As the party planner for San Francisco's upper crust, Stanlee Gatti has become quite famous himself. He served as best man at Mayor Gavin Newsom's first wedding. And in 2007, a San Francisco Chronicle society columnist even dubbed him San Francisco's "resident creative genius."
But the people who live next door to a SOMA warehouse where Gatti threw an apparently raucous party two Sundays ago have a slightly different take.
"I have to say, Stanlee Gatti was kind of an incredible asshole," said Sean Kingsbury, a writer who has lived near the intersection of Eighth and Tehama streets for three years.
Kingsbury says he knew the warehouse next door was a storage area for Gatti's event materials. So although he saw a lot of activity during the week of June 7, he assumed it was preparation for "some random event elsewhere."
But come Sunday, June 14, chefs, valets, waiters, and decorators apparently descended on the warehouse, and Kingsbury says a small generator was installed on a nearby side street. The party, he believes, was for an 18-year-old debutante.
The sound checks began around 7 p.m.; eventually the bass was powerful enough to knock dishes out of his neighbors' cupboard, Kingsbury said. Those neighbors also happen to have a newborn baby, he says, and when they ventured over to request the volume be lowered, the doorman allegedly suggested they move the baby instead.
Kingsbury — whose apartment was by then vibrating to the beat of "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang — decided he'd also try to solve things civilly.
When Gatti came to the door, he was dismissive, Kingsbury said, claiming that the noise was legal. Kingsbury and three other neighbors then took turns calling the police. According to police spokeswoman Sergeant Lyn Tomioka, there were six complaints in total, and a cop arrived at the scene at 11:01 p.m.
Kingsbury counters that the cops came twice, but did nothing both times. "What do you want us to do?" he claims one officer asked him.
There's actually a very clear policy on what cops in this situation can do, according to Tomioka. When a resident calls in a noise violation at any time on any day of the week, SFPD policy is to knock and ask the noisemaker to turn it down. If the cops have to return, it can result in a citation, Tomioka said.
Through a secretary at Stanlee R. Gatti Designs, Gatti gave us a "no comment."