Global Designers Partner with Absolut for Exclusive Pride-Themed Bottles

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SIBLING

In celebration of Pride month across the globe, Absolut and Stonewall—the London LGBTQ charity, not the historic New York bar—have partnered to create a lineup of custom designer bottles, all of which are currently being auctioned off through Givergy. Names like SIBLING, Piers Atkinson, Henry Holland and Gareth Pugh have all given the rainbow #AbsolutPride bottle a fresh, new look, each reflecting their own brand aesthetics. Absolut will then donate a percentage of auction sales over London’s Pride Weekend to Stonewall. Check out a selection, below, and bid for your favorite one-of-a-kind bottle, online.  


Piers Atkinson

Piers Atkinson

Gareth Pugh
Gareth Pugh

Fred Butler
Fred Butler

Frank Strachan
Frank Strachan

Ed Marler
Ed Marler

Elton John To Auction Off Rare Warhol, Basquiat Collaboration

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Photo via Sotheby’s

After a chance meeting in a New York cafe in 1980, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol went on to conspire on several significant works, until the latter’s untimely death in 1987. One such painting, simply Untitled, will go on the block at the Sotheby’s Paris French Evening sale on June 7.

The current owner of the rather poignantly foreboding artwork (Jean-Michel himself died in 1988), a 1984-1985 acrylic, silkscreen and oil on canvas, signed by both artists on the overlap, is Sir Elton John, along with husband David Furnish. Described as a memento mori—meaning, a cultural reminder of mortality and death’s inevitability—it strikingly exhibits the artistic/psychological frisson and tension that existed between Warhol and Basquiat.

It is expected to fetch upwards of $1,000,000, and the proceeds will likely go to one of the singer’s charitable concerns. Indeed, he and Sotheby’s have a collaborative history of selling off pieces to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

 

Halos, Heartbeats, & Rosewood Land in NYC Tonight

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Tonight sees the opening of Rosewood (5 E.19th Street). I’ll be there. I like everyone involved in the project and well…yes, they are paying me. I will be DJing in the lower-level den which the press release describes is for "a more eclectic crowd.” That’s me. I’m opening for the fabulous Kelle Calco, one of my favorite DJs. Upstairs, Danny Rockz and Zeke Thomas provide the music. They had some preview thing the other night and it was a major celebrity fest. The building space has been many clubs, mostly with silly names like Roam and Boudoir. Nobody went to these places, so it will feel real new now. Naysayers and nut jobs will say it’s cursed. Bah humbug! My first of many this season, says I. There is nothing wrong with the space that a little experience, some love, good DJs, and common sense won’t solve.

The experience comes in the form of Redd Stylez who, as Gary Oldman once quipped in True Romance is practically related to me. Redd has been associated with a dozen places over 15 or more years. He is the creative guy; the guy tasked to fill the room and make it sing and swing. He will do just that. Hiring Ruben Rivera to do the door is a great start. Ruben has a great following and a solid eye for what works. Like all great door folk, he is not afraid to say no and also not afraid to say yes. The latter part is something that newbie door folk rarely understand. Creating a mix and letting in that borderline patron and making a club money at the same time is the difference between red and black ink. Redd doesn’t want red ink.

Inside Rosewood will be one of the fastest and, he will tell you, best-looking bartenders in this ‘Burg: Blaise Johnson. Heis fast. There’s some drink he made up called the “White Rose” which I will try after I turn things over to Kelle. It’s Appleton Rum, Chambord, and blood orange puree. Sounds yummy. Rosewood will open Tuesday through Saturday, and I’m hoping they do well.

Saturday night I attended the 4AM electronic dance music event at the Highline Ballroom. I didn’t know what to expect. The place was sold out, jammed with a crowd down the block. When I arrived, DJ Dalton was frenzying the crowd. Promoter pal Cody Pruitt and I discussed how refreshing it is to attend events outside the usual boxes…the familiar clubs. He helped me out at that Dos Equis party at Masonic Hall a few weeks ago. Then, and over the weekend and seemingly always, he brings a great crowd to any party. He is singlehandedly convincing me that promoters, who usually referred to me as the "P-word," are not all bad. Last I saw him, he was going to cut off his long locks. Alas, it was only a couple inches and I feel mislead.

Also of note is tonight’s charitable event Halos and Heartbeats, hosted by the ever-fabulous Tish and Snooky at the new Cutting Room. Tish and Snooky of Manic Panic fame sold me my first pair of pointy shoes when they had their store on St Marks. I ruined them and a brand new leopard-print sports jacket while going over a barbed wire fence one typical night a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. They are the most wonderful of people. Their hair dyes are coveted to this day. Tonight’s event features performances by Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle. It will benefit Frankie’s Friends foundation, which funds grants for life-saving veterinary services from their Hope Fund to treat pets whose families cannot afford the cost of care. There is a live, silent, and online auction to raise funds. For tickets to tonight’s event, see here.

My $500 Blind Date For Charity

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Last night I went on a blind date that Steve Lewis put together. By put together, I mean he came up with the awesome idea of entering me, his editor, into an auction benefitting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and plotting and writing about the date and highest bidder in his column. The moment he declared this to the world in a post, my stock instantly went up 500 points which, in the high-stakes bidding world means $500.

So last night, the moment finally arrived when I would meet my generous suitor: Craig Clemens, a worldly, smart, modest guy who, quite shockingly, was not a serial killer. I was thrilled. The place: the Helen Hayes Theatre to see Rock of Ages, the ‘80s rock Broadway musical full of sex and yelling and beer and amazingly toned abs. We had a ball, talked during intermission about our life’s pursuits, and hopped in a Uber ride that arrived the moment the grand finale of “Don’t Stop Believing” came to its end.

Our next destination: Hotel Chantelle, where Craig finally met Steve Lewis. Despite my deep love for and closeness to Steve, I will forever refer to him as the full “Steve Lewis,” because he is a man deserving of a grand title and everything good in the world. Craig and Steve hit it off over a bottle of delicious Beau Joie Champagne which only I drank because 1. Craig is on his annual 30-day cleanse, God help him and 2. Steve gets drunk from three sips and this is a fact. So I got tipsy pretty quickly, which happened at the perfect time for a female knife swallower – one of the acts at Hotel Chantelle’s beloved The Love Show, a variety/burlesque show full of over-talented performers – to take to the stage and ask for an assistant. But being the business-savvy, considerate NY woman she is, she’d only hand over the position to the person who would hand over the most amount of money to donate toward the Hurricane Sandy relief. So Steve and Craig pitched in, Craig walked up to the woman, handed her the money, and pointed directly at me, the alleged “benefactor.”

So she lead me up on stage and did the requisite “What’s your name? Say it into the mic” routine, all while Steve Lewis yelled from the black, “THEY’RE ON A BLIND DATE THEY’RE ON A BLIND DATE.” Within three minutes, she had an entire 12-inch knife down her throat and me pulling it out of her. I credit Beau Joie for this hyperventilation-free moment.

After this, Steve Lewis started DJing some tunes that made the crowd go absolutely nuts, and Craig and I looked on with pride, like a mother with her child, or maybe that was just me. Craig suggested we get some food, so we left and headed to our next destination: Blue Ribbon. By 2am, we were devouring their best dishes – the bone marrow and fried chicken – alongside some spicy fish soup. The conversation very easily continued, but I can’t tell you what it was because my brain shut down after my first bite of chicken wing dipped in truffle honey sauce. Now I have lost my place.

Anyway, we walked out, I hailed a cab, and we talked about going to a party Steve Lewis is hosting at an undisclosed location next Thursday night. It involves six ballrooms. Craig and I hugged, and I was in bed by 3am, thanking Beau Joie for having no added sugar so I have a guaranteed no-headache situation today.

Yes, I did text him today and thanked him for bidding and being such a cool guy and not a serial killer. He said that while he had a blast, even Ted Bundy probably came across as cool at first, which is a good point. So the jury is still out on this one. To be decided at a later date.

Pickles for Charity

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Last week I gave you some events going on that were raising money for various charities and Hurricane Sandy relief. Well, the fundraising and humanitarian work hasn’t stopped and many people, restaurants, and bars are still on the bandwagon, thank goodness.

Aside from the awesome #dineoutNYC movement, you can hit up the Second Annual Peck Slip Pickle Festival on Sunday from 11pm to 5pm at the New Amsterdam Market. This vivacious market is located in the South Street Seaport, which, as you may have guessed got wrecked during the storm. Luckily, the market’s offices are fine and they are able to host the festival.

So, while you get your pickle fill with cukes from Brooklyn Brine, Guss’ Pickles, Sour Puss Pickles, Rick’s Picks, and a handful other East Coast purveyors, do so knowing your $3 suggested donation will go towards the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund. Plus, you can learn about Persian pickles with cookbook author Louisa Shafia and make kimchi with Lauryn Chun from Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi. At the end of the day, this is one pickle New Yorkers will feel happy to be in.

Restaurants, Bars, and Food People Pull Together For Charity

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Well, since just about everything planned this week and weekend was cancelled, what else is there to do but drink, and give a little back to those who lost a lot during Hurricane Sandy? All across the city, food folk are pulling together to host fundraising dinners, cocktail hours, and get-togethers to help pull New York City back on its feet. We already posted about the dinner by Momofuku and Café Boulud, but here are some other ways you can help, and in comes cases, eat and drink too.

On the Upper West Side, the yet-to-be-opened Casa Pomona is throwing a Hurricane Sandy relief dinner on Monday. For $75 you get wine and a four-course dinner. The best part, as you enjoy their lamb stew with mint, it will go down easier knowing all profits are being sent to New York Cares.

In SoHo the power is back at City Winery where they will be hosting a Hurricane Sandy Free Film Festival today. It started at 12:30, but you can still look forward to catching When Harry Met Sally at 3pm, Sidewalks of New York at 5pm, and Manhattan at 7:30. They will be serving light snacks and drinks, cash only, and if you need to, you can recharge your electronics. 

Sadly, Speed Rack’s Sunday event got postponed, but on the upside, the founders are turning their efforts into “Back the Rack,” and putting energy toward helping folk in the service industry by cleaning and rebuilding destroyed restaurants and bars. You can volunteer by filling out a form here.

Watch Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together, the benefit concert and telethon featuring Christina Aguilera, Jon Bon Jovi, Jimmy Fallon, and Sting tonight at 8pm at Full Circle Bar in Williamsburg. There, aside from broadcasting the show, they will be collecting toiletries, canned food, socks, clothes, batteries, and whatever else you want to give.

Also in Williamsburg, The Meat Hook and Brooklyn Kitchen are collecting goods to help people and businesses in the Rockaways, which, in case you didn’t know were obliterated.  Nearby at Union Pool, they are also supporting the Rockaways and the bar is putting together musicians and artists for a benefit show. If you want to be a part of it, you can email them here: info@union-pool.com.

On Monday you can hit up Clinton Hill’s The Fulton Grand bar for Hilary Krishnan’s Barman’s Fund shift. Every penny she gets in tips from 3 to 9pm will go to local charities, which, as she so eloquently says, “they need ‘em more than ever.”

Good Night Mr. Lewis: Locked Out Rangers Captain Launches Charity Event

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I was at a fight the other night and a hockey game almost broke out. OK, thats’s almost the oldest joke in the world. The reason for that "almost" in there is that there is no hockey due to a labor dispute and lockout. The alternate captain of the New York Rangers, Brad Richards, is using his time off to provide fun experiences and treatment for kids and families enduring chronic and life-threatening illnesses. who are in need. Richards will be hosting his Inaugural Brad Richards Foundation Wines of the World at Hotel Chantelle on October 2nd at 7pm. There will be wine tastings and lots of Ranger-types around, so although it’s not quite like going to a game, it could scratch that hockey itch. Plus, you’ll get to actually hang out and talk to Brad – which is pretty brilliant. To buy tickets, or to donate in another way, go to brichards19.com. I caught up with Brad and he told me all about it.

Tell me about the event, the “Wines of the World” tasting, and your new kid-centric venture: Richie’s Rascals.
We will be doing a wine tasting with wines from six different countries. We’re having a silent auction, as well as a “lounge” type of feel on the downstairs level. I started Richie’s Rascals in Tampa. It’s a chance for me to bring kids to a hockey game and maybe, for a few hours, help them forget about whatever they are going though. I’m really looking forward to bringing it to NYC.

Who are the expected guests?
I expect any of my teammates who are in town to attend!

Tons of Rangers fans will be in attendance, and they will ask you about the lockout. Have you prepared a short explanation to what’s going on?
We want this to end. We are fans of the game as well and want to be playing. We’re hoping this comes to an end so we can get back to our jobs.

You are the alternate captain of the New York Rangers, which unfortunately are not playing because of the lockout. How do you inspire your teammates to greatness, and how do you help them through these trying times?
Stay fit and practice your game. Get yourself ready should the lockout end tomorrow.

What inspired you to these causes?
I was given amazing opportunities as a kid. This is my way of paying it forward.

You signed a 60-million -dollar contract, which means you could be anywhere enjoying life, yet with more time on your hands than usual you chose to give back to the community. Many other players are doing things as well. Tell me about the joy of giving, and what other things you’re doing during this “unfortunate vacation.”
Staying fit by working out and skating three times a week. And playing golf when I can.

Super Saturday in the Hamptons: I Missed Kelly Ripa

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I missed Kelly Ripa. After driving nearly three hours to a large field in Southampton with my best friend and a bag of trail mix to attend Super Saturday, I missed the most revered guest at the Hampton’s most charitable annual summer event.

Super Saturday is what it says it is: it’s a Super event on a day called Saturday where celebrities (like Kelly Ripa, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member (and Paris Hilton’s aunt) Kyle Richards, and Tiffani Thiessen) and a bunch of very charitable folk descend upon a lawn and shop, eat, and mingle for several hours—and then tweet about it later.

The best part. Well, wait, there are two parts:

1. Top designer clothes are sold at heavily discounted prices, à la Loehmann’s. Sant Ambroeus caters.

2. All the money raised via luxury raffle, expensive entry tickets, and on-site spending benefits the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. This year, Super Saturday raised $3.6 million. 

But anyway, back to the main point: I missed Kelly Ripa. Most likely because I was too busy eating my second plate of Sant Ambroeus bow-tie pasta and/or surveying the line for psychic readings with Betsy Wahmann and/or devouring a corn husk.

The downside was that a lot of the designer clothes, such as Free People, alice + olivia, Diane von Furstenberg, and Intermix, nearly sold out within the first hour, and by hour we mean “ the secret hour,” when the people with VIP tickets were able to get into the tent at noon—60 minutes before everyone else—and snatch up all the really good clothes, leaving the ordinary guests with the not-as-good-but-still-fashionable clothes.

But that’s okay, because what’s one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure or whatever. Just when I thought I couldn’t find anything to buy amid the soggy, muggy weather in the middle of this field—I did. Hanging on a rack at the Junk Food booth was the perfect t-shirt: a bright blue Batman t-shirt.

And suddenly, all of my cares faded away. Like the fact that it was raining and we were going to drive back in it. Or that we were probably going to have stop at a gas station bathroom to pee on the way. Or that we ran out of trail mix. But most of all, I didn’t mind that I missed Kelly Ripa. And that made my Saturday a lot more super.

Spice Up Your Life! Spice Girls Goodies To Be Sold At Auction

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God only knows why anyone would want to own an outfit from the late, great ’90s girl group Spice Girls, but hey, you soon may be able to regardless. Oodles of such items are going up for auction this November to coincide with the Spice Girls’ new West End show, Viva Forever!.  

The Spice Girls — that’s Sporty, Posh, Ginger, Baby and Scary — will donate some of their old girl-power costumes for a charity auction, with donations going to Save The Children and Children In Need. Now-fashion designer Victoria Beckham has said she’d like to save some of her outfits for her young daughter Harper, though methinks Posh didn’t mean her skintight bustiers. Indeed, the UK’s Mirror reports Posh will donate black leather dresses, Scary will donate Adidas tracksuits and crop tops, and Baby will donate a babydoll dress. (Oh God, remember babydoll dresses?) Sounds like just the threads to spice up your life.