Sorry loyal readers, I haven’t had a second, so my usual quibbling may have morphed into useless drivel. You see, I just got Capri nightclub open out in Bay Ridge. I have to get Snap open any day now, and of course, I’m still banging away at Darby and that 146 Orchard Street restaurant. There’re some others that need a tweak here and there. I’m also trying to move my stuff from my old Nolita apartment to my new Williamsburg digs. I got other stuff going on, too, but you have your own problems, and I’m not curing cancer or anything, so no more complaining. I asked my mover to get me out on the 1st, and he told me he was busy that day and “to take the 5th.” I told him that I took the 5th before, and it sort of worked out, but he didn’t have a clue why I had a quirky smile on my face. My current relationship is not understanding why certain pieces of memorabilia have so much meaning to me and are therefore taking up so many boxes. She would like me to toss away some of the “junk” and live in the present – and future. She is such a smart girl, it’s a wonder she’s with me.
Some poet once said, “Long ago it must be / I have a photograph / Preserve your memories / They’re all that’s left of you.” Now that may seem pretty corny to some, but to live in a world of wonderful, dynamic people for so long, you accumulate a past. Mine is now packed up in cardboard boxes marked with sharpies. She said, “It’s such a clutter!” and I pointed to my temple and said “you should see what’s going on in here.” I live off my experiences. Certainly nobody hires me because I’m good looking or sweet or fun to hang with. My present is paid for by countless trials and errors—by the things I’ve learned. I’ve learned from a thousand ghosts, from ten thousand nights. I have the scar tissue in and out to prove it.
When I wandered around Capri on Saturday night, I could see what was wonderful and what was a little short of wonderful. Adjustments will be made, and by weeks end, it will be sweet and vicious. It is a machine built for speed, efficiency. It is designed to make money and to entertain a crowd that wants to escape from one world into another. The crowd poured in and saw my vision. They saw what the owners agreed to let me create for them. The revelers felt the energy, saw the new joint, and for the most part ooh’d and ahh’d. I was in the shadows watching and learning.
Capri could be anywhere. It is a world class facility in an old school neighborhood. It was meant to take them someplace they had only seen on trips to Manhattan, Vegas, or Miami. To see it filled with people and watch it hum like a tuned-up sports bar gave me a deep satisfaction. I can’t find that satisfaction sifting through the memory boxes. Sometimes, someone will tell me how I helped them or entertained them or treated them with respect way back when, and I will feel a little proud. Success packed away in cardboard boxes has some meaning, but I learned early on that you are only as good as your last gig. I no longer am driven to be “the man.” Walking my dogs with my gal through McCarren Park is enough of a thrill for me. The night belongs to others now. As I chatted up friends at Capri’s “A” bar, it was sweet to shake the hand of a stranger who called me Uncle Steve. Nightlife still keeps me busy. Designing and writing about nightlife is as close as I can get to still being that guy that used to be Steve Lewis. Capri was a validation. So many write about nightlife from a primitive or inexperienced point of view. They certainly have a right, and even an obligation, to tell it like they see it, but unless you actually played the game, I can’t see how you can understand it well. It’s easy to critique, and dis, and put down others in the nightclub biz. It’s a world where everyone has to prove how big their dick is, every night. I sit apart from it, but I’m in it just enough. Enough, hopefully, to be considered an honest broker, or insider. To sit above the fray not hearing the music or noticing the skirts or celebrities anymore, I must prove myself everyday. If I am going to be credible, I must walk the walk, as well as talk the talk.
If you run into me this week and I look a little worn or frazzled, and I don’t linger to hear all about it, whatever it is, please overlook my frenzy. Please forgive me. I’ve got a million things on my mind, trying to open up a half dozen joints in as many weeks while developing some more joints, writing this and doing that, and trying to make some girl—oops, got stuck in the past again there. I got a TV camera following me, I’m visiting Michael Alig, etc., etc., etc, and I’m moving the family. I guess the next time I move there will be another cardboard box of notebooks and fliers and memories from Fall 2010. I can’t even imagine what will be going on inside my head.