Pineapple-Caramel Margaritas & A Taco Shack Hit NYC Today

What did I just hear? The sound of acoustic guitar music and pork belly sizzling on an open grill? Yes. With today’s opening of Tequila Park, the new tequila and taqueria at the Hudson Hotel, NYers are offered an evening of sipping strawberry-mint and pineapple-caramel margaritas, holding a maple-braised taco in one hand and kimchi shrimp nachos in the other, and reclining into a sea of throw pillows –  all to the sweet sounds of live, acoustic guitar music and a 20-foot outdoor movie screen playing black-and-white classics.

With 40 kinds of tequilas and an actual taco shack doling out Sriracha cheese steak and tuna tacos, Tequila Park is basically that place you go when you 1. Can’t afford to go to Mexico 2. Are sick of eating pasta and 3. Have a “thing” for sexy, scruffy acoustic guitar players.

Get the inside-scoop on Tequila Park, & follow Bonnie on Twitter here.

Winter’s Coming: Cold-Themed Hotel Bar Openings

The Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a frostier than usual winter in New York City, with plenty of snow. After getting a free pass last year, it’s time to re-learn the cozy side of cold. New York hotels are dropping winter wonderlands in bar spaces that not so many weeks ago were all about mini dresses and mojitos. Hot winter nights. Now available independent of global warming.

Manhattan may be short on chairlifts, but that’s no reason you can’t enjoy an après-ski scene. The Hudson Hotel has converted its second-floor Private Park into a rustic pocket of Vermont. Taxidermy, Christmas lights, and mismatched chairs provide northern accents inside the Hudson Lodge’s leafy oasis. “Eat” in lights directs you to the bar, where snacks are divided into savory and sweet. Fondue is primed for a comeback, joined here by fellow cold weather bites like s’more grilled cheeses and chipotle chili. Drinks are standing by for Arctic blasts, with adulterated hot chocolates joined by hot toddies and a classic Irish coffee. If you’re missing snow they’ve got that, too, as artificial white stuff falls through happy hours. Just not enough to cut any powder tracks.

Over at Brandon Freid‘s sweet Sanctuary Hotel, rooftop spot HAVEN is also going for the ski chalet gold. A newly installed tent keeps things warm, and makes the scale more intimate than the longer vistas of summer. Crimson accents and stellar light fixtures add to the holiday spirit. The rebooted menu features fondue (of course), with the kitchen working hearty/savory angles. The cocktail augmentations approximate what they might be drinking at the North Pole come December 26th—candy cane martinis, Irish coffees, and Bailey’s Peppermint hot cocoas are among the highlights.

Hôtel Americano’s rooftop bar turns up the cozy with its new Patagonia-inspired aerie Conôsur. The space in summertime hosts the pool scene of La Piscine, but winter sees the same waters warmed up for hot tubbing. The solarium dining room has been made Viking-friendly, with tall white candles and sheepskin on the seats. The kitchen picks up the Patagonia theme with a South American-style parilla grill. Flank and strip steaks pair up nice with bone marrow and chimichurri. There’s fondue, too, leaning on beer in the Suisse, white wine in the Savoyarde. Signature winter cocktails split neatly into hot and cold. On the former, don’t miss the Danny el Fuego, fired with amaretto, apple brandy, butter, and ginger juice.

Coming later this winter is the Hilton New York’s entry for winter-themed boozing. New Zealand by way of Las Vegas export Minus5° Ice Bar (pictured) prides itself on the art of frozen water. The –5 refers to the ambient temperature, which stays on the south side of zero Celsius to ensure the surroundings don’t start to melt. Everything is made of ice. Walls, seats, bar, even the glasses. To stave off frostbite, they’ll gear you up first with protective jackets and north country hats. Vodka rules the roost, served in glasses made of frozen New Zealand artesian water. Souvenir photos will be available, should you want to work up a pose with the ever-changing collection of ice sculptures. (If my study of Green Bay Packers home games is relevant, expect a lot of men taking shirts off for the camera.)

[Related: BlackBook New York Guide]

Into going out? Then download the free, GPS-enabled BlackBook City Guides app for your iPhone or Android and always know the best spots to hit, wherever you are. And if you want to stay on top of all the major openings and events in New York or your city of choice, sign up for BlackBook Happenings, a fun, informative, non-spammy email newsletter with the latest and greatest goings-on, delivered to your inbox every Monday.

Blitzkrieg Bop: Marky Ramone Plays Gramercy Theatre

Hey Ho! Lets Go! These words were a call to arms when the Ramones ruled my universe, and this city’s heart. There was a time when guitar solos led into drum solos and a thousand lead singers with big hair sang songs about love and knights and such, and the lyrics were flowing and even understandable. Along came the Ramones, their 1, 2, 3, 4 scream being the only way you could tell that they were on to the next chapter. It was one long bang, with a frenzy only punk, hardcore, and maybe war could achieve.

Marky Ramone was the beat, the blast, the steady. His unrelenting attack on the skins with his sticks legitimized the frenzy. Now they’re all gone except for Marky. Yeah, I know about Tommy and CJ and the et ceteras, and I can’t put them down, but for me the core four were Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny, and Marky. I had the honor of knowing and hanging with all of them before I was Steve Lewis. It was from the Ramones, and especially their lighting director and artist, Arturo Vega, that I learned the show biz skills I would apply when I had to entertain the masses.

Tonight, Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg will hit the Gramercy Theatre on East 23rd and it will be as close as it gets to the real deal. I caught this act at the Hudson Hotel back when it was first brewing, and I cannot wait to see it now that everyone is comfortable with their roles and classic cuts; I’m sure it’s not easy playing ghosts. It’s difficult to skate that fine line between imitation and respect. I am particularly interested in hearing the new stuff, including “If and When,” which is getting a buzz. Marky is a great guy and it makes me happy that we remain friends after so many years, trials, tribulations, and changes. Change is inevitable, but in our new world, classic is appreciated more than ever. Tonight’s act will take you to a place that still lives in the heart and soul of so many of us.

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I got myself a bug and didn’t give it enough respect until it knocked me down and out. I have lots to talk to you about, but it will have to wait. I’m going to take this giant beige pill and some red sticky liquid that they gave me and sleep the afternoon away.They told me it would “cure me,” but I’m not sure they understand how sick this lad really is. I’ll talk to you later. Need strength for tonight’s gig

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.”

Checking Out the New Downtown Dream

The culture of nightlife and the culture of hotels is about to change. For years, we have discussed the advantages of nightlife finding a protective home in the bosom of a hotel, with all its services, amenities, insurances, lobbyists, lawyers and all that expensive stuff that operators in non-hotel-based joints need to pay for on their own. Hotels are more than ever before driven by their food and beverage establishments. Plus, they come packed with rooms filled with guests who have the best money there is: vacation money.

Vegas has taught everyone that vacation money flows faster than the local variety. The rebirth of Nevada’s desert paradise was built on a shift from hawking gaming to emphasizing the attractions of their clubs and entertainment.

In New York, Ian Schrager drove home the concept of boutique hotels. The Gansevoort took it to new heights with its roof pool and exclusive Provocateur lounge. Food and beverage was driving its whole shebang. Andre Balasz took it all to the next level with The Standard. But lately, Morgans Hotel Group, with its new Mondrian and re-energized Hudson, has upped the ante.

The collaboration between TAO Strategic Group and the Chatwal father-son team of hoteliers redefines the art and the business of both nightlife and hotels. It is a game changer. The Chatwals, fronted by the fabulous Vikram, have had success with their Dream Hotel uptown, the Stay, and many others. They have pushed their nightlife/restaurant program to drive their places. Greg Brier operated Amelia and Aspen Social Club, designed by me and mine. He has had some success with Aspen, which is still under his control. Greg is my boy, but he isn’t TAO Strategic Group. To list all of TAO Strategic’s properties would require that second cup of coffee, so I’ll just offer some: Marquee (NYC and Vegas), Lavo (NYC and Vegas) Tao (NYC and Vegas), and Avenue. They are entwined in Beauty & Essex, Stanton Social, and even Artichoke Pizza. There’s projects everywhere that are hush-hush for a minute. Now, the Chatwals, with all their connections and experience and desire, have turned to them to make the food and beverage drive for their new Dream Downtown. It will take a dozen articles to describe what I saw when Noah Tepperberg showed me the place yesterday. Construction workers for contractor Carlo Seneca, who for my money is the go-to guy for this high-end construction work, were scurrying around to get it done. Private events start early next week, with the magnificent roof due on the 15th. Carlo will finish. His team takes pride in their work and he’s a guy who says “I’ll make it work” far more often than “I’m not sure I can.”

Noah told me about players to be named later, to help sell the place. He doesn’t need them. I’ve heard these names on the street, even though Noah wasn’t talking, and they’re all major, but the place is the perfect place at the perfect time with the perfect operators, and in the perfect location.

The pool is unreal. Noah says it’s perfect for at least 5 hours a day. The staff was being trained as I toured, and were all bright and eager. The design is genius. The one thing that was emphasized to me was that it wasn’t the attached-at-the-hip Maritime Hotel. Both places have those unique porthole windows. The dream team of designers/architects at Handel chose to clad the building in super-chic metal and bring back the ‘hole’ theme throughout. Most noteworthy are the holes at the bottom of the swimming pool, which has lobby-goers looking above. It’s the place the stuff that dreams are made of.

Rising Star Nicholas Hoult Flexes His Muscles in ‘X-Men: First Class’

It’s still early on a spring afternoon when Nicholas Hoult orders his fifth cup of coffee. “One more and I’ll get the shakes,” says the 21-year-old English actor, who touched down in New York late the night before after catching the red eye from London. He’d drifted in and out of sleep while flipping between two in-flight offerings: The Big Lebowski and a documentary about William the Conqueror. When he finally arrived at his suite in the Mondrian Soho hotel, he tossed and turned until the sun came up.

The fatigue shows, although not on his face. From inside the Hudson Hotel’s Private Park—The Secret Garden as imagined by Philippe Starck—Hoult’s mind wanders. He fiddles with chess pieces and spontaneously breaks into song to stay awake. “I can see clearly now the rain is gone,” he intones, over and over again, in a Barry Gibb-like falsetto. “I heard it on the lift,” he explains, “and now it’s stuck in my head.” He points two fingers at his right temple and pretends to blow his brains out.

Today’s Hoult looks nothing like the sad-eyed cherub who stole our hearts—and Hugh Grant’s—in the nuanced 2002 comedy About a Boy. For starters, he’s rocketed to what he calls a “gangly” 6’3”. It’s no wonder he was chosen by Tom Ford, who directed Hoult in last year’s stylized drama A Single Man, to replace supermodel Jon Kortajarena as the face of his Spring 2010 eyewear campaign. As a child, his visage had all the soft curves of a Volkswagen Beetle, but in the past decade it’s evolved into a Ferrari: clean, angular, and beautiful, with two azure headlights that could stop a deer in its tracks.

Later today, Hoult will fly back to Surrey, where he’s currently filming the big-budget fable Jack the Giant Killer, a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk for the Xbox generation, which also stars Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci. Hoult plays the film’s title character, a farm boy who risks his life to save a princess from a two-headed giant. Of his first leading role, he admits to feeling the weight of a studio on his shoulders. “I was very nervous at the start—I’m still nervous—but I try not to let it get to me,” he says. “Thankfully, Bryan is fantastic.”

That would be Bryan Singer, the alpha filmmaker who, in addition to directing Jack, also helmed X-Men and X-Men 2, and is a producer on this summer’s X-Men: First Class, in which Hoult also appears. Hoult was in Australia preparing to shoot Mad Max: Fury Road, a reboot of Mel Gibson’s star-making franchise (it would eventually get delayed), when he was awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call from his agent. It was good news: he’d been invited to screen test for X-Men: First Class. He boarded the first flight to London to meet with director Matthew Vaughn. “I thought it went terribly,” he says of his audition. He thought wrong. A few days later, he was on yet another flight to Los Angeles to get fitted for prosthetics. image

In X-Men: First Class, a prequel to the billion-dollar Marvel franchise, Hoult plays Hank McCoy, a brilliant scientist with a scholarly accent who mutates into the fuzzy blue creature known as Beast. (For the audition, Hoult did his best impression of Stewie, the diabolical baby from Family Guy, but in preparation for the role he watched countless episodes of Frasier in order to learn from its lead actor, Kelsey Grammer, who embodied Beast in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand.) “People were stroking my fur on set without even realizing it,” Hoult says.

Heavy petting aside, Hoult missed out, in many ways, on the usual hallmarks of adolescence. Like Real Housewives and megastar athletes, he’s never had to endure a conventional job. The closest he came to working a 9-5 was as an assistant to a friend who deejayed children’s birthday parties. “Sometimes we’d perform the dance to ‘Oops Upside Your Head,’ and if I was well-behaved, he’d let me fade across to a new song,” he says.

Since he first appeared in About a Boy, steady work has kept Hoult from enrolling in university. Still, he says, “I try to keep learning in other ways, like talking to my little sister about history, or reading her essays.” Hoult, who recently landed a plum role in Warm Bodies, Jonathan Levine’s zombie love story, continues to live with his parents (his mother is a piano teacher and his father is a commercial pilot) in his hometown of Wokingham in South East London. He’s in no rush to move out, especially since he’ll spend nine months in Australia next year on the set of Mad Max.

When asked about his movie career and encroaching fame, Hoult’s awkward modesty starts to resemble Jesse Eisenberg’s, the American poster boy for celebrity unease, and an actor with whom Hoult shared a BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award nomination in 2010. Like Eisenberg, Hoult, who detests watching himself on screen, squirms in his seat at premieres and shuts his eyes during certain scenes. He insists that walking the red carpet is terrifying because “There are so many people watching you.” Hoult revisits his fear of being watched several times during our interview, a bizarre, if not unfortunate sentiment for an actor. “I enjoy the acting part,” he says. “But then I forget that people are actually going to watch it.” Unlike Eisenberg, whose neuroses bleed into his characters in everything from Zombieland to The Social Network, Hoult’s nervous energy disappears on screen.

His knack for transformation is most glaring—computer-enhanced mutation notwithstanding—in the no-holds-barred British teen soap Skins. As the shameless schemer Tony Stonem, a role that elevated him to heartthrob status back home, Hoult flashed a mean streak that bordered on nihilism. Tony used his looks and confidence as weapons to dominate—and sleep with—his friends, essentially the opposite of flesh-and-blood Hoult, who comes off, if anything, as overly polite. When he filmed his first of many sex scenes for that show, he did so with the help of some liquid courage. “We grabbed a couple glasses of vodka and some champagne at 8 in the morning, and we just went on and did it,” he says. image

Hoult was relieved when his stint on Skins ended after its second season—“It was the right time to move on,” he says—but was wracked with nagging self-doubt about whether he’d ever work again. “I still worry that I’m never going to get another job. Whenever a new film comes out, I always worry that it’s going to be the one people look at and go, ‘Don’t ever hire him again.’”

Perhaps more than any other project he’s completed, it was A Single Man, and his role as Kenny, a chiseled, sexually ambiguous college student who takes a keen interest in Colin Firth’s suicidal professor, that ensured he’d never again want for parts. Hoult sent an audition tape to the film’s director, Tom Ford, who was then looking for actors to star in his big-screen adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s acclaimed novel. Hoult, who hadn’t previously understood Ford’s status in the fashion world, admits that he was worried he wouldn’t live up to the expectations of his esteemed colleagues. “I was doing my American accent, and Colin was doing his usual English accent, but I was letting mine slip. I remember thinking, Uh oh, I’m in trouble. But Colin is very relaxed and free, which made my job easy. There’s a fantastic subtlety to his acting, like you can read every thought and emotion that passes through his mind.”

Back at the Hudson Hotel, Hoult suggests we play a game of pool at the nearby Library Lounge. “Care to make a wager?” he asks with a shark-like grin. Timid before, he’s now showing teeth. We agree on 20 bucks, but Hoult keeps insisting he hasn’t got a shot. “I haven’t played in a while,” he says. “On the set of Skins, we occupied ourselves with pool and foosball all the time, had a leaderboard set up and everything, but I’m not very good. Maybe I’ll just lose on purpose, so I can smash this pool cue over my knee.” Grabbing the ends of the stick, he pretends to do just that.

Hoult uses his long, sinewy frame to his advantage, seemingly leaning from one end of the table to the other. While playing, he talks casually about anything that pops into his head: the royal wedding (sadly, he missed it); the ingredients of Jack the Giant Killer’s massive beanstalk (among other things, it’s made of celery and “bags of goo”); the American remake of Skins (he hasn’t seen it); and how excited he is to resume production on Mad Max this winter (extremely).

And then, it’s over. Hoult’s won by a mile. He leans back, satisfied, almost as if he’d intended to hustle me all along. I reach for my wallet, but he protests. “No way! I’m not actually going to take your money,” he says. “That was just to raise the stakes. I’m not much of a gambler.”

Photography by David Roemer. Styling by Christopher Campbell.

Memorial Weekend Recap: How to Do Summer in the City

This weekend was spent walking dogs, DJing, and watching war movies — 3 of my 5 favorite things. As the city emptied out, those who are not inclined to wallow in traffic and party like it’s 1999 enjoyed the relative quiet. Clubs in NYC were quiet as well, with many joints closing, and others pared down to skeletal staffs. With almost every real DJ cashing in out of town, guys like me had a chance. On Thursday, I opened for my friend Paul Sevigny at the roof garden of the glorious Hudson Hotel.

I left Paul with an upbeat track and he surprised me (and everyone) by turning to Mambo and assorted tracks often associated with the Riviera. Think: The Talented Mr Ripley. It was amazing, and the crowd went with it completely. Paul always surprises, and he always pulls it off. I took his lead and played soul and such for Stuart Bronstein and Ronnie Rivilini’s Canal Room art soiree on Sunday. A very hip crowd gathered to catch the bands, see the art from various geniuses, and listen to the DJs that followed me.There were things going on this weekend because experienced operators created something out of nothing.

One of the old war movies I caught was Oscar winner Patton. In a scene where the rowdy General is mustering his army to counter a German surprise assault at the Battle of the Bulge, Patton remarked that this is the time when all the hard work and training pays off. He would march his men for days in the worst winter in memory to win the day. As most joints lay fallow this weekend, I found out that Marquee had done great. Their Friday was banging and their Saturday just a little off. I texted co-owner/operator Noah Tepperberg, who told me Rocco Anacarola’s Sunday party at Lavo NYC was slammed, and that his Vegas joints were “like nothing he’d ever seen.” Indeed, weekends like this is where the experience kicks in. With a city and suburbs of 20 million + people, a zillion tourists visiting, and ships filled with sailors, there was no reason to be empty. I went to see The Hangover 2 and every show was sold out. I visited a couple of parks in Brooklyn and Central Park and they were jammed with young people who would make fine customers if only operators and promoters knew how to reach and entertain them. I always knew how, and although I was a little slower on Fridays and Saturdays, I was always OK. My Sundays were always banging and made up for any and all loss of revenues. I worked hard for my money.

What I saw in clubland this weekend was disgraceful emptiness due mostly to laziness and inexperience. The club scene is bloated with operators who basically fell into their roles as hundreds of small places replaced the mega clubs. Every nook and cranny now vies for a crowd of scenesters and hipsters, and it is indeed easy pickings until they have to perform outside the normal routine. Places like Marquee have spent years establishing a brand which, of course, is exported to Vegas for huge pay days/years. The myriad of non-branded places fail to open elsewhere and die on 3-day weekends. The tourists and New Yorkers in town this weekend knew that Marquee and a handful of other places would be fun and the quality of the music and staff would guarantee a good time. Marquee in New York may not be what it was 8, or even 5 years ago but it still makes loot and has a hundred million dollars worth of Vegas branding keeping it potent and potentially relevant again. Branding pays dividends. Most places can only stay viable for a year or 3, as most operators are functioning using systems they learned from other players. These systems often become irrelevant or just dead wrong or useless in time. The real players have learned to evolve and evolve their methods.

On another note, an operator asked me what I thought about letting sailors in to there joints as Fleet Week brought in thousands of these fellows. I sternly replied ‘let them in.’ I can’t imagine why anyone would keep them out— unless they were drunk or acting disorderly. On what grounds legal or moral can they be denied entry? If they’re old enough, that is (many are not). They are certainly dressed, and are deserving of the respect of the club community, especially considering the times and Memorial Day.

Steve Lewis Returns: Healing by Hitting the Party Circuit

First of all, how have you been? I can’t reply fine, thank you, as I have spent the last week and change sick as can be. I was a guest of the very fabulous Beth Israel Hospital, where I was lost in a drug fog for six days. No snide remarks from the peanut gallery, please. It seems last weekend Amanda and I got bit by something very little while walking the puppies in McCarren Park. The bites, which were just a little more than a mosquito’s work, were annoying but unimportant at the time. However, the next morning, they were swollen, infected, and suddenly very important. Within a day the swelling and all the guck associated with infections had spread to the neighboring fingers, my whole hand, and up my arm.

I went to Beth Israel thinking they would lance it, bandage it, give me some antibiotics, a couple of Advils, and send me home. Next thing you know I have a half-dozen IV’s in me and scalpels are slicing me up. I must have had 20 injections a day for my entire six-day stay. I felt like an Obama voodoo doll in Islamabad. Oh well, the Staph Infection that I got was respondent to antibiotics and I cured quickly. It could have been worse. Some say I got the infection from what appeared to be a spider bite and then picked up the Staph at the hospital. We’ll never know.

I have become an expert on spiders now. It’s very rare to get one, the experts say, but everyone that visited me said they knew someone who’d gone through it. It seems we New Yorkers buy lots of firewood, Christmas trees, antiques, and other things from exotic places where the nasty critters thrive. They hitchhike in and settle in our basements and walls, venturing out when the weather suits them. In Pennsylvania, I saw people bitten by Brown Recluse spiders, even though many experts swear they don’t venture that far Northeast. The crew that visited me daily were amazing. I lacked for nothing while I longed for my own bed. Beautiful women dressed for the evening popped by with flowers and DVD’S to the amazement of a staff who have seen everything. Although very weak, I ventured out last night to attend a few can’t-miss events.

Firstly, I rushed to a very early Cinco de Mayo affair at the besieged Los Feliz. This was a Cointreau-blessed gala hosted by the extraordinary Dita Von Teese. There was a new cocktail for the occasion, the Countreau MargaDita, and a menu by chef Julieta Ballesteros. I love Dita. I’d walk a thousand miles for one of her smiles. I promised Amanda I would drink responsibly and mind my manners. Murray Hill, just back from her whirlwind London Showbiz tour, made the introductions. I was shocked and awed—I had seen Dita do her thing a couple times at the now-defunct Happy Land. If you’ve never seen her perform for yourself, you surely have to. We chatted small talk, but agreed to bigger down the line. I was ready to move on to the next event.

When I had my fill of MargaDitas, I trotted off to the press preview/sneak peak at the kitchen of Joey Verdone’s APL. Marc Dizon and I designed the joint, and I was just dying to see the place with people in it who aren’t plumbers, painters, or electricians. Alas, those people rarely are invited back, even though they spend a year making it right. That’s not a criticism at all, it just happens on every job. The last week, when I was out of commission, the final tweaks were done. I am so upset that I couldn’t be there tweaking away, as this place has been a labor of love, and I sure hope people love it. There has certainly been ups and downs, and changes and delays, but in the end it looks like the right place, in the right location, at the right time. When the folding doors are all pushed to one side revealing the multi-layered, colorful Hobbit hole we have offered, I think the place will be wonderful. Lat night’s Cinco de Mayo bash was super-duper fun.

After all that, I still had my land legs. I headed to Hudson Hotel for the Vice Magazine soiree where my favorite new band, Davila 666, was playing. They’re from Puerto Rico, and Amanda knows them from there. I told you about them a couple of weeks ago. They are more fun than a barrel of MargaDita-drunk monkeys, and I’m telling you to catch them whenever you can. Vice parties have their vices, and too many were lurking around to enjoy myself. After the band, I looked for a sweeter solution. I didn’t have to go far.

I had an amazing meal just upstairs at the Hudson Room, and caught up with Morgans Group Honcho Sal Imposimoto and his lovely bride, Andrea Westinghouse. They were celebrating their anniversary. We settled in at the Library bar for Kellie Calco’s weekly blast. Andrea is working the door at the Boom Boom these days. She recalled how she had been in NYC for like 30 seconds when she saw an FIT ad for a receptionist at Spa. I interviewed her and put her at the front door instead. We talked about the creative life, and I offered that a doorperson at a real-deal joint is indeed an artist. I called it a social curator. The art of picking and choosing, recognizing and cultivating, was taught to me by the master blaster of Studio 54 and Palladium, Steve Rubell. He taught me how to do it, and I passed it down to Andrea and others. Kenny Kenny and King added their vast knowledge. Some will dispute the importance, or the art of the job, and some clubs have taken the job away all-together. I still believe the door is the most important position to fill. DJs are available in vast (and talented) numbers, but I think there’s probably a dozen really good door people out there now. Most door gods forget that the real job is to get people in and make them feel like they belong. This debate is for another day, as I’m exhausted and will now go find my meds.

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.

image