Jezebel’s Henry Stimler Reveals His Casino Royale-Themed Gala & Favorite Bond Girl

The previews of The Great Gatsby have me totally psyched up. Leo as Gatsby is a big ZOWIE! for me. Baz will understand. I’ve read Gatsby a zillion times. I relish the eternal optimism of the lead, his romance, his insane quest. The parties in Fitzgerald’s great tome – which attract all types, and devolve into the impure-ist bedlam – are the model for my events. The rich hobnobbing with the dressed-up peasants, the debaucherous under-classes worked well for me. Nowadays, nightlife is more segregated. Slumming isn’t the norm for the well-heeled, as most opt for mingling within the same class. The top spots thrive on big bucks and exclusivity as opposed to inclusivity. There are exceptions to this rule: usually the fun night at the usually boring joint. The hoi polloi have been banished to Brooklyn and they thank you very much. 

At Capitale’s Casino Royale-themed gala January 26th with Henry Stimler (Jezebel) and Seth Greenberg (Capitale) at the helm, the price of admission is $125, separating the men from the moochers. Capitale,130 Bowery at Grand, is the perfect setting for such an affair. The building was designed by Stanford White who was murdered by a millionaire who learned of an affair between the architect and his model wife which predated the marriage. Stanford White designed the house where Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald attended those lavish parties that inspired him. Stanford also designed the Arch in Washington Square Park, The Players Club Mansion on Gramercy Park. The old post office on 31st and 8th and tons of other places. He was the epitome of the American renaissance of architecture. His murder at the hand of Harry Kendall Thaw was the "trial of the century.” Capitale is there to behold. Its beauty, timeless. Its ability to host great events, legendary. I think this is an event of Gatsby-esque proportions. J. Bond and J. Gatsby are great icons. 

This Saturday, the Casino Royale Gala will attract the best. There will be gaming tables and a live symphony orchestra and sexy singers who will perform every Bond song. There will be a late DJ set by Antonio de Angelis of Pacha Ibiza. Aston Martins will be parked outside. Shaken not stirred martinis will be  served by gold painted ladies. It’s a costume party and attendees are encouraged to come as their favorite Bond character. They have provided this link for all info and costume concepts. A full 20 percent of ticket sales will go to the Tunnel to the Towers Foundation in support of Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. A VIP table for five people goes for $2,000, for 10 people $4,000. There is a $50 ticket after 12:30p.m. as well. Their last event, “Midnight in Paris,” was all the rage and this looks like tons of fun.

I asked Henry Stimler a few questions.

What will guests see when they attend?
We are going to create a world of all things Bond, from being greeted by Miss Moneypenny, to tarot card readers, gold-painted ladies, Bond ice sculptures, full band, different singers performing all 22 Bond-themed songs, and of course a casino with amazing prizes.

What will they hear?
Well, the band will play during the gambling etc., then for the after party we are flying in Italian DJ Antonio De Angelis with DJ V to spin from 1am to 4am.

The reason for the Bond theme: is it just because it’s plain sexy?
It’s more than sexy, it’s iconic. I love Bond, and think everyone has that fantasy, the opening scene of Dr. No sitting at the table, lighting a smoke, and saying that immortal line, “Well, here you can embrace it, grab your best tux, strap on a Walter PPK (fake on please), and pull off your best ‘Bond, James Bond’ to a beautiful women, and the place will be full of beautiful Bond girls.

Why January 26th?
It’s my birthday on the 28th, so I kinda rolled with that weekend.

What have you learned from your previous event, Midnight in Paris?
Midnight in Paris was a smashing success. Everywhere people went that night, they ran into flapper girls. I ended up at 6am in a top hat and tails and the door guy asking me "what the hell’s with all the 1920s outfits tonight?” New Yorkers embrace themed parties it seems. We put on a big production –  but this one is bigger.

It’s you, Seth Greenberg, and who else?
We always have a team of people, such as Yana Tara, Michael Heller, Gary Quirk, Vito, Matt Esstes, and Vanessa Gil, but it’s just me and Seth for promotion.

Your restaurant Jezebel is providing "bites." Tell me about bites and, while you’re here, Jezebel. Who goes there? Has the kosher cuisine crossed over, and been embraced by non-Jewish patrons?
Jezebel has been a trip. We are seven months in and it’s going great. I think it’s really been embraced by people. You get such a huge mix of people, it really is the melting pot that is NYC. On any given night, you can have your table of 5 Chabad dudes sitting next to two football players with their girlfriends, next to a table of models, then a rabbi and his wife on a date, next to some huge financiers next to Russell Simmons. We have a great new chef, Chris Mitchell, formerly of The Breslin. He is just great.

For Bond, we are going to do a mix of Goldfinger food and Bond-inspired snacks. It’s gonna be very cool and super delicious.

Ok, ok, ok, who’s your favorite Bond? Who’s your favorite Bond villain and your favorite Bond girl?
Sean Connery, hands down, for favorite Bond, the girl in The Spy Who Loved Me, and Goldfinger as my fav Bond villain: "I don’t expect you to talk, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die." Classic stuff.

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First Drive: 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish

After nearly an eight-year hiatus, the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish returns to reclaim the top stop as the king of the Sports GT world. Evolving from the recently departed, and wildly fantastic, DBS, the second generation Vanquish leaps forward borrowing on many of the technologies and styling cues, both internally and externally, from the $1.5-million dollar Aston Martin One-77 Supercar.

The design of the new Vanquish finds the perfect balance between modern and forward thinking elements while maintaining heritage styling cues that make it unmistakably an Aston Martin. Take, for example, the addition of the Vanquish’s new Aero Duct on the deck lid, an unique passive engineering feature designed to counteract lift of the cars rear while travelling at speed, takes one person nearly two days to complete a single unit.

Every body panel on the Vanquish is constructed entirely of high-grade carbon fiber, a first for an Aston Martin production vehicle. The use of carbon fiber throughout the body is due to it’s incredibly high strength-to-weight ratio and its flexibility of form, allowing for an increase of torsional rigidity by more than 25 percent over that of the DBS, allowing for a great responsiveness and predictability in the Vanquish’s handling.

Powered by an all new, hand-assembled, 6.0 liter V12 matted to a performance honed six-speed transmission, the Vanquish produces 565hp and 457 lb/ft of torque, which will accelerate the car from 0-62 mph in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 183 mph. Utilizing a proprietary torque converter borrowed from the One-77, the transmission seamlessly shifts through gears without hesitation or pause.

Keeping the Vanquish glued to the road are 20-inch light weight alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero rubber that were specially developed for the car, with 255/35ZR20 in the front and 305/30ZR20 in the rear. Utilizing the latest iteration of Aston Martin’s Adaptive Damping System, the driver is able to change the suspension, body rigidity, throttle response, brake position, and steering response by simply switching through three distinctive modes: Normal, Sport, and Track, taking the car from a comfortable cruiser to a track-day dominating monster. Helping instill confidence in braking are Carbon Ceramic brakes at all four corners, with the same calipers used on the One-77.

Inside, you’ll find exactly what you would expect from Aston Martin. An interior where nearly every panel is covered in the finest leather, requiring over 70 hours of expert craftsmanship, and seven leather hides, to complete the sport cars luxurious interior. The engineers at Aston Martin have managed to create 140 percent more storage space over the DBS.

One of the most defining interior improvements for the Vanquish is the introduction of the new center stack and infotainment system, another direct descendent of the One-77, which proves to be significantly more user friendly than it’s predecessor found in the DBS. Completing the package is a 1000w Bang & Olufsen 13-speaker audio system that can compete with the best home theater systems available. However, we much preferred the natural aural notes produced by the Vanquish’s incredible engine and exhaust.

So while it took nearly eight years for us to receive the new Vanquish, the wait was certainly well worth it. Embracing its multiple personalities allows the driver to feel equally comfortable with the Vanquish on crowded city streets or on long haul drives. And then, when the situation calls for it, provide immediate confidence swallowing up miles of twisted pavement at speed. These are claims for which most of its Italian counterparts aren’t as able to easily make.

And that is, of course, the defining difference with Aston Martin. While the Italian rivals show up to the dinner party in their purple velour dinner jackets emblazed with Swarovski crystals begging for attention, the Aston is more than content simply knowing that he’s the one hosting it. While other super cars pride themselves on being aggressive, the Aston Martin Vanquish prides itself on being assertive. 

Finally, when you consider the immense amount of technologies taken directly from the $1.5mm One-77, and the fact that this is one the most well rounded supercars ever built, at a starting price of $279,995, the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish is a bargain that will make any one who is fortunate enough to get their hands on one more than pleased with their purchase.  

 The Aston Martin Vanquish is currently available for pre-orders now with first expected deliveries to take place in early 2013.