I pray that by next year, I’ll be a known writer and someone will say “Darling, can you cover Justin Biebers Cocaine Fueled 2014 K-Hole Nightmare at the Seventh Incarnation of Marquee?!” and I’ll have to say, “Sorry, Darling, as much as I’d love to snack on the Beebz I’ll be prancing around St. Barths that weekend in my leopard bikini with my small army of pugs, who are arriving via yacht ahead of me!”
A girl can dream.
Last year I made the sound decision to attend a friend’s dinner party in Brooklyn, and had a better than decent evening, but this year there were no invites to Brooklyn. So, I’ll be spending New Year’s Eve at one of my favorite bars in the West Village, and I’m frightened. I’m so terrified about what’s about to happen to me tonight, that I had a nightmare last night about having to dispose of a skeleton.
That’s some dark shit! So is NYE.
Allow me to explain: Either two or three years ago, I wound up on the roof of 60 Thompson with this moron who fancied himself a “media guru.” (Now he lives in Amsterdam and spins house music because his “media guru” career didn’t work out. That’s usually what happens to those kinds of people - Expat status and funky, funkaaay beats.)
In any event, it was about to strike midnight and we were ringing in either 2010 or 2011. After waiting for way too long at the bar without a drink, a frazzled girl behind the bar made me the dirty martini I was so craving. Mind you, “Media Guru” had no idea how to order a drink or get a bartender’s attention, so I had to squeeze past him and do it myself. BTW, as a former whacktress, my method for obtaining drinks has always been eye contact and patience. It goes a lot further than waving your hand, or worse, snapping - TRUST.
I barely had a chance to sip on the sweet, briney, boozy goodness before a thirty-something Garnier Fructis blonde (for an example of what this drunken monkey looked like, please see below) in one of those excessively sequined dresses that makes you think they’re in competition not with the better looking women in the club, but rather with the ball in Time Square, FELL ON TOP OF ME.
It was almost as if she’d been dropped on me from above - I have no idea where she came from - but she knocked me and my fresh vat of vodka to floor. For a moment I just lay there, utterly shocked, in the filth.
"Bitch!" Sparkles squealed. This sequin-studded trash-bucket beside me somehow thought I caused us both to tumble even though it was her lack of coordination and composure.
It’s always the one who knocks you over who then wants to hit you, but fortunately, Our Lady of Glimmer was unable to get herself verticle, flailing beside me like a beetle on her back. I stood up drenched in bar juice and “Media Guru” kind of dabbed at me with bar napkins and asked me if I was alright.
My already shitty night was now ruined, and I ninja’d and I left him on the roof, ran downstairs, and almost got into a physical altercation while trying to get a cab since there are never any to be found in the part of town. One would think the Thompson would keep it classy, but at the end of the day, wherever you end up in New York City when the ball drops is no better than an McSorely’s on St. Patrick’s Day.
WIP is like a messy collage of places where I’ve behaved badly in the last decade.
The layout reminds me of that old club PM over in Meatpacking, where I first met Zelda Kaplan, who was wrapped in tribal gear and partying at the bar. The tables form a donut of dance space, or a race track, if you will. You can race around the tables like a prize pony on a track, searching for a big juicy carrot. Seemed to this pony (moi) that most of the carrots at WIP the last time I was there were potentially crooked, or like those little synthetic nugget shaped baby carrots. In other words, I wasn’t hungry for any of those carrots, if you catch my drift.
Most of the “artwork” (or “works” in “progress” if you will) make me yearn for the second coming of Don Hills. Of course, I bitched about Don’s when it was open (“We’re going there AGAIN? It’s like a parade of my accidental exboyfriends up in there”) and was devastated (for a number of reasons) to see it get shut down following Mr. Hill’s death. The bathrooms are equally wretched. They smell so bad it’s hard to inhale once you enter, if that matters to you.
The unfinished quality, which ostensibly makes WIP a true “Work In Progress,” coupled with the overall shitty and adolescent behavior of the crowd, reminds of me of a high school keg party in Westchester. Mind you, this is the venue where Chris Brown and Drake famously brawled over RiRi, which led to much yammering about how bottle service should be illegalized. And, just like one would find in a Westchester basement circa 2002, there’s always a too drunk girl throwing up in the corner, and a slutty redhead getting to second base behind the couch in plain view of everyone.
FACT: People behave less like animals when they’re in nicer places. You may see people over indulge and behave…decadently…at a place like Boom Boom but I’ve never seen dry humping or over-the-pants-handies happening on the roof of The Standard. People are sophisticated and go to the bathrooms for that sort of thing there.
Throw a bunch of people into a club basement – or any basement for that matter – South of 14th street and you are bound to start seeing people licking white powder off of strangers’ palms and throwing ‘bows and all of that nonsense.
The only basement that was okay was Kenmare, and Kenmare was an alternate universe where nothing that happened counts…
While I don’t really have anything against WIP, I’ve got to tell you that Andy Warhol’s Factory this is not. These are not Factory People, friends. These are B-Listers who rotate from club to club to club. Cuz, you know, a club is a club is a club. Once Fabolous has his MID THIRTIETH birthday party at your “artspace,” you’re a mo’fucking club. When you can literally smell the Gucci Addict perfume wafting down from Greenhouse, you’re a mo’fucking club.
And as for the art, which is supposed to be in rotation, forever in progress, and forever changing? I’ve been to the space three times in the past three months and while a duct tape statue with a tiny chode duct tape penis has disappeared from the entrance, the same creepy head remains as the focal point of the space. And it’s not sexy. Exhibit A:
El (the nosepicker in the above picture) is sexy. That piece of art? It looks like I designed the projections, meaning they suck. (Don’t ask me to design your projections for your next party, I’ll do a bad job but I’ll think it’s good.) Regardless: A giant head with weird projections on it isn’t sexy. It doesn’t make me want to dance. It reminds me of the types of nightmares I used to have as an emotionally disturbed little girl. If WIP is looking for some club-appropriate art, however, there’s something I’m good at:
This is a self-portrait I made from pornography.That’s some sexy art right there.This hangs above my bed by the way.I feel like it really sends the message to potential boyfriends that they aren’t going to be embarking on something normal with me, and that I probably won’t be watching football with them or making them mini hot dogs or doing whatever it is that normal girls do.
One final thought: WIP is a just fine club, but it’s not going to blow your mind. I think poor Warhol is spinning in his grave, but he reportedly had very shitty karma. I once interviewed for an assistant job to this composer who didn’t interview me so much as he told me I was “unqualified.” Then he rambled on about what an asshole Andy Warhol was for about two hours. I only stayed because the story was interesting – did you know some bitch shot Warhol in the stomach? And, subsequently, could eat nothing but boiled chicken? And water? Til he died some 25 years later?!?!?!?!
The moral of the story is to stay creative, but to NEVER steal others’ ideas. Because, if you steal others’ ideas, you’ll end up like Warhol, eating rubbery chicken and then spinning in your grave while a bunch of cheeseball club promoters tarnish your memory with their basement of debauchery - that is merely a copy of a copy of a copy.
The owners at my old restaurant were celebrity-obsessed whores.
One time, Ashanti & Nelly (they were famous five years ago) came in toward the end of my shift. It was one of those “steal-every-redbull-behind-the-bar” kinda evenings due to some ridiculously EXCESSIVE partying during the days prior. I thought I was going to get out early because I was working in the back section of the restaurant, where they only seated ugly people, and ugly people tend to stay indoors after midnight. #Fact.
At my old restaurant, every celeb or beautiful person was sat at “Table 7” so that the owners could showcase them and pretend that their restaurant was still a hotspot even though it notoriously was NOT. Anyway, Ashanti & Nelly were hip to this and requested to be sat at 101 - this table in the back room with a stupid unsanitary bead curtain on it that we used for our fucking family meal for fuck’s sake. This table in MY SECTION.
So picture my absurd devastation. I thought I was going to sleep for the first time in 48 hours and Ashanti & Nelly roll into my pretty much closed section with their entourage of ten body guards. Obama has fewer secret service agents, you guys.
Barely-relevant Ashanti acted like me taking her order was the equivalent to me requesting her autograph and a hug. Nelly was nice enough, I guess. But the body guards? They were just the worst. Completely brutal. They ordered full meals off the menu - when I told them something wasn’t available they explained to me that I had all of the ingredients to make it. Do people really believe that their whacktress runs back into the kitchen and magically makes their food?
To make matters worse, they tipped me 18% when all was said and done.
Ordinarily, there’s nothing wrong with an 18 or 20 % tip. It’s fine - it is what’s expected for good service. (15% = you’re a dickhead and your parents raised you wrong and you should probably move somewhere lame like Chicago in the loser midwest.)
(I really don’t have a problem with Chicago I just like to make fun of it, cus that’s where my ex is from.)
But there are instances when you should do better than 20%.
You’re stupid rich like Ashanti & Nelly and you ruin your whacktresses night with your evil entourage.
John Travolta is trying to use these as proof that he didn’t request an inner anus massage, and I totes approve of his tipping strategy here:
You do something TERRIBLE to your server, like poop your pants or vomit on them while at the table.
You’re comped a lot.
Now some people disagree with me on this, but I’m inclined to tip on the amount I would have spent.
I remember as a waitress shuffling back and forth delivering drinks to friend of owners or friends of friends of owners or the managers third cousin from Iowa, and it sucked. A lot of times, when people were getting comps, I didn’t know them personally… Getting tipped $4 on a $22.00 check that should have been $122.00 was the bane of my existence.
A good rule of thumb is to tip on what the amount SHOULD have been. If you can’t do that math, it’s time to find the nearest cougy snack and get your ass home!
If you’re lucky enough to be comped in this world - hell, if you’re lucky enough to be able to afford to dine out - you shouldn’t be shorting your waiter to save $10. Working in service for the five years I did it made me the best friends I have in this world AND also taught me about how to be a better human. Don’t be like Ashanti & Nelly, you guys.
453 W 17th St (between 9th Ave & 10th Ave) New York, NY10011 1oaknyc
I’m not a complete club-loathing bitch. In the past year or so I’ve enjoyed Red Egg, Kenmare (RIP), Le Bain, Boom Boom, Sub Mercer, Double 7, PHD, etc…but going to a place like 1 Oak is a little like going back to high school, for me, since I was falling off of couches at Marquee in my backless shirts and too-high heels on the regular almost eight years ago.
However, I was falling off of couches behind tables of free booze that promoters just presented me and my other scantily-clad underage girlfriends with…I didn’t fully comprehend that people with money actually paid the list prices for booze to get tables at clubs until I sat at one such table at 1Oak.
Before we begin, here’s my status update from the night in question - my night at 1Oak:
And now let me say something on a positive note: our waitress was a sweetheart and I had a solid bro-down/ho-down with the bathroom bouncer…
But I did not want to be at 1Oak.
My Exboyfriend’s cousin was in town and wanted to go to a Real New York Club. Exboyfriend (who was boyfriend at the time) was from Chicago and so was his cousin. Don’t get me wrong - bars and lounges in Chicago are great from what I gather, but I knew Exboyfriend and his Marine Cuz were Vegas enthusiasts and wanted to experience something intense and all “thunk thunk thunk thunk - bass drop - lowwww riderrrrr.” That sort of thing.
Exboyfriend’s Cuz was was serving our country, and I wanted to do my best to thank this war hero by giving him a super insane, true New York experience. Pumps in BK was out of the question, so I secured a table at The (wonderfully debaucherous) Box. Duh. I thought I was doing the best thing ever for these strapping midwestern lads, and I was actually looking forward to watching Exboyfriend watch the burlesque because I’m a pervo and I like watching him watch. Creepy.
So here I am, being the best girlfriend ever, and then my wholesome Exboyfriend googled The Box and freaked the fuck out about the tiniest detail. There’s a portion of the burlesque where a midget pees, and has, in shows past, sprayed the crowd with his wee-wee. We were in the honeymoon period of our seven-month romance so Exboyfriend was terrified to tell me that he didn’t want to possibly get peed on by a Little Person, so he called me and gently explained that his Marine Cuz wanted to “find chicks.”
"There are plenty of chicks at The Box - trust." (There are. Many high end escorts, too. But I figured that would be a good story for his Marine Cuz to tell his fellow marines? Right?)
"Look," he was using a voice I’d never heard before that sounded like an angry teen boy (kinda turned me on) "WE DON’T WANT TO SHELL OUT A THOUSAND BUCKS AND GET PEED ON BY A MIDGET."
"Oh," I said. "That."
I’d forgotten they were paying hard cash for the table. The only time I ever paid for anything at a nightclub was at Underbar, but I was tripping my ovaries off and the bottle of pink champers was only $375.
Long story short, Exboyfriend became frustrated and asked me what I knew about 1Oak. Some football team had won their big game (superbowlia, like saturnalia?) and he and Marine Cuz wanted to go there.
And that’s how I ended up at 1Oak.
Now, the fact that 1Oak stands for 1 Of A Kind is absurd. I’ve seen so many different incarnations of this very same club. It’s a lot like a collage of every “cool” spot from the last five years with a hearty injection of 40/40 club and Southside’s floor and fireplaces. I was happy that our table had a wide leather couch along with it and I curled up on Exboyfriend for a majority of the night and scowled at people, as I mentioned in my tequila-infused Facebook Update. Minus 1 Star.
The crowd consisted of Stripy-shirted Neuvo Yorker dudes, and girls who were trying to look like the mannequins in the front of Intermix but with their clothes from Bloomingdales Aqua line. Minus 9 million stars.
Marine Cuz quickly found some tacky Intermix-Inspired Chickities who came over to our table and drank the booze that Exboyfriend and his Marine Cuz had grossly overpaid for. The Chickities were pretending to be interested in Marine Cuz, which was pretty funny because it was a move I regularly used in my promo-ho youth but these bitches were around 25. They left after getting their manicured paws around a vodka redbull from our bottle. Smooth, ladies.
SideNote: I understand that lots of people don’t have the opportunity to move to New York until after college, but why do you want to pretend to be interested in dudes when you’re in your MID-TWENTIES for a bad vodka drink in a loud club? Why not just bring a flask and dance with who you want to dance with? (Sorry bouncers everywhere.)
Anyway, I was bored, so I was alternating between shots and making out with Exboyfriend, and then I ventured off to find the bathroom. Which was downstairs. There was a bouncer stationed at the top and I had my wits about me enough to ask him if his job was carrying bitches too drunk to navigate stairs up and down them, and that’s when the solid bro-down ho-down happened. Turns out we remembered the same raid of Suite 16. Eventually, I realized my age was showing I wandered back to Exboyfriend.
But seriously: if you’re going to create a bottle driven business that’s essentially a mash-up of the cool clubs from the past five years, it is wise to remember that 60% of your weekend clientele is definitely going to be shitfaced girls who can’t walk in their $85 Aqua by Bloomingdales stilettos even when sober. My suggestion? Move your bathroom upstairs and avoid the drama of lady-tumbles.
All in all, it was considerably less horrible than some of the nights I had at Marquee seven years ago. So I’ll give it a solid 3 stars - for what it is - and I guess I’d go back if one of the DJs I know - biblically or otherwise - was spinning.
When I was sixteen I took the train from the suburbs to Manhattan and wound up at Galaxy Global Eatery on Irving Place (since closed) where I drank a bunch of Long Islands with my friends. I wound up barfing in the Galaxy bathroom, rallying, and still making it to the concert next door at what used to be called “Irving Plaza.”
This was my first glamorous evening of New York Nightlife.
In spite of bad ass behavior, I still managed to get decent grades. I was also good at faking tears, a practice perfected when I was pulled over in my obnoxious red jetta by bored Westchester State troopers, so off I went to Tisch at NYU to pursue a degree in Drama.
Those were the days of Marquee, PM, and Bungalow, and you better believe that as a Drama major I had time to explore those castles of debauchery, as well as the many others that lay in between. I was seriously one of those clubrats at promoter tables who hadn’t quite mastered the art of walking in heels.
I felt like I’d made it.
I can’t believe I used to have conversations with uninterested jizzwads in striped shirts just for free goose.
College had to end eventually.
Much to my surprise, it was not that easy to instantly achieve fame and fortune, but I soon realized that my expensive BFA qualified me for all sorts of exciting opportunities in…the service industry. I soon found myself slinging mojitos at a restaurant on Union Square known for hiring models.
I’m 5’5” and only photograph well 28% of the time, so don’t believe the hype.
My exit from every place I worked was absolutely precious. I promise. I once threw four roasted chickens across a crowded patio in the middle of a busy dinner shift.
Side note: I firmly believe that you need to know how the machine breaks in order to understand what needs to be done to make it functional. Right?
Look at how high class I was in those days. Here’s a picture of me relaxing after work:
I no longer work in service, and my evenings out involve solid foods as well as social lubricants, and I try to not wear equestrian themed short-short outfits if I can avoid it.
Here’s what happens after dark. Here are the places I like to wine, dine, and 69.
(I’ll take care of that last item now: Your mom’s bed.)