I spent most of my career writing really frivolous shit. It was a good living, and I took it extremely seriously, but a few years ago, I began applying myself to somewhat more pressing topics. Given the state of the world—i.e., my belated awareness of the state of the world—I didn’t really have a choice.
Even so, I sometimes do still miss the frivolous shit. After the past year, I’ve been missing it more than ever.
So when my editor at Marker asked if I'd like to write about Soho House and how the global empire of members-only social clubs was surviving the pandemic (believe it or not, the company is plotting an IPO), I not only jumped at the chance, I went deep—like more than 7,000 words deep.
I mean, I really went for it.
"It wasn’t FOMO alone that fueled Soho House’s conquest of New York. For those who made it past reception, the club felt like a boozy cocoon, safe from the color-coded threat alerts, shoe bombers, anthrax fiends, and gas-station snipers that haunted our dreams. New Yorkers needed comforting, and for the fortunate few, Soho House provided it."
Probably overdid it a bit, to be honest. But time-traveling back to the early aughts, when the club first touched down in the Meatpacking District, prompted a psychic return to my glossy roots. Back then, the Internet was an afterthought. The stuff was going into print! It felt weighty. We sweated every word. I had one editor who used to say things like, “Make it a tone poem.” And I was like, “I’m on it!”
Seriously, this is how we used to write.
"It’s an upscale archipelago, a hotel chain, a snug garrison for a pampered urban elite, a restaurant group, a digital play, a celebrity refuge, a coworking juggernaut, a royal love nest, a lifestyle brand, an elitist throwback, a gated community, and a state of mind."
Anyway, here’s a link. Hope you like it. See you at the pool.
P.S. I also recently chatted with the amazing Lee Grant about her memories of the Red Scare and her take on a new anti-Trumpist blacklist, and wrote about how a handful of bloggers hatched a plan to take down Stockton’s superstar mayor, Michael Tubbs.