In 1970, Scanlans ran a the first piece of Gonzo jouralism about the Kentucky Derby titled “Decadent and Depraved” by Hunter S. Thompson. Even when I read it a few years ago, the strange mixture of the crowd’s high society posturing and lewd, whiskey swilling conduct made a powerful impression. Since then I’ve had the desire to do it up like a governor, but get down like a boss.
People bill the Kentucky Derby as the most exciting two minutes in sports. I don’t know about that (easier to say this is the most exciting 1 second), but it does make for a good party. Remember, in Thompson’s story, the Derby’s well-bred don’t respond to whiskey much differently than the Boss does to Deborah’s rejection. And with Kentucky’s 135th horse shit-show airing in New York bars tomorrow, you can share in all the high-filutin’ pukin’ that only a theme party can tease out of you because dressing up does something to normal folk. We think we are acting in character – like mascots whose antics can only be blamed on their hot, sweaty, hidden identity. Similarly, when Alice falls down a flight of stairs dressed as a Playboy Bunny after 10 tequilas, it isn’t like Alice did it, it was that Playboy Bunny. Alice doesn’t even drink, remember.
Check out the legwork Metromix has done by compiling this list. I’d bet on The Bell House because with BBQ, music (including a bugler), an ice cream truck, and free mint julip happy hour in Gowanus seems a safe bet for depravity, decadence, and lost cufflinks.