Live: Club-Hopping From Plunge To Hiro Ballroom To (Briefly) Santos' Party House, At The Behest Of Daily Candy, Ed Banger, And Ninja Tune
The best thing about living in this city is that there's always something to do. If anything, we're constantly torn between options: Should we go to the dance party, the concert, the cocktail hour, or the laid-back DJ night? It's a blessing and a curse, really -- often, and sometimes against our better judgment, we're determined to do it all. (Because we live in New York, and we can.) Last night, we did just that. Today, we're very tired.
DJ Kentaro and his admirers. Pics by Puja, more below.
Around 9 p.m., we walked up to the ropes of the newly inaugurated Gansevoort Park in the Flatiron District for the girly lifestyle website Daily Candy's 10th-anniversary party. An elevator let us out into Plunge, the hotel's swanky rooftop bar that wraps around half of the hotel. The whole place screams decadence -- plush cream couches clump around tables with flowery white centerpieces, huge windowed walls look East and North over Murray Hill, and three open bars served up vodka martinis while waitresses waltzed about with silver trays filled with mini-cupcakes. Suited men and girls in cocktail dresses flitted about networking (one girl was holding a bejeweled puppy in lieu of a purse), and while we kept recognizing people, we could never pinpoint exactly why. ("That girl is friends with Olivia Palermo, I think," noted a friend, pointing out one of the many immaculately dressed blonds.) Industry party! By 10, the glowing pink lights were abruptly flicked off, and we were all sent packing with a tote bag of Daily Candy swag. Awesome! On to the next one.
Across town and into the Meatpacking District, the line outside Hiro Ballroom was distinctly European when we arrived around 12:30. Which wasn't much of a surprise -- the night's fete was a Euro-infused spectacle that featured a very French lineup, including Ed Banger frontman Busy P, Zdar from house-duo Cassius, and young club maestro Brodinski. (Nick Catchdubs was the one lonely New Yorker on the bill.) The usually lounge-y club had been transformed into a haunted-house-themed rave for the night's festivities -- bros with bottle service fistpumped, ladies in sequined headbands did their pouty-faced head-nods, and several incredibly young girls visibly swooned after Brodinski emerged through the thick haze of faux-fog that covered the room. (OK, we swooned too.) The stage overflowed with overzealous fans, though we did manage to spot A-Trak, Dave 1, and Skeet Skeet in the mix of drunken, sweaty partygoers shoving their way to the fore. "What am I supposed to do?" said an exasperated security guard to a peeved Ed Banger affiliate. "Everyone here is [airquote] friends with the DJ! [/airquote]." After an hour of big-room house, hard-hitting techno, and the occasional disco-edit interlude, it was time to move on.
By 2 a.m., we arrived at Santos for our last stop of the evening -- Ninja Tune's XX Party, a celebration of the label's 20th anniversary -- but were met by signs notifying us that Santos was closed and the party had been re-routed to Crash Mansion's lounge, Blvd. (More on the Santos situation here.) The dreadlocked girls smoking outside the new venue were a welcome visual change from the rest of our evening, if only as a pleasant escape from the button-downs that had plagued us earlier. Inside, DJ Kentaro scratched a mix of everything from Donna Summers, jungle, dubstep, breakbeats, and even U.K. garage into a performance that left some DJs (backpacks in tow) pressed up against the stage to watch, while another DJ by the bar screamed the name of every track as it dropped. A group of teenagers behind me, confused about how to dance to such a scratch-heavy set, took to jumping and crashing into each other, eventually resigning themselves to grinding up against each other at any reggae sample that blared above. Behind the booth, a hidden, dimly lit lounge played host to a gaggle of six ex-ravers -- flared pants, silly hats, dyed pink hair, etc. -- who managed to take up an entire room with their choreographed flailing. By the time DJ Food & DK had taken over the decks, it was 3:30, and we were ready to go home and fall asleep. Technically, we're still asleep now.