Farewell L.A. & Notes from Santos’

I left California with fun facts resonating in my head. First, I heard that In L.A. there are more medical marijuana distribution joints than there are Starbucks. Secondly, the people who live in Venice Beach call themselves Ven-utians. My crew has settled there and in West Hollywood. I ate strange fruit and peed next to movie stars in restaurant bathrooms. I had conversations with local nightlife shakers about celebrities as commodities and their car-based clientele. In good old New York it’s hard to make a place that is what we call a “destination” work. Notable exceptions have been Bungalow 8, Area, Cielo, Lotus, and The World, which popped up in hoods that were less than traveled.

In L.A., everyplace is a destination. Pals Marc Rose and Med Abrous joined my clan for coffee and cocktails at Chateau Marmont, which is of course the chicest place ever. They told me about Spare, a project they are collaborating on at the Hotel Roosevelt. Spare will apparently feature a couple of bowling lanes and of course the greatest cocktails and service ever. I love the idea. Marc and I talked about my old Bowlmor Lanes Monday night club leagues. Bowling is mad fun, and a couple of lanes may need to be expanded on.

Marc worked for me back in the Life days, and I always thought he was the best of the young studs. He went West to find his future as so many of my crew has. It sure was swell sitting by the pool and talking on the cell at The Standard in West Hollywood, or strolling with kids on the Venice Beach boardwalk. I have to say, my recent Williamsburg move might not satisfy my urge to change. It was like the voting on Tuesday: A reaction against, rather than a positive acceptance. After Williamsburg, it will not be Bushwick for me. I seem to have developed a fetish for palm trees.

It must be noted that this Saturday,Tao Vegas is celebrating 5 years of doing it, and doing it, and doing it well. The property is a machine that captures the imagination and loot of thousands every week. It remains fresh and fun, as the players involved have evolved the space, keeping It energized. DJ Vice will entertain.

I missed the great artist/photographer Andres Serrano’s musical offerings at Lit last night. We e-mailed each other and he assured me that Brutus Faust will gig again. Traveling just a few days has distanced me from the NY scene. From afar, I noted the closing and the reopening of Santos’ Party House. I put in my 2 cents about what happened, but feel the press release from the day after the closing speaks well on the impact of random acts of unfair enforcement by city agencies. Santos was allowed to reopen after this release:

Dear Friends,

Yesterday was one for the books at Santos Party House. We had been working since the morning in preparation for the 20th anniversary celebration of the legendary record label Ninja Tune, in addition to the string of amazing Halloween events we had been working on for months. At around 9:15pm, the mounting excitement was crushed when the NYPD barged into the club and informed us that we were to cease operations until further notice. Needless to say, we were shocked.

The summons we received lists a few minor incidents that occurred months ago for the most part, all involving people not under the direct employ of the club. While many of the allegations listed in the order are simply untrue, we take most offense to the argument that SPH promotes behavior that causes “ irreparable harm to the City of New York, its residents and visitors.” Our intentions are exactly the opposite. We are a mom-and-pop business that strives to maintain the cultural and creative traditions that make this city such a miracle. SPH does not condone any illegal activity and has always gone above and beyond recommended security protocol to ensure a safe environment for patrons and staff. Spontaneously closing an independent business that has continuously cooperated with authorities (on one of the most profitable weekends of the year) is not the answer. It’ s absolutely ridiculous. Steve Lewis succinctly wrote today, “ Has anybody been in Madison Square Garden during a concert? Drugs are in schools, playgrounds, offices, parks and, quite possibly, every building—commercial or residential—in town. Nobody thinks of closing these places down, only the clubs.”

We have a hearing on Monday and are confident that we will be cleared of any wrongdoing and will resume business as usual shortly. Until then, we encourage our allies in nightlife to remain vigilant and protect your businesses. We are deeply appreciative of the outpouring of support in the press and on the internet. Our apologies go to the incredible event planners and customers that we intended to share the weekend with; we wish you a killer Halloween. Please bear with us as the best is yet to come.


Santos Party House

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