Nocturnal Confessions: Sweet Paradise

Unpretentious, smart and a little grungy, Sweet Paradise is a fantastic bar. I’m conflating memories here but I think I first started coming here a couple years ago, but I remember that it making sense that we’d start frequenting a bar teetering on the border between the Lower East Side and Chinatown. Despite this glowing appraisal, late on Tuesday night, I couldn’t help recalling those immortal words from Bright Lights Big City, “You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning.”

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Tuesday nights aren’t for partying. Tuesdays nights are for sleeping. Or studying. Or cuddling. I don’t know if it was the fantastic hip hop played by deejays Florencia Galarza, the deejays themselves (pictures below) or just a magical confluence of chic people without books to study, sleep to catch, or people to cuddle, but something was happening, and the vibe was good.

Four cab rides, one lost wallet (found—thanks to the goddess behind the bar, Ms. Leah Dixon), a chorizo taco from my truck, and 3 cups of tea later (coffee hurts my tum tum), I don’t know if I am the kind of guy who would be at place like Sweet Paradise on a Wednesday morning, but I know I’d like to be.

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Nocturnal Confessions: Naked Party!

On Wednesday, I stopped by Gallery Bar for some body-painting, dancing and an all around messy event thrown by Sally Golan of Social Exposure. Inspired by the moon parties in Thailand, the deep house scene in her native Toronto and Golan’s own boredom, she decided NYC needed a change. “I felt that people were always doing the same things: get a drink, pull out a card…get a drink…text your friend…leave. There is nothing wrong with that…but I feel with times like these, we need much more then an ‘event.’ We need a release and a night to remember.”

Nominally geared to raise awareness for an eco art charity called Eco Art Space, for $20 you got all the paint and nudity you could handle. But Golan wanted to make it about than just nudity and shock. “I was inspired by the idea of unity and collaboration rather then voyeurism,” she says, “which is what you usually get when going to an art gallery opening.”

While not game-changing, it was breath of fresh air for midwinter, especially in the LES, an area that has seen more bankers than bacchanal as of late. “The whole ‘Oh my god what did I do last night’ question really hits home when you wake up with a streak of bright pink on your pillow,” says Golan. “Last night was sexy as hell.”

Golan plans on making the Naked Painting Party an annual event, along the lines of the Wall St. pillow fight, or the water fight in central park.

Big props to everyone who shucked and fucked.

I want to let the pics do the rest of the talking. Even without a liquor sponsor, you’ll notice, as Golan did, “No one is pouting.”

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image The event’s organizers.

image The costumed girl’s boyfriend/rooster explained to me that they were, in fact, promoting a different party.

image Everyone just sploshing paint on each other, and she goes with neatly-trimmed whiskers and a gently-decorated neck. The Audrey f-ing Hepburn of this party.

image And then she had to go ad do that.

image I love the expression on the face of the guy in the background, like he came to the Naked Painting Party expecting decorous behavior and a reading from Gore Vidal.

image This party shot is basically a “fuck you” to Van Gogh and anyone else who has not had fun while painting, or at a party.

image This girl had a goddamn neck brace on and did not stop dancing the whole night!

image Make fun all you want, at least my dad has hobbies.

image “There’s nothing wrong with Hermione, per say, I just prefer black chicks.”

image This guy just made me miss Arrested Development.

image Self-portrait, round 2am.

Nocturnal Confessions: Fear of the Art Party

Tuesday Night was the opening of the Whitney Biennale (my friend, who is from America, but much more with-it than me, pronounced it bee-inn-all-lay, which I thought sounded ridiculous, but said nothing, because I was already so damn uncomfortable), where I quickly discovered I was in the wrong place, or it was the wrong time, or perhaps a little of both.

This was not a Party party, unfortunately for me. This was a party where mobs of people crowded together and pretended to look at contemporary art. I say, “pretended” not because I am suspicious of the other attendees’ legitimate interest in the subject, but because I cannot fathom how anyone could gain any real experience with a painting, sculpture or video installation within such a confined space in such a semi-social situation. It was impossible to go anywhere or see anything without being (politely) jostled or having one’s view completely obstructed.

Conversely, if one wasn’t down in the nether regions of the Whitney’s fist floor (where the wine was being served), it was just as difficult to engage socially as it was to see the art– once again because of the hundreds of people streaming by you, and the awareness that, by stopping and talking you were both holding up the works and obstructing someone’s view.

This all sounds a little curmudgeonly, or ignorant. I freely admit that I’m not a party to the art world, which no doubt added to my sense of alienation among the Biennale’s revelers (made up of the art crowd, the well heeled, and the chemically-peeled).

I have no doubt the after party at the Tommy Hilfiger store (which I was too discombobulated to attend) was amazing, and that there are some remarkable works that are well worth investigating. But for me, the evening was best summed up by a harried art critic, overheard musing to a friend in a busy stairwell, “You need to find the quiet room, the empty room—that would be the best piece of art of all.”

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Nocturnal Confessions: Fucked Up and Rocking Out

There’s a lot to be said about Toronto’s Fucked Up: they are critical darlings; the progressive quality and orchestrations of their latest album, Chemistry of Common Life, has broken barriers for hardcore and punk music; they are at the vanguard of DIY bands, and one of few that lives their politics; their shows live up to lead singer Damian Abraham’s claim of being “orgies of destruction”; they are, quite simply, the real deal.

The shows are closer to events than any I’ve witnessed in New York. Their utter ownership of the Masonic Temple (with Vivian Girls, Andrew W.K., and Titus Andronicus) last year made them the first hardcore band ever to earn a place on New York’s approval matrix.

Abraham’s wit and irreverence were on prime display last night at Europa in Greenpoint, where the band performed with Kurt Vile. Telling a story about getting lost in Brooklyn for 3 hours after a photo shoot earlier that day, he confessed “I walked further than any 300 lb man had ever walked…I’m gonna write a book and call it My Struggle. No one’s used that name yet, right?” And later, on Sarah Palin, “You don’t think I’m terrified? She’s going to invade Canada first. We’re closest, and it’s a straight route to Alaska. Palin in 2012! It’s going to be a great time for punk rock, but a terrible time for humanity.”

Earlier that morning, on my couch, where Abraham had slept the night before, and we’d watched the cavalcade of insanity that is Bad Lieutenant 2: Port Call of New Orleans, I got a private dose of the front man’s humor (full disclosure: I’ve known Damian since we were 12: I was in his wedding, I watched him go straight edge and he used to throw me to the ground and shake me violently when I would show up to high school on mushrooms).

Between our disbelief over the fact that Inglorious Basterds had been nominated for Best Picture and a story about a formative Bay Area punk rocker, named Sammytown, who killed his girlfriend with his bare hands, we got on the topic of Abraham’s 10-month old son. “He’s into Yo Gabba Gabba. Loves that. He watches The Situation Room with me and he’s not scared of Wolf Blitzer, but he doesn’t care…we go to Mommy and Me movies, where people can bring their babies.”

Abraham’s figuring out how to manage his new family with a road schedule that can be daunting (he was heading towards SXSW, after which they’ll be going to Mexico, for the day, before heading back to Canada—all in a van). “Being on tour takes it out of me. You’re not sleeping well. You’re not eating necessarily well. But it’s my own fault, because everyone else in the band tries to go to Whole Foods.”

“I wasn’t going to blame other people,” I said. “I wasn’t going to blame, like, your tour manager.” (The next day, for breakfast, we elected for Grey’s Papaya)

“We don’t have a tour manager. Jonah (Falco-drums, arrangements) does our tour managing. We all have our own jobs. Jonah’s the tour manager. Sandy (Miranda—base) does travel logistics. Mike (Haliechuck—guitar) does the planning and Josh (Zucker—rhythm guitar) does merch and I do press. So many bands, especially now, it’s all about having a tour manager, a publicist…they have these people that they pay for that are there to keep them away from the people who like their band. All they are is obstacles. And I don’t really need anyone to keep the people away from me at a show,” he says, which rings completely true—Abraham is often in with the crowd, spitting and being spat on, launching hardcore kids into each other, wearing them on his back and neck like indie accessories. “That’s one of the reasons I love punk; other forms there’s always this huge division between band and fan.”

Watching the band perform on Friday, this was obvious. Never mind the shared of spit and oxygen and microphone, Abraham’s interplay with his audience steered the performance to something approaching the conversational. Afterwards, there was no scuttling off to the green room; the band packed up their own gear, and Abraham stood in the middle of the hall, joking and hugging with his fans. A good lesson for acts in the age of Facebook; it’s no longer alright to just play; you have to engage.

As Fucked Up has come closer to becoming an up-the-middle hit, one corollary has been the change in demographics at their shows. It’s not just hardcore kids anymore—it’s a mixed bag. And there’s girls. Cute ones. Lots of them. The boys ain’t half bad either. As she walked in, my friend Sarah told me, “Every boy I wanted to date when I was 15 is here.”

If you’re a punk fan, or not, judge for yourself whether that’s fucked up:

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Nocturnal Confessions: Style and Stylecaster

When it comes to Stylecaster, and really fashion blogs as a whole, I’m undecided. My overall impression is that they’re flip, and something closer to advertorial content than anything critical. But when old school fashion editors go off on precocious newcomers like Tavi Gevinson, I’m instantly reminded of the loneshark Chili Palmer’s classic line from Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty, “Leave the movie business to the rest of us who know what we’re doing.”

While Style.com, Fashionista, Bryanboy and Stylecaster’s presence could certainly be felt during fashion week, when it came to the parties, the progressive scenes everyone was talking about were put together by Opening Ceremony, Smile, Interview and Purple, not these newfangled interweb darlings.

It was for this reason that I was a little surprised that the Stylecaster scene at GoldBar last week was so staid. Instead of reaching out to their readers with an open concept party that could attract the young, stylish folks their readers want to emulate, the site threw a tiny shindig at a very posh and elite location for what seemed to be mostly their advertisers and potential investors. “In addition to all of our great friends in the fashion industry, we also have a lot of friends in the media and investment communities,” the site’s editor, Carol Han, explained to me in an email. “At our holiday party in December, we had over 1200 people…we thought it would be nice to do something a little more low key this time around.”

Stylecaster has reduced their editorial staff by 20% this year, so this may have all come down to budgeting, but their party was representative of some of the frustrations felt by Stylecaster’s critics. The fashion folks I talk to seem to come down on two sides about Stylecaster: those who think it has some smart, insightful reporting, and a real, albeit convoluted ,voice (more mature than say Fashionista, yet more fun than Style.com), and those who see it as trivial, conflated and little more than the flimsy wing of an ambitious social media startup. Well, can’t it be both?

image She’s mad because the guy behind her is wearing better accessories.

image I thought this girl was adorable, and she’s still smiling, even after one of the golden birds at GoldBar sprayed golden shit all over her shoulder.

image That scene in The O.C., Season 1, when Seth chases Anna through the airport and asks her not to leave—gets me every time.

image Like Jason Bateman and Andre Balazs had a baby (why their baby would hang out at GoldBar is anyone’s guess).

image I have nothing sassy to say here; these two just looked great. The only thing I can even think to be snarky about is that falcon, who looks a little on the fat side.

image I like how completely bored the people in the background are with the people in the foreground.

image My thoughts exactly.

image Best outfit at the party. No foolin.

image Every time you think of 50 Cent and LVHM (who own Smart Water), I want you to picture this.

image This is a fairly accurate representation of how GoldBar configures in my head.

image As well as this. Sigh.

Nocturnal Confessions: The End Has No End

Around 6am this morning, I hauled myself out of a cab at 6th Ave and West 4th readying myself for the sloppy block-and-a-half stumble to my apartment. As I reached the corner, I stopped dead in my tracks. There, across the street from me, stationed on the Avenue of the Americas like the great beacon of hope, was my taco truck, still serving. (I call it “my taco truck” not because I own it, but because I eat roughly 73% of my meals there, to the great dismay of my digestive system). It’s moments like these that make me both love and hate New York City.

As a guy with a bad heart (I’m on my fourth pacemaker—If there are any cardiologists reading this, know that I’m not above trading sexual favors for free medical advice), I know a thing or two about pushing the envelope. And last night had the feeling of things pushed a little too far. The final night of fashion week is the denouement. I don’t even know if people go out. Now the night before, that’s something to see. No one has slept, everyone’s on their last legs and even the toughest of fashionistas have nearly had too much. Nearly being the key word.

Sometimes the great moments are found in the territories of “nearly had too much.” Sometimes we’re at our best when, even for the split-second it takes to make a decision, we suppress our exhaustion, scream down our insecurities and thrust one final time.

At the Jeremy Scott party, up at Good Units, there was the sensation that fashion folks great and small were looking to embrace the swan song, to clench their teeth and push hard one final time, if for no other reason than to finally rid themselves of the absurdly breached baby that is fashion week.

And there was ice cream.

After some delicious champagne at LVHM’s party for those implacable Parsons kids—more on that later this week—and some surprisingly tasty watermelon tequila drinks at Tokion’s jam with Something Rebellious (a noisy, cluttered affair embodied by the jackass standing outside of Juliet Supper Club, asking people “Did you see my driver? He was right here and he disappeared!”), I met some friends at Scott’s party, though the word “met” implies that there was some kind of organization involved. The lack of cellphone coverage is one of the more appealing elements of Good Units.

It was upstairs where I located most everyone I recognized, and all of them, from the Conde Nasties to the Misshapes, were in full form. Tired of looking for and at other people, they kicked back and relaxed, drank their Belvederes and actually had fun. Phone numbers were exchanged. Makeouts were had. People got yelled at for taking too long in the bathroom.

It felt like a real party, but with that extra sense of intensity that comes with the knowledge that the edge has been ridden too long—and then the sense of desperate relief, the recognition of something familiar as you incise the coming deluge.

These are the moments I love and hate New York. The end of fashion week. My taco truck at 6am.

image I think one of the larger issues with the continued conscription of Russia’s underclasses under the paradigm established by the Soviet system is the underfunding of….blah blah blah you are a fucking knockout.   image James from the Jane—and from Braveheart—acting the sheep’s pluck in this particularly delicious serving of haggis.   image Princess Sillypants and her Minister of Foreign Affairs.   image Miss you, Misshapes.    image Miss you, Beatrice.   image Teen Vogue, rolling deep.   image Earlier this week Bryanboy told me he’d lost his credit card. Seems like he found it and went right back to making really smart purchases.    image I don’t care if you’re celebrating the in your studio apartment, or Andre Balazs’s diamond-encrusted lair of magic, ice cream makes every party better.   image I would forgive Mel Gibson if he would just go back to Thunderdome and kill this guy.   image I told these girls “make a sex face.”  And they did.   image Lloyd Blankfein needs to take a long hard look at this photo and see who’s really doing “god’s work.”   image What are the chances that an audience member could catch Gaga’s discarded underwear with her face?   image Miss you, fashion week.

Nocturnal Confessions: We’re Not in Max’s Kansas City Anymore

We all have that story. Mine involves our family’s cleaning lady, descending from my parent’s bedroom, frozen mid-stairwell, mouth agape—her face caught in the tableau of shock, disgust, and curiosity that can only be achieved by an older person, usually a parental figure, surprised by a masturbating teenager.

The moment remains terrifying and humiliating because it is a public exposure of the most private few seconds of our lives. Even, or especially, as we age the idea that someone other than our partner might see us at that tiny moment of vulnerability remains too terrible to contemplate. It’s one thing for your roommates to hear you shagging—borders on entertainment—but getting caught in the act is another thing altogether. And yet photographer and director Casey RAnderson, and designer Seasick Mama are trying to make hay out of the incongruity of private sex and public exposure with a project called “Fuck You, Fuck Me,” wherein the two have produced a series of pillows, shirts and cards emblazoned with images of their fucking subjects, and vice versa.

At the casting call, “I would sit people down and ask them, ‘Do you know what you’re here for?’ and they’d say, ‘Kind of…’” says RAnderson, who would then ask his subjects to lie back, and simulate sex. “You can be happy, or you can be pissed off because your man just came all over your stomach and you didn’t get yours,” he would tell them. “And they were calm and cool about it; they opened up.”

But why not actually shoot people during the act? Andy Warhol broke that barrier more than 40 years ago with his photographs and films. Why not remove the filter? “That would be a more private thing. I’m fine if there’s 20 people in the room and I’m shooting someone having an orgasm, or I’m bringing them to an orgasm, because I definitely could bring women to having an orgasm without touching them, just talking to them as they touched themselves.”

Amazing. Like a vagina whisperer. “I’m a very sensitive person and able to respond to people and see how far I can push them.” RAnderson’s source of confidence is anyone’s guess, but not hurting is the past 6 years spent in LA assisting the legendary Tony Kaye, the controversial director of American History X, Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” video, and countless commercials (Kaye is also famous for suing New Line for $275 million for not allowing him to be credited as “Humpty Dumpty” in the credits of American History X, and spent over $100,000 of his own money taking ads out in the trades to denounce Edward Norton and the film’s producers). Another source might be the fact that the other half of this loving endeavor, Seasick Mama, is also his girlfriend.

“We’re a team. We’re a couple. That’s my woman. I owe everything to her. She owes everything to me.” The pair cavorted and mixed easily with the crowd at the exhibit opening (at Inven.tory), with shoppers and navel-gazers appraising their work, stopping at each image, seemingly without shock, any awkwardness at all. Unsurprising to RAnderson, because, after all, “It’s just sex.”

image Great gift for Mother’s day.

image My friend Julia swears that lip-biting is more effective, and less effort than all the hootin and hollerin that accompany a fake orgasm. I guess that’s ok, but I still appreciate the effort.

image This photo does neither her nor her leggings justice. Scrumptious, and I don’t use that word lightly.

image DJs Hearsay and Gold Standard, though Gold Standard told me his name may be changing soon. Check for updates on Hype Beast. Or Friendster.

image I have no comment here. She looked great. Like early Dana Delany, mixed with a little Megan Follows.

image I miss the nineties something terrible. Raves, not so much.

image Two very good reasons to visit Inven.tory. They weren’t hired to work the party or something. They just work there, ringing up clothes, like Shopgirl, but not incredibly boring.

image Man of the Hour, Casey RAnderson.

image Seasick Mama and a darling little French boy.

image She looks bored in that incredibly attractive, “My Mom is making me wait for her while she’s in the salon” kind of way. Do you want to go for a walk around the mall? Wanna check out my van?

image I arm-wrestled this gentleman, and won (for my 1980s vintage Hugo Boss plaid flannel). I weigh 155 pounds soaking wet. Just saying. I’m a ninja.

image Everything works together; she’s a cassoulet of fashion week.

image One of the reasons I left Canada was the hockey haircuts (right), but his friend kind of rescues the whole situation with his Colt45-in-the-paper-bag accessory (these were not being served at the event).

Nocturnal Confessions: The LnA Afterparty at Milk Studios

My favorite Patti Smith quotation is a recent one—from an excellent New York profile, by Vanessa Grigoriadis, pegged to the release of Smith’s memoir of her and Robert Mapplethorpe’s rollicking early days in NYC, Just Kids— “Everyone has a creative impulse, and has the right to create, and should…the people are making their own art, taking their own photographs, making their own songs, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. But a pure artist is a different animal.” In the age of blogs and stunt memoirs, McGinley imitators and Terry Richardson aspirers, these are words to be taken to heart. One has to wonder if Ms. Smith could point to anyone in the fashion world as a pure artist. It’s doubtful, though something tells me Alexander McQueen would have come as close as anyone. During her set at LnA’s afterparty at Milk Studios last night, Smith dedicated her final song to Mr. McQueen, a genuinely kindly tip of the hat from punk’s queen to the departed prince of Savile Row.

Before this fete, I had no idea what LnA even was, and neither did many of the fabulous folks at the party, but for good reason: this was LnA’s first presentation in NYC fashion week. Founded in 2007 by Lauren Alexander and April Leight, LnA’s goal was originally to make “the perfect men’s tee for women,” they’ve expanded their line to include all sorts of women’s basics with a twist. On their website they say that Mischa Barton likes their clothes. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

Definitely falling in the “good” column was their party. These California girls can throw a jam. The vodka was Belvedere, the music sublime (They were deciding between Patti Smith and The Kills to play their party. Tough call.) and, as you’ll see from the photos, the place was full of beautiful folks (including Metric’s Emily Haines, who performed later, after I left) looking to actually get down, and not just cruise the room for Jared Leto, who was there, apparently.

If there’s an “art” to throwing a party, it’s down there on the list, somewhere near “tattoo,” and “making a great scrabble word,” but let’s hand it to LnA. If this wasn’t a step towards le Salon, they’re on the right track to the Salon des Refusés.

image I knew there was no way Fashion Week would let Haiti steal all the attention.

image “Crab cakes and football that’s what we do!” Also, bronzer.

image If I was a bunny, or a mink, or a senator’s daughter, and I knew my skin was going to be used for clothing, I would want it to be for this.

image Alison Lewis and her friend, Muña, standing in front of a piece of art done by….

image This guy! (the one on the right, pointing at his artwork)

image You think this photo is of the beautiful pair in the foreground, but it’s really all about the guy behind them in the sunglasses. I like it that his drink is brightly colored and looks like something a child would order.

image Speaking of kids, here’s a tip for you youngsters: Don’t Smoke. Unless you want to look super fucking cool and have beautiful girls come hang out with you next to the DJ Booth.

image Models + Rock and Roll = Party.

image Houndstooth + Ass = Another Party

image Patti Smith, singing “Gloria”

image My new hero, someone who wasn’t too cool to sing along with Patti Smith (JK! My hero is and always will be Mark Paul Gosselaar)

image Not everyone had a good time, even though they were wearing a hat, which I’m told is fun.

image Blackbook’s Ben Barna and girlfriend.

image “Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them…” Fuck, yeah.

image She kept asking me to re-take shot, as if my angle or timing had something to do with her being the cutest girl since Nick Jonas.

image Teen Vogue’s Hayley Phelan, lookin mischievous.

image And these guys.

image Two reactions to a joke involving Alexander McQueen, the Pope and Bill Clinton walking into a bar in Haiti.

Nocturnal Confessions: Saab Story

Twas the night before Fashion Week, and New York was quite bored Not a creature was stirring, not even Harold Ford. The garments were hung, from the models with care, In the hope that Saint Anna, soon would be there. But instead of that ice queen, God had flurries in store, “Snowpocalypse!” said Fox news, that Republican whore. My date in her Rochas, and me in my coat Jumped on the F, and then hopped over moats To the White Slab, we flew at a trot To toast a new mag, with some Swedes who are hot.

With great apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, I couldn’t think of a better way to frame last night’s wintry less-than-wonderland. The night before fashion week is a lot like The Night Before Christmas—all this excitement for something that is actually fairly trivial (especially for us Jews) and happens every year–so I decided to seek out the most intimate, alternative, and still newsworthy party that Mother Nature would permit. What I found was the one year anniversary of the Swede Beat magazine, an online journal that chronicles pop culture, particularly music, from the land of Strindberg and Saabs.

After university, a move to NYC in 2007, and a stint at CMJ, Stockholm ex-pat Lydia Kellam noted a growing interest in Swedish musicians, like Lykke Li and Jens Lenkman, “which I thought was funny and strange,” she says. She wanted to help bring the pop culture of her homeland to the fore, and saw her opportunity. “I wanted to start a blog, but there are so many blogs out there, and I’m a very serious person, so if I was going to do something, I was going to do it for real. So that’s why I started the Swede Beat.”

Launching in February of 2009, Kellam set the goal of promoting Swedish contemporary pop culture, focusing on bands like Peter Bjorn and John, artists like Marcus Palmqvist and fashion brands like Acne. And yet Kellam remains dedicated to excavating her home country’s lesser known talents as well, “We give attention and space to a lot of small artists—we’re not saying that if you’re featured in the Swede Beat you’re the next big thing, but you don’t have to be famous. If we like it, we cover it. We never write about things we don’t like. There is so much culture in Sweden, and so many creative people,” she says “I just wanted to promote it to the world, and create a valuable resource. I feel like there’s a lot of great designers, and artists that people don’t realize are Swedish, and I want to attach that Swedish brand to these artists.” The magazine’s themed issues are available both at the Swede Beat website (which is as crisp and stark as its namesake nation) and in newsletter form, currently going out to about 8,000 subscribers worldwide, most in the US and Sweden, but ranging from Portugal to Chile.

The future for the mag could extend past the content, “I’ve had a lot of requests from bands and event requests for putting together shows, which is something I’d like to take advantage of. Because there are a lot of Swedish bands coming to New York, bands like Soundtrack of Our Lives, Movies, Taken By Trees, El Perro Del Mar, Shout Out Louds, Jenny Wilson…and I’d like to do events with them.” Sounds good to me. The party itself was intimate, featuring a DJ set by Taken By Trees (whose, “Sweet Child O’ Mine” ranks up their with my favorite covers of all time), deliciously inexpensive pear/vodka cocktails that like an elixir made by wood nymphs. There were blondes, and tall people, all well-behaved, exactly how you’d think a room full of Swedish art kids would be. Like vikings on Clonopin.

Art. Swedes. Pear potions. All in all, perfect prophylactic to for fashion week’s consuming affectations.

image This was Delancey St. last night.  Not pictured: the tsunamis at every corner and my boots filled with melted snow and ice. Also not pictured: my sad face as my boots filled with gross melted ice and snow (probably from Jersey).

image Swede Beat founder Lydia Dammler, and her friend, Kellam.

image “I said to Magnus, ‘You are not in the state-approved bike lane; this lane is for ecologically efficient transport vehicles with 3 förtjusande passengers!  You Kinkig’.” Then we laughed.”

image Same sex unions are legal in Sweden. Very legal.

image For a moment, I thought the lady on the right was the kid with Asperger’s from The Real World Washington DC (because of the hat). She’s not.

image “We are happy because our Kroener-based economy is in great shape while yours remains in tatters.”

image Tall. Gorgeous. Well dressed. Eff these people.

image After I took this photo, the young lady looked at it, giggled like a Pixar squirrel on poppers, and then skipped off. Literally, skipped.

image Despite one of the world’s toughest immigration policies, they make exceptions for people who dress in the style of “awesome.”

image Taken by Trees and her DJ pal. Look at those eyes. They could melt a glacier.  I swear, later on she winked at me.

image Told you so.