palms-05-smallWhen we exited the subway station at Court Street in Long Island City in Queens, we could already hear music bouncing and echoing from down the nearly empty street. The music lured us closer, until I saw the painted letters PS1 looming over a courtyard, and realized that was the other dance party in the neighborhood, put on by the MoMA offshoot. (As one person put it later in a text, “How many giant parties can one neighborhood have??”) We we turned around and went back the other way and found what we came for: The Palms.

Inside the fenced yard, under strings of lights, revelers lounged in a hammock, gossiped on towels crowded under striped beach awnings, played volleyball and ping pong, and nodded to the heavy bass electronic of Small Black. Up on a high deck, more partiers frolicked in dumpsters retrofitted as pools. Beach balls bounced around, and glass office buildings rose shining around us into the fast-fading summer sky. We grabbed a couple PBRs from the bar and set about the party taking pictures.

The crowd was…different. With Electric Zoo, Burning Man, and one other party going on in Brooklyn whose name escapes me, along with the fact that it was Labor Day weekend, the party was almost free of the usual interesting characters who usually stock the Danger/Third Ward parties. It was packed with photographers, all taking pictures of people and each other (we may have been in Queens, but it was a Brooklyn party at heart.) One big self-referencing fest. We met a woman when she snapped several photos of me–she takes trend reference photos, and also does modeling for painter Philip Pearlstein. We also met another pretentious photographer. He was pretty insufferable (“Oh, I have 130 lenses, it’s hard to keep track.”), but he pulled out his Netbook and showed me all his photos from the September 2010 Danger Party, including pictures of the naked hot tub from above. Ooh la la! There were also some pretty people, but also a lot of nerds too, including what looked like somebody’s pot-bellied uncle with a Hawaiian hat jamming out to the music. He looked pretty happy, though, so it was OK.

palms-01-small

Meanwhile, as it grew dark, the debauchery started. Two young ladies climbed up on top of a wooden box and shimmied about in their underwear. The smell of pot drifted around us as we sat in chaise lounges and talked with acquaintances. Up on the deck, there was some terrible “synchronized swimming” which consisted of women in crazy costumes doing interpretive dances not quite in time with each other.

We missed Luke’s Lobster, but the Jamaican Dutchy truck pulled in, and offered up jerk chicken and curried goat to hoards of hungry partiers.

palms-04-small

Around midnight the music started inside the building, which resembled a small-town event center. Amateur break dancers showed off to old school rap in the center of the dance floor and in the corner friends crowded around a jury rigged photo booth, whose shots were projected on another wall.

As far as Danger Parties go, it was pretty tame. I expected a rager, but the crowd peaked around 11pm and then thinned out from there. We rolled out around two, satisfied that it probably wouldn’t get much more interesting.

We had a good time, though, and it was a fitting, low-key end to a New York summer.

Check out the rest of the photos by Trevor Wilson in the slideshow below:

[nggallery id=5]