Demanda Dahling dishes on New York's gay nightlife: including Susanne Barstch, Rose McGowan and Celso
by Demanda Dahling
My New Years resolutions were all in place and set.. until I broke them five minutes after the ball dropped by feeling my cocktails a bit too much and falling asleep in front of Deryck Todd mid-conversation at the Rated-X Panty Party. We had been chatting for a while and I was completely feeling his vibe. Not only was this boy dreamy--even all decked out as his alter-ego--but could hold an intelligent conversation. I was heels over heads in love, to say the very least. Suddenly, before either you and I knew it, I chimed in with a slurring "Oh absolutely love! Now I'm sorry, but.. um.. do you mind repeating exactly what you said.. the music was too loud." Nearly twenty minutes had gone by and not only did I pass out, I was snoring. It was at this point I realized it was going to be a forgettably unforgettable year in my life. Pull up a seat my sweets, pour yourself a cocktail, light a cigarette if so inclined--lord knows I am--and come join the Demanda Dahling fantasy.
My week began last Sunday at Vandam, Susanne Barstch and Kenny Kenny's long-standing party at Greenhouse, continued on as always. Seemingly on auto-pilot, the party has not changed much, if at all, since it's opening over a year ago. I hadn't planned on a crazy night until Kyle Brincefield, recently described by the New York Press's Gerry Visco as a "hunky clubkid" and a good friend of yours truly decided to use the club to celebrate his twenty-third birthday. Unable to secure a bottle from "unaccommodating hosts, I will be bringing my own bottle service," Brincefield told me. And did he ever--showing up with his own bottle of vodka, cranberry juice, cups, straws and a huge display of balloons.
I poured myself a cocktail, let go some champagne poppers and made my way to survey the crowd. I found myself standing next to Rose McGowan, who told me she had just come from a baby shower in Brooklyn and had "the most wretched time of my entire life." Pouring herself a drink and rocking back and forth to DJ Johnny Dynell's music, her wretched time was forgotten. In fact, my time was forgotten too; I awoke the next morning still in my outfit, makeup smeared all over my pillows and a half eaten bagel on the ground. Whoops!
Being billed at THE sexiest party of the week, Tuesday's BonBon at Juliet Supper club has yet to disappoint. Despite dwindling numbers and reports that the bar returns are a bit, well, nonexistent, Susanne Bartsch and Kenny Kenny have put together "a most glamorous evening" that feels as low-key as a Tuesday night should be with the usual shenanigans nightlife has come to expect. In fact, the night is so glamorous that it has become the party to be seen at. But with so much glitter and sequins in a club together, there's bound to be a tiff here or there. Last week a small argument ensued when both former Bungalow 8 partner Tiana Reeves and nightlife personality Celso spatted over a single seat they each wanted for their friends. Trivial of course, yet absolutely amusing to watch. When asked to pose for a picture together, the lovely Celso, done up in an 80s sequin number snickered, "No, we're boycotting." This week, however, sang a different a tune when Celso was overheard saying, "I really have nothing against Tiana at all.. she's always been very nice to me." I'm not so sure, however, she's always been a peach to moi, and that's all I really care about. Also seen this week was Matthew Heresy nestled at a banquette in the back passing out herbal refreshments to partygoers. Hanging out on cloud nine, the entire club was packed with smoke and everyone shook their bonbons enthusiastically to music by Lilly of the Valley and Michael Magnan while speckles of light flickered throughout the mirrored room. Also flying high on cloud nine, Amanda Lepore posed for an impromptu video shoot with Marco Ovando, who filmed the transsexual goddess dancing around the club, giving her best runway walk and crawling across banquettes. I don't know about you but I'm certainly anxious to see where those videos end up.
My Wednesday's had become a bit stale and, to liven it up, I grabbed by good friend DivaSteve and together decided to take a world tour of parties. We began at Malik So Chic's ultra, well, chic party at the Union Square Lounge. We were running a little late so we knew we couldn't stay long but after persistent attempts to coax me into going, I felt it was time to make an appearance. The lounge, low-lit and about the size of a large studio apartment, jam-packed a mostly heterosexual crowd with a gay interspersed here and there. Ladyfag, donned in a unitary and draped with ropes, pressured us to try the food: "It's so delicious," she chomped, the hint of garlic wafting through the room. No thank you sugar, we'd rather cocktail this evening.
We then hoofed it over to Vlada to catch the tail end of the "Blonde Leading the Blonde" starring Sherry Vine and an absent Epiphany Get Paid. "I was hoping Epiphany would be here," Formika, who was in the crowd, told a friend of mine. "I wanted to hardcore read her." Glenn Close but no cigar my dear. Perhaps next week? Oh, wait! Speaking of tail ends, the "Blonde Leading the Blonde" has now added itself to the registry of drag shows gone defunct.
Leaving Vlada, we walked the ten blocks in the cold to make it to what's shaping up to be one of the best parties of the week, Ryan McKnight's The Happening at The Hudson Hotel did not disappoint this week. Regularly hosted by Jackie Birdy, Markus Kellemen as well as a slew of others, the affair has become a gathering for the House of Aviance where it seems as soon as 1am hits, the entire second floor turns into a vogueing palace. Bottles for days, this has quickly become the place for tourists to take a quick photo shoot and ogle with New York's professional partiers.
The highlight of the week came Friday when I once again went to Formika's newly reinstated F Word at Rebel. Recently relocated from Santos Party House, the party has a much different feel. Whereas at Santos the party felt cohesive, the new venue boasts six rooms with six DJs and six different vibes. What once was a haven for freaks feels more like a muscle boy party. This past week saw a super nasty video shoot with Francis Legge in which go-go boys and drag queens all rolled around on the ground, licking, petting and doing only god knows what to each other. (Check out GaySocialite Eric Halliwell's exclusive photos for the down and dirty). I watched from my own private VIP section, a platform located above a stairway to the first floor where later, quite obviously out of his mind, Francis sucked on my heel. Brave soul. But even the classy are turning out for this trashy party--Countess Luann de Lesseps of Real Housewives of New York semi-fame was spotted in the downstairs VIP Lounge, chatting it up with host Amanda Lepore. I guess Chelsea is slumming it for ya sister, huh? The week before saw a special appearance by GaySocialite Shealita Babay who after performing a ridiculous gospel number where she shoved a statue of the Virgin Mary up her arse, was confronted by Dallas DuBois and Jamal Alexander about several drunken comments she made on her Facebook page. What I thought was originally a friendly drag queen kiki quickly turned into game of finger pointed while Lady Blue and I guzzled our poison and made sure no punches were thrown.
Which brings us to last night. Heavily promoted and highly anticipated, Akash Abraham and Chris Ryan's new venture out of twinkland, Tight at Amnesia, was not well attended. Citing problems with the door ("They won't let Markus [Kelleman] run the list, and he knows everyone," host Hunter Woodham, looking adorable in a yellow tank, told me) as well as competing with several popular parties over a holiday weekend may have contributed to the problem. But when I arrived, I found myself nestled next to GaySocialite Dina Marie. "I'm so glad you brought your friends," I quipped, her breasts held back behind a thin piece of fabric. "They were lonely," she laughed back to me. Inside, the music by DJ Ricardo was thumping while, suspended over the dance floor, performers swung on ribbons. Although it began to pick up around one ("I think it's going to be a later party," GaySocialite and host King Ralphy told me), Janice Dickinson never showed despite a publicized appearance. The party begins weekly in February and with guests DJ's that include Junior Vasquez on Valentine's Day, I believe it's going to turn into a must-stop on a Sunday night.
Highlight of the week: Arriving in blue face at Tight, Augustus Gloop look-a-like and GaySocialite Jane Lane proceeded to greet everyone with a big sloppy kiss. "Excuse me Dina," Lee Chappell asked, "but I may borrow your foundation for a moment? Jane got blue all my face!" "Mine too," Dina chuckled, handing over her compact. Going through my clutch and peering into my handheld mirror, it looked as if I had been blowing smurfs too. Oy!