Food Trend Alert: The New York Deviled Egg Uprising

Whether it was the rediscovery of mayonnaise as a condiment of interest or the scotch-scented wave of pure, artery-clogging Mad Men nostalgia that brought them back, deviled eggs have arrived – again. Once the hors d’oeuvre your grandma’s gin rummy tournament wasn’t complete without, this summer deviled eggs are popping up on menus across New York, from gastro pubs to Tiki bars to New York Times three-stared restaurants. In fact, it’s damn near impossible to avoid the fancy little treats.

They are a staple bar snack at beloved gastro pub the Spotted Pig and Gramercy Park’s Resto, and are offered in their organic form at Brooklyn’s the General Greene. More adventurous ovum enthusiasts can pair Samoan deviled eggs with flamboyant cocktails served in coconuts at the Hurricane Club, try Tabasco-spiced eggs at BLT Bar and Grill, or sample the Aspen Social’s version, served with yellow fin tuna and wasabi tobiko. For an upscale experience, Veritas restaurant’s baby spinach salad is an excuse to devour deviled eggs topped with whipped blue cheese and crisped pancetta.

Some wink at the classics, like Seersucker Bar, which is serving deviled eggs as part of their Southern snack tray alongside pimento cheese and crudités. Other establishments, like the Collective over in the Meat Packing district, demonstrate premature nostalgia for last summer’s truffle-everything trend, serving deviled eggs with truffle oil and fried capers. Friends, this is only a very partial list.

Need a bright idea for some weekend fun? How about hosting a deviled egg cook-off like they do down south. After reading The Awl’s Ultimate, Fabulous Guide to Deviled Eggs, I immediately began compiling my very own winning recipe. Not to worry: Those of you who’s egg-eating expertise exceeds your event planning abilities, the author kindly shares his comprehensive list of regulations to prevent the whole ordeal from going to Hades.

Checking Out the New Downtown Dream

The culture of nightlife and the culture of hotels is about to change. For years, we have discussed the advantages of nightlife finding a protective home in the bosom of a hotel, with all its services, amenities, insurances, lobbyists, lawyers and all that expensive stuff that operators in non-hotel-based joints need to pay for on their own. Hotels are more than ever before driven by their food and beverage establishments. Plus, they come packed with rooms filled with guests who have the best money there is: vacation money.

Vegas has taught everyone that vacation money flows faster than the local variety. The rebirth of Nevada’s desert paradise was built on a shift from hawking gaming to emphasizing the attractions of their clubs and entertainment.

In New York, Ian Schrager drove home the concept of boutique hotels. The Gansevoort took it to new heights with its roof pool and exclusive Provocateur lounge. Food and beverage was driving its whole shebang. Andre Balasz took it all to the next level with The Standard. But lately, Morgans Hotel Group, with its new Mondrian and re-energized Hudson, has upped the ante.

The collaboration between TAO Strategic Group and the Chatwal father-son team of hoteliers redefines the art and the business of both nightlife and hotels. It is a game changer. The Chatwals, fronted by the fabulous Vikram, have had success with their Dream Hotel uptown, the Stay, and many others. They have pushed their nightlife/restaurant program to drive their places. Greg Brier operated Amelia and Aspen Social Club, designed by me and mine. He has had some success with Aspen, which is still under his control. Greg is my boy, but he isn’t TAO Strategic Group. To list all of TAO Strategic’s properties would require that second cup of coffee, so I’ll just offer some: Marquee (NYC and Vegas), Lavo (NYC and Vegas) Tao (NYC and Vegas), and Avenue. They are entwined in Beauty & Essex, Stanton Social, and even Artichoke Pizza. There’s projects everywhere that are hush-hush for a minute. Now, the Chatwals, with all their connections and experience and desire, have turned to them to make the food and beverage drive for their new Dream Downtown. It will take a dozen articles to describe what I saw when Noah Tepperberg showed me the place yesterday. Construction workers for contractor Carlo Seneca, who for my money is the go-to guy for this high-end construction work, were scurrying around to get it done. Private events start early next week, with the magnificent roof due on the 15th. Carlo will finish. His team takes pride in their work and he’s a guy who says “I’ll make it work” far more often than “I’m not sure I can.”

Noah told me about players to be named later, to help sell the place. He doesn’t need them. I’ve heard these names on the street, even though Noah wasn’t talking, and they’re all major, but the place is the perfect place at the perfect time with the perfect operators, and in the perfect location.

The pool is unreal. Noah says it’s perfect for at least 5 hours a day. The staff was being trained as I toured, and were all bright and eager. The design is genius. The one thing that was emphasized to me was that it wasn’t the attached-at-the-hip Maritime Hotel. Both places have those unique porthole windows. The dream team of designers/architects at Handel chose to clad the building in super-chic metal and bring back the ‘hole’ theme throughout. Most noteworthy are the holes at the bottom of the swimming pool, which has lobby-goers looking above. It’s the place the stuff that dreams are made of.

Hotel ‘Hood: The Night Hotel, Inside & Out

The Night Hotel is the best place to get it on in the city—unless you’re the type who thought “The Future Room” in Blue Valentine was sexy. Vikram Chatwal’s vampy hotel in the Theater District of Manhattan actually won Trip Advisor’s “Sexiest Hotel in the US” award, and with packages like “Party All Night, Sleep All Day“ and parking privileges for “Bridge and Tunnel” folks looking for “an overnight stay,” it’s easy to see why.

image The Neighborhood The Theater District is in the center of it all, evoking that “Bright Lights, Big City” feel. The hotel is close to Broadway theaters, Time Square, historic Carnegie Hall, and bustling bars.

image Eating and Drinking You can find nightlife, a restaurant, and a lounge (shown above, top right) within the hotel. Nightlife and Dining Picks Nearby Serafina: Fresh pizzas and airy dining up top for underage girls wearing more Barney’s-purchased scrilla than you own. Aspen Social: Abstract forest in the middle of the trees of Times Square. Grace Lounge: The best spot in midtown for ginning up a game of Marco Polo. The Lambs Club: Get elegantly wasted with the ghost of Fred Astaire at this reincarnated clubhouse in the Chatwal Hotel. Jimmy’s Corner: Legendary corner in the middle of a midtown block.

My DJ Antics & Other Things to See

I’m late writing today because I have been trying to clone myself all morning. I am getting so busy as a DJ that I may have to give up my pottery or my vegan cooking classes. Tonight I am double-booked by people who must be tone deaf. First off, I will DJ a birthday bash for my pal Greg “The Smile” Brier, who is also celebrating the 2-year anniversary of his restaurant/joint Aspen Social Club. This Times Square affair starts at 5pm for the locals and goes real late for the loyalists who love the joint. My name is listed on the invite along with other DJs, but appears 3x bigger than the rest, who are absolutely 10x better than me at making music. But I am pretty, and sometimes that will get you through the night. Shoot, it got my ex’s through years.

Real DJs Tommy James, Billy C, Justin Strauss, and Lizzy Lee will undo the damage I’ll do with my 11pm to midnight slash-and-burn set. Tommy has promised not to disconnect the equipment after my second track, as he did the last time we worked together. I guess it was a bad song. Aspen Social Club thrives in the middle of the mayhem at 47th and Broadway. To paraphrase that brilliant philosopher/poet Yogi Berra: That area has so much going on that there is nothing happening there. It is not exactly a scene-friendly location, yet Greg has thrived there and at his other joint nearby, Highbar. He is, despite what many say, one of the real gentlemen in the business. I will absolutely strive to embarrass him tonight.

After that I will whisk down to White Noise to join Goldbar guru Jon Lennon on the 1’s and 2’s. Jon is another one of those real DJ-types who must tolerate the insanity of my musical offerings. I had fun last week.

Also tonight – I send my regrets for not attending – is Music Maestro…Please, presented by NY-LON and Spontaneous Underground. My bestest friend and another real DJ, Jennifly, will host this. It’s a Brit-centric dance-a-thon, and one of my favorite parties. It is at my hallowed haunt subMercer, and I may sneak in late.

Last night I judged a mini ball hosted by Princess Xtravaganza at Patrick Duffy’s Tuesday night soiree’ at the Box. It was rad, mad mayhem, as strutters walked the walk, and vogued, and all that. The crowd screamed in delight as pretty and talented folks bent all the rules and their body parts in an attempt to sway the judges. The ball culture, which has been around before even me and my dad, is readily enjoyed by the masses that packed the room last night, and so many other nights. It is often a cult-culture, with its own rules deities, and even gods. It has a deep history of over a hundred years. Pattrick Duffy and Princess are proving that the brilliant spectacle that is “a ball” should be seen by more people—a broader audience. How to do that without diluting its purity is a question, and an opportunity. It’s real deal fun and creativity, and I try not to miss any of them.

Friday Good Units will host the 6th Annual Halloween affair hosted by Yoni Goldberg, Damon DeGraff, and their DJ talent firm dGi. Yoni chastised me for not showing up last year, even though I did. I was in my super-realistic old, fat Elvis outfit, and he must have thought I was the real thing. I hope he didn’t tell his friends. I will try to attend again this year and enjoy the real DJs he and Damon have slated for the event. The Misshapes, Rev(run) and Ruckus will be on hand with some promised—wink,wink—surprise performers.

Last but certainly not least is the charity affair my friend Unik is hosting this Saturday. An A-list crowd, which may include: “Gerard Butler, John Legend, Rhianna, Petra Nemcova, Wyclef and more.” The crowd will limo:

“To Ajna, the old Buddah Bar, as a prelude to the annual New York City Halloween parade, which has chosen to promote Haiti’s cultural roots as the 2010 parade’s prominent theme. Haitian Artist Didier Civil was invited to bring his Voodoo flair. Prominent charity organizations Edeyo and LakayPAM are leading this Haiti rebranding project, and will benefit from the $25.00 entrance fee. Time: 10:30pm Place: Ajna Bar, 25 Little West 12th Street”

Industry Night at Highbar

Industry Night at Highbar has gotten my attention. Tonight, they’ll screen the Rolling Stones movie In The Park, which shows the return of the Stones to concert making after a couple-year hiatus. The concert took place under a cloud of grief, just a few days after the death of ex-Stones guitarist and founder Brian Jones. Jones left the band just a short while before filming began under confusing circumstances. Some say he quit; while others say Mick Jagger and Keith Richards pushed him out because he’d become a drug-addled waste of space left in the dust, musically. He was perceived as a liability. He was found drowned in his own swimming pool. Was it a suicide or accident?

There was another movie that explored this. That movie, Stoned, paints an awful picture of the events preceding Jones’ demise. A reported 1993 deathbed confession by an assistant, Frank Thorogood, says it was murder. A gig held in London’s Hyde Park in July 1969 quickly became a memorial for the fallen rocker. Mick Taylor was debuted as the new lead guitarist. A quarter million people reportedly saw this concert, which also featured King Crimson and a slew of others. Accounts tell of an uncharacteristically disorganized Stones concert with few highlights. A little over a month later, Woodstock would happen and a half a million would show and everyone would play… except for the Stones. In response, they put together a gig that December at the Altamont Racetrack in California which was supposed to be a sort of West Coast Woodstock. It didn’t turn out real well. That concert, with its murder and chaos, was featured in another flick, Gimme Shelter, by the Maysles brothers, who also gave us Grey Gardens. The year 1969 is ancient history for most, even for me. It’ll be interesting to see this moment in time when the world’s greatest rock band was redefining itself into the act we’re familiar with. Mick Jagger was born on this date, July 26th 1943. He’s celebrating his 67th birthday. Happy birthday, Mick!

Tonight off-work club employees are to bring their employee ID or pay stubs for drink discounts at Highbar. Tommy James will DJ. Next week the movie will be Snatch, the week after Clockwork Orange followed by The Wizard of Oz. You get the idea. If they serve popcorn, I’ll be there every week. Doors open at 5pm and the movie starts at 9. I ate at Aspen Social Club (ASC), and proprietor Greg Brier joined me the other night. Yes, for those who ask me to disclose, my firm designed it. I found it to be delightful; the food and service better than ever. Greg recently sold Amalia/D’or and closed the original Aspen on 22nd street. Highbar and Aspen Social are doing very well, and that makes me happy as he’s one of the industry’s good guys. His bringing downtown sensibility to midtown twirl has found a niche at Highbar and ASC.

Speaking of good guys, I spent Sunday brunch with bon-vivant-turned-restaurateur Patrick Duffy, who continues to amaze me at B.E.S. If you haven’t been, you should, as the scene is fabulous, the food to die for, and the design breathtaking. And no, I didn’t do it. The brunch attracts all the unusual suspects, the movers the shakers, the creatives and some moneymakers. The salmon eggs benedict is transcendent. I also like Tuesday nights there. All the swells come for dinner pre-Patrick’s weekly party at The Box.

Terry Casey — ex-Le Royale — is throwing Tuesday night events at Harem on Laguardia Place. With Terry it’s all about the music, and he likes to mix it up. I asked him to describe Harem. “Harem really feels like a loft space and has a nice relaxed vibe, unlike most spaces I found. It’s Loft Space Meets Hooka Lounge. Me and Alexander are rez DJs and hosts are Rachel Landry (bday Girl), Kelle Calaco, Victor Medina-San Andrés, Jake L, Mike De Guzman and Avery Noyes.” Tomorrow he’ll have the least known of the Ronson/Jones clan, Alexander Dexter Jones, DJ’ing. He’s the brother of Mark Ronson, Samantha and Charlotte Ronson. I’ve never met a Ronson or Jones I didn’t like, and I always appreciate their talent. He’ll be joined by Roxy Cottontail and there’s a live performance by Fire and Reason. It figures to be a good time for those looking for something off the familiar bottle/model path. Harem is at 510 Laguardia Place, just off Bleecker.

Generations Pack It In for Danceteria’s 30th Anniversary

Friedrich Nietzsche said “For art to exist, for any sort of aesthetic activity or perception to exist, a certain physiological precondition is indispensable: intoxication.” Last night an extremely artistic crowd gathered for the aesthetic activity called partying. The perception was that they were all very experienced in this endeavor. All — well, most — seemed to possess many physiological preconditions as well as a desire to get extremely intoxicated. It was a crowd for the ages, meaning they were all quite elderly. They gathered for the 30th anniversary of Danceteria, a club that will just not gracefully fade away. It still wants to go inside and play and for a Camelot moment it did again last night.

Danny Cornyetz put up some old-school videos including David Bowie with Klaus Nomi and our favorite downtown ringmaster, Joey Arias. Conversations rambled about the new movie about Klaus’s life with Alan Cummings cast to play the lead. Everyone thought that was brilliant. DJ sets from Mark Kamins, record mogul Craig Kalmon (chaiman and CEO of Atlantic Records), new father Walter Vee, Richard Sweret, Freddy Bastone, Walter Durkatz, Jette Vandenberg and many others had us on the dance floor. It was frenetic as if they had in mind the Bowie lyrics, “Let’s dance for fear tonight is all.” Tom Silverman told me about the return of his New Music seminar, which predated the Winter Music Conference and others that filled the void when Tom and his old partner, Mark Josephson, pulled the plug after 15 years. For its run, the seminar was the birthplace of new music and new ideas. Daily panel discussions about technical advances, trends, nightclubs and social issues drew thousands of people from all over the world.

Many opted to break out the old leather jackets or spandex body armor. Others showed off the skinniest of ties and black shirts that almost hid the waistlines. Everyone looked real good for their age and the lifestyles that occupied a great part of their legacies. Cheyne, who did the song “Call Me on the Telephone” back in the day, flew in from London for the event. She was an elevator operator along with Entourage’s Debi Mazar at Danceteria. The club had many floors, roof included, and stairs were sometimes not an option. Some came from the west coast. Infamous doorman Tom Starker flew in from Ohio, but alas without his trademark cowboy hat. Some came from the deep past bringing tears to many eyes. Some couldn’t make it due to distance, illness or Mother’s Day. When we booked the date, Joe Stanich and I just didn’t check. Yes we have both been called mothers before, and I of all people know to look for such things. Thank god I’m out of practice.

There were others missing because life ended too abruptly. A moment of silence was observed for Haoul Montaug, who passed almost nine years ago. Haoui was the soul and smarts for this generation. Danceteria owner John Argento came and talked of his New Jersey nightspots. He donated an original barstool to the event. Kamins came up with a couple dozen original t-shirts, which were gobbled up. Danceteria’s ring master Rudolf Pieper called me from Brazil and wished everyone well. He couldn’t make it because he has just opened Kiss and Fly down there. He says it’s his 76th club! TV and movie star Lisa Edelstein, who we used to call “Lisa E,” sat with Phoebe Zeeman Fitch and Sally Randall Brunger, and all looked as if time had forgotten them. The event was a cornucopia of mixed nuts, beautiful Mrs. and Misses, some mixed fruits, many missed opportunities, a number of excuse me miss is that you’s?, some messes, two make no mistake about it’s, a few misused, a number of missed the boats, a handful of misbegottens and a smattering of “I’d check this out closely because it might not be a miss at alls.”

As I worked the room I was particularly amused by the tourists who stumbled into the Aspen Social Club not knowing what was going on. They saw a real intense 1980s party with appropriate music and dress. Maybe it just felt natural — like they say, if it’s midnight in Manhattan, it must be 1984 in Kansas.

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Looking Back Softly

Okay, busy day, so let’s get to it. The 30th anniversary party of Danceteria (one of the greatest clubs ever) will be held this Saturday at Aspen Social Club in Times Square. Hordes of ’80s nightlife survivors will migrate from all over the planet to attend this soiree. It’s either: attend or wait for the 50th anniversary event. People who look like shadows of themselves will talk about love, music, fashion and ghosts of nightlife past and everyone will say, “You look amazing !” 100 times. Some will be better at this remembering game than others. There’s an old saying …“It’s hard to be nostalgic when you can’t remember anything.”

Back in the day, some people were…clouded. As a result of all the internet chatter about this party, a younger sister of an old friend found me. She’s looking for information about someone she hardly knew as Cat Martines died in 1986. Scott Severin and I filled in some of the blanks, and she’ll attend the event to ask about more. This led to another memory: Jillian Schwartz (aka Jillian Black) died of a heroin overdose around the same time. She was my bestest friend and overdosed on her second try of the drug. I have no photos to remind me of her. All that I have is a warm but very sad feeling which can’t fill the hole that will always be in my heart. Scott says he found a picture of her and is getting it to me. My goosebumps have goosebumps. The people who are attending this event Sunday have survived an era that took so many. Between rampant drug use and an uncontrollable AIDS epidemic, a generation was decimated. I met my first wife Jennifer Hamdan at Danceteria (who celebrates her birthday today). My memory comes with it’s own set of rose-colored glasses, and I’m sure Peter De Vries was right when he said “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.”

I caught Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell in a Behanding In Spokane which was a bag of chuckles with a couple of guffaws. Walken is a man with young eyes and a complexion that takes a long hard time to acquire. I remember a conversation many years ago with legendary director Abel Ferrara at the premier of The King of New York at my Union Square joint, The Palace de Beaute. Abel was tossing ‘em down like we might run out of the stuff and I said something. He replied, “You think I’m bad… wait till you meet Walken.”

I’m obsessed with Bon Vivant , Kenny Kenny’s photo exhibit at Collective Gallery this Saturday. Everyone will be there, as Kenny has been there and done that and keeps on doing it. He is the energizer bunny of nightlife. Last night at Amanda Lapore’s Big Top party, he held court over the old and the very new. Big Top is the next big thing for those who find inspiration from the past without wallowing in nostalgia. The photo exhibit promises to be a revelation. I spoke to the curator Virgine Sommet about it.

Kenny is often very shy and certainly modest. How did this show come about? I have tea with my friend Lola, and one Thursday afternoons she talked to me about the pictures of Kenny Kenny. She told me that his body of work was very impressive and refreshing. I decided to contact him to see the pictures.We met at Collective Gallery and he showed me many powerful photographs in black and white from India and two different series about nightlife.I was seduced by everything and I decided to do his first solo show about the two nightlife series in black and white and in color. As an artist and as a curator, I always refused banalities of ordinary life and massification in art and in life, so this “Bon Vivant in New York” exhibition is exactly what I was looking to show. Collective Gallery’s focus is about The Others: subculture, urban tribe, minorities and microgroups of people. Tell me about the charity involved. It was Kenny Kenny’s idea to involve a charity in the “Bon Vivant in New York” exhibition. He met Beverly Bronson in Manhattan and she told him her story. She was traveling in Nepal and found two little children in a dumpster. The kids were two and five years old and she couldn’t find anyone to take care of them, so she decided to rent a 12-room house after many fund raising and financial commitments. It’s now the “Ghar Sita Mutu, House with a Heart” which welcomes 20 abandoned children at a time, providing nutritious meals, education and health care. It’s also a work place for women so they can stop the cycle of misery and be part of a training program. 45% of the art sale will be donated to this non-profit foundation. (Visit www.gharsitamutu.com for more information or contact 212-529-0832/info@gharsitamutu.com) What do you see in Kenny’s photos? In “Bon Vivant in New York” there are two different series. One series is 18 portraits of Kenny Kenny’s entourage. The colors are very murky with a lot of shadows, very gloomy. This atmosphere reminds me of German expressionism. He met many people in the underground life in a time when being gay was more difficult from a societal perspective. These portraits are people who don’t want to be part of the mainstream today. I take this as an aesthetic creative recognition. It’s a hymn of subversion to normalcy, against our dominant societal standards.The second series is 22 photographs of photo journalism with different nightlife moments of people who dress very creatively. They’re black and white, very realistic. This creativity around clothing or accessories that people have made or found allow them to develop a sense of identity. The photographs are messages sent to the mainstream, and at the same time, an extension of Kenny Kenny’s body. His camera is always with him, as jewelry, very distinctive, as he wanted to restore an aesthetic vision of life. I see these photographic series as a voice to subculture. You’ve known Kenny Kenny for quite some time. Speak to his evolution, his change. Kenny Kenny started in Manhattan by running nightsclub doors and then became a successful promoter. His camera never left him for ten years, during his traveling overseas (Morocco, Bali, South America, Egypt, Prague, Italy, Thailand and India) or during his nocturnal life. He learned a lot in these different activities and always with this instinctive shooting. It’s a natural evolution. He “dresses” inventively, so he has an artistic eye.The use of the camera is a continuity of his view.The desire to express himself aesthetically with photography seems like a normal evolution.It is also a testimony of a small group of people in a world which has a tendency to ask us to be all the same. This evolution is going perhaps further than we can even expect.

KENNY KENNY: “BON VIVANT IN NEW YORK” May 8-June 15 COLLECTIVE GALLERY 173-171 Canal Street, 5th Floor Opening Reception Saturday May 8th, 6-9pm

Lastly, I’d like to congratulate DOWNTOWN DIARIES on their one year anniversary. I’ll be at the Eldridge tonight to support.

Desperately Seeking Danceteria

In what is starting to be a trend, the older set will have another reason to break out the spandex, leather jackets and pointy shoes as the folks who worship at the altar of everything Danceteria will have their day, er, night. Joe Stanich, known as the beloved Joe the Manager, has enlisted my help to put together a soiree’ for the infamous nightclub. I facebooked owner John Argento to get his blessing. I said, John, we need to do this, as none of us are getting any younger. It’s been 30 years since it began, Joe reckoned. Plus, everyone had such a blast at Tommy Gunn’s event at The Bowery Electric last month. Hopefully Tommy will come and relax and play with everyone this time, instead of running around like rockstar on acid. John blessed us and we will party like its 1985.

There were three NYC Danceteria locations, and a Hamptons entry. There are still very active Danceteria websites, as the events that shaped this club shaped a large segment of our culture and galvanized friendships still strong after decades. When you google Danceteria, you will find Madonna’s first performance. You will be told of Grace Jones, the Beastie Boys, Sade, The Smiths, Marc Almond, R.E.M, Nina Hagen, Billy Idol, Sisters of Mercy, Duran Duran, LL Cool J, Nick Cave, Bauhaus, Lydia Lunch, Debbie Harry, Futura 2000, Keith Haring, Russell Simmons, Sonic Youth, Afrika Bambatta, Mark Kamins, Run DMC, Edwige Belmore, Maripol, Fab Five Freddy, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Alan Vega, Jesus and the Mary Chain, Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam, Lydia Lunch, Tito Puente, Johnny Dynell, The Bush Tetras, The Pogues, Ann Magnuson, The Cramps, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, The Go Go’s, Devo, The B52’s and Gang of Four. I left out a thousand acts, performers, personalities and scenesters. Chris Isaak played the super chic Congo Bill floor for a month. I produced 50 fashion shows there with partners Susan Arkun and Ivy Bernhard. Isabel Toledo of Michelle Obama fame was part of a New Orleans fashion show which was embraced by the 1984 World Fair. The fair flew John Sex and a cast of characters to the quiet city of New Orleans to liven things up.

When I was naming the 5 best clubs of all time, Danceteria and Nells were closely considered. I decided the 5 best were studio 54, Area, the World, Max’s Kansas City and the Paradise Garage. It is easily arguable that Danceteria is there. Out of a zillion clubs I am hard pressed to remember better. It had everything. It was sex, rock and roll, great DJ’s, gays, straights and everything in between and beyond. There were celebrities and debutants, punks, sluts and wannabe rockers, hipsters and slumming swells. It was fashion, breaking music, and art. It was cabaret with Haoui Montaug or Karen Finley. Karen bartended I believe, as did the mother of the Steve Lewis club career Chi Chi Valenti. It was busboy Michael Alig throwing little events that couldn’t find enough room. It was Ruth Polsky booking bands destined to stardom almost every day. Her tragic death haunts us through the years. It was Rudolf who is still so relevant, franchising clubs like Lotus and others in South America.

It was the sleaziest, easiest place I ever attended to have a close encounter of the third, fourth or whatever kind. I followed dating rules like don’t take home anyone who’s hair can hurt you, or get close enough to smell her before you seduce her. Seduction in the age before we understood what AIDS was, went like this: “You’re hot, finish your drink and lets get out of here.” I rarely knew names. Sometime eye contact was all that was necessary. I met my wife Jennifer there in a video booth. Clubs had DJs and VJs. I was chastising her VJ boyfriend Ben for putting porno on the monitors throughout the club. We had gotten a ticket for it. He argued it was art, and in the middle of his silly soliloquy his voice faded and my eyes which had been distracted by the illicit activities on the surrounding monitors stopped on Jen’s. We stared at each other and I didn’t see much else for a dozen years.

You can catch a glimpse of the place in Desperately Seeking Susan, the 30 W21 Street incarnation of the club which I believe had all the licensing and was home to me. “You can’t go home again,” said some asshole, but you can get together over cocktails or cokes and talk with old friends. The best memories might be the ones we have forgotten, just as the best of us won’t be able to attend. Ruth Polsky, Haoui Montaug, John Sex and The International Chrysis and so many others have passed from AIDS, accident, or living hard. The get together will be held Sunday, May 9, at 8pm at the Aspen Social Club, 157 west 47th Street. There will be great DJs and a crowd that has seen and done it all and will now gather to chat about it.

The closing of m2 just before their weekend revenue stream is no shock to any of us who watch the continued construction on W27th Street and 28th Street. I called an in-the-know sort who told me, “Typical cop bullshit, there were a couple of minor fights and undercover smelled marijuana and of course cigarettes.” The funny thing about the smelled marijuana part is, if the cop couldn’t actually find the culprit how can club security be faulted?

Party Reunions and Backwards Gossip

“Up is down and down is up,” is Eddie Dane’s cryptic observation from Miller’s Crossing, an early Coen brothers flick. The two sensational clubland cases I written about involving anti-heroes Justin Ross Lee and Tarale Wulff may not be what they seem, as the two are not what they seem to be on the surface. I have had extensive conversations with all parties involved regarding Ross Lee’s big bang-up and Wulff’s class acts. Things don’t seem to be as they appeared in the initial reports. These stories have more legs than a 1Oak cocktail waitress and I’m just dying to tell you, but I can’t say much more as of yet. Except maybe up is down and down is up. I am told things in confidence and being a man of my word, I must wait until I am unleashed to blab.

But I can talk about the weather. As Spring is about to be sprung, the old fogies of my era and those before me are dusting off the pointed boots, ripped jeans and the well-worn leather jacket as reunion parties of long dead clubs are the order of the night. This Thursday we’ll find the legendary Tommy Gunn hosting “a one night stand, 20 years later.” The one night stand will be held at one of the only venues that still holds old-school values, Bowery Electric, the Joey Ramone place on the bowery. Tommy has lined up 10 bands, including New Zealand rockers Electric Mary and local vocals Wild Street. Project Runway’s Stella Zoltis will toss in a fashion show for good measure and go-go dancers are promised. Let’s just hope the dancers are not from the old days. The host committee made up of 24 folks, including myself, Gaslight owner Matt de Matt, Rock photog Bob Gruen, 80’s rocker Sally Cato (Smashed Gladys and The Conchords) and Danceteria’s John Argento. I asked Tommy why he decided to throw a party two decades after his last shindig. His reply: “I wanted to find out if New York City was ready to rock again! I wanted to bring back the magic one more time.”

It might take more than magic to bring back the old days. A crowd that will have to look for their dentures when they’re getting dressed or be literally resurrected might be in order. Luckily young stud promoters like Sam Valentine will ensure a current crop of revelers will join in the throw-back.

A reunion of sorts is now scheduled for Sunday, May 9th for the Danceteria crowd. This unofficial gathering will take place at Aspen Social at 8pm- a starting time that obviously takes into consideration the age of those who will be reuniting. The gathering marks the 30th anniversary of the legendary club, which means most attendees will be in their late 40’s, at best. I did the math.

There are other reunions for Club57 and the Mudd Club. I also I heard of a Cat Club reunion as well. When put into this context, I don’t think I can picture a future where any of today’s clubs would be remembered with such nostalgia and that any of today’s staff and patrons would maintain relationships strong enough to have a reunion 30 years from today. Personally, I never thought I’d survive Tunnel. Maybe I really didn’t?