Mickey Boardman: The Anatomy of a Downtown Charity Event

Paper magazine's Mickey Boardman said it's not easy to convince the overly indulgent downtown chic crowd to attend a charity event, but he was pleasantly surprised by the top-tier guest list he shored-up for his last-minute fashionable Haiti relief party at Thom Bar last night.

"I'm so happy to see such a fabulous turnout," Boardman said as he took in the crowded scene within the Thom Bar's mahogany wood walls.

Clustered around cocktail tables and hugging the L-shaped, backlit bar, the guests (leather jackets, flat-brimmed baseball caps, designer t-shirts and slinky dresses) dutifully hobnobbed, imbibed and swayed to slow-burning house jams and classic soul cuts. If only humanitarian awards came in the form of a sparkling Jeroboam.

"It's easy to fill a party, but to fill a party where people who get everything in their lives for free are expected to pay money -- even if it is for a good cause -- is pretty hard because New Yorkers are very spoiled I find," Mr. Boardman said on the second floor of the Thompson Street Hotel, his favorite downtown spot for throwing an intimate event.

After being contacted by Indochine owner Jean-Marc Houmard (whose Maitre d' Max is Haitian) last Thursday, Paper committed to throwing a charitable party, while fashion insiders (and Indochine regulars) like designer Narciso Rodriguez and girl-about-town Julia Restoin-Roitfeld quickly circulated the word.

"It seems that all the people I know who are very social do have some kind of charity that they support, so they kind of have a little infrastructure that you know, if you say, can you spread the word about this event they can do it," Boardman said. "Plus with Facebook and Twitter, it's really easy."

Speaking of Twitter, had he read President Obama's tweet -- his first ever (from @redcross account) -- from Port-au-Prince earlier that day? He hadn't, but immediately said he'd be adding the President to his 'following' list, which include Queen Rania of Jordon, Maria Schriever "and porn stars," he laughed before ducking back inside to work the room and get his charity on.

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