Something We All Hate in Common: Terrible DoormenSo, recently, we had a bad experience at a club. It was one of perhaps one million bad experiences we’ve had at clubs, and it got us thinking about the universality of such events. We were waiting to get into Suzie Wong for a party for which we were on the list. We even knew the people throwing it. But for some reason, the doorman wouldn’t let us in. Cell phones didn’t work inside the club, so we couldn’t reach our friends. We patiently explained the situation to the doorman, who responded with disdain and rudeness. (We’re apparently not the only people to have trouble at this club.) We decided to sit and wait politely, which is humiliating but almost always works eventually. But as time went by, and we kept getting the “We’re at capacity” excuse, even though the doorman was letting other (much more trashy, might we add) guests in ahead of us, we started getting mad. This guy may be an idiot, we thought, but surely he recognizes the face we are making. You know, the “I’m going to be patient, but you have NO idea who you are messing with” face?
Wilmer Valderama, Marquee, Apparently Both Still AliveThe only thing worse than being on an e-mail list where you get spammed with invitations to Wilmer Valderama’s birthday party at Marquee (aren’t they both 70 years old by now?) is being on an e-mail list where you get spammed with invitations that are ALSO pleas to join a summer share in the Hamptons. “Please contact us if you’d like to do a Hamptons Share this summer!” read the chipper text of the e-mail that came with the invitation here. Wilmer Valderama? Sharing a house with people you don’t know? Trashy, overcrowded nightclubs? Wow, whoever these Rachel and Adam people are, we have to hand it to them. They’ve done the impossible: They made us look outside and thank the heavens that it is dark and sleeting out there. Summer, and the Hamptons, can not come slow enough for us.
Hamptons Holidays [Official Site]
in other news
Another Downtown Party Meets the Big Glow Stick in the SkyThe legendary Motherfucker party is over. (Have you ever noticed that every promoted party is “legendary” these days? It’s like how every model is “super.”) We’re not quite sure how Observer Prepmaster General David Foxley got on their list, but he’s reprinted the farewell e-mail from founder Michael T. “For the last year or so, relations between the 4 partners has been strained and finally it reached it’s inevitable breaking point,” the club kid wrote. “We did not anticipate our exit to be so abrupt but alas, life throws curve balls at all of us when least expected.” This is truly a sad moment for the city’s remaining downtown kids who like to get dressed up and dance before major holidays. Also, more importantly, for Thomas Onorato, the St. Peter of gritty clubland. Now that Motherfucker and MisShapes are over, how will he give us our fix of rejection and revenge fantasies?
Lewd Underground Party Bids a Final Farewell [NYO]
Rob the Bouncer Sleeps All DayName: Rob Fitzgerald, a.k.a. Rob the Bouncer
Job: Bouncer and writer; author of the Clublife blog and the Clublife book, on sale this week
Neighborhood: Long Island
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Richard Feynman. (He grew up in Far Rockaway.)
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Steak at Uncle Jack’s on Bell Boulevard in Bayside.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I sleep, because I work nights.
Talking About the BoxIn our continuing coverage of Simon Hammerstein’s new Lower East Side rich-people-pretending-to-be-bohemian playground, the Box, we’ve remembered a conversation we had with Hammerstein last week at that Queen Mary 2 party, in which he once again describes a venue that seems almost nothing like its reality:
New York: Everyone’s talking about the Box. How are you handling the hype?
Hammerstein: One day at a time. It’s too early to smell the roses. We’re trying to transform the space every season. The feedback has been remarkable, but that doesn’t mean my job is over. It’s a full-time job.
New York: How do you cultivate a fun, engaging place to be without alienating everybody?
Hammerstein: It’s a job unto itself. For me the quintessential night in New York is a diverse, mixed room: freaks to conservatives. As long as we appreciate all walks of life and we’re open to that. People are people.
New York: Ever been disallowed entrance into a club yourself?
Hammerstein: Oh, God, everyone has. I remember being drunk at Marquee and my own friend wouldn’t let me in because he said I was too drunk. I threw my driver’s license at him and reminded him who I was. Embarrassing.
In so many ways.
‘Radar’ Throws a Party, and We Discover We Are Not Cool Enough to Buy Drinks
Related: Britannica Ball [Interactive Party Lines]
Boxed OutRemember when we told you that the Box, Simon Hammerstein’s new, insufferably pretentious so-called “dinner theater” non-club on the Lower East Side was in fact so insufferably pretentious that we’d never set foot in the place again? Well, we rest our case.
Michael Herr of the Box Serves Scarlett Johansson, Experiences a ‘Brush of Excitement’ [Grub Street]
Earlier: ‘Radar’ Throws a Party, and We Discover We Are Not Cool Enough to Buy Drinks
Related: What’s In the Box? [NYM]
in the magazine
Inside Norwood, New York’s Forthcoming New Faux London Club
Another London-style for-profit club is coming to the lower West Side, and, as Geoffrey Gray reports in this week’s New York, the new entry will be Norwood, located in an 1845 townhouse on West 14th Street. According to the prospectus, there will be a “buzzing and spacious Grand Hotel-like bar” on the parlor floor, a private dining area and reception space on the garden floor, dining rooms on the second floor, “a less formal salon with lounging areas of decadent grandeur” on the third floor, and up on the fourth floor a “penthouse” space for meetings, screenings, and special events. What will it all look like? As yet unknown. But the brochure provides photos of what the townhouse looked like as the previous owner had furnished it. Above, the front entrance and main stairs. More pix after the jump.
Just What New York Needs: Another Fashion-Themed BarApparently the not-exactly- bumpin’ Fashion 40 Lounge hasn’t taught people not to open up fashion-themed clubs. On April 12, promoters Greg Barrias and Rich Messina will open Runway at 4 East 28th Street, near Fifth Avenue, which only coincidentally shares its name with the magazine in The Devil Wears Prada. We’re skeptical of the Wheresville location and the 25-foot catwalk in the center of the club (after the first couple of times someone reenacts the Zoolander walk-off, it’s not going to be funny anymore, no matter how many $10 Chinatown Cosmos are going around), but we at least give Barrias and Messina credit for having Lindsay Lohan host the opening. It’s going to be good press when she mows down another photographer outside of the place. —Daniel Maurer
CORRECTION, April 2: Runway was the Devil Wears Prada magazine. Not the 13 Going on 30 magazine. Which we originally said. We’re dumb. Sorry.
Helpful HarveyHarvey Weinstein doesn’t help his designer girlfriend Georgina Chapman get coverage — well, except for that meeting with Anna Wintour when she was starting out. Fashion Week interlopers were able to buy tickets to Bryant Park shows on Craigslist. Food Network star Paula Dean had a run-in with a naked man in the hallway of the Regency Hotel. Later, skaters: The Roxy closes for good on March 10. Lynyrd Skynyrd will perform tonight at Snitch, accompanied by a dozen strippers. Lindsay Lohan will attend Robert Altman’s memorial service in L.A. after skipping the one in New York. Megaproducer Scott Rudin won’t return Cindy Adams’s calls.
Designer Kuhne’s Sway Problems Are Nothing New“Page Six” reported yesterday that designer Kai Kuhne had been ejected from the Soho club Sway, and the news came as no surprise to night owls who’ve seen the beleaguered designer boozing it up all over town lately. At a Fashion Week blowout at the Anchor, Kuhne was thrown out for ripping the bathroom door off a stall, startling a nearby Olsen twin. Indeed, Fashion Week was generally a mess for Kuhne, most notably at his own show, at Gramercy Park’s National Arts Club. People’s Revolution was set to produce the show, but they either dropped Kuhne or were fired by him, depending on whom you ask. It went on anyway — but not so smoothly.
Crobar’s Second Verse: Same as the First
With BED freshly closed and rumors floating that Bungalow and Cain are looking to flee West 27th Street, it’s good to know Crobar, for one, is soldiering forward. It reopened last weekend as a new venue — now it’s called Studio Mezmor — and it’s doing double duty as an arts and events studio, and possibly a rock venue. (Don’t tell that to the Bowery Ballroom guys, who are looking to open a music venue in the space that once housed Exit.) But other than the name, not a lot has changed. A few columns have been knocked down, sound systems upgraded, and the annex that was once cluttered with bamboo reeds will now be called the SideBar. The picture above is of the new, awfully familiar-looking VIP mezzanine. After the jump, the new, even more familiar dance floor. Daniel Maurer
CORRECTION, Feb. 22: We’ve been informed that the above photograph is actually of the SideBar, which does indeed look quite different now that the bamboo has been chucked. Which basically undermines our whole argument here. Sorry about that.
the morning line
Spitzer: Budget Cuts for Everyone!
• First hospitals, now prisons. Governor Eliot Spitzer considers closing or consolidating some correctional facilities, in part because crime has plummeted in New York City. But he’ll face opposition from pols upstate, where the clinks employ thousands. [NYT]
• And he also wants to cut $328 million in aid to the city, which has Bloomberg none too pleased and on his way to Albany to complain about it. [NYT]
• Seabiscuit meets Snakes on a Plane in a bizarre grand-jury probe of whether Saratoga racehorses were doped up with painkilling serpent venom to enhance their game last summer. [NYP]
• The Reverend Al Sharpton may file a racial-profiling lawsuit in response to new NYPD stats that 55 percent of cop stop-and-frisks in the city happen to blacks. Such data were mandated after the 1999 police shooting of Amadou Diallo. [NYS]
• Talk about rolling out of bed: An actor on the HBO hit Oz was arraigned in the death of a Bronx man who fell five flights to his death down the elevator shaft of trendy Chelsea nightclub BED. [amNY]
Room Service, at Your Service
The self-consciously hip Flatiron club Room Service has several gimmicks, and one of them is this: With a reservation for one of the curtained-off VIP cabanas — and 24 hours’ notice — a Room Service concierge will deliver anything your VIPness desires. So what have patrons been requesting? Grub Street’s Daniel Maurer got his hands on a list of every item demanded over a two-week period, and it runs from Ben & Jerry’s to wasabi peas. We promise some stops along the way are more salacious.
Weird Deliveries Demanded by Club VIPs [Grub Street]
And Another East Village Rock Club Goes Away: Sin-é
It’s last call for another of Manhattan’s hard-rocking music venues. Sin-é, the epicenter of the nineties St. Marks scene, shut its doors once before and relocated to the Lower East Side in 2003. But come March 31, it’ll close — for good — at its Attorney Street location. The original Sin-é hosted some of the most infamous songwriters of its decade and produced the seminal Jeff Buckley album Live at Sin-é. The current incarnation gave play to New York staples like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Walkmen. “It’s over,” said Shane Doyle, Sin-é’s owner. “It’s all changed around here. I’m just not gonna keep doing this.” —Annmarie Pisano
Club Takes the Weekend Off, at Cops’ SuggestionWest Chelsea clubs Sol, Pink Elephant, and Crobar were shuttered by the authorities Friday night, and they weren’t the only spots closed down. According to a witness, downtown dance den 205 suffered a similar fate just before midnight that evening. “I was pulling up in a cab, and they were throwing down the gate and there were fifteen cops outside,” the source says. Patrons may have smelled trouble when, the week of the closing, bouncers were stringently cracking down on smoking. (“One more ticket and we’re closed,” one said.) And rumors also circulated that undercover cops were in the club. But employees say illicit activities were not a reason behind the closing and that police searched the club, including bottles and a staffer’s jacket, supposedly looking for paperwork that had not been filed. 205’s lawyer refused to comment, but owner Guy Jacobson indicated that the problem stems from delays in the club’s appointment of a security monitor. “I was kind of happy it happened,” joked Aaron Bondaroff, the club’s creative director and owner of the aNYthing store. “It gave me the weekend off.” —Daniel Maurer
Earlier: 205 to Be Eighty-Sixed?