New York: All the Week’s Parties

Just heard a very realistic rumor that East Village hipster standby The Annex has been sold and will become, of all things, a sports bar. In honor of the decline of yet another club kid landmark, the infamous electro-nu-rave Ruff Club party will be throwing a final hurrah for the sweat den it made popular on September 11, bringing out some underground all-stars: the Misshapes, Spencer Product, and the Ruff Kids. Another fond farewell to a Friday night hotspot that many called home.

It’s been interesting keeping tabs on this moody teenager we know as NYC nightlife. As staple bars close, the beloved Beatrice for one, patrons react as like displaced persons, leading a moveable feast in search of their next home. Keeping a regular weeknight schedule has been futile, as flash-in-the-pan venues like Chloe 81, which used to rule Wednesdays, cool down after losing a place in the rotation. These changes, however, open up the field for some new players. Thursday is becoming a great New York night, with two parties on opposite sides of Manhattan drawing their respective crowds. Likewise, people are turning to venues with solidarity, places that have stood the test of time (if not just a few months) to become sleeper hits. While many spend more of their evening arguing about where to go than actually going anywhere, here are some suggestions for parties on the verge — and old favorites rising to the occasion — for every night of the week.

MondayLit (East Village) – With Le Royale creeping out of the picture, Lit now has a refreshed patronage and a fresh outlook. ● Le Souk (East Village) – It will take a little while to regain the status their Monday party once enjoyed, but this mischievous restaurant is poised for a steady comeback thanks to a loyal following. ● Stanton Social (East Village) – In the spirit of restaurants shape shifting into nightlife, this table-hopping joint has been a mainstay on Mondays, though it may seem a left-field choice. The mounting interest in doubling your fun at dinner attracts a diverse crowd.

TuesdayAvenue (Chelsea) – Beatrice reggies rejoice! Todd and Angelo bring their special brand of refusal to the plush doors of this slick lounge — with Wass! It’s an all-star door, meaning you’ll find a mix of Beatrice groupies dressed up in nostalgia, seated next to high rollers and genuinely pretty people. It’s like a temporary shelter built for nightlife refugees, though this could prove to be long term. ● Rose Bar (Gramercy) – Indeed, the beautiful people have been planted here for a while now. So what? It isn’t any less of a party just because it has been around the block. It’s comforting to know that whenever you might desire being near to big art, Lily Donaldson, a mixed crowd, and a rope you might not get past on a Tuesday night, this is your go-to. ● Above Allen (Lower East Side) – Promoters? Bottle models? Hipsters? Ballers? Promoting hipster bottle models with money? All here on this diverse, overstimulating Tuesday night. Go, dance, get drunk — especially if you and your group are at a loss on Tuesday night.

WednesdayMinetta Tavern (Greenwich Village) – For once, go to this ubiquitous restaurant for the bar. Indeed, the bar lives in the shadow of the food, but the cocktails and bartenders really round out the celebrated establishment. Wednesdays are particularly wonderful here because those on a trendy feeding frenzy are less inclined to stick it out through the night. This means a better crowd, and a better chance to actually get seated — even if it isn’t your main concern. ● 1Oak (Chelsea) – The Koch twins once did a bang-up job on Thursday nights, but the shared sentiment about this golden child is that Wednesdays are now bringing the crowd. “It’s organic, a phenomenal mix of people, and there are usually surprise performances,” one faithful patron says. Indeed, the midweek party hits its stride, and even celebs like Rhianna — who showed face here just last Wednesday — have been known to drop in. “The best part is,” the patron continues, “the B&T crowd isn’t in full force and you actually get to enjoy the surroundings.”

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ThursdayJane Hotel and Ballroom (West Village) – Steve Lewis calls the Jane the Obi Wan Kenobi of nightlife. “It is proving to be the savior,” he says, and really, the Jane is something to get excited about. Though some nights showcase bland party princesses better served for the Meatpacking District, we both agree there are enough pockets of poise on their Thursday night to negate the posturing — a feat Lewis says makes this fete a new staple in a nightlifer’s diet. “Any day of the week could be a good night to go to the Jane.” ● BEast (Chinatown) – Ryan McGinley’s Thursday party proved to be a hit with the gays, then came the girls, and now Thursday night is just a mecca of mess (in a good way).

FridayWhite Slab Palace (Lower East Side) – While some things should be kept a secret, this must be said: the decrepit oyster bar throws a pretty great party on Fridays. Known as the Swede Party the music is satisfying, the crowd is fashionable and extremely drunk, and the bartenders seem to be having just as much fun as everyone else. The front seems like a quiet pub, and just like all fronts, appearances are not as they seem. Though the place has caused rumors to fly about questionable activity, it all seems like good, clean fun, aside from the sweaty, dirty dance floor that is. ● The Standard Beer Garden and The Standard Grill (Meatpacking District) – The property is an all inclusive playland. Start off in the garden, if you can stand the crowded atmosphere. Great for a leisurely cocktail to begin the night, especially since you won’t be able to spend your entire night here. After you’re unceremoniously booted around 12am (though the fun sometimes ends around 11pm because of “neighborhood concerns”) gather ’round the friendly front tables and make friends with the rest of the drunks. Sometimes it boasts an unsavory crowd, but the property must be savored in the summer as a premier adult playground.

SaturdayVon (NoHo) – We’ve done everything a person could do on a Saturday night, and we’ve found that staying in or hiding from the masses are usually our best bet. Hiding counts for something at Von, because it isn’t the upstairs bar we’re after, but what’s hidden below it. Try to find it while it’s still mythical.

SundayGreenhouse (Soho) – For those that need their dance fix on Sunday night, Kenny Kenny and Susanne Bartsch bring them great happiness. Though Sundays aren’t at a loss for dance parties, the Vandam party is particularly worthy to check out. ● Goldbar (Nolita) – You can carry the party from brunch to Broome Street, where you’ll probably run into fellow brunchers still carrying on. Very much the Cheers of nightlife, thanks in part to the work of doorman Jon Lennon. ● Sway (Soho) – Sway is still around, and it is still a place to house the freaks and friends of Sunday night. Last time I casually dropped in for a drink, the bartenders were randomly handing out shots, and a colleague of mine was caught crawling around on the dance floor.

Photos by Frank Horvat

Moises de la Renta: Fashion Scion Gone Solo

Moises de la Renta could very well be a reality television icon by now. With Fashion God Oscar de la Renta as his father and a velvet rope lifestyle, he certainly fits the I-wish-I-was-him credentials. But Moises opted for a real (and respected) career in design/photography. And if his recently launched, painfully hip website for his bad ass womenswear fashion line MDLR is any indication, his career choice was wise. We met up to chit-chat for what I thought was drinks at the Thompson Hotel, but to my surprise, I was greeted by the man about town in a room full of models getting ready for their close-ups in an MDLR photo shoot featured on Whatswear.com. It was all lights, cameras, and action, mixed with plenty of cigarettes, blaring background noise of the sub-par performances of MJ’s classics from the previously aired BET Awards, sexy leather biker jackets complete with gilded MDLR zippers — and, in true rock star form, an Iggy Pop vs. David Bowie debate.

Let’s cut right to the chase. Why should people care about MDLR? I want to bring something a little different to the table. My aspiration is to show people almost a beautiful and glorious gloom — that it’s OK to be melancholy. I want to speak for the lady in the corner of the club, you know what I mean? She’s just chilling, doing her thing.

I’m going to need you to specify on the type of club girl though — not a Marquee girl, I hope. You’ve ever been to the Roxy in 1985? That type of girl.

What inspired you to start the line? The situation here is that, you know, it’s about having fun … creating. That’s all it is for me. What got me into this was really advertising, looking at old Jil Sander ads and stuff, and just looking through the magazines — that’s kind of what got me into photography. Inadvertently what made me get into fashion was that it was a way I could do photography. But it’s cool for me … it’s just a way I can create a world.

The newly launched MDLR website has a music section. What does music have to do with your collection? Music is definitely my inspiration — rock ‘n’ roll. The reason I came here to New York was listening to all that old time jazz — Iggy Pop and Patti Smith and all of that. It was good stuff when I thought that was how New York was gonna be … and it’s not. It’s a bunch of posers.

So is that why you chose DJ/model/musician/all things It-Girl Lissy Trullie to model for your look book? You know, Lissy Trullie to me — especially with her album, Self-Taught Learner, check that out, that’s good stuff. It’s exactly that — self-taught learner. That’s our generation. It’s just about doing your thing, going out there, not being scared, bringing something to the table. And just being you. That’s it, man.

MDLR captures the vibe from the youth of old downtown New York. Is New York an inspiration for you? New York is a young city. It’s always about the youth. This is where it all began. This is the city of liberation and freedom — creative freedom. I want to represent the independent woman — she’s cool, she’s chilling, doing her own thing, having a good time. She may go out on her own. She doesn’t need her girlfriends, she doesn’t need her guy to pay for the bill. She’s just an independent, modern woman just doing her thing.

But more geared to the pretty faces rocking vintage concert tees in the smokey basement of Lit than Sex and the City, right? Rock ‘n’ roll is a big part of my life. I just woke up and listening to Green Day’s Dookie, just a side note … But anyhow, it’s definitely for the girl who likes to have fun, for the girl who feels like a rock star even though she may not be. My clothes are just about having fun and being comfortable with oneself.

Speaking of a pre-Giuliani New York, what do you miss about it? New York used to be about coming together. It didn’t matter about how much money you had. I think there’s a little more of a commercialism. Obviously we do live in a time that is somewhat dictated by money, but at the end of the day, I think on the flip side of the recession is that it brought people together — it brought creative people together, and a lot more people are willing to collaborate. It’s more about just creating good things, man. It’s not really about the commercial appeal of making money, because there’s not really any money out there. So people just wanna have fun and have a good time, so I think that’s great.

So where do you party nowadays? I miss Beatrice … we want it to come back, but I don’t think it will. Jane’s cool … I’ve been hanging out a lot there. Chloe’s alright. Avenue is a cool little bar.

I’ve seen you prep it up and get all vintage rock star. How would you describe your personal style? Lots of black and jeans. I don’t know … comfortable American I suppose. I just like to be comfortable, so for me that means a nice pair of 511 skinny worn-in black jeans — it doesn’t really depend on my mood. Most of the time I’m wearing the same thing. I have five black jeans and who knows how many black tees.

Where do you shop? I like vintage stores. I like Tokio7, Barneys. I like What Goes Around Comes Around. And I like Jeffrey’s.

What Goes Around Comes Around and Jeffrey’s? That’s like saying you like Jessica Simpson and the Rolling Stones (which is totes cool in my book, by the way). (Laughing) No, Jeffrey’s is where I get my candles and all that Diptyque shit. Not clothing, but sometimes shoes.

Describe your perfect date. A bottle of red, St. Marks, some sushi. Maybe a film at the Angelika.

Favorite restaurant? Westville’s pretty cool. But I like to go to Cipriani’s. (laughing) Just joking. But I do like Da Silvano. I love it there … actually, I like Bar Pitti better — it’s lighter.

I’ve seen the Polaroids scattered all over your studio, and I know you enjoy shooting your interesting friends. What inspires your photography? Life and death. My favorite photographers are Annie Leibovitz, Bill Brandt and Irving Penn.

MDLR is a far cry from your father’s sophisticated feminine gowns. What does it take to be considered a rebel? I don’t really consider myself to be a rebel. But Stephen Hawking’s a rebel. Anyone who’s willing to challenge the current state of being is a rebel to me … anyone who stands up for change, stands up for others, for what’s right is a rebel.

So you’re a rebel in the making. Is there a fine line between making bold choices and trying too hard (a.k.a. a poser)? I hope one day I can change certain things about the fashion industry and maybe be a rebel myself. I don’t know, I just try and do my thing … that’s all. And hopefully, by staying true to myself, some changes will be made. And yes, there is always a fine line. If something’s not you, don’t rock it because the clothes pick the person, ya dig? So if you’re rocking an outfit that you don’t feel, you’re probably trying too hard and should throw on some jeans and a button down. Less is more anyway — simple is chic.

It’s your Fashion Week show. What music will you be playing, and who do you want front row center? I’d like Iggy Pop to be playing. They’re both great but Bowie bit a lot from Iggy when he first came to America and was trying to be all “raw” and “rock ‘n’ roll.” Iggy Pop is fucking raw power man, and Zombie Birdhouse is one of the best and most underrated albums ever, but so was Bowie’s Low. But Iggy still tops it in my book. It’d be cool and kind of a diss to be playing Iggy but have Bowie in the front row.

Beatrice vs. Chloe vs. Puck Fair’s Basement

imageWhen we suggested that the media “hype” behind Beatrice Inn “rival” and New York “hotspot” Chloe 81 peaked, we were so, so wrong. This cat has many more than nine lives, apparently. Because the Village Voice’s Annie Fischer (of “Dirty Blonde” column fame) wrote a timeline about the hype (she called me a “writer,” which was nice of her. Seriously! Hi, Annie!). And then The Observer wrote about the Voice’s writing about the hype, in yet another media colonoscopy. And now I’m here, writing about people writing about people writing about the hype! And still, it’s just another blog post about a club!

This rabbit hole ends here. I’m exercising whatever authority I have over this blog [Ed: None!] to never ever mention either of these places again (at least until the press conference). A few things I’d rather write about: a jellyfish that ages backwards; the delegation of South American leaders that makes up the anti-Davos gathering going on this week; the philosophical, metaphorical, and literal import of a plutocrat who bans salt; the prosecution of war crimes in the Congo; and — forget getting past the door — the fact that we’ll soon be able to teleport ions from a Lower East Side curb through any number of doormen smack on top of the VIP table of your choice.

Did I mention that despite compiling our “guides” to getting into Beatrice and Chloe that I’ve never been to either myself? My favorite bar is the basement at Puck Fair. Hip, right? Not in the slightest. But guess what: There’s nobody upset they didn’t get in, nobody upset about who did get in, and nobody telling me that my preferred watering hole is dunzo, man. Come by for a drink sometime. I’ll get you on the “list.”

Friday @ Rose Bar: The Final Verdict on Chloe 81

The Village Voice has legitimized the media’s feverish obsession with LES speakeasy Chloe 81 by cataloging its recent coverage with an actual chronological history, you know, the kind they use for wars and stuff. Yes, we’re a major historical figure in Chloe’s storied media-coverage past, and we admit to spending hours in the situation room pontificating on whether or not Chloe is the new Beatrice Inn. Which is why, tomorrow, at sundown, we will be holding a press conference in front of neutral nightspot Rose Bar, to lay down the final verdict on Chloe 81. Only then can we get back to more pressing matters, like the economy and whether or not Scarlett Johansson knows how to sing.

The Chloe Code: Cracking the Door at LES Hotspot Chloe 81

Inevitable comparisons to New York hipster nightlife epicenter Beatrice Inn aside, the latest hipster hotspot hype, LES club Chloe 81 is … actually, ‘know what? There’s no possible way you can skirt around the Beatrice comparisons (or the common press narrative that it’s the “next Beatrice Inn”) with this place. Forget that the drummed-up hype for both places has reached fever pitch (usual suspects: New York magazine, Eater, Guest of a Guest, etc). Forget that they both have low ceilings, secret entries, and the same supposedly-unknowing-yet-totally-self-aware-I-Know-Something-You-Don’t speakeasy vibe that New York bar/club owners have down to a sickly precise science. We can even forget the intense (if not suspicious) irony that Beatrice Inn owner Paul Sevigny is most famous for his sister, named Chloe.

The only thing both of these places have in common that matters to you, the reader: very tight doors, and the men who guard them. Join us and our super-secret expert panel of belligerent, name-dropping, elitist, authentic NYC clubgoers as we make a Kinsey-like attempt to understand, break through to, and bust Chloe 81 wide open in this Studs Terkel-esque quest for truth (and access).

Chloe Entrance-Rejection Record? Girl: I have straight A’s so far. Sometimes I’ve left, because my homies were barred/left waiting out in the cold. I’m a loyal patron, and was there since Day One with about four other wandering souls in search of libations after I was denied entrance at the Beatrice. Guy 1: Undefeated. Granted, they’ve made me wait like a motherfucker, but once you get in, it’s all worth it. Sort of. Guy 2: Some people wouldn’t understand this type of sports metaphor. [Ed.: Apparently, none of you did. I was looking for a win-loss number. It’s all good.]

Longest you’ve waited to get in? Girl: Never waited. Guy 1: I’d say 20 minutes, but only when I was with people who weren’t as attractive as me. The bouncers there will make you wait for no *real* reason. They just won’t give you one. Sometimes they might say they’re at capacity, but then ten people will leave, and they’ll still be at capacity. If you wait long enough, they’ll eventually let you in, unlike say, the Beatrice, but after last week’s New York mag article, in which they said something like “now it’s nearly impossible to get in,” I worry the doormen are actually going to start believing it. [Ed. The quote was “It’s now virtually impossible to get in.”] Guy 2: I’ve always been of the “go early or go blacked-out” mindset. In both cases, I can’t remember waiting at all.

Best strategy you’ve seen employed to get past the door? Girl: Having sexual relations with DJs that spin at Chloe. Working in fashion. Knowing secret passwords. Having breasts. Guy 1: I’d say that if you manage to make it in on a Wednesday night, find the dapper red-headed gentleman near the DJ booth. That’s Jared Flint. Bro out with him, and you’re good to go for next time. Guy 2: RANDOM GUY: “Dude, let me in, man! I know Steven Rojas.” STEVEN ROJAS: “Hey … you! Get on in here! Long time, no see!”

Worst strategy you’ve seen employed to get past the door? Girl: Ending sexual relations with DJs. Working in finance. Guy 1: “You’re going to make me stand out here in the rain!?” Yes, they will. Guy 2: “Dude, let me in, man! I know Jared Flint.” “Dude, try Happy Ending. I am Jared Flint. It’s nice to meet you.”

Funniest Chloe rejection you’ve ever seen? Girl: More of an ejection than a rejection. Someone stole a bottle of champagne from someone else’s table. Popped it open and started drinking it right there. Refused to pay for it. Escaped through the fire exit. Guy 1: They didn’t necessarily reject someone, so much as got rejected themselves. We were at a Tommy Guns event, and the entire night they had cordoned off a corner booth for a VIP guest. We couldn’t even put our jackets there! The doormen and waitresses insisted this person was coming, but around 1 a.m., they caved. I got a peak at the guest list and it said in all caps LINDSAY LOHAN VIP VIP VIP VIP. That would like, so never happen at Beatrice. Guy 2: Never rejected, but I was almost kicked out for “snorting lines” in the bathroom. I was doing no such thing. Me and my boyfriend were simply playing swords, you know, where you cross pee … Anyway, try explaining that to an angry bouncer.

If you get rejected from Chloe, where do you go? Girl: Hmm. Sometimes I see people later at Beatrice. Guy 1: There’s a bar right next door with blue curtains and $2 PBRs. I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s the perfect place to go wait out the long line of um, six people. Guy 2: I once got kicked out once for opening someone else’s bottle of champagne during Fashion Week. I walked out the front door, because I couldn’t pay for the $300 bottle, and was chased down the street by a scary bouncer. I was dragged back in, and a friend of mine — a semi-professional race-walker, thank Beatrice! — showed me how to bolt through the fire escape. I ended up hiding behind an aquarium in a nearby Chinese restaurant with a red color scheme.

Is it worth whatever you’ve had to go through to get in? Why? Girl: Yes. The crowd is really down to earth, and you can get really sloppy blackout drunk without worrying about making an ass of yourself in front of Kirsten Dunst (though maybe a Misshape or two). Guy 1: Well, for a place that’s so “exclusive,” the beers are fairly cheap. Guy 2: My friends are always there. Lindsay Lohan is “always there,” but never there. They have PBR. In the words of Heather Locklear, I go, not because it’s worth it, but “Because I’m worth it.”

Anything else? Girl: I hate that it was in the New York Times. Why do awesome places have to get discovered for all of New York’s smug self-righteous elitists to see? [Ed. What?! Isn’t it smugly self-righteous to … never mind.] Though I’m quite happy for all of Chloe’s staff to be raking in dough. Guy 1: A tip for the boys: If the lineups are too long and your bladder is about to rupture, there is a parking lot right across the street where you can duck between cars and let it all trickle out. Usually the best part of the night. Guy 2: I’m just happy that the Obama inauguration craze has subsided, and that, as a nation, we can finally move on to more important issues. Like getting into basement nightclubs.

Previously: Breaking Beatrice: Getting In The Inn

Industry Insiders: Dirk Van Stockhom, the Expert Opener

Nightlife impresario Dirk Van Stockhom on his new venture at 98 Kenmare Street, being a 13-year-old English playboy, and why Sudan is the new global hotspot.

Where do you go out? I am very much a bar/restaurant guy. I go to Rose Bar … when I can afford it [laughing]. Milano’s on Houston. My favorite place in the whole of New York is the Ear Inn on Spring Street. It is the most classic bar because they don’t give a damn. It is full of regulars and some of the most interesting people. You also do see models and actors, next to regular people. It is no bullshit, great drinks, great food. The owners are two of the nicest people in the world. It is a real community bar. Big supporters of the arts. Don’t tell anyone though, it will spoil it [laughing].

What is your newest project’s name? The restaurant on Kenmare doesn’t have a working name yet. The lounge will probably just be 98 Kenmare. There will be great cocktails. Now for me with any place I am a part of, like the one on Kenmare Street, it must be accessible. In other words I can’t charge people $16 per drink in that neighborhood and not expect people to raise eyebrows about it. You have to get value for money, and you have to deliver. It will be a restaurant/lounge. The restaurant will be on the ground floor, and we’ll have Italian food with a hip cocktail lounge. When I say hip, I don’t mean because of who is behind the place. I want them to go because the food is good, the service is good, and the ambiance is good. If you have all those things, you don’t need to coerce people to go. They will go because they feel comfortable. We’re looking to open in the spring.

How did you start in this business? I was raised in a very small village called Suffolk in England. There was a pub in my town that, believe it or not, was the coolest pub in the whole county. It was run by a guy called Steve Chick who was probably in his 20s. He was the coolest guy, always had beautiful women, drove Jaguars. Every Friday and Saturday night the place was like an old school disco. People would come from miles around, from all the other villages. At a young age I started a service parking cars on my road and charged for the service. I actually made decent money at it. I was the richest 12-year-old! From that I met Steve. I would come in during the week to stock bottles, help in the kitchen. He had a really good restaurant too. Thinking back on it, that was probably my entry into the business. That’s what attracted me to it. Steve would take me in his car and drive me around. I was a 12, 13-year-old kid surrounded by these beautiful women and leading an interesting life that perhaps a 13-year-old shouldn’t lead.

You worked at Life also. Being the general manager of Life was challenging. Also I became the host/maitre d’ in the Sullivan Room. Then I also did the door at Bowery Bar for Mark Baker and Jeffrey Jah. After Life I managed Float, which was probably the most popular place I ever worked. Float was the first place that had that bottle service/European mentality. Everyone was like, “Uptown? You are out of your mind!” My response was all these kids who come downtown live uptown; the trust fund kids. We made $160,000 a week without promotion. It was a huge amount of corporate business. Then I went to Miami to open Crobar and then back to New York to open Crobar here. I became known as an opener. Then I opened Bed and was back working with Jeffrey Jah and Mark Baker, Richie Akiva and Scott Sartiano. Then I was supposed to open a restaurant/bar with Michael Ault on 27th Street, and that didn’t work out. That was a crush. But then Jason Strauss and Noah Tepperberg brought me out to Vegas to run the marketing for Tao. Tao is a monster business. It is phenomenal how they run it — they are businessmen. They work their asses off. Then I got the call to help open Mansion, four days before they opened during Fashion Week this past February.

Clubdom has moved away from the artistic people. Clubs were social clubs for artists who didn’t belong to places like Soho House or Core club. Society had deemed they weren’t worthy of belonging to those type of places. From a community point of view, that’s what nightclubs were. It wasn’t so much about making money. Then there were the businessmen who strive to be part of that scene. People saw there was marketing value to be part of a high profile venue. An investor was guaranteed entrance into these places and be surrounded by beautiful women and celebrities and hold court like a king with bottles of champagne. It became a marketable commodity to close deals. So many deals were done over a bottle. During our time in this business, there was this trend that everyone had their celebrity friend and that person became their representative in the nightlife. Those relationships were made over a crack pipe — sorry. They were forged over drinking and cocaine until all hours … over tons of cocaine. If you wanted to have that celebrity at your place or have their event, there you had to deal with that person. So the whole business started working that way.

Is there a city that is doing it better than New York? A friend has said to me we should move to the south of Sudan where they put up shacks in the middle of nowhere with a boom box and homemade beer and these guys are making a fortune. Those guys have got it down. Screw the other cities. A boom box and a tent and you too can make money [laughing].

Where are you going out tonight? I want to check out Chloe 81from a design point of view. I will probably stop by the Eldridge because I like Matt Levine. Anyone who would give me an Eldridge card is OK in my book [laughing]. I also might stop by Little Branch. That’s more my pace these days. I also really like Bongo.

You really do go out! Yeah, but I am done by 10 p.m. I don’t sleep in the way I used to, but I also don’t work ‘til 4 a.m. anymore, either.

New York: Tommy Guns Opening @ Chloe 81

Having a barber shop opening in a bar with A-list attendees boggles the mind. But this is New York, and I was playing favorites last night. The venue in question, Chloe 81, happens to be my beloved watering hole, and one of the DJs, Steven Rojas, is also choice. So we decided to drink to better hair.

The party was in honor of Tommy Guns, a vintage-y SoHo Salon in London, opening in the Lower East Side at 138 Ludlow Street, as a total replication of the original mane attraction. It’s a good idea, really, celebrating a salon opening with booze, since we all know haircuts and alcohol go hand in hand. Nylon’s Jared Flint agrees (he’s particularly fond of drunk hair dyes), though he needs a little lubrication to pick up the scissors. “I usually get two haircuts a year.” He says “I go extreme. I let it grow all year and then chop it all off when I get drunk. What are you gonna lose? It’s just hair, it’s not like you’re chopping your fingers off.” Designer Frank Tell refused to admit to any remorseful hair mishaps, though his friends intervened to remind him of his “auburn highlights.” I went to rendezvous with photog rocker Mick Rock, who was moonlighting as a DJ. He was prepared to talk hair, but I let him concentrate on the turntables. Then the music (OK, the Svedka) made me forget to return.

I don’t normally get amped over hair, but I do get pretty excited about vodka, and Mick Rock. Mark Ronson was also on the spin schedule, and Agyness Deyn’s name was in boldfaced print next to his, but both were suspiciously absent from the scene. I didn’t mind as I had plenty to do and drink with my friends and Chloe regulars. The adjacent booth was festooned with a sacred “Reserved” placard, and the doormen did their very best to make sure that not so much as a stray coat grazed the area. The mystery VIP had us all intrigued, and the staff was keeping mum. After 12:30, when it became clear the guest of honor was a no show, they revealed her identity by showing us the guest list: “Lindsay Lohan VIP VIP VIP VIP.” The paparazzi were a little less reticent about the celebrity-less setting. One told me between slurry Svedka sips that he had been on Britney watch all week and was excited about starchasing new faces. Now all he could do at this star-slim event was get drunk. Sorry paps — sounds like a pretty good party to me!

New York: Top 5 Wednesday Night Hotspots

imageWednesday. The week is half over, half remaining, or half in the bag. Doesn’t matter. These five spots are shutting it down.

1.Chloe 81 (Lower East Side) – Next contender for title of the new Beatrice is blissfully not in the West Village. 2. Blue Owl Cocktail Lounge (East Village) – Undercover basement lounge for pretty professionals taking it down a notch for the night. 3. Pink Elephant (Chelsea) – Gangsters, models, and house. Where one goes, the others must follow.

4. Kiss and Fly (Meatpacking District) – Aer space resurrected. The only way to fly. 5. Marquee (Chelsea) – Still packing in six-foot Slavic princesses and the suckers who love them. Since 2003.