R.I.P. Ronnie Cutrone: Pop Artist, Warhol Confidant, and Nightlife Inspiration

Bad news slaughtered my Monday afternoon naïveté as word came that the great artist, and my pal, Ronnie Cutrone has passed. Another casuality, along with Arturo Vega, Liz Bursis, and Mark Kamins, of an era of great light and great darkness. Ronnie’s legacy includes a stint with Andy Warhol during his championship years of 1972 to 1980. His post-Pop paintings have been exhibited in the Whitney and MoMA. His creative presence has been omnipresent in scenes that include the entirety of our downtown lifestyle. His contributions to Creative Hardware’s comet helped energize and legitimize that sorely-missed spot. Creative honcho Stuart Braunstein called me with the sad news.

It seems like eons ago when  Ronnie’s iconic use of Woody Woodpecker raised my eyebrows and consciousness. He painted a serious of "life" paintings for my club Life right after Robert Indiana and before Arturo Vega. I met Ronnie through his ex Kelly Cutrone, who was my publicist and friend, when we converted the Underground nightclub to the Palace de Beaute. That’s in the building where the Petco now sits in Union Square. An Andy Factory incarnation was upstairs, and although it was just an elevator ride away it seemed like and ocean of cool apart. I visited for some minutes some times and grew inches. Ronnie always took time to chat, enlighten me, tell me a story that couldn’t be true but certainly was. Now we have to deal with this … a story that just can’t be true but surely is. Again my generation is reminded of their own mortality as one of the candles we flitted around has gone out.

Tonight, I have been invited by the good folks at Sailor Jerry to celebrate the run of PKNY the Painkiller Tiki Bar (49 Essex Street). PKNY will be closing as landlords and such deem it. I”ll be getting a tattoo from the fine folks from Three Kings, that Williamsburg spot that will be on hand adorning the hoi poloi … lest we forger. PKNY always delivered a fun crowd and seriously fun cocktails. I guess a crowd going to a Tiki bar has decided in advance that they’re going to have a blast. Tonight , the last night will surely solidify that legacy. 

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Celebrating Two Holidays: Devorah Rose’s Birthday & Mother’s Day


The birthday of Devorah Rose will get me to Bishops and Barons. With every nook and cranny of Manhattan vying for trendiness, worldliness, and bottle bucks, the East 14th Street joint will try to lure the scene east or north of traditional habitats. Though it is the easiest cab ride from Meatpacking straight across 14th street, or just a hop, skip, and a jump north of the L.E.S./ East Village/Nolita worlds of wonder, it seems so far away. I am skeptical. Although convenient to all, the neighborhood has zero cachet. The nearby IHOP and Artichoke Pizza does attract trendies looking for late-night carbs, but the overall vibe is less than chic. I’d follow Devorah anywhere. If there was a puddle before her I’d lay down my coat. If she let down her hair from the stone-walled tower, I’d climb it to free her. I’d even watch her on a reality TV show. Devorah can do no wrong by me. There is no rose that smells so sweet. Tonight I’ll get close enough to confirm that statement. I’m traveling with a pack of Hawaiian hotties this weekend, and maybe we’ll go and grab a pancake nearby right after.

I will feel more comfy in the confines of PKNY at 49 Essex Street between Hester and Grand Street on Saturday night from 10pm. PKNY is described in a press release as an "ultra weird Tiki Bar." I am ultra excited, My Hawaiians are the right accessory for this party. Sailor Jerry Rum and their explosive PR rep Dana Dynamite are behind this soireé. They are pushing cocktails made from the stuff. "Sailor" Jerry Collins, of course, had his famous shop in Honolulu back when men were men and tattoos were primarily for sailors and fallen women. They’re gonna arrange for me to get a tattoo because I’m handsome, enthusiastic, and wrote this. I’m gonna get a traditional Sailor Jerry flash art "MOM" in honor of Mother’s Day. Alex McWatt of Three Kings Tattoo will do the honors. He did the memorial portrait of my dog Arturo that graces my right shoulder.

Mother’s Day stops the presses for me. I and so many others will spend time with our moms while others will call, write, or send flowers. Many will only be able to pause to remember. I will have dinner with mom and dad and the whole world will be whole. Mothers can do that. I was going to make a list of all the mother@%#*!/’s of clubland, but decided that list can wait. Even assholes have mothers so I’ll respect and back down. I got my first eight of ten down with a tie of about 20 pricks for the last two spots. I would be curious who would top your list. Let me know who and why.

This Week’s NY Happenings: Free Tastings at Boqueria, Filipino Fiesta At Bowery, Rub-A-Grub

TONIGHT (Monday): High On The Hog
The world’s greatest ham comes from the Pata Negra pigs that gorge on acorns in Spanish forests. If you’ve never tried Jamón Ibérico de Bellota, stop by Boqueria Flatiron tonight, where the tastings are free. (A sherry pairing is not a bad idea.) 

Complimentary tastings of Jamón Ibérico de Bellota start tonight, May 20th, and run through Wednesday, May 22nd, at Boqueria (53 W. 19th St., Flatiron). To learn more about the restaurant, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.
TUESDAY: Flip Out 
The rooftop of The Bowery Hotel goes tropical with a night of Filipino delights. Favorites like Jeepney and Zengo are on the bites, paired up with PKNY mixologist Enzo Lim’s cocktails.
Filipino Fiesta: A Culinary Tour of the Philippines starts at 6:30pm on Tuesday, May 21st, at The Bowery Hotel (335 Bowery, East Village). Tickets are $75. To learn more about the hotel, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.
SUNDAY: Aye, There’s The Rub-A-Grub
Bed-Stuy’s Do or Dine teams up with Sound Liberation Front for a reprise of last year’s Rub-A-Grub backyard bash. Rebel With a Culinary Cause chef Justin Warner will be laying out three rounds of food and drink, beginning with bottomless Bloody Marys, and finishing with barbecue. Ali Shaheed Muhammad of the band A Tribe Called Quest highlights the DJ array. Around 10pm, the scene shifts to One Last Shag for the after-party, but no worries—you can sleep in Monday. 
Rub-A-Grub starts at 2pm on Sunday, May 26th, at Do or Dine (1108 Bedford Ave., Bed-Stuy). Advance tickets are $15, or $25 for VIP entry. To learn more about the restaurant, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.
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