Fright Night: Gearing Up for Halloween in the City

For the first time in memory, I will not be in New York to celebrate my favorite holiday, Halloween. I will be whisked to Atlantic City for the Duran Duran concert and I couldn’t be more excited about it. As usual my hosts, The Borgata, have gone all out to make things great. The post-concert package includes super-duper uber DJ and former Blackbook cover Mark Ronson in their club MIXX, and sister Samantha Ronson in mur mur. That’s Saturday night. On Sunday, MIXX will be a blast with music by Rev Run and DJ Ruckus. On Monday, I will head to DC for the day to visit friends and family.

I will miss putting on my old fat Elvis costume and walking in the parade. Each year, my Elvis gets a little fatter, a little grayer, and a great deal more disgusting. Last year we added real freeze dried flies pin mounted into the wig, and this year a “walker” was going to be an accessory. I hosted and MC’d the Webster Hall Costume Contest one year (always the official Parade party, and always amazing); another year I sang Elvis tunes on the subway. I gave money to people for their trouble just before announcing that “Elvis has left the subway car.” I love Halloween and I hate missing it.

The thing about Halloween this year is that it’s a week long thing with great events every night. One of the better events that I can’t believe I will actually be on hand for is tonight’s Svedka X Yoni Goldberg Halloween soiree at Good Units. It will be off the hook. Here again that most fabulous duo, Rev Run and DJ Ruckus, will provide the music along with young stud Jesse Marco. There will be a live performance by Pete Wentz’ new band Blackcards and “the best surprise performance of the year.” Along with Damon DeGraff, Yoni is a partner in dGi management, the agents of change and prosperity for these DJ’s and a flock of others. This will be music industry and club royalty, and I will be there. I’ll shoot over to 15 Watts street afterward, where Bill Spector (what a great Haloween name) will be doing his thing with his friends Black Scale and Ssur. DJ’s Vibe and Yamez will do their thing.

Saturday I will unfortunately miss the 20th Annual Jazz Loft Party sponsored by Parmigiani Fleurier at Hudson Studios, 601 west 26th Street. It’s a red carpet affair and Danny Glover, Ronnie Spector, Michael Imperioli, and many more on hand to help the Jazz Foundation of America. Over 50 musicians will be featured at the event and there will be what figures to be a legendary “Battle of the Sax’s.” There will be a tribute to Amy Winehouse with Ronnie Spector and Lou Reed, Randy Weston, Tom Harrell Quintet, Ron Carter, and Dr. Lonnie Smith featuring Donald Harrison. Herlin Riley and the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band will be participating. For more info here.

On Halloween night, Roxy Summers, or Cottontail, as she is sometimes known, along with Ruddyrock will turn out Santos’ Party House with a film parody party called Loonies. She is pushing me on T Mills, which she thinks is the next big thing. Also featured will be Marz Lovejoy, Lil Friday Hoe, and Ducky, along with DJ sets by Fresh Direct, Haruka Salt 999, Mista Ian Jay, Brooklyn Dawn, and Musa Alves. It makes me think I should get me one of those clever DJ names. Amanda suggested Mr. Depends.

The holiday wouldn’t be correct if Susanne Bartsch didn’t throw a big bash. Her regular Tuesday night gig has been canceled for this one week so that she can do Halloween right on Monday. This ON TOP event will of course take place at Top of the Standard. It’s called Bloody Mary Bordello and everyone is involved: Amanda Lapore, Desi Monster, Kayvon Zand, Jeremy Kost, Jordon Fox, and Theodora, to name a few. Johnny Dynell, Will Automatic, Michael Magnon, and Alex from Tokyo will force you to dance. Well, if you don’t know them you just don’t know, and maybe now’s the time to get yourself educated. This is always the most colorful and fun Halloween event, and if you go you will thank me….but you have to really bring it. This is a stylish, fabulous gala for the off-center, future-perfect fashion flock. The costumes have been worked on for months.

I DJ’d last night, and here is my top ten Halloween play list:

1) Spooky: Lydia Lunch 2) Heads Will Roll: Yeah Yeah Yeahs 3) A Pain I’m Used To: Depeche Mode 4) No Tears (for the creatures of the night): Tuxedo Moon 5) Tear You Apart: She Wants Revenge 6) Werewolf of London: Warren Zevon 7) Bela Lugosi Is Dead: Bauhaus 8) Bela Lugosi is Dead : Nouvelle Vague 9) My Girlfriends Dead : The Vandals 10) I Put a Spell On You: Screaming Jay Hawkins

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Industry Insiders: Sal Imposimato, Behind the Music

Nightlife is a 24-hour job for Sal Imposimato, the regional director of entertainment for the Morgans Hotel Group (which includes the stylish Hudson, Royalton, Morgans, and Mondrian Soho hotels), who’s in charge of all nightlife programming.

Far from leisure-suited lounge singers and karaoke nights, these hotels host the hottest acts around, from the Kills at the Mondrian to the legendary parties at Good Units inside the Hudson, which have drawn crowds with top-notch turntablists like DJ Cassidy and Questlove, and even a Cinco de Mayo party complete with masked Mexican wrestlers. Although these events take plenty of daytime hustle to organize, he wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love to create, and New York is my canvas,” Imposimato says. “Working in nightlife and giving people an escape from their day-to-day reality is a great thing.”

Day Becomes Night: DJing at the Big Audio Dynamite Afterparty

At one point around 2am last night, I was hanging with Morgans Honcho Sal Imposimoto and Jonny “The Lover” Lennon, drinking pineapple juice on the rocks. Sal asked me how I do it. “You’ve been going since 7am and you’ve been doing this for like 30 years,” he said. Today my day started at that exact hour, as it does every day. Mostly it’s about quality time with dogs and cats and birds, but also writing and recording design stuff that comes to me in my dreams. I know it sounds weird, but that’s where a lot of it comes from.

Yesterday I was nervous in the morning, as I was DJing that night at the official Big Audio Dynamite afterparty. I wanted to be good. I knew that many people from my generation and a hip rock crowd would be on hand. B.A.D.’s music comes from a lot of places, and I wanted to do the same.

The day was meetings about Hotel Chantelle design and some joints in Brooklyn, as well as doing lighting for Jonny Lennon, Dj Cassidy, and Dj ?uestlove’s monthly gig at Good Units at the Hudson. We bought a couple hundred dollars worth of light bulbs, and Jonny and I moved furniture to set the room. “The Lover” and I lifted and moved approximately 40 couches and dozens of tables. I must note that the Hudson staff and management were extremely helpful as well. Last month’s party was plagued by a bad furniture layout and bad lighting, so I was asked to correct. It was a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is kind of thing. It worked out. The party was better focused and more energetic and fun. I took the praise from my friends and even admitted that my legs were really tired. It was late and my mind was filled with I-shoulda-played-that’s at the B.A.D. party upstairs.

I was supposed to cover this B.A.D. event, as I am the nightlife correspondent for BlackBook Magazine. We were hosting the event but I was DJing as well. From my corner in the Library I couldn’t cover much. It was left to our beautiful and fabulous photog Jes Leppard to meet the packed house. Her boyfriend Sam Valentine came in to spin with me for a bit. We always wanted to work together. He left early for his fabulous weekly at Le Souk. As the crowd from the sold out Roseland show swarmed in, I went punk, offering Terror Couple Kill Colonel (Bahaus), I Want Candy (Bow Wow Wow), Real Wild Child (Iggy and the Stooges), California Sun (Ramones), Oh Bondage, Up Yours! (X-Ray Spex), Teenage Kicks (The Undertones), Garbage Man (The Cramps), and Blank Generation (Richard Hell and the Voidoids). I even threw in the overplayed club punk tracks Bad Reputation (Joan Jett) and I Wanna be Your Dog (Iggy). Then it was some Rockabilly as the band stormed the booth to spell me. We shook hands and they smiled and thumbed up my selections and told me to “play another 10 minutes, it was fun.” I felt like a for-real DJ for the second or third time ever. I was always just a novelty playing at it but lately I’ve been better. When they entered the room I had on “I Fought the Law,” a Clash staple.

Earlier in the day I had asked supreme DJ Cassidy, who works at lots of gigs for huge artists like Jay Z, if it’s appropriate to play music that’s by the act or their previous incarnations, and he told me how to work it in. Still, I was a little anxious when I saw them approach the booth while it was playing. It was a little to predictable and exactly what I had decided not to be at 7am, but was at doing at 1am. DJ Uncle Mike came by and gave me a big smile and thumbs up and I felt good.

As a focused and dedicated DJ under pressure to do good, I couldn’t cover the event much. I saw familiar faces and many came to say hello but my mind was on the next 3 tracks. I don’t understand how some Dj hasn’t killed a patron for annoying them. I have decided to lay out the next fool who asks me to play GaGa’s newest release. Draw a chalk mark around them and maybe others will get the message. I did chat up rock photog icon Bob Gruen and some others I’ve know since Max’s days, but alas, as a writer covering an event, I am a failure. If indeed a picture is worth a thousand words, then these images will suffice.

Photos by Jes Leppard.

Is This Banksy, Caught in the Act?

Here’s an interesting thing. A very good friend of mine, who is always reliable (except when she isn’t—she’d be the first to agree) took this photo of what she says is Banksy, the invisible man caught in the act. I’ve been sitting on it, debating it’s validity and the idea of busting out the superhero. She was black car-ing it to her abode during Oscar week and stopped to take this photo. It’s a slow news day—so here it is. You draw your own conclusions. My gal swears it’s him. She thinks.

Tonight Big Audio Dynamite will rock Roseland. The super-secret afterparty will be held at the Library at the Hudson Hotel. BlackBook is the hosting this event, and yours truly will DJ until the band cleans up and arrives to take over the turntables. It’s a private affair, so don’t look at me for guest list help. After my set I’m going to take an elevator to Jonny Lennon’s monthly soiree at Good Units. There it’s DJ Cassidy and ?uestlove — it’s a “must attend” affair. Great crowd, great music, and a number of adjustments made after moi, your humble servant, suggested some. They work hard over at the Hudson to make it right. I find myself writing so often about the happenings at Morgans Group properties that I think I might have to move into one of their joints.

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Sound Advice: Good Units, Elizabeth Taylor & Michael Alig

Jonny Lennon’s party over at Good Units was simply great. The space allows every event to feel loose and uncontrolled, like a warehouse party or gymnasium soiree. About a thousand great people came to enjoy each other’s company and DJ ?uestlove and Cassidy’s set. Although it was great, it was far from perfect, and I hope they adjust things for next time. Despite awesome sets from the 2 great spinsters, the crowd didn’t linger very long. Some were off to other events, but many left because conditions were a little hard to stomach.

There was simply too much sound and too little light and seating. My take on sound is that it should be where it should be, and that isn’t everywhere. People must have places where they can talk and gather without screaming or covering there ears. When I spoke to the Good Units honchos about the sound, they reminded me that DJ Cassidy brings in his own system. He does that everywhere, and should be commended for wanting to put on the best show he can. DJs love loud, but this was way past the enjoyable. Many sound people fill a room like it’s a glass, and the water in it makes it equally wet everywhere. I contend that this approach only works at techno-type events, where talk is cheap and the DJ is very expensive. Yet even at Pacha you can chat most everywhere, except of course directly in front of a giant stack. There was no place to talk at Good Units the other night. The booth areas along the perimeter provided no escape from the sound. It was too dark to see the person next to you. Except in the adjacent bar room, there was no escape and people were yelling there as well. There were plenty of opportunities for comfortable seating that went unused. So I found myself in a great room, with a great crowd and music, and I was uncomfortable. These are easy things to fix, and in my conversations with the Good Units team, it seemed like they were going to adjust. I hope so, because this event, with its mixed format music from superstar DJs playing to a mixed, super hot crowd, was a revelation. Jonny Lennon turned it out.

The passing of Elizabeth Taylor saddens me. Besides her great talent and style it must be remembered that at a time when AIDS was destroying a generation, she stood up with grace and compassion to fight rather than shun. She used her star power to help turn the tide of public feeling about the crisis. She sold tolerence, understanding, and help. She replaced ignorance and hatred. She and Madonna both gave so much to the cause when so many others weren’t there. She used to go to Studio 54 when top-tier clubs attracted top-tier celebrities. With all do respect, Paris and Lindsey don’t sparkle like Liz did.

Bad news to devotees of Michael Alig: he got another charge which will delay his return to the living. It seems that a joint was put in his locker after he had a dispute with some locals. Although everyone was aware of the beef between them, and all knew the score, he was punished with a little less time off for good behavior. I have seen the info and he didn’t do anything wrong, except maybe stand up to people who knew how to hurt him. He has been moved to Southport, a not so nice place where he has been before. He will probably finish out his sentence there. If I were a betting man I’d say he will be out next March. I do visit my old friend from time to time, and often bring strangers—some of which arrive with bad conceptions of him. All leave impressed with this bright man who has remained sane after 14 years of incarceration. This kind of talk usually results in an onslaught of “let him rot” comments, and this is to be expected—especially after new grief. I’ll stand by him once again, because I have no doubt that he was set up and bitch slapped by people who know how to hurt, and I believe the Party Monster is long gone, and the Michael that now lives in a yet another terrible place is a good person.

Next Page: A letter from Alig to his friends.

3/12/11

To all my friends, loved ones, & supporters:

I am so sorry I haven’t felt up to writing too many letters in the past few weeks, but I’ve been going through some rather heavy issues here… mostly just typical prison shit that I try not to bring up in letters as it’s depressing & I don’t want to have to think about it. This time, unfortunately, the “typical prison shit” has affected me in a serious way, & I am about to be sent to the Box for a few months. As you can imagine, I’m pretty broken up over it and am sort of in a state of shock. It all happened so quickly, things seemed to go from bad to worse, all in a matter of days, & my release date has been, once again, postponed, for at least six months. It’s all rather complicated & depressing, & like I said, under the circumstances I’m just not feeling up to writing a lot of letters. But I do feel I owe everyone an explanation, so there won’t be any rumors or misunderstanding about what went down.

The trouble really began back in January, when I was moved from a double Cube to a single to a single. The move occurred as I’d been given a Porter position (Porters get priority in moving to single Cubes) & also because I was having trouble with my Bunkie, a kid named Mike F. who was sort of a white gang banger & who told the C.O. he was being mocked by the Bloods for “bunking with a Fag.” The C.O. reacted by moving me to the top of the list of guys who were waiting to be moved to a single Cube.

Since it normally takes 6 months to get a single Cube, the moved caused animosity & resentment among the others, who felt I was either being favored or “working with the C.O.” One guy, a Blood who was supposed to have been next on the list & whose Cube I’d basically taken, was especially livid, & from then on I wasn’t allowed to eat, cook, or watch TV whenever he was in the Day Room. It was extremely uncomfortable. Making matters worse, he and his crew considered me “rich” on account of the movie & because I made a full ($55.00) Commissary buy 2x a month. To guys living on 15 cents-an-hour jobs, anyone who spends $100.00 a month on food & necessities is a millionaire, I guess.

They didn’t like my fan mail. They said my typewriter made too much noise. They were jealous when I went to do the interview for the new Documentary. In short, they felt I believed I’m somehow “better” than them.

There were 3 or 4 guys in the dorm who did like me & we cooked and went to the gym together. They warned me repeatedly to watch my back & “not open any doors,” but I felt I had things under control. I believed I could handle the situation by making myself “indispensable” to people. I hired a couple of Artists in the Dorm to enlarge photos for me so I could paint them. For $15.00, I got 18×24 portraits drawn of Jenny, Karlin, RuPaul, Leigh Bowery, ect, & was busily turning them into great paintings. I also started buying small Commissary items, sugar, creamer, ect. to have on hand to give to guys who didn’t have anything. In hindsight, it was incredibly vane. I should have realized things would get out of hand. It’s just in my nature, I guess, to want everyone to “like me.” In all the time I’ve been in jail, everywhere I’ve been I’ve been the one who’d always help someone with a bag of coffee, creamer, ect. And it’s never been a problem. In fact I’d always thought it’s one of the reasons I’d made it this far without ever being hurt or threatened, because the people I’ve been good to watch over me.

Of course, this was all during time spent in Max Facilities where we had our own locked rooms & where no one had this kind of unfettered access to me. Being in a Medium, living in a Dorm where other guys get right up in your face & you can’t get away, is a whole different ball game.

Still, I thought, no big deal. Sugar is only 56 cents a box; creamer 78 cents. If all, it takes a few bucks a month to keep the wolves at bay, that’s not so bad. All I had to do was make it to November.

Unfortunately, this made the situation worse. Guys sensed I was afraid, they began demanding things, coffee, deodorant, laundry soap. Guys started fighting over who got to “control” the things I bought. From here, things escalated pretty fast. One day I came from the gym to find a note on my bed; “we know who you are,” the note said, “And we know you’re trying to go home.” An “associate” of theirs would be approaching me, & would give me an address that I was to send $100.00 a month to. “Once the $100.00 touches down,” the note said, I’d be “Untouchable.” No one would hurt, or try to extort me for anything.

I went to my counselor the next morning (Thurs, 10 Feb) & told her what was going on, said I felt “uncomfortable” in the Dorm & that other inmates were abusing my kindness & feeling resentment towards me. We discussed the note, & she asked if I felt my life was in danger. I said no, I didn’t think it was quite that serious. She & I felt the best thing would be for me to continue programming, so that when I go before the Time Allowance Committee in October, they’d see that I was working as a Porter & fulfilling my duties. If it gets any worse, she said, or if I feel my safety is in jeopardy, let her know.

I returned to the Dorm & basically told everyone that I’m done being their personal ATM & that I wouldn’t be buying everyone’s commissary from now on. I then mentioned the note, & said there’s no way I’m going to be forced into paying anyone for “protection.”

That’s when the shit really hit the fan. On Monday, 14 Feb, someone dropped an anonymous note telling the Sergeant to “look inside Alig’s large locker.” Inmates here each have 2 lockers, a smaller locked locker for storing valuables, and a larger, unlocked locker, more of a “wardrobe” with double doors, accessible to all in the Dorm for regular, daily stuff. The Sgt. Send a C.O. to my large locker where, inside on the 2nd shelf, right in front, was an open pack of Newports…..

With a joint inside. I knew I’d been set up when the C.O. showed me the pack of Newports…with a joint inside. There’s no reason for me to have an open pack of cigarettes in my locker, as I don’t even smoke! Still, I knew it didn’t look good. “Oh God” I said, “I’m going to the Box.”

The C.O. felt it looked suspicious, as someone had directed him right to where it was. Nonetheless, he sent me to the Box to have my urine tested & await my hearing. You can imagine what was going through my mind! Caught with drugs! No one will believe it’s not mine!

Luckily the staff here was pretty reasonable and fair. My counselor confirmed I’d been having problems in the Dorm, & the hearing officer agreed, it did look suspicious. My urine tested clean, I’d never been caught using marijuana before. The kicker though, was the open pack of Newports. “I don’t smoke” I told the hearing officer. “There’s no reason for that to have been there.” She seemed to believe me, but needed something , some evidence to back her up if she was to find me not guilty. “Well Mr. Alig, that should be easy enough to prove. If you don’t smoke, then there should be no record of you arriving at this Facility with cigarettes in your property, right?” “That’s right” I said feeling certain but not thinking clearly because I was so nervous. So much was at stake!

But in Fact, I do often have cigarettes in my property, as packs of Newport’s are used here as money to trade & barter with, for haircuts, laundry, ect. When the hearing officer called the property room to ask what was listed on my I-64 form (the sheet that lists every item you have in your property when you arrived) it said “5 packs Newports” I was sunk. The hearing officer felt I’d lied to her. There was nothing I could do or say at that point to make her believe I didn’t smoke cigarettes.

However, she still felt the whole thing seemed fishy. How would anyone know there’s a joint in my locker…..unless they’d put it in there? If I’m a pot user, then why have all my drug tickets been for opiates? How has my urine tested clean for 2 years? What about the extortion note? And why would I keep drugs in my large, unlocked locker, a locker that 59 other inmates had access to?

She was really torn. According to the guidelines, she could’ve sentenced me to 36 months in the Box for this. However, based on my own statement that I don’t smoke cigarettes… when in fact my I-64 sheet shows I did bring 5 packs of Newport’s to Franklin, she reluctantly gave me 8 months.

Of course, I’m devastated. This is probably the most upsetting thing to have happened to me in prison. It makes my earliest possible release now, May 2012.

This is going to take some fortitude on my part. I know people will talk & accuse me of lying, but what can I really do? I’m appealing the decision, as the hearing officer neglected to investigate the extortion note & didn’t even bother checking to see if the handwriting in the extortion note matched the handwriting in the note to the Sgt. But it’s not likely that I’ll win, as, to them, 8 months isn’t a lot of time. In the end, all I can really do, is buck up & take it like a man.

Mike

Catching Up: Japan, Loleatta, My Pacha Gig

It’s been 11 days since the quake and the tsunami awed us all. And we’ve felt helpless since. Many of my friends stay glued to the TV or computer, watching replays and seeking out any new tidbit. Channel surfing to see disaster footage had some of us even watching Fox. Now, Lelaine Lau and Benjamin Dewar are sweeping away our helplessness and getting us off the couch by organizing a benefit next Tuesday, March 29th. The soiree will be held at Lavo, which is generously donating its space, all door proceeds, and even 10% of the bar revenue generated from the gala.

The shindig is to support Doctors Without Borders, who are operating mobile clinics in the devastated Miyagi Prefecture. While we are talking about the weather, they are fighting to save lives and repair bodies. It’s 20 bucks or more at the door and everybody’s got that.

The death of Loleatta Holloway leaves me limp. Her powerful voice and giant smile picked me up when I was down on many occasions. Best known, I guess, for her sampled vocals on Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations,” she passed from heart failure. Her mega hit “Love Sensation” was the kind of song that transitioned us all from the Disco era to the House era. Take a few minutes to YouTube her to fully appreciate her talent and legacy. I remember booking her once at, I think at the World.The crowd just stood staring as she hit each impossible note with power, perfection, and fire. No one moved. At first I thought they weren’t liking it, but soon realized that they were just in awe. She had the kind of voice that could break glasses and swell hearts.

Tonight you will find me (if you’re looking) at Good Units. It’s Jonny Lennon’s super hot monthly affair with DJ Cassidy and ?uestlove. It’s called Rock Freak and that’s what I am, so I’ll break out the black leather and show.

I want to thank Eddie Dean and Rob Fernandez, the Pacha light crew, Patrick McMullan, and of course, the other DJs: MSB and Liam McMullan, who joined me last Thursday night at Pacha. It was the biggest room, and largest crowd I ever played for, and I’m still recovering from the excitement. According to a friend, someone tweeted that I have “been quiet lately.” I think preparing for that gig occupied a lot of my thoughts. I took it seriously, as the big sound system, the big room and the legacy of the talents who play there, was not lost on me. Surprisingly, the biggest songs of the night were “Love Hangover” by Diana Ross, and “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top. As the night winded down, I put on “Under he Milky Way Tonight” by The Church, and many people slow danced to it. It was refreshing to see people usually not exposed—or maybe a better word is subjected—to the music I play, dancing and enjoying it. It was an honor to play there. I have also been distracted and busy as a bee readying the downstairs lounge at Darby for a hush-hush opening later this week. Ill try to get noisy again real soon.

Top 10 Nightlife Openings of 2010, From the Internets

I’m a big fan of the end-of-the-year round-ups that pop up during this in-between week of internet trolling. Sam Sifton, my crush at The New York Times put out his toplist, “A Critic’s Choice of Restaurant Newcomers,” which included Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Park gem Maialino, and The Breslin, a place that seems like it has been part of the fabric of NYC restaurant culture forever. One of my favorite no nonsense city blogs, Grade “A” Fancy, elected to round-up some of the greatest New York City bar and restaurants losses of 2010 in an intriguing video format. We already had our own formulated opinions on the best places we’d gotten drunk at in 2010, but were curious to see what venues garnered the most interest from readers based on end of the year web traffic results for BlackBook’s New York guide. Here we present our overall snapshot of interest in NYC nightlife venues—the Top 10 that opened in 2010.

Top 10 New Openings Based on Reader Interest

Provocateur Originally garnering backlash for having an untrained door staff and odd new door policy, Provocateur won over people looking for a more clubby, Euro scene in 2010.

Le Bain Naked photos surfaced from their opening night in June, and who doesn’t like a little NSFW nudity?

Bedlam Add Anderson Cooper relations and non-crazy celebrity sightings (SJP, for example) to a cozy Alphabet bar and you’ve got the new star-slumming spot.

Top of the Strand Any new rooftop boite is enough for people to take notice in the throes of spring. Add in set designer Lydia Marks of Sex and the City fame to the back story and you’ve got every Carrie wannabe in town popping in for a Cosmo.

The Bunker Club Excavate an old civil war bunker underneath 9th Avenue with the help of the Beatrice’s Matt Abramcyk and you’ve got buzz.

Good Units A thriving event space with emphasis on art, under-the-radar DJs and bands was the perfect edition to the Hudson Hotel’s interesting family.

Panda Beloved bar Passerby was replaced and supported by former regulars and ex employees who stayed committed to making the night jump off. Even master Joe Latimore came back from his hiatus in SF to open this two-room joint off Delancey.

Kastel People were excited for this sleek lounge in the back of Trump SoHo, and our Steve Lewis noted its quiet confidence and subtle sexiness backed by Trump money.

Bar Above Cabin AKA Black Market Cabins are everywhere these days and this untitled neighbor to the Cabin Down Below, with oysters and burgers and drinks, piqued interest in parties looking to get peaked in 2010. And then confused them on the internets by having trouble settling on a name.

Penthouse 808 Nightlife in Long Island City! This terrace lounge sprawling atop the Ravel Hotel got locals excited with jazz nights and DJs on the weekends, and got City residents amped for an alternate view of the skyline.

Recapping on My Way Back to NYC

I’m packing to come home, and for the first time ever, I will be sad to leave LA. I either just got “it,” or “it” changed enough in my direction to have meaning. I had a great time, and I swear I will never use this old joke again: “If its 10pm in New York, it must be 1998 in LA.” It just doesn’t ring true, as NY has become less and LA more. Back in the big wormy apple I hear that Santos’ Party House is reopened, and Gina Sachi Cody is still dearly departed. Gina will be put to rest following wakes and funeral services 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 7pm tomorrow at the Barret Funeral Home in Tenafly, New Jersey. I’m going, so if you expected to see me, fogetaboutit. I’m sending my sweetness off, even if I must go to Tenafly—wherever that is. I would walk a million miles for one of Gina’s smiles, but will have to settle for a photo on an easel.

The Halloween Bash at the Hudson Hotel had me spinning with my friend Paul Sevigny. I hadn’t seen him spin in ages. He’s one of the last DJs to still use vinyl, and it was wonderful to watch him work. He has great hands, and he mixed seamlessly—from one fun track to the next—and the crowd roared. Paul gets all sorts of ink as a club mogul these days. In fact, I wrote about him and his partner Nur Khan for the November issue of BlackBook. It’s easy to forget that the second thing Paul should be remembered for is his DJ skills. His heart of gold is obviously first. As he spun, a strange smiling character would come up to praise this Ceasar. Paul gave him a card and told the dude to call him so that they could talk about music. I asked Paul what number was on the card, and he told me his cell. I gave him that are-you-pulling-my-leg? look I usually reserve for girls who tell me I’m hot. He answered “Why not? Who the fuck am I?” Paul remains down to earth, and a great DJ, despite a million words that might swell another guy’s head.

I finished up at 4am. I heard the Suzanne Bartsch soiree at Good Units was raided and closed down by the city’s finest, and that she was “devastated.” Over 3,000 people had showed up, and the party was brilliant fun—until its abrupt end. Paul and I were away from the mayhem, but we could hear the commotion and see the flashing lights outside. I felt like those kids from Cloverfield: barely aware and slightly informed of the disaster and craziness just over there, waiting for it to come at us. Alas, we got by.

I slept for 20 minutes and rushed to the airport for the Hollywood/Bollywood BlackBook event at the Standard. The event was sponsored by Russian Standard Vodka and brought together a team of DJs who made their mark in NYC. I was joined by the always-gorgeous Christine Renee and the always-debonair Ethan Browne. The Bollywood dancers did their thing to that unforgetable song from Slumdog Millionaire that we all thankfully forgot. The Lady Miss Tigra performed as well. Tigra used to work with us back in NYC. She is the sweetest thing in the world, and it was crazy to hear her sing lyrics that belied that innocence. That’s, as Murray Hill says, showbiz! The whole shindig benefited the Zeno Mountain Farm.

We couldn’t stop eating at the 24-hour diner-like restaurant at the Standard. I don’t know its name, but I suggest it should be called “24 Hour French Toast,” as it has the best I’ve ever had. [Ed Note: It’s called The Restaurant at the Standard]. We visited old friends at the Chateau Marmont. While the rest of the town was jammed up with celebrities, Chateau was packed with movies stars, and there’s a difference. I won’t name names, as that would be impolite to my hosts, but it was a wondrous evening that I must find a way to relive.

Where I’ll Be for Halloween

It’s time to get Halloween serious and dust off my Elvis costume. For at least 15 years I have been Elvis. Not the skinny young one used by the U.S. Post office in the early ‘90’s for white envelopes, but the fat old one they used for bulk mail. The first time I put on my white sequined suit with the wig, the shoes, the bangles, and the sunglasses, I could feel the King’s energy in my veins—it transformed me. As Elvis, I have hosted many a costume contest, and sung on the subway to thunderous applause. I have walked in the parade and had a zillion photos taken with babies, girlfriends, and tourists. Each year I add a little more padding, and the wig gets a little more gray, as art imitates life. Last year, I added real freeze-dried flies to the wig, but the schtick is getting a bit old and it may be time soon to bury the old codger. This year Elvis will appear two more times: as I DJ as him at the Hudson Hotel’s monster soiree with my pal Paul Sevigny, and as I jet out to LA for the actual night of Halloween, a Standard Hollywood gig. Should I just wear the costume on the plane? Will they let me board if I decide to?

When Halloween falls on a Sunday, many celebrate on the Saturday before. The big gig at the Hudson on Saturday has something seriously delicious in each of its hospitality spaces. London-based new wave/electro-pop duo La Roux will DJ in the Hudson Bar space. I’ll be right beside them with Paul in the Library. 4AM will host Hudson Hall with their elite DJs Jus-ske and Jesse Marco on tap. Good Units will have Suzanne Bartsch doing her annual Halloween Party, with Patricia Fields hosting and a bevy of downtown’s glitter crew. It will be a fabulous night for all, and with its mix of cultures, possibly the closest thing in a long time to resurrect the ghosts of Halloween clubs of yore. Also on Saturday, the gorgeous, fabulous, and famous Tinsley Mortimer will set the tone at Horror on the Hudson, a monster bash on Pier 92. With its 75,000 square feet of floor space and super-star DJ Mel Debarge, this event is the in place for the crowd who has everything. I expect lots of rented costumes and hand held masks. If that isn’t enough try Porn Star Halloween at SL, or the EMM group’s other party at Tenjune, with a live set by Slick Rick. Devo is at the Hammerstein. Every joint in town will be banging. There will be a million house parties to boot. Getting a taxi will be a nightmare.

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And that’s just the pre-October 31st happenings. DJ extraordinaire Jeannie Hopper is getting into the mix with a boat-bash at the Chelsea Piers on Thursday. Has Sunday become a redheaded stepchild for the week of events? Will people actually have energy, money, and a clean costume come Sunday? To the purists, its all about Sunday, and it all starts with the parade. Joonbug has taken over Capitale and its 40,000 square feet, and will judge costumes and such, but I believe there will be a little less Halloween this year than usual. With work the next day, and so many things happening all week, costumes will be a mess and pockets a bit empty.

Halloween is a great windfall for clubdom. It’s a mini New Years Eve without the crash of the first week of January. These days, big ticketing and promotional companies like Joonbug and Club Planet rent out all the joints in town for New Years Eve, and sell tickets using e-mail, text messaging, and on-line lists numbering into hundreds of thousands of interested parties. Their clientele are looking for a sure thing on the big day, and use these companies to design – and define – their festivities. The clubs do well in this agreement mostly because the energy normally used in promoting this event has gone to these people, and they can work on the all-important Christmas season. Their efforts are focused on ways to make money during the chill of January. New Years Eve, unlike Halloween, kills all things clubby for days before, and days after, as people spend it all in one big blast or go away on holiday. Halloween brings much-needed revenue for the entire week leading up to it, and doesn’t kill the next week completely. What happens in costume stays in costume, and people quickly return to their normal routines. Unlike New Years, the Christmas season and all of its expenses is far off. For these reasons, I believe that Halloween is the biggest night/week in clubland. For the first year in two decades I will not be in town to enjoy it.