Eight Reasons to Celebrate World Sake Day Today at SUSHISAMBA

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Sake has somehow managed to avoid hipster appropriation – and, of course, is all the hipper for it. And if you’re going to celebrate this moustache-and-suspender uncorrupted spirit, know that nowhere will it be given a more flamboyant World Sake Day celebration than at the quintet of SUSHISAMBA locations.

Here’s what to expect.


*$9 sake infused cocktails, including the Sake Caipirinha, the Saketini and Sake Negroni.


*Sake flights by those rarest of female toji (master brewers) – including the Moon on the Water, Bride of the Fox and Rhythm of the Centuries. These will be available through the month of October.


*Geisha Girls, in full regalia, serving sake.


*Geography – the New York City, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Las Vegas and London outposts are all participating, the latter perched dramatically on the 38th floor of the Heron Tower.


*Sake inspired dishes!


*SUSHISAMBA’s always amazing Samba Rolls, Japanese Wagyu, nigiri and sashimi.


Seven Perfect Autumn Date Nights (and Days)

Duane Park
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The great poet Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote that in springtime, a young man’s fancy turns to love. But let us not underestimate the romantic allure of the other side of summer: autumn. After all, what better to inspire a snog and a cuddle than those first crisp fall breezes?

Thankfully, those sly matchmakers over at Gilt City know a thing or two about what makes for a truly memorable date. And from LA to Chicago to New York to Boston, they’ve done all the hard work for you, sorting these exclusive possibilities for rapturous romantic rendezvous.





Named one of OpenTable’s 50 hottest restaurants in the US – so your date will be duly impressed with your epicurean panache. And what could possibly stoke the fires of love more than a Burning Mandarin cocktail paired with spicy ichimi edamame?

A two-course lunch and drinks for two is just $69, and a three-course dinner with drinks for two is just $110 at GiltCity.com.




As with all Mediterranean nations, a balmy sexuality runs through the Portuguese people and their culture. So what could be a more sensual experience than a tasting of their floral whites and bold, saucy reds with someone who gets your blood running?

Get 41% off general admission tickets at GiltCity.com.


Wines of Portugal




Show you care about the well being of your special someone. The expert therapists at exhale combine elements of aromatherapy and (naturally) Swedish massage, for a decidedly sensual experience.

Get 29% off a Couple’s Massage at GiltCity.com.




They say love doth enter through the nose – and so cheese just might have an eroticism all its own. Deepen your romantic bonds by learning the secrets of pairing wine and cheese together. Or tap into the particular sensuality of il cibo di italia with a significantly seductive Italian cooking lesson.

A wine and cheese class for two at Beecher’s is just $170 at GiltCity.com; or get 41% off an Appetite For Seduction cooking class for two.


This lavish Tribeca supper club dazzles with its opulent décor and steamy burlesque performances. The sultry Southern cooking (share the Cajun-spiced lentil cakes) is sure to get the fires burning.

Get 50% off a weekday dinner and show for two at GiltCity.com.


It may be a cliché by now, but oysters remain the great culinary aphrodisiac. And it includes a round trip ticket from Penn Station, so afterwards your eyes can be fixed on each other, rather than the LIRR traffic.

A ticket to the Oyster Festival is just $19 at GiltCity.com.



Celeb-Studded amFAR Bash Closes Milan Fashion Week

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After all the shows, clothes and schmoozing that is Milan Fashion Week, attention turns to one of the style biz’ most cherished causes, amFAR – and its sixth annual MFW bash. As ever, designers, models, celebs and assorted editrixes gathered at La Permanente museum, with this year’s wattage provided by the likes of Heidi Klum, Vito Schnabel, Dakota Johnson, Isabeli Fontana, Alessandra Ambrosio, Pixie Lott, Michelle Rodriguez, Dakota Johnson and Kenneth Cole. The assembled were sufficiently dazzled by electrifying performances from Debbie Harry and Icona Pop.


The guest of honor this year was Diesel founder Renzo Rosso, who was presented with the Award of Courage by Naomi Campbell. The evening raised more than $1.6 million, with the most buzzworthy auction items being two fully customized FIAT 500 Cabrios donated by Lapo Elkann, which went for a total of 250,000 Euros.

A Vionnet-sponsored after party carried on through the wee hours, with free flowing magnums of Moet & Chandon champagne, exclusive Belvedere Vodka libations, and tunes by DJ Johnny Dynell, Chopstick & Johnjon, and Sossa. But the real insiders’ soiree was thrown by Peter Dundas, on the heels of his debut collection for Roberto Cavalli. This top secret “Renovation Party” was held at his sprawling, and yes, pre-renovated penthouse apartment, with Hannah Bronfman, Goga Ashkenazi and Natasha Poly all kicking off their heels and grooving ‘til dawn.

We can’t wait for next year…








La Esquina Brooklyn Launches Tattooed Pin-ups Exhibit

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During those delicious few weeks in New York when the arrival of fall brings joy at the loss of humidity, and before the ominous bodings of winter can be felt, there’s nothing better than an early evening stroll that culminates in an outdoor party complete with subversive art, tattooed bikers, and of course, liquid refreshments.

Cafe de la Esquina in Brooklyn got it right last Thursday night with an exclusive back patio shindig to launch the “Hotsy Totsy” Tattooed Pin-ups Group Artshow. 50’s styled pinup girls (stockings! hairdos!) greeted revelers who loaded up on the resto’s classic margaritas and mini quesadillas before ogling the gorgeously lascivious art on display.


Co-curated by Savior El Mundo and Frankie Velez, the walls of the space were festooned with numerous artists’ interpretation of classic pinup poses, updated with tattoos and other more modern motifs – a Bettie Page type in Nikes for instance.

“The pin-up style spread in the 1950′s,” says Velez, “further developing the exaggerated posing and back bending positions we identify with the style today. Our Show ‘Hotsy Totsy’ takes it a step further, adding a nouveau twist to the classic pin-up. “

Inspired by the fleshy images, partygoers singed up for some new ink of their own: tattooing stations were manned by some of New York finest skin artists. Also on hand was Mistress of Coney Island Lola Star, selling her inimitable line of apparel and accessories. And, naturally, the obligatory line of Harleys outside.

The show runs through October 8.




Six Fabulous Ways To Drink Wine This Autumn

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For all the trendy blather about bourbon and beer, there’s nothing we love more in autumn than sipping a fine Medoc or Gewurtztraminer amongst cultivated friends old and new. But even our decidedly cosmopolitan selves need a little epicurean assistance from time to time.

No one understands this more than the urbane in-house oenophiles at Gilt City. And from New York to LA to San Francisco (worry not – the rest of you can have it delivered), they’ve pulled together a plethora of exclusive opportunities for delighting your palette and sharpening your social skills.




Returning for its 22nd year (making it older than Miley Cyrus), this Hispanophile’s dream offers the opportunity to taste more than 300 varietals from the varied vineyards of Espana. This along with a sumptuous tapas selection, a Cava Bubble Lounge, live Spanish music, and the stunning surrounds of Frank Gehry’s IAC Building.

Take 18% off one general admission and 28% off one premium admission at GiltCity.com.


A veritable carnival of over-indulgence in Sunset Park, enjoy three hours of unlimited pours of New York State specific wines (as well as craft spirits, beer and cider). At the corresponding Brooklyn Eats Marketplace, pair it all with something savory from Pelzer’s Pretzels or sweet from Brooklyn Cupcake.

Take 24% off admission for one at GiltCity.com.





This cultured Tribeca hotspot was the first to see the genius in bringing together oenophiles and rockers. Invite someone cute and euphonious for a dinner that might start with roasted mission figs and ricotta flatbread or roast octopus with grilled chorizo, followed by lobster spaghetti with fennel-tomato ragout and seared snapper with braised leeks and potatoes. Each course, including dessert, is harmoniously paired with a selection from their 500+ strong list.

Take 38% off dinner and wine tasting for two, or 42% off dinner and wine tasting for four at GiltCity.com.




We always love learning something new, especially if it involves a tipple or two. Immerse yourself in 120 minutes of intensive study on the glories of the grape, from tasting and trends to pairing and purchasing. Of course, you’ll also get to drink the good stuff. Certainly beats boot camp.

Take 34% off Wine Camp for one at GiltCity.com.




Mark Bright, sommelier at SF’s triple Michelin starred Saison, and winner of the Wine Spectator Grand Award, takes you through a haute tasting, with all the corresponding edification. A carefully curated selection of meat and cheese accompanies, and a take home bottle makes for the perfect…finish.

Just $225 for an exclusive Wine Tasting & More for two at GiltCity.com.




It’s like having a sommelier on call. Indeed, Vinesse’s flagship wine club delivers six expertly chosen bottles to your door each month. The focus is on lesser-known American vineyards, those not often found at your local wine seller. So at your next dinner party, your friends will be truly and duly impressed.

Take 62% off six bottles of ‘American Cellars Wine Club’ wine at GiltCity.com.


Steve Lewis Adds to Michael Musto’s List of Nightlife Icons

Steve Lewis Michael Musto
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Over at Paper Magazine, Michael Musto names the larger than life icons that defined the golden era of NYC nightlife. The list consists of owners, promoters and impresarios and is loads of fun. In the comments section Michael explains he didn’t put some “obvious” people on these lists and that helps to ease the pain of not being listed. Some people noted that I shoulda, coulda, woulda been named but alas Michael and I often don’t see eye to eye. It’s been like 20 plus years of that. I’m not here to correct Michael as he has done a wonderful job of curating a list that is chock full of movers and shares that are often neglected. I feel I’m in good company not being mentioned and will attempt to name some of those obvious people and others who have been left out. I am sure I will forget some names, some genius’ some legend and hope that I am severely chastised and corrected. Here are some of the folks that in my opinion were crucial to making the nights right back in the day. I am only listing owners, promoters and operators. DJ’s and door people etc can have another list There isn’t an order just wheeling and dealing. 

Lest we forget…

Susanne Bartsch: The energizer bunny of nightlife. She was around before my time and is as strong as ever now embracing , defining, entertaining, breaking new ground…  breaking new people. In a league of her own. She is then and she is now. In my memory her parties at the Copacabana were incomparable

Nell Campbell:  The face,  lifeblood, the persona and often the breasts of Nells one of the top clubs in nightlife history. A recent reunion packed the space which is still operating as Up & Down.

Maurice Brahms:    Infinity, Redzone, Bonds, The Underground and so much more. This extremely hands on owner/operator was one of the truly great people to work with. Infinity was the first club I ever attended and it was jaw dropping. 

Claire O’connor: Claire over saw the transition of Limelight from the tourist trap gimmic to the relevant nightclub. Her last years were spent throwing an ocassional event and as a brilliant publicist. Claire always got it. She left us loved.

Michael Alig: The notorious bad boy promoter was the king of the club kids a movement that can still be seen wherever young people gather. Infamous for the murder he committed and served 17 years for, it cannot be forgotten that he could fill any space he was paid to fill with a colorful crowd. His outlaw parties drew thousands. He was also an advocate of new music which was always an important force in the clubs he helped succeed and of course eventually caused to fail.

Dean Johnson: His “Rock and Roll Fag Bar” parties were among my favorites. He filled lots of rooms with a mixed crowd. He was larger than life in heels that took him over 7 feet tall. 

Vito Bruno: Primarily known as a music producer Vito ran the brilliant after hours haunt AM/PM and of course was the driving force behind the long running 1018. He introduced us to the Beastie Boys at one of the great parties in my memory and took a busboy named  Noel to a better life. Still throwing Freestyle Events.

Peter Gatien: Not one of my favorite people but undeniably one of the greatest cowboys in nightlife history. The great Arthur Weinstein always referred to Peter as a cowboy because of his  gambling, gun slinger approach to nightllfe. He owned the Limelight, Palladium, Tunnel and USA at the same time. He was never afraid to spend money to make a place great or spend money on an event if it would turn a profit. In the end he left disgraced but he absolutely left his mark.

John Argento: The man behind the larger than life Rudolf at Danceteria . Rudolf gets all the credit but without John the place wouldn’t have held together and Danceteria was undeniably one of the most important places ever, ever, ever.

Tom Sisk: What Tom did at Centro-fly needs to be noted. A mixed , cool crowd grounded in music is hard to pull off. He made it look easy.

Ian Schrager: It was always Ian and Steve(Rubell). Studio 54 and Palladium were Ian and Steve joints. Ian needs to be mentioned. He basically invented the Boutique hotel game and nightlife in hotels

Bruce Mailman: He converted the Filmore East into the Saint. To many of my friends the Saint was the greatest club that ever existed. It was the gay mega club long before and better than those that followed.

Denis and Alexandria Provost: Save The Robots was an after hours club with saw dust on the floor and vodka in apple juice bottles. It was home to those who worked in clubs and those looking for just a little more. More could always be found.

Tommy Gunn: He was the face, and other body parts, of the Cat Club. He could intro you to any rock star and make you jealous with the crowds that surrounded him He was magic… no really. He toured as a magician with Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel. 

Jessica Rosenblum: She filled “off nights” with hip hop parties and  often made more money on those “off” nights than all  the other nights. She flew in the face of a zillion negatives and made it work on every level.  She took the genre, the movement from small to gianormous.

Scotto and DB: It’s kind of uncool to mention these guys in the same sentence as no one in the know needs to ask “where’s the beef”… but back in the day they pulled of NASA and that brilliant, underground, all hours club for 14 year olds to geezers needs to be noted. Music broke here.

Timmy Regisford and Merlin Bobb: The Shelter parties, deep house, for a dedicated crowd have always been there or over there or over there.  It’s always been on the hush, hush and the scene always needs these hush, hush places.

Eugene (Gene) Dinino: Gene owned and operated the Roxy the roller disco/nightclub on west 18th street. He was a tireless worker who was dedicated to a large, Saturday night  gay dance party. He also operated the long running Eugenes and short running Gypsy Tea.

Randy and Scott Gerber: The hotel bar/club concept as we know it starts here with the Whiskey.They defined South Beach nightlfe and then took it here. The models attracting the A crowd didn’t start here but they took it to another level

John Giuliani and his son Steven: The Copacabana, The Underground , Bentlys and Shadow as well catered to different crowds and must be mentioned in any writing about important clubs in the day. They weren’t trendy but they made money and were loved by those who loved them.

David Macuso: His joint The Loft began before back in the day and during and beyond. it is the underground heart of everything dance. Mancuso is a legend among legends and no conversation about icons of nightlife can exclude him.

Others that need to be mentioned John Blair, Mark Berkely, Desmond Cadogan, Maripol, Edwige, Michael Tee and Howard Schaefer. I’m sure I left off many. 

I dont know exactly where “back in the day” or the “Golden Era” ends but it is often said to end with the advent of bottle service. The players who made that leap include Michael Ault, Jeffrey Jah, Mark Baker, David Sarner, Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss,  and a bunch more… but that’s another article.

Mika To Play Milan During Fashion Week

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As has been proven time and again, no one could possibly ever replace Freddie Mercury and his outsize charisma. But it must be said that the luminous and spirited MIKA has been having a fairly good go of at least filling a tiny corner of the howling void.

Next week the fashion fave Brit singer will play the Mediolanum Forum, smack in the middle of Milan Fashion Week, as part of a European tour that also sees him in Amsterdam tonight, Madrid on October 5, and finishing up at the Zenith de Paris on October 17.

If you’re late to the party, his recently released fourth album No Place in Heaven is another unabashedly rococo affair. It once again sees him flitting gracefully across the eras: “Talk About You” makes little shame of barely reworking Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Wanna Be With You”; “Oh Girl You’re The Devil” cheekily channels the Freddie of “Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon”; and “Promiseland” manages to layer religious incredulity – “Prayed every night to a religion that was chosen for me” – over an exhilarating ragtime groove.

Like Monsieur Mercury, MIKA is possessed of that rare ability to lay himself enthrallingly bare without ever resorting to playing the pity card. Rather, it often seems as if he’s tramping flamboyantly across a Weimer era stage – even as sorrow pours from his lips. And despite outing himself in 2012, there remains an alluring pansexuality about both his musical and personal presentations.

And, well…the live performances are just brilliant.