The Great Escape of Timothy Sheldon

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Timothy Seldon was a frequent face and long, lean figure in nightlife just a short while ago. He lived in my neighborhood and I’d often catch him in the nearby deli on the way home. There was rarely any small talk, just good conversation about what was up our lives and the world at large. Mostly I’d just be admiring his outfit because it was always swanky. At 6’5” he loomed large as the doorman of Southside. I would always chat him up on the way to GoldBar or on the way back home. Often he’d pop me inside to see the Southside scene. In an incident that was over-reported and little understood, Timothy and Southside went their separate ways. It turns out that my ever clever friend went south, way south. We always talked about exit strategies for nightlife workers. Too many of us get trapped in the trappings of the life and have little to show for it. Timothy was determined to use the connections he made at the door to build a better life for himself. He seems to have succeeded. I received this email from him yesterday and I’m going to run it warts and all.

Hi Steve,

Timothy Sheldon here. It’s been a while since we last spoke, so I wanted to drop you a line to catch up. I moved to Mexico at the beginning of the fall. I partnered with some guys I met in Vegas a while back and we bought a dump nightclub in a fantastic location in Cabo San Lucas. Steve- it’s GORGEOUS here! We renovated it into a beautiful space that has been getting great feedback. I will attach some pictures at the end of the email so you can see for yourself.

Reality is a lot more real here. The people are poor, but happy. I am happy, because I get to have fun and take care of people. I surf during the day, ride around in an old Ford Bronco, make lots of new, interesting friends and not take Life too seriously. I always capitalize the “L” in “Life” because I hold it in the highest regard. Kind of like how people capitalize “G” in “God.”

I don’t have a dress code at my place or a cover charge. People can come in, have a shot of tequila and a beer, or a cocktail, dance and have FUN. That’s what I found that a lot of places in NYC were lacking… Fun. I just had a large group of hospitality/nightlife friends come visit for a week. Mark, Eugene, Aalex Julian, Eric Marx, Danny Volk and the team from Tenjune. Jason Strauss made an appearance. The Body English and Vanity peeps showed up, and so did the Tryst/XS/DraI’s heads. Also, teams from Vancouver, Seattle, Dallas and others came through for a week of sun and fun.

I do miss the culture, fashion and speed of NYC. Sometimes it takes a while to get things done down here, but that’s ok. I am enjoying my Life. Too much stress in the city and not enough appreciation of things. Sometimes I think people forget to appreciate the small things because they’re moving too fast.

What is interesting is that even without worrying about revenue, promoters, bottle minimums, how cool the crowd is, etc, I am still making money. Our New Year’s Eve did numbers that rival any NYC nightclub. Ironic.

I won’t be here forever, but I do plan on being here for a while. I remember an article that you wrote about “Exit Strategies”. I felt that I needed to prioritize what was important in my Life and take an opportunity that may lead me to interesting and enlightening experiences. I like it a lot here. I am also opening a small restaurant next to my nightclub, and it has been really exciting designing everything, putting the menu together, etc. Maybe you can come down for a relaxing vacation!

Anyhow, just wanted to say “Hola!” Hope you’re well, and Happy New Year! TS

Sometimes we do forget the meaning and frailties of our life. Sometimes we drown out our priorities with booze and other distractions. Sometimes we think we have to climb real high up on the pole to see what’s around us. Sometimes it’s right there in front of you and easily seen and obtained. I might take Timothy up on his offer and pull myself from my passions and visit.

Sometimes people want to tempt me back into the game. Let’s just assume I could answer all the technical challenges, would I want to do it? I had my run. I did what I did when I did it. Certainly had some ups and certainly some downs. I find myself fortunate that I was able to translate the things I learned while running The World and a dozen or more other nightclubs into a few new careers. Prior to the beginning of the last decade, I had not written before. Now, while very aware that I’m not the world’s greatest writer, I write and the good folks at BlackBook feel I have something to say.

Prior to 2000 I never really designed too much either. I did get involved with the designs of the clubs I helped run like Limelight, Palladium, the Palace de Beaute’ and Spa, but it never occurred to me that I would someday do this. Today my firm Lewis and Dizon is involved with over a dozen projects in New York, Vegas and now Asia. I redefined myself completely since 2000. Many of my friends are alcoholics or users and get depressed over time wasted and the places they find themselves. I tell them all the same thing: Do something you want to do and create a new world for yourself. If I could do it at my old age, after my “dilemma,” then you can as well. Timothy always quietly thanked me for teaching him little things. Maybe that was true or just polite chatter. Well now it seems that he has shown me something. I might just take a moment to check out his paradise and compare it to mine. It is after all a new decade and I’ve got this itch lately that I haven’t been able to scratch.