The Salmagundi Club in the West Village is one of those brownstones you wish was your mansion. Stately, historic, with an enormous parlor room, library and built in bar, stepping in brings you instantly to another time. But unlike many private clubs in New York City, the Salmagundi Club is a non-profit dedicated to the arts. It was a fitting place, therefore, for the company GroupMe to launch their new venture, GroupMe Experiences. It’s a platform for group planning, which guides you to discover some “untapped” places and events, while making it easy to rally your friends together and manage the most annoying part: paying.
For last night’s event, the historic Salmagundi Club, founded in 1871, played host to a variety of unique experiences, to which we were initiated. In the parlor room, we were ushered into the era of the Tudors, being dressed and photographed by the theatric and fun Ventikoland. Untapped New York’s Sunday in Chinatown columnist Luke Kingma discovered what it was like to be turned into a “maiden bride with child,” replete with makeup.
In the other half of the parlor room, we played parlor games with Fritz Donnelly of HiChristina!, getting to know new friends through games like “Pussy Poor Pussy,” meowing on all fours and trying to make others laugh. By the time we made it up to the music gallery for a modern violin performance by Todd Reynolds (using looping pedals and drum beats), we had all dropped any form of pretense we had upon entering.
In the library gathered at least 30 for some “Drinking through Literature” by Joios, where Hemingway quotes were repurposed as toasts, and next door was arts and crafts by Laura Lee Gulledge. In the basement level, there were billiards to the backdrop of a live piano man, a photo booth by Onomonomedia, poker and etiquette school. Finally, in the main gallery there were tango classes.
It was an interesting juxtaposition between old and new, but not one that was too jarring for The Salmagudi Club, who has counted artists as N.C. Wyeth and Louis Comfort Tiffany among its members. Currently, the club is supporting the resurgence of representational art in America and even has an artist membership, which allows you to exhibit your work in the club’s special exhibitions. The club also has a permanent collection of over 1500 works of art.
GroupMe Experiences will launch with some great experiences as well, including admission and lunch at the Guggenheim and the Wright, a haunted “Zombie Apocalypse Survival Practice” in a Bronx warehouse, and a Rent the Runway experience for a Girls’ Night Out with champagne and little bites. Find out more about GroupMe Experiences here.
Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.