The Perfect Storm, Election, & Party

The perfect election distracted us from the destruction of the perfect storm. Those with power and comfort hosted those without as the election served as a bit of relief from immediate woes. Donald Trump, whose wig must be on too tight or his hair must be growing into his brain, provided comic relief with Twitter rants that underscore his new role. The Donald now plays the fool. We seek joy where we can find it as even the Obama win can’t allay our continuing anxiety.

I am still without heat, although space heaters powered by sacred electricity make my Sandy experience less frightful. I have no cable yet, but of course compared to so many neighbors I am doing brilliantly. The streets I saw as I traveled to a friend’s to watch the results were empty as election night seemed to be bad for the booze business. The debate still rages on whether the result of the election is good for business in general. Those seeking an Obama celebration stayed local, as  travel is still problematic. There are few events worth the fuel, and suburban NY, a huge part of the bottom line, can’t get here. They will come when they can as there still isn’t a place outside of our crippled town that can satisfy their party itch. I missed David Davis’ birthday bash last night over at Westgay. Frankie Sharp, through hard work and mad creativity, has made Westgay at Westway a must-attend weekly party. The L train, the lifeblood of North Williamsburg, is reportedly still packed with mud-keeping hipsters and wannabe hipsters and those too hip to go near that moniker near home. The local bars and restaurants are packed. I will go out, but will pick my spots.

There once was this little spot downtown, off Broadway and White, that thrilled us all back in the day. By all accounts and my experience the Mudd Club was one of the greatest places ever to be. I learned my business there and hobnobbed with celebrities and the fabulous people long before I sought a club career. It was heaven on earth for a young rascal who never would have made it in save for the kindness of doorman Richard Boch. For every person inside, there were 10 outside, and I was blessed that Richard saw something in me that he believed belonged. Tomorrow UNDER CONSTRUCTION, Works In Progress (and other adventures) will be happening at The Gershwin Hotel, 7 E.27th St. at 8pm sharp. There will be readings by Richard Boch from his in-progress manuscript: If You’ve Been Standing Here For More Than Ten Minutes: A Mudd Club Memoir 1979-1980, as well as readings by Maggie Estep. I will attend and expect to see many faces that have been swept into the corners of my mind.

Thursday night, man-about-town Nick Andreottola will use his resources to help The Lower East Side Girls Club. While most of the news focuses on the valiant relief efforts in Staten Island and Breezy Point and the Jersey Shore, there are people in our backyard who have lost everything. The storm surge flooded basement apartments in the LES and sent the poorest among us scrambling. Many still have no power or heat, diapers, food, and blankets. Nick’s legendary Champagning party will help raise cash and take in donated canned foods and supplies to make sure the young girls at The Lower East Side Girls Club continue on their journey to success. The event is tomorrow, November 8th, at 7pm at RSVP, 15 Watts St. at W. Broadway, hosted by Nicole Rose Stillings.

Toys, DJs, & Surprise Guests At Sandy Benefit From The Folks Behind Champagning

This Monday, December 17 there will be a soiree that shouldn’t be missed; Nick Andreottola of Status Luxury Group has teamed up with the Happy Hearts Fund, and will try to collect 2,000 toys and $20,000 for schools in the New York-New Jersey area affected by Hurricane Sandy. The event is at the Gansevoort Park Hotel and begins at 9pm. DJs Cash and Drek Martinez and some surprise(?) guest will provide the sounds to hob-nob with the fabulous. Tickets are available, or donations can be made directly here. I caught up with Nick and asked him all about it.

How did the benefit come together?
I love Christmas and the holiday season, so a few years ago I started putting together a holiday party for my friends, clients ,and business associates I deal with throughout the year, just for a good time. Each year it has grown. Two years ago, we implemented a toy drive to give back to children in need. We collected about 200 toys and dropped them at Toys For Tots in Times Square. Last year, my friend Renata Lopes-Merriam said, “Let’s do it bigger.” So we did. We did it a lot bigger.

I’ve also always loved the Bartender’s Ball which hasn’t happened in over 10 years. With this in mind, I called on a few friends from various luxury industries and brands, formed a committee, and made Petra Nemcova’s Happy Hearts Fund, the beneficiary. We collected over 1,400 toys and successfully sent over 1,100 of them to Haiti, along with almost $15,000. Even before we were hit by Hurricane Sandy, we had decided to focus our efforts more locally this year since there are plenty of children in need in New York City and the surrounding areas. When Sandy hit, it was obvious that we needed to keep it local. The event is on Monday.

On Thursday, along with the Happy Hearts team, some of my committee members and I will be delivering all the toys and presenting them to children in one of the hardest hit areas of Staten Island. Apparently, there will be celebs joining us and media covering it. We are very excited about this. Anyone who wants to support with toys or funds can visit the official website to do so. Our team will even shop for your toys and make sure they get delivered properly if you don’t have the time to do so.

Who are the players involved, and what can be expected at the event?
My co-chairs are Nicole Rose Stillings who is my partner in the Champagning events, and Kim McCall who is the director of the Happy Hearts Fund. The committee consists of key players from all sorts of industries; we have celebrity stylists, publicists, bankers, CEOs, nightclub owners, and other notables. Each year we will raise the goals and add more key players to help us reach them.

There will be a silent auction at the event with some great luxury brands participating and some amazing experiences. The music will be on-point as we have two of the best DJs in town donating their time for the cause: DJ Cash and Drek Martinez. We may also have a surprise performance like last year. There will be a lot of holiday cheer, champagne, and a lot of drinks. We have some fun surprises planned.

Are people in a more charitable mindset post-Sandy, or are there just so many benefits and causes, especially at this time of year?
Even pre-Sandy, there are always lots of benefits this time of year. Post-Sandy, a lot of people, venues, brands, etc. have stepped up to help. The 12-12-12 concert last night was huge, Petra’s Gala on Tuesday raised over $3 million, and Charity Water’s Charity Ball is always prominent. You see a lot of the same people at all of these events, continuing to pledge lots of money. Whenever something happens in New York, New Yorkers are always quick to come together and support each other to get back to normal, so I think regardless of how many benefits there are, people will continue to support and do their part if they are able to.

Is your following recession-proof?
For the most part, they are. We are very fortunate for this. Our clients are also very giving people. They are always supporting causes that are close to them.

Tell me about your company and what you do in nightlife.
Status Luxury Group is a lifestyle management company. We handle some of the most affluent clients in the world. They are always looking for the best of the best all over the world, so that is what we provide for them. Our services are customized to each client’s need, but usually consist of travel-planning, sourcing rare luxury items, access to events, and other unique experiences. Much of what we do is hosted to make sure everything is flawless. We have a marketing division which handles luxury brands and creates programs and events for these brands.

In terms of nightlife, many times our clients want to entertain friends, family, or business associates. We create the best possible experience for them. They usually do not have a budget and just want to make sure everything goes smoothly for the guests they are entertaining.

Earlier this year, we started a brand called Champagning. It was basically started because I like champagne. Nicole and I work with all of the best brands and create a setting for champagne-enthusiasts to enjoy champagnes that are not usually served by the glass. We have done pairings with Petrossian Caviar and will have others in the future. Over the past year we have done programs with Perrier Jouet, Armand de Brignac, Veuve Clicquot, and Dom Perignon. We have a lot of fun programs coming in 2013. Updates will be posted at Champagning.com. Tonight we are doing an event with Swarovski and will continue to align Champagning with other relevant brands.

Spring Begins, Nightlife Booms, Chaka Khan Eats Her Birthday Cake

TGIGF (Thank God it’s Good Friday). For many, this is Good Friday. For the folks over at EVR, it figures to be a Great Friday. They will resume their late-night programming, which had been curtailed by wording on their liquor license which I have been told has been reworded. The restaurant/lounge on 39th St. between 5th and 6th is removed from residential buildings on a block where they fold up the sidewalks on weekends since the retail/business establishments aren’t usually open. The very pretty EVR (pronounced ever) has had a pretty good week so far.

Tuesday, EVR hosted Chaka Khan’s 60th birthday bash. The "I’m Every Woman" and "Ain’t Nobody" legend attracted a lot of non-every-woman types… a slew of somebodies including Aretha Franklin, Whoopi Goldberg, Star Jones, Cissy Houston, Taraji P. Henson, Soledad O’Brien, Juanita Jordan, and many more. A three-course dinner was served for her 150 guests.

On Wednesday at EVR, I DJd at Nick Andreottola and Nicole Rose Stillings’ Champagning event. The packed, adult crowd enjoys the sharp atmosphere, great food, and early hours (event starts at 6pm) – and maybe my music. For working folks who can’t get to my 11pm-till-4am DJ gig at The DL, pop by EVR to visit Mr. Lewis. 

Spring is in the air. I’ve seen crocuses and daffodils and migrating birds and an ice cream truck by the school by my Brooklyn abode. I have pep in my step, although my increasingly serious relationship with Amanda has stopped me from looking for love in all the wrong places. 

The next few weeks will bring a big boom to nightlife as the frost will finally leave and Al Gore’s global warming shtick finally comes to fruition. As always: party responsibly. Never try to fit a year’s worth of mayhem into a single evening. 

Photo: Uptown Mag.

Good Night Mr. Lewis: Legendary Parties, Legendary Men

Today is going to be short and sweet. The half of me that’s Jewish is having a huge argument with the half that isn’t and it’s best that I write half a column today. Tonight I will DJ at Champagning Midtown at the lobby-level bar at the Dream Hotel, 55th Street btw. Broadway and 7th Ave. Nick Andreottola and Nicole Rose, along with Dream honcho Ric Addison, are hosting this shindig which starts at an early 6:30pm and runs until 12:30am. They say the idea is "to celebrate life by drinking champagne.”  I have many reasons to be cheerful this week so I may imbibe. As many of you loyal readers and friends know, I only drink two or three times a year, whenever I have sex, so I’m going to go to my "sexy" set for tonight. That’s Chris Isaak’s "Wicked Game" to Donna Summer’s "Love to Love You Baby.” You get the idea.

The invite says "Music By Legendary Steve Lewis.” That’s nice, but every time somebody calls me "legendary," I quickly check my pulse. I remember the things that I have done and appreciate the respect, but I try to live in the real world I wake up to every day and want the things I do "now" to define me.

Tomorrow night I will miss (because of my Thursday Night Generation Wild party where I DJ with the Legendary Sam Valentine), the Salon 13 Benefit For Breast Cancer at B-Side. There will be a raffle including gift certificates from Salon 13, Thicker Than Water Tattoo, Bar Bone, Unleashed, Continuum Coffee, Back Forty, W.i.P., Bantam, Rex Hughs Dog Training, and more. Gotta go…

Oh, I almost forgot…. Happy birthday to legendary promoter, entrepreneur, all-around-nice-guy John Davis, who will be celebrating his 50th birthday. Sheee-it, I got shoes that are 50! John has moved his legendary Body and Soul party to the cozy confines of XL Nightclub, 512 W. 42nd St. This event, like my girlfriend ,starts at four in the afternoon. It ends around midnight (she can go all night). Legendary DJs Francois K, Joaquin "Joe" Clausell, and Danny Krivit will provide continuity as well as awesome sets. I worked with John and this party back at the legendary club Life back in ‘96 or ’97. The guy who ran that joint was some sort of genius or something…legendary.