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.

Jon B. Reopening Juliet Supper Club?

As I left the subway yesterday afternoon, I wondered if the rain had stopped. I approached the stairway to heaven and all things Meatpacking District when a man who looked like he had just seen Godzilla turned to me and said "It’s fucking Noah’s Arc shit out there.” Armed with a $4 umbrella, I went toward the rain, which seemed more like a portend to an Al Gore "I told you so" monologue than a midsummer relief. As I bravely entered the maelstrom, tourists huddled under awnings, looking like scared wet puppies. They looked at me like I was a fireman entering the burning tenement. I decided to sing and skip through the puddles and had the most fun. I entered my meeting at the Soho House with wet feet and a youthful grin. There, I kissed cheeks and shook hands with fabulous friends who told me secrets that I swore I’d wait on.

Someone asked me if I had been to Jon B’s new restaurant, punctuating the remarks with "air quotation marks and ending with wink, wink." I said, "No, I haven’t gone to RSVP yet and I don’t think I will.” They asked me if he was going to run it like a restaurant or if he would it do that for a while and then let it devolve into just another Juliet Supper Club. I said something like, "A leopard can’t change his stripes,” or “A horse is a horse of course of course," and the dude thought I wasn’t making sense. They put booze in those drinks at Soho House.

Another chatty fellow told me he heard from a lawyer that works with another lawyer that’s getting the liquor license that Jon B was going to reopen Juliet, which has been shuttered because of doing everything badly. This fellow swears that Jon will open there again as a restaurant. "OMG!" I offered while trying to escape. “It will be Deja Vu, Bang ,Bang, Bang all over again!” While the suits chuckled at my escape quip, I ran to the couch to take my meeting, waving to beautiful, wonderful, fabulous people at the bar. Soho House is all things to some people. I’m considering hanging there constantly for inside “wink, wink” scoops.

This Saturday night I am heading to Le Poisson Rouge to catch DJ/producer/old friend Frankie Knuckles. I chatted with him about the gig and the state of dance music yesterday. Le Poisson is really an important spot and has been since day one. It was good to catch up after too many years. Frankie will be joined by Miguel Migs, Sleepy & Boo, Mikey G, and Dan Fisher. It will be nice to hear some good ol’ house music. Electronic dance music is like a mosquito to my ears. I seek some vocals and the company of adults.

Last but not least, and the subject of tomorrow’s post, is this Sunday’s Xtravaganza Ball at XL. It will be everything. Tivo True Blood, On Demand The Newsroom, put your seriously chic outfit on, and head to this ball. I cannot recommend an event more strongly. This is the realest of deals. Please come done-up as that is the requirement at balls such as this. But be warned: there are few balls such as this. I must leave right now for my fitting, as I have been honored to be a judge and must look fierce. Tell you more tomorrow!

Around The World: Valentine’s Day Parties I Can’t Get To

My Facebook page and inboxes are over flowing with Valentine’s Day invites. Susanne Bartsch and Patricia Fields Valentines Day Ball at Marquee is undeniable. If I were in Miami (a rarity) I would surely take Ivan Wilzig up on his offer to attend Valentine’s Day at the World Erotic Art Museum. If I was landed in Bangkok ( a name I always have trouble saying) I’d RSVP to Daryl Scott and go to UB Radio and Bash present Unlucky in Love at Bash. If I found myself in Paris, Frederic Agostini and I would toast ourselves at Slap-Valentine’s Edition with Feadz/Manare/Noahey Green at Wanderlust. If I found myself in quaint San Francisco, I’d do anything to attend Joey Arias’ with Veronica Klaus’ Valentine Day Concert at the Castro Theatre. If I were swept out to Baldwin, Long Island, I surely would be interested in hanging with Todd Shapiro and the VH1 Mob Wives Star Ramona Rizzo at the Coral House.

Alas, fate has me here, and I will probably go to Nick Andreottola’s shindig Champagning at GoldBar. Devorah Rose is having a Valentine’s Day Massacre gala at RSVP but I have never RSVP’d for an event at RSVP before and although I worship Devorah it probably will stay that way.

Another clever gal Natasha Adonzio is having her own unrelated Valentine’s Day Massacre. It’s a fashion show of her very rock and roll clothes. Rock legend Donna Destri will join models Miz Katastrophe, Extasy Micheals, Bonnie Elizabeth, Latoya Muneca, Shannon Fatale, Tiffany Johnson, Laurel Aslaksen, Grace Telephone, Anna Pine, Brittney Haren, Barbie Dematel, Eliane Luduvino, Kortlynd, Glamour Jessica, and Bethany Mae. It’s going to be hot. The show is at the Parkside Lounge, Thursday night at 10pm. There’s a bunch of bands as well, including Krebs & The Maynard G’s, King Bee & The Stingers, Puma Perl, The Rewd Onez, Charm School, and The Bowery Boys. I am no longer doing my rock night at Hotel Chantelle so I will be in attendance and probably in heaven.

Now, back in the day a friend of mine named Jillian Black died of an overdose of heroin on her second try at the junk. I was livid and obsessed. At that time, St. Marks and the surrounding streets were places where dealers set up shop. I decided to support the newish local business with a series of huge events to support them and drive the dealers elsewhere. Natasha Adonzio had a store on St. Marks across from the still-relevant Trash and Vaudeville near Enz’s , Manic Panic, and many others. I threw the "East Village Look," a fashion show at Danceteria with over 20 designers. It made all the papers and my nightlife career began. I had thrown Dee Dee Ramone’s birthday party at Max’s Kansas City prior to this event, but this party got me hooked on nightlife as a career. 

Natasha was the first person to say yes to me. All the other designers came on board because she legitimized me. Thousands came and everybody who owned a club wanted me to do events with them. I am one who rarely forgets a disservice and always remembers a favor. Natasha Adonzio is fabulous and I cannot wait to see her  show and hang at her party.

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RSVP Opens in Soho, French Toast Never Tasted So Sophisticated

Remember Soho? That downtown Manhattan neighborhood south of Houston Street that once was poor and squalid, then became industrial, then artsy, then posh, and then treaded water while the economy did the Macarena? Well it’s back in business in a big way, having just received a ringing endorsement from restaurant and nightlife entrepreneur Jon Bakhshi, who chose it over the Meatpacking District as the location of his newest hotspot, RSVP, which opened last week on Watts Street with chef Seth Levine manning the kitchen. The restaurant and lounge serves lunch, dinner, late-night bites, and cocktails from noon to midnight during the week, staying open until 2am Friday and Saturday. We chatted with Jon B. to get the scoop on the exciting new addition to the neighborhood.

Where did the idea for RSVP come from, and why did you choose Soho for a location?
I felt that nightlife in New York had become stagnant, with everybody doing the same thing, so I wanted to create a place that’s a little bit different. Soho used to be the best place in the city, you know? Back in the day, it had the best restaurants, the best nightlife, the best of everything, so I just thought it would be the perfect place for RSVP. We want to be a little more sophisticated, so that’s why we went to Soho and not the Meatpacking.
 
How did you think up the name? 
It occurred to me that everything worth attending required an RSVP, so it seemed perfect. 
 
What’s the place like? 
It’s a restaurant with a lounge atmosphere, and the menu is very expansive. Most nightclubs don’t get busy until 1am these days, and one of my goals is to cater to large parties, so I wanted to create a place where people get there for dinner at 7, 8, or 9 and hang around for cocktails and conversation until they’re ready to go home. 
 
It has a cool and sophisticated look to it. Who designed the place? 
I designed it. It looks like a lavish ballroom, with the red velvet curtains and crystal chandeliers. I was going for a sexy, sophisticated atmosphere. There are L.E.D. lights all over the place, so we can change the lights to change the atmosphere.
 
Is the cuisine any particular style? 
I’m calling it modern American, but there’s something on the menu for everybody. When you go out to dinner with 8 to 10 people, some will want Japanese, some will want American, some will want French, and we’ll make sure that everybody’s satisfied. We have our salads, appetizers, pizza, raw bar, and our famous all-day every day brunch. Our signature dish is the RSVP Stuffed French toast [pecan-crusted brioche stuffed with maple-infused mascarpone and sheep’s milk ricotta], but we have meats, poultry, seafood, a whole variety of things. 
 
How about the cocktail program? 
We have about 15 amazing signature cocktails on the menu, and there’s a cocktail on there for everybody. We have the RSVP Bloody Mary, which is perfect for brunch, and we have a drink called the Lady Killer that’s already very popular.