Good Party for a Good Cause: ‘How To Make It in America’

In the late afternoon on Friday, Superman Matt Levine came at me faster than a speeding bullet. He had a party that needed a space for a hundred people for Saturday night. They needed it to be private—a word many people don’t really understand. There aren’t a lot of places that haven’t already been completely sold out on a Saturday night; rooms with room to spare on weekends don’t last. The solution was the not-ready for prime-time roof of Hotel Chantelle, which I am readying for an opening in about 2 weeks.

Raw but serviceable, the courageous crew of Chantellers worked day and night for an event that would bring celebrities like Kid Cudi, Yankee pitchers C.C. Sabathia and Joba Chamberlain, baller Drew Gooden, actors Victor Rasuk and Luis Guzman, and Celebrity Apprentice/Playmate of the Year Hope Dwoceryczk. It was a super-secret surprise party for How To Make It In America birthday boy Bryan Greenberg.

It was an HBO crowd mugging with the usual assortment of models and hipsters that used the secret password “Crisp,” a How to Make It reference. At one point Kid Cudi needed a seat for his entourage, and unknowingly bounced a show producer from his seats. I told the producer to tax his paycheck, and got a surprising “lightbulb went off in his head” reaction to my little joke. Kid Cudi once performed at my birthday. When we asked him what he wanted for the performance, he replied with a couple of cheeseburgers. He’s a great guy, and I hope he gets paid in full. DJ Silver Medallion kept everyone on their toes. Cast, crew and friends had a good time as the room really works. The weather gods cooperated for the first time in 6 months. I can’t wait to finish it. About a zillion flowering vines trellised on ancient iron gates will complete the gig.

More important than all the cake and celebrating was the event that these folks threw at brunch earlier in the day. Le Cirque hosted this affair, which raised 60K for The Olevolos Project. This loot will build a library in Africa. Among the celebrities attending were Gina Gershon, Gabe Saporta, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Lake Bell, Margarita Leiveva as well as Kid Cudi and Luis Guzman. Club icons Danny A., Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum came to support. Matt Levine told me about the Olevolos project:

“The Olevolos Project is a non-profit organization that works tirelessly to develop young leaders in the Olevolos Village using formal schooling, tutoring programs, and extra-curricular activities. A lot of friends came together to support an amazing cause, raise awareness and money for those less fortunate in Africa. 50% of kids from the village don’t make it to 10 years old. No pretenses for yesterday’s birthday party—just good times with friends and family. Cocktails, conversations and laughs with friends (and Silver Medallion killed it with the background music), the late affair was especially gratifying because we all came together earlier in the day for the charity. I really have to thank the staff at Hotel Chantelle for coming together at the last minute, they were extremely accommodating and a pleasure to work with. All pro’s—great service.”

Matt sold his Eldridge space and just got his liquor license approved for a project he is developing in the old Mason Dixon space. He is hoping to open in September, and I’ll tell you more when it’s time to tell you all about it.

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