Categories
Nightlife Timeline

Devil’s Playground: Bloody Valentine 2022

DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND:

BLOODY VALENTINE

02-11-22

WEBSTER HALL, NY

Moments from Ty Sunderland‘s Valentine’s Day party with Aquaria, Slayyyter, Gigi Goode, Symone, Linux, Cameron Hughes, Xunami Muse and more.

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Alexey Kim

Founder


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Categories
Nightlife Timeline

Glam Awards 2022

GLAM AWARDS

01-30-22

SONY HALL, NY

The Glam Awards celebrate NYC Nightlife for the 23rd time. Sidewalkkilla is nominated for two categories: Best Nightlife Photographer and Best Blogger/Writer. The Rosé and Brita Filter host. Guests and nominees include Aquaria, Virginia Thicc, Novaczar, Boy Radio, The Dragon Sisters, Rify Royalty, Michael Musto, Tina Twirler and much more!

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Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Nightlife Timeline

The List Is Closed

TERENCE EDGERSON’S

THE LIST IS CLOSED

07-30-21

LE BAIN, THE STANDARD, HIGH LINE

Moments from The List Is Closed party at Le Bain, by Terence Edgerson. With Linux, Ty Sunderland, Aquaria, Griffin Maxwell Brooks and The Illustruous Blacks.

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Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Nightlife Timeline

Welcome to Garden of Love

NIGHTLIFE

Welcome To Garden Of Love

Garden of Love Gitano hosts a bougie post-apocalyptic NYC drag brunch every Sunday.

SUMMER 2020

“I had to wake up

at 7 AM this morning

to get ready.”

Says NYC nightlife legend Amanda Lepore while sipping on a margarita during the weekly Gitano Garden of Love Sunday brunch party that she hosts with her drag daughter CT Hedden. “I’ve been invited to drag brunches before and I always said no, but right now there is nothing else to do.”

It’s not often that NYC nightlife creatures make it outside during the day dressed in their latest garb. But of course that’s not the craziest thing coronavirus has changed. “This is the only chic spot to be right now since Indochine is closed,” says nightlife persona and Amanda Lepore’s bestie CT Hedden, “so I told Amanda let’s do this party together.” CT doubles as a bartender in drag and is not a stranger to conceiving and hosting events in pre-COVID New York. It’s hard to call Garden of Love at Gitano a party though; it’s more of a brunch soirée, where you are only allowed to table-hop if the table’s host allows you to join them. Everyone has to wear a mask once you stand up from your chair. It’s strictly reservations only, where the doorman takes his job very seriously, “Six feet apart please, get in line!” Before entering the premises you are prompted to scan a QR code with your smartphone where you are asked a series of questions about your recent travels and if you were recently in contact with someone exposed to COVID-19. Once your temperature is taken and you’ve shown the filled-out waiver to the host, you are welcome into the Garden of Love. “Next they are going to start taking our DNA and blood samples,” one of the brunchers quipped while smoking outside. 

CT Hedden and Misty Copeland

Gitano’s sitting area transports you into Tulum, the original outpost of the company. “It doesn’t even feel like you are in the city during a pandemic,” says one of the first-time guests at CT’s table. Gitano is planning on staying open until late October and CT is hoping to continue Garden of Love as long as possible. Notable attendees include rincipal dancer with American Ballet Theater Misty Copeland, DJ Tommie Sunshine, Aquaria, LaQuan Smith, Raisa Flowers, Sharon Needles, Ryan Jamaal Swain and more.

NOTE: The photos below are a compilation from the events that took place on August 16, 24 and 30.

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Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Nightlife The Mixer Timeline

Susanne Bartsch Is Back On Top (Virtually)

THE MIXER | NIGHTLIFE

Susanne Bartsch

Is Back On Top (Virtually)

A notorious NYC party producer has taken to the internet to keep the rhythm going despite the coronavirus pandemic

It has been roughly two months now since the unthinkable happened: the city that never sleeps found itself in a veritable coma amid mass shutdowns aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As people fled New York City and countless lives that once thrived on the crowded rituals of urban life were upended by the pandemic, America’s most populous and vibrant metropolis was drastically and perhaps permanently altered. The MTA emptied out, the bright lights of Times Square danced for no one, and the throngs of nocturnal creatures that propelled the working hours of the city around the clock were robbed of their sanctuaries.

It was almost inconceivable in January that the virus that had thrown China into a state of utter panic would ever overwhelm New York City. For many, the alarming early coverage of COVID-19 was simply another online spectacle depicting a catastrophe an ocean away. Six months ago, New York was alive as ever on New Year’s Eve with its usual flurry of raucous parties packed with people hopeful for a new year and a new decade. No one could have known what was coming.

One hundred years ago, America and the rest of the world were gripped by a different pandemic, the Spanish Flu, a virulent influenza virus estimated to have infected approximately 500 million people, a third of the world’s population at the time. From April of 1918 until December of 1920, the virus killed as many as 100 million people, with more people dead in 24 weeks than HIV/AIDS killed in 24 years. The virus came in three waves and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, created the most severe pandemic in history. After the postwar economic boom delivered Americans into a more prosperous era, the virus became a distant memory – until now.

Aquaria, April 23

Top health officials have predicted that COVID-19, much like the Spanish Flu, will come in waves, leaving Americans mired in perpetual uncertainty. For industries such as nightlife that thrive on crowds of people, the ultimatum is clear: adapt or die out. With the virus spreading rapidly worldwide, the internet is the last redoubt. Enter Susanne Bartsch. As downtown queer nightlife’s perennial maven and one of New York City’s most notorious party producers, Bartsch has taken to the internet to keep the rhythm going. This year’s season of On Top, Bartsch’s much-anticipated summer/fall party that usually takes place at the Standard Hotel in Chelsea, was relocated to Zoom, an online video conference platform where club kids and drag artists from all over the world have begun to use their aesthetic tastes to create an extradimensional cyber party under the auspices of Bartschland.

“People at The Standard don’t even know when they’re opening, and it’s already about to be June,”

Bartsch said.

“It’s devastating. It’s very uncertain, very, very uncertain.”

But party producers aren’t the only ones hurting in nightlife. By keeping the party online, DJs, hosts, and entertainers are given another opportunity to make money. Bartsch said her 2020 calendar has been completely wiped clean, an indicator of what so many others in the industry are probably facing as well.

“From Las Vegas to Vienna, I’ve lost every job there is,”

she said.

“Other than bringing together the community and supporting this nightlife community, it’s also to help and pay people so they’re able to buy food for the week.”

This week marks the online party’s seventh Thursday installment after its launch on April 16, and each week brings with it a different set of competitive look themes and a rotating cast of hosts, guest hosts, and entertainers. In addition to the usual staples such as glamour superstar Amanda Lepore, makeup mastermind Ryan Burke, downtown it girl Linux, performance art genius Thee Suburbia, burlesque bombshell Lola Von Rox, and a cast of other provocative personalities (Gottmik, CT Hedden, Jeffrey Scott, Kiss, Candy Warhol, Muffy, Chlamydia, Mateo Palacio, Adventure Dave, and Bob Bottle to name a few), Bartsch also books special guest talent that has already included RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Aquaria, Crystal Methyd, Detox, Nicky Doll née Karlize, Brooke Lynn Hytes, and LA trans idols Gigi Gorgeous and Love Bailey, among others. DJs have included crowd favorites such as Vito Fun, Mazurbate, Tom Peters, Ty Sunderland, Aquaria, Amber Valentine, Tommie Sunshine, and London party impresario Jodie Harsh. This week, Bartsch is adding Trinity the Tuck to the roster, which promises to make for an interesting evening.

Fashion photographer Steven Klein celebrating his Birthday, April 30

Though we are separated by distance together, the remote platform has given artists the opportunity to customize their virtual surroundings in a way that augments their sartorial and cosmetic looks. Bartsch’s parties have always served as a gallery space for artists to showcase work on their bodies, and now that space extends to their virtual presentation as well. Whether it be libertine displays of communal nudity or watching renowned fashion photographer Steven Klein blow out the candles on his birthday cake, each week has brought something fresh in what is quickly becoming a new global age of New York nightlife. There are still online after-parties. People still get high. DJ sets still guide the sonic tempo of the night. The events bring all the trappings of a regular party with none of the crowded congestion one might experience in the Le Bain bathroom (God bless it) during mid-May.

This may be the first online party of its kind – one that took an existing weekly party that became impossible in the face of the pandemic and preserved it in cyberspace, where for the first time anyone with an internet connection can attend from anywhere in the world. Queer nightlife is something special that needs to be preserved during these times of blinding uncertainty. In New York City, which became the pandemic’s epicenter in a meteoric contamination, nightlife will probably be facing a depression for some time to come, especially if the virus moves in unpredictable waves and makes event planning and coordination impossible.

Still we press on. Even though the NYC Pride Parade was cancelled this year, along with the gauntlet of regular Pride events, mark your calendars for June 28. Bartsch is planning an international online Pride party on Zoom titled “On Top of the World: Pride,” featuring a bevy of headliners such as Allie X and talent from cities all over the world, including New York, LA, London, Tokyo, Paris, and Berlin.

“I never even did a FaceTime call before all this,”

Bartsch said.

“I’m going all the way.”

These times are historic, and so the ways that we choose to party and continue to celebrate life will take on a historic significance as well. The relationship between party and partygoer will be more symbiotic than ever. The parties offer respite to those taking quarantine seriously and give glamorous people everywhere a continuing opportunity to show up and show out. In exchange, we have to keep logging in and supporting these endeavors. As we now know well, nothing is promised. But we can still fight for the right to party. 

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Categories
Nightlife Timeline

Ty Sunderland’s Pop Diva Party Is “Heaven On Earth”

NIGHTLIFE

Ty Sunderland’s

Heaven On Earth (HOE)

The monthly pop diva-themed party Heaven On Earth began in late 2017 at a Chinese restaurant called China Chalet.

03-03-20

Heaven On Earth (HOE) started as a Blackout album tribute party, celebrating the album’s 10th anniversary. The event was so successful that it turned into a monthly shindig, keeping the name of one of the album’s track as the party’s namesake.

The album came out during the most controversial years of Britneys’s career. Remember the head shaving, the umbrella attack, and the lethargic performance at the VMAs?

Even though Blackout came out during Britney’s troublesome years and did not receive much promotion from her camp, many fans and critics consider it to be one of Britney’s best works to date.

As music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine perfectly put it in his review of the album for AllMusic,

“As an album, it holds together better than any of her other records, echoing the sleek club-centric feel of In the Zone but it’s heavier on hedonism than its predecessor, stripped of any ballads or sensitivity, and just reveling in dirty good times. So Blackout acts as a soundtrack for Britney’s hazy, drunken days, reflecting the excess that’s splashed all over the tabloids, but it has a coherence that the public Britney lacks.”

It seems that this exact sentiment served as an inspiration for Ty throwing a tribute to the pop diva who ruled the world of the millenials – a dirty good time splashed across with a rainbow brushstroke, reminding you of your younger self playing in your mom’s closet when she was out of the house while lip syncing your favorite pop songs into a hairbrush. The only difference now is that you are doing it out in the open with a couple hundred other like-minded people.

Each edition of HOE is dedicated to a diva or a different combo of divas; themes of past events were dedicated to Mariah Carey, Spice Girls, Britney vs Madonna, Rihanna vs Ciara, and so on.

UPDATE: On July 5, 2020 China Chalet closes its doors for good.

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Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Nightlife Timeline

Devil’s Playground With Crystal Waters and Milk

Devil’s Playground

NIGHTLIFE

VALENTINE’S DAY

Ty Sunderland throws another edition of Devil’s Playground party at the Webster Hall, this time to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Crystal Waters and Milk from Drag Race perform.

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Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Nightlife The Mixer

Susanne Bartsch’s “Valley Of The Dolls” Halloween

THE MIXER | NIGHTLIFE


Plastic Fantastic At Susanne Bartsch’s “Valley Of The Dolls” Halloween Party At MoMA PS1

Susanne Bartsch’s Valley of the Dolls Halloween party at MoMA PS1 delivered the full plastic fantasy once again with a menagerie of nightlife’s most extravagant muses, set to various dioramic displays arranged almost like rooms in a dollhouse.

Every year Barstch throws a Halloween party at MoMA PS1, which, as one of the largest and most premier national institutions dedicated to contemporary art, serves as the perfect setting for Bartschland’s menagerie of some of New York’s best visual artists, socialites, and nightlife muses: people who dress up almost every week, not just on Halloween. 

For me, attending the party with backstage access and having a rapport with so many of the artists I have respected for so long was a moment of ascendancy and a reminder of how far I’ve come. The long list of hosts and attendees included – just to name a few – icons such as Ryan Burke, Linux, Pissy Pussy, Muffy, Brandon Olson, J Rosa, Angel Rivers, Jessica Relinda, Princess of Chinatown, Jeffrey Scott, Bob Bottle, Vile Sanchez, Cami Montoya, CT Hedden, Kyle Farmery, Lola Von Rox, and Blaire Jirousek.

With such a heavily attended event full of people in looks for the Halloween festivities, I couldn’t possibly list everyone that made the party so memorable. It’s like when you know what people are capable of in their visual artistry, and then they all simultaneously show you exactly what they can do. As a photographer, it was optical overload. I was racing from place to place just trying to capture everyone I could before the end of the night, while finding time to enjoy myself and drink enough alcohol to really get the creative juices flowing.

I dressed as Andy Warhol, who more or less originated the propagation of the idea that anyone can win fifteen minutes of fame in a media landscape that thrives on promotability. He called his muses “superstars,” and in a way that’s exactly how I see so many of the people on the New York scene. Regardless of online following or social clout, Bartsch has a way of assembling parties full of people who know how to make life feel more exciting through their artistry and who create a sense of fantasy in everything they do.

Between the party at MoMA PS1 and the afterparty at Elsewhere in Brooklyn, the night’s festivities went on for a solid eight hours or more. It was a night of clowns eating goldfish on top of postal trucks, dolls in their boxes drinking beer, and a celebration of ourselves as works of art at the highest social level.

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Mark Minton
Mark Minton

Journalist