New York

A party celebrating a 900-page novel by an 81-year-old…

By Ray LeMoine
From the National Book Awards, held at Cipriani’s Wall St (funny locale, no?) , as reported by the NY Observer’s Leon Neyfak and Jonathan Liu:

“I dunno if they did it consciously but it certainly is a lot more glam than it was last year,” said the 33-year-old agent Jud Laghi, while getting a drink at the open bar on the banquet floor toward the end of dinner. As many others did throughout the evening, Mr. Laghi noted the irony of capping this tumultuous year in book publishing at a regally decorated restaurant in the thick of the Financial District.

Hosting the afterparty at Socialista? Grove/Atlantic boss Morgan Entrekin, famous for his 80s Brat Pack cocaine-ing. The party went late, and the long dispatch ends like this:

…a strange sort of tribal frenzy took over. Upstairs and downstairs, an expertly curated playlist turned a place called Socialista safe for the bookish: “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” New Order, “Common People,” “Paper Planes.”

Dancing commenced, on furniture, on bodies, even on the books laid out as party favors by Grove and Weinstein. Things had gotten fun, and as the hour sailed towards 3am, people started talking about how they didn’t want to go home. It wasn’t fiction, but it wasn’t half-bad, either.

You have to hand it to the NBA for choosing Wall St and a club called “Socialista” as their party sites. By unleashing an all-night rager, the book industry basically stuck a big middle finger up bankers’ assholes: “Who’s dancing on tables now bitches?”


Behind the News: From Pitch to TV…
Via Google images: Jigga and Obama…

By Ray LeMoine
Here’s a short film about New York’s young blacks on the eve of the elections. I worked on it with my neighbor, Hugh I Gilmore, a British journalist and filmmaker. Growing up, I always wondered how TV news was made. Well, in the case of this film, it began as this pitch I wrote:

6. My President is Black: Young Urban Blacks Ponder a Barack Future
“My President is Black”: that’s the title of the biggest song on New York’s airwaves right now. Next week America’s two biggest rappers, Jay Z and Lil Wayne, are performing in New Jersey. On the eve of the election, how does black America feel about one of their own finally coming to power? We’ll look at the Obama euphoria sweeping the Bronx, Harlem, and Brooklyn, following some Obama volunteers to the show. We will visit Power 105, the radio station sponsoring the show–which right now has an Obama ad in the headlines. We will interview Nas, the controversial rapper who’s recently taken to political activism. And we will go to the Power 105:Powerhouse concert at the IZod Center.

That went out on October 20th. Initial response was positive, but unlike other stories I’ve worked on, it didn’t get picked up right away. Then on Monday, October 27th, it was a go. But the Jay Z and Wayne concert was the next night, meaning we didn’t have much time. We went straight to Power 105 in Tribeca. They wouldn’t let us upstairs, but the publicist came down and said no access unless you go through Universal. We spent the next 20 hours trying to get the ok to film but were denied. But we decided to film the show guerilla style.

A field trip to Harlem came next, where we visited the Obama hq and met some young rap fans. The next night we went to see Murs, a political rapper, at the Bowery Ballroom. That concluded filming. Unfortunately, we never got Nas. Editing was done at Ole Schell’s in-house studio…and took about 20 hours longer than the 4 hours I’d promised him. (Sorry Ole.) The piece was finished Friday and aired Monday, November 3, the day before the election.

And that’s how this news sausage was made.

Lohan in Nylon rocking a NY look that Londoners stole

By Ray LeMoine

UK Haters Forget They Stole Nylon’s NY Style
In reviewing a column by Pecahes Geldof, Bob’s daughter, The Guardian UK says:

Nylon magazine, whose target market is evidently every jaded, self-regarding New York hipster who thinks they’re part of a movement, as opposed to the sort of people with whom you could only bear to have a conversation if speedballs were provided. Apparently Nylon has a really big Klonopin culture — something that may not come as the most awful shock were you to wade into its editorial content at any length — and Peaches is at the age where she thinks it’s totally edgy to tell people this stuff.

I’m not going to defend Peaches Geldof, who I’ve barely heard of. But really, Guardian, you want to try and talk shit on Nylon? The magazine that basically invented the New York high-low style girl? You know, the chick archetype that invaded every corner of the globe? And remember: Nowhere has been more on NYC’s nuts than London over the last seven years.

I remember when the first Marc by Marc Jacobs collection hit in 2001, right around when the Strokes were playing around downtown, before 9/11. I visited London a few times that year and everyone still had a Britpop hangover. When I returned year later, every single person I saw looked like Stroked-out, Marc Jacobsian clone. You Brits stole that shit from us, assholes!!! And no one was more influential in creating this look (vintage/high-design/street look) than Nylon.

Also, I’ve never read a Nylon article trying to get anyone to join a “movement.” Their editorial staff are more intelligent than that. They know they are a fashion magazine. Sure, their fashion editorials sometimes go one or two (or eight) accesories too far, but the photography and styling are both original and trend-setting. Maybe you Brits need to revisit 1994 and remind yourselves when London actually was cool—Liam, Justine and Damon, Jarvis etc.

(And what’s so bad about Klonopin? At least it’s not crack ala London…)

By Ray LeMoine


Gawker wonders today “Who Still Gets Laid at nightclubs?,” and writes about 1oak. The post highlights a recent Men’s Vogue article, by Hud Morgan, that details Richie Akiva’s Meatpacking club as the last bastion of Manhattan decadence. Writes Gawker:

But between mentions of a modelizing Leonardo DiCaprio, a sweaty Doutzen Kroes and Jay-Z’s $100 bills, a reader may start to wonder if Morgan’s marquee party boys aren’t getting a bit long in the tooth. P. Diddy, for example, is 39; Venture capitalist Vivi Nevo, 43; supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle, 56. They’re the “old guy in the club,” as comedian Chris Rock has it. Then again, pray they never grow up: They’re probably keeping the club in business.

Coincidentally, last night I was at Akiva’s franchise party—-Butter Mondays. Butter is the club/restaurant Akiva owns in Noho, and for the last 7 or so years he’s run the city’s most notorious Monday night party. More on that in a second…

Anyway, the Men’s Vogue article is made to read like an average Friday night at 1oak equals Jigga, Diddy, Leo and every model on earth. In fact, the event the reporter attended was a celeb-hosted benefit during Fashion Week. Hardly your average night in the city.

A better view of life in the Butter/1Oak post-market crash universe would be last night. No benefit. No Fashion Week. No celeb host. It’s 2:00am; a dozen waiting taxis line Lafayette St, an idling Bentley at the head of the pack. A few Euro bros in all-over print button-down shirts lurk in front of a velvet rope. I’m wearing a really obnoxious tie-dye long sleeve t-shirt (to piss off my neighbor—long story) and am with another dude and a girl but the door girl still lifts the rope. (I guess Butter prefers a hippy to any more Euro trash.)

Downstairs, Butter’s low-ceiling basement space is all bamboo and orange light. And it’s packed. TI blends to Jay Z to Weezy. But a closer look reveals that only half of Butter’s tables are occupied by bottle spreads—you know, the Grey Goose and mixer skyline. And of those tables, I notice Akiva himself is holding down the most energetic at the party. At the table next to him I see another promoter. It’s impossible to say how many of the other four or so other occupied tables were paid for as opposed to comp-ed promoter ones.

Nonetheless, the party is raging. The girls are pretty, exotic, and young; the dudes a mix of black kids, Euros, and downtown post-punks. Akiva’s “ballin out” so I go in for closer look. He’s dancing and downing shots and rapping along to Jay Z, which is actually pretty impressive given that many nightclub owners/promoters just sit around looking bored. I meet a young girl at his table from LA. She’s wasted and drapes herself on me before I get her name. She was a model, but of the far lesser LA breed. Most of the dozen or so girls at Akiva’s table are hot, yes, but only a few would actually fit the traditional NY model definition.

Looking around, I didn’t see any celebrities. Or any iBank types. There was a table of iced-out brothers but none were recognizable. When I leave at 330am it’s still crowded.

Verdict? Butter Monday is still rocking, and Richie Akiva is pretty cool for raging like he did last night, but business was hardly $5000-table-bill booming. It’s surely still one of the world’s best parties to hear rap around hot girls.

To answer Gawker’s question about getting laid at nightclubs, it’s basically fact that the social playing field has been leveled. Without one archetype (banker with big bonus) dominating the scene, female wealth is being spread around. In fact, I’d bet a Gawker or Men’s Vogue writer would get more laid at Butter than almost anyone else save a celebrity. As the stock market’s crashed, everyone who works in a non-banking but interesting field’s stock has gone up. So there are a few upsides to the economic crash.