By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
This week, I dragged my adorable ass to movies, plays, fashion shows, nightclubs, a dog party, and the opening of a veggie fast-food restaurant. What the fuck more do you people want from me?
First, there was a preview of Vegeteria, the quickie meatless place on the site of an old Burritoville, where at least I didn't feel like I was devouring a murder-victim relative of my leather jockstrap. Things got animal again at Project Alabama's fashion show at Bowlmor Lanes, where beauty editors aggressively targeted bowling pins as if they were attacking dry skin and fat cells. Design world wunderkind Zac Posen and I watched the ball-tossing with bemusementhe's better at horseback riding, I'm better at Family Feud.
Moving on to water sportsgetting warmerthere was a soluble glow to Patricia Field's KY-cosponsored fashion show, so at her after-party at Lotus, I asked the downtown icon to name some uses for the "personal lubricant" other than the obvious. It turns out it's a fashionista's best friend. "Just today," Pat said, "I was trying to get my boots on, and I put some KY there and just glided into them. I'm going to give a bottle to all my customers who buy my tight, tight jeans." (Note to self: Buy Pat's tight, tight jeans.) I went on to regale Pat and tablemate Kim Cattrall with the many surprising uses of Preparation H, and though I won't specify the details, believe me, things got very witty.
I slid over to Macy's, where gossip queen Cindy Adams had a book party for her The Gift of Jazzyno, it's not about a Jazzy Chair, it's about her dogand honey, all the puparazzi turned out. (Get it? Puparazzi!) Dog lover Anna Nicole Smith's disgruntled ex-publicist David Granoff was there, thrilled that Smith's E! show will now be done live; the fuckups will surely do her in. (Or might they just enhance her legend? The messier the better for that little diva.) As we pondered this, I noticed that the almost-reality subject Liza Minnelli had shown up with David Gest, but they mercifully left before David could relieve himself on my leg. In lieu of that, it was memorable to see furrier Dennis Basso's pooch decked out in a fancy fur collarthe height of redundant chic, but probably not a look the soy steak crowd would have appreciated. Nearby, opera diva Deborah Voigtwho's a total camptold me, "It's better to have a pet than a husband. He wouldn't travel under the seat, the bastard."
Bitchless, I judged Yolanda's Valentine's Day Alien Love Ball at CBGB Downstairs Lounge, where the costume competition peaked with a contestant who redefined doggie style. The creature "from the planet Myanus" kept shoving his naked tush in my face, providing a wondrous advertisement for all the above-mentioned products. I didn't know whether to sidle up to the thing or just throttle it, so I crowned it the winner.
Couture covered my entire backside at the Prada store, where Fischerspoonerthat hypnotically kitsch performance-art disco ensemblescreened their new DVD and chatted with admirers through robes and eye makeup. Frontman Casey Spooner told me the group had taped Carson Daly's show that very day, and though it went well, "TV is so weird. You don't get the release of a live show. It's as if the audience is in a whole other time continuum. Afterwards, I said, 'TV is so fucking flat,' but Carson said, 'That was not flat!' " And neither was the guy's ass in the last graph, if your mind is still there, thank you.
The telly became multidimensional again at a screening of HBO's new "death-affirming" Six Feet Under episodes. (The first one involves flatlining, breast-feeding, and couples therapyyou won't be disappointed.) At the event, Frances Conroy (who plays Ruth) told me, "TV is wonderful! The camera is such an intimate soul mate to communicate things through." She was beaming so hard I got scared, so I ran into the arms of her castmate Freddy Rodriguez, who balked when I told him he looks like jailbait on the show. ("But I'm 28, he's 28," he said. "I'm married, he's married. Whata baby having a baby?") The after-party was at Capitale, a gorgeous space I never fully appreciated back when it was the Bowery Savings Bank.
A few blocks up on Bowery, a lighting fixture store has become Mission, and though the nouveau speakeasy's press release decries gentrification and other factors that have fucked with downtown decadence, they're a little too realistic about their place in this shiny new landscape. The two-floor boîte, says the release, serves caviar and panini and "is set to become Manhattan's new 'it' spot for corporate functions, media industry events, and private parties." So they're mad at the whitewashing of club culture and are determined to bring the spirit back, over skirt steaks and CEO clink-clinks? If that's a Mission possible, they're geniuses.
Actually, at the opening, I met the owners and succumbed to their breezy personalities and downright lack of pretense. They admitted that though they're not exactly aiming to revive the era of flophouse boozers and prosties, they do want to nod to the nabe's saloon history and serve up some fun, any fun. But mostly they just want a middle-sized, medium-range success (like I've always achieved) that'll be manageable in the age of big-club crackdowns. "We're looking for longevity," said manager and ex-Shine co-owner Nick Cohen. "We're gonna stay away from promoters." (But don't avoid this gossip sidebar: Whispers say the Crobar folks might take over the Limelight space. Meanwhile, my idol Nancy Sinatra took over B.B. King last week to rock out with band members from Blondie and Guns N' Roses. The effect was very '60s, '80s, and future combinedand her boots don't need KY, honey.)