To V.I.P. or not to V.I.P., that is the question. I am always conflicted about which New York to show clients. Should I take them to La Esquina, Lit, White Noise, or Don Hill’s? Should I venture out to my beloved BK for Brooklyn Bowl and Manhattan Inn? The Manhattan hot spots are designed for client relations and the special white-glove pick-pocketing that goes with it. It seems to be a dollar-and-cents thing that makes sense when the deal is sealed. My clients with limos and expensive expectations wanted the V.I.P. New York that they understand, because it’s quite similar to the V.I.P. experience they know from Vegas and Los Angeles. We were to meet at Avenue after my DJ gig in Chelsea.
I almost DJ’d at the APM models holiday soiree at The Chelsea Room. I walked in, looked for APM V.I.P. Penny Basch, and watched the crowd jump to that special House music only played in the most swanky joints around town. I knew every track and wished I didn’t. I very much doubt superstar DJ David Guetta, who begins Pacha’s 5 year anniversary celebration tonight, will be offering up this drivel. Anyway, the crowd at The Chelsea Room was living for it, so I opted out. My special blend of tracks produced long before Penny’s long-legged crew were born would have stopped the show. I walked out after gaggles of fake giggles and double-sided cheek kisses, and headed west to meet my clients. The party was fab and the place accommodating, but my business took me elsewhere.
Noel Ashman, the former operator of the Chelsea Room, called me as I departed. In some sort of cosmic karma coincidence, the long call ended as I passed Darby, the other space he once operated as N.A. and Plumm. Amanda found 2 bowling trophies by a lamp post and we promptly dropped them off at the ever-developing SNAP, which needs some more sporty stuff. The trophies were for “lowest score” in some tournament, and the receiver I guess dumped them when he had lost the people who thought that was cute. The double coincidences were not lost on Amanda and I. We bought a lottery ticket. The great Willie Sutton, who robbed over 100 banks – a career decision that had him in jail for most of his life – once said, “A man should place a bet every day. Otherwise, he could be walking around lucky and not even know it.” We lost our money, and with it, respect for Willie Sutton’s advice.
We arrived at V.I.P. joint Avenue and were whisked to a table. Avenue has some of the best “whiskers” in town. The door people whisk you into the hosts, who whisk the clients credit card to some safe spot as the waitrons whisk bottles of sticky liquids into glasses that are in a position nearby just waiting to be whisked. In no time at all, thousands of dollars were being whisked from one bank account to another. Everybody on staff smiles impossibly wide smiles with immaculate pearly white teeth. A trip to the men’s room had a security guard, who recognized that I was at a table, whisk me to a small private bathroom. That level of service separates the great whiskers from the boys. My clients were ecstatic, surrounded by movers and shakers and beautiful women. Hotel magnates told of projects and I heard the name “Dubai” 3 different times from 3 different folk. I bet there’s a whole lot of whisking going on at that Dubai place. Avenue is all that it should be and an absolute goldmine. Everybody was having fun and knew that they were in the right place. And then suddenly we were to be whisked “elsewhere,” as intelligent phones carried the news that “elsewhere” was better. “Elsewhere” would be more perfect than this perfect.
Cars were outside to whisk us to Lavo, where our beautiful crew was whisked inside by proprieter Noah Tepperberg to other proprietor Mark Packer’s table. Jayma Cardoza – the best whisker ever – grabbed my girl by the hand, and with unbelievable glee made friends with her. Somewhere nearby, someone was putting some credit card in some safe place. Promoters to the left and promoters to the right, with tables full of 6 foot beauties, came over to say hello. The 6-footers smiled perfect smiles at me, and whisked perfect hair from their almost-perfect faces. I remembered the old days, when beauty could also be found in shorter people as well. Alas, I’m sure that’s still true in other non-V.I.P., non–whisking, non-credit-card-maxing places. I wondered if some promoters were paid by the inch. The same music was being played at Lavo that was offered at The Chelsea Room. Avenue had the hip-hop or open format version of that music.
After a while, when the business talk had been shouted out over the din, it was time to leave. Nearby, men in nice suits danced like bobble head dolls with women who truly loved them for their personalities. I imagined them talking about Dubai for a minute, but then noticed nobody was really talking. For the most part, the loud, almost-house music, took the talking out of the mix. What was there to talk about, really? We all have money, we all look good, and we spend all the rest of the time of our lives talking with cell phones and computers. Now was the time to sway, pump it up, and flirt with eyes, and celebrate our successes and desires. Hot-as-hell go-go dancers would have been great conversation pieces, but due to the volume, were perfect just as pieces.
I double kissed a dozen people, and I pointed at a couple bottles on the table, and shouted to my client to take 2 of these and call me in the morning – or tomorrow night. I offered my giggly joke to all, waved to people I didn’t want to say goodbye to, and headed to the street. Lavo is amazing, wonderful, and banging. But of course, not for me. I headed to Williamsburg in a fast yellow chariot and stopped at Kellogg’s Diner before home. The lobsters in the tank by the door greeted me with confused stares. They belonged at Kellogg’s about as much as I belonged at those V.I.P. spots. The music on the radio at Kellogg’s was pretty much the same stuff offered up at the clubs, but it came with a cheesburger deluxe, and I accepted it.