AFTER HOURS 2010: The Triumphant Return of Nightlife

Friday, February 18, 2011

From the pages of AVENUE’s February issue…


2010: The Triumphant Return of Nightlife

After taking a long disco nap, Manhattan’s night world returned with a glitzy, glamorous, big bang as clubs like The Boom Boom Room, The Box, Le Bain, Bunker, Kenmare, Bedlam, Avenue and Lavo lured people away from reality T.V. reruns (sorry Snooki) and back to the dance floor. We checked in with some of our favorite disco denizens to find out their most memorable, strobe-lit, behind the velvet ropes, party moments.

“Lucy Sykes Rellie’s birthday party at Park Avenue Tavern: 120 friends reveling in unpretentious conviviality. Everyone we know came. So many hot pregnant women, from Sara Costello to Gretchen Mol to Claude Davies. I love hot pregnant women. Lucy glowed; she looked radiant in Ann Taylor and sparkly Christian Louboutins. We filled the tables and the back room and some of us had to eat, or rather drink cocktails, at the bar. Lucy called it ‘the 40th birthday party I never had’—a bit melodramatic since she was only turning 41. I can’t remember enjoying a party more.” —Euan Rellie

“My favorite night of 2010 occurred at The Box. After a very solid hour of rubbing shoulders with the chicest transvestites, dancing freely atop the stage and making the fantastically embarrassing mistake of asking Jude Law if his name was Peter, The Box decided to bring out what can only be described as one of the best and worst ideas to put in the center of a dance floor: a trampoline complete with loads of pillows. Needless to say, alcohol plus gravity-defying objects plus things being thrown at your head doesn’t always equal the best idea. However, waking up with a large bump on my head and a ripped Cavalli dress was absolutely worth the fun of jumping on that trampoline and dancing to MGMT while whacking my friends with pillows for hours.” —Alexa Winner

“Off the top of my gay, nearly-bald head I would have to say the night that jumps out as my favorite party would be the re-opening of the Boom Boom Room. I love New York and I really love the people who go out at night—not necessarily celebrities or the people you only see on special occasions, but the people who really love to go out and who make New York fun every night. People like Bonnie Morrison, Euan Rellie, Joey Jalleo and such. Everyone was just having an amazing time and was so excited to be in the most gorgeous room in the city. People kept saying it was like a high school reunion. I said, ‘It’s like a reunion, except that it’s fun and I love all the people!’” —Mickey Boardman

“It was one of those perfect late mid-summer nights and Charlotte Bocly and I, on my mother’s suggestion, went to the Parrish Art Museum party in Southampton. It was a beautiful party, all white, yet very natural. They incorporated a tree, which was an obstacle, in the middle of the tent, right next to the dance floor, by cutting a hole in the top of the tent and letting the tree out. It looked like a weird, modern, space-age forest. Whenever I go out to any party, it is all about the dancing for me. I lose myself in the thrill of it all, and the best way I can express my appreciation is by dancing. Sounds a bit tribal, I know, but it keeps the energy flowing.” —Emilie Ghilaga

“Love Heals at Luna Farm in July in Sagaponack. Co-hosts Peter Davis and stylist extraordinaire Mary Alice Stephenson infused the night with glamour. This annual event features the yummiest meal of summer: barbecue ribs, pulled pork and chicken slow-cooked by southerner DeForrest Gibbs in his handmade smoker, plus a Nathan’s hot dog truck. The 700-strong crowd included Donny Deutsch with Hoda Kotb, Molly Sims, Hilary Rhoda, Ann Caruso, Eric Villency, Liz Lange, Celerie Kemble, Cristina and Chris Cuomo and so many others. I co-founded Love Heals in 1992 with Stefani Greenfield and Victoria Leacock with the mission of educating young people about HIV/AIDS. To date, our incredible speakers have spoken to 450,000 young people, face-to-face, in schools, community centers and prisons. We also teach young people to become peer educators, provide referrals and advocate for AIDS education. The vital information we disseminate saves lives. Love Heals at Luna Farm is our biggest fundraiser. It was a gorgeous night as guests danced, ate and kissed in the moonlight.” —Dini von Mueffling

“Of course my favorite party is our gala for El Museo, which is in May. Last year, when I walked to the podium with Oscar de la Renta and Plácido Domingo, I got chills. The emotions were so strong. To me, this feels like a private party full of my friends, who come from all over the world. I try to greet everyone. It’s an incredibly fun and warm evening.” —Yaz Hernández

“I may have been one of the only New Yorkers to not have been to the Boom Boom Room until we held our Reeve Champions Summer Party there this past August. I was worried everyone would have skipped the fundraiser and I would have to endure hearing the excuses that they’d been out of town or their dog ate their fancy underwear. But luckily I was wrong, and although one un-named female publicist actually had her underwear eaten by her dog, she still showed. We made a record amount for any Reeve Champions event. But the real fun was the fashion jeopardy game I played and lost by the DJ booth with Peter Som, Bonnie Morrison and Costello Tagliapietra. Who won? Who cares . . . I mean, who knows!” —Francesco Clark

“Over the past year-and-a-half, The Top of The Standard (a.k.a. the Boom Boom Room) has seen some pretty amazing moments from our star-studded launch party in 2009 to Valentino and Madonna dancing together in celebration of his documentary. But every once in a blue moon the stars align and the perfect party comes together. For me, that night was the unofficial after-party for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Spring 2010 Costume Institute Benefit on May 3. It was beyond spectacular. Everyone came through the doors that night. Katy Perry in her light-up dress, Rachel Zoe, Ben Stiller, Zoe Saldana, Prabal Gurung, Ben Stiller, Alexander Wang, Elettra Wiedemann, Liv Tyler, Eugenia Silva, Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran and so many more. It felt like a house party. All the friends united, letting go and just having a good time.” —Joey Jalleo

“I have a few favorite nights that come to mind immediately. I loved Graydon Carter’s powerhouse opening night party for the Tribeca Film Festival underneath the soaring arches of the majestic State Supreme Courthouse. I also loved our evening for The Social Network, one of my favorite films this year. It blew everyone away, and the party was a star-studded rager that went until all hours. Another favorite was our evening for The Fighter, which culminated at the Boom Boom Room (highlight: my moment with Florence Henderson!). My other favorite night at Boom Boom? Daniel and I took Iman and Malin Akerman there after the Met Ball—hands down the most glamorous New York night there is—and we all whooped it up until 4:00 am. Note to self: The best night out does not make for the best morning after.” —Andrew Saffir


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