Once upon a time, a New York party showcased plenty of drunken antics; now, in the city that produced Zelda Fitzgerald, people just don't get sloshed anymore because it’s not stylish, Susan Cheever posits in the New York Times. “If alcoholism is an addiction—which it is—how can people control their drinking just because it is no longer acceptable to get drunk?” she asks. “Does fashion trump addiction?”
Such moderation could suggest that environment has a much stronger role than generally accepted in determining addiction risk, a notion that would jell with some recent research, Cheever notes. In the end, of course, it’s healthier for New Yorkers to stay tame. But “there’s a mischievous part of me that misses” the old hijinks, the “nasty but somehow amusing surprises” that made a New York gathering something to remember.