BlackBook’s Latest Party at GunBar

Omg, I had so much fun last night. I DJed at the latest and greatest BlackBook party – it was an easy gig to get because I have an “in” there. The gala was at GunBar, a space in a place that was something else, which isn’t worth talking about. I mean—everything in Meatpacking was something else. They used to hang cow carcasses where swells now sip $1,000 bottles of champagne. In time it all gets washed away, and now it’s a playground for jet-setters and raucous revelers. GunBar is different and not just for the sake of it. It’s rock ‘n roll purity in a most unlikely place.

Surrounded by Eurotrash boites and wannabe model-bottle haunts, GunBar takes a left turn from faux elegance. It takes me and you back to a time when the Meatpacking District was a bit less fabulous.

Co-owner Bobby Persson (Southside) greeted me warmly and showed me to the DJ booth, which was inspiring. His partner Aaron Elbaz (Bagatelle) would later visit the booth and continuously turn the sound up, up, up. He’s a turn-it-up-to-eleven kind of guy, and the Funktion One sound system is really a dream. Usually found in all the best house head clubs, the Funktion One is the Rolls Royce of systems. It even made me sound good. In the smallish basement you could hear every word, drum beat, and guitar lick like you were in the studio with the band.

I like GunBar. Every inch of it is covered by graffiti artist Lucas Benarroch’s vision of a time that was. Its ‘80s street chic references brought me back to places like Stickball and Berlin and Save the Robots. It’s a place I can hang my hat and let loose after putting on my game face at surrounding joints. GunBar is a breath of fresh air. Fingerprint Communications P.R.’s gal on the go, go, go, Ariel Moses was gushing about her account and hit it on the head when she spoke about how it is so fundamentally correct. A long time ago—and yes, I’ve told this story before—I ran a joint called the World with a bunch of savvy dudes and after the initial push they never spent a dime maintaining it.

There was one particular period where all the bathrooms were broken. There were holes in the stairs and water was leaking torrentially from a broken pipe. Owner Arthur Weinstein’s solution to our problems was not to fix anything but to just focus lights on them. Well, Andy Warhol walks in one night and I begin blathering and apologizing about how much of a mess the place was. He told me that any place that is too neat or too clean can’t be any fun and that was that.

GunBar seems gritty. Although that grit might be just as big an illusion as the spit and polish glamour of the joints next door, the straight up honest approach to the game that Bobby and Aaron are bringing to the table makes it a must attend kind of place. After my set I had a Heineken and went to say hey to BlackBook head honcho Ari Horowitz and the crew, and I left the DJ booth in the very capable hands of DJ Martial. I caught up with my favorite person in the whole world, student/heartbreaker/ChiChi212 blogger Brittany Mendenhall. I considered getting a free tattoo from Michelle Myles (Daredevil, Fun City) but my next tat is of my Arturo and that must wait as it will take some hours.

I headed off into the night to see if it could be all that it could be. DJ Cassidy was on his way in and I apologized for not attending his birthday on the Intrepid July 6. I told him I was all a blur on July 6 after the long weekend and asked him if he would consider moving his birthday to a more manageable night next year. I think he replied that I’m not invited next year or something like that. The scene on the street outside was glam. The venue was sold out and so many familiar, fabulous folks were enjoying the breezy night knowing that a good party was downstairs. All got in with a little patience, the rarest commodity at these affairs. After that I headed East but won’t tell you all about it.

BlackBook Kicks Off GunBar Wednesdays

Yesterday evening, a new Wednesday night party got off to a promising start at GunBar, that new Disneyland dive bar (think underground space, graffiti-filled walls, and really, really clean) in the Meatpacking District, when BlackBook and Heineken gave a bunch of youngsters a good reason to blow off work the next day.

BlackBook’s resident nightlife philosopher Steve Lewis got things going behind the DJ booth with classic rock tunes that were loud and proud, before handing off laptop duties to Gunbar’s resident Wednesday night music man, DJ Martial. Kirill Bichutsky and his trusty SLR were everywhere, snapping stills of the sexy and non-sexy alike (just kidding, everyone there was sexy). GunBar’s pièce de résistance, a fully-functioning tattoo bar from Daredevil Tattoo NYC, was out in full force. Check out our gallery for pics. For the whole shebang, head to Kirill Was Here, because boy, was he ever.

Celebrating My Lady’s Birthday at La Esquina, Kenmare & APL

It was the love of my life, Amanda Noa’s, birthday last night and due to circumstances beyond my control we were unable to consider dining until almost 11pm. But late night fare in this town is getting swankier, if not better, so I did have some choices. I wasn’t going to get away with our usual afterhours spots Veselka or Kellogg’s Diner. It came down to the recently opened Marble Lane at the Dream Hotel or La Esquina. She opted out on the steak-centric Marble and we scooted off to La Esquina.

A couple months ago Noah asked me to suggest a name for his new steak house, and I suggested one based on a tattoo on my lady’s back. In honor of our relationship, she has a couple of tats that sum things up. One is a set of teeth with a string tied to them because dealing with me is like pulling teeth. Another is a rib-eye with a pretty bow on top, which is supposed to be “miss steak” or mistake. My gal won’t settle for just a spat – she permanently marks herself with her misgivings about me. Anyway, I suggested the gal-friendly name Miss Steak for Noah’s new spot. Apparently cooler heads prevailed… Marble Lane seems better. I’ll be out late tonight and will pop in. La Esquina remains my favorite haunt. Everything about the place is cool, cool, cool and the food is constantly terrific. We had a blast. For people in the club world, having a relationship is often problematic. We’re surrounded by distractions, many of our own devices. I’m lucky to have someone who puts up with me.

We stopped by Kenmare to say hey to Paul and Nur and found Nur in the back with some other birthday boy. Megan escorted us to see my man and we enjoyed small and big talk before scooting off to APL to wish co-owner Joey Verdone a happy birthday as well. As I hopped, skipped, and jumped to the nearby restaurant, I tried to figure out what date it was 9 months ago. My fingers told me October. After APL we headed to St. Jerome’s, a good place to end a night. It was a going away party for Hotel Chantelle barkeep/manager Dave Coleman, who’s off to Panama to find fame and fortune. He says he’ll be back in no time but I’ve got a $2 bet he’ll be a little late. A coke and a Bud in this legendary LES dive bar came in at the cheap Williamsburg price of $6. We listened to rock staples and laughed and had fun. No attitude here, just good music, a friendly atmosphere and inexpensive solid drinks. Sometimes the business is as easy as that.

Tonight I will DJ rock ‘n roll hootchie coo as Gunbar launches its Wednesday night party. The affair is hosted by BlackBook, thus me getting the gig. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. Saturday I will go to another birthday bash at the newly opened Mother’s Ruin, next to Bread. Dana Dynamite, my favorite PR and marketing flack, will show us how she got her name. I’m sure client Sailor Jerry Rum will lend a hand. I had a few sips of that cheap beer so I’m a little out of it today – I’ll cut things short. As regular readers know, I only have a drink two or three times a year…whenever I have sex. So I guess the second half of 2011 will be…exciting