Friday, September 29, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Anyone who has been in earshot of me recently has heard me rant and rave about how I detest the renovated Gramercy Park Hotel. Mom and Dad used to stay there and I adored the faded glamour of the old place. I felt so relaxed around the old half drunk bartenders and nibbling on stale fish crackers.
I had not darkened the door of the new Schnabel/Shrager Katrina inspired deconstructed interior but I heard rotten reviews and the whole velvet rope thing really grossed me out. At a hotel bar? Please.
One relatively famous actor friend of mine who has a very unique look got to the front door and the doorman barked, "How may I help you?" He simply said, "You can open the door!"
What happened to "Welcome to the Gramercy Park!”?
Well Price and her Fantastic (!) fiancé are in town and I invited them to the National Arts Club for dinner.
We got dolled up and headed over. What an amazing night- note to members- Dine at the club on Jewish Holidays. It was empty!
I felt like I owned the place. We cocktailed and dined and later McCraney dropped by for a drink.
While Anna and Price caught up Salman and I took a tour around the park and upon passing the new hotel I decided to approach the door, fists clenched, ready for a fight.
We walk up and before I can start a tirade the handsome doorman smiles and says, 'Welcome gentleman! Come on in."
"Wait? I thought you were going to be mean and ask for a blood test. Why are you being so nice? Where’s the VIP list and door bitch?" I ask
"Anyone is welcome inside before 10pm. After that we start tightening up on who comes in just so that the bar doesn’t get swamped."
Aha! Salman and I promise we will be back before 10.
We round up the girls, have a quick photo shoot in the club and then walk over.
The doorman waves at us and said, "Well you didn't say you were bringing some fine lookin ladieees!"
We enter and I am amazed.
The place OOOOZES cool.
The scent of fresh cut cedar is abundant from the new wooden ceiling and columns. There is a fire crackling and a chill groove floating in the air. The fabrics are so lush, the paintings massive, the chandelier rickety and glittery and the red velvet curtains are embroidered in silver, reminding me of the romanitc/gothic interiors of an old Spanish Castle.
The front bar is tiny, just like the original but there is a door in the corner into the bigger bar. We saunter over and VOILA- Le Door man. But he is very sweet and I drop a name or two (pulling directly out of my ass) and he waves us in. Another amazing space and another crackling fire. We cozy up to the bar and order massive amounts of booze. A glass shatters and we blame it on the ghost of the Gramercy.
Anna jumps into a game of pool while Salman and I get to know each other better and Price takes pictures of everything single object in the room.
Anyone who can tell me who this is in the Warhol portrait will win a drink at the hotel on me. I thought it was Aunt Jemima but Salman thinks its Sylvester. Help!
Unfortunately the uber VIP crowd was pretty boring. Guys named Chip wearing Arnettes on their head and sporting poorly ironed shirts. Some cute girls came in later but nothing to write home about.
At 11pm we had been drinking since 6 and we were off to the Spiegel Tent at the South Street Seaport to hear Justin Bond perform at 12.
Don’t ask me about that because I can't remember much but doesn't Sue look ravishing?!
Landed at JFK at 1pm from London and was at my first show at 6pm.
How could I miss Loden Dager? I had just written about them for the new T NY Times Magazine.
And they are great friends so it was very mellow.
Love the clothes and the laid back vibe.
The rest of the week was a jumble of tickets, taxis and fashion tourists!
I had more random foreign TV crews and photographers interview me and snap my picture than ever before.
I guess IMG is really eager to show the world how great NYC Fashion week is.
Heatherette is always my favorite- its like a club kid reunion. J. Mendel was AMAZING as was Doo Ri.
Architectural but wearable clothing for women who enjoy being women.
TABLEAU VIVANT is still the way everyone should show their clothes.
Trovata staged one as did Loden Dager and I wish there were more. This way one can really look at the clothes up close, touch the fabrics and not worry about a front row seat!
As usual it was wonderful to see everyone, get to know some people better and catch up with everyone on summer gossip.
Faye and Tim from Sportswear International were my partners in crime all week. We had a blast and Fay was always turned out impeccably. Seen here in Galliano giving a cop a good time.
Now fall is here and the party circuit is pumping. Hold on tight!
Just arrived back last week from the UK. Spent a week lulling around England, Scotland and Wales on the Orient Express.
Castle Howard was a real highlight- My Brideshead Revisited dream come true!
I was decked out in a 3-piece suit and tourists kept asking me if I was a paid actor asked to stroll the grounds looking like Sebastian.
Dinner on the Royal Britannia (The Queens retired yacht) was a real treat.
And going to my Maternal family's homeland, Wales, for the first time was so astounding. The rolling hills, the dramatic weather, the massive amount of lush land.
All that touring and imbibing of champagne in the countryside got me revved up for London.
What a ball I had staying at One Aldwych and visiting friends and the usual haunts.
Gordon Campbell Gray, owner of the hotel put me up in the purple suite since it is my favorite color.
Dandying about town with my mentor Robin Dutt was wonderful as well. We scoured Portobello, trotted down Oxford Street and had a quite lunch to catch up.
I dined solo at Asia de Cuba- not recommended. Well, not if you live in NYC. It is just like the Hudson Hotel- loud, thumping music and everyone looking over their shoulder at who is looking at them. Nice meal though and popped into the Light Bar for a hot minute.
The night, and my last in London, ended on a great note. I walked (er wobbled) back into One Aldwych and perched at the bar for a nightcap. The cute bartender, resplendent in Richard James violet shirt and checkered tie, smiles and says, "Welcome back Mr. Sparks, we were expecting you. The usual?
(The REALLY amazing images mixed with my crappy ones are courtesy of my new friend and fellow Orient Express cruiser, Jim Wernz)