Diplo, Scorpions, Owls, & Belly Dancers At Last Night’s Party

What I thought might be an OK  event turned out to be a blast. The hush-hush Dos Equis event last night at the Masonic Lodge on 24th St. and 6th Ave. had more pleasant surprises than my third wife’s diary. Things that I thought irrelevant or even tacky when I first heard of them at early event meetings turned out to be wonderful. People wore the provided masks and ate the weird bug munchies (scorpions, toasted ants, worms – see above). The belly dancers were actually amazing. One of my event golden rules is to leave whenever a belly dancer goes on. But somehow it worked. The belly dancers were hot. The Masonic Lodge has ballroom after ballroom, all marble and wood and gilded moldings. It is grand and mysterious. Photos of admirals and dead politicians lined the corridors, and the crowd rose to the occasion and behaved while they played. 

In rehearsal, surprise guest Andrew W. K. was like a kid left in a candy store during after hours. He played on a ginormous pipe organ while Diplo provided the beats and texture. Diplo would go on to win the hearts, minds, and bodies of the big crowd. I’m not an EDM kind of guy but after the night, before listening to some of the best over at Pacha, and then Diplo, I have been almost…a little converted. Now let’s not get hysterical; rock is still my genre, but I did enjoy Diplo in that grand ballroom .

 I was asked to recommend some cool promoter types to fill the room on short notice due to the Sandy wipe-out. Seva Granik was asked to fill the place, and he brought a hip Williamsburg crowd to the gala. Seva and I talked about how Manhattan is now a novelty destination for his flock. The Bespoke Group, headed up by Cody Pruitt and partners Doug and Brookes Rand, mixed in their bottle service. Alas, the only bottles were Dos Equis, and no one was complaining about that.

Everyone left with smiles on their faces. David Katz and Sam Valentine and Justine D. offered rock and roll while belly dancers rolled their hips and bellies. It was surreal.

The highlight of my night was the birds of prey room. I had an owl and a kestrel on my arm. I bonded with the beautiful kestrel. I talked softly to him and stroked his feathers, and then he leaned in and kissed me right on the lips. I am in love.

My day started at 7am and ended at the next 7am. I guess I’ll get all the sleep I need in 20 or so years. There were too many great DJs to list here and too many people to thank for bringing their friends. The thing about this event that made it hot and interesting was the mix of people. Give a crowd reasons to be cheerful and they will be…cheerful. Dos Equis and Mirrorball and all the other supportive entities deserve credit for producing one of the best events I have recently attended. 

Tonight I expect you to come to Webster Hall’s Hanky Panky Sandy "Rock- N-Rebuild” benefit. I’m doing a late set. Hanky Panky is very much happening thanks to the tireless efforts of Gary Spencer and the Webster staff. I always have fun there.

As reported earlier, the Lucky Cheng’s space is finally changing hands. I’s have been dotted and T’s crossed and I’ll tell you all about it when they tell me I can. The opening of Foxglove at 242 Flatbush Ave. near the Barclays Center intrigues me. DJ mOma is the draw for me, as is the continuing relevance of Brooklyn nightlife. They describe the space as "reminiscent of the Sub-Mercer" which for years was my favorite haunt.

There’s a whole lot of other stuff to report but I’m way too tired. I’m opting out with some warm milk and a long nap. Will someone please say good night, Mr. Lewis.

Halos, Heartbeats, & Rosewood Land in NYC Tonight

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.

The Most Interesting Man in the World

Jonathan Goldsmith plays ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’ in those ever present Dos Equis advertisements. The thing about it is, he’s actually a very interesting man. I never had a Dos Equis until this campaign grabbed my attention. After this interview I arranged for Jonathan and his lovely wife Barbara to have dinner at La Esquina. Last night while I was having dinner there, the staff was gushing and thanking me for sending him their way. It was a thrill. He has an old world charm and charisma. He lights up a room. Somewhere out there is a casting person who got it right. I arranged for them to visit Rose Bar and they called the next day to thank me. They are a gracious couple. We seem to have become good friends. Often idols and celebrities are not as interesting as they seem when you actually meet them and I was pleasantly surprised. Jonathan Goldsmith is well cast as ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World.’ Ben Barna and I spoke with Goldsmith about the life he leads, and whether or not he has a lifetime supply of beer.

So let’s get the names straight, okay? Jonathan Goldsmith: Jonathan Goldsmith. Barbara Goldsmith: Barbara Goldsmith.

So, right off the bat, you admit that you are not the most interesting man in the world? JG: Absolutely.

But you are at the same time. JG: That’s for other people to make that determination.

How do you live with this dichotomy? JG: Very simple—I’m an actor. I’ve been hired to play a character, and that character has been called “The Most Interesting Man in the World.”

And you’ve done an incredible job. The Dos Equis sales have gone through the roof since you’ve done this campaign. JG: Last year, according to Ad Age, it was up 17%, in a down year. This year, it went up an additional 18%. So, I’m very happy…

Has there been any interest from other parties, because of your portrayal of this character? JG: Absolutely. We have all kinds of doors that have never been opened to me. I’ve had a very successful career in television but never received the accolades, for this…This is really a brilliant campaign that they put on.

There is a sophistication to it, which I think your personality brings. And I think that’s very difficult. How’d you approach the character? And how much of it is you, and how much of it’s Dos Equis? JG: Well, a lot of it was me. I got a call one day from my manager and went to a cattle call. There were 400 people that looked like Juan Valdez sitting there. And I said, “Oh my God. Why are they sending me out for this?” And it was all improvisational, and you had to end up with “that’s how I arm wrestled Fidel Castro.” And a month passed. Totally forgotten about it. Then I got another call. I went in. And, the crowd was much less. They had searched Chicago, Dallas, all over. And now there were only 200 people. So, same thing, and I forgot about it again, and then finally, a month passed, and we heard they’re still casting; they haven’t found the guy. So, I said, “What harm…What have I got to lose?” I took a sock off my foot, and I’m sitting there with a bare foot, and they asked me why. I said, “Well, it’s an ice breaker. You asked me.” I thought that was right…And I just went on. Outlandish, you know, from Abercrombie & Fitch when I was a kid in the gun room…They wanted this guy to be all over the map, all over the world. And then I just started bullshitting. The best, my fantasy life, I lived in fantasy. I still do. Close your ears…And, I just let it go. I didn’t care, because I said, “At least, they’ll remember me.” And I committed to it fully. And a couple of days passed, I guess within a week.

You’re a scoundrel. You have a scoundrel edge to you. JG: Yeah, it’s true. I must tell you, I’ve had some wonderful exploits, with some marvelously successful and famous women. I’ve always enjoyed the company of women. I enjoy travel; I enjoy intrigue; I’ve saved two people’s lives. I’ve done a lot. I’ve had an interesting life.

You’re doing alright. Who, to you, is the most interesting man in the world? JG: One of them is Nelson Mandela for sure. I mean, he’s one of my heroes. Another one’s Obama.

And who’s the most interesting woman in the world? JG: Catherine Deneuve…and my wife.

For “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” how much of those little quotes do you have input in? JG: I’m not sure, because for a while, they would just leave the camera running, and we would do improvisations and then we did wild lines the first year for an hour.

What’s a wild line? JG: A wild line, is, like, What are your favorite flowers? Why do you like flowers? Why do you like tigers? What do you like in a woman? What would you say to a woman, if you impregnated her? What would you say, how would you break up with a woman? They fed me some stuff, and then I just, we just let it run. I just [snaps] again, stream of consciousness.

So if you’re good at improv how come they won’t let you speak on behalf of “The Most Interesting Man in the World?” JG: Well, I’ll tell you why. They’re trying to keep this character under control. At first it bothered me that they wouldn’t let me do any interviews. They wouldn’t let me out there. It was part of our contract, and then I realized that they did a very smart thing, just to keep him in the shadows. Yes, it is more interesting not to know and to surmise yourself, and to create yourself, what you would think, than to be shown it. That can be overdone, and so I think Dos Equis has been very smart.

How are you going to transition into new roles? What have you got coming up? Have you lined up anything else? JG: Well, I have a lot of things that are in the works.

You’re developing a show? JG: We’re developing shows of different natures, traveling all over the world, reality type shows. They’re talking about series. They’re talking about things, I can’t…You know, I’m not at liberty to say what they are.

Your dreams are coming true. JG: Absolutely.

Does “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” the man who plays “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” drink beer? JG: Yeah. Not always.

Do you have a lifetime supply to Dos Equis? JG: Well I’d like to. I’d like to hope so.

SL: Where do you live? JG: Well, we live on a sailboat.

Do you really? JG: Yeah, it’s the only way to live. I’ve done that on and off for years. After Barbara and I got married, I tried to talk her into it, but how do you take a Beverly Hills girl, with a closet this big, to a sailboat?

Introducing ‘Overrated’: A New Column! (Magnolia and Pink’s Bite)

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Just in time for the temporary closing (less than 24 hours) of Magnolia Bakery—for health code violations (minimum of 2 sinks; they only had one)—this is our first installment of “Overrated,” where we ponder on the popularity of certain bars, stores, restaurants, and nightclubs, and provide an alternative to places where sheep wait in line for hours to get something that isn’t as good as its Zagat and populist write-ups. Case in point, Magnolia’s. Maybe it’s a given, but when are cupcake lovers going to stop giving this place business? OK, so we like the banana pudding fine on a cold and wintry night, chased with a hot chocolate, but people—please! Aforementioned Out of the Kitchen! has a great bread pudding, for one, and elsewhere, you can go to Podunk (231 E 5th St) for superior cupcakes, sans the Disney World lines. And on the West Coast, we often drive down La Cienega Boulevard at like midnight or even 10 a.m., and pass Pink’s hot dog stand, scratching our heads. First off, who the hell wants a messy hot dog at midnight? What about all those drive-in burger joints, where you don’t even have to get out of the car (see Paris Hilton). Secondly, Carney’s—located on Sunset Boulevard in the old train car—is so much incredibly better. The chile is mushy-delicious. They have a beer happy hour. And the owners are normal people who actually seem to care about what they’re making. Their beef tacos are really good too. So, fuck Magnolia in Manhattan, and Pink’s in Hollywood, and stop letting them rest on their ancient laurels, OK? Photo by Sye Williams

‘Meadowlands’ Better than ‘Sopranos’!

And oddly, enough, the critics spoke and they are correct, sir. We watched four episodes of this Brit-set, hour-long madness back to back, and are as hooked as a muskellunge to a sturgeon��������or something. There are no fish in the percolators, but man�������on what other show can you see a rapist try to sodomize a teenage transvestite? They’re interrupted by the young he-she��������s father��������um��������who’s then strangled to death by the attacker! And then he��������s faced with a stranger from his past, wielding a knife?! The show is about a community populated by neighbors who are all in the Witness Protection Program. No one is safe. We��������ll have to start TiVo-ing �������Entourage������� to watch this instead. It has moments of sheer, crazy brilliance, and the music selections are as bizarre as anything Angelo Badalamenti dreams up for Lynch. The actor��������s are all new faces. And while there��������s a bit too much of The Stepford Wives scenario thrown in��������why is everything so �������dark������� these days?��������it��������s an original, at least to Showtime, which really is giving HBO a run. That��������s all! ��������Staff

Name This Bar!

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Last week we fell upon a really chic-looking new space at 422 Hudson Street, right next to the old Anglers & Writers space in the West Village, now taken over by Out of the Kitchen! (their exclamation point, not ours). The sign above the fa����ade now reads �������Candy Store Caf����,������� but the owners haven��������t settled on a name. If you��������re looking for a glass of wine and some cheese in an elegant, but minimal setting��������the wooden and wrought iron-laced bar is �������O�������-shaped and just plain lovely��������this is the place. It��������s airy and simple with a chandelier made of wine bottles and a tin ceiling. So far, few even know it exists. We talked to the proprietors and they are considering naming it �������By the Bottle,������� but frankly we��������re not that into the name. Something��������s not jibing, no? We told them we liked �������Leroy��������s,������� but they weren��������t biting. It��������s across from the Printing House Gym. Check it out, and throw us your own suggestions. Whoever comes up with the best name will get a free subscription to BlackBook, and we��������ll pass it on to the owners before they go and name it By the Bottle, or their other thought, By the Glass. By the Book? Oh, except for the no-smoking, this could be a pleasant alternative to nearby Hudson Bar & Books (which is playing really bad noodly-jazzy lately, instead of, say, the Stones). ��������Staff

Ear Plug

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All too often, true bliss involves tuning out the world (like that one staffer who’s so damned loud!). Let us bray. The V-Moda VIBE earphones might be the best thing to happen to music since 8-tracks and Clay Aiken. Not only do these revolutionary noise-isolating modaphones block out the din of drunken co-eds, but they also seem to work pretty well on panhandlers, garbled subway updates, and pesky terrorism alerts. Now, we can all finally kick back and listen to our Icky Thump in peace. Crafted��������yes, we said “crafted”��������from high-quality aluminum and super-soft silicon, they produce some of the richest tones we’ve ever heard. And such small speakers! Gafeld! Our only beef is V-Moda’s assurance that they won’t jar loose from our discerning ears during aerobic activity. We beg to differ. Jazzed in our new mauve singlet, we were ready to put to the test, but they fell from our canals. ��������Brian Kantor

Drive-by Shooting

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That��������s me, the twee little figure in the �������Hawkeye������� Pierce jacket, standing in a moment of non-political solidarity amid one of the character-rich locations of our upcoming Fall Fashion 2007 Issue shoot. Pictured is the Valley Drive-In Theater, which is �������dark������� now, as they call it in �������auto theater������� jargon, its grounds now acting as a recycling center in the town of Lompoc, California, about three hours northwest of L.A., in the dusty-hot valleys and canyons of Santa Barbara Country. You should come visit.

Parlay checking in at the town��������s infamous federal penitentiary, which employees many there. There are other cool places and some good �������Mezzican.������� And besides all these great historic murals, like, everywhere, there��������s a super biker-esque bar called Jasper��������s��������great jukebox, really nice aging longhairs. And believe it or not the Embassy Suites Lompoc-Central Coast hotel on H Street is kind of great, right on the main drag. It has this weird prehistoric-looking diorama in the middle of its courtyard with fountains and stuff, and guests are treated to complimentary cocktail hour from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

After the jump, a list of still opened California and New York drive-ins

Oh, if you��������re in a room that faces a Chinese restaurant in the strip mall next door, you will see actual vultures��������turkey buzzards, call them (or don��������t)��������feeding from the Dumpster! Beware��������those orange beaks get very close to your room window. But I digress. The theater reminds me of seeing Jaws as child at the Devon Drive-In, in Devon, a half hour west of Philadelphia in bucolia. There was a Dairy Queen next door��������and some creepy abandoned greenhouses that my older brother and I got into plenty of trouble in once��������and so we��������d get on the rooftop of my parent��������s Dodge Monaco station wagon with our Mister Misty��������s floats, and watch films like Jaws. (The opening scene with the shark attacking the skinny-dipping girl? We could barely see, which is good since I was 7, I think.)

But shockingly, really, there are still more than a dozen drive-ins still operating around New York and California. A bit of trivia: California had the first drive-in, which opened in 1938. In the 1960s, there were more than 220 in the state. Ninety-percent of them are now gone. One of the coolest-looking ones is the Rudidoux, in Riverside, California.

For their locations, check out driveinmovie.com, or check out a few on the list here. CALIFORNIA:

Vineland Drive-In 443 North Vineland Avenue City of Industry, CA 91746 (626) 961-9262 www.vinelandswapmeet.com Mission Drive-In 10789 Ramona Avenue Montclair, CA 91763 (909) 627-3564

Santa Fe Springs Drive-In 13963 Alondra Boulevard Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670 (714) 523-9310

Rubidoux Drive-In 3770 Opal Street Riverside, CA 92509 (951) 683-4455

NEW YORK:

Hyde Park Drive-In 510 Albany Post Rd Hyde Park, NY 12538 (845) 229-4738

Overlook Drive-In Overlook Dr Pougkeepsie, NY 12602 (845) 452-3445 Finger Lake Drive-In 1619 Clark Street Rd Auburn, NY 13021 (315) 252-3969

��������Steve Garbarino

Celebrating Summer

Don��������t be late for the Cooper Classic Cars event. All the cocktails and canap����s from The Inn LW12 will be gone and it will be impossible to see past the crowds to any of the Oliver Spencer looks. July 23rd. 137 Perry Street, NYC at 6pm.

Head over to Russell Simmons estate in East Hampton on July 28th. Russell and Kimora will both be there, and money goes to a charity for NYC youth. RSVP at www.rushphilanthropic.org.

Get to Garrard and sip Rose wine while looking at these Crown-worthy baubles. What better way to spend a summer evening? 133 Spring Street, NYC, July 18th 7-9 pm. ��������Elizabeth Sulcer