The Brooklynization of Uncle Steve continues as I find a better product, a better meal, a better conversation and all around better attitude there. I hit Union Pool yet again, and caught Dead Stars– a fabulous band. Cousins Jaye Moore on drums and Jeff Moore on guitar are legendary in Japan, so I’m told, from their previous band, Orange Park. Jon Watterberg plays bass. They were absolutely brilliant. You know a rock band is solid when you’re hearing their set for the first time and the songs catch you. Afterward we all hung outside by the wood burning fire pit and talked rock n’ roll hootchie-coo. I am so tired of the jaded haters and wannabes who have taken over the Manhattan club scene that I retreat to Brooklyn constantly to hang out with homogeneous hipsters wearing variations of the same plaid. At least there’s good conversation and an unending supply of said hipsters. Everywhere I go there is a party. I bought a Diet Coke at Union Pool and they charged me a buck. The only thing you get for a buck in a Manhattan joint is a wrapped white mint from the bathroom attendant.
I played a little skee-ball at Full Circle Bar and had a seriously fantastic meal at Vutera, where waitrons Jeff and Sarah made it special. The large table next doo, presided over by my new best friend Jeff Shonert, engaged us in witty conversation and party games. It’s like that every night. I’m going to Brooklyn Bowl tonight and this is either a severe midlife crisis or the real thing. Speaking of the real thing, my second foray to the Belmont Lounge’s Stones night proved to be even more satisfying then the last. This is a beautiful, friendly, fun crowd .
I chatted with my jet-setting pal Paul Sevigny about the weather and the whether or nots. He’s in town after Costa Rica and on his way to Paris with the lucky ones. My pal Malcolm Harris is already there and I asked him to give me a blow by blow of all the ooh la la action. He says:
“’I’ve got to be honest, not much on the way of reporting on Paris nightlife. As much as there are a lot of places open, the only place that really matters and has a heart and soul is Le Baron. They seem to get nightlife and embrace all the creatures of creativity. Le Régine, Le Montana, Le Magnifique and- uggghhh VIP – all seem to lack a true vibe. They all seem like people crammed into a box because it’s just a little better than staying at home… For me all roads lead to Le Baron. No matter where I start the night, for some reason the New Yorker in me leads me to Le Baron. So if you want me to cover the nightlife, just know that all roads lead to Le Baron.”
Sally Shan is a tenacious presence on the night life scene. A year ago when she was starting out, I interviewed her and she says I gave her the push and the credibility she needed. This may or may not be true, but a year later finds her growing and very relevant to owners concerned with the bottom line. The bottom line with Sally is that she consistently generates money for clubs in need of that stuff. I asked a highly successful club owner and marketing guru what the story was with Sally Shan. He said, “Sally has the remarkable ability to deliver a spending crowd. While many promoters only can bring people to a good party, Sally’s crowds are loyal to her and will follow her anywhere. Once there, she takes care of them and ensures them a great time.“ I caught up with Sally and chatted with her on her “Nightlife Anniversary,” celebrating the annual date she got into nightlife, near to her week long birthday celebration.
Its been a year since you started working in nightlife. How did you start your business and where is it today? Like with any business, I started with an idea; how could I make some money in this damn recession? So I started with one party. That one party went from one venue a week to three to now six parties at some of the top venues in NYC. Along with that I’ve expanded to incorporate a team of promoters, artist managers, fashion and charity events, and corporate sponsorships.
What clubs do you work at now? I get requests from a lot of different clubs all the time. The key places I’m working at right now are Greenhouse, Hudson Terrace, Tenjune, Marquee, Kiss & Fly, Pink, La Pomme.
What does your crowd expect of you and how do you make sure they get it? As you know here in NYC we expect everything, and that’s what I deliver. Best venues and locations, hottest DJs and music, beautiful people and atmosphere and, of course, Sally Shan, they get me too.
What’s the difference between Sally Shan the brand and the person? Sally Shan the brand is the experience I create, it’s what I give back to people. Sally Shan the person is what I do to stay balanced. What creates that balance is my integrity, values and purpose. That’s what allows me to go and build a great brand.
After promotions at clubs where does your brand go? My brand goes everywhere I go, and where it’s going is to creating corporate alliances. For example Svedka Vodka is sponsoring my birthday party. I’m establishing relationships with clubs internationally to take the Sally Shan experience worldwide. I’m working with designers and brands to promote charities and private events. It’s really about creating a world of lifestyle that has me looking at all forms of media, print, digital and possibly television. It should be a fun ride.
Who are your influences, mentors, idols in clubs and out. You mean besides you Steve? Well, the world I came from is one that was always immersed in live entertainment. Broadway, theater, TV and film. So now I take a lot of that creative energy to create live experiences for people in club and party settings. I choose my mentors and idols from a wide range of places, mavericks and pioneers in film, music and fashion. All the things that make up part of who I am.
Where do you hang when you’re not working? I take my brand with me everywhere but I also know when I need to recharge. I frequent Miami and LA for a quick break.
What are you going to be when you grow up? My best ideas have come from breaking the rules, being creative, not knowing what an adult would do, so I hope I don’t grow up too quickly.
Your most satisfying club experience? Ask me after my birthday celebration week. It starts tonight at Hudson Terrace with DJ Peter Paul and DJ Alan Liao. Sunday it’s at Tenjune with a special guest performance and Tuesday at Greenhouse there’s a birthday CD tribute for my EDEN party. I have a feeling that those will be one of my best club experiences.