Bea Patient Please, Creatures Of The Night
The longest night of the year is rarely noticed or celebrated by the creatures of the night. The concept is largely lost in the bustle of holiday shopping, seasonal parties and end of the year preparations. Those of us who have fed by night for eons have seen a quantum shift in the night mentality this past year or so. The evening has been hijacked by those who dwell in the day. Sunlight is the new black. At brunches we throw napkins in the air as if it’s midnight on New Year’s Eve. White shirts and blue jeans have replaced basic black. You can’t open a club by just painting the walls dark and stringing a few light bulbs. The drugs aren’t around to make it all seem beautiful anymore. The new joints are about color, vibrancy, light, people needing to see and be seen. We are in an optimistic era in clubland and we seek optimistic hues and imagery and classic comfort in our playpens.
Colorful artists of a darker era adorned the walls of the Guest of a Guest holiday extravaganza at Rose Bar last night. I sat quietly with my ex sipping club sodas and waxing nostalgic. I could hear an old song by Tuxedomoon deep inside my head.
No tears for the creatures of the night No tears My eyes are dry Goodbye I feel so hollow I just don’t understand Nothing turned out like I, like I planned My head’s exploding My mouth is dry I can’t help it if I’ve forgotten how to cry No tears for the creatures of the night No tears
Kelly and I had spent a dozen years together spanning a time when clubs were so loud you woke up the next day with a headache and very often a stranger. Clubs were so dark you could hardly see who you were taking home. That was so often a blessing. In 30 years in the nightclub business I never went home with an ugly person, but I did wake up with a few. People were so high on life, liquor and drugs back then that they could go solo and hang with people they didn’t know. Now people travel in herds. Gays hung with straights and the rich gleamed from street folk. Ideas flowed both ways and the street folk often climbed high while the rich became drunkards and lost it all. There was fluidity, movement and an exchange of wealth, concepts, beauty and even bodily fluids.
My ex and I talked of that era, which is merely a ghost now, occasionally haunting us and/or inspiring us. We live 3000 miles apart but the chasm between us is larger than that. We’re still fantastic friends and all that, it’s very mature. We watched the business folks holding their cocktails at exactly the same height while wearing exactly the same suit. We small talked with dozens. People asked what school you went to. A few creatures of the night flitted around looking for light, or is it dark? “It was all so different,” we both said at the exact same time and laughed. A blue Keith Haring hovered 10 feet over everyone’s head, in so many ways watching it all . The dancing men in the 2-D painting were having more fun than I was, than anybody was. Off to the restroom, I ran into a young Guest of a Guest photographer that I know admiring the black and white photos of an era just before mine. The people were all caught having fun in resplendent outfits and frozen fun faces. I asked him if he knew who any of these people were and of course he didn’t. I showed him Yves St Laurent, Jean Paul Gautier, etc. The names were only echoes without meaning to him. I smiled and left to complete my mission.
Don’t get me wrong, the party was swell and I could spout a list of A-listers who were having a great time and everybody knows Rose Bar is beautiful. Rachelle Hruska was, as always, the perfect host and she introduced me to so many pleasant people. DJ Nick Mark was offering every great song of the last two years and absolutely in the perfect order. It was just me that was moody. Hanging with the ex brought me back to a day or night when my blood would start to boil as I left the cab door and bounded towards a doorman who hated everyone. We would air kiss and talk the smallest talk and tell him he looked fantastic for tribute and bound again inside. You could hear the club rumble loud as we penetrated the fortress doors. It was dark and we didn’t have cell phone flashlights in our hands. We adjusted our eyes, ears and all our senses. The crowds were beautiful shadows with night vision, watching us, consuming us as we moved in. The sounds of the ‘80s and ‘90s music was often violent and dark and certainly passionate. I don’t have to tell you about it, you hear the same songs still to this day, and every night and on your ipod too.
The clubs were a frenzy of lust and intrigue. You could get real hurt if you made a mistake–not 2009 Manhattan hurt but 1996 Brooklyn hurt. People actually looked very different at night than they do during the day. Now outfits are mostly good 24/7. My ex and I took our stroll down memory lane and then realized that only the two of us and that Haring up high on the wall could relate. We bounded out the door for Veselka and a Polish meal like we used to enjoy years ago. It’s food that only tastes great late. Maybe it marinates all day or maybe, like our ears and eyes, our taste buds are transformed as well. Veselka ain’t Kiev (only a few of you might understand) but it did hit the spot last night.
We passed on Butter’s Monday as we had spent so much energy dancing and partying in our reminiscences. You cant go back again, some older guy once said. I never actually read his book, just cliff notes of it for a paper. Maybe he is right, maybe not. This week we will celebrate events that happened 2000 years ago and still find hope and inspiration there. We will exchange gifts and love with friends, neighbors and family. We realize or hope that we can do things better and vow that we will all do our part to make it better. I guess I can be allowed to go back a mere dozen years or so and hope that at least one place will open soon where the creatures of the night can gather and spill drinks on each other and hook up and actually have real fun. Not poseur, passive fun, but fun that makes you scream and laugh fun. Fun that takes you someplace else and leaves you with something gained. A place where a celebrity is an artist or author instead of a reality star or ingénue.
Sorry if I bored you all today with these inane ramblings but I know where the new Beatrice is and I’m itching to talk. Whatever can be said, and of course it has been said about the Bea, it was the closet thing we’ve had in quite awhile to real live night time fun. I’ll let you know more when Paul Sevigny says I can. Some of the blogs are so concerned to be the firstest, bestet, only blog in the world, that they’ll tell you too soon and cause political or legal problems that will squash it before the first ice is put into the first cocktail. It’s not all that important really where it is. When it is, is more important. But even for that we can wait. We have been waiting and are used to it. For all the snarky talk, nothing has replaced it since it’s been gone. The when is soon enough and that’s good enough for me. Shoot, Paul could put it on one of those little islands in the middle of the East River next July and I would start to swim right now.