14th Street: The New Nabe Deserves a Name
Snap, that sports bar we are finishing on 14th street and 8th Avenue, is open nightly and hosting fabulous events. Last night Danny A— as in always an “A” crowd—brought his crowd to the tables. The scene was easily the hottest gathering ever at a sports bar. There were more models and hot people than at the regular hot spots around town. That was the point: a sports bar without the 800-pound gorillas in the room, a place to enjoy the big game with good food and company. I will be watching the Manny Pacquiao fight with Antonio Margarito tomorrow night there. I chatted up Danny about his success in the acting/movie producing game. I loved Holy Rollers, which starred The Social Network’s now famous Jesse Eisenberg. The first guests to arrive at the bash were former Met/Yankee basher Darryl Strawberry, chaperoned by my pal Eytan Sugarman. Me and my gal chatted up the clearly together slugger. He said he admired my work, and I told him I always admired his. I said that he an Andre Dawson were the most feared batters of their day. At a sports bar like this, attracting heroes and a sexy crowd seems perfect.
14th street between 7th and 8th is heating up. Darby, Richie and Scott’s restaurant right next door to Snap, is tasting, gearing up to be the best place in town. And ‘yes’ to all my watchdogs: Marc Dizon and I designed it as well. I am proud of my work and have no problem saying I love it. There are a bunch of joints around town that we designed that I don’t talk about. The 8th avenue end of the strip already features Norwood and the yuppiefied Honey, which could be sweet with a new look, and maybe new operators. Crispo is a great little secret spot-type restaurant on the south-side of the strip. I have been visiting Puerto Rican mecca La Taza de Oro, since I worked for Steve Rubell and Ian. I’ve seen everyone from Benicio del Toro to Raven O to club gods catching cheap and good fare there.
The block has enough old New York history and grittiness to be the next “area.” The Subway sandwich shop, the old liquor store, the last stop on the “L’ train, a couple of suspicious “spas,” and a porn joint keep it just enough “street” to feel undiscovered and fun. A gallery needs a couple more art spaces to bring that scene. The MPD is just a hip hop, skip, and a jump down the block—just far enough to keep the “tourists come lately” away for a couple of years. Everyone still goes to the Meatpacking, as the events and the sweet spots are undeniable, but the hordes of the unwashed masses have taken the edge off the night there. Cabs are tough to get, and navigating through weekend revelers to get to the Boom Boom, or hot restaurant MPD, or Cielo can be tiring for some. This new strip, which needs a name, is a significant, and a much-needed addition to the night. The location, which defines the borders of the West Village, and the Chelsea strip, screams for a gay joint as well.
The 6th anniversary of Sutra, a place I have impossibly found myself on many occasions, is this Tuesday. Ariel Palitz, the proprietor and a good friend, had friends and family there last night, but will bring it big and beautiful for us little people this coming Tuesday, along with the originator, the hero, the legendary DJ Afrika Bambaataa. I haven’t seen Bam in years, and wouldn’t miss this for the world.