9/11’s Impact on New York Nightlife

I still am reeling from the events of this day, 11 years ago. I don’t think about parties and nightlife on this day, as I still well up and have visions and memories of things I heard and saw that day. Those will be within me, just below the surface, forever. This morning, when I read the phone calls made by victims in their last moments, I remembered and cried. It’s a little better this year knowing that Osama is being eaten by creatures of the deep blue sea.

Yesterday’s article about Thefuture.fm has me thinking; a couple of weeks ago I speculated that the public would soon require more from DJs and club operators. Creativity, I said, would be a commodity used to separate one place from another. I believe that we are nearing a very forward time in nightlife. Thefuture.fm will allow the general public to explore different DJs and their varied sounds. Bottle service, often painted as both the sinner and savior of nightlife, has defined the last decade or more. It is not a coincidence that these years follow the fall of the towers. After the attack, we tended to travel with and to the familiar. A S.I.N., safety- in-numbers mentality, divided the club scenes – which used to be very mixed – into specialized or specific venues. White people hung with white people, rockers with rockers, gays with gays, house heads with house heads, and so on. The mixing of ideas became less important and the large clubs faded or became one-dimensional. Places like Tunnel or Palladium, where multiple DJs and a wide spectrum of people gathered in multiple rooms large and small, became extinct.

A few weeks back I offered that we are again ready for this kind of place, although it probably will occur in Greenpoint or someplace outside of Manhattan. Thefuture.fm will expose the consumer to all sorts of new music. People may like it and want more and demand more from nightlife. As for now, the scene is narrow: the DJs at the bottle service clubs offer music which caters to the bottle buyer; Top 40 is not only accepted but demanded, and safe and familiar is the norm. Mixed format might be labeled "safe," format in most cases. The DJs involved are often skilled and entirely capable of doing it and doing it well, but they’re programmed to do a job that requires dumbing down their sets. Their rewards include huge paydays, travel, and glamour. Clubs used to lead the way, not follow or even ride the wave.

I found myself on the rooftop of the Empire Hotel Saturday night for a Fashion Week soiree. I started playing some Elbow and R.L. Burnside and The Heavy and Hanni El Khatib… obscure stuff, to most, that usually rocks. I moved to familiar rock anthems with a bang and then into electro-rock and even threw in some L.L. Cool J… because I was there. Someone asked me for Rihanna, but I didn’t come prepared. The crowd, for the most part, was talking and such. The place is a large, sprawling comfortable spot with a super-friendly staff. I was told I was doing well, that what I was playing was right, but I didn’t know. They seemed to want new or unfamiliar, and I wasn’t going to go to Jay Z or Adele anyway. The guy before me offered Michael Jackson and such and scratched and sniffed as if he expected them to dance or care. They didn’t. I’m glad I didn’t follow his uninspiring lead and want another crack at that crowd. It was fun.

Tomorrow night I will DJ at my boy Wass Stevens’ birthday bash at Avenue. Wass and I have been hanging for decades and have shared some moments good and otherwise. He is acting a lot. He was in that Oliver Stone WTC flick. He owns a tattoo joint which I have to stumble into with a bad idea. He still does the door, still separates the men from the boys, still keeps the place filled with talent. I guess I’ll start with “Born To Be Wild” and go on from there.

A Birthday, an Anniversary, and a Date With my Editor

I have decided to no longer call my dear friend Nur Khan. From now on he is NUR KHAN. Last night, Nur…er NUR, delivered big time…again. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC) put on a wonderful, intimate, driving rock and roll show at NUR’s Electric Room, which I suspect is the size of many of the dressing rooms this act has gotten used to. I last saw them a couple of Fashion Week’s ago when NUR showcased them at the now-defunct Don Hill’s. At the time, NUR insisted that BRMC was never again going to be seen in a room that small. He was wrong, but in such a good way.

The invite-only crowd was full of the beautiful and cool and all the usual and unusual suspects. There was enough sound in the small Electric Room to power a stadium and a big-time light show as well. Every time I write one of these, fans of the band chime in and get all upset that I don’t talk about what they sang or wore or said. This isn’t a review of the show, but merely a testimonial to NUR and BRMC and the effort put in to enlighten a select few. Electric Room’s Tuesday night DJs Justine Delaney and Nick Marc were on before and after the act. We chatted while Justine offered up sounds that unfortunately cannot be heard in most places. Tonight at Wass’ birthday bash at Avenue, I will be true to my school until they pry me from the booth. I want to say thank you, NUR KHAN.

After my DJ gig, I will be heading to Cielo, another little club that delivers big with a devotion to a purity in music. They are a house venue, and although I definitely rock and roll, I do love house when it isn’t being offered as a mindless medium to jug heads. Tonight is the eighth anniversary of Louie Vega and Kevin Hedge’s Roots NYC. Louie, just in from a seven-week tour of Europe, will spin from 10pm till 4am. He is so "one and only" that I have decided to no longer refer to him as Louie Vega. From now on he is LOUIE VEGA. One of the nicest guys in the biz and easily one of the most talented DJs to come from here. I look forward to his set.

Lastly, my editor Bonnie Gleicher, O.K. BONNIE GLEICHER, has put herself up for sale – or at least rent – in a silent auction win-a-date bidding thing. She will go out for a night on the town that I will arrange with the person who bids the most for her charming company. The loot will go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. As of this writing she is up to $300 but I assure you she’s worth much more. I would walk a million miles for one of her smiles. I’ll write about this adventure and give you 15 minutes of fame (if you like) if you are the winning bidder. Find out more about this date with destiny here.

The Day After Birthday Bash: Feeling Like a Million Yen

My birthday bash at Avenue last night proved to be more fun than a barrel of monkeys. I am limp and drained and wonderful. I feel like a million yen.  Avenue asked me to throw my party there and I couldn’t say no. The good people at Avenue/ Tao Strategic Group have been work associates, friends, and family from the good old days when I was that maniacal Steve Lewis guy. They put up with me then and celebrated me yesterday… in style.

Wass Stevens in a leg and foot cast, making it look sharp, greeted my mixed bag of guests and let most of them in. We chatted at the front door, where he counted his blessings, which included surviving his terrible motorcycle accident, good doctors, and the love of a great woman, Lydia Rivera. Lydia slept on the hard hospital benches, waiting to be there when he woke up. They have been dating for a while now and I am so happy. I have known Lydia for years and she is simply wonderful. Guys like Wass need women who will be there when it counts. Lydia is a keeper.
Inside, I was greeted by a giant silver mylar "STEVE" balloon which made me laugh and smile and swell. The Avenue staff all were expecting me and all took the time to say hey, tell me they were there for me and mine. A flashing Mr. Lewis sign designated my tables. Their tech person had everything I needed for my DJ set. In short: it was perfect.
Every operator talks service and organization, but few come close. Sometimes they are organized but miss the most basic necessity for success. For me, that is the family or team spirit that is instilled in the entire organization. Noah Tepperberg sat next to me, introduced me to his fabulous friends, and told me that the staff was excited that I was having my party there; it showed. Andrew Goldberg was the point man. I asked him to sum up his approach to throwing a good party. He said, "We focus on passion, enthusiasm, and we strive to have the team concept which we hope will translate into a great guest experience."
The cake was amazing. They sent over some Artichoke Pizza (Noah is a partner). They delivered bottles with a fun, not forced demeanor. The honchos in the organization took the time to send me an email or text congratulating me and thanking me for doing my party there. My DJ set was 30 minutes of raw, hard rock. The equipment, booth, tech support and sound in general were perfect. Club God Danny A introduced me to Stella Keitel and told me about his new movie project. Promoters seeded tables near mine, to mingle some beautifuls in with my crew. They all paid respects. I felt…respected. This is the art and science of nightlife at its best. I chatted up Lulu Johnson about her new line and her famous mom who I have always loved. Dean Winters, now known to the world as "that Mayhem guy" came by and hugged and chatted and promised to meet up for dinner soon. Blasts from my distant past chatted up new friends. I went home all warm and fuzzy.
For one week in a row, Le Baron is the greatest club in New York, the world, the galaxy. I know they  will thrive and lead us to a better place and mindset. These guys are pros. The New York nightlife bubble keeps expanding with fabulous places opening up in every corner, catering to all sorts and situations. Players from everywhere and lifestyle are plotting for a bigger piece of this Big Apple pie. I go out almost every night and I observe a great deal of mediocrity making great deals of money. I think everybody in the game right now is doing well. This may change. As real players open up more and more new spots, the phonies will be left more alone. I walk into places and the staff is miserable, being treated like slaves by owners or operators who think thats how things work. It may work for a minute or two longer, but those that run a place like it’s an army will soon lose to those that run things like its a family.

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.

Wass Stevens Opens Up About Accident, Attending My Birthday Tonight At Avenue

Tonight I will celebrate a zillion years of enjoying what I do for a living. I am so much a creature of the night that I just may toast to my eons with Tru Blood, warm and straight from the bottle. I am having my birthday gala at Avenue, where I have many friends… where my friends are family. I will DJ for a few minutes some songs you will Shazam and know forever. The world is still filled with amazing stuff, yet undiscovered. There are some things I am sure about, and that includes the love and respect I am honored to have from many people I will see tonight. One of my oldest and dearest is Wass Stevens, who just a few days ago was totally wrecked in a motorcycle accident. In the surgery that followed, he received four screws, two in the heel, two in the ankle, and three pins etc., etc. Somehow, he will be at the door tonight greeting my friends. I asked him Why, how, wow? and he replied, "Nothing –  not a bike wreck, broken bones, nothing – could keep me away from the honor of working your birthday. Besides, we are two of only a handful of veterans left in this biz," and that "No one else would know four decades worth of your friends and night life acquaintances." Our friendship is one built on thousands of unique nights,  with boredom never a factor. We have helped each other through trying times, and seen things in each other that few have ever suspected. He has guided me when I wasn’t listening to anyone and appreciated and supported me when the world was determined to extinguish my flame. I asked Wass about his recent tumble and what else is going on. He’ll – we’ll –  be at Avenue tonight if you are so inclined.

O.K., so you got wiped out. When did you realize you were going to live, and did your whole life flash before your eyes? What did you see in that flash?
As soon as I hit the ground – my elbow and a bone in my neck broken, and my foot crushed on impact by an SUV (6 more broken bones) – my first three thoughts were: 1. Fuck, that hurts; 2. Fuck, my bike is wrecked; and 3. Fuck, I think I might be late for work tonight. My life didn’t flash before my eyes. Although, I did have a few interesting flashbacks and visions once the morphine took effect…
You’re mangled, and yet nine days later you are back at the door of Avenue in time to work my birthday bash. I’m sure it wasn’t me that rushed you back. What is it that pulls you to door work?
I don’t like to miss work. I never take a night off. Never. I actually emailed Noah from the trauma center at the ER the day of the accident to warn him I might be late that night. It wasn’t until the x-rays were completed and they were checking me in that I admitted to myself that I may be a little more than late. But I set a schedule and actually came to work several days sooner than I originally planned, nine days after surgery. Wasn’t going to let this keep me from Avenue, or my tattoo shop, or my acting career. Just wasn’t an option. Why the rush? I love Avenue, my crew, our regulars, the people I work with. I take pride in how I do what I do, the reputation of the place, and I’ve worked hard, along with the rest of the team, to create something. It’s very difficult to relinquish control of "my" room – even when I’m lying flat on my back, banged up. I’m very fortunate. I spend my days either auditioning or actually on set working, or at my shop, Rivington Tattoo N.Y.C., surrounded by a great group of incredibly talented artists. I spend my nights at Avenue. Comparatively speaking, staying home waiting to heal wasn’t an attractive option.
Tell me about your tattoo shop.
 Rivington Tattoo N.Y.C. is amazing. I literally came up with the idea while getting a tattoo from Ethan Morgan, my partner in the shop. The space is beautiful – think steam punk, turn-of-the-century bank (sort of), with tin ceilings, granite counters, and walnut and steel cabinets. We only do custom work- no books or flash art in my place. And the guys are amazing. Ethan is world famous for his portrait work. New addition to the team Dana Helmuth is also world-famous for his traditional Japanese-style work. All the guys are incredibly talented, and it’s a no-attitude environment. Because of my other careers, I know a lot of different types of people, from actors and musicians to athletes to hipsters to preppies to billionaire businessmen. The idea behind Rivington Tattoo N.Y.C. was to create a place where they could all be comfortable exploring their wild or artistic sides. Create a memory or two that lasts forever.
The acting career has legs. What is your best work so far and what do you have in the pipeline?
The acting career has also been very busy, although my inability to walk right now has put a damper on things. Pilot season is on the way, with all kinds of new possibilities. I was very happy with the work in The Wrestler and Brooklyn’s Finest and am anxiously awaiting the release of Goat, with Ice-T, Ja Rule, Armand Assante, to name a few. The ultimate goal is a steady television gig, two or three movies a year when on hiatus, a few nights a week at the club, and a few afternoons at the shop.
You are a clotheshorse, a bon vivant, well-heeled, dressed to kill. What makes you so passionate about clothes?
If I may, I’d broaden my love of clothes to a love of style, in all things. Anything worth doing should be done with style. And I mean personal style, not what the media tells you to do, or wear, or eat, or drive, or sit on. Create your own unique style. My mom came to New York after the accident – yes, I love my mom – and thought I was crazy for wearing a sport coat with a pocket square to the hospital for surgery. Why not?  Although, it has been difficult finding pants that will fit over this cast…
It’s my birthday. Tell me a favorite Steve Lewis story.
My favorite Steve Lewis Story. Jesus, I’ve known you too long to have one. Although the grand re-opening party at Palladium, with you and I standing on ladders to see over the crowd that was 30-deep on 14th street comes to mind. Nuts. Oh, and I have fond memories of our weekly Wednesday night four hour conversations at Marquee…Happy Birthday my brother.

Get Ready to Celebrate the Birthday of Wass Stevens

Thank God It’s Monday, a day that for many in the club/hospitality business is the only day off. This weekend I was everywhere and nowhere—I have nothing great to say about anything. So let’s move forward. This Thursday, September 26 Wass, the nightlife doorman of this century, and a great deal of the last, will celebrate his birthday. If there were a nightlife Hall of Fame (there was one for like a minute, I was chairman,) Wass would be first round, unanimous vote. It’s a tough job and he does it with flair and style. He is loved by the deserved and hated by the unwashed. He is, of course, much more than a club door person. He is an actor with numerous film credits and only one blemish—er hemorrhoid—or was it a cold sore commercial in his career? 

He is always a gentleman—until he’s not. He has been known to defend his honor and the honor of others and sometimes gets in trouble for it. He’s old school like that. He has worked at the top places and in a chicken before the egg type question: are they the top places because he is there? He’s a biker and has great biker clothes, especially the gloves. He has a tattoo shop and I love tattoos. At this point in my life I look extra hard at those who don’t have any. Wass is trustworthy and honorable and those are becoming exceedingly rare qualities to find in this mixed up world we live in. 
He has me DJing the opening slot at his birthday soiree, and expects me to play biker, tattoo music. Hard to play what I play at Avenuewhere his shindig will occur. The hoi polloi get scared when they hear stuff they don’t know. I’ll be reasonable. I remember last year when Wass was playing his air guitar to Metallica while the hordes where aghast at my selection—he had fun, he asked me back. Jonny Lennon, one of my favorite people and a sick DJ, will take it to another level when I’m told "enough." DJ Price, a brilliant fellow, will DJ after Jonny. Wass is a year older, a year wiser and a year upward in his upwardly mobile career. Like me, he adheres to the Marxist doctrine—not Karl, silly, Groucho—who once said "You are only as young as the woman you feel.” It works for me.


Last Night: Andrew Goldberg’s Jungle-Themed Birthday at Avenue

The good ones know how to do it right. We ate late and headed to Avenue in a car. The lines outside were huge and we opted to get dropped up the block so some of the folks could have a smoke before the door drama. Wass greeted us with enthusiasm. My old friend and I have spent a lifetime in clubs, but nowadays we catch up only when I pass by. Wass was positively dapper, wearing a tie to die for. In fact, I touched it to make sure no little animals had actually died for it. Showing no lingering damage from his motorcycle accident, Wass and I spoke of new tattoos and a visit to his new shop: Rivington Tattoo N.Y.C. I promised to get my next ink there, but realize I’m getting my kraken at East Side Ink next. I’ll get my Winona Forever with Wass. If my other careers don’t work out, I may find a job in Coney Island. Is that still there?

Andrew Goldberg was dressed like all the extras in a Tarzan movie, in keeping with the jungle-themed event. I forgot about the dress wish and looked like a SWAT team member all in black, including a black Mets hat which I have been wearing in irony until I became an actual fan. Andrew was truly happy as a thousand hands and smiles were directed at him as he worked the room. We small-talked as he took me to Noah’s table. Noah, Danny A., and I talked the talk. Noah was very proud of the new sound system, which was taking the crowds ever higher. New lights created even more energy. We talked of gin and beer and what we hear, and I kissed the girls and made them cry and went into the night.
Today is way too busy for last night and I needed to rest up. I have been told I’m not as young as I used to be. We watched Law and Order, which always delivers. We were lucky as it was an old one with Jerry Orbach in charge. The first scene had Wass playing a cop. We giggled at the coincidence and noted how much more handsome he looks these days. Carlos Leon was in the next scene, then an old bartender of mine, then someone else. Maybe there were even more familiar faces on that episode, but my dreams took me elsewhere, comforted by the realization that for whatever it is, nightlife has connected me to people that I truly love and respect and want to be around. Maybe that’s why I’m still in it.

Cain Mutiny: Playing for a New Team

I attended the one-year anniversary of Avenue last night and it was indeed all things to those people. I popped in to pay respects, and was overwhelmed by a beautiful, relevant, and successful crowd. Although I always feel more comfortable in dive bars and hipster hangouts, there is no denying that Avenue, in it’s brief existence, has captured the hearts—and cash—of the bottle/model crowd. All things table service were honed and perfected at Noah, Jason, and Mark Packer’s joints, Marquee and Tao Vegas. While others have added their personal touch to the art of plying the goose from the ganders, as Carly Simon once put it, “nobody does it better” than this crew. On the way in I stopped to chat with my old friend Wass Stevens. As we talked about the ‘this and thats’ and ‘what have you been up tos,’ we were interrupted from time to time by a steady flow of the beautiful, the rich, and the connected as they passed through the velvet ropes. I asked him who was inside and he said, “everybody,” and proceeded to name names. Indeed, it was a cast of bold-face names that had your humble author shocked and awed. We don’t repeat the named names here. The old adage is, “those who can’t, teach,” and I stand by, “those who can’t write, gossip.”

So this is what I heard. I heard a rumor that Jayma Cardoso of Goldbar, Surf Lodge, and Cain fame is in deep negotiations with Avenue, Tao, and Lavo owners about moving her beauty, brains, and bottle-selling chops over there. I would presume it would be over at Lavo when it opens. Is this a Cain mutiny or just a natural flow of extreme talent from one successful empire to another? The thing about rumors is that they are sometimes exaggerations, and since we don’t gossip here, it’s nice to get a second or third confirmation. The thing with those confirmations is that they can sometimes be traced to the same source, so they are often nothing more than the ripples of the same rock thrown in the water. When I asked my sources where they heard the gossip, it turned out to be the same guy, so I went straight to the source.

Jayma called me back and told me that although nothing has been signed—“as of yet”—she “has an offer,” and is “in negotiations with owners, Mark Packer and Noah Tepperberg.” She also added that “nothing is 100%, but I’m very excited.” I asked her what was to become of Goldbar and Surf Lodge and she assured me that, “I’m still going to take care of my babies.” I called her ever-gracious partner Jaimie Mulholland, and asked for his take. He told me they were “exploring their own things,” and that “all have grown from their shared experience,” and that “We will, of course, always be close friends as we concentrate on our own things. We all have our own decisions to make.”

The move, when it happens, is of major significance. Jayma is one of the premier bottle-pushing entities in this business. Her clientele is vast, with a large following of South Americans and Euros. She is adept at training staff and bringing other waitrons with rich followings to the tables. The girls with connections tend to flock together, because most joints pool their tips. Waitresses don’t like to work in places where their bread and butter is spread amongst other waitresses who aren’t bringing good tables to the table. When everyone is pulling in big fish, they share tremendous amounts of tip money. A good crew can take home thousands each, on a single night. Jayma would fit perfectly in the NY-Vegas empire, which showcased itself at Avenue last night. Her assertions that this deal isn’t done, notwithstanding that it is a deal that will be done, because it makes sense.

If indeed her and Jamie are exploring their own things, then this is the right fit. With Noah, Mark Packer, Jason Strauss, and company, she will be among old friends who offer her a place where her customers will feel comfortable. She will be part of a professional team, with players similar to herself, working almost as hard as she does. It feels a little like Derek Jeter going to the Mets, but like our favorite shortstop, there are only a few teams big enough and ambitious enough to handle her. Like Derek, Jayma just can’t play for a team that isn’t winning, or in the rebuilding process. I must re-emphasize that the deal isn’t done, and we must give the players a chance to jostle and negotiate the final terms, but this deal feels like a winner for all parties.

The club gods giveth and the club gods taketh away, as former Marquee nightclub GM, Patrick Robinson has settled in at the new restaurant Scott Sartiano and Richie Akiva are building on 14 the street and 8th. Patrick was the operations guy over at Marquee, which was Noah, Jason, and Mark Packer’s success story for about 6 years. He has returned from an extended vacation, and is getting that joint ready for a summer opening.

The Closing of the Club Formerly Known as Cain

Last night I attended the wrap party of what might be remembered as one of the great clubs of the bottle era. In reality, the Cain we all knew closed a long time ago. The redux as Cain Luxe never caught on with the crowd owners Jamie Mulholland, Jayma Cardosa and Robert McKinley were accustomed to entertaining. The neighborhood, Chelsea, had died a quick death from enforcement malpractice after city zoning procedures changed the area from commercial to mixed use. The rebirth of Cain as Cain Luxe didn’t work and probably never could have. Perhaps last night signaled the end of an error.

Those in attendance were saying goodnight to Cain and ignoring the Luxe part they never cared to know. The neighborhood’s new residential high rises provided ample motivation to destroy the Chelsea club mall that stretched from 27th to 29th street. The police barricades, search lights and cops on horseback were no longer in sight. They had already completed their mission and destroyed almost all the business on the once thriving block.

As I strolled down 27th street you could hear a soggy pretzel drop as I passed by the bones of once thriving clubs. Gone were Bungalow 8, Home, Guesthouse and Spirit. A few long-legged ladies approached the door where Pink Elephant once roared as if they were lost in time. They must of come a few years back and thought it was still a relevant club. The Elephant has left the building and only Pink remains as management changed and the old owners moved on to friendlier ‘hoods. There were more security and support staff outside than patrons. There used to be lines of hundreds.

I was greeted at the door of Cain Luxe and treated like I was Elvis. Jamie Mulholland greeted me inside enthusiastically, smiling like I was delivering him his morning coffee and croissant. I congratulated him and he looked at me like I was going to deliver a punchline. I told him he had so much to be proud of. The smile he had practiced all week faded. I said that club god “Steve Rubell couldn’t have made Luxe work” he almost offered a “but” but I wouldn’t let him. “You did a great job no one could have made this work with the police and the constant harassment, Cain will be remembered as a great club.” It was hard for him to accept this praise. Club moguls never want to close the doors. This crew still has GoldBar, which is still so fun after 3 years. The Surf Lodge in Montauk is brilliant and set to reopen with the season. The Bahamas is said to be beyond cool. As hard as it must be for Jamie to say goodbye to his baby in reality it will give him so much more time to excel at these places and elsewhere. I almost asked him who he sold the place to as if you my readers might care who or what will be there. I didn’t think you were interested.

He got me and mine some waters and got me to PR guru Steve Kasuba and we worked the room our way while Jamie went off to do the same. I saw real estate honcho Steve Kamali, who was just named on Societe Perrier as number 5 on the “The 10 Most Beloved Nightlife Impresarios in New York City.” I came in at number 8. I asked to be removed due to technical difficulties, but no one was amused.

The crowd was confused. They couldn’t decide whether they were at a wedding or a wake and I finished my exercise of shaking hands and straining for names and went towards the door. As I was leaving a security guard, with a rubber stamp in hand, asked me if I was “coming back tonight.” I looked him in the eye and said “No and never again.” He was not amused. Outside the New York Post hit me up for sound bites. As usual they were interested in what Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton did when they were at Cain. They asked me why they closed and I pointed to the new residential buildings going up across the street. I told them that the New York Post had spearheaded a campaign of bad publicity about the clubs on the block, a campaign that eventually helped drive the crowds away. I turned them over to the always dapper Cain alumni Randy Scott and slipped back into the present.

We hit the quiet streets and stopped at Marquee to see how the SL design was holding up. It looked good, still crazy after all these years. We strolled down 10th Avenue to Avenue, chatted with actor/door god Wass and popped inside the bottle-popping Mecca. Noah Tepperberg and I talked shop and exchanged inside info that’s so hot-to-tell that I wont tell it. The crowd at Avenue was stunning. Wealthy, dressed and having fun like those types like to have fun. We made our loop and went to 1Oak and chatted serious chatter with the players who play there. Again we were off into the night. About once every week someone asks me if I miss it. The glamor the clamor, the riotous nights. I do sometimes, but walking towards 9th avenue holding hands with a person who only knows and likes the person I am and doesn’t know the person who used to be Steve Lewis, I felt very warm fuzzy and satisfied. I had done the best job I could have back then and like Cain, I think I will be remembered fondly. After all, I am the 8th most beloved nightlife impresario in NYC.