The Fight of the Century, Boozing, and Boxing at Overthrow NY Boxing Club

Photo: David X Prutting/BFA.com

Every so often, a sporting event captures the collective consciousness and the world jumps at the opportunity to pick sides, pick a venue and enjoy together. This past weekend was one such event, a boxing match billed as the “Fight of the Century.” The most appropriate venue, outside of Vegas, to watch two superstars duke it out happened to be the opening night celebration of the highly anticipated OVERTHROW NY Boxing Club. Housed behind an unmarked door at 9 Bleecker Street, the former residence of off-beat music, arts and activist venue The Yippie Museum, OVERTHROW officially opened its doors for the first time. This multi-floor venue houses everything from a ring and practice facility to plenty of programming for those involved. There will be classes and matches and more. And of course, there’s an underground boxing league on the basement level. OVERTHROW’s founding partner Joey Goodwin, known as “the Soho Kid” and a former Golden Gloves contender, enlisted eight trainers, including professional boxers, former Olympians, and male models. Casses starting at $34 — now might be the time to pick up some gloves.

Overthrow was named after a publication The Yippie Museum had produced over the course of its 41 year residency of the building. It aims to provide a place at the cross of boxing and punk rock. And as the evening unfolded, it became quite clear how they’ll achieve it. As tequila cocktails liquored up attendees across all three floors, raucous boxing matches mingled with DJ sets (by likes of May Kwok) and a musical performance by David Peel. Pastings, posters and installation art lined the walls. An array of high profile New Yorkers filled the venue. And when the regular programming ceased, the Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao fight commenced.

Though the fight would be a let down for most (except boxing aficionados who could bask in the slow-burning strategy), and see the highly controversial Mayweather extend his undefeated streak, the venue itself delivered an experience worth talking about. People have been waiting over five years for a MayPac battle. New Yorkers have been hearing about OVERTHROW since June 2014. The wait is over. But for those who were disappointed with the nearly $400 million dollar fight, there’s still an opportunity to step into the ring.

Opening of OVERTHROW NY BOXING CLUB
Charlie Himmelstein. Photo: David X Prutting/BFA.com

Opening of OVERTHROW NY BOXING CLUB
May Kwok. Photo: David X Prutting/BFA.com

Opening of OVERTHROW NY BOXING CLUB
Heron Preston.
 Photo: David X Prutting/BFA.com

Opening of OVERTHROW NY BOXING CLUB
Milou Van Groesen, Alexandra Richards. Photo: David X Prutting/BFA.com

Opening of OVERTHROW NY BOXING CLUB
Jeremy Kost, Hunter Hill. Photo: David X Prutting/BFA.com

Opening of OVERTHROW NY BOXING CLUB
Ashley Smith. Photo: David X Prutting/BFA.com

Opening of OVERTHROW NY BOXING CLUB
Joey Goodwin, Peter Davis. Photo: David X Prutting/BFA.com

Opening of OVERTHROW NY BOXING CLUB
Photo: David X Prutting/BFA.com

Talking About Sexuality: Domi Dollz’ Nina Payne & Boxer Manny Pacquiao

There was a time when the artistic types that ran clubs saw pushing boundaries as their reason to be cheerful. Sure, everyone wanted to make loot and art. Being able to make money while being creative and thinking outside the box was what made that era great. Now few care about anything but the bottom line, and only a few Manhattan-based clubs embrace "the new,” DJs dumb down their sets to please bottle buyers with black cards, and door people let the mundane spenders in as VIPs. There was a time when designers like Galliano and Gaultier took inspiration from clubland. Fashion innovators like Lee Bowery, Kabuki Starshine, and, yes, Michael Alig influenced collections as their own fashion sense pushed toward the edge. Michael famously went over that edge and with it came a retreat from it.

Tonight, at Santos’ Party House, is the House of Diehl’s “Style Wars: The Style Battle Championships,” 7:30pm. It’s going to be a blast. There will be a live competition which will include some friends of mine the amazing Domi Dollz. I will be there cheering them on as they whip the audience into a frenzy. There will be DJs and cocktails and even Vice Magazine giveaways. This is an invite-only affair so RSVP here and hope for the best.

The Domi Dollz are out there exploring the edge of sexuality. As they push that edge, they are also teaching mainstream America to embrace it by meeting it halfway. They hold fabulous parties and regular educational soirees at the Museum of Sex. I caught up with the beautiful Nina Payne and asked her all about it.

You are competing in this style wars thingy at Santos. Do teams make clothes and dress up and whoever has the best outfit wins or is it more than that?…. Tell me all about it.
It’s much more intense than that! Teams have to create head-to-toe looks from the most random items like an umbrella, a garbage bag, or a shower curtain. The more "out there" and crazy, the better! It is the truest test of creativity- all done live, in four minutes, in front of a rowdy screaming audience and blaring club music. It’s fierce!

Style Wars was created by House of Diehl, and this event is a throw-back to the ‘80s when MCs or break dancers from different crews used to battle each other for respect and recognition. Style Wars takes that concept and uses fashion instead. Fusing the intensity and spontaneity of a rap battle with the glamour of a fashion show – and even the excitement of extreme sports – House of Diehl invented "style battling" as the newest opportunity for rising fashion designers to make their name in the competitive arena of design. And tonight, Monday, June 11th, Domi Dollz will be ready to rumble at Santos Party House (96 Lafayette St). As we battle other teams, we’ll show audiences that we can create edgy and beautiful looks in about four minutes – right on the spot!

Domi Dollz fans get in for FREE. Just RSVP. But be sure to get there early as it’s expected to sell out fast. Doors open at 7:30pm and the battle begins at 8:45. 

Tell me about Domi Dollz today. Of course we have been following your events for a minute now. What’s coming up? What is evolving in your events?
Domi Dollz has been busier than ever! We were recently featured on ABC’s 20/20, and after this Style Wars event, we will be touring the US this summer. LA, San Francisco, Chicago and Vegas, baby! With the recent success of Fifty Shades of Grey, Domi Dollz’ mainstream style of kink is in demand. In fact, we will be coming out with our own book as well. It’s called Kinky Amour and it is an introduction to kink for the woman who’s looking to enhance her love and sex life. As in our workshops, we always bring our knowledge of kink to the public in a very accessible and fun way.

Sharon Needles won the Ru Paul’s Drag Race competition. She was certainly the edgiest of the contestants. Is the edge becoming more important to us as a society and, if so, why? Is the world ready for Domi Dollz on a big scale?
 We are big Sharon Needle fans and love what she has brought to the main stage. Edge is great as it keeps the audiences on their toes. But with that being said there is also a very genuine energy that Sharon Needles projects that people can identify with and I think that’s the true root to her success. Some think that we are quite edgy too. However, Domi Dollz’ objective is to bring kink into the mainstream in order to create a safe environment for people to explore their sexualities. Whether Domi Dollz is engaging in fashion, music, or education, at the end of the day we are just doing what we love and trying to make this world a happier place!

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What to wear? While we’re talking about sex and sexuality I can’t help but mention the defeat of boxer Manny Pacquiao to Timothy Bradley on Saturday night and his statements about gay people recently. Pacquiao has won titles in eight different weight divisions. I don’t follow sports much but was aware of Mr. Pacquiao’s dominance of his world. He reportedly "told the National Conservative Examiner that he doesn’t agree with President Barack Obama’s support for same sex marriage” and was quoted as reciting Bible verse Leviticus 20:13, which says “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

Manny is a congressman in his native Philippines and reported to be a devout Catholic. He denied he made this statement with his version of the "some of my best friends are gay” defense. I read that he said
“I didn’t say that, that’s a lie…I didn’t know that quote from Leviticus because I haven’t read the Book of Leviticus yet,” and “I’m not against gay people… I have a relative who is also gay. We can’t help it if they were born that way. What I’m critical of are actions that violate the word of God. I only gave out my opinion that same-sex marriage is against the law of God.”

Since Pacquiao’s defeat, Bob Arum, the events promoter, has been screaming for an investigation. Millions seem to agree and are demanding the truth. It was a split decision, with two judges saying Bradley won. Many knowledgeable boxing folk, including former pugilistic judges, had Pacquiao winning by a wide margin. In an article published in The Wall Street Journal, the writer called it "THE WORLD-WIDE MANNY PACQUIAO FREAKOUT.” From paragraph one: "The reaction was universally apologetic, with promoter Bob Arum calling the decision a ‘death knell’ for boxing and plenty of other spectators suggesting a more sinister motivation behind the surprising decision."

Did the uproar over his alleged homophobic remarks distract Manny? Could the "gay mafia" have gotten to those refs? Did God get involved and punish Manny for using his message of love incorrectly? I pray for Manny. I hope he grows from this and overcomes his reported hatred. I read he is headed to the Holy Land while his next fight is figured out.

I have read my Bible and offer him this : “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.“ Philippians, 2.12. When he finally does get around to Leviticus he might note: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Leviticus 19:18.

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A First Glimpse At What’s Opening and What Never Should Have Closed

A very fat – or is it phat – quiet cat is out of the bag. I am sworn to secrecy about Toy, the new Tony Theodore/Koch brothers-driven spot in the Ganesvoort Meatpacking. I was graciously and quietly given a tour the other day while workman readied the Jeffrey Beers-designed space. I promised to keep it all on the low but once a PR firm sends out invites… it’s time to talk. Toy looks like it will be fun to play with. My goodness that was corny but expected I guess. Daniel, Derek, and Tony gave me the $2-tour and I was impressed. There is a wonderful outdoor space, an oyster bar and multi-levels and faceted mirrors all over the ceiling, fabulous blue booths and ebonized tables, and the whole place is better suited than previous incarnations to embrace those seeking the good life down in the Meatpacking District.

The event the PR peeps are hawking is this Monster Diesel party Thursday night. No, that’s not a truck and an energy drink soiree rather it is the clothing company announcing the launch of its "Noise Division" and a headphone company. Noise at the event is offered up by Theophilus London, Solange Knowles, and Brendan Fallis. I promised everyone I would attend and will do so.

On Saturday night I was hobnobbing at Snap and Stash where bon vivants gathered to watch that wonderful fight where Tim Bradley whipped Manny Pacquiao. After the fight, the models, promoters, and owners poured into the street and then over to Darby Downstairs. I heard Ryan Gosling and a slew of others like that attended. I didn’t see them in the crowd. I did get to chat up a bearded Leonardo DiCaprio who I hadn’t seen in a minute. He used to hang with us at Life and other joints we ran. He’s as cool and down- to-earth as ever and it was great to small-talk with the big star. I don’t much like to talk about celebs in clubs, but when they’re on the sidewalk talking to me I figure it’s OK.

After all the hoopla, I joined my party downstairs at Snap for a bottle of Beau Joie Champagne. My group included Jenny Oz Leroy of Tavern on the Green and Russian Tea Room fame. It’s amazing to me that this city pushed her out of Tavern, the joint her dad created from nothing and now, years later, the building is rotting. It’s a testament to bureaucracy gone bad and it’s complete and utter bullshit from the pencil-pushers involved.

Tavern was part of the fabric of this town. It was weddings and galas and lights and magic. It was visited and revisited by generations. It was memories. It was jobs and tax revenues from one of the highest grossing restaurants in the country, until Vegas exploded the undisputed truth in restaurant revenues. It lays empty, and every warm summer day underscores the huge mistake made by this administration. Admit it fellows…admit that you royally fucked up, dropped the ball, blew it, and beg Jenny to take it back.

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Philippines Rips off Poland’s Tourism Campaign, Fails Miserably

The Philippines is one of the most underrated destinations in Asia. You can get a juicy mango for a quarter, a one-hour foot massage for $5, and a pretty swanky hotel room for $100. The beaches, like the bohemian-minded Palawan or Cebu, rival those of Thailand, where the crystal-clear sea is as warm as bath water, the sandy beaches as white as the clouds in the sky. There’s wild nightlife (Boracay), great sites (chocolate hills in Bohol), and weird animals (tarsier, the smallest primate in the world). To boot, the locals are genuinely pleasant and warm. If you extract all the random acts of terrorism, the political corruption, and the occasional mudslide, who wouldn’t consider the country close to heaven? Anyway, at first the President of the Philippines approved of the country’s recent bid to revamp its image with a new tourism campaign, but he just changed his mind, basically saying that everything about it sucks.

Last month, Philippines Tourism unveiled their new slogan, Pilipinas Kay Ganda (Philippines: What a Beauty), which replaces their WOW Philippines campaign, which ran for about 8 years. The new campaign is expected to double tourist arrivals and generate renewed interest for foreign visitors within the next three years. The country needs a fresh start, considering the setbacks from recent travel advisories due to terrorist attacks, like that whole situation with an ex-cop killing a bunch of Hong Kong tourists on a bus. In any case, President Benigno Aquino ordered a rebranding of the tourism logo, as it was criticized for being boring and unattractive. It’s also not in English. Oh, and it totally rips off Poland’s current design.

I’m curious to see how this unfolds. If Aquino has his way, the campaign will feature Manny Pacquiao, a Filipino boxer, as the country’s poster boy. Manny is totally into it, too, and is rumored to be considering a bid for public office. What was that about political corruption?