"One of our favorite crashes was Jay-Z's party out in the Hamptons," says Chappy. "A gated ten-acre mansion with giant tents, walls of Veuve Clicquot, and unlimited gigantic shrimp."
"We told them we were in Lil' Kim's posse," says Fox, a soft-spoken man in his forties.
"We had to have gotten seventeen people in," Chappy continues. "We took over an entire sector of the house until finally they said, 'Lil' Kim has had too many guests here.' "
Chappy and Fox (not their real names, naturally) are two of New York's most accomplished party crashers, and on a recent Wednesday afternoon, they're strategizing for the evening and discussing their many years on the circuit. "The word crash is rarely used among people in the industry. We say Let's visit or infiltrate," says Chappy, also in his forties.
For Chappy and Fox and the other men (and they are almost all men) in New York's crashing community, "visiting" is something of a team sport: It's not just about which party you can get into, but how many you can rack up and how many people you can bring along. They aren't out for social acceptance; it would spoil all the fun.
Chappy and Fox's greatest hits include Puff Daddy's bashes (they claimed to be with Hamptons magazine) and Talk's Liberty Island launch. ("A walk-on," says Fox. "Once you were on the boat you were in the party.")
Last year, Chappy agreed to reveal some of the techniques that have kept him in Cosmos and canapés. The resulting book, How to Get in Anywhere: The Expert's Guide to Party Crashing, due next month, gives tips on how to impersonate invitees, "wave" your way in, and ("if you're willing to dress the part," says Fox) go as a caterer.
Later on Wednesday, at Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue party, Fox arrives early with a towering New York Knick impersonator and calls Chappy: "Just tell the bouncer you're with the ballplayer already inside."
But the guard at the front door sends Chappy away. After a 40-minute odyssey around the Hammerstein Ballroom, he picks up two heads of security who, list or no list, are convinced this well-dressed man belongs at the party. By 9:30, he's back in front, this time with enough corroborating juice to lure out the publicist. She looks around and smiles. "I'm so sorry for the inconvenience," she says. "Come inside, enjoy yourself."