It’s My Party and I’ll DJ If I Want to

On Tuesday I will be celebrating yet another birthday. Birthdays, New Years and Thanksgiving are naturally reflective times. They are times to look at where I came from and look, not only, to where I’m headed, but why I’m headed there. I’m not going to tell old war stories today–I’ll just sort of eek them out to you as time goes by– but I will tell you where I’m going. My design gig has taken me back again to Vegas. I did that room at Tao a couple of years ago and was involved early on in the new City Center as co-owner of SLDesign. It’s supremely funny that a company that has my name on it continues to use that name long after I have left. In my old age, I have learned not to worry about such things. I let sad little people with small…hands…have their little victories. I just feel sorry for them and keep moving on my own path. My partnership with Marc Dizon and our company Lewis & Dizon is much more fun and producing way better product anyway. We are currently developing a dozen places in New York, Vegas and even overseas. Ill tell you all about them in time.

Penny Arcade wrote me an email. Her new book Bad Reputation is a revelation. We reconnected the other day at her book release party. At Le Poisson Rouge. It had been many years. Here’s what she said:

I guess we have both grown quite a bit in the past 20 years!! And how much better is it to be smart, exciting and talented in ones 50s than to have had all the best years be in your 20s and 30s!!!I always say, “Anybody can be sexy and beautiful in your 20s and early 30s. Even ugly people are beautiful when they are young! The real question is, can you be beautiful and sexy in your 50s? That’s the measure I am interested in! In my show NY Values I say: “Absolutely nothing happens between 20 and 27 and then you are old! 27 to 39 drags on like summer when you are in the 4th grade and nothing happens! 39 to 50 lasts two weeks and EVERYTHING happens! 50 to 60 lasts three minutes…but if you spend your whole life becoming yourself at 60 you get to start all over again, this time raised by you!!!!”

What a refreshing concept. I love Penny Arcade. Well anyway, my life seemed to begin at 40 and the fears I had about growing older proved to be without merit. I can say with absolute certainty that for me it has never been better, so I will celebrate at Lit this coming Tuesday. It’s not going to be that special, you know. No swinging from the chandeliers or lamp shades on my head. I may have a drink or 3. I may DJ for an hour. You are invited. I am doing my party at Lit because it is the best place in town. It’s not just a great bar, as it has that sexy subterranean room where I get turned on and out every time. It also is home to the Fuse Gallery and I find that magical.

Lit is in trouble. The smoking storm troopers have targeted it for closure and there is a chance they will succeed. In a time of such hardship, we find ourselves with a billionaire mayor who unleashes city agencies. The effects of his wraith are devastating. I agree with his honor. I believe there is no place in polite society for smoking. However, this latest tactic of pulling the health department permits on certain venues is like shooting a mouse with a shotgun. It’s an overreaction from a man who has lost touch with the people on the street. Mayor Mike will put hundreds of innocent people out of work next week if he gets his way– and he is a dude who is used to getting his way. These employees support themselves and often families. They put their earnings back into communities that can ill afford this hit at this time. There are very few jobs out there. I know. I have 50 good friends desperate for work. Here’s an email from Erik Foss:

Steve. By now you have probably heard about the health department sting that went down a couple days ago on bars in New York City. So far we have not commented to the press about all of this. I was wondering if there is anyone at the Times that I can reach out to for help. The general public should know what Lit is and how we’ve been supporting local artists, musicians and the general creative community for almost a decade. My ultimate concern is for my 45 employees, who are all artistic people, as well as all the artists that I work with in my gallery. Fuse Gallery is booked with shows through 2012. The current economic situation is no place for almost 50 artists to be out of work. This is all much bigger than 3 bar owners not having a place any more. We opened Lit in 2002 to support our gallery. Our mission since we opened our doors has always been to show artists that the general New York art world has overlooked. In our space, we’ve showcased almost 1000 artists in about 90 shows in close to 8 years. The art community needs us and if we’re gone there will be a huge tear in the creative fabric of the city. I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you.”

The problem with electing a good man to a third term was always this dictatorship mentality. Is the Bloomberg administration so out of touch with reality that they will put hundreds of people out of work to enforce a no smoking ban? The ban is good. The way it is being enforced is nothing short of evil. It’s not like people are smoking crack. Enforcement officials are coming into places late at night looking for cigarette butts on the floor and in garbage cans. They are taking photographs and are preparing cases to close at least five joints. What does a cigarette butt on the floor or in a wastebasket prove anyway? Is it there because a security guard asked a patron to put it out? Anyway I’m inviting you all to join me at Lit Tuesday night. They have a smoking section outside.

Everybody is at Sundance which always creeps up on me and I just can’t make it. I went once and it was so fun. My favorite Kasuba, publicist Steve, is keeping his head covered and me informed of the goings on. Says Steve:”Rob Mckinley, who is currently putting the finishing touches on his latest design, Good Units, the new event space under the Hudson Hotel, re-created the look, sound, and even smell of little Italy’s original GoldBar. People were blown away by the temporary space.”

Rob is one of my favorite designers. I love GoldBar and go as often as my path allows me. My main man Mr. John Lennon is even out there. It’s so amazing to me that John Lennon, who I know a bit differently than some, is out in Utah showing big love to the Sundance crowd. He had an event there and these people were there: Jaimie Mulholland, Jayma Cardoso, Rob McGinley, Mark Baker, Noah Tepperberg, Mark Birnbaum, Eugene Remm, Dj Jesse Marco, Dj Sinatra , Dj Jeffrey Tonneson, Tinsley Mortimor, Dabney Mercer, Jamison Ernest, Bill Murray, Crispin Glover,John Legend and Pras, of the Fugees, who performed, Stephanie Smith from Page Six, Jessica Flint from Vanity Fair, Greg Link from Fingerprint, Shawn Sachs from Sunshine Sachs . Party people whisked in slick jets to suave events. I had dinner at Ray’s and walked my puppies yesterday. I like being my age.

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