"On behalf of Mayor Bloomberg, and the City of New York, today is Mercedes-Benz Day!" announced City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at the opening party for the famed luxury car's newest flagship on 11th Avenue. It was an appropriate declaration: Mercedes' latest address is a 330,000-square-foot, five-story, state-of-the-art flagship dealership, with a helix vehicle ramp that connects all five levels. On this balmy summer solstice day, Mercedes-Benz President and CEO Ernst Lieb welcomed notables the likes of Al Roker, Alexa Ray Joel, Molly Sims, Beth Stern, Fern Mallis, Nick Cannon, Rev Run, and restauranteur Rosanna Scotto. Speaking of food, there was plenty of that to go around as well. Inspired by The Modern's Executive Chef Gabriel Kreuther, chefs in the open kitchen whipped up delectable dishes like mushroom risotto, individual racks of lamb, and buckwheat blinis topped with sturgeon caviar. In between bites, guests checked out the myriad model cars, with a few of the ladies doing some mock-vamping behind the wheel, a la Christie Brinkley in Vacation (never mind that she was driving a Ferrari).
Post-cocktail fete, guests moved across the street for a tailgate and an outdoor concert by surprise musical guest Matchbox 20. This was not, however, your ordinary college tailgate party -- as you might have already guessed. This was a "champagne tailgate," where the trunk of the Mercedes was filled with bottles of Veuve Clicquot. There was also an open bar, for those who preferred vodka cocktails or wine. It was a chic, grown-up, and luxurious way to relive those old college parking lot days. And what better date to do it than on the longest day of the year?