How To Un-Coachella

Way better than a VIP tent. Stretching out across a sheer drop under a shaded overhang

We love Coachella, loud bands, and getting drunk with celebrities under a hot sun. But it’s not the only way to enjoy April in the California desert. Many festival-goers (like the fans who rave to Jimmy Kimmel over bands that don’t exist) are unaware that directly behind them is a more serious playground in the desert, Joshua Tree.

You get wristbands at Coachella. You get a rope harness in Joshua Tree.

My favorite neighbors Serena Herrick and Jayme Darling: rock ’n’ roll meets Hunger Games at high noon in the desert

Seth, owner of Cliffhanger Guides


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Felipe, pro climber, leads the way 

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Love on the rocks.  Alexi, on her day off from the local bar, joins the action

Home Sweet Trailer-view from the crotch shot

New York: Top 11 Places to Pick Up a Summer Analyst

Wall Street interns. Every summer they swarm the city, claiming everything from Tribeca sublets to Upper East Side dive bars as their own. But no matter how hard hipsters roll their eyes, there’s absolutely nothing we can do till Duke summons them back for pre-season. But it’s not all bad: no one has more fervent support for the monogramming industry, and in a few years it might be nice to visit their private islands, or at least their downtown lofts with outside space. So follow the smell of Axe to these spots to find a Bud Fox of your very own.

Dorrians Red Hand (Upper East Side) – Burger joint by day, fratastic by night.

Automatic Slim’s (West Village) – Freaky people dancing to a mélange of Blondie, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Brass Monkey (Meatpacking District) – Irish hospitality amid MePa monkeyshines.

Brother Jimmy’s (Union Square) Citywide chain delivering weathered wood and BBQ. “Put some south in yo’ mouth.”

Brinkley’s (Nolita) – Gastropub heir to Bar Martignetti is more Christie than David.

Butter (Noho) – Celeb hang has surprising longevity of Monday night party. High-test hotties and much meticulously tousled hair.

230 Fifth (Union Square) – Hang in a garden chair on the roof deck with your favorite teeth-grinding I-banker. Viva the ’80s, baby!

Turtle Bay (Midtown East) – Relive your college years in Midtown; keg stands not included.

Joshua Tree (Murray Hill) – Young Murrays reminiscing about the MTV they watched in their short-pants days.

The Windsor (West Village) – Gastropub ambitions at this posh, Brit-accented sports bar.

Beauty & Essex (Lower East Side) – More beauty than Essex, as former furniture shop draws a flock of pretty people.

Joshua Tree National Park Will Be Free During Coachella

Yesterday, three-day music fest Coachella officially revealed dates along with an unbelievable line-up of performers, so it’s probably best to start planning your trip now, and your full month of detox for after. As usual, it’s going to be a raging booze and drugfest under the hot desert sun. (Familiarize yourself with electrolytes.) But where you can’t really escape desert heat, you can escape millions of fucked-up people by turning into Joshua Tree National Park. In fact, it should be on your itinerary regardless of your pill stash. Timing couldn’t be better: Joshua Tree National Park is celebrating it’s 75th anniversary this year and they are offering free entrance on certain dates, two of which overlap with Coachella.

National Park Week (seriously, this exists?) happens to fall on April 16-24, so entrance will be free on the Saturday and Sunday of Coachella weekend (April 15-17). I imagine you don’t really care about National Park Week or the fifteen other days entrance fees are waived all across this great nation, so, yay Coachella!

On Stealing Barware

“Oh, yeah! I can list everything I’ve stolen and which bar I stole it from,” said Dave*, a social worker. His face lit up as he launched into a multi-borough theft retrospective: One Stella Artois, one Chimay and two Radeberger glasses from The Mark Bar in Greenpoint; three appetizer plates, two place settings and a set of salt and pepper shakers from Mercury Bar on 3rd Avenue; two martini glasses from Joshua Tree in Midtown; and one Lost shot glass from an overprotective friend’s collection, most of which are thrown together on a shelf in his kitchen that might as well be a trophy case. Andrew’s* shelf is the same way, or at least it used to be: “My entire kitchen was stocked with steins I took from Radegast. I only have one left now, people kept stealing them.”

“You have to bolt everything down,” said Matthew Rodgers, one of the bartenders at Radegast, where the Hofbrau steins are as much of a target as they are a signature, and most recently a security guard found a guy with two shopping bags full of the glasses standing outside having a cigarette.

“You get this idea in your head that you’re invincible and nothing can stop you. Since they were charging $10 for a drink I didn’t feel as bad,” said Sarah*, explaining the lamp she took home from Vintage. “It’s about a foot high, kind of Victorian with tacky burgundy stripes… I didn’t realize until I got it home that it looked really horrible. Another night I ended up with artwork, a strawberry scented candle and three beer glasses from some Italian place. My bag fell off my shoulder after I left, and all of it broke.”

Whether it’s home furnishing, a memory aide or old school belligerence, people have plenty of reasons to steal from bars, but almost nothing in the way of technique. As Andrew puts it, “If you’re drunk enough it doesn’t matter, you just walk out the door.”

“A while back I blacked out and woke up with a red light bulb sitting on my nightstand, and I thought, what the fuck is that,” said Scott Cavazos, sitting a few feet away from the bulb’s former home at the Black Rabbit. “Eventually I remembered that I sat there for a long time unscrewing it out in the open, but was really specific about sneaking it out. Part of the thrill of stealing is playing the cat burglar. Everyone in the bar saw me unscrew the bulb, but I’d been buying drinks there for 3 hours, so no one cared.”

Scott has a point: if you’re making some kind of production out of stealing things, you’re probably your own best (and only) audience. Aside from a bartender at Savalas who had to use security tapes to get back the owl someone had grabbed from behind the bar, no one who actually works in bars seems too concerned, and most will tell you that the same things drunk girls are shoving in their bags end up thrown out, lost, or broken anyway. “It’s like, OK, you want me to wash it for you before you take it?” said one Upper West Side bartender. Like anything else, the people who care the most are relegated to the internet, where there are endless blogs dedicated to the subject by would-be vigilantes.

Rodgers, who has worked on and off in New York bars for the past two decades, says “I don’t have the time” to bother hovering over things which are usually promotional and sent to the bar for free. Instead he changes the subject: “I still have a glass I stole from 7B [Horseshoe bar] in 1990, just a little 9-ounce beer stein. I remember the night, it was snowing out. I was 22, I had just moved to the East Village, I was in heaven.”

So maybe it’s not a traditional spiritual experience, and most people claim it was something they used to do a long time ago, even if “a long time” really means “two weeks.” But stealing from bars does make for a morning after that’s more introspective than your average hangover. Sarah calls her purse full of broken glass “karma” and Scott mused, “I don’t know why I took [the light bulb]. Once I figure it out, I’ll take it back.” For his part, Dave says he’s now out of practice. “It was embarrassing like, that’s how drunk I get?” he said. “So I stopped doing it after, uh, I got enough glasses.”

*Some names have been changed to protect the guilty.

New York: Top 10 Joints for an Easy Hook-Up

imageNew York City is a veritable hot zone for burning loins on a mission to be cooled. But where is one to go when craving a no-frills hook-up with no need to swap digits afterward? If you’re over the romance, and have already exhausted our targeted tips for boys and girls — here’s a little something for everyone looking for a little something.

Felix (Soho) – Your best bet for a little Sunday afternoon delight. Go for the brunch, stay for the booty. The wait for a table is so long that you will have met five potential hook-ups and ingested three Bloody Marys by the time you sit down. ● Hudson Terrace (Midtown West) – If you’ve read even one article in the past month about nightlife, then you’ve definitely heard of this highly publicized pick-up zone. Attractive people are flocking to the West Side Highway lounge for its large roof and loud music with a clear mission to make a match, for the evening at least. In fact, the music is so loud, you needn’t produce semi-witty banter before you begin to bump n’ grind.

Gansevoort Roof Deck (Meatpacking District) – Now that summer’s here, the flesh is fully exposed atop the Gansevoort Hotel’s roof on Saturdays and Sundays for the weekend’s daylong Plunge party. This gives all the boys and girls not one but two days to lounge around the pool paying $15 per drink, all the while honing in on Mr. or Ms. Right-now. By 7 p.m. everyone is tipsy, and you may even meet one of the many promoters with bottles to lighten the bill. Drop names Tony, Ruben, Richie, or Morgan at the front. The rest is up to you. ● Pianos (Lower East Side) – Are you in the mood for a little hipster love? Surprisingly, this live music go-to spot on the Lower East Side actually has much more to offer than tight jeans-wearing boys with flat ironed-straight hair. You can find quite a selection of suitable hook-ups listening to the band, eating and drinking in the front, or getting cozy on the couch upstairs. The place is somewhat legendary, so the draw is still there, and so are the singles. ● M2 (Chelsea) – Nothing like a massive Chelsea club to quench your hook-up thirst. The sheer magnitude of people makes your odds at snagging a mate for the evening uniquely high. I’ve never been there without getting hit on at least 28 times, which also helps me remember what street its on. ● Lexington Bar and Books (Upper East Side) – I know I know, it’s way too far uptown. But do you want to score or not? If you are a lady in your 20s or even (gasp!) 30s, you’ll nab yourself an older gent with money to pay for your drinks as well as a fine pack of Dunhill’s, since it’s a smoking establishment. Vice versa goes for the young fellas. The cougars in this place are just waiting to snatch up some prey to take home to their Classic Six lairs. ● Corner Bistro (West Village) – Go for the burgers, stay for the booty. Where else can you find a place so casual hosting a mishmash of twenty- and thirty-somethings chomping down the best burgers in town for under $10 a pop? After all that beef, it’s only natural to find someone to burn off the calories with. ● Underbar (Gramercy) – Even the name even implies you’ll be getting under someone. Anyplace dark and subterranean with couches and candles is good for snagging some action. Underbar’s stylish but easy to get into, so the bridge and tunnel crowd can take over on weekends. But who are you to turn down B&Ters out of hand, you elitist snob? Plus, such a partner will have to run to the last train at Penn Station, which gets them out faster. Warning: If they miss the last train, you may be stuck with a unwanted sleepover, so keep an eye on the clock. ● Joshua Tree (Murray Hill) – Strictly for frat boys and their ilk — those perhaps most inclined to prowl for an evening hook-up, so you need the most help. The best time to go is when there’s a game on during happy hour. You and your potential match will high-five each other when your team scores, then proceed to some scoring of your own. ● Hudson Bar at Hudson Hotel (Midtown West) – Shimmering white floors as far as the eye can see make even the most jaded of New Yorkers happier, not to mention easier on the eye. Being attached to a hotel with readily available rooms (showers with a view of the bedroom) is a bonus. This fairy-tale cocktail lounge will make ladies feel like Cinderella at the ball — only the curfew is way past midnight.