By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Misstress Formika has a lot of friends. And it seems to be a prerequisite that they all be fabulous and famous and from the downtown scene. (What the hell was I doing there, you may be wondering. Well, Misstress, a/k/a Michael Ortega, took pity on me. And I paid her.)
At Formika's party last Monday at Global 33, where the drag performer co-hosts the weekly Global Bingo with Linda Simpson, a parade of East Village socialites and punk rockers took over the swanky bar-restaurant. Sitting next to me was my New Best Friend, Theo. Candis Cayne, who once reigned over the drag circuit, held court at the end of the table like the downtown royalty she is. The usual suspects, Richie Rich and Amanda Lepore, arrived fashionably late, with the latter rocking a very Pamela Anderson-esque look. Burlesque babe Lady Aceshowed up and managed to keep her clothes on. And that Motherfucker DJ, Michael T, arrived with a bouquet of roses for his doppelgänger. Most surprising was the arrival of Daniel Cartier, the singer-songwriter with a bald, tattooed head of flowers, who moved out of the city to L.A. a few years back and is currently living in Dennis, Massachusetts. I only recently caught up with Daniel on Friendster, and his first comment upon seeing me for the first time in five years was, "Friendsteris that thing run by an old lady on a treadmill, or what?" Yes, Danielson, it is.
Then Cartier and Theo started to music-geek out ("How's your album?"), and I started to drift off into space, thinking that maybe I should have started off as a boy and gotten a sex-change operationsince mostof the trannies in the room turned out better-looking than the natural ladies. The rest of us uncool kids at the table started trading Michael/Misstress stories. Said a friend who'd been his roommate when she first moved to New York nearly seven years ago, "Michael is a very good introduction to New York City." Looking around, I couldn't argue with that.
Finally, the real business got under way: bingo. I had to ask my friend three times, how does one play this game? as I am not very bright. Theo and I both got our asses kicked and lost the rights to a ghetto-blaster purse and a Bedazzler kit, which puts glittery studs on your clothes. No fair.
File under: the most bizarre untrue rumor ever. U.K. dance publication DJmagazine ran a story online recently, headlined "Where Da Funk Is Romero." The story, written by Terry Church, states that New York DJ-producers Harry "Choo Choo" Romero and Jorge Jaramillo had gone missing during a visit to Colombia. The story said the DJs had been MIA for two weeks and had never checked into their hotel and that "neither has rung home or Subliminal." But Subliminal Records honcho Erick Morillo is said to be steaming mad over the faux story, and DJ Melvin Moore, who is the label's a&r rep, says, "Erick is furious about this and so are Harry and Jorge. I don't know how, why, or who wrote this piece of crap, but it has stirred up people's emotions for no apparent reason. Go figure." The two DJs were in Colombia for the first two weeks of January, spinning at Old Club in Cartagena, but they were never missing or in harm's way. We wrote to DJ mag but never heard back.
Moore added: "Harry's in the studio with Erick right now, and I just got off the phone with Jorge." While a double abduction in a seedy underworld would have been the most exciting thing to happen in New York nightlife in a long while, we are very happy Harry and Jorge are safe and sound and making beats for our future enjoyment.
Speaking of MIA, Armand Van Helden has always had a hard-on for hip-hop, but the feeling hasn't always been mutual. The house guru has come out of hiding with two tracks to his name on the most recent Wu Tang-related project. Mr. Van Helden is boldly credited on the Bobby Digital Presents Northstar record (released January 20) as a "European house legend." I guess that makes the sometime New Yorker seem more exotic.
Book me a one-way ticket to Hawaii, please: The folks from Party Rite, held every Thursday at Sapphire Lounge, sent out an e-mail with the subject heading "Take advantage of the heat wave!" The temperature that day? A steamy 30 degrees.