Sophomore Aces Another Video Lookbook with ‘Truth or Dare’

We’ve been fans of NYC clothing label Sophomore for quite some time. And while we definitely fawn over the designs by Chrissie Miller and Madeleine von Froomer, we’re also pretty obsessed with their documentary-style video lookbooks, shot by photographer Cass Bird each season. The latest film to roll out is for their SS11 collection, and we’re loving the concept. This is Truth or Dare.

Shot at the Bowery Hotel, the film reads like a who’s-who of downtown cool, featuring actress-designer extraordinaire Chloë Sevigny, author Lesley Arfin, actress Drea de Matteo, agent/style icon Jen Brill, and tattoo artist Scott Campbell, among others. While we’re not sure if they all really do hang out and dare one another to do things like chop onions until they cry (Brill’s dare) or kiss Chloë Sevigny (Arfin’s dare), but it’s fun to watch. Although Truth or Dare is inspired by Madonna’s doc that followed her controversial Blond Ambition tour in 1990, it’s definitely not as racy. But the point here is to sell clothes—and they do it well.

In addition to Sophomore’s designs, the stars can also be seen sporting shoes by Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony, and jewelry by Anne Sheffield and another BlackBook regular, Pamela Love. See the video below and shop here.

Sophomore Truth or Dare from SophomoreNYC on Vimeo.

Hipmunk’s Hotel Heat Map

Every one has needs, and the good thing about New York City is that the majority of those needs can be met. Travelers come to town to satisfy their shopping addiction, or to eat at the best restaurants in the world. Some come to see the Statue of Liberty, and some travel to stay up all night. You want to stay close to the things you’re into, whether that’s Broadway or Burlesque, and Himunk’s Hotel Locator is an awesome tool that helps you choose the perfect hotel by showing its proximity to your needs via a heat mapping guide.

Hipmunk, created by MIT-grad Adam Goldstein and Reddit Co-founder Steve Huffman, started off as a super-simplified flight locator with great visual design. Seeking to further simplify the travel industry, they’ve recently launched this helpful Heat Map tool as a component of their hotel search. The tool maps areas of interest in a city based on needs like Vice, Nightlife, Shopping, Tourism and Food, aggregating tourist information from Wikipedia and Yelp. Here are a few of BlackBook’s top hotel picks for each of Hipmunks categories.

Vice: Factors in Bars, Casinos, and Adult Establishments Staybridge Suites Times Square: Sweet suites with real kitchens convenient for extended Javits Center duty and other midtown business obligations. Like Scores. Distrikt Hotel: Near the seedy Port Authority, where XXX video stores line the streets, and XXX entertainment fliers blow in the wind like tumbleweeds, this New York-themed boutique hotel goes name brand, with Frette linens, LG flatscreens, and Ecru soaps. Four Seasons Hotel: It’s the Four Seasons, ’nuff said? Accepts all manner of currency, and in Midtown East, can find all manners of debauchery.

Next: Hotels Near Shopping and Nightlife

Shopping Trump SoHo: Midtown master infiltrates the western fringe of Soho with lux condo-hotel living. Bryant Park Hotel: Straight up, the hottest stay in town. Cellar Bar, Fashion Week runway shows, and plush, plush rooms. Ace Hotel: Garment District hotspot with enough amenities to keep you from ever leaving.

Nightlife The Jane Hotel and Ballroom: Latest smash from Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode gets all Edwardian on the WVill. The Standard: Smack dab in the middle of the Mepa—like a glass and steel tree growing up and around the High Line. The Bowery Hotel: Sayonara to SROs on the new bobo Bowery in this boutique Bowery/Nolita playground with a hot restaurant and lounge scene.

Next: Hotels Near Food and Tourism

Food Abingdon Guest House: As close to the West Village townhouse experience one can get without buying a shih tzu and an Equinox pass. Hotel Mela: Luxe boutique newcomer aiming to be the “apple” of your eye, near The Lambs Club, and classics like Dallas BBQ Chelsea and Jimmy’s Corner. Crosby Street Hotel: La Esquina just around the corner—near Kenmare, too—this spendy Brit import lands on quaint Crosby Street.

Tourism Andaz Wall Street: Hyatt gets haute on the Financial District, otherwise known as the district that has everything on a tourist’s checklist: The Bull, Lady Liberty sightlines, the Stock Exchange (Wall Street is in the hotel’s name). The Plaza: Eloise’s Central Park home, Home Alone, Midwestern tourists, Donald Trump, rich permanent dwellers and you. Hilton Times Square: Location, location, location. If you’re truly looking to stay smack-dab in the center of New York City, the Hilton Times Square is your hotel. Steps from pretty much everything, from Broadway theaters and midtown skyscrapers to museums, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Itinerary: Halloween Parties Begin Tonight

Technically, Halloween festivities fired up as early as last week, but New Yorkers really get down to business tonight, extending their weekend via The Bunker Club, or The Gutter, and rolling through the weekend with 1Oak, the Boom Boom Room, and the Hudson Hotel, with some lovely Brooklyn markets and parade options thrown in the mix. Enjoy one of the best weekends in NYC, and remember: next year, Halloween will fall on a Monday.

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Tonight Yelloween Location: The Bunker Club Time: 9pm Veuve Clicquot is hosting their “Yelloween” Halloween party this Thursday night at one of our favorites in the MePa.

Launch Party for the Renaissance Hotel’s RLife LIVE Location: Renaissance Hotel Time: 9pm The Renaissance Hotel is launching a new entertainment/cultural program called RLife LIVE and will feature performances from various RLife LIVE artists including Robin Thicke, Sam Ronson and Solange Knowles. It’s a free national program created for hotel guests and patrons in cities across the country, which allows them to experience the music industry on a more intimate level on site at Renaissance properties.

Scott Sartiano’s Birthday Party Location: 1Oak Time: The usual time parties at clubs start. DJs Jus-Ske and Harley&Cassie help Scott celebrate.

Friday HallowMeme Costume Party Location: The Gutter Time: 8:00pm-2:00am Join Know Your Meme & Urlesque for the 2nd Annual HallowMeme Costume Party. Dress like your favorite meme, viral video subject or other Internet phenomenon. There’ll be free drinks, live performances, giveaways, a photobooth, and awesome prizes for the best costumes.

Saints & Sinners Location: De Santos Time: 10:00pm-2:00am Mandatory costumes with $40 open bar.

Saturday House of Horrors at Santos Location: Santos Party House Time: 9pm Guests include DJ Cobra Starship and Taryn Manning and Eddie the Gun.

Kinda Scary Halloween Party Location: Thompson LES, Shang Time: 9pm Rex Sortgatz hosts a costume party in which guests come as terrifying or spooky media and tech personalities. Prizes awarded for best costume.

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The Bowery Hotel Presents Ghosts of New York Location: The 2nd floor of the Bowery Hotel When: 11pm Celebrating Halloween and the world premiere of Nigh Home, a film by Gary Breslin. Join hosts Johnny Christ, Laura Cooper Brown, Brooke Geahan, Gary Breslin, and Brian DeGraw.

Day & Night present Seven Deadly Sins Time: 12pm-4pm Location: The Oak Room at the Plaza Start celebrating early with brunch at The Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel with the Koch twins.

2nd Annual Haunted Candyland Halloween Location: Le Poisson Rouge Time:10:30pm-3am The Sky Group pairs specialty cocktails with specialty candy and a whole lot of crazy.

Heaven or Hell Party Location: RdV Time: 11pm-3am Jamie-Lynn Sigler hosts this good/evil bash.

GrandLife Halloween Party Location: Tribeca Grand Time: 10pm-4am Hosted by Timo Weiland, Carol Han, Steven Rojas and DJ sets by The Misshapes, Harley&Cassie, and matt + maia.

The Hudson Hotel Presents DJs Jus Ske & Jesse Marco Where: Hudson Hotel Time: 10pm Hosted by 4AM in Hudson Hall.

Library Bar Presents the Tequila Avion Lounge Location: Library Bar at Hudson Time: 10pm-2am Our very own Steve Lewis DJs with Paul Sevigny.

La Roux at Hudson Bar Location: Hudson Time: 10pm-12am 2 hour DJ set by La Roux.

Veuve Clicquot’s Nightmare on 13th St. Location: Bagatelle Time: 8pm Veuve Clicquot throws a their Halloween bash to start off the night right.

image Sunday Halloween Market at Kings County General Store Location: Kings County General Store (125 Fifth Ave. in Brooklyn) Time: 12pm-5pm The local market has drink specials and free admission to the afternoon fall festivities.

Angels and Devils party at The Standard Location: Boom Boom Room Andre Balazs, Andre Saraiva, Olivier Zahm host your good and your bad side at the party of the evening.

Not Your Standard Bingo Location: The Standard Grill Costumes, prizes pre-Boom Boom Room.

Village Halloween Parade Location: Spring Street at Sixth Ave running up to 21st on Sixth Time: 6:30pm-8:30pm The classic parade at dusk in the Village.

‘Enter the Void’ Director Gaspar Noé Uncensored

Gaspar Noé is a man with few limits. In his 1998 feature directorial debut, I Stand Alone, the 46-year-old French auteur tackled squirm-inducing topics such as incest, suicide, and rape. Turns out he was just getting warmed up. With Enter the Void, which opens today, Noé serves up a buffet of less-than-appetizing scenes, from the backseat view of a head-on car collision to an inner-vaginal view of a penetrating penis. Not surprisingly, his work has been lauded and derided in equal measure.

Enter the Void, the story of Oscar (newcomer Nathaniel Brown), an American drug dealer in Tokyo, is no exception. Whereas Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called the film, which also stars spitfire Paz de la Huerta, “exceptional,” Variety’s Rob Nelson thought it was “tiresomely gimmicky.” As became clear early on in our conversation last August, Noé wouldn’t have it any other way. From the Bowery Hotel’s back terrace, the enfant terrible of experimental cinema discusses the upside of drug abuse, 3D porn, and the anaesthetization of New York City.

Your films are divisive, to put it mildly. Do you thrive on both positive and negative responses to your work? I didn’t expect Enter the Void to be controversial. I thought this would be the movie that everyone could agree on, but now they’re disagreeing. I’ve gotten the best and the worst reviews of my career for this movie. I guess there is something about losing control of your perceptions, as an audience—the out-of-focus effects, the dreamier aspects of the film—that causes some people to freak out. Some people have been repulsed by the movie and hate it with all their guts. I can’t help thinking you get off on that repulsion. I’m not willing to be loved. I’m not willing to make commercials. I’m not willing to go to Hollywood. I’m only willing to make movies that I would want to see, and the movies that I watch most are divisive: Deliverance, Kenneth Anger films, 2001: A Space Odyssey. They’re movies that weren’t driven by money or recognition.

Is it difficult to raise enough money to create the type of movies that you want to create? We used commercial successes like Mulholland Drive and Trainspotting as references for the producers of this movie. [Noé’s last feature film, 2002’s] Irreversible made money, and so I said, Let’s gamble again. We won once, so we might win twice. But I actually don’t know if they’re going to get all of their money back [on Enter the Void] because the movie is more experimental than I expected. Some people told me that after they came to see the movie, they went back to their hotel or their house and they cried because of some weird post-traumatic stress.

I’ve spoken to similarly experimental filmmakers like Michel Gondry and Lars von Trier, both of whom work through personal mommy issues in their films. It seems like something on which you’re also fixated. For someone who has never had a baby and has never gone through an abortion, I have an obsession with pregnancy. [Noé’s 1998 film] I Stand Alone is about a pregnant woman. And in Irreversible, Monica Bellucci is pregnant when she gets raped. In this one again, you see the birth of a baby—maybe I’m struggling to repress the natural law of being a father. But if Lars von Trier is obsessed with his mother, maybe I’m more obsessed with the idea of time: What is the present? What is memory? I started thinking about this movie back when I was a teenager, when I was worried about dying before having done anything. Now that I’m 46, I’m concerned with death because I don’t think there’s anything after it. There is life in the present tense, but then the present dissipates into the past, and what’s left? Nothing.

Although it’s morbid, Enter the Void does in some ways feel like a celebration of a young man’s life. It hasn’t been my experience, but I know a lot of kids [like the film’s ill-fated protagonist, Oscar] whose only goal is to do drugs and fuck girls, or fuck boys. And, if I’m being honest, in my twenties, besides directing short movies, my main goal was to get laid and get drunk.

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Do you see a lot of yourself in the character of Oscar? I almost wanted to call the character Gaspar. Although I’ve never dealt drugs, there are many aspects of the movie that are biographical.

Have you had many frightening experiences with drugs? I always played it safe compared to some of my friends, who were taking acid and mushrooms without limits. I can’t really smoke marijuana because I’m kind of already too paranoid without it. Each time I dropped acid or ate mushrooms, I’d consider the things I was hallucinating from a cinematic perspective, most likely with this film in mind. I always wanted to make a movie from the perspective of a stoned main character. So each time I got stoned I’d think, How can I reproduce this? But when I started production on this movie I really stopped doing anything, even on weekends, because it seemed dangerous to my social behavior.

Most people would assume that you’d need to be high in order to make a film that replicates the experience of being high. Not only did I abstain from drugs over the course of the shoot, but I also asked all of the actors and crew to abstain. Some people can work on cocaine, but most people who take it argue and get into fights, while marijuana can turn people stupid. My main actress [Paz de la Huerta] is kind of an alcoholic, so after working 14 hours every night I had to go get drinks with her, but I found myself drinking too much vodka, so I had to slow down.

Have you stayed sober since the film wrapped? The next project I would like to do is an erotic movie, so I’m not into burning my brain right now.

There’s been speculation that this erotic film might be shown in 3D. Are you considering that possibility? If you want to see non-professionals naked, you need a small crew, and I don’t know if 3D cameras require a lot of people to operate. If they do, then I’ll just stick with two dimensions. Another problem with 3D films is that they’re often shown in multiplexes where daring movies can’t be shown. Once I start pre-production on the movie, I’ll check to see if 3D might be an option. If it’s not a problem on set, then why not?

With a few exceptions, there aren’t many mainstream filmmakers willing to show actual intercourse on camera. It’s going to be a mix of real sex and simulated sex. Sometimes it’s easier to simulate because if the guy doesn’t have a hard-on that can make things difficult. But there are other issues, too, like maybe one of the actors has a boyfriend or a girlfriend. For real couples, having sex is an intimate thing, and so they don’t necessarily want people watching their intimacy. So I’ve decided that the best way to show real sex is to cast two single people who used to be a couple. I’m not a voyeur or a peeping tom, but I’ve seen people having sex in front of my eyes and it’s fun.

You don’t seem easily shocked. When you were filming in Tokyo, was there anything that surprised you? The limits of what can and cannot be done in Japan are very different. They’re much more into S&M, but in a playful way. The Japanese have a very different perception of what sex is and what sex should be. When I visit a new city I always ask, What’s the strangest place you can bring me to? Maybe they’ll bring you to a rollercoaster and maybe they’ll bring you to a restaurant run by transvestites.

What was the weirdest place in Tokyo? I went to a few of them. I went to a host bar, where all these rich ladies came in with their Chihuahuas and had young men serving them drinks.

Do you feel like New York is much more tame by comparison? Tokyo today is what New York was in the ’70s. There are few cities today that are as wild as Tokyo—maybe Paris and Berlin. New York is very restrained compared to what it used to be. It’s started looking like Switzerland. Where are all the sleazy areas that we used to see in movies like Taxi Driver?

Gansevoort Parks Itself In Midtown

The bottom of the luscious swimming pool at the much-anticipated Gansevoort Park hotel has an enthusiastic gal painted on its bottom accompanied by the words “I’m Waiting.” Everyone is waiting and expecting this wondrous addition to 29th Street. It will soon join The Ace and Mario Batali and so many others in an East/West corridor of luxury. The Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking is a success that keeps getting better. The renovation of many of the hotel’s public spaces and the additions of Provocateur, Tanuki Tavern and now Carte Blanche, has taken the property to a new level. Owner Michael Achenbaum, like all luxury hotel operators, is a perfectionist. As my assistant Alice Urmey and I were toured the Ganesvoort Park yesterday afternoon he was constantly, and always in a very gentlemanly manner, instructing workers to do this or that and paying attention to the smallest details. He even stopped to remove some fool’s chewing gum from a flawless glass tiled column. He is as excited as any new father about his new gem. The ICrave-designed restaurants and bars are simply stunning. There are balconies everywhere, outdoor decks and color and light. It’s a forward design that is both chic and accessible. It’s for a smart set that demands smarter service and amenities as the boutique hotel industry learns form itself how to thrill it’s guests.

We retreated from the saws and hammers of the frenetic crews to a sprawling, luxury suite to do this interview. The property’s sound is by the world famous Lord Toussant, who did Pacha’s legendary system. He is an artist, and worker bees were scrambling to prepare for his arrival. He is one perfect piece for the perfect puzzle that Michael and his team are creating. We talked for hours and I’m sure we could have gone on for days. Greatness comes from enthusiasm, talent, experience and smarts. Michael Achenbaum is all that.

You renovated the lobby of the Meatpacking. Everyone makes mistakes or underestimates or overestimates real conditions. You are not daunted by these errors. You recognize them, and you adjust, you change, you perfect, and invariably the end result is ten times better than it was before. You recognized the way you built the space wasn’t the way it worked or should’ve worked, and you made an adjustment. Let’s talk about this adjustment. We realized that when we had done that hotel, our experience previously had been more of Holiday Inns and Hiltons as far as hotels. When we did that front lobby originally, we didn’t have a true understanding of the idea of the social environment for your front lobby. Especially with the interaction with what we have with our rooftop, it became a very difficult space and it never really fulfilled its potential to become a separate social entity. By doing the renovation, we felt that by using ICrave, who do lounge and restaurant spaces, we would create a space that was incredibly guest-friendly. That particular renovation wasn’t done on its own, it was combined with eight million dollars worth of renovations that we’ve done to our food and beverage in the past year: Bringing in Michael Satsky and Brian Gefter to do Provocateur; Jeffrey Chodorow doing the Tanuki space; Renovating the rooftop where we put a lot of time and effort into tearing out Plunge and creating a new feel and sensation with Deborah Anderson’s art and the light boxes on the wall. We really tried to reinvigorate that space even though our numbers were up last year.

It’s arguable that in the last ten years the major trend in hotels has been the importance of food and beverage. You have taken this to a different level . Not only do you have lounges, clubs and restaurants driving your hotels, you also have pools. This is unique to your group. We look at a lot of our competitors, and there’s a reason why clients go to the various hotels. I don’t always agree with everything they do and they don’t always agree with everything I do. Not on a personal level, but just on a business level. We try to balance the fact that we have a huge food and beverage component, as far as our revenue sources, with providing a higher level of service in our opinion, than most of our competitors. When you look at our numbers, over 75% of our profits come from the rooms business. It is actually quite different than a lot of our competitors, where I think their profits really come out of their food and beverage. One thing we do gain from having a Provocateur, a Tanuki, Carte Blanche, the new lobby bar, the renovated Plunge, is that it brings renown to the product and helps push your occupancy. And when you push your occupancy you can push your rate. And that’s what we’re really trying to do—get that undercurrent of velocity on sales of your rooms so that way you can achieve a higher room rate earlier. If you don’t sell your room until very late in the game and you’re only selling them three days ahead of time, you end up having a very difficult time raising your rates and you end up selling them below what you could have otherwise achieved. For example, going into August we were already 63% sold for the entire month of August. We now have the ability to push our rates on those last 37% of our rooms. It sounds crazy, but I’ve run 96% occupied for almost the last four months.

The word Gansevoort is a very strange word. Before, when people would go to Florent, which was the mainstay on Gansevoort Street back in the day, no one could ever pronounce it right. When you were calling it the Gansevoort hotel, was the difficulty of the name a consideration? It wasn’t actually my first choice to be honest. It was my architect’s choice, and I will give him credit, Stephen Jacobs. He suggested it because when we bought into the project, and we ended up buying out our partners, we started to attend meetings about land-marking the district. The area is actually a landmark district called the Gansevoort Market. It’s not actually called the Meatpacking District, even though it’s always been referred to that way historically. It’s almost like calling your hotel The Soho if you were in Soho. At the same time, we were very concerned that people would be unable to pronounce it properly, but I believe that one of our greatest achievements was something written about in the Post. The New York Post ran a brief story about the top places in New York City as far as drop off and pick up points for cabs, and the number one besides the airports in all of New York City was 18 Ninth Avenue, which is our address. It’s not only people coming to us, though a lot of them were, it’s also a lot of people who just say take me to the Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District as a launching point for wherever their evenings will take them.

I absolutely do that. I know my cab driver knows where it is, and no matter where I’m going over there, whether I’m going to Spice or getting my hair cut at Bumble and Bumble, I say take me to the Gansevoort Hotel. What’s great about that for us is one, it’s in the back of your mind, and two, that people know how to pronounce it now. That was one of the things I loved about it, because I thought people must know how to pronounce it if everyone knows how to get there now. It was a scary thing at first, but we also felt that it was the intent of the hotel, the intention of our design and everything was to create an experience that would attract a lot of people from Europe, from the West Coast—that kind of clientele. We felt that was an appropriate use of that name. Stylistically, we did a lot of things that tied back to it being Dutch. The actual font of our logo is a Dutch font. There are a lot of details that most people aren’t even aware of. Gansevoort actually means forward goose, the lead goose. So we have a little goose that comes on the bed and quacks.

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You just discussed the clientele that comes to the downtown Gansevoort. Now you’re opening this one on 29th and Park, which is an area that I’ve been visiting for years. Is there going to be a difference in clientele at the two hotels? The perception of the downtown hotel is that we’re almost all transient and media, but at the same time we are 35-45% corporate under normal circumstances when the market is stabilized. Group business has historically been about 5% of our business. We expect that to continue. We do expect there will be some cross pattern because people are going to want to experience the new hotel, but there’s a clientele that always wants to be in the Meatpacking District and there’s a clientele that always wants to be in Soho. There’s going to be a clientele that wants to be there no matter what, because socially that area is very specific and very special. As the Whitney and all of these other places come down there, it’s just going to get better. But at the same time up here, we think that this hotel, with the design we’ve done, with room sizes, the finishes, and the overall product that we’re building here, we feel that this hotel is truly designed to compete with the Peninsulas, Four Seasons, and Palaces of New York City, rather than being considered a downtown hotel stylistically. What we’re trying to do here is provide, from lobby to guestroom, a Four Seasons experience. Service-wise, room appearances, and amenity-wise. At the same time you have the social options of a downtown hotel. We don’t think anyone has ever done that in New York City.

There’s a bunch of hotels being put up along this 29th Street corridor. 29th Street was historically one of the worst whore-ridden blocks in the city. This was a very bad block. It can’t be worse than what the Meatpacking was (laughs).

But the neighborhood has completely changed and continues to grow. When you look at Soho and Tribeca, these areas excel because of the physical layouts of the buildings. It’s lofts and townhouses, whereas the East Village is tenements. It’s now a growth neighborhood. Is that why you’re here? Do you see 29th and Park as the next neighborhood? As far as location-wise for our clients, it’s a great fit right between the downtown market and the uptown market. Being able to have somebody who is able to go to meetings fifteen blocks away, right in Midtown, is a great bonus to our clientele. At the same time, we definitely saw it as a growth market, just as when we went into the Meatpacking District we felt there would be a lot of growth around us. A perfect example of that was one time I met a real estate broker, and he didn’t know what I did, and I asked him what he was working on. He said he’s moving a client that is similar to a Paragon from another city to New York, and he said he’s moving them to Park Avenue South. I asked him where on Park Avenue South, and he said he wants to be near the new Gansevoort, but not so close that he pays the premium. We really believe that with us, the Ace, the new Batali coming in, and some other major players coming into this market, you’re going to see a huge pop in this area. We had faith that if we came, others would follow.

In Las Vegas, retail definitely drives hotels and in turn the casinos. It’s less so with the properties in New York. If you look at the Meatpacking District as one giant mall with the clubs and everything like that, you have these great stores around it. But over here on Park Ave it hasn’t been the case. Lacoste is committed to having a store in the hotel. How much will retail drive hotels? I’m very interested in doing this store because it’s a very unique concept and I really believe in Steve Birkhold’s vision of where he’s taking his brand. For me, it’s a great brand association because he’s going to be doing not only his classic look and yearly changes in that look, he’s also going to be doing partnerships with major designers to do special edition products with us as well. He’s also going to be doing special edition shoes designed by well-known Japanese designers.

You told me that you and Andre Balazs are different players, and sometimes disagree. What are the differences between Andre Balazs’ approach and your approach? As far as the food and beverage, we have different perspectives on it. Andre does most of the food and beverage in house, while we’re partners in our food and beverage operations. But I really respect the knowledge that others who have been very successful in their industry bring to the table. Their branding adds value to my property. I think it’s worth having a better pie and maybe having a little bit smaller piece of that pie, than having a pie of crap. Maybe that’s not the nicest way of saying that (laughs). From my point of view, I want to ensure—because you have to remember it’s not just your restaurant and it’s not just your bar. It’s your room service, your catering, and all those things. As much as people think you can put something together and just do it yourself, a lot of times you just don’t do a great job. The first person to ever do it successfully was Ian in partnership with Jeffrey Chodorow doing Asia de Cuba and all of these different concepts together. Ian clearly saw the value in bringing in great operators to do work with him. He changed the whole business model to food and beverage being a driving factor in your hotel product. I think a large part of that was Ian’s background of having been at Studio 54 and understanding that being the social center of something was so relevant. Up until that time food and beverage was a losing department for almost all hotels in the world. Almost no hotels made money on it, and they certainly didn’t make money on it if they took into consideration capital cost. Usually when people would see the value in a hotel’s food and beverage, they would ignore the fact that there was a huge capital influx that had to go in initially, and they wouldn’t take that into consideration by giving no return to the owner.

Most hotels just put in food and beverage because they need to service the clients. They have to have room service, so you might as well have a restaurant and hope for the best. Ian changed the whole game by creating a place where the food and beverage was a social center. I think there was a lull in this for a few years after, and it’s coming back really strong right now with the Bowery, with us, with Ace. Hotels and the different environments set at the hotels are becoming the social centers of the city.

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You’ve built the downtown Gansevoort and the Park Avenue Gansevoort from the ground up. Being a perfectionist, you’ve learned a lot of lessons from the Meatpacking Gansevoort, such as sound proofing, locations of elevators, and bathrooms. There were a lot of problems downtown, which you adjusted. I’d like to point out that most of these problems were due to success beyond reasonable expectations. The property is so popular that elevators and hospitality were originally unable to handle the needs. What accommodations or adjustments were made in design at the Park Avenue location for food and beverage? We have a three-level rooftop with two interior levels and one exterior. We over-elevated the hotel. We have two express elevators to the rooftop that have seven thousand pounds of lift and they run high speed. Our elevators are going to run express from the ground to the rooftop. We no longer have those elevators stopping and also they don’t interfere with my guests’ hotel experiences because they’ll have their own separate elevator from the lobby. These elevators come off of a separate entrance, which is another factor. We’re not having a line outside of the hotel entrance. We’ll have the line on the Park Avenue side with a separate entrance and a long corridor where we can have guests wait as well. And then you release them from that corridor to the elevators, both of those elevators running express. The express elevators literally take twenty or thirty seconds to get up there. We created back corridors from one side of the hotel to the other, so that both staff and patrons always have access, and are never caught on one side without bathrooms. We did far more bathrooms per guest than we had originally done with much higher-end finishes. We built an indoor/outdoor pool. That way it’s truly usable all year round. I’m not a huge fan of indoor pools, so by having it the way we set it up, the indoor pool opens to the outside pool. During the summer it’s completely open air, and if you’re using the interior portion of the pool during the winter you can actually dive through the door and come out on the outside. You don’t have to have that chlorinated sensation when you’re in the pool. We built a full kitchen on the roof so the service and the speed at which patrons get their food is far greater. We built many more bars, and each space has an outdoor area right off it, so if people want to smoke they do have that option rather than us telling them they have to go downstairs or find one spot on the roof where they can smoke. The fact that we built five interior spaces on that roof plus the indoor venues gives us the option to hold several events at the same time. I can now run an event on the entire penthouse one, and still have penthouse two and the roof deck available for something else. I can take the Red Room, which is one of our event spaces on that rooftop, and sever it from all of the other spaces. That way I can still have a private event there for 100 or 200 people, but the rest of the rooftop is available for other events or standard bar service. It gives me much more flexibility by being able to divide up the space.

Does the term “boutique hotel” have any meaning anymore? Not really, in my opinion. I think the world has bastardized that term to the point where it really just means a stylish hotel, or a hotel that is in large part food and beverage driven. I’m 249 keys—how boutique can I truly be? We feel that we offer a high level of service and style, and a lot of social options, but I feel that to be a true boutique hotel, you have to look at hotels like those in England. Tim and Kit from the Crosby. Their hotel is in London, with that bed and breakfast kind of service, though a higher level of service. They were really elegant, smaller, and had 75 keys. When you start getting into hotels that are 150 to 300 keys, it’s very hard. When Ian did the Hudson while he was working at the Morgan Group, he totally flipped this concept on its head. He took a concept of what was boutique, and truly made it fun and stylish. That’s fine, because it doesn’t matter what you call something, it’s the experience the guest has that’s far more relevant. As long as you’re providing a certain level of service and that experience you come to expect, I don’t care what you define me as. I’d prefer to be called luxury.

Luxury is a good word. I’ve been to the Hudson recently, and it’s amazing. It’s better than it ever was. Where are you going in the next five to ten years? Where is this brand going? We’re going to try two things. We want to grow through third party management deals and development. The problem is the product always has to exceed what I’ve done originally. I look at the original Gansevoort and I think it’s a great product and I think it more than suits its market, but I always want to do better. As you said, people in my industry are perfectionists. I look at it and I say, we’ve built a great product, but we can always do better. There are other projects that we are in discussions with about building Gansevoort quality products, but at the same time we are looking at creating a sub- brand. This will give us a little bit more flexibility, because I don’t necessarily have to have a full rooftop pool, or I don’t have to have a full service spa. I could have just the gym. I need that flexibility because I won’t do a Gansevoort without certain amenities. I will never build a product that will disappoint my clients if they come to a Gansevoort property. Some of my competitors have been much more willing to take on many different products, and that’s a different business model and I understand it, but I want people to know what they’re getting when they book my rooms. That’s why I’m very adamant that Gansevoort maintain a different level, and then I’m willing to look at alternative products that will still be vibrant and fun and offer the same level of service, but maybe don’t offer the full array of amenities that a Gansevoort would. That’s another direction we’re thinking of taking, not only our own management development, but also third party deals.

Another thing Ian has done, and we talk about Ian because we both love him and he’s such a genius and innovator, Ian has attached residential to his hotel. Is there a possibility you might do this with future developments? We had done that in Miami, and that was the problem with the project. As a hotel, it was perceived as very successful, but it was cross-collateralized with 255 condominiums that I couldn’t sell. Of those 255, I sold half of those and people walked on their contracts. It’s not that I wouldn’t do residential along with it, but my preference because I am a long-term holder, would be to do a beautiful rental job.

Tell me about Carte Blanche—the ups, the downs, your aspirations. The name is an apropos name for what we’ve created, because we feel that it’s a little bit of something for everyone. You have the opportunity to go in there and there’s so many different things you can enjoy there. You have an outdoor deck, you have a pool table, you have a seating area with a lounge feel to it and DJs in the front lobby. You have a deli counter where you can take out, a seating area, where you have tables and that area. We feel that it hits a number of different constituencies that would enjoy that space, and really revitalizes and invigorates that corner.

It makes you more accessible to the public. Many times you have to go into a hotel lobby to experience it. This being on the corner, the brand isn’t so intimidating. I eat at the Peacock Alley at the Waldorf constantly because it’s a great little place to have a meeting or rendezvous. But no one would ever think of going to the Waldorf to have a meal. The brand is intimidating. A trendy hotel can be intimidating but with the High Line and the shopping bringing a diverse clientele you’ve made the Gansevoort more accessible. The fact you had people walking in, whether it be guests, children with their parents, beautiful models, and they see a pool table, it’s something that draws you to it. It’s an opportunity for people to meet and socialize around this environment. That’s what we really wanted to create, because as I said earlier in our discussion, I felt our original design was proper. It shouldn’t be proper; it should be comfortable and entice you in. That’s what I want for my lobbies. While the new one here, Gansevoort Park, is very beautiful—the furniture is far more comfortable than the furniture in the first hotel. There’s a fireplace—it has certain elements that are going to draw you in either way. That lobby, I felt I couldn’t find a seat that I felt comfortable in. I always felt disappointed that we had not done a more appropriate job of catering to our client. I feel that this new product really does. Jeffrey Chodorow has done a spectacular job with the food—a really unique menu with crepes, carafes of mixed drinks, a great bar menu—and there are all of these different ways to experience it. The food is tremendous and we feel that the price point of what we’ve given is something that is appealing to the neighbors in the area, the businesses in the area, and also to our clients. When you go out to most of the places in the Meatpacking District it’s quite expensive, and this is an alternative that’s a little more relaxed and price sensitive.

Tilda Swinton & Sally Potter on ‘Orlando’

“We must try and forget history and stay in the present moment,” says Academy Award-winning actress Tilda Swinton in reference to her overstuffed traveling schedule—Paris yesterday, Rome the day before. She’s drinking black tea with milk on a sofa at the Bowery Hotel and perusing the lunch menu. Next to her sits Sally Potter, the director of The Tango Lesson, Rage, and Orlando, a 1992 film Swinton stars in and which they are both here to promote. They order beet salads. Swinton is lithe, alabaster-skinned, and radiant in a cardinal red pantsuit by Phoebe Philo for Céline. Potter is a formidable beauty in a long gray skirt. She looks like she knows her way around an English garden. I can’t decide which is more intimidating. Certainly, they are both acrobatically intelligent and posses an Anglo knack for formulating articulate, earnest answers, and they are clearly excited to be in each other’s company as they discuss Orlando, which is being re-released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles this Friday. It’s a spellbinding film based on the century-hopping, gender-bending novel by Virginia Woolf. Except, Swinton doesn’t believe in gender. Here they are on lying, laziness, and the trouble with identity.

I know you screened Orlando at MoMA last night. How did it go? SP: It was wonderful. They turned a lot people away. We did a Q&A afterward. It was a good time had by all I think.

Why did Sony choose this moment to re-release the film? SP: You would have to ask them, I’d be curious to know exactly why. The truth is we’ve been lobbying them for eight years. Pretty much around the tenth anniversary we started to lobby them. But then for whatever reason they have decided now is the right time and we have been very grateful to them.

Did you have a sense last night that the audience reacted differently to the film than they did in the early 90’s? TS: No actually, very similarly. SP: Very welcoming, very responsive. There was something liberating about it. And of course it was made then, but many people are seeing it for the first time. So what’s the difference? I think it doesn’t matter technically when it is made, and re-releasing it just gives an opportunity for people to see it.

What drew you to the story of Orlando in the first place? SP: It is a brilliant book by a brilliant author written in an extraordinarily visual and cinematic way. It manages to be both epic and poetic, sort of condensed and yet huge, and so ambitious it makes you laugh. It’s as if all the world is in it, and yet you can’t narrow through that. In a way it is the opposite of the feeling of human limitation. It is saying no to that. It’s just wonderful.

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So you’re a fan of Virginia Woolf. SP: You might say that. I actually love the things that aren’t so popular. Her essays, her diaries, her thoughts. She is such a serious and passionate thinker, and very honest in her diaries about her struggles, including, by the way, about writing Orlando. She talks about hating it, why did she have to spout so many words. So she shares her doubts, and it’s wonderful.

Did you have Tilda in mind when you set out to make the film? SP: I think Virginia Woolf had Tilda in mind (laughs). I started writing a treatment some years before, but I think the search for Orlando was so completely central to the idea of whether it could work or not.

What is it about Tilda that allows her to play Orlando? SP: You see, she is beyond actressing. It’s about being and doing and embodiment and presence—all the metaphysical, philosophical things about how you perceive and how you receive communication with another being. Feeling of complexity. It was never about pretending to be someone else, but rather arriving at being present for all eternity at the moment of the camera turning. And that great project of thought and being-ness on screen, I think Tilda and I completely shared. We were sort of shoulder to shoulder in that great project.

So many people have great difficulty playing the opposite gender… TS: I’m not sure what the opposite gender should be.

Opposite sex, I should say. TS: What opposite sex? I’m not really aware…I’m very lazy. I mean, generally, I’m a kind of an idle person, and that accrues to the idea of applying either feminine or masculine traits. SP: Could I allow myself to disagree with this laziness thing?

TS: But I am! SP: No, I think what you are, is you refuse false effort. TS: Okay, well I’m not a good liar. SP: Well that’s good, so you are not pretending. TS: No, no. I can’t pretend, and that is why it’s always so strange to hear myself referred to as an actress, because I am not a good actress. I even refuse to be. SP: All the best people who perform in a way refuse to act. They’re looking for the something. Directors refuse to direct. TS: I have always been touched and genuinely moved by the efforts of society to hang on to aspects of identity. ‘Oh, I’m a girl so I’ve got to be like this. Oh, I’m a boy so I’ve got to be like this. Oh, I’m a mother now so I have to be like that.’ That feeling is really just dealing with a series of prescriptions. It feels like such a waste of effort. There is given to us real genuine fluidity and multiplicity. I’m not even sure that I believe identity exists, to be honest. The labor that people go to be attached to elements of our identity I find very touching. SP: It is so interesting. I’ve worked with wonderful dancers and musicians and they refuse to push and eject artificial effort into things. It’s this sort of state of apparent ease. There is this incredible relaxation in the face, which is earned actually. I’m fascinated by it, expenditure of energy in relation to result.

Lots of people read Orlando as a feminist text, but the film seems more concerned with being humanitarian than feminist. SP: I don’t think ‘ist’ really belonged to it—or to anything else. I think Virginia Woolf explored all this stuff about womaness and femininity and masculinity with all the depth that one could muster. But it is more about complexity and essences and an enormous amount of metaphysical and literary preoccupations in the book.

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I was reading a New York Times review that came out when Orlando was first released in 1992 and it said the film manages to be “dazzling without being anesthetizing.” I also thought this statement applied to I Am Love. How do you deal with class without making it the subject of the film itself? TS: This is the big question. Sally has not yet seen I Am Love. Both of the films are about rich people, but about liberation within rich people’s milieu. So the point of emotional contact is with humans, not with the objects that these human’s lives surround themselves with. That is a simple thing—you think it would be more common. But it is interesting that there is a sort of mesmeric quality. When you make a film about rich people it is kind of dangerous because it is possible for people to… Rich people get rich for a reason, because apparently it is really nice to live there in that world surrounded by Diptyque candles and such. There is a sort of feeling of vicarious, memorized passivity. Both of those films place an active human being in the heart of those stories who actually manage to liberate themselves. SP: Orlando is really about a human cutting a passage through the accident birth, in a certain way. But the other difference is, I try—we all try—to make it throw away, to put an enormous amount of detail in the background, an enormous amount of detail and care and then not concentrate on it particularly. I’m always looking at what is important to look at. The temptation as a director is you’ve got this incredible background so you take the camera and kind of look at everything like this [pans widely] and it’s just there and that gives you a different relationship to the setting.

How much does costume—both Orlando and I Am Love have spectacular wardrobe design—help you put yourself in a character? TS: Well, dressing up and playing is the really best way I can explain what I do in terms of being a performer. Disguising oneself appropriately is the meat and potatoes of my work, and of course it is also great fun. Especially working for enlightened and up-for-it people like Sandy Powell, who did the costumes for Orlando, and whom I’ve worked with for many years, all through the Jarman films. It’s almost impossible to imagine the film being made without her, actually, because she brought the same sort of anarchic spirit to the costumes. There is something so modern in everything she does, the texture, there is something subversive. What’s the difference between dressing up for film and real life? Well, not that much.

Do you have plans to work together again? Always! We are still working on Orlando.

Summer Preview: How the Hamptons Spent Its Winter Vacation

The off-season on the East End was nothing so much as an elaborate game of musical chairs, where restaurants swapped locations, switched bays and changed towns, and when the music stopped, one of the only people sans chair was, of course, Jean Luc. Read on for our detailed round up of what’s moved and shook on the island over the winter, and be sure to check out all the latest openings and perks on our comprehensive Hamptons Guide for the iPhone. Enjoy!

Last year’s Southampton daytime-drinking party-starter Day & Night, following the trend, has moved further east. For the season ahead, kicking off with the Memorial Day bash this Saturday, the bros. Koch describe a circus that features everything short of a French dwarf running around screaming “De plane, boss, de plane.” But give them time, plans do, in fact, include a seaplane (“We’re working with V1 Jets to offer packaged seaplane flights from NYC directly to the venue,” Daniel Koch tells us) and jet skis shuttling guests from boats in the harbor to the party. It all sounds like great fun until you realize that the boys aren’t playing in the Pink Elephant‘s sandbox anymore, that jet skis are prohibited in Three Mile Harbor (that goes double for seaplanes), and that the East Hampton PD once carted a gallery owner who had been in the town for three decades away in a police cruiser because she served wine at an art opening without a permit. Then it gets more fun.

RdV. East (from the crew behind the Meat Packing District’s Bagatelle, Kiss & Fly, and, of course, RdV) takes on the Tavern space (which previously hosted La Playa) and promises to perk up what has become a dwindling club scene. With Pink Elephant sunk in a legal morass, RdV East joins Dune and Lily Pond as the only legitimate club options this side of the canal.

The Montauk locals and watchers of the inexorable crawl of Hamptons glam toward the ocean have been buzzing about the next nail in the coffin of The End’s homespun charm. Sean MacPherson (who with Eric Goode has ridden the Maritime Hotel, Bowery Hotel and Graydon Carter’s Waverly Inn to near obnoxious success and The Jane Ballroom to notoriety) purchased the ever-so-slightly dilapidated–err, homey–inn and restaurant The Crow’s Nest. The acquisition came too late for him to do anything other than run it as is this season, but next year he promises to open a “new and improved” version.

Of course, the inevitable alarms have already sounded, to such an extent that you nearly expect villagers to meet Macpherson with pitchforks and torches when he finally does a Surf Lodge on the complex (also known as, making it a place people might actually want to stay). MacPherson certainly has, by all accounts, a prime spot, just across Lake Montauk from the newly revitalized Montauk Yacht Club (boasting its own revamped restaurant, The Gulf Coast Kitchen). It still remains to be seen if neighbors won’t complain as vociferously as they have about the Surf Lodge, situated on Fort Pond. There’s no reason to believe they won’t.

And, if you can believe it, the Memory Motel in Montauk narrowly missed being turned into a “a cool little box hotel” by reality TV couple Bob and Cortney Novogratz of Bravo’s 9 By Design. As the couple told Hamptons.com, “we missed the deal by a week.” While the landmark escaped that fate, owner Artie Schneider told us that he did indeed make a deal for the hotel portion of the property with someone else (though he’ll retain the bar immortalized by the Rolling Stones in the song of the same name). Changes could come in as little as a month or so, he said.

New casual coastal restaurant Navy Beach opened early and well on a distant stretch of road along some of of Montauk’s prettiest bay beaches, down the sand from what had long been a naval base. The nautical theme carries throughout, from the reclaimed wood from the base in the interior, to the flags over the bar spelling “drink” in maritime code, to the seafood on the menu (though one menu item far from seafaring has been winning raves: the burger).

New this year to Bridgehamton will be Southfork Kitchen, the restaurant opening Bruce Buschel has been chronicling in the New York Times. His list of “100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do” stirred a shit-storm and garnered him a Facebook “fan” page calling for a boycott before his spot even had a name. Southfork Kitchen says it is set to serve “local and sustainable” seafood, and if you want to read how cute and fun it is to come up with names and logos and menu items and rules for servers you can read Buschel’s blog.

Ed “Jean Luc” Kleefield once joked that he would auction off the right to smash the sign from his restaurant in East Hampton. It looks like someone has finally taken him up the offer (though without the auction). The sign for Prime 103, his steakhouse on Montauk Highway now lies shattered.

And in Sag Harbor there are signs of life at the former JLX. The “Help Wanted” signs in all the windows prompted a burly passerby with dreadlocks down his back to stop and marvel. “What? So, he’s going to open it back up now?” he said incredulously. “This guy owes me $2,000 bucks, literally.” The passerby will have to get in line, but, in fact, it isn’t Jean Luc reopening the restaurant. A part of the team from the successful Trata in Watermill will make a go of it in Sag Harbor. There’s no name yet, but word is that the spot will be a French-inflected bistro, as it had been.

Now for the others who found new chairs: Mezzaluna AMG packed it in after one season, but Tim Bando of The Meeting House quickly moved in with his sleek and sexy Exile Bar. And Serafina has now taken the former Matto location in East Hampton, offering the same fare served at its midtown stalwarts. The Lodge in EH also closed, but owner Micheal Gluckman moved on up to the Springs with the Boathouse, a two-level seafooder overlooking the water. The Boathouse displaced local favorite Bostwick’s, which promptly, dressed down a bit, moved down toward Montauk Highway and opened in the former Cherrystones as Bostwick’s Chowder House. Also in East Hampton, Wei Fun said sayonara and has been replaced by The Grill on Pantigo, a sort of more casual and modern younger sibling to the 1770 House. Finally, a restaurant called Race Lane is set to open in the former Lodge spot. The owners say Race Lane will hark back to the days when the restaurant was The Laundry (which had moved to a new location a few years ago and closed this winter).

Got all that?

NYC: All the Week’s Parties

With Spring comes a veritable shift in nightlife. Not only are rooftops reopening and patios getting their shine on, but people start feeling inspired to jumpstart their social life and there are plenty of new offerings vying to be the jumper cables. Simonez makes a jump to Pravda on Wednesday nights (an attendees sardonic review: “Like the Vanity Fair Oscar party combined with being backstage at Woodstock”), and Mike has started using his Apartment to shoot rap videos. Meanwhile, all wait with baited breath to see what will become of the old Nells/new Scott and Richie spot, which is set to open next month.

THURSDAY

Lowdown: This is Manhattanites’ Friday night. Whipped has moved to Baddies, the hipster alcoholics moving closer to their hipster roots. Hot Now:CV (Lower East Side) – Something has finally been done with the over-saturated spot formerly known as 105 Rivington. Let’s see how long this minor revamp will last. ● BEast(Chinatown) – Main Man, Ryan McGinley’s night of debauchery, is still in swing. Expect a Misshape or two, Sophia Lamar, and a band of insiders. ● Coffee Shop (Union Square) – One of the true day clubs, chocked full of promoters networking via text message; the basement named USL will be making random appearances throughout the week. Avenue, Boom Boom Room and 1Oak are still a great standby for good times, while the down belows like Macao’s basement opium den, is also great. imageBaddies (West Village) – The former Butter party was moved around until it finally flew to coop to the basement bar of Kingswood. Resident hipster DJs Matt & Maia draw out big name fashion folks like Alexander Wang and the Ronsons. Other Things to Try:New Party: The guys from Stereo of party days past have a newbie night at the Penthouse @ Hotel on Rivington named “A Family Affair.” Could use a better name. ● About Town: Fashion folks, take a break from your vodka/cigarette diet and check out ‘Wichcrafts cozy sandwich/fire pit thingy. “Bryant Park’s Southwest Porch provides free appetizers and drinks courtesy of ‘wichcraft, with heat lamps and a fire pit to stay warm.” Yeah, no hooch but it’s free food and a toasty atmosphere. If you’re a Bushwickian, head to Don Pedro’s from 9-10PM (the working man’s Happy Hour) for some free Colt 45 and some metal music at the Impose’s Test Patterns party for a mere $5 cover. If you’re one to mourn the loss of the Annex, then help the Tiswas Weekly party, now at Beauty Bar (on the island). Showboating with vodka from 10:30PM- 11:30PM.

FRIDAY

Lowdown: Doesn’t much feel like Friday if you had the luxury of sitting around your apartment in your underwear, celebrating President’s Day. But it’s already here! Hot Now:Boom Boom Room (Meatpacking District) – You probably won’t make it in like the rest of the plebeians (us included), but if you could, this would be the night to go. ● Home Sweet Home (Lower East Side) – Jonathan Toubin brings the fairly popular New York Night Train to this little living room on Friday nights. ● Santos’ Party House (Chinatown) – A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip. Upstairs. Funk. Other Things to Try:

SATURDAY

Lowdown: Saturday: a day of rest, a night of partying. Hot Now:Boom Boom Room (Meatpacking District) – Again, try your luck. ● Lit Lounge (East Village) – Saturday night is grimy and fun! ● Bowery Hotel (East Village) – Simonez throws ragers here, spanning Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Other Things to Try:

SUNDAY

Lowdown: Sundays have been a solid party night, even through the bluster of the winter season. Hot Now:GoldBar (Nolita) – Frequented by the Ronson clan and celebfolk who go unrecognized by a collection of spendy bankers. A favorite amongst models, Danny Masterson, and DJ Jesse Marco. ● Sway (Sway) – Moroccan themed bar has become the Pants on the Ground song. Sort of creepy, but a guilty pleasure and viral. ● Greenhouse (Soho) – The Van Dam party begs the question: Where is Jean Claude Van Dam? ● White Slab Palace (Lower East Side) – Another odd place to stumble into late night. Hit or miss and always a “Where did all of these people come from?” moment. Other Things To Try:Free Booze: Home Sweet Home tries to offer an alterna-Sway with their new Sunday party, N.W.N.S (No Way No Sway). Enjoy an open vodka bar from 10:30pm-11pm with no cover. ● Arlo and Esme has something called Buns and Puns, free Jell-O shots starting at 7:30PM.

MONDAY

Lowdown: Monday night is for getting rid of your Sunday hangover. Hot Now:Stanton Social (Lower East Side) – Yes, still a great place to have a fun bite/Monday night drinks. ● Butter (Noho) – Not only is this a truly great place to get sloshed on Mondays, I am now excited to admit it. There’s a cool, younger crowd that’s mixing in on Mondays and adding a bit of an edge to the festivities. ● Black & White (Greenwich Village) – Restaurant becomes cramped, sexy, and very cozy after ten. ● Johnny Utah’s (Midtown West) Football season is over, but it’s still industry night here. Other Things to Try:

TUESDAY

Rose Bar (Gramercy) – This really has a lot to do with Nur Khan, who is pairing up with Paul Sevigny on the next New York hot spot, Kenmare. ● Avenue (Chelsea) – People were astounded to find this place under our Tuesday heading: “Duh, the hot nights are Monday and Wednesday, obvi.” Those people are right, but those people have never known the true Bea. And really, Avenue is good every night — right? ● 1Oak (Chelsea) – Right around the corner, the one-of-a-kind kids get the spillage of displaced hipster kids, who can’t decide between one gilded lounge or the other. Again, people agreed to disagree — and with a name like “Tight Jean Tuesday,” we know Jay-Z’s knots don’t fit. ● SL (Meatpacking District) – Might be able to add another notch on its belt; Tuesdays are hot at SL. ● Greenhouse (Soho) – Green followers love Tuesdays too. Other Things to Try:

Free Booze: It’s Trainwreck Tuesday at Angels & Kings. This means two open vodka bars with no cover. The first freebie power half-hour: 10pm-10:30pm, the second from 1-1:30am. Happy Ending has free vodka from 11-12am at their weekly Disco Down party with 66Sick, and Brooklyn’s Glasslands Gallery for Todd & Harrison’s Tuesday Night Disco. This means free absinthe and live music with a $7 cover.

WEDNESDAY

Hot Now:Le Cubain (Lower East Side) – Great spot for pre-drinks and cheap eat with babes with bangs in boots and vintage fur coats. Maybe even make it downstairs for a Chloe revival — bottle models pack it in pre-1Oak and Boom Boom Room. ● 1Oak (Chelsea) – This is still 1Oak’s undisputed hot night. ● Greenhouse (Soho) – BlackFun (indieelectropopbangers) take over the party along with banter & booze from Marc Alan + Kieren+ Mike de Guzman+Joey Nova+ Valerie Termini+Anna Maltezos & Friends. (hint: these are names to drop @ the door kiddies.) ● Avenue (Chelsea) – Another good night for the kids on the Ave. ● subMercer(Soho) – The FAM (Friends and Music) party, featuring Gabby, Richard and Tariq has been going strong for the past few months. ● Su Casa (Greenwich Village)- The kids from Upstairs (remember Upstairs? Leo Di doesn’t either) are putting together this new party. Heavy on the gays and the girls, produced by Michael Cohen, Cameron Moir and Mark Holcomb. imageSouthside (Nolita) – Tutti, Franco, and Brion run the DJ booth at their TGIWednesday party. Von (Noho) – Party in the basement is “pretty packed and a lot of fun” for the Noho set after 10pm. image

All the Week Parties

THURSDAY

Lowdown: This is Manhattanites’ Friday night. Whipped has moved to Baddies, the hipster alcoholics moving closer to their hipster roots. Hot Now:CV (Lower East Side) – Something has finally been done with the over-saturated spot formerly known as 105 Rivington. Let’s see how long this minor revamp will last. ● BEast(Chinatown) – Main Man, Ryan McGinley’s night of debauchery, is still in swing. Expect a Misshape or two, Sophia Lamar, and a band of insiders. ● Coffee Shop (Union Square) – One of the true day clubs, chocked full of promoters networking via text message; the basement named USL will be making random appearances throughout the week. Avenue, Boom Boom Room and 1Oak are still great standbys for good times, while the down-belows like Macao’s basement opium den, is also great. ● Baddies (West Village) – The former Butter party was screwed with until it finally flew the coop to the basement bar of Kingswood. Resident hipster DJs Matt & Maia draw out big name fashion folks like Alexander Wang and the Ronsons.

Other Things to Try:New Party: The guys from Stereo of party days past have a newbie night at the Penthouse @ Hotel on Rivington named “A Family Affair.” Could use a better name. ● About Town: Fashion folks, take a break from your vodka/cigarette diet and check out ‘Wichcrafts cozy sandwich/fire pit thingy. “Bryant Park’s Southwest Porch provides free appetizers and drinks courtesy of ‘wichcraft, with heat lamps and a fire pit to stay warm.” Yeah, no hooch but it’s free food and a toasty atmosphere. For a dose of electro-darkness, Dan Black plays Mercury Lounge with Free Blood (not to be confused with True Blood). Luckily for those who live off of open bars and luckier for those who live for fashion: StyleCaster and SmartWater “Celebrate New York Fashion Week” at Goldbar tonight from 9PM-12AM. Tom Green begins a 3 day stint at Comix while the Music Hall of Williamsburg celebrates their third annual (which is like 10 years in Brooklyn terms!) Dre Day at 10PM. If you’re a Bushwickian, head to Don Pedro’s from 9-10PM (the working man’s Happy Hour) for some free Colt 45 and some metal music at the Impose’s Test Patterns party for a mere $5 cover. If you’re one to mourn the loss of the Annex, then help the Tiswas Weekly party, now at Beauty Bar (on the island). Showboating with vodka from 10:30PM- 11:30PM.