Secret Pop Ups and It Girls: A Seriously Great Tuesday Night Out

Amanda Lepore at Westway by Marco Ovando

There was time when one could visit NYC and there would be a single club that was number one. Everybody knew it. There were two or three or four other joints that certainly held their own, and a bevy of after hours spots and underground one-offs that entertained. Today there isn’t a dominant club, a be-everything-to-all-types like back in the day. Clubs have become more specialized, maybe a bit homogenized, and certainly less fun for those who celebrate differences rather than commonality. In this environment of one-offs, obscure weekly parties in otherwise less exciting environments and pop-ups are a great answer to the question of where to go.

Tonight there’s a good one. It’s a semi-secret pop up in the basement of Louie and Chan (303 Broome Street). It has a theme “RED” and so everyone will be wearing a bit of red in some creative way. The fabulous Linda Lightchaser is curating this event so I expect the music and fashion flock will flock to it. DJ Pazel will provide the tracks. If this one is a hit, 12 more will follow at various locations, each with a new theme and sound. I want more of these.

My friend Demetra Songs has been lamenting the loss of everything wonderful here in beloved NYC and is actually threatening to banish herself to L.A. OMG NO! Demetra is a musician who also DJs and promotes parties all around town. If a club was great, she would work there and be important. Alas, she finds herself at a different joint on a different night promoting the heck out of it and providing great music, curating DJs and promoters and flyers and all that goes into making the work actually work. Her parties are fun. She’s having one tonight with live music at the almost always great Bowery Electric (327 Bowery at Joey Ramone Place (2nd street)). Acts slated are Steve Conte NYC, The Cringe, The Nuclears and Broken Guru.

Another hot choice for this “must go out” Tuesday night is Suspended Animation: Bottoms Up at Lit Lounge (93 2nd Avenue). Lauren Holden who is an It Girl of sorts invited me and she always ends up in the same room as me, so I expect a friendly yet eclectic gathering. Virginaire is involved with this fabulousness and she will spin a set that’ll include, as she says, “Duo, Deep House, Nu Disco, Original Beats, Collective Death Conscious, Dance Routines and pretty little things.” DJ Jeremy Alisauskas will pop in for a late night set.

Then there is STRUT, Pout, Put It Out this week starring Paper magazine’s maelstrom Mickey Boardman and the legendary Sophia Lamar and a ton of other hosts including top gun Deryck Todd. The DJ is Andrew Andrew. This ginormous gala will occupy ACME (9 Great Jones Street).

All this! and Susanne Bartsch, who consistently brings those who are consistently inconsistent to ON TOP at Le Bain at The Standard Hotel Highline (444 West 13th Street). But wait, there’s more! Frankie Sharp who always stands and delivers at Westgay at Westway (75 Clarkson Street). Tonight there is too much going on to print here, but you can find out more on Facebook.

Out With Siouxsie And The Banshees, In With Nicole Sabouné

Nicole Sabouné

It’s Wednesday, sometimes known as “hump day,” because once you get past it you are over the hump and it’s downhill to the wonderful weekend. In nightlife it is a key night, one of the hardest to fill. It was my theory when booking nightclubs to make Wednesdays an alternative night. The feeling is to do something off the beaten programming to give regulars a rest. Regulars are those crazy folks who show up every night, making your joint their home. At the established places like Marquee, The Box and Provocateur and even the dive joints like Lit or Passenger Bar, the regulars are a dependable base crowd. The Wednesday Rock night at Marquee lasted over six years with Paul Sevigny and Patty Doria setting the tone. The Marquee regulars at that time, a straighter bunch, mostly stayed away. It didn’t make as much money on the Wednesday but pushed the crowds into Thursday and Fridays and a solid Tuesday. Once in a while a big fish would come in and spend a fortune and the night because it was actually not dark, it was open, it made money. One time a gent spent nearly a quarter of a million on a Wednesday. This practice, it is thought, gives greater longevity to a club.

The Wednesday Feel Up! party at Gilded Lily is a great example. It is not their normal crowd but a smorgasbord of all the great downtown players. Paul Sevigny, Susanne Bartsch, Erik Foss, Andre Saraiva, Tommy Saleh, Simonez Wolf, and a slew of others make this shindig a beautiful thing. I talk about this night a lot.

I go out a lot. Last week I saw something amazing. I’ve been around… it’s tough to amaze me at a nightclub. There, live on stage, was Nicole Sabouné, a Swedish act so new they aren’t even on YouTube. I always believed that most unknown bands would stop a club night dead. Most patrons would ignore them or worse, leave. It didn’t happen. Susanne Bartsch exclaimed to me that they are “the new Siouxsie and The Banshees!”

The hippest of the hip turned to the stage as one track after another blew us away. This was what clubs were about. The greatness of Nicole Sabouné’s performance underlined the greatness of this weekly party. There was a time when clubs broke music, fashion and social behavior. It is stirring again at Gilded Lily (408 W 15 Street) tonight.

Last night I wish I coulda, ‘cause I woulda went to Galerie Au Bon Punk Presents Clayton Patterson and Elsa Rensaa: The $16 Burger Show (open through May 16). It was held in the old Pop Burger space (58-60 Ninth Avenue between 14th and 15th Street).  Here’s what it was about according to the press release:

“It foregrounds large scale embroideries based off of Clayton’s tattoo society posters, Clayton’s original paintings, his eponymous embroidered hats, and Elsa’s miraculous acrylic paintings.

This entire project sprung out of a kind of discontent for the current cultural state of New York, a series of serendipitous happenings, and a desire to establish a supportive community of creative thinkers in which ego is an unknown concept. It is difficult to say what art is or represents in today’s world because media, people’s minds and society in general are so fragmented. We aren’t really trying to play by the rules seeing as this endeavor is unconventional and, from my viewpoint, besides the realm of art. My partners and I all have backgrounds in marketing, music, film and for one reason or another brought this to fruition from a beginning thought of wanting Clayton to design jacket back patches for a band because we couldn’t think of any other person within the cultural landscape of New York with more historical relevance and dignity still walking the mean streets. Emerson once said “under all these screens I have difficulty detecting the precise man that your are but do your thing and I shall know.” The screens and veneers that people keep up in this city are what cultivate a sense of spiritual bankruptcy and Clayton is one of the few who are genuine to the core. This is really just a younger generation paying our respect to someone we look up to because it is within our capabilities to do so justly. We are all misfits to a certain extent so this is a great American hold-up of sorts.”

On The New York Scene: DJs, Live Gigs, and Lemurs

Sandflower, who’s playing at Knitting Factory tonight.

I guess part of my job description is to turn you on to events you might not have heard of. It’s easy to talk about Pacha or 1OAK or Marquee or such places but I try to get you info on parties that aren’t… usual. With that in mind I’m here to tell you about Stony Brook University’s 2014 Stars of Stony Brook Gala. The event will honor primatologist and conservationist and lemur expert Dr. Patricia C. Wright. I am told there will be real, live lemurs on hand. Holy Madagascar! Dr. Wright’s work in Madagascar is featured in the new IMAX® documentary Island of Lemurs: Madagascar. Morgan Freeman narrates the film, currently in theaters. The gala is tomorrow night, Wednesday, April 16, at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers (20th Street at Hudson River Park) at 7:30 p.m.  I’m going and packing Handy-Wipes.

Pals of mine are headed to Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn) tonight to catch a bunch of bands with solid followings of often un-solid people (my pals). It reckons to be fun. Doors are at 8 p.m. On the bill? Jogyo, Sandflower, Dangerous Muse, Patrick Toussaint, Emanny, and DJs Wonder and FX filling in the blanks between. If you are out and about and interested in an alternative, tonight PopGun presents a Martin Bisi album release event at Glasslands (289 Kent Ave, Brooklyn). Bands include Martin Bisi, Black Valleys, Larkin Grimm, and Parlor Walls.

Okay, okay if your mom or girlfriend/boyfriend/significant other only lets you play in Brooklyn on weekends then visit DJ Ms. Cal at Three of Cups (85 First Avenue). She offers up dirty rock ‘n roll, metal, garage, punk, and sludge.  Or check out Filth at the always dependable Home Sweet Home (131 Chrystie Street) where DJs Aaron K (ruff club, germs) and Lauren Dillard (germs, creep) offer up the likes of The XX, Kingdom, Pictureplane, and Robin S, Kyla.

Gabby Meija Returns; It’s Bar Naná This Friday

There is a new sheriff in town and everybody best shape up. Gabby Meija has returned from the void (Miami) and threatens to make the Meatpacking District-nightlife relevant to an adult and musically cognizant set. Gabby was the force du nuit at subMercer, a place that for years was the go-to for those who didn’t go anyplace else — at least without being paid, dragged or sentenced. It was grand; a perfect blend of sophistication, debauchery, great underground music and Gabby. Gabby was the face of the place. Think Rick Blaine from Casablanca. Her enemies, of course, were fewer, but still she had to fight off the encroaching boredom of a scene obsessed with bottle service and Top 40 music. subMercer was all that it could be and it was all Gabby Meija and her team, including door legend/artist Richard Alvarez. They made everyone feel that this was their own special place. We are so blessed that she has returned and at a new gig at Bar Naná (63 Gansevoort Street).

This Friday will be a special night as old friends and new welcome her back home. DJs slated — and there will be surprises, I’m sure — are Edda P., Beto Cravioto, Justin Strauss. Eli Escobar, and Sameer Umar. I caught up with Gabby and asked her all about it.

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You were the face and soul of subMercer, one of my favorite haunts. You split to Miami and now you are back. What you were doing down south? Why you came back?

Aw, what a gem sub was! Great because of wonderful folks like you who frequented and filled it. And, last but not least, because of all the exceptional DJs (again, like yourself) who played the music — it really came to define the place.  Those were the days!

After three nocturnal, subterranean years though, I needed to resurface, reset, get some Vitamin D, and see the world again. I made sunny Miami my home-base, perfected my tan, DJed occasionally and racked up a lot of frequent flyer miles – there’s nothing like Cuba or the Galapagos to really put things in perspective. New York can really make you feel like you’re living in the Matrix sometimes, no? But then you miss it. Thankfully, though, I missed all that miserable Polar Vortex business.

What is your new position?

Director of Operations at Bar Naná, which is English for “la grande doyenne”  😉

Tell me about the space and its operators.

It’s intimate, well laid out, and really gorgeous — smart and sexy with tasteful restraint. I love that nightlife seems to really be thriving again in New York, but I’m amazed (and fascinated) by how “Miami” or “Vegas” some of the new spaces are. We run a strong cocktail program, and will also soon be serving delectable nibbles as a café of sorts during the day, and will offer late night lounge bites. The partners are all very pro; Jimmy Haber is a successful restaurateur, David Rabin is a nightlife boss and former head of the New York Nightlife Association, and Kyle Hotchkiss Carone is a young, clever and very connected man, whom you should keep an eye out for as a new, notable player in the game. He’s got his finger on the pulse with all things cool, and has some other good collaborative projects in the works.

At sub, Andre Balazs wasn’t all that hands on, at least on the day to day. David Rabin is probably different.

Well, Andre Balazs, first and foremost, is a hotelier, so keep in mind that bars and restaurants are just one facet of a hotel’s many operations.  I think it’s also hard to remain very hands on as your portfolio of properties grows. That said, I was always amazed by how often he actually frequented each property, quietly observing every outlet with his meticulous attention to detail. He always checked in, asking our thoughts and encouraging dialogue on how to improve or elevate service. What I loved the most was the creative autonomy he entrusted me with. That’s rare in this biz.

David Rabin is a true nightlife vet, having owned some of the city’s best clubs over the years. He “gets it” and knows the business inside and out, so he’s incredibly savvy and very involved in the day-to-day operations of each of his properties, but also gives a lot of creative freedom to let his spaces evolve organically and naturally develop their own distinctive style and feel. David is super cool, laid back and very sociable, so he has also fostered many positive relationships over the years, and you see that pay off by having a loyal following and many good, willing collaborators.

At sub you programmed the music and Djed as well. What are you trying to do with the music at the new spot?

I wouldn’t say I’m deliberately trying to do anything per se, except not be run-of-the-mill and let the DJs express themselves freely. It’s a neighborhood saturated with bars and clubs, all vying for the same crowd and playing similar Top 40 or EDM. I plan for us to be a bit divergent. Music is so precious and key though that I am adamant about only leaving it in the hands of truly, dedicated and passionate DJs who care about their craft and music deeply. Don’t expect to see many moonlighting, press-play type of DJs, but do expect exceptional music that will leave you reeling. Also, expect some great live music. It makes for a really beautiful, intimate live music venue.

Tell me about this coming Friday’s party.

It’s the usual Camp Gabby production, showcasing some of the best DJs on the local scene, but it’s more concentrated this time — meaning it’s five and not 25 DJs this night. David wanted to do a homecoming party for me and to invite all of our friends to experience the space, so it should be a fun, happy reunion for many of us. It’s going to be heavy on hugs.  I guess I should mention we’re clearing some of the furniture that night.

I also wanted to introduce some of the brilliant resident DJs on our roster, most of whom I’ve had the privilege of working with before. I’m particularly excited about Edda P, who’s been on the downtown scene for a long time, living it up as a model, but whose recent transition to DJing is something I’ve been waiting for now for a while. Edda has incredible taste and an innate sense of music. It’s been a long time coming.

You once paired me as a DJ with the legendary Mark Kamins. What did he do wrong to you to prod you to punish him like that?

What did I say about all the self-deprecating humor, Steve? I loved that night. It still sticks out because it was so positive and there was so much love and special history in the room that night. There was you and Mark (RIP), Justin Strauss, Richard Alvarez, the Walters, Maripol and so many others. Watching you two ribbing each other was a trip! I loved Mark, he was so loving and jovial and supportive. He really wanted to do an early jazz night at sub, which I loved the idea of  I’m sad we never got around to doing it. He is much missed.

Who are some of the DJs you will be bringing in?

Edda P, Beto Cravioto, Justin Strauss, Eli Escobar, Saheer Umar, Lloydski, Stretch Armstrong, Lindsey Caldwell, Ge-Ology, Kamala Jefferson, Darshan Jesrani, Lauren Martinez, Max Pask and many more.  And if I’m lucky (fingers crossed), Steve Lewis!!  😉

Raven O Does Sinatra And Then Skips Town (And What To Do This Weekend In New York)

Two rare treats will make Sunday and Monday shine for those in the know. That will include you, if you read on.

This Sunday, March 23rd, that rare treat known as Raven O will perform at the Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street) at 9:30 p.m. His show — Raven O, Sinatra “My Way” — will be his take on classic Old Blue Eyes’ tunes. It will be a last chance for many to see the brilliant former front man of The Box before he shuffles off to Miami Beach. He’s lived here for 35 years and this move will leave us missing him. Tickets are $20 with a two drink minimum . V.I.P. packages are available, too.

This Monday, March 24th my very special friend Eric Schmalenberger along with Barbara Maier Gustern present “Songs That Propelled Us” at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette Street) from 9:30 p.m. This show, hosted by Tammy Faye Starlight, includes nearly every bold faced name in downtown performance art. There are so many performers that even if nobody else shows up it will be a great crowd. The players are Justin Vivian Bond, Michael Cavadias, Angela DiCarlo, Earl Dax, Eisa Davis, Mai Fujisawa, Miguel Gutierrez, Nicholas Gorham, Soozie Hwang and the Realastics, Our Lady J, Carol Lipnik, Heather Litteer, Amber Martin, Nancy Magarill, Carlos Ponton, Chris Rael, Lady Rizo, Viva Ruiz, Eric Schmalenberger, Sofia Tosello, Sonda Weigl . Pinky Weitzman with Not Waving But Drowning, Geo Wyeth, and Roseanna Vitro. Plus there will be surprise guests! The rest of the town will be empty. It’s all for a great cause as proceeds will benefit New York Voices, Joe’s Pub’s artist commissioning program, and the Ali Forney Center.

How To Party In New York On A Wednesday: St Jerome’s, Gilded Lily and Baby, I’m A Star

Tonight, the beloved St. Jerome’s will reopen as Rivington F&B. That F&B stands for food and beverage. (It’s hard to get straight up bars and clubs through community board scrutiny without a food component.) The old St Jerome’s ownership isn’t on board; rather the folks from DL/Delancey/Apt 13 are behind this endeavor. They have had this experience before and are launching right, kitchen and all. I saw the space when in its former iteration and took a tour before they acquired it. Unbeknownst to many there was an additional 1,500 or so square feet behind the bar, virtually unused. This back room had high ceilings with ancient tin and looked spectacular in its decayed state. It will be interesting to see how the natural assets were incorporated into design and how much space the kitchen takes up.

I can only stay for a minute as I have been asked again to DJ at Gilded Lily (408 West 15th Street) for the Paul Sevigny-spearheaded Wednesday night soiree Feel Up! The cast of characters includes Tommy Saleh, Julio Montero. Erik Foss, Andre Saraiva, Susanne Bartsch, Amanda Lepore, Simonez Wolf, Zac Lucien, Dan Regan and Cole Mohr. I am opening for the flabbergasting-ly great Sammy Jo and Franco V (tour DJ for the Scissor Sisters). The opening week was amazing. I hear last week was even better, and tonight the spring in the air puts a spring in our feet (and other places,) so this night figures to be super hot. If the third time is indeed the charm then this night will be undeniable going forward. I will linger at Gilded Lily for a bit, but then since I will be all dressed up with so many places to go I will hop over to Bowery Electric to peruse all the sexy people at Kayvon Zand and Anna Evan’s Dorian Gray bash. Tonight it’s Grimm’s Fairy “Tails” with a live performance by Mirror Kisses. It’s also Demanda’s birthday, celebrated by this always demanding and in demand crowd.

If all this isn’t totally exhausting then a move is in order over to Baby I’m a Star: LA Reid’s Epic After Dark After Party hosted by the Legendary Damon and Kesington Kross. DJ Mos, DJ Kiss, and Bryan Michael Cox will provide music. This shindig is at Mister H (9 Crosby Street). We will talk about Damon Peruzzi again as his Annual Luxxball — his birthday bash – is coming up this Sunday, March 23rd at a soon to be announced location. All in all, a pretty good Wednesday.

Seamus Regan Saves Sundays

It’s hard to keep track of all the comings and goings of nightlife people and parties. Promoters take their parties from one venue to another looking for a Nirvana where their soirée can stick and they can make steady loot. Good weekly nights can run years and years at the same place with seemingly little effort; however, sometimes when the rug (or the club) is pulled out from under them, they will try to duplicate their success at another venue — and miss the mark. Sometimes the grass often seems greener at the new place on the scene, but there are so many variables to a successful party and promoters forget or maybe never understood what made their party click in the first place. Such things as location, attitude of unfamiliar staff, prices and all around vibe can be killing factors.

Susanne Bartsch abruptly ended her Sunday night Vandam party after it was less than a smash at Le Baron. After a brilliant opening night it didn’t really work again. Susanne has opted to wait for the inevitable spring for a relaunch — somewhere else. On paper it looked like a perfect fit, but that paper didn’t have the weather report on it.

At the Greenhouse/W.I.P. venue that Bartsch ruled on Sundays for eons, early shock at the downfall of a formerly awesome weekly event turned quickly into professional proactive action. Greenhouse assessed what they had going for them and continued on with another Sunday party — and it’s a hit.

Seamus Regan one of the top bartenders in this town. His nightlife pedigree includes Magnum, Lava, Chaos, Chaos2, Limelight, Life, Plaid, Cheetah, Select, CroBar, NA, Nells, Spider Club, DarkLight, Elsinore, Bantam, Home, Guesthouse, W.I.P., and Greenhouse just to name a few. Reagan took the bull by the horns and created a new night out of what normally would be defeat. Seamus has owned and operated a few bars, run the door at joints, but he loves the action banging out drinks. He went to NYU for finance, spent some time on Wall Street and even owns Salon 13, where, by the way, you can get a good haircut. His grandfather helped start the Bartenders Union and his sisters are in restaurants… He has the pedigree. I asked him how he came to maintain the Sunday nights at Greenhouse after the best promoter in town walked away.

Suzanne suddenly left. Was your first reaction to close? 

Not at all, I felt obligated to keep the event running. I took it over because of my love of the night. Kenny and Suzanne left on good terms. I’ve had a blast working with them these last six years. Jeez, I go back with Kenny right around when I met you at the front door of Limelight… so that’s about 1992? I think I missed five Sundays in the last six years. Sundays are a labor of love. It takes a lot to get me out of the house on a Sunday. Trust me on that. Yet I’m definitely programming from the background. So basically no one knows it’s me. Not because I don’t want to be associated, but I believe the kids working for me deserve their shot in the spotlight..

How are you making the new Sunday party work?

The Sunday party is still going on at Greenhouse.  Its’ still LGBT-oriented as well. I hired the up and coming new drag queens, hosts, performers, porn stars and DJs to perform — kids you would hire, Steve, if you had creative control. You’ve always had that eye for talent, brother.  I took in Acid Betty, Pusse Couture, Epiphany, Jimmi Sprinkles, Scotty Rox, Cazwell, and Peppermint — true performers in their own right.

I am adding raunchy shows and surprise contests to keep the crowd motivated all night. Hell, last week the drag queens were chasing patrons around with a leaf blower filled with confetti… The room was a sea of gyrating patrons for as far as the eye could see. We couldn’t get people in the door fast enough… It worked… The contests… well, they will remain a secret for now. The shows… well, you will just have stop by and see for yourself.

Is it growing or just maintaining?

It’s getting huge. I’m giving the new kids a chance and it’s working. Kids from Hells Kitchen, Harlem, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, kids that are out every night of the week, kids who spend all week working on their outfits and hours on make up just ‘cause they love it are embracing the new fun. Promoters are chomping at the bit to work for me now on Sundays. Word has spread that it’s an open forum of freedom and expression.

The staff all stuck through the change?

I’ve had the same hand picked hardworking bar crew from day one. Blaise, Anthony Philips and Freddy. Their personalities add to the mix every week. Blaise’s incessant need to remove his shirt even in 10 degree weather… We still bet every Sunday on what time he takes his shirt off. Don’t ever tell him though); Anthony’s constant, cheerful banter; Freddy’s charming demeanor. And me, well me… I’m just lucky I guess. I’m pretty sure you once wrote you were taking myself and Blaise on the Noah’s Ark of nightlife in BlackBook a couple years ago.

Are you surprised the Le Baron party didn’t work? 

That’s not my place to say. Le Baron is a beautiful space. Kenny and Suzanne have an amazing eye for curating events. I truly wish them the best.

What are other nights like at Greenhouse?

Greenhouse is an institution. There are not a lot of nightclubs out there that survive six years. There are definitely not a lot of nightclubs out there that survive six years, pack the place when open and outshine at providing a unique product on a nightly basis. Greenhouse excels at this performance.

Why is it important that a club that has mostly hip-hop and house programming have an alternative night?

That’s a great question. I will answer it this way: When Greenhouse is one gigantic dance floor on a Sunday, there is an energy that reminds me of my younger days at Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium, etc. There’s that feeling of belonging, exploration, identity, and excitement that’s so hard to find these days in other nightclubs. It’s so homogenized. Everyone cares about the bottom line and rightfully so. But the fun usually happens when you don’t. Why let a legendary night fade away…

Paid Police Detail at Nightclubs, and Farewell to Detective Chris Strucker

Last week I suggested that new Mayor Bill de Blasio appoint a nightlife Czar to handle the multi-billion dollar nightlife industry. The objective was to have a city office that helps clubs, bars and other licensed premises integrate with residents and business interests. The film industry, with far less tax and economic potential, has such an office that helps with permitting and community impact. Another idea debunked under the Mayor Bloomberg/Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s regime is the “paid detail unit” use for nightclubs. The paid Detail Unit are uniformed, armed police officers that can basically be rented for use by private institutions and individuals.

If you go into a bank on Broadway you might see such a cop instead of a security guard. The rate is about $37 an hour. This unit became controversial when officers paid for by banks were used to disrupt anti bank protesters during the Occupy Wall Street protests. The Paid Detail Officers are not available at this time for hire in nightclubs. Siting possible corruption from the nightlife sector, police officers are not allowed to work at clubs. This seems hypocritical with corruption seemingly more plausible doing the handiwork of corporate/banking giants. Paid Detail Units protect the stock exchanges, Wall Street corporations and the power elite. In 2011 the unit collected 11.8 million bucks. The site Crooks and Liars cited a police officer comment:

“Regarding the officer working for, and being paid by, some of the richest people and organizations in the City, if not the world, enforcing the mandates of the private employer, and in effect, allowing the officer to become the Praetorian Guard of the elite of the City. And now corruption is no longer a problem. Who are they kidding?”

Nightclubs and local residents are often at odds. The main culprit is noise. Certainly a police officer paid for by a club could regulate the noise levels from DJ music. The officer could quiet honking cabs and loud talking drunks and smokers. The officer would be a deterrent to thieves and brawlers. He would be a person a resident could speak to about a particular issue. He would be an armed and trained deterrent to terrorists who have targeted clubs globally. Clubs would gladly pay the costs. The cop would mean less of a threat of robbery and other security issues, and less of a bonded security payroll. He or she might help bridge gaps between clubs and residents. The $9 billion industry is a necessity for our increasingly tourist-based economy. It is time the Mayor protects this industry and brings fair play into the equation. At the present time regulation by NYPD is inconsistent at best and illegal if not immoral at worst. Most clubs establish good relations with their local precinct but if one looks at the persecution of Pacha – which won at its day in court over NYPD – or the current persecution of Greenhouse/WIP, the urgency of fair play is underscored. Corruption is a lame excuse. Let’s hope new Police Commissioner William Bratton considers making the Paid Detail Unit available to the nightlife industry.

On another note, I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of retired Detective Chris Strucker from complications of lung damage he suffered while working at the World Trade Center ruins following the 9/11 attacks. The resulting cancer took our friend on January 3rd. Chris was a great cop and a familiar face to the industry. He was a fair and honest broker, loved and respected. His funeral and wake info:

This Thursday Jan 9th 6-9 p.m. or Friday Jan 10th 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at William M. Gagan Funeral Home, 1525 County Road 7, Pine Bush, NY

Church of the Savior, 22 Holland Avenue Pine Bush NY, Saturday 10 a.m.

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Alan Cumming, Bruce Weber, Susan Sarandon, at Susanne Bartsch’s

Today feels like the beginning of the sprint to the finish line. Christmas looms and New Years Eve a quick countdown behind that, and everyone is bustling. My retail friends look like my cokehead friends, and yes there is some overlap. My chic friends are saying things like “Mexico” and “Bali” and “See you next year” and I haven’t even made my list – let alone checked it twice. I’m sticking with my New Years resolution of the last two years: be friendlier to people I really like and discard those who annoy me or don’t cut it with me anymore. The shopping will be easy. Most people can be covered with a trip to one or two stores. Michelle Varian at the bottom of Crosby on Howard has a million cool things to cover all your bases. In Brooklyn, Milly and Earl has everything, including insanely chic small gifts for the home as well as cards and ornaments and knick knacks. Shopping, with a few exceptions, will take me an hour. There is much to be thankful for and much shopping to do, but before all that I’ll tell you what events I’m going to attend this coming week.

Tonight, seeing Jogyo at Webster Hall Studio is a must. He is performing with Dynasty Electric and Rhythm & Stealth. This past summer Dru (Jogyo) was senselessly attacked in broad daylight. He lost an eye, but he is recovering. He is performing and working on an album. His story is inspiring. Tuesday I am torn between Susanne Bartsch’s and David Barton’s Toy Drive, and Frankie Sharpe’s Westgat XXXMas party. I and always torn between Susanne and Frankie. The Susanne event is undeniable, with hosts Alan Cunning, Bette Midler, Bruce Weber, Calvin Klein, Debbie Harry, Hamish Bowles, Nan Bush, Narcisco Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, Steven Klein, Susan Sarandon and Valerie Steele. Joey Arias will perform and everyone’s favorite daddy Johnny Dynell will DJ. A new unwrapped toy (for kids of all ages, including teenagers) is required for admission. It’s at the Soho Grand (310 West Broadway) and goes from 1 p.m. ‘til 1 a.m. I mean, WOW! Frankies Westgay (75 Clarkson Street) soiree features guest DJ Taryn Manning of Orange is the New Black. This is always fun and a great spot after Susanne’s. If neither of these events floats your boat… don’t worry about it, I have friends like you too. I suggest Kid Capri, Grandmaster Flash and Jam Master Jay’s son TJ Mizell at the ever-wonderful Finale (199 Bowery). This is old school and you will smile and dance. Wednesday I only have eyes for Kayvon Zand and his merry band at Dorian Gray. A performance by Narcissister and a birthday bash for Jess Daly will bring them all out of the woodwork, out of the dark corners and shadows. This is my favorite weekly, and it has a fabulous home at Bowery Electric (327 Bowery at Joey Ramone Place.) Thursday I will DJ at the weekly Rock and Roll party at Hotel Chantelle. This has been so much fun of late. A great deal of my friends who don’t worship the rock Gods are heading to Input at Output (74 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn). There, George Fitzgerald, Walker and Royce and Michael Simonetti will provide the music. Another great choice is the opening of 303, a cool downstairs den at Louie and Chan (303 Broome Street). This is going to be hot, and I’ll get you more details in the next couple days. Friday I will be at Manitoba’s, dive bar-ing. I’ll probably shop all day and see the new Hobbit flick. The 2nd Annual Pimp ‘n’ Ho Ho Ho Holiday Bash from Craig Clemans will be held at a still secret location. I missed last year but was told it was great fun. This year’s party will benefit Feeding America. Saturday, The Dirty Pearls will absolutely sleigh it at their Christmas Show at Irving Plaza (17 Irving Place). Brian Newman and Breedlove and many more will join them. There will be an after party at Arlene’s Grocery.

Photo: Steven Menendez