. Which… I’m sorry, my mind is still trying to process that.
I did not guzzle any Veuve Clicquot, that’s a drink purely reserved for fancy art openings (when it’s free), but I was in the minority. Wait, is there a recession? Oh, if only I had gone into finance, this could be my weekend life! I guess I like seersucker and polka dots all right…
Governors Island, the decommissioned military base just off of Manhattan in the New York harbor, always feels detached from the rest of the city, but I felt like I’d inadvertently hopped into a portal to another time and place when I’d boarded the ferry. The people watching was just insane. I don’t think I’ll beat it this summer, even if I go to every outdoor concert in Williamsburg. And I even saw someone with pet potbelly pig named Franklin in Williamsburg last weekend!
Well, we did eventually have to return to “reality,” in quotations because it’s only my reality, and went up to the Housing Works street fair. I felt so at home digging through the old $1 books