Well, the Singapore Day event has come and gone with hardly a scratch 'n' sniff from local media. The Q is quite surprised that nobody really picked up on the potential public relations fiasco that the Park could've endured at the hands of some misunderstandings and misinformation.
I got a call from the Park's VP of Communications etc. and he managed to convince me that Prospect Park is not in fact for sale to the highest bidder. It would appear that Singapore Day officials presented their plan as a free event open to all, but mistakenly or by master design reverted to the core purpose of the festival - to fete and bribe Singaporeans to love the Police Banking State of Singapore and potentially return home or at the very least speak well of them. The Prime Minister's office is in charge of the event which started in 2007 right here in NYC at Wollman Rink in Central Park, a venue which is quite different than the Nethermead where it was held on Saturday, since you could easily close it off and rent it, unlike the 'Mead (as I like to call it starting right now) which is basically a beloved open space where dogs and run free and their owners can flirt. (C'mon, tell me you didn't buy the dog knowing you'd meet cute singles!)
I think it's safe to say that the Park regrets that they weren't more on top of the way Singapore Day was selling the event - basically to Singaporeans only -- as in the website stated outright that the event was restricted. In the end, not so many people showed up as they anticipated, meaning that the $4 million event cost about $1,000 per pop, what with flying in vendors and musicians from the motherland. There was something just wrong, all wrong, about the event in general, which SHOULD have been held in, say, the Javits Center, since it really had the heft, scent and feel of a convention rather than a public sharing of culture. And if my sources can be believed, the Park did NOT bank a lot of dough, though CLEARLY it should have, and if they ever get around to hiring me as Director of Development I'll do my best to see that they are VERY WELL compensated by flush regimes like Singapore for even, say, using the toilets. This was a marketing event pure and simple. For a $4 million party, the park should have netted at least a half a mill, instead of just aiming to cover their nut. Sorry to sound harsh, but it's the potential revenue that they botched, not the free or openness angle. Go ahead, shut down the Nethermead now and again, but please rake in the dollars so we can have nicer amenities all year long. Agreed?
And speaking of "partially free and open" events...what's the big deal about this Great Googa Mooga thing? It's embarrassing just to write that phrase, let alone listen to the "buzz" generated by a really dumb sounding pumped up wine and artisanal cheese snoozefest that managed to sell-out all its pre-registration tickets before announcing a single musical act, proving once and for all that food IS the new rock 'n' roll, since it's clearly the headliner, which suggests to me that we live in very, very hedonistic and insensitive time (anyone heard of poverty or famine?) to elevate high-art cooking over political engagement and social activism. Or for that matter...music.
The Q is not entirely over the hill however, or unable to savor fine cuisine...he likes the "youth beat music" of today and enjoys a good grass-fed burger now and then like the rest of you. But sheesh!
The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.