It’s about 95 degrees and hazy, and I don’t want to hear any jokes about how that sort of describes me. The weatherman advised us to stay inside and drink plenty of liquids – and that’s pretty much the same advice every owner and promoter is tossing at their patrons. The question is where to go when the temperature hits 100 degrees. Roof decks that are high enough might enjoy a comfortable breeze. Tonight, when I attend Teresa Tomato’s birthday bash at Hotel Chantelle, the retractable roof will be closed and the air-conditioning blasting.
I will be spending my day at one of the movie multiplexes around town doing a marathon of flicks and popcorn and diet cokes. Tonight, I will avoid dive bars, massive clubs, and crowded restaurants and seek out quieter and cooler surroundings. It’s Friday night, and some of us can’t take that lying down – we must go out and play. I can’t imagine dancing while others can’t imagine not. Be careful as this can get dangerous.
Today most joints provide air-conditioning, although sometimes only enough to keep you alive. Many owners think cool air slows liquor sales. These are truly horrible bosses, and since there’s a law regulating everything in nightlife, maybe there should be temperature requirements. Consumers only frequent the places that make it cool and safe for everyone. Today, a “Fully Air-Conditioned” sign by the front door may prove more effective than any promoter.
I ran a joint once called the World back in the day for a bunch of smart guys, including Peter Frank and my dearly departed pal Arthur Weinstein. The ancient ballroom didn’t have air-conditioning, just an industrial fan on the roof to suck the heat out. When 2000 98.6 degree furnaces would show up ready to party, a fog rose obscuring the dance floor as much as a fog machine might. Everyone was wet and sticky and it was actually quite sexy—until it wasn’t. By mid April the heat made things in the old club unbearable. We issued fans that read: The World, The Hottest Club In New York.
We closed for August. I wasn’t a big fan of the fan. I still have one and am looking at it now. I cherish this possession. On the back, Arthur Weinstein wrote me a love note. Words that I never thought needed to be said but are so nice to read now, “To Steve, I never got a chance to thank you for everything, Your Friend Arthur.” It was dated April 21, 1998. We could use Mr. Weinstein around tonight. He was a cool, cool guy.