Good Night Mr. Lewis: Legendary Parties, Legendary Men

Today is going to be short and sweet. The half of me that’s Jewish is having a huge argument with the half that isn’t and it’s best that I write half a column today. Tonight I will DJ at Champagning Midtown at the lobby-level bar at the Dream Hotel, 55th Street btw. Broadway and 7th Ave. Nick Andreottola and Nicole Rose, along with Dream honcho Ric Addison, are hosting this shindig which starts at an early 6:30pm and runs until 12:30am. They say the idea is "to celebrate life by drinking champagne.”  I have many reasons to be cheerful this week so I may imbibe. As many of you loyal readers and friends know, I only drink two or three times a year, whenever I have sex, so I’m going to go to my "sexy" set for tonight. That’s Chris Isaak’s "Wicked Game" to Donna Summer’s "Love to Love You Baby.” You get the idea.

The invite says "Music By Legendary Steve Lewis.” That’s nice, but every time somebody calls me "legendary," I quickly check my pulse. I remember the things that I have done and appreciate the respect, but I try to live in the real world I wake up to every day and want the things I do "now" to define me.

Tomorrow night I will miss (because of my Thursday Night Generation Wild party where I DJ with the Legendary Sam Valentine), the Salon 13 Benefit For Breast Cancer at B-Side. There will be a raffle including gift certificates from Salon 13, Thicker Than Water Tattoo, Bar Bone, Unleashed, Continuum Coffee, Back Forty, W.i.P., Bantam, Rex Hughs Dog Training, and more. Gotta go…

Oh, I almost forgot…. Happy birthday to legendary promoter, entrepreneur, all-around-nice-guy John Davis, who will be celebrating his 50th birthday. Sheee-it, I got shoes that are 50! John has moved his legendary Body and Soul party to the cozy confines of XL Nightclub, 512 W. 42nd St. This event, like my girlfriend ,starts at four in the afternoon. It ends around midnight (she can go all night). Legendary DJs Francois K, Joaquin "Joe" Clausell, and Danny Krivit will provide continuity as well as awesome sets. I worked with John and this party back at the legendary club Life back in ‘96 or ’97. The guy who ran that joint was some sort of genius or something…legendary.

Dumps, Dives, & Holes: B-Side Gets a B

B-Side is a good weekday winter bar. Orange Christmas lights frame the bar and greet you once you push past the red curtained-entrance. Red light fixtures shaped like snowflakes hang from the ceiling, making it a  very warm affair.

A pretty tin ceiling gives way to star-framed moldings behind the bar. Opposite that, a wall with an engraved cream top separates into flat maroon. The crowd is usually a mix of Alphabet City locals and tweaky bike messengers that hang around because it’s across the street from a track bike shop. Derelicts are always lingering outside, a taste of the old East Village. Next door, I’ve been told you can get a happy ending. 

The bar is good: happy hour offers half-off beers or well drinks (running you $2-$3) and there’s always the unbeatable deal of a $5 whiskey and beer combo. $7 can get you a hot spiced apple cider, which, in the coming months can’t be underestimated. The main bar area opens through two arches separated by juke box, into a larger, wider back room. Here are the five best selections of a not very good juke box:

Black Sabbath: "Hole in the Sky"
T.Rex: "Hot Love"
Violent Femmes: "Blister in the Sun"
Sonic Youth: "Kool Thing"
Anything from The Kinks

Towards the back, the aesthetic becomes jumbled. The farther you go, the cornier it gets. Instead of a pool table, there is foosball. The walls are covered in fake band posters that look like they were made by an Adobe hack. It’s obviously the work of an owner’s friend, or something. I’d never noticed them before, and wish it could have stayed that way. Sitting on a battered banquet next to an empty candy dispenser while taking in all the Hot Topic art is somehow fitting.  

Overall, B-Side serves a good purpose for Avenue B. It’s usually fairly empty, except on weekends. Stay near the front windows, and go with a friend you like talking to.