Sean Parker, the co-founder of Napster and now the guy who helped launch Plaxo and’ Facebook, is now my party-throwing neighbor here in the quietest part of Greenwich Village. He’s renting a gutted, modern carriage house that was once populated by drug dealers (a long time ago). The house, owned by the Cinzano family and known as Bacchus House, even has an atrium.
The good news is that Parker, celebrating his 30th birthday Saturday night, raised about $30,000 from his guests for the charity Malaria No More. Parker plans to match the donation. And he’s serious about curing malaria, among other diseases.
Among Parker’s guests: a wide-brim black-hatted Val Kilmer, dressed as either a Hasidic Jew, Amish minister or, as one guest observed, Gertrude Stein. It’s not clear what Oliver Stone, who directed the old Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison in “The Doors,” thought of Kilmer’s current incarnation. And I didn’t ask. Anyway, other well-known faces (still in their recognizable condition) included Gina Gershon, fresh from her Broadway performance in “Bye Bye Birdie,” plus Warner Music’s Lyor Cohen and actors Matthew Modine, Fisher Stevens and Griffin Dunne, a late-arriving Stephen Baldwin and magazine publisher Jason Binn. There was, alas, no sign of Justin Timberlake, who’s set to play Parker in the David Fincher/Aaron Sorkin movie “The Social Network.” For real, yes, I’m not kidding.
There were also scads and scads of beautiful babes, presumably Parker’s friends from Facebook. There was food in the form of passed h’ors d’oeuvres, but maybe not enough. At one point, Ray’s Pizza, down the street, the actual real and original Ray’s Pizza, sent over six large pies. The deliveryman wasn’t allowed inside, however. One of Parker’s minions met him out front in the cold and tenderly accepted the steaming pizzas by wrapping them in a bed sheet. In three decades, I have not seen Ray’s pizzas so lovingly embraced.
I didn’t actually meet Sean Parker, but I think that’s the sign of a successful party. I was depressed, anyway, since I moved to this block exactly one year before he was born. (I was in college; don’t get excited. I’m not 100 years old. There weren’t horse-drawn carriages, but you could drive straight down Broadway through Times Square without yielding to tourists sitting on aluminum chairs.)
So anyway, as long as our parking spaces aren’t always taken and the noise stays down (it did last night), Parker is welcome to toss as many charity fundraisers as he likes. We’ve also recently had an invasion of the wealthy: the Soros family, Black Eyed Peas manager David Sonnenberg, and a few others who are ignoring the recession by gutting, renovating and planting terrariums. Welcome to the block!