Nightlife That Makes You Feel Like A Good Person

On Wednesday night we dressed like Eskimos and attended a private screening of director Ariel Vromen’s The Iceman at the Bryant Park Hotel’s screening room. Club legend Danny A. Abeckaser invited me and mine to the show. Danny plays a pivotal role in the flick as the best friend to leading man Michael Shannon. Michael plays hit man Richard Leonard "The Iceman" Kuklinski who had somewhere between 100 and 250 successful whacks before they caught him in 1986. The film is filled with familiar faces, from Ray Liotta, James Franco, Chris Evans, Stephen Dorff, David Schwimmer, and Winona Ryder. Winona ruled. Danny A. had his usual crowd of models and the folks that hang with them, and a good time was had by all. It’s good to see one of the good guys in the club world breaking out and living his dreams on the silver screen. The movie is chilling and captivating. It will come out in a couple of months.

Advance tickets are on sale for The 4th Annual Two Boots Mardi Gras Ball Benefit for The Lower East Side Girls Club happening at Le Poisson Rouge on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 12th. They have Cyndi Lauper and ?UESTLOVE doing the King and Queen of the Mardi Gras thing, and performances by Pitchblack, EMEFE, The Ambitious Orchestra and powerhouse DJs Roxy Cottontail and Beverly Bond. All sorts of other acts and stilt walkers and body painters will be part of this for such a great cause. The Lower East Side Girls Club helps young girls climb out of bad places, giving them guidance and support as they try to make their dreams come true. My pal Jenny Dembrow is a honcho over there working tirelessly to make it work. Tickets are $25 or $125 for the dinner, booze, and reserved seating. Get them here.

Just a word to all: it’s real cold out there, even for those who can afford warm clothes and shelter from the elements. Be aware that around us there are people who don’t have the ability to get by on their own. If you have stuff you’re not wearing that can help another, this is a good time to make room in your closet. Donate your goods to one of Goodwill’s NYC locations here and feel like a good person instantly.

Bryant Park vs. Lincoln Center: Out with the Old, in with the New

Last night the “fashion set” bid the tents at Bryant Park adieu and turned the runways into 1Oak– a look that came complete with dancing models, Moet and Ronnie Madra. I put “fashion set” in those very convenient quotations because partiers were more of the “drinking set,” as apparently none of the people who had spent the most time under the big top- the fashion editors, designers and front row stars- could muster the nostalgia necessary to say goodbye. That and Calvin Klein was having his party somewhere else.

(‘DiggThis’)In any case, a big stink has been made about what will happen to NYFW when it moves to Lincoln Center in the fall, farther away from the Garment District and all of those downtown fashionistas. Will more designers choose to show off site? Will downtown-dwelling stars and fashion mags decline to travel all the way to the Dakotas? Will New York as a fashion capital lose its international cred from the lack of a centralized location if said designers continue to show independently? Will the Lincoln Center give fashion credibility as an art form? Deep stuff, right?

These are all really important questions that I’ll leave to be answered by the Sunday Styles (or teen bloggers writing from Arkansas who seem to have just as much validity). I’m more interested in figuring out how the “fashion set” will defile transform the UWS nabe into fashion land, what tequila hole Michael Kors will turn to for a pre-show blackout, what hotel the cast of Jersey Shore will take over, what unassuming quaint pub Kate Moss will put on the map, if they do so choose to journey north.

Hot spot for over-worked fashion editors to cry it out after getting snubbed by the Wintour. Old: Ruby Tuesday. Distance: Just over a block from Bryant Park, on 7th Avenue. Why: The food chain provides many carb options, something the editor has been abstaining from for half their life, and an atmosphere one can be sure is totally free from fashion peers. Let the floodgates open- Fashion Week is tough, but easier with cheese, breaded and fried. New: Central Park. Distance: One block east of the Lincoln Center. Why: What better place to run to in a fit of rage and “why me?” than freaking Central Park? The editor will feel as if they’re starring in a weepy Woody Allen film; scorned woman turning away from all she knows to find answers in the woods of Manhattan! The drama! Bonus as an ego boost when they find smirking at tourists in flip-flops easy from their perch on Prada pumps.

imageHot spot for models to gorge between shows. Old: Crumbs 42nd Street. Distance: In Bryant Park. Why: If you’re making up for a week’s worth of calories, you should at least be eating something pretty and within walking distance from your next call time. New: Magnolia Columbus. Distance: 4 blocks north of Lincoln Center. Why: The fact that they are Carrie cupcakes (for models still infatuated with SATC) makes the walk to gorge worth it. Besides, models never make call times.

imageSpot for designers to have a pre-show stiff one. Old: Cellar Bar @ the Bryant Park Hotel. Distance: Pretty much on top of Bryant Park. Why: Cellar Bar is a sophisticated rager, perfect for sophisticates in need of numbing nerves and their publicist’s front row choices. New: Candle Bar. Distance: Roughly 8 blocks north, or one subway stop from the Lincoln Center. Why: Gay dive that’s a nice counterbalance to the frat-tastic bullshit of the Upper West Side. And we all know how progressive the fashion world is.

imageCheesy fashion-themed bar big with tourists. Old: Stitch Bar and Lounge Distance: 3 blocks south, 2 block west of the Bryant Park tents. Why: They have cocktails named Anna Wintour, Silk Scarf and Stiletto. This place screams “Girl’s Weekend!” New: None, yet. Maybe Rosa Mexicano will change her name to Rosa Cha of the occasion? Why: While there are quite a few Jazz or Opera themed bars, the UWS is prime for fashion to make its mark. Right locals? Anna Win-tini could be on the menu at any given bar hungry for tourists.

Hot meal ticket that is completely booked come fashion week. Old: Aureole Distance: Nestled between Conde Nast and Bryant Park. Why: Charlie Palmer’s house of indulgence is right next to Vogue. This is a quick dinner on-the-go for a busy Voguette. imageNew: Bar Boulud. Distance: Just past Broadway, right in the Lincoln Center’s wheelhouse. Why: “Location begs Lincoln Center spillover, i.e. middle-aged Philharmonic fans and ballet families.” Replace this i.e. with middle-aged fashion editors and PR families.

Photo: Gothamist

Travel Sale Roundup

imageTravel deals abound. Here’s the highlights:

● Southwest launches yet another huge sale. This time, the fares are good through June, the destinations include Florida, and prices have dropped on average $70 per round-trip. If you’re looking for a quick spring break getaway, this is your chance. ● Quickbook has a 72-hour sale on boutique hotels in New York. Prices are jaw-droppingly low, like $120 a night for the Smyth, and the Bryant Park Hotel for $168.

● Hawaiian Air has flight deals from $238 between SFO and HON, and $307 between LAX and HON. ● US Airways is offering round trips from LGA and PHL to all kinds of European destinations (Zurich, Paris, Rome, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt) for just $298.

NYC Fashion Week Hotels: Who’s Showing Where?

imageSo you want to run into a model. Or ten. Here’s your guide to which hotels to stalk for the next week:

1. The Bowery Hotel (East Village) – Corpus is showing here, and there should be a bunch of parties here as well. 2. Plaza Hotel (Midtown West) – With Luca Luca, Monique Lhuiller, and Douglas Hannant, this is a safe bet to catch some fashion royalty. 3. Jane Hotel (West Village) – Cynthia Rowley is showing in the Ballroom. Hopefully the residents won’t protest the show.

4. The Carlyle (Upper East Side) – Catalin Botazatu Couture and Barbara Tfank are showing here. 5. The Waldorf-Astoria (Midtown East) – Vocce Couture, Almond Tree, and Christina Nitopi Menswear are all walking the runway here. Male models abound. 6. Soho House (Meatpacking District) – Mulberry in the library. Hotties in the lobby. 7. Tribeca Grand Hotel (Tribeca) – Form and Frank Tell are both here. 8. Morgans Hotel (Murray Hill) – Koi Suwannagate’s show is here 9. Bryant Park Hotel (Midtown West) – Natorious by Natori and Amanda Pearl are showing here, and there’s all the hubbub right outside the door. 10. Hotel on Rivington (Lower East Side) – Don the Verb inside, hot hipsters outside.

Where Strippers Go for Fun in New York

Everyone’s got an office. For Mario Batali, it’s the kitchen; for LeBron James, the court. And for BlackBook staffers, it’s an actual office. But for the girls who work at Rick’s Cabaret and Steakhouse, the office is something entirely different. It’s the stage-to-ceiling brass pole, or the giddy lap of an Asian salaryman. But when daily tasks include gyrating your hips to a T-Pain banger or sipping bubbly with VIPs in the champagne room, what space does that leave for a regular nightlife? Last week, after a long day at our office (be sure to check out the raw source material), we decided to visit theirs to fulfill our journalistic duty by asking them the essential question: Where do you like to go out in New York?

Ashton, age unknown Where are you from? Moscow. Where do you like to go out in New York? Usually I like to go to Pacha. How long have you been in New York? Two years. And do you and the girls go out after work? No, after work I’m so tired. I just want to sleep. Do any of your customers ever invite you to go out with them after work? Never. It’s like my rule. I never give my number.

Suzy, age unknown Where do you go out in New York? I like to go downtown a lot. If I’m just chilling out, I usually go down on the Lower East Side. Like, to Niagara and 7B. Or, if I want to go out — I know a bunch of, like, promoter friends — I go to The Box. Or, I live really close to Apothéke. Do you and the other girls from work ever go out after a shift? I’ve gone out with some of the girls. After a shift, there’s not that much open — like, as far as alcohol. So, we’ll go out to like, the next block and do karaoke. Or we’ll go to like, Noribong, or go out to eat. And what restaurants do you like to go to? I don’t know. I like to go to a whole bunch of restaurants. I love eating. Everywhere. Have you ever given a lap dance to anyone famous? Not in the sense like, in the media. Because they always like to bring them to someplace private, and so they usually bring girls who are like, you know, typical stripper, with huge implants. You know, like, in your face. And me, I’m not like that. I’m like the pseudo-stripper. Can we take a picture of you? No.

Becky, 24 And how long have you been working at Rick’s? Two years. Do you like to get drunk? Ha ha, I love to get drunk! Okay. And you love to get drunk? Yes, I love to get drunk. How many nights a week would you say you drink? Probably 6 days, or 7? I drink too much. Do you drink at work? Yes, all the time. For free? Yea, most of the time. And do you go out afterwards? No, I usually go right home. I’m not big on going out after work. Sometime I go to Niagara or Ace Bar. It’s an amazing place. You’ve got the Skee-Ball. You’ve got all kind of games. It’s a real laid-back, chill kind of place, you know? Do you ever stay in? Hardly anymore, no. What restaurants do you like? I love Stanton Social. I like La Zarza. What about clubs? I’m not a club girl. I’ll go to like, Buddha Bar. But I’m not into the club thing. Everybody’s all coked up. You can’t talk, you know what I mean? I’m kind of more like, Little Branch, PDT, Mason Dixon. What’s your favorite cocktail? Stoli O, on the rocks. No hangover. I take it all night.

Shaleen, 19 Where do you go out? I don’t. Why not? Because I’m a hard-working mother. I work and I go home. Do you ever go out to restaurants? I went about 2 weeks ago to Asia de Cuba. I heard it was really good food, and it was. It was wonderful. How long have you been living in New York? I’ve been living in New York my whole life. So where did you go out before you were a hard-working mother? Well, that was when I was a teenager. I was just going to teen parties. And how many nights a week do you work at Rick’s? Usually 3-4 days a week. And do you drink when you work? I do not. Not at all. Have you been out in the last month? I went out once to the Cellar Bar in the Bryant Park Hotel. And do you ever pay for your own drinks? It’s rare. Do you get hit on a lot? I mean, I get hit on. It’s to the point where most men that are with their girlfriends look like they want to be with me.

Dior, 20 How long have you been working at Rick’s? Only like, 2 months. How long have you been living in New York? I was here about a year and half ago, before I left for Miami. And now I’m back for good. Where do you like to party in New York? I’m boring. I Like loungey spots. So, I haven’t found anything in New York, yet. I’ve been to Mansion once (now called M2). Mansion is fun. Like, when you want to just get all the party out of your system — go to Mansion. And I go to a lot of restaurants like Wolfgang’s Steakhouse up the street. Do you ever have to pay for your own drinks? I don’t ever pay for my own drinks. I refuse. How many nights a week do you go out after work with the other girls? Being at work is kind of like going out. Plus I’m new here, and I keep my co-workers at a certain boundary. So all the friends I have are all quote unquote “normal.” Do your parents know you’re a stripper? Technically, no. What do they think you do? They just think I work in a bar. They probably know I’m a stripper … it’s just a conversation we choose not to have. .

Saki, 25 Where do you go out in New York? Besides here, I love going to the Meatpacking District. Spice Market, Hotel Gansevoort. I’m not that exclusive, so I don’t really go anywhere that’s secretive. I’m not that VIP. Do you want to be? Yes, I do. Why do you like Hotel Gansevoort? Because it’s relaxing. There’s places to sit. It’s more like a lounge, and not so much a discotheque. I can’t stand clubs. Why not? Because it’s a huge exercise in futility. There’s a lot of sweat, and there’ s a lot of people who just get drunk, or get stoned. And it’s not that interesting to me. Do you ever go out after work? Oh, I’m here until 4 in the morning. I told you, I’m not that exclusive, so I don’t go to any after-hours hang-out spots. When you go out, do guys pay for everything? Not really. I have to buy everything. I’d rather not be bothered. If I got out and a guy tries to talk to me, and if I’m really not interested — I don’t want anything to do with him, like not even free drinks. Because I just don’t want him to follow me around. Are you friends with any of the strippers here? I’m friends with Suzy. I think you talked to her, earlier? How long have you been at Rick’s? Oh, since the day I started. Like, 6 months ago. Do you get drunk at work? Not really. You develop a huge alcohol tolerance here.

Gaby, 20< Where do you go out in New York? I don’t go out, especially when it is too cold. And I use my computer a lot. I play poker and Facebook all the time. So I’m more of a house person. All of my friends are promoters. They’re always inviting me to Marquee, Johnny Utah’s, 49 Grove, Tenjune. So why don’t you go? Because when it’s a promoter, it’s like a bunch of girls, and maybe 1 or 2 guys. Because they’re promoting tables. If there were more guys, I would go. But I mean, come on. Do you like to get drunk? I have never been drunk in my life. I have had like one or two drinks, and they got me. But not like, drunk. I’m always sober. I just go to flirt. And dance with the guys How long have you been working at Rick’s? Like, a year. How long have you been in New York? 6 years. Do you ever tell guys you meet that you’re a stripper? No … unless they are my boyfriend, I don’t have to say shit.

Patricia, 27 Where do you go out in New York? Just here. You don’t go out anywhere else? Just at Rick’s. You don’t go out to clubs? Or bars? Restaurants? Nope. How many nights a week do you work here? Five. 5 nights a week. So the other 2 nights you stay home? Well, no. These nights I’m in the spa. I stay all day long in the spa. Sometimes I go out with my friend to eat some Brazilian food. Are you Brazilian? Yes. How long have you been in New York? One year and one month. How long have you been at Rick’s? One year. Do you like to drink? Nope. I like to bring very hot men in the champagne room. I like champagne, I like strawberries. But he would have to be very hot. What do you do in the champagne room? It depends. If the guy’s very hot, I’ll have some champagne and some strawberries and cream. So, if they’re hot, you’ll bring them into the champagne room? Yes. Very hot and fun. And rich? That’s necessary. But if they are hot, and they are fun — But there’s no sex in the champagne room, right? No sex. But we have a great time.