Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Michael Jackson . . .


. . . will likely not be in the house when The Joynt and Lip Service Productions throw an ultra-private bash for his dad Joe Jackson's 80th birthday Thursday. But that's OK because if nothing else his kids will all be there in spirit as the deejay is guaranteed to drop old-school stuff from Janet, Michael and the Jackson Five all night. It would be absolutely bananas if that nutty LaToya decided to show her face.

UPDATE: Turns out Joe Jackson's in town taping his new reality series, "Meet Joe Jackson," which chronicles his quest to reunite his sons. It also follows him as he develops new artists for his Chicago-based company, Chi-Coast Entertainment, with local business partner Rick Neville. The party will definitely be taped as part of that new series.

One night only for 'One Night Stand'

John Huntington brings his "One Night Stand" touring rock 'n' roll party to Spybar tonight.

"Inked" star/creator John Huntington takes over Spybar tonight with his wildly popular One Night Stand touring rock 'n' roll party.

He'll spin rock in the hot new deejay booth, and will also accompany locally acclaimed Mario Ink as they airbrush on body paint to guests feeling inspired by the evening’s offbeat fête. Other kookiness going on includes bikes from Criminal Customs lining the red carpet and specialty Patrón cocktails. Party kicks off at 10pm. No cover.

In a New York state of mind . . .

New York's legendary Pastis restaurant in the Meatpacking District is similar to Chicago's Marche in the West Loop.

I love New York almost as much as I love Chicago.

So on my recent trip to the 212, I couldn't help but compare every cool spot I checked out to my favorites back home:

Dylan's Candy Bar, on the Upper East Side, is one sweet spot. You name it, they've got it, from tarty treats to erotic chocolate shower bars for you and a sig other. While Candyality in Lakeview doesn't offer a naughty nook, you'll find just about everything else you'll need in this cheery space.

Simply put, there's absolutely nothing in the world like Gold Bar, a funky little lounge in Little Italy. Thousands of miniature gold-sprayed skulls line the walls and an oversized painting of sexy blond conjoined twins stares down at the hipster and celebrity guests who dance on the sofas to old-school sounds. Just about anything goes down at Gold Bar, so Danny's Tavern and Sonotheque—known for cranking out their own brand of offbeat grooves—are the only things that come close.

HighBar (251 W. 48th St., 212-956-1300) in the Theater District has only been open for a few months, similar to Zed451 in River North. But the New York spot offers a Speakeasy vibe, as you have to snake down a sketchy narrow passageway and take a rickety elevator to get to the rooftop lounge. Upstairs, it's a burst of color, accents and beautiful people screaming over the music. Zed451's got that too, minus the accents.

Speaking of accents, at the Meatpacking District's famed Pastis, you'll hear them all at the sleek French eatery and lounge as financial guys and models belly up to the bar. Over at our Marche it's not quite the same scene, but it's still a classy crowd nevertheless.

Pop Burger's also in the Meatpacking District, but gets an entirely different demo, ranging from hip-hoppers to A-List stars for its White Castle-style burgers and fries. Deejays spin retro hip-hop and cool rock as the stylish set hangs out in the futuristic rear lounge that's guarded by a doorman. Lincoln Park's Minnies, with its 1950s soda fountain front, gets the kiddies during the day, but nighttime brings out the hungry, hungry bar-hoppers for miniature burgers, shakes, fries and more.

For a sexy, quiet dinner head to the tiny and very Euro Upstairs at Bouley in TriBeCa for wallet-friendly entrees of steak frites and sushi. You can't get reservations there like on the upper level of Le Colonial, but the dim lighting, French-focused menu and sensuous sounds are certainly interchangeable.