The weekend was wonderful, with the air as crisp and fresh as the apples we bought at Auntie El’s, my favorite hush-hush spot on Route 17. My day was spent with a couple of bartenders and a doorknob manufacturer at Storm King, the greatest place to spend a day. It’s miles of art strewn about in what looks like an abandoned golf course. Look it up and go. I’ve gone a zillion times, any and all seasons, but enjoy this time of year best, with the fall blooms and changing leaves and light.
We played catch with Osage Oranges and watched a massive flock of Eastern bluebirds play and bathe. They truly were the bluebirds of happiness for my merry crew who hadn’t slept. People like us sleep when we can. The day people dictate to us what times things we want to see are open. We eat when they sleep, in diners which are getting increasingly better at accommodating the more and more of us who must work nights at second jobs because the first ones don’t pay the bills.
Love him to death, but O’Bummer isn’t putting smiles on peoples faces. We need more Storm Kings and bluebirds and jobs. Despite increasing bureaucracy at the buildings department, which delays the openings of job-creating joints, and despite overzealous city regulators seemingly hell-bent on closing places that are feeding our flock, hospitality still keeps many of us alive.
I am building an office and three new joints. Often, when I take on a project, I sign a confidentiality agreement, legally binding my talkative/writing half from blabbing about what the design half is doing. Oh, and the DJ half is too exhausted from my Saturday night gig with Uncle Mike at White Noise to butt in. The Uncle Mike/Uncle Steve show threw rock and roll classics and newbies at the crowd until they screamed uncle. Then we hit them harder. I love White Noise, and you should too. Anyway, getting back to what I was saying. I signed this confidentiality agreement in regards to Noel Ashman’s new project. He told me I can tell you about half of it, so here I go. It’s located between Delancey and Houston, and Christie and Crosby. It’s not too big or too small, and it’s about half way done. Noel says “it will be a private NY lounge bringing back the Veruka/Moomba/Bungalow 8/ feel that has gotten lost with so many bottle clubs that are imitating Las Vegas.” Now that’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me god. He has some “high profile” people backing him, as usual. As I said, I’m the designer, and so the writer Steve Lewis has decided to ask his better half, Steve Lewis the designer, about intent.
Steve Lewis (writer): What’s it like working for Noel Ashman? Steve Lewis(designer): well, it’s always interesting. I helped Noel with his Plumm project, designing the layout until circumstances led me away from the job. I did manage to get a sense of the room, which became invaluable later on when I was tasked to design The Darby. The concept of reversing the stairs to accommodate a second entrance was one of the things I executed based on the Plumm experience. Noel is a trip, and I love talking with him the minute he wakes up, raring to go, at 8pm.
SL (w): What will the place look like? SL (d): Great question! It’s going to be based in the color Blue with many modern and old English Empire references. Noel’s crowd is heavily VIP, so the place will be mostly based around comfortable seating and sight lines that allow people to see each other, but at the same time offers the ability to protect his celebrity friends.
SL(w): Wow, that sounds difficult to pull off. SL(d): It is, but I like working for Noel. He has always danced and dressed to the beat of a different drum. His clubs were always mixed, packed with bold-faced names, and had great music. They were just like the white T-shirts he wears as a uniform, a little bit more laid back and comfortable than the rest of the pack.
SL(w): Can you name some of the celebrity investors or friends that are involved or will be hanging out? SL(d): No, that’s all hush-hush. I’m sure there will be many of the usual suspects, as well as some unusual ones attached. As far as who will come play? I guess the same people you always see at his parties. Noel has his supporters and always will, because they know they can rely on him for privacy and a comfortable place to play. I always enjoyed watching his sports friends playing hard at night, even though they couldn’t for whatever reason do that on the field. I hope he doesn’t get mad at me for saying that.
SL(w): It’s not your fault. It’s mine for asking.
Oh, and by the way I could use a little intern help. The summer’s end sent the ones I had scurrying back to their universities and colleges to unlearn what I taught them. Is there a person out there who wants to help me get this thing done? Contact BlackBook and tell them you need a dark handsome stranger in your life, but will settle interning for a pale, weird looking, strange person until that happens.