By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
"7:30 in the morning! This is not normal!" whined a Dominican girl stomping out of Exit and into the piercing sunlight. Dawn is when the straight folks leave Junior Vasquez's Earth party for breakfast. It's also when the real party, a six-, sometimes eight-hour marathon of tribal banging, gets under way. Not even 30 minutes later, cabs full of fags, their hags, and out-of-drag trannies arrive en masse.
Suspended high above the football field of a dancefloor is Doña Vasquez's palatial DJ booth, which is literally the size of an apartment. Most of the crowd heregay men in their thirties and fortieshave been devoted to the man since the days of the Sound Factory, and every song has to have Junior's signature of dramatic EQ pacing and clanging beats. Whether it was poppy vocal house or hardcore techno, it all went back to tribal. "Jesus! It's been two minutes already!" a man muttered at the repetitive nature of the set. He was outnumbered: Everywhere, hulking, topless men were either too high or too horny to care.
Upstairs, I tried to smuggle my photographer into Casa Junior and was accosted by a mammoth queen, who looked as if he'd ingested a Mexican steroid factory. "You won't mess us up like that Steve Weinstein!" he yelled, referring to the author of a Voice piece on the Black Party. "He really rained on our parade. The people who OD'd at the White Party did that before the party started!" I should have told him what I really wanted was a pill to help me get used to the damn music. I couldn't take it!
I can't knock the vibe, though. Past eight o'clock, everyone is amicable. Add in your random appearancesZofia Borucka, in a floor-length gown, bouncing to the music on a platform, and Andy Dick (do I need to say anything else?)and you've got a pleasant Sunday morning.
I love it when obnoxiously powerful people get together to eat expensive meat. Spotted having dinner at Theo was the Australian Power Posse of Rupert Murdoch, his wife Wendy Deng and fine-ass son Lachlan Murdoch (cruising in on a motorcycle), Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann and his wife, and none other than Ms. Nicole Kidman, giggling up a storm over a huge multi-course meal. Luhrmann and Kidman have been dining at Jonathan Morr's chic new pit stop a lot lately, recently sharing a table with web-slingin' Tobey Maguire. What's next? Over-the-top pop musicals for the teen set?
It's official: The first wave of the Rave Generation is now calling the shots in mass culture. All through winter, you were either annoyed or enthralled by that chick doing liquid in the front seat of a happily zipping Eclipse as a progressive house cut grooved on. British trio Dirty Vegas's "Days Go By," better known as "the Mitsubishi song," is a bona fide Top 40 hit, and an album is being rolled out ahead of schedule in June, with a subversive portrait by photo-realist Richard Phillips gracing the cover. "We're getting people from hip-hop, rock, and dance all interested in the record," says Dirty Vegan Ben Harris from his London home base. Crazier still, they're doing TRL.
After weeks of following the glisteningly vapid lives of the fashion pack, I had to see how design people party down. The verdict: Although they dress cooler, listen to better music, and drink as much, design people party by making snide intellectual banteras opposed to fashion people, who just make airheaded attempts at snide intellectual banter. The International Contemporary Furniture Fair was in effect, and I checked out the closing-day festivities, which included Clear magazine's hype-heavy party at Deitch Projects for designer Karim Rashid. The warehouse-sized space was painted white and dumped with the trappings of the futurist designer's painstakingly plasticine world, including about 40 curvy items that I took for umbrella holders. "They're arbitrary objects," smirked a "two-dimensional" designer. "Five years ago, Karim's stuff looked good, but now, well, it's a little hippie."
For a man who's mostly succeeded only in changing the shape of the American trash can, Karim is a pompous ass and every bit the design superstar. Cuddling two babes in his arms and wearing wraparound sunglasses, he casually cast off bons mots drawn from his "Manifesto of the Future," which I thought I had read in One. "Actually it was in GQ," he snapped. Karim's got a fashion line set to launch in September, and a few hotel interior design projects are in the works. He said he would e-mail the rest. "I answer everyone back. It's in my manifesto that one should answer every e-mail." That's one tenet of the future I won't be testing.