Category Archives: Nightlife

Skin In the Game

A dog in the fight. A horse in the race. Colloquialisms for a vested interest. Recently it occurred to me that this (these?) sentiment is what can be the difference between an event and a memorable event. If you’ll pardon the sports analogy.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been at a few parties that restored my faith in…yeah, parties. In nightlife. Last night I hosted the launch party for the Figment book and the author, David Koren, read a chapter to the guests about “metrics” or numbers. About how we attempt to quantify everything. And as I was laying awake in bed, mulling over the evening and my recent successful forays into nightlife and the many events that vie for our attentions — and our dollars — and what it takes to make them “good” it felt like all the tumblers in the lock clicked.

Skin in the game. A dog in the fight. And not just by the event’s producers. That would be an easy thing. No, magic happens when everyone in attendance has some sort of vested interest. When everyone contributes. Participates. Is dedicated to the night being a success. For not only the producers but for them. The paying public.

My tired little brain and its tumbling lock parts made a mental note: Write a blog post about this. It is everything. It is why Burning Man works. It’s why Figment works. It’s why House of Yes is a huge success. And it is also why so many events that look great on paper fall as flat as…paper. Without passion they are all sports commentator and no sport.

So what were my recent experiences that brought me to this realization? One was a Rubulad. Yes, there have been Rubulads for years. I’ve been to many but certainly not all. As with any recurring events, some have been more successful than others. What made this one feel so…warm? I will chalk it up to the collaboration between Rubulad and JunXion, the many musicians and performers, the artists who had created art for the event and the venue. There were so many people who had a dog in the fight that just about everyone there was tangentially invested in the night being awesome. And it was. People danced. People smiled. It felt like…old times? I dunno. But wonderful. Dare I say…ecstatic.

Also recently I co-emceed the annual twirl-a-thon that is Night of a Thousand Stevies, “the largest and most beloved Stevie Nicks fan event in the world.” It is one of my favorite nights of the year because it is such a lovefest. The glow lasts for weeks afterward. I look at the photos and feel my heart expand in my chest. Everyone in the place — and it now sells out a pretty big place: Irving Plaza — is soooooo happy to be there. They are so excited to catch the tambourines we toss. They lavish those onstage with shrieks of enthusiasm and So. Much. Love. It’s difficult to explain. There are three full acts with dozens of performers: dancers and singers and puppeteers and lip sync-ers, each with at least one friend or “dresser” but more likely a bunch of friends. Some people have been attending NOTS (as it is affectionately known) for many of its 26 years. Yes, 26 years. The event itself is older than some of its fans. I’m sure I don’t need to point out that this is a rare thing. And in my late-night reverie I thought, this night succeeds so brilliantly because everyone in the building is seriously passionate about the party. No one is half-assing it. You can’t half-ass an evening of non-stop Stevie Nicks.

Obviously one also cannot half-ass Burning Man. The scare tactics of “the desert will kill you” aside, this is not an event that you bumble through. It takes planning, supplies and water. Lots of water. And while people have been lamenting that there are more and more “spectators” every year, the scales are still substantially tipped toward participation. There are more burners who bring or build, serve or spin fire. Who show the fuck up. All to make the week a success. Not just for themselves but for the 69,999 other adventurers out there.

Yet how do you get everyone invested? It isn’t an easy equation. And I certainly don’t have the answer. But when the room — or the acreage — fills up with nothing but people who can’t think of anywhere else they’d rather be and anyone else they’d rather be doing it with — drinking or dancing, painting, playing or pillow fighting — you will feel the love. You will look across the room — or the bonfire — and see the sparkle in the eyes of others and think “I am in exactly the right place.” There is nothing better. Nothing. So for a rapturous experience, make sure you have a horse in the race.

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Culture!

After too many days cooped up in my apartment suffering from the Cold That Wouldn’t Quit, I finally felt cured. So I took in some of the city’s culture.

Thursday night I ventured out to the Brooklyn Museum for “Make Hats with Heidi Lee.” The invitation promised one beverage, a guided tour of the Gaultier show and an opportunity to “get creative with design alchemist and milliner Heidi Lee and fabricate fashion’s ultimate accessory: a hat or fascinator inspired by the exhibition.”

Between the people I knew and the people they knew, we made up almost half the group and we were definitely avant: many shades of Manic Panic, thrift shop chic and some seriously arched eyebrows. But as cool as we were, we were totally out-cooled by two uber-fashionable ladies: The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas, Jean and Valerie. I’ve seen photos of these women online and in the press. Their card reads  “Blogging since 2009; wearing clothes and having opinions for a lot longer.” I especially appreciate their tagline: “Setting a bad, bad example for older women everywhere.” As all the kids are saying these days, THIS! So inspiring!

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The tour was far too brief; I could’ve spent hours ogling the couture. That was to be expected, I suppose. I enjoyed my Amstel Light. And then it was time to get serious. Everyone was very earnest about their creations, gluing and sewing and consulting one another. Ms. Lee made the rounds attempting to teach but most of her students seemed happy to do their own thing. The results? I was feeling minimal and wound up with something that looked a little like one Mickey Mouse ear; Pinky’s piece was wildly exuberant. Given that we’d all be working with the same basic supplies, the “class” created a staggering array of designs that were surprisingly varied. It culminated with an enthusiastic mutual admiration society, everyone snapping cell phone shots of each other modeling their creations.

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On Friday I ventured out to Long Island City and PS1 for the Mike Kelley show. My friend Karen had been wanting me to go for a while and it was easy to see why: this guy’s work really moved me. The fact that he had produced SO MUCH and in every imaginable medium — film, performance, sculpture, sketches, everything —  and that it took up the whole damn museum was overwhelming. That he’d killed himself was just…depressing.

On the one hand, how could he abandon his work? When he’d achieved so much success? On the other hand, it was easy to see why life was just too much. So many of his pieces made me feel like I could understand him, grasp what was going on in his brain…his very, very busy brain. It appeared that his brain never gave him a moment’s peace. The dredged detritus, the found objects assemblages, his fascination with architecture, with random snippets of the past — I could so relate. My favorite piece was an enormous spread of little charms and pins and random things lined up like they had a lineage. It was so gloriously obsessive! I only wish I’d been able to meet him.

Last night, after drinking my way through the two playoff games with Marianne and Bill, I met up with a few friends at The Continental‘s anniversary bash. It was a sweaty, beer-soaked mess by the time I got there and I didn’t last long. I’d had all the culture I could handle for one week.

Aside

So I’ve been back one week. I’ve locked myself out of my apartment, dragged myself to Queens for a Burning Man Happy Hour, stayed up partying all night with a friend in town for less than 24 hours, attended an … Continue reading

Here’s Some Whine With My Whining!

Sometimes the most amusing part of my blog posts are the comments. People often misunderstand me. If I were writing for, say, a magazine or newspaper (as I once did) I would put everything into context. But since this is a continuing story, more or less, I don’t feel it’s really necessary. I assume that my readers are already acquainted with me, if not in the brick and mortar world, then here, online. They read what I write because they enjoy it. Though judging by some of their comments, that is most definitely not always the case! The complaints kinda crack me up. I write for free. They read for free. And never in the history of communication has it been easier to, in the blink of an eye, move on. Read something else. Ooooh, look! Shiny! Anyway, my most recent post elicited a few choice reactions. So choice I had to share them, in addition to them being available. Allow me to bore you all with my responses to…my responses.

Jim asked me a reasonable question. I responded reasonably. Andy and Karen? Ditto.

Then n.c. weighs in. I’m already at a disadvantage. Is n.c. a man or a woman? Old or young? Single or not? Since everyone reading knows (almost) everything about me, it might be nice to have some context. As in, “I”m happily married and therefore in a position to give advice or cast aspersions!” But I really don’t know who I’m corresponding with. When n.c. said, “Surely in your absence you’ve had bar stories, boy stories, valentine stories, st. patty’s stories, millinery stories that are far more compelling than these misbegotten attempts with online pablum,” it’s tough to know where he/she is coming from. Is he/she really that bored with my dating complaints? If so, why not disregard this particular post and tune back in when I write about my travels or nightlife? While most of what I write about is the sad state of dating affairs, it isn’t the only thing I write about. Does n.c. read every newspaper and magazine from cover to cover? Wouldn’t it be simple to be more discerning? Read only the topics of interest to him/her? But in response to the question, no, n.c., I don’t have any stories about the bar or boys. My Valentine’s Day was pretty fun and I do believe I blogged about it, albeit briefly. I went to a Kostume Kult party and then on to Marquee, where I was packed in with a million gay boys and drag queens. At that point I didn’t have any St. Patty’s stories since the post was on March 12. And millinery stories? Well, I’ve been posting pix of my hat making adventures on Facebook. There are dozens of millinery blogs by people far more skilled and experienced than I am so I didn’t really feel like competing. Anyway, I hope that addresses your concerns, n.c.

Next up is Gregor, who often has valuable insights. Good to know that when “a man is not interested in a woman, there’s nothing more for him to say.” But it didn’t quite answer the “why” of his being so rude. As in, WHY respond rudely? Why not just not respond at all? It’s all really conversational anyway, but…

Then we have a new contributor to the mix, “dude.” He immediately assumes I have 800+ readers, which is far from the case. On my best day ever, I topped out at 350 views. Most of the searches that dump people off at my site are for “Le Trapeze” or “penis pix” or “panty boy.” No, not dating, but also nothing any of these thoughtful commenters would be interested in either. Dude is incredulous when I tell him that my negative, depressing or disastrous date posts receive more viewers than my upbeat, cheerful posts do. Sadly, the stats don’t lie. And when he suggests I write about something “interesting,” citing n.c.’s request for a post about millinery, I am compelled to ask, would you all be THAT interested in reading about my hat making? Cause, ya know, I can certainly describe the hours of hand sewing I’ve spent over the past week or so. I can easily explain the rapture I experience while shopping in the garment district, fondling trims and notions. If, you know, that’s your…thing. And the “shrewish” jab? Well, whatever. I’ve called myself a cunt so many times I’m surprised anyone even reads my damn blog. But he didn’t stop there. Oh, no. He has a LOT to say to me. Aw, go read it if you want. Moving along.

Last night, while in bed reading, my phone went “bing” and, oh look! A new comment. It’s Kath. But she’s responding to…my latest tweet. Huh? Um, okay. Here’s the tweet, for those of you who aren’t hanging on my every social networked word: I cannot believe anyone wants to watch D list “celebrities” dive into a pool. What’s next, “D Listers Sitting On Their Couches”?  #splash It was an off the cuff remark after far too many commercials for “Splash,” the new ABC reality show about, yes, D list celebrities (more like former celebrities) diving into a pool. A ridiculous premise for a TV show, don’t you think? But I’m betting Kath has NO idea what I’m talking about. Our back and forth here:

Kath
you have the temerity to talk about D-list celebrities when you pander the same bullshit (“controversy?”, yeah, right) here?
nice try.
Abby
Hahah! You’re comparing my blog with a major network’s reality show? That’s hilarious!
Kath
no abby, i’m coming the d-list bullshit of which you speak with your own bullshit. it seems to be endless.
Abby
Huh? Fuck off.
Kath
typo. urgency to respond created “coming” when i meant “comparing” [the d-list bullshit which offends you] to your own oft-written bullshit about men and dating and their apparent inability to find a noun, verb, adjective and cogent thought.
apparently it’s contageous (not the typos.)
as for fucking off, how sweet you’ve composed the cyber equivalent to “i know you are but what am i.”
grow up, stop writing, or stop complaining. you made your “controversy” (readers love it!) now sleep with it.

Oh, Kath, Kath, Kath! Sooooo many things are wrong with this picture! Firstly, is my blog THAT important you feel an actual “urgency” to respond? Wow, my writing is more compelling than I thought! And far more compelling than n.c. and Dude have been finding it recently! Secondly, I’m not “offended” by ANY D list bullshit. I just think the premise for the show is a bit weak. That’s all. None of it is bullshit, really. But hey, thanks for “comparing” my “bullshit” about men not being about to string a sentence together with Louie Anderson (who?) being unable to climb out of a pool (a big crisis on the show, apparently, although there was a fucking ladder only a few feet away) or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar bellyflopping. I fail to see the comparison but I certainly can’t control what other people think! I will say, however, pardon the FUCK outta me for preferring men who aren’t functionally illiterate. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a relationship with a man who didn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” The temerity, indeed!

Her admonition to “grow up” falls on some seriously deaf ears here, my dear. Je refuse! If I’ve made it to 53 without growing up, why would I start now? Stop writing? Uh, no. How about you stop reading? There are, literally, millions — MILLIONS! — of blogs! Why the hell do you (and all these other nutjobs) insist upon reading mine if it annoys you so? Oy motherfucking vey! Breathe, Abby… Okay! Stop complaining? FUCK OFF! Oh, that’s right. Saying fuck off is “the cyber equivalent of ‘I know you are but what am I’.” I AM A CUNT. A cranky old, jaundiced, jaded, shriveled up, bitter CUNT! Are you fucking NEW?

As for “making my controversy,” I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about. If you mean what I was saying in my response to Dude (and that I’ve mentioned in the past) about readers enjoying the bullshit, well, um, yeah. So I’m so grateful to you for providing more of it I’ve devoted an entire post to the subject! Now, let’s see how many views it gets! I’m ready to sleep with it. Which is a damn good thing, because ain’t nothing or nobody else sleepin’ with me! Bwahahaha. Oh my! Thanks, Kath!

On a related note, can someone tell me how people like Kath find me? And why?

Early Signs of Spring?

Sure, there was a blizzard on Friday. It wasn’t a very spring-like weekend, weather-wise. But activity-wise, it most definitely was!

On Friday, my millinery class was cancelled due to “Nemo” so I got my Mardi Gras on and headed over to NYC’s Most Authentic Mardi Gras Party, a fundraiser event coordinated by my friend Wylie. Brother Josephus, a band I first experienced at the same party a few years back, was the headlining act. I’d been, um, charmed by one particular band member. He performed in a white tux with tails, purple gloves, a king crown and goggles. Quite a fashion statement. This year, however, he wore a white t-shirt (like, an undershirt t-shirt), a red scarf and no hat or goggles. Or purple gloves. I didn’t recognize him at all. It left me wondering why he’d, well, let himself go. Maybe he got married. Har-har-har! Anyway, Pinky and I got smashed on hurricanes, stopped for a nightcap and photobooth pix at Double Down, then bumbled home in the snow.

Saturday we donned our matching sparkly pink snakeskin spandex pants and our light-up headpieces for Ominous City’s First Date, a celebration of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. I tended bar and had a blast while Pinky hobnobbed with the other revelers and helped me out as barback. That bash lasted until 5:30am. Gah. But it was the warmest, most wonderful assemblage of humans I’ve experienced in a long time! I can’t wait for the next one! Johnny joined us for a slumber party and Sunday the three of us ordered Chinese in further sobered-up celebration. Then, if you can believe it, I got called into Double Down. I dragged my exhausted ass into the bar at 8 and actually managed to remain vertical until closing time. Thank goodness for the birthday party group that kept me awake.

Ordinarily I would’ve spent Monday sprawled on the couch in recuperation but, alas, I have an upcoming event to promote so I headed east a block for Poly Cocktails. I didn’t last long, but at least I made an appearance! I also met the manager and got to chat up Kat, Larissa, Carin and Dicie — many birds with one stone.

Today I very much wanted to celebrate Fat Tuesday but there just didn’t seem to be an easy way to pull it off. I had an afternoon jewelry making lesson in Brooklyn with the talented Anne Arden McDonald and my party partner Pinky was in class all evening, making planning problematic. Oh well. This holiday passed us by. Though we certainly roullez-ed enough bonne temps on Friday!

And speaking of my party partner, Pinky and I are combining creative forces to form PINKITRIX, making “whimsical costumery and colorful headpieces” as well as offering “party planning for special occasions.” Perhaps our works will soon include my newly acquired (though not quite yet honed) skills of millinery and jewelry making! Wheeeeeeee!

Yeah, I know…not the most exciting blog post. But I’ve been busy! I shipped two tiaras last week in between everything else! Oh! And I think OKCupid has banned me. Probably for promoting my Heart Palpitations event coming this Sunday. The site won’t let me log in, citing “technical difficulties,” but I’m the only person I know who’s experiencing them. Oh well. Maybe it’s time for Christian Mingle. Haharrrahahahhah-aackk! Anyway. Off I go to bed to watch another episode of Downton Abbey on my iPhone!

Brick & Mortar Me

Hello, readers!
Sorry I haven’t posted in a while but I’ve been busy being productive! I started my class at FIT and whipped up a few new tiaras. Now, I’d like to tell you about a few upcoming events I’m involved in:

The first one, I’ve been hired as sort of a “celebrity bartender.” I’m
very flattered and want to make sure they think they made a smart
choice! The cover is crazy high but they’ve offered MY FRIENDS a
discount!

The second event is one I’m producing myself. It’s the first event
I’ve put together in a LONG time. I’d love to see you there! And if
you can’t make it, any help promoting it, letting friends (or anyone
you think might be interested) know about it, would be greatly
appreciated!

This Saturday, February 9, I’ll be bartending at Ominous City, a
burneresque celebration of Valentine’s Day and the Lunar New Year.
The cover is steep but you’ll get in for a reduced price if you enter
this discount code: @bbiluv
For complete party details, check out their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/534643026553612/?fref=ts

On Sunday, February 17, I’m producing my first event in ages: Heart
Palpitations, an enchanting evening of interactive lessons in
love…and more!
Complete details are below, but here is the link to the Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/127226280785561/?fref=ts

HEART PALPITATIONS
Valentine’s Day has blown over and you’ve gobbled down all your
conversation hearts. Now what? Dating Blogger and nightlife empresaria
EditrixAbby presents Heart Palpitations, a post-Valentine’s Day event
for couples, singles, seekers and students of the heart.

Recently fixated on all things LOVE, Abby has assembled an eclectic
assortment of experts on passion. Whether you’re suffering from a love
hangover or you’re blissfully coupled, this enchanting evening offers
lessons for everyone.

The evening begins with a tantalizing appetizer by Ebonie Little, who
will combine the two interests in a guided “eating meditation”, We’ll
learn to re-engage the senses to savor what we put into our
bodies–and in effect, remember loving self-care. Ebonie creates
chocolate delights through Miss Little’s Jars. She will be offering
sensuous treats like Moussexy, a chai-spiced, sugar-free confection,
and truffles in many flavors, for sale in the cocktail lounge. Ms.
Little also founded Eating Consciously, a grassroots online dialogue
on mindful nutrition.
www.ebonielittle.wordpress.com/miss-littles-jars

Author, sex educator, video producer and relationship lecturer Jamye
Waxman will facilitate an ice breaker to help you communicate more
effectively about sexuality.
www.jamyewaxman.com

Stacy Rapp, “Head Witch” at Enchantments, the East Village
headquarters for all your Wiccan and witchy needs, will lead a
goddess-based confidence and beauty spell to increase your attraction
factor!
www.enchantmentsincnyc.com

Be Wild Woman founder Kiana Love will incorporate dance and chakra
exercises to help you become more receptive to passion and abundance.
www. bewildwoman.com

Closing out the evening, Elf Girl Reverend Jen will prove that humor
is a key component to passion. Proprietrix of The Troll Museum,
producer of The Anti-Slam and puppetmaster of the Mr. Lower East Side
Pageant, Rev. Jen has been a fixture of the underground East Village
arts scene since there actually was an underground arts scene.
www.revjen.com

Katie Hotaling is an amateur baker who whips up creative concoctions
to satisfy your sugar cravings. She will be sharing her pastry
decorating tips with you as you embellish your own baby cupcake.
‘Cause who doesn’t love sprinkles?
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Katies-Konfectionery/274713385984706

DJ Douggie Style will provide the sensuous soundtrack for the soiree,
from conversation-conducive subdued to a more electrified ambience
after 11. Monday is a holiday, so come out and play!

EditrixAbby will be your emcee, sharing anecdotes and advice for
dating in the 21st Century.

Show up early for your Goodie Bag, including a free porn DVD, cookies
by ThisChickBakes.com and more!

Affaire Downstairs is a cozy venue with a cocktail lounge for
conversation and a dance floor with plush nooks perfect for absorbing
lessons in romance. You are free to opt in (or out) of each
presentation.

FAST FACTS
WHAT: Heart Palpitations
WHEN: Sunday, February 17
TIME: 7pm
PRESENTATIONS: 7:30-11
WHERE: Affaire, 50 Avenue B at East 4th St.
COVER: $10

Overbooked

Ack!

I can’t believe I’ll be leaving for the desert in just over a month! There doesn’t seem to be a spare moment between now and then! I was planning on using this blog to jettison much of my costumery and clutter but I don’t think I’ll have time to photograph and post it all! I will try and use Party Costume Exchange on Facebook, so keep an eye out for fun stuff there!

I have one week till I leave for Vegas, where I’ll be wrangling balloons again for Balloon Chain at Electric Daisy Carnival. Between now and then I’ll be working at the bar, taking a two-day seminar — “Going All the Way: Sex and Money Intensive” — with Amy Jo Goddard, attending the “Meet & Beat” for The New York Fetish Marathon Thursday night and emceeing for the HOWL! Festival finale, The Jackie Factory presents’ “Low Life 6: East Village Others” on Sunday. Whew! Guess it’s a good thing I’ve given up dating!

Somewhere in there I’d like to have a clothing swap, do Pink Drinks at Sidewalk and, well, you know, pack! There’s 4th of July in there (come visit me at Double Down!) and a trip out to the Hamptons to hang with my family. Oh! And The Mermaid Parade! I have a feeling I won’t be blogging much. But maybe this year I’ll do a bit more of it from out in the desert. Though it’s very difficult to focus on a computer screen after eight hours in the sun…

The ideal situation would be if I could just think the things I want to write here and have it all magically transmitted into type. Sigh. I’m sure we’ll have that technology any moment now. Which will be awesome because that would make it super easy to write my memoir! Anyway, keep an eye on my Facebook page for more up-to-date info, since it’s so easy to just zap a photo there. (Shakes fist at Mark Zuckerberg.) Anyway, stay tuned!