Ah, the common Brooklyn house party. A hellscape of kombucha-crazed nightcore aficionados who beg you to subscribe to their pet pugs’ Instagrams. To the introvert, there may be no more forbidding experience. And yet, it’s important to leave your cave every now and then, meet new people, and eat snacks in a public setting.
Here are my tips on how to deal with several of the kinds of people you’ll meet at a party in Brooklyn, developed and honed over years of my own personal, kale-stained experience. Don’t worry, after the party you can return home and watch a fictional, but equally eclectic, Brooklyn as portrayed in HBO’s High Maintenance (Season 2 premieres Friday, January 19th at 11pm EST).
There’s nothing worse than comedians at parties. Desperate for attention and love, they’re usually trying out “bits” on you, and “bits” are what the rest of us call “being an asshole.” When confronted by a comedian, your first hope is to simply retreat and seek shelter in a comedian-free convo. But, at times, you may be cornered. In that case, you must resort to “the nuclear option.” When the comedian launches a “bit,” respond with stony silence, the human equivalent of the emoji with a flat line for a mouth. After a time, the comedian will grow frustrated and move on. Hopefully.
Musicians really run the gamut. Some of them are tolerable. Some, however, are vaporwave/freak folk “artists” with delusions of grandeur and a trust fund. I find it’s best to smile and nod at them, promise to check out their SoundCloud, and definitely don’t promise to attend a live show. They’ll remember, and hold it against you when you never follow through.
Look, I get it, Burning Man is cool. Deep in my soul, I know I’d enjoy nude-riding a glittery unicycle around an arid, sunblasted dystopia. But I’m never going to, because I also enjoy playing video games on the couch and not having scabies. So when I meet one of these smug DIY show-offs, I’m filled with envy, along with a touch of hypochondria. But I looked it up and you generally can’t get scabies from shaking hands. So listen to the burner’s tales of adventure, live vicariously a little bit, and definitely do not engage in what the CDC calls “prolonged skin-to-skin contact.”
Occasionally, you will meet someone at a Brooklyn house party who has a job. A real, normal job, like librarian or dental hygienist. These people are like oxygen to me, and almost invariably the most interesting people to talk to. Seek them out. Make them your friends. Talk about what a 401k is. Because a 401k is so much more interesting than hearing about somebody’s unfinished screenplay.
I realize most people say this now. We must never accept it. The moment you hear this execrable phrase, leap out the window (even if it’s closed) and run all the way home.
Do you have any tips for surviving a Brooklyn house party? What’s your favorite kind of person to meet there? Let me know in the comments. And for more quirky Brooklynites, watch High Maintenance, which is coming back to HBO with a second season tonight at 11pm EST. The travails of “The Guy,” a bike-riding weed dealer with a customer list as diverse as this city, will ring true to anyone who’s lived through the highs and lows of a Brooklyn house party.
Tony Carnevale is a senior writer for Studio@Gizmodo.