Doing Good: Auction Date With Editor Tonight & Sandy Fundraiser Next Week

Back in September, I posted about an auction of some lovely ladies to benefit the National MS Society. People were encouraged to bid on a date with these gals. My editor, Bonnie Gleicher, one of the great women who stand behind this humble servant, was put up for sale…or at least rent. I agreed to write about it and help curate this date .Well, that date is tonight. A gallant young man named Craig Clemens (who everyone believes is not an ax murderer) will take the brilliant and beautiful Bonnie out on the town. Craig paid $500 for the honor. The young couple will look for love in all the right places starting with a couple of tickets to Rock of Ages, that Broadway musical full of ’80s hits. Bonnie, associate editor of Blackbook, will be mixing business with pleasure as she is reviewing this show for an article due next week. I must weigh in: 

Craig, Bonnie is a career girl with promises to keep and no time to waste. You must be on top of your game. Dress for success and for heaven’s sake don’t come smelling like the first floor of Macy’s. Open doors and smile a lot. Have a couple of little jokes scribbled on a little piece of paper or inside your wrist. Be a good listener; Bonnie has a lot to say.

 I’ve never met Craig but he has been described as "good looking" and "pretty young.” I have been told he is a "worldly traveler" and a "lover of nightlife.” I can’t wait to meet him as we have so much in common  (except maybe the good looking..ok, and the pretty young  and I guess worldly traveler part). After Rock of Ages, the young couple will come to Hotel Chantelle to hear me spin rock anthems and cool, cool new stuff. I DJ with the always-debonair Luc Carl and bad boy Sam Valentine. Our weekly rock party will celebrate them, their newfound love, and love in general with a bottle of Beau Joie Champagne and a table right in the middle of the action. I will pose for pictures with the couple on their first, maybe of many, date. At one point, I will say, "Goodnight Mr. Clemens, and make sure Bonnie gets home safe and not tooooo late. She does have to make me sound good for you guys tomorrow.”

All over town the story of the haves and the have-nots is playing out. Even more so than normal. It’s easy to forget that many of our neighbors have lost everything and some just a little less than that. I’m still without heat and am writing this in long underwear and a space heater way too close. Sorry, no pictures. In places all over town, a roof or clean clothes is a luxury. People are hurting, and New Yorkers, as they tend to do in a crisis, are stepping up. Some are stepping up by stepping out. There are events all over town making contributions to people who are desperate. Yesterday’s snow and the frigid weather that came with it didn’t help. One of the haves helping out is the wonderful Jenny Oz Leroy (ex-Tavern On The Green, ex-Russian Tea Room) who is poised to do something to write about but it’s a little too early to write about. One thing I can mention is a fundraiser she is hosting at the Leroy residence, 65 W.13th St., next Thursday, Nov. 15th. It’s called “Shove Off, Sandy” and there will be food  and cocktails sponsored by her LeRoy Redux company. Contributing to the event are the Knickerbocker Bar & Grill, other restaurants, and Baked By Melissa. I asked Jenny about it:

"So the fundraiser idea started last week when I was frustrated with how to help more.  After doing the standard donation to the Red Cross and packing up supplies from the house, I wanted to dig deeper.  I decided at the very least I could try to raise money in the building. The Greenwich has many successful and seemingly kind tenants.  We are opening our home to invite people to drop by to donate or stay for some delicious food and cocktails.  

When: Thursday, Nov. 15th, 5pm-10pm

Where: The LeRoy’s home, 65 W. 13th St. apt 8B

Email info is LeRoyreduxinfo@gmail.com.  

No donation is too big or too small. We will also have a sign-up available for people who want supplies picked up from their house/apt. Contributing sponsors so far are: Knickerbocker Bar and Grill, Baked By Melissa, and my new company LeRoy Redux consulting & private events. We’ll be providing the food, cocktails, flowers etc.”

Sandy Relief at Pacha & The Bottoms Up Controversy

You can’t throw a rock without hitting a benefit for Sandy relief efforts and so it should be. The other night, a singer in a sleazy place proclaimed her performance was to help with Sandy relief. A friend who wasn’t born yesterday quipped in my ear that "she just renamed her cat Sandy.” "Hmmm," I replied more brilliantly than it reads. I’m sure there is some of that, but these days I am believing in people. One person I can always believe in is the brilliant producer of The Love Show and an inspired performer in his own right: David F. Slone, Esquire. Last night, his Love Show, which happens every Thursday at Hotel Chantelle, before Sam Valentine’s Generation Wild party where I DJ along with him and Luc Carl, ran way over, as performer after performer had the crowd in shock and awe… and stitches. They passed the hat and raised some loot and the spirit was wonderful. Every cloud has a silver lining and without trivializing the pain and suffering still afflicting our neighbors. Sandy has gotten people working together again for a greater good. The Obama election has helped turn the mindset from the fears and loathing a Romney win would have meant. The Love Show benefit gave 100 percent of the money collected at the door  to The Brooklyn Recovery Fund to benefit Sandy’s victims.

Angela Harriell & The Love Show Dancers!
Harrison Greenbaum: Award-Winning Comedian/Magician – Comedy Central’s ‘Comics to Watch’ and winner of the Andy Kaufman Award!
Kissing booth with everyone’s favorite late night lover, Manchego!
Award-winning quirky songstress, Jessica Delfino!
Performance genius, Eric Schmalenberger!
Tight harmony singers, The Shirtwaist Sisters!
Vocal powerhouse, Corn Mo!
Sweetheart of the Sideshow, Lady Aye! 

Eric Schmalenberger slayed us as Miriam, his alter ego whom I personally like way more than Eric. In a drunken drawl, Eric…er, Miriam proclaimed "Hella fun night. My only fear is tomorrow I’ll give the NY Blood Bank blood/vodka.”

The highlight of the show was when my editor Bonnie Gleicher, out on her blind date with the debonair Craig Clemens who donated $500 to MS for the privilege, pulled a large sword out of the throat of Lady Aye. Do not try this at home.

Next Wednesday, Nov.14, I will be a guest bartender at Pacha for their gianormous HELP HEAL NEW YORK Sandy relief benefit. The DJs I can mention include DANNY TENAGLIA, FRANCOIS K ,SUNNERY JAMES & RYAN MARCIANO, SHERMANOLOGY, DANNY AVILA ,D BERRIE ,AUDIEN, HARRY CHOO CHOO ROMERO, SHAWNEE TAYLOR (live) ,CARL KENNEDY, HECTOR ROMERO, DAVID WAXMAN, CEVIN FISHER,, THEO, HEX HECTOR ,PAUL RAFFAELE, CODES, ROXY COTTONTAIL ,SAZON BOOYA ,DALTON ,SIK DUO, CARL LOUIS & MARTINDANIELLE ,PAIGE, BAMBI, THAT KID CHRIS. There are many more , but I’m sworn to secrecy. Eddie Dean and Rob Fernandez (RPM) are always spot-on in their bookings, as evidenced by them asking me to bartend.

The Greater New York Red Cross will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from door, bar, and coat check. Doors will open at 5pm and stay open till 5am. If you do come to my bar, order beers and simple drinks or else you’re going to have your own private little benefit. For the record, I entered the business as a bartender . How long ago??? Well, back in that day when you ordered vodka on the rocks and it came in a stone mug  poured over pebbles. And it wasn’t Grey Goose.; it was Grey Pterodactyl.

Oh and on another note. I’m going to a "sneak peek" preview of BOW, that much anticipated EMM Group entry at 199 Bowery, shared with FINALE. Travis Bass, ex-Madame Wong’s and Red Egg and recently Bottoms Up is doing the inviting. They say the place isn’t quite done and neither is Travis nor me for that matter so it might be fab. I’ve told you that I think this place might be a game changer and I’m anxious to see how right I am. Even if I’m only 10% right,  tonight, I anticipate much more as BOW is only part of a 20,000 square foot hospitality entry being unleashed by EMM at 199.  Travis always delivers. I heard that his off-again on-again incarnation Bottoms Up at the Tribeca Grand was often off-again because the hotel people didn’t much like the wear and tear Travis’ crowd inflicted on the furniture and decor. Now that sounds like my kind of party.

My $500 Blind Date For Charity

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.