Double Life: Gossip Swirls Around Death of Beloved Nightlife Fixture Dr. Kiersten Cerveny

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Above: photo of Kiersten Rickenbach Cerveny with her husband from her Facebook memorial page

Nightlife can be a fantasy world where patrons put their outer yin aside and embrace their inner yang. It can be a masquerade, a dress up game replete with fake accents and eyeliner. It can be a place to thrive in a well conceived alter ego, a creative caldron of vice verse’s. It often serves as a playground for individuals to explore their darker or different sides. There was Charlie the Asian businessman who would remove his pants and shoes and dance on go-go boxes at fashionable clubs wearing fishnets and stilettos. Sometimes his matronly wife and small child would come along to watch. There was the well-healed dandy who lived in the Bowery Mission. He returned to the Salvation Army for breakfast and his bed after a night hobnobbing with the A-list. It’s the kids pretending to be older and the rest of the crowd trying to look younger. It’s the irrelevant feeling relevant because they’re all in the same room. It is a million confusions and magic tricks in warehouses and former garages fixed up with smoke and mirrors to be the coolest places on earth. In the dark, with the music loud, the lights flashing all around and all sorts of ways to cloud ones mind, nightlife is an imperfect escape from reality.

The tragic death of ‎Kiersten Rickenbach Cerveny aka “Dr K.” has hit my circle of friends hard. Kiersten, a dermatologist, a mother of three, and a wife of an adoring husband, seemed to have it all, but wanted a bit more. According to “friends” she sometimes liked to go out with the girls and party hard in cocaine fueled binges that ended up at one apartment or another. A source who asked not to be named told me, “she liked the East Village/Lower East Side haunts because it was unlikely she would run into anyone from work, her other life. When she had an opportunity to go out with the girls she did and it’s strange she was around those two guys at the end of the night, her girlfriends must have left.”

Kiersten Cerveny
Above: a photo of Kiersten Cerveny and her husband taken from Kiersten’s Facebook page.

Indeed, another close friend offered that Kiersten had a naive streak, only seeing the good in people. This friend said Kiersten and a girlfriend that no one else really talked to anymore ended up in an East Village bar which often serves as a last ditch place for people needing to score. My source can’t understand what drove this wonder woman to leave with these questionable men. My source made me swear to tell you that Kiersten was not an alcoholic or a drug abuser and that this was a once in a while thing. All were in agreement that she could fit in anywhere, had no airs about her, and that she was always a great friend.

One person who would go on the record is Teal “DjTeal” Camner, who has a double life as a DJ and a freelance reporter and coincidently lives across the street from where Kiersten died.

According to Camner:

“First we thought it was a homicide…and she was going INTO the building, but actually she was being carried OUT when she stopped breathing in the doorway. Supposedly, after partying in the LES, they came to Chelsea (to get drugs and whatever else) and were up in the apt for a few hours, and then video shows them carrying her out…at 8am or so. Seems she OD’d somehow. The story being told is she was having an affair (MAYBE) with this HBO Producer (Marc Henry Johnson). He is not being charged because he tried to give her CPR and dialed 911. The alleged drug dealer, (James ‘Pepsi’ Holder) has not been found yet, he took off…but lives in the building, his nick name is PEPSI, and he deals COKE.”

Another friend observed that Pepsi “is like 60 years old and this shit has been going on for years. The whole neighborhood has become sketchy with the meatpacking thing, you know”. The amazing Caron Bernstein a good friend of mine and Kiersten observed “R.I.P. My beautiful friend, Kiersten Cerveny or rather Saint Kiersten. She works tirelessly with children whose parents barely paid her but rather helping them was what filled her heart. A doctor in the true sense of the word. Not a drug addict. Her death was a senseless mistake and she’s now irreplaceable. May she be remembered for who she really is…Saint Dr Kiersten.”

That’s the shame of it all; Dr K. will be remembered for her pointless end and not her meaningful life.

Most of nightlife is doing something else while the after dark gig pays the bills. Most bartenders, waiters, or coat checkers are actors, artists, or students. Wass Stevens who celebrated a birthday at Avenue the other day has a major role in the Ed Burns, TNT series Public Morals and is seen regularly on the big screen. Wass has been at the door of major clubs for decades. I DJ’d the event and surely I’m no DJ. Writing and hospitality design pay my bills. I was advised, often, not to quit my day job.

Another person living a double life is Mark Dommu who was the Nightlife Editor of Next Magazine. Apparently Mark hosted a monthly party at Lovegun the venerable Brooklyn boîte as well. Well when Mark heard that the infamous Michael Alig was geared up to form his web series The Pee-ew at the club he supposedly threatened to “drag the club trough the mud” or something like that. Faced with such a threat the Alig show was canceled only to record outside using cardboard boxes for a set. Well, Next magazine Editor in Chief, John Russell though that what Mark Dommu did was an abuse of power and fired him. So Alig was back at Lovegun this past Saturday with local favorites Hand Job Academy. He will be back again this Saturday.

This Is How The Rolling Stones Drank Jose Cuervo in 1972

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Above: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in June 1972 at Winterland in San Francisco, photo by Larry Rogers

1972 wasn’t quite ‘the seventies’ as we think of them: the awful flares, the fern bars…disco. Indeed, America was still recovering from the hangover of the late 60’s, when hippy idealism had lost out to bad drugs, Hell’s Angels and race riots; the streets were actually pretty mean out there. Into that already helter-skelter milieu landed Mick, Keith & Co, the baddest boys of rock & roll…ever. The Rolling Stones’ subsequent depraved juggernaut of a summer tour inspired mayhem wherever it went – arrests, injuries, and tense delays accompanied virtually every stop.

Along with, or perhaps helping to fuel, the insanity was…tequila. As legend has it, just prior to the start of the tour The Stones had been introduced to the Tequila Sunrise in a bar in San Francisco (figures); and for the rest of the summer the dizzying Mexican concoction flowed in copious amounts – their traveling rock & roll circus even acquired the sobriquet the Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise Tour.

Jose Cuervo Rolling Stones Hi-Res

To celebrate, erm, recognize that auspicious summer, Jose Cuervo has teamed up with the band to launch two new special edition bottling’s of Especial and Reserva de la Familia tequila. And while the bottles themselves – with their sexy and iconic Stones branding – might beg to be placed on a shelf for special occasions, we’re guessing that Keith would not be having that at all. Buy it, drink it. Rock & roll

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)

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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




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


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




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; 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


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



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


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





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




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




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




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