Omg, I had so much fun last night. I DJed at the latest and greatest BlackBook party – it was an easy gig to get because I have an “in” there. The gala was at GunBar, a space in a place that was something else, which isn’t worth talking about. I mean—everything in Meatpacking was something else. They used to hang cow carcasses where swells now sip $1,000 bottles of champagne. In time it all gets washed away, and now it’s a playground for jet-setters and raucous revelers. GunBar is different and not just for the sake of it. It’s rock ‘n roll purity in a most unlikely place.
Surrounded by Eurotrash boites and wannabe model-bottle haunts, GunBar takes a left turn from faux elegance. It takes me and you back to a time when the Meatpacking District was a bit less fabulous.
Co-owner Bobby Persson (Southside) greeted me warmly and showed me to the DJ booth, which was inspiring. His partner Aaron Elbaz (Bagatelle) would later visit the booth and continuously turn the sound up, up, up. He’s a turn-it-up-to-eleven kind of guy, and the Funktion One sound system is really a dream. Usually found in all the best house head clubs, the Funktion One is the Rolls Royce of systems. It even made me sound good. In the smallish basement you could hear every word, drum beat, and guitar lick like you were in the studio with the band.
I like GunBar. Every inch of it is covered by graffiti artist Lucas Benarroch’s vision of a time that was. Its ‘80s street chic references brought me back to places like Stickball and Berlin and Save the Robots. It’s a place I can hang my hat and let loose after putting on my game face at surrounding joints. GunBar is a breath of fresh air. Fingerprint Communications P.R.’s gal on the go, go, go, Ariel Moses was gushing about her account and hit it on the head when she spoke about how it is so fundamentally correct. A long time ago—and yes, I’ve told this story before—I ran a joint called the World with a bunch of savvy dudes and after the initial push they never spent a dime maintaining it.
There was one particular period where all the bathrooms were broken. There were holes in the stairs and water was leaking torrentially from a broken pipe. Owner Arthur Weinstein’s solution to our problems was not to fix anything but to just focus lights on them. Well, Andy Warhol walks in one night and I begin blathering and apologizing about how much of a mess the place was. He told me that any place that is too neat or too clean can’t be any fun and that was that.
GunBar seems gritty. Although that grit might be just as big an illusion as the spit and polish glamour of the joints next door, the straight up honest approach to the game that Bobby and Aaron are bringing to the table makes it a must attend kind of place. After my set I had a Heineken and went to say hey to BlackBook head honcho Ari Horowitz and the crew, and I left the DJ booth in the very capable hands of DJ Martial. I caught up with my favorite person in the whole world, student/heartbreaker/ChiChi212 blogger Brittany Mendenhall. I considered getting a free tattoo from Michelle Myles (Daredevil, Fun City) but my next tat is of my Arturo and that must wait as it will take some hours.
I headed off into the night to see if it could be all that it could be. DJ Cassidy was on his way in and I apologized for not attending his birthday on the Intrepid July 6. I told him I was all a blur on July 6 after the long weekend and asked him if he would consider moving his birthday to a more manageable night next year. I think he replied that I’m not invited next year or something like that. The scene on the street outside was glam. The venue was sold out and so many familiar, fabulous folks were enjoying the breezy night knowing that a good party was downstairs. All got in with a little patience, the rarest commodity at these affairs. After that I headed East but won’t tell you all about it.