By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
The opening of the new OM Yoga Center (yes, I'm searching for new arenas of entertainment) brought out a you-can't-make-this-shit-up mix of pushy paparazzi with cell phones and tranquil spiritualists with crocheted caps and beatific grins. The grins won, but only after you choked on a lot of incense and aggressively positive sprite action. ("Everyone here is a God!" I heard one pert pixie in floral jeans chirp as I dropped to my knees.)
First, you slid barefoot on rose petals past the "ashtanga curious" to sit on floor pillows in the place's Earth studioother rooms were modestly named Sun, Sky, and Forestwhere an advanced student performed an interpretive dance, followed by the talented Rain Phoenix emerging in a black shroud to sing introspective tunes with her band, Paper Cranes. (Yes, Rain had left Sky and circumvented Forest to come to Earth.) My legs had fallen asleep from the lotus position, and when I tried to stand up after the show, I knocked into one of the peaceniks, who lovingly screamed, "Take off your shoes!" I defiantly kept them on and crawled in pain to Rain (a friend of the publicist), who seemed more content than her deeply melancholy lyrics would suggestthe opposite of the smiley faces who act bouncy to cover pain. Is she a big yogini? "I'm avid," Rain said, adding, "every two months. I don't like crowds, so I rent a video and do it alone!" (Well, I'm sure everyone at home is a god, too.)
For the house-leaving bunch, OM offers a slew of more-innocent-than-they-sound workshops like "Upside Down: Inversions!" and "Open Your Hips." As director Cyndi Lee told the crowd, "Some people come here to tighten their butts, some want to loosen their shoulders." I want to loosen my butt!
To do so, I left Earth and headed toward Soho for filmmaker Larry Clark's surprise 60th birthday party, where I reveled in the rich, racy crowd (including John Waters, who told me he wanted Anthony Hopkins to star in Hairspray because he'd bring so much dignity. I had no idea that would be a plus). No one sat pretzel-like on the floor, but I did see some blissfully happy people anyway. "This is what keeps me young!" exulted Clark, embracing girlfriend Tiffany Limos, who is young. Limos co-stars in Clark's upcoming Ken Park, which has autoerotic asphyxiation and a cum shot, which should take it even beyond an NC (no cum) rating. By the fruit kebabs, Limos told me that before he was massively famous, Eminemtried out for a lead in the film, but he was actually too old and buff for it. No wonder he's so bitter. (More delightful sidebar: Limos recently sat on Brad Renfro's lap for an Interview shoot by Bruce Weber, and I hear Brad became noticeably aroused in the crotch. If it had gone any farther, the scene probably could have been added to Ken Park.)
While we're pushing boundaries, nothing could have been gayer than those good old Golden Globe Awards, and not just because all the women are obviously going to the same surgeons as trannies, thereby making the sex-change recipients all the more convincing. It was a lavender lovefest, mainly because the big winners were The Hours (the most sapphic film ever made) and Chicago (a light-in-the-loafers tuner by gays who've sprinkled in a lesbian prison matron and a star performance by Herb Ritts's best friend Richard Gere). The evening's yay-gay highlight was The Hours' producer Scott Rudin pledging his devotion to Broadway publicist John Barlow, though the antsy, don't-tell-'cause-we-won't-kvell media seemed to avoid picking up on this. (Well, I won't. Barlow tells me, "When Scott said, 'Honey, wherever you are is where I want to be,' I mouthed up at him, 'Me too!' ") The sisterly support only waned when Ed Harris and Dennis Quaidwho both play "that way"canceled each other out. Oh, and when that scary guy from The Shield won.
Want to push sexual issues back a few years again? Well, Harper's Bazaarwhose editors just denied plopping Kate Winslet's head on a skinnier bodymay have similarly put Tom Ford into another biological setup. Ford's open about his longtime boyfriend, but an article in the current issue claims he "flirted outrageously" with actress Emmanuelle Seignerbackstage at some fashion show, "sparking rumors that the designer and [Seigner] might be up to something." Whatexchanging outfits?
Sexualities blended more convincingly at SBNY, the gay cruise bar, which was suddenly filled with plus-sized women dancing for their lives as part of a "Who Wants to Be a Glamazon?" contest. The event"American Idol meets Lane Bryant"was an attempt by the snazzily choreographed large-gal ensemble to find a replacement for the departed World Famous B*O*B*, who told me she thought it would be fun to be in a group, but ultimately decided otherwise. (She's nice, though; don't call her Miss Ross.) As a judge, I helped weigh the chances of five talented fatties, who sang everything from Dixie Chicks to Dreamgirls, all while doing upside-down inversions and opening their hips. The final round had three finalists being asked how they'd make over Lara Flynn Boyle, prompting one contestant to reply, "I'd strap her down and force-feed her a thousand Big Macs and if she didn't take them, I'd just shoot her." She won in the biggest way possible.
And that brought club talk right back to the Golden Globes and how a tutu can be too-too, especially when your lips are bigger than your arms. At Beige, Vivienne Westwood's rep, Mark Palmen, entertained me with bemused talk about the outfit selection process. "I was told that Jennifer Aniston had 600 illustrations for Golden Globes dresses," he said, as label queens fell silent with awe. Westwood sent the Friends star some sample outfits, he added, "but Jennifer's people felt if she wore us, everyone would think she's trying to be cool, whereas she's not really a 'fashion person.' " It's true, she's just a normal, everyday gal with 600 dress sketches!
The sketches came to lifeon menin the cellar of Marion's Continental, where they've opened the Slide, a re-creation of an 1890s queer sleaze hole replete with low ceilings, nostalgic-looking sconces, andon the debut nightan open bar that brought out every last lush on earth. It was so crowded you couldn't see the forest for the Sky Room.
Finally, if I can really drop the smiley face and show the pain, my most horrifying recent consumer experienceyes, this is going to get really self-indulgenthad me buying a cell phone at a RadioShack in Florida, only to come home and find that you could prospect gold with it easier than you could use it to get a signal. I returned the thing to a New York RadioShack, only to have them point out that the serial number on my receipt was different from the one on the phone, so they couldn't possibly exchange it! Can you believe this shit? Thanks to their own scamming or (let's be kind) ineptitude, they wanted to stick me with a useless piece of cacaand they were implying I was the culprit! (Sad admission: I hadn't kept the box, which they said might have been crucial evidence. Yes, I'm a crazy, reckless human being.) After a week of haranguing customer service, I still couldn't get resultseven after my carrier confirmed that, on the date in question, they'd activated the very lemon I had! Honey, nobody beats the Wiz. Now get me to the nearest floor pillow.