Brunch to Celebrate 2013, or Help Your Hangover

It’s no mystery: on the first day of 2013 you will probably be hungover, as will I, as will my boyfriend, as will just about everyone I know. But hey, isn’t that what New Year’s Eve is all about? Hence, brunch is in order to help ease you gently into a new year, and the one week you swear off booze because of some silly resolution.

For those of you stuck on being healthy, Apotheke co-owner Heather Tierney’s, The Butcher’s Daughter Juice Bar & Café will be open New Year’s Day and you can stuff your gullet with fresh juices and vegan meats.

If you want to go for more of a boozy hangover cure and the party route, head to KTCHN Restaurant for their “All Day Revive Brunch” from 10am to 5pm. For $45 you get a choice of chef Dale Schnell’s entrees like Steak and Eggs Benedict that comes with a pinot noir hollandaise sauce, or go to the sweet side and choose his Belgian waffle with hand-whipped vanilla cream. But why $45 you may ask, well this also includes unlimited Bloody Marys and mimosas.

Uptown, at A.G. Kitchen they also stay on the sinful side and chef Alex Garcia offers guests the ultimate hangover burger and shake combination for $29. The 100-percent ribeye burger comes with a crispy potato skin, cheddar, and bacon, and your choice of shake, including the salted caramel made with Jim Beam, malted powder, and caramel sauce.

Starting at 11am on January 1, chef Michael Berardino is whipping up an array of tasty brunch treats at Angolo SoHo, including roasted grapefruit with Aperol and mint, ricotta pancakes, tagliatelle Bolognese and an exquisite grilled cheese with Parmesan, speck, tomato, and topped with an egg. You can indulge in this à la carte menu until 4pm.

The Dalloway in SoHo has the right idea of kicking off 2013 by debuting their brunch menu. Starting at 11am, January 1 and beyond, chef Vanessa Miller will serve mascarpone stuffed French toast, breakfast pizza with spinach and poached eggs, and fried chicken with waffles. Naturally, they will offer boozy brunch cocktails too, including the Clarissa & Mary, their special bloody with clear-pressed tomato juice that aptly tips the hat to owners Amanda Leigh Dunn and Kim Stolz’s presence in the lesbian scene.

Now if these places don’t get 2013 going in the right direction, you are already lost.

NYC: The Best Bars to Entertain Holiday Visitors

The holiday season means higher-than-usual tourist density in New York City, and naturally, that spike in traffic is due in no small part to your own eager friends and family, who descend on the city for an authentic, fairy-lighted experience of the Big Apple in winter. But after a day at Macy’s, an evening at Rockefeller Center, and a dinner somewhere “New York-y,” as per their request, where do you, their trusty tour guide by default, take them for a night on the town? Here are a few crowd-pleasers that will still earn you some street cred, whether that crowd involves your boyfriend’s distant Uncle Larry, Mom and Dad, long-lost friends who’ve emerged from the woodwork, hard-to-impress rubberneckers, or your old high school mates. A comprehensive list of the best yuletide boîtes to celebrate the new year – and the best of NYC.

Bars with Games Good For: Who doesn’t like to indulge in the nostalgia of old-school games, especially this time of year? Whether you’re with a raucous bunch of old friends, have a score to settle with your Mom over ping pong, or need to take the focus off a conversation with relatives you barely know, these bars offer distractions and can make for a festive time. Bar 675: Basement rec room goes for casual chic with Jenga, cards, and board games. Earn extra points from sceney friends, who will be thrilled to tell the folks back home that they hung out in the Meatpacking. The Diamond: Brooklyn bound? Beer makes shuffleboard so much more fun at this Greenpoint joint. SPiN: Table tennis for mom, and the fact that it’s owned by Susan Sarandon will appease cousin Name Drop as well. Barcade: Are your friends from the Midwest looking for “authentic Brooklyn?” Watch their wide-eyed wonder as they take in skinny-jean gangs playing thumb-cramping faves like Frogger and Tetris for an authentic 25¢ a pop. Ace Bar: Skee-Ball bar pleases the kiddies and anyone else who likes bare-bones décor sprinkled with bits of pop-trinket nostalgia from your childhood. V Bar: Siding with the gaming snobs of the world, this spot is best for your Princeton-alum brother (who happens to be a chess genius). Café and wine bar stocked with NYU grad students, chess and Scrabble battles, and a nice selection of beer and wine.

Next: Cozy Fireplaces

Cozy Fireplaces Good For: Catch up time with people who came to really enjoy holiday spirit in the city. Rose Bar: Have friends or family more interested in being around artists than actual art? For example: I once took someone here who fawned over what he thought was a Warhol (he read about it in a city guide) loud enough so that he was sure Neve Campbell, seated a table away, could hear. It was a Haring. Rubber-necking friends aside, the velvety banquettes and giant fireplace are a cozy departure from the winter weather courtesy of Ian Schrager and Julian Schnabel. The Lobby Bar at the Bowery Hotel: Wood paneling, stuffed animal trophies, and twin oils of hunting hounds give off an English-manor-library vibe. Can be a headache to get a good spot, which are usually reserved for “hotel guests,” monied travelers, and pretty hipsters. Try eating at Gemma first and brown nose your server for a spot by the fireplace. The Back Room: Semi-secret spot for those wishing it was still Prohibition. They’ll get a kick out of drinking their $11 cocktail from a mug. Employees Only: High-class weirdness, with a gypsy psychic at the door and stellar mixologists to determine your fate. The smell of the fireplace and the sight of all the handle bar mustaches will really transport your visitors. Highlands: Décor is pub-meets-hunter’s-lodge, with stuffed deer on brick walls and salvaged woods. Cozy, and it exacerbates that whole “New York Melting Pot” idea. Savoy: A townhouse in the middle of Soho with a fireplace as the festive cherry on top. Shoolbred’s: Scottish pub parlor warmed by actual fireplace. Ten brews on tap. Scotch, natch. It’s Highlands for the East Side set, with a low key (NYU students) crowd.

Next: The Oldest Bars in New York

The Oldest Bars in New York Good For: Skip these precious spots if you’re with a crew that couldn’t care less about anywhere that doesn’t have a VIP list. Otherwise, impress friends and family with the storied, often quirky backgrounds of some of New York’s oldest watering holes. Bridge Café: Opened in 1794, old but not musty. Looks like the site of a nautical murder mystery and is rumored to be haunted by ghosts of sailors and whores, like your parents’ bedroom. Ear Inn: Classic New York-on-the-waterfront feel, minus Marlon Brando, but with plenty of coulda-been contenders. I’ve seen a Soprano in here. McSorley’s: Born in 1854, and perhaps the most renown bar amongst the younger members of the Historical Society, this beer-chugging joint sees tanked fratboys, the cirrhosis crowd, and, after a court order, a few ladies (in other words: no women were allowed until 1970). Sawdusted floors, dust-encrusted wishbones, and loads of cats make this a very special place, indeed. Delmonico’s: Quenching your bloodthirst since ’37 -1837, that is – your parents will appreciate the air of refinement this joint still exudes, not to mention the supposed hauntings. Mahogany wood dining room with glowing chandeliers is the ideal noir-glam setting for steakhouse staples and a bustling bar separate from the dining room.

Next: Mixology Bars

Mixology Bars Good For: The mixology trend is widely known across all towns and townships, so let your slightly underage cousin Timmy learn firsthand just how delightful muddling, zesting, and spicing can be. Just about anyone who doesn’t limit themselves to wine coolers will appreciate the craftsmanship and ambiance. Apotheke: For those who want the back alley as much as they want the absinthe, welcome to Albert Trumer’s quirky school of cocktail science – this former opium den has been transformed into a medieval apothecary by the Austrian mixologist. Bonus: it’s in Chinatown. The interior is antique-sexy, with warm lighting and super-friendly bartenders. PDT: Oh, this is good. Through a hot dog joint you’ll go, and then through a phone booth, where you’ll have to say some secret something-or-other (though they’ve grown lenient in their older age) before you take your dumbfounded guests back to a room with a diagonal slat ceiling, de rigueur taxidermy, and a glowing bar. Note: Make a reservation earlier to get a good seat and smooth entry. Little Branch: By far the most talked-about speakeasy, this West Village spot boasts no signage unless you count the line out the door during peak hours. Retro cocktails served with cool swizzle sticks by tall drinks of water. Go on the early side of a Sunday night to chat up the mixologists and catch some jazz. Mayahuel: The cocktail connoisseurs at Death & Co. built an agave altar. Intimate confessionals, stained glass, and communal pews evoke a Mexican mission. All tequila, all the time, with all the bells and whistles to render previous tequila blow-outs null and void. Death & Co: Dark and polished, this cocktail den packs in a lively crowd. Bartenders in suspenders and vests serve up expert cocktails, and clearly love what they do (they don’t take of their vests when they get home). Great spot for just about anyone who can appreciate such a scene. Cienfuegos: Cuban rum bar from Mayahuel/Death & Co vet seduces with pink couches and sugarcane.

Next: Impressive Hotel Bars

Impressive Hotel Bars Good For: If your guests really “wanna see stuff,” like mine usually do, guiding them to impressively-designed hotel bars around NYC—usually the crown jewels of the hotels themselves—will go over well. Here are a few that leave a lasting impression. Bemelmans Bar: It’s classic New Yawk! Located inside the Carlyle, this timeless upscale New York City bar near Central Park draws bold-faced names, many of whom your out-of-towners could care less about. They will enjoy the classic cocktails and gilded ambiance. Hudson Bar at Hudson Hotel: If your guests approach things like rock music, sushi, and democrats with trepidation, this bar on acid may not be the place for them. Shrek-green lights illuminate the escalator, there’s a chandelier the size of a Volkswagen, the floors glow, the chairs seem to float—except for the tree stumps—and the whole thing makes you feel like you’re living in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s that cool. The Waldorf Astoria: Ah, the sprawling impressiveness of the Waldorf – the stuff salads are named after! Three bars, four restaurants, and Jazz Age overindulgence. A certain spirit abides, especially during the holidays. Jane Hotel and Ballroom: This place is for your visiting sorority sisters – leave the parents at home. Dual bar spaces decked out with Edwardian charm, as befits the hotel’s 1908 origins. Posh couches, leafy palms, tortoise shell ceilings, and an ancient disco bar all made better by the creatively-dressed PYTs. Plunge Rooftop Bar + Lounge at the Gansevoort Park: This hotel bar sort of looks like the New York in the Sex and the City movies. It’s slick and arty, with shinning angles and scrumptious views of the Empire State Building. Stoke your vertigo with windows in the terrace floors that look straight down on distant midtown traffic. Your guests will feel so very modern. The Standard Hotel: So this is the place with all the naked people? Depending who you’re with, I’d say a stroll around the grounds with a stop at the bar in the hotel’s Standard Grill will be enough. Unless you’ve got some young model/socialite family members, why waste family time on rubbernecking at Boom Boom? The Ace Hotel: It has a curious cheeky quality to it without being a tourist magnet. The Lobby Bar is reminiscent of an all-American library, with Ivy League reading-room tables, a bar serving up Old Fashioneds and the cult favorite Porkslap Pale Ale, a vintage-style photobooth, and a massive, tattered American flag on the wall. Bring people—not sheeple.

Next: Editor’s Picks

Editor’s Picks Our editors are often tasked with selecting the perfect place for their cousin Sarah’s college roommate’s mother, who’s coming to the city for the first time. Here’s where they like to bring their special holiday guests this time of year. Chris Mohney: Pegu Club. Great place to take any out-of-towner who likes a good drink. Still some of the finest cocktails in the city, and now that it’s been around a while, almost always chill enough to easily find a spot without worrying about crowds. Ben Barna: Fatty Cue. It’s good for anyone, really. Except maybe vegetarians. It’s got the kind of vibe you can only find in Brooklyn, and the kind of unique cuisine you’ll only find in New York. Also, it’s a restaurant meant for sharing, so that’s fun. And the drinks are as good as the food. I’d like to just bring my bros, but it’s expensive, so I take my parents as well. Megan Conway: The Good Fork in Red Hook. I’d like to take my parents to visit this historic, less-trodden waterfront neighborhood. This cozy restaurant offers inspired grub in one of the more unique pockets of the city. Nadeska Alexis: The Dove. It’s a well rounded place that’s chill enough for friends, and I’ve been there with adults and have not been embarrassed. Fun cocktails too. Victor Ozols: Rudy’s. It’s a really lasting, authentic experience that stays with someone. Cayte Grieve: Oyster Bar at Grand Central. For New York newbies and friends and family who haven’t spent a lot of time in the city, the Oyster Bar is one of those bars-slash-attractions that sort of kills two birds with one stone. Grand Central? Check. Getting Grandma drunk? Check. All done with old-style glamour.

Next: Around Rockefeller

Around Rockefeller Good For: Sometimes you just gotta give the people what they want: A Disney-fied version of the most wonderfully commercial time of the year! While your skating, shopping, and taking photos around The Tree, you might as well ease your sensory-overloaded nerves with some family vodka time. Rock Center Café: Tourist magnet, priced accordingly, and you will wait accordingly—yes, even the early birds. Perhaps it’s best to skip the food and opt for a toast instead. Perfect before, during, or after a spin around the rink. Watching wipe-outs with the fam never felt so corporate. The Modern: Danny Meyer’s unabashed flamboyance for air-kissing culture whores. It’s at the MoMa, kids, so take only those who desire such a scene. If you’ve got yourself a crew outfitted in suits and ties longing for a culture cocktail, here’s your promised land. 21 Club: It’s so famous! Free parking if you show up before 6:30pm, if that tells you something about the demographic, but only the locals and culture snobs will take note. Skip the steaks and head for the scotch with the people who’ve read about the place or heard about it in hip-hop songs. Morrell Wine Bar & Cafe: Here’s a cozy place to get warm after running with the masses around Rockefeller. Please remember that other people longing for a night cap will also be directed to this wine bar, which boasts over fifty well-chosen wines by the glass and 2,000 bottle choices on the menu.

Really, Really Expensive Cocktails: Apotheke’s Semi-Secret Reserve List

Truffles are a gimmicky foodstuff, a manure-spiked mushroom shaved onto just about anything—burgers, mac n’ cheese—to drive up the price. This is what I’m thinking as I contemplate a frothy, truffle-flecked cocktail from Apotheke’s new reserve line of super-specialty drinks. It’s a Monday night. I’m sitting on a divan. I wish the trumpet guy from the jazz band that’s playing wasn’t standing so close. The cocktail before me is called Pebbles and Diamonds, and such words as “essence” are deployed on the menu to explain its unique charms, which also include Anejo Tequila, Peach Bitters, and Krug Classic Champagne. A sip: wet bark, complicated sweetness, citrus cream. The mixologist who created the cocktail, and who’s standing there observing me sample his creation, nods knowingly. If I’m going to shell out $65 clams for a drink, this is what it should taste like.

All the cocktails on Apotheke’s new reserve list, the first reserve cocktail menu in New York, cost about seven times more than what you’d usually pay for a very fancy drink, sometimes more. Compassing this simultaneously hard and all-too-easy to swallow fact, they keep the list behind the bar, where a surprisingly international phalanx of white-shirted barmen drum up a constant, maraca-like percussive din with their metal shakers. When one materializes at our table to inform us what the small spoons of house-made chocolates accompanying our Scotch are for, he slips in the word “gimmicky.” This is refreshing. My attitude shifts.

There are ten cocktails on the list. Each is “poured into a carefully selected crystal glass, specialized for each cocktail.” My friend Nick and I are determined to get through them all, starting with the Golden Flower (perfume, small fruits, cardamom; I fail to notice the edible flower garnish) and the Rule of Cortez (a corn slurry with epazote, yerba santa, chili de arbol, and blasts of heat), ending with the Miracle on Doyers Street, which we are advised to save till last. This potion is delivered inside a block of ice carved into a smooth basin shape—I am unreasonably impressed by this—and is basically straight vodka mixed with Taami Berry Powder, the “miracle fruit” that robs your tongue of its sour receptors. The Miracle comes with a bowl of assorted fruits—lime, grapes, orange—and after swirling the juice inside our mouths for a few minutes, we tuck in. Limes still taste limey, or maybe it’s that my chapped lips are stinging in such a familiar way that my brains scans, LIME. Nick, tonguing a bit of grapefruit from its rind, is giggling softly. We’ve made it through eight.

Apotheke gets that you’re paying for an experience, not a damn drink. This is the real-life apotheosis of the mixology trend, a delicious swan song you shouldn’t even try to rationalize. Beginning in October—and with a much less interesting, though possibly very necessary food menu in tow—go there, ask for the list, and choose wisely. Unless you are much richer than I, you’ve only got one shot. At least it’s nice knowing you can’t miss.

Who Wants a Meatball?

The opening of The Meatball Shop made me smile. The co-owner used to work for me and, as you know, I like seeing someone climb out of the club scene into their own scene. A couple of months before Mike and his partner Daniel Holzman opened the joint, he gave me a tour. A shoestring design budget turned out real sweet. The idea of pairing various meatballs with various sauces at reasonable prices is brilliant. I was told you order your sides to put under your balls. It may have been the greatest straight line I had ever been fed, but I left it on the table.

They have root beer on tap and a great wine and beer selection and I’m going to be a regular. Yesterday’s daily roasted veggie was squash with shaved cheese and the daily fresh market salad was beets, mixed greens, chili oil and lemon. Mike’s wife Donna helps you build your own ice cream salad for dessert. With hearings about closing nightclubs happening every day, it is important to remember that clubs support thousands of people trying to build something. Mike Chernow may have planted a seed on the Lower East Side that will become an empire. I’m as proud as a new daddy for his success.

Valentine’s Day will bring me to the Highline Ballroom for the filthy dirty burlesque brunch. The world famous Bob and cohorts, including my ex-bartender turned singer/ performer Melody Sweets, will get me out of bed and aroused at 12:30 PM. Other performers include Harvest Moon, the Schlep Sisters, Nasty Canasta, Ms. Tickle and gobs more. There will be an aphrodisiac menu served including oysters, mini-Kobe burgers and vegan choices, and you can be home early with your favorite girlie or special friend.

My dear friend Danielle Chang will host a Chinese New Year party at my favorite cocktail cottage Apotheke. Albert Trummer and his crew will be serving up some fancy cocktails along with wine from China and Tiger Beer. It is indeed the year of the Tiger. That’s this Saturday and it’s an RSVP kind of thing, but you’ll figure it out.

Fashion Week, Valentine’s Day and even Chinese New Year provide nightlife with a much needed mid-winter boost. Christmas/New Year’s Eve seem ages away even though it’s been only 6 weeks. January is always a bit slow as tourists don’t chance our winters and the whole Western world is still paying off holiday debt. Plus, even seasoned New Yorkers are a no-go when it snows. Spring traditionally brings flowers and new clubs and a return to nightlife for the winter shut-ins. Spring fever is an undeniable biological factor and people flock to the social scene with renewed vigor. Next week, we will talk about the new joints that will spring up in March and April and how they are destined to once again bring change to the ever changing club landscape.

A Gift List for Clubdom

The ghosts of Christmas past drive me to self-analytical frenzy, that gets mixed in with the shopping and the holiday greetings whirlwind. Then there’s the, “I love her, she loves me not, she loves me, I can’t stand her 75 percent of the time” pantomime. That leads into who? what? where? New Year’s Eve desperation. With work and traffic, money runs and non-stop Christmas muzak, I think I’m starting to lose it. Gonna leave you to your thing and I’ll go do mine. Before I go, I’m going to give some clubs some uncle Steve advice: What “should” each club want for Christmas?

Avenue: A deep breath. 1Oak: Another year like this one. Or better– like the year before, as the recession comes to an end. Boom Boom Room/18th floor: A laugh track and a high-speed money counter. Bungalow 8: A real deal redux and a neighborhood revival. The Jane: Another chance! The Beatrice : Clarity. Rose Bar : A Basquiat and a big hug. Provocateur: Patience and humility. Simyone: Diversity to go along with all that quality, good looks and charm. Rdv: A “stay true to your school” t-shirt. Cielo: A moment away from cops and courts to concentrate on the real club side of things. Pacha: The same plus a VIP host who knows everybody in clubdom and gets them to come. Lit: A clone for Mr. Foss and a swiffer sweeper. Apotheke: More of the old (crowd) and more of the same (delicious cocktails). Greenhouse: One clear public message besides the green thing or the green thing and chain of command. Juliet: A new lighting concept and lots of fabric. Hudson Terrace: The Copacabana. The Eldridge: 25 more square feet. M2: A real good old school club night with lots of familiar faces. This place rocks when filled with good peeps. La Pomme: Time to build its own crowd. GoldBar: A gold medal for Jon “the legend” Lennon and a little more light. It’s too dark to appreciate the crowd. Marquee: Glass and maybe a once a month huge DJ and a clearing out of the furniture. Webster Hall: Convictions. Southside: Brotherly love. Ella: A little respect. Gansevoort Roof, Highbar, Empire Hotel: Eternal sunshine, endless summer. The Box: Moist towelettes and more Patrick Duffy.

Who am I to tell all these young studs what they may or may not need. But I do remember something James Brown once said: “I taught them everything they know, but not everything I know.” Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Le Royale Pain In the Ass

Last week, Down By The Hipster reported that Le Royale, the fun, music-driven joint on Leroy Street, was closing. DBTH later retracted the statement. I think Scott got it right the first time. A swarm of weekend phone calls from employees and people in the know annoyed my friends as we sipped pineapple juice at Fannie Chan’s poolside Thompson LES weekly. This story is confusing with partners not speaking and a sale seemingly needing only a dot of an ‘I’ or cross of a ‘t’ to be real. Terry Casey, an owner and the face of the place, is himself unclear as to what will happen and when.

I asked him for a statement and he offered, “Le Royale is my attempt at a good music-meets-social-club for New Yorkers. My responsibilities are to deal with the music and social aspects, and my partner David Baxley’s responsibilities are to deal with the financial side of the business. He is looking to exit Le Royale, and I do not wish to exit Le Royale. However, at this time, I have been spending most of my time with the opening of my new club in Williamsburg with Magna and Felix Da Housecat doing the opening nights.” Whatever happens, it seems this will be resolved by week’s end. One prominent employee was planning a going away soiree and looking for a gig.

News comes that Pink Elephant might be on the move. One source told me that sliding into the Le Royale fray was a possibility, but I haven’t gotten around to make that call. My source tells me that M2 operating owner, Joey Morrissey, has been coveting the space since he made his move on Mansion. To my readers that don’t know, Pink Elephant was the VIP room at the Crobar space, and it was parceled out to Pink as the rest became the club Mansion. Now Joey has a pink eye and wants it bad. I cant tell if Pink is moving, as 27th street no longer is inhabitable by its clientele, or if Joey is being aggressive and forcing them out. My source tells me “that M2 needs a place to service its better customer.” Joey sees only a small door between him and that space and has been wanting it forever, and although I don’t have a great deal of backup on this story, it seems to make sense for all involved.

My Saturday night was just grand. There is something wonderful that happens at the end of summer each year. Almost everyone I don’t want to be around politely leaves and parties in places like the Hamptons and, what’s the name of that place?… oh, New Jersey. I walked down to Apotheke to listen to my pal Jennifly DJ. It was a nice night, and I strolled through an empty Little Italy and Chinatown. The smell of old fish, dead rats, and moldy vegetables made me think I should have gone yellow cab. I switched to The Bowery, and my lazy journey paused in front of the Golden Bridge Restaurant, where one door said open every day at 9 a.m., and the door next to it said open every day 9:30 a.m. Apotheke is on Doyers Street, which is hard to find, even for Chinatown residents. A wind-whipped plastic bag attacked me as I tried to enter the little street. I was reminded of American Beauty and tried to find the love in it, until it went for my head. As I entered Apotheke, I heard Jennifly’s soulful offerings. It was the perfect set for the perfect room. As I walked towards the DJ booth, she was playing “Big Fun” by Inner City, and the lyrics hit my mood exactly; “we don’t need a crowd to have a party, just a funky beat and you get started…” The crowd was heavy with administrative assistants, a gal Friday or three, some right-hand men and even a couple of lefts, leftovers of the Hamptons migration, enjoying muddles and concoctions from some of the best mixologists in town. Jennifly’s (Jennifer Green) soulful set will keep me coming back for more. I was a bit muddled by the strawberry fennel thing I had at the bequest of Jennifer’s sis. I don’t drink normally, but I needed to taste nirvana; it really was good.

Next stop—Civetta—to visit the beautiful Kelly Hubert in her lounge party downstairs. I connected with Brittney Mendenhall, of ChiChi212 and chatted about the new look of her blog, which re-launches today. We left in a flash and went to join the extravaganzas with Patricia Fields and her house “AT THE HOUSE OF LATEX BALL” at Roseland. This event, benefiting the GMHC, was over the top. I agreed to let Brittney do all the coverage on this and then took her up to Pacha for Junior Vasquez’s birthday bash. He was, as I saw him a few months ago at Cielo, happy as a clam, playing a big room to a devoted following. Pacha seems to have survived the city’s attempt to close it down forever. The club was filled with Junior’s positive vibe and the need for a true and pure house mega club was apparent to all. Fannie Chan’s pool party washed away the pain from the marathon the night before. Returning home at 7 a.m. is not the norm for me anymore. As I sat by the pool, I heard someone repeatedly refer to the hotel owner as Jason ‘Pomegranate’ instead of ‘Pomerantz’. That and a steady infusion of pineapple juice and bikini clad beauties cleared my Apotheke muddled brain. It was the shortest summer ever with all the rain and cold spells, and I enjoyed DJ Jason Angola’s mellow set while chatting with old friends. I was having big fun.