Group hangs are finally safe (thank you, vaccines!) and after a socially distant year and a half, Greenpoint is ready to gather.
Greenpoint-based designers Nicky Balestreiri and Luigi Tadini, who run the design firm The Gathery, are two locals eager to party, and to help others do so.
While we were all in isolation, the duo invented Party by Numbers, a new way to party, virtually or in-person, with minimal planning. Because with so many friends to catch up with this summer, who has time to curate a menu or plan a theme? Party by Numbers does it all, so hosting is less of a burden, and more of a pleasure. For parties of 8-96 guests, Party by Numbers offers what they call “the lovechild of an airline trolley and a high-end bar cart” which is packed with everything you need to party.
Greenpointers caught up with Nicky and Luigi to learn more about their concept and how Greenpoint influences their style:
Why did you launch Party by Numbers?
Nicky Balestrieri: Party by Numbers was started partly in response to the pandemic. As designers and caterers, we have the expertise and know-how to create the biggest and most elaborate events on the planet (and have done so with our agency The Gathery, and our partners at Pinch Food Design). But when I had to do my partner Luigi’s birthday last April during lockdown for our pod in my apartment, I looked into the experience marketplace and found it completely lacking. I found plenty of party rental companies, décor kit companies, and prepared food box companies for me to DIY an event. Some were stylish, and some were not. Some required expertise and some were easy to use. Nowhere in the experience marketplace existed a product that delivered a whole event. We realized then and there that it was time to reimagine entertaining.
What is Party by Numbers?
Nicky: We wanted our customers to have the ability to order a complete party from one, easy-to-use shoppable destination that truly includes everything: cuisine, cocktails, rentals, service ware, decor, lighting, music, and scent.
What’s more, is that we wanted to make it sustainable. So, the cart that serves as your elegant bar for the party is the delivery device, and when you are done, you simply put everything back into the cart for pick up (no waste and zero fuss). Party by Numbers is in a class of its own in terms of what is offered, because it’s truly a full party ready-to-go.
Tell us more about the Party by Numbers experience?
Inside you’ll find incredible food that’s ready to heat-or-eat. The food arrives in presentation-ready inventions – a “toolkit” for hors d’oeuvres, a sculpture for big bites, and includes a series of risers for the serving dishes. PxN can accommodate vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy free. All menus are inherently nut-free. For example, in our Provence-themed look L’Artiste: Guests will snack on bites like mushroom pate en croute and mussels ala creme. Heartier fare like bouillabaisse over lemon orzo and a family-style niçoise is served in stylish place settings that complement the pastel hues of the collection
Batched cocktails are ready to pour over ice. Magnums of wine are available and every cart comes with 20 lbs of cold-draft ice. In our Provence-themed look L’Artiste: Guests can sip on pre-batched cocktails like the Citron Presse, a spritely cocktail mixed with vodka, fillet, and lavender syrup.
Custom playlists and a sound system are also included. A Bose Speaker with custom playlist by DJ contingency Les Filles. PxN speakers link together so you can create surround-sound for larger parties.
The host’s location will be transformed with votives, a room-transforming lighting device, and floral arrangements designed by Brooklyn florist Ingrid Carozzi (Tin Can Studios). A full-size bougie candle designed in collaboration with Arquiste Parfumer is a gift for every host. Plus, custom tableware including Plates by Jered Ceramics, two styles of glassware, silverware, napkins ready-rolled in rings, a custom linen tablecloth, servingware and accessories for the food are all included.
What are your recommendations for planning a party in Greenpoint?
Nicky: Keep it small. The joy of bringing people together is to actually spend time with your guests. We recommend throwing parties on a scale where you’re still able to interact and not be stuck in the kitchen or behind the bar. Dinner for 8, cocktails for 16, and so forth.
What are some new trends in the party space?
Nicky: Smaller events are more meaningful, and seem to be the entertaining style du jour. As we emerge from our pandemic lockdowns, we’re going to need time to acclimate to larger parties. Also, people learned the joy of entertaining at home during the past year and half. That’s not going away.
How did you develop looks for each cart?
Luigi: All four founders are avid travelers who are continuously inspired by the places, people and things we discover around the globe. When we started to develop our themes, we knew we wanted to frame their aesthetic through the lens of destinations. We were all craving travel and found that bringing elements of these far-flung locations to our homes seemed appropriate and comforting.
Each Look, the thematic styling that drives each rentable experience, follows a simple formula that brings unexpected interpretations of familiar locations, artists, architects, and other points of inspiration to life through the product. Uniquely, each Look has a signature base color which makes occasion-specific planning (baby showers, Fourth of July, etc) even simpler.
For every look, you will find pieces sourced from the destinations themselves like hand-formed vases from Japan, silverware from France, artisanal napkin rings from Mexico, and signature lighting pieces like our custom-made Moroccan lanterns.
How does designing in Greenpoint inspire you?
Nicky: We love being in Greenpoint–the beautiful old townhouses, waterfront views and terrific restaurants. On any given night you could find us at Glasserie or in the morning, grabbing bagels at Frankel’s.