A Play, a Songwriter, and A Lot of Furniture

Tonight is your last chance to catch 1952, a play written and directed by Yekaterina Minskova, debuting at W.i.P (34 Vandam St.). It starts at 8pm. It’s live theatre and film, and a portion of the proceeds going to The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City, Inc. From the PR team:

"Everything isn’t always what it seems in 1952… The author boldly addresses many hard topics and the far too common misdiagnoses that went along with the times.  The subject matter is inspired by actual patient accounts and addresses many hard topics manifested in the dark corners of the 1950s American Mental Health System."

Among the notable cast is the ever-dapper Errickson Wilcox. He is known by denizens of the deep dark night as a gentleman doorman at all the spots in town. He was Wass Stevens’ right-hand man at Marquee years back. Now, he is popping up as an actor and will soon wear the glamorous label of "As Seen On TV’ in a major production that I’m not going to talk about yet.

After that, I am totally psyched for “Westgay at Westway.” Frankie Sharp’s weekly party at Westway has taken the town by storm. Tonight there will be a performance from Natalia Kills. The English singer/songwriter’s set will surely feature her track “KILL MY BOYFRIEND” off her PERFECTIONIST album. They advertise  $6 frozen flirtinis, $10 FUCKTINIS!!!! ALL NIGHT, and 2-4-1 Vodka Sodas till midnight. Yeah, it’s like that.

According to Wiki – my number one source for everything from the population of the US of A to spaghetti sauce recipes – she "called Kate Bush and Alanis Morissette her most important musical influences, highlighting them as emotional artists who write honestly about their own experiences. She has also gone on to cite Gwen Stefani as her hero. She also claims that Depeche Mode, Prince, Vanity 6, and Freddie Mercury inspire her live performances." Yeah, it’s like that.

Lastly, I had too much fun at BINGO last night, and now I’m late for the final day of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Javits. All of nightlife’s serious players are stopping by to check out furniture, lights, and other design stuff that will be part of their future expansions or renovations, so I’m just about out the door.

After BINGO, it was our traditional dinner at Joe’s Shanghai and then a walk-it-off to the Tribeca Grand Hotel to catch up with honcho Matt Green. I chatted up Kid Cudi, who reminded me that he had played my birthday a few years back for a whopping fee of a cheeseburger. He’s a great guy and deserves of all his continuing success.

Then, we joined Bantam partner Seamus Regan and his lovely Tatjana Gellert at The Double Seven who was celebrating her actual birthday (the events of the last week were shams). We opened up a bottle of Beau Joie and toasted to many reasons to be cheerful. The Double Seven’s rock-based Mondays will see a lot of me. A couple bands, a rock DJ, and a seriously fun crowd took my breath away.

Salon 13: A Badass Hair Affair

“I get people laid. And if you don’t like the haircut I’m gonna give you, you can shave my head.” 

So begins the Salon 13 experience.

Yes, getting your hair styled by dynamic duo and celebrity stylists Alx and Jenni is a one-in-a-million experience. Actually, it’s more than an experience; it’s a trip to a world you never want to leave, filled with rock ‘n’ roll, transformative edgy haircuts that have you exclaiming, ‘I didn’t know I could be that hot!’, and free beer.
 
Owned by Seamus Regan, one of the folks behind Bantam, this two-year-old East Village hair haven is a rare breed. Salon 13 fuses the intimacy of a nightclub, the creativity of an art gallery (local artists’ work is featured on the walls), and the seriousness of masterful stylists who treat hair like an art form, and funnels it all into a seductive concoction that somehow leaves you looking sexier than you ever have in your life.  
 
Alx Alvarez, who has styled everyone from Keith Richards to The Killers and is personally responsible for getting people laid/“upping your cock stock,” trained in Paris and attended art school for sculpting, making hair her art medium. From there, she’s become a prolific celebrity stylist, consistently featured in magazines like Vogue, Rolling Stone, and most recently TimeOutNY. But once you’ve plopped yourself down in Alx’s salon chair, you’re treated just the same.
 
“Everyone here is a star, no matter who you are,” says Alx.  "And I don’t want your money. I like it, but I don’t need it. I want your hair.”
 
This passion for tresses extends to Jenni Robinson, whose experience as a top make-up artist and hairdresser with French and Japanese training, makes her the go-to woman for coloring hair. Her dynamite attention to hair style, color, and strength ensures the healthiest treatments, from the more basic styling to her signature one-day Brazilian Keratin treatment.
 
“People just come here to hang out,” says Alx. “Finance guys, corporate women, artsy people – they just feel good being here.”
 
And why not? With its purple velvet walls, crass and personable conversation, and head-turning styles, you’ll walk out of Salon 13 not just feeling good, but looking HOT, and telling everyone about it. I know I am.

Clubland Exit Strategy: Beauty Salon

Everyday squadrons of new people enter the club biz. For many it’s a coatcheck, waiter or bartending gig to pay for tuition, books or to eat and sleep in the big apple. For others a loss of a real world job has them turning to hospitality for survival. Newbie promoters with visions of sugar plums and model girlfriends see what appear to be total morons making big bank in the biz and throw their towels and bad hair dos into the arena. For every Noah Tepperberg, Scott Sartiano or Paul Sevigny, there are thousands of ambitious players who fall real short. It isn’t as easy as it looks, but still there are many a fool who get to rule in clubdom. The lifestyle is so attractive to many that they jump in.

Getting out of the club world isn’t so easy, even for the bright ones. I often talk of exit strategy here. Hookers, strippers and club people almost always reach a point in their careers where work becomes less palatable and exciting . It is often way less lucrative as age becomes a real factor. The skills and experiences gained in this sort of work often have no value in the real world. People get used to odd hours and lots of cash and an entry level job or defined time at a desk is a non starter. In all these professions many just marry wealthy clients. Some work there way out. Some think of a plan and save their tip money and invest their way out.

My man Seamus Regan, one of the cities premier bartenders, is making moves as he starts getting a little long in the tooth. Seamus is a fast, honest, head bartender type who can work anywhere. Not as good looking as he thinks, he still attracts the babes, which is always a valuable asset. Still he remains a man’s man and is seen by owners as a manager behind the bar. He is so NYC that he has a tat that says MADE IN NYC. He has managed, promoted and even done the door when he wasn’t slinging gin. He is now opening up Salon13 and can envision a time when his only stint at a club will be when he, I and a couple of broads make the rounds to glad hand old friends and hear some music we don’t own at home. I caught up with Seamus and asked him a few questions

So are you out of the biz t and how did a tough guy like you get into the beauty biz? I’m still going to bartend for a while. As you know, I’ve been looking to do something of my own for a couple of years now. I’ve toyed with owning a bar or a club but no deal has felt right yet. The hair salon felt right. The right mix of people coming together at the right time. Reuniting with my old friend Patrick Demartino, who is an amazing stylist who worked at Vidal Sassoon, and helping my sister, Sinead, get a foothold in the New York Salon business. She wanted to expand her eyelash extension business. And I have a winter off from snowboarding thanks to knee surgery to get the place built, up and running. It’s a venue where I can make people feel good about themselves. It’s also a venue that I could back myself without investors. I wanted to create a place that wasn’t pretentious. Somewhere you actually wanted to hang out in after your hair was finished. Its very likely that there is a bottle of whiskey behind the reception desk as well.

How did you get into the club biz? I have loved nightlife since I can’t remember when. I found myself gravitating toward the club scene as soon as my parents would look the other way on broken curfews. I started out bartending in my father’s friends’ Irish bars in the early ‘90s. Eamon Doran’s and Johnny Joyce’s, which are both now long gone. I’ve been around clubs in some capacity my whole life. My grandfather was a bartender, he worked the Binnacle Bar in the Commodore Hotel by Grand Central. My cousin’s owned bars. Bartending always just felt right to me. I loved being able to be directly involved in making someone have a good time.

Where have you worked? In the late ‘90s I worked at LAVA on 20th street and moved on to manage Magnum in Soho, I also promoted at Chaos 2 at the old Bank. I would probably be a promoter or an owner right now if I hadn’t decided to move over to finance and got a job with an options market making firm. I was miserable for three years. I returned to nightlife in 2003. I worked at Eden, the Sullivan Room, then Lobby, then Plaid, Crobar, NA, Select, Darklight. Then Jon B opened Home/Guesthouse and I moved there for its whole run. And now I currently hold court at Greenhouse.

How has the transition been for you? I’m there everyday right now and have been for the last four months. I gutted the place and called in every favor in the book to get it built. It’s an exciting new environment for me.