Who says parties in New York suck these days? Theyre wrong wrong wrong. Id planned an Xmas jaunt to visit family, but the snow at the airport nixed that. Instead, Id party until the wee hours here in NYC. You know it's bad when two nights in a row, you're caught in broad daylight wearing a club kid outfit and the neighbors look at you funny in the elevator.
The streets were slippery as hell, the wind was howling, but there I was, cabbing it to Santos Party House for Andrew Buckler's White Christmas Party, a benefit for the Gay Men's Health Crisis, bedecked in an ivory brocade suit; the dress code was white and only white. Party impresario Deryck Todd (of BowieBall fame) invited me and since the headliner was the legendary Debbie Harry, last minute or no, I was so there.
The low temps scared off the weather wimps so the cavernous Santos Party House was kind of empty. As I climbed down the stairs, three girls posed for me, one bare ass and another kissing the glistening white cheeks. Let me see the picture, the ass kisser demanded. Its blurry, she complained, storming off.
When Debbie Harry came out on the stage wearing a black see-through top and a red brassiere, the crowd erupted. The fans went crazy, even though many hadnt even been born when Heart of Glass broke the charts. Debbies voice was fuller than ever and she still radiated sex appeal, but I yearned to cut her hair and dress her in something more flattering. Debbie, please, lose the frumpy do!
And Santos Party House has potential (it was, after all the Press favorite new club of 2008). The drinks are strong and the venue is roomy, but the crowd depends on the night. At the coat check, one of the wannabe hipsters crowed to another that, I went to see a burlesque show last night. REALLY? her friend asked in awe. It was a feel good night, but Saturdays for amateurs.
Which is one reason why Vandam, the Sunday night party hosted by Susanne Bartsch and Kenny Kenny has worked so well. The third Sunday of parties in a row, this weeks party was maybe even better than the last two. Nightlife isnt dead in New York, not anymore.
Though it was after 1:30 a.m., the minute I walked through the door of the Green House, electricity was in the air. In my rush to get inside, I left my Nano on the seat of the cab but a guy just leaving the party who nabbed my taxi came running after me with my lime green treasure. Thats the vibe you get at Vandamfriendly, even nice. Yes, these are the posers, they are outrageously costumed, they are exhibitionists and freaks, but theyre not snobs. Leave that to the nine to fivers drunkenly crowding the streets of the Lower East Side.
Everyone dresses up here, everyone poses, everyones going a little crazy. Just when things seem to lull, some strumpet whips out a tit or a muscled bare-chested surfer dude pulls his pants down and shows us the size of his equipment. This is like the parties of the good old days at the Mudd Club or Danceteria or Area or even the parties Bartsch used to throw back in the 1980s and 90s.
Its hard to tell if someone is a boy or a girl here but it hardly matters. Later, I twirl around a gay guy. I work at the New School, he tells me. Know anyone looking for a fabulous art director job? Im leaving to start my own business, he confides. Stefanos boogies with a man dressed as a Zebra who comes every week.
That night Giorgio Armani himself was ensconced in a makeshift VIP lounge roped off at the far end of the room, a couple of undercover bodyguards keeping an eye out. Giorgio was sitting there all by his lonesome, gazing at the scene forlornly as though it were a triptych from Hieronymous Bosch. I was able to snap two photos until the big boys told me to cease and decist. Shortly afterward, Giorgio took off.