Many months ago, my good friend and DJ buddy Rich King mentioned that his actual birthday fell on a Wednesday this year and asked if he could come kick it with us at our weekly Wednesday Good Times party at Eastern Bloc and maybe even DJ a bit too. Of course we said yes and even brought in entertainment in the form of Michael T., who performed a surprise Styx number for the one and only birthday boy.
Always one to steal the spotlight, Denise (right, with Eliot) reminded us that next Wednesday will be HER birthday and she wants a performance from EVERYONE. Make a note of it.
Given the chronological nature of these photos, it might help if I explain that (right) and his friend were chowing down around nightclub dinner time (11pm), though nightclub dinner time doesn't usually include eating in the actual nightclub.
This long-haired beauty named William was quite the chatty cathy with me during my early set and remarked how great the music had gotten ever since we switched from the bar staff's Adele cd to my disco mix.
Since RuPaul's Drag Race was all about playing dress up with daddy this week, I'm hoping a few of these daddies decide to play dress up next Wednesday when we celebrate the get-really-drunk Jewish holiday known as Passover (or pesach if you're nasty).
You can never tell when you'll get an early rush or a late rush but this is what an early rush actually looks like circa 1115pm or so.
Birthday boy Rich (right) arrived fashionably early with his boo Michael (left) and my next door neighbor Orlando (center). The earlier you arrive, the more time you'll have to party (and you might even catch $1 vodkas from 11 - 1130pm. Just sayin').
Stop the presses! Who's that hunk in the blue tee?
Oh yes, now I remember. The hunk in the blue tee is a Latin friend of our resident spanglish citizen, Mike V. (right). We hope Mike brings this one around a little more often, por favor y gracias.
That's me! Did you know the Imperial Court of New York has a fatwah on my head after I wrote up their Night of 1000 Gowns event for Next Magazine and included a quote from nightlife promoter Sir Mark Nelson saying he got his title from sucking dick? Those queens (literally) were not enthused.
Jason travels to and from London more than Richard Branson but I'm not complaining, since I'll get to see him again in NYC very soon and then again in London when Lina and I fly over to DJ starting Friday, April 13. Our party is at Vogue Fabrics and yes, it's called Miss Fire Island.
A surprise visit from Justin! We had no idea he didn't work at XES anymore and had gone full time into his gallery work and his long distance relationship work but between the two, we understand why he rarely sneaks out for a drink.
JR had moved from the East Village to the West Village and is back east now, hopefully for good so he can come keep me company during my early set like last week.
A LEGEND IN THE FLESH! When DJ Austin Downey shows up at a function, I can't help but play Roberta Flack and Steve Silk Hurley tracks just to make him dance and go wild, which in turn makes me dance and go wild and ensures a really awesome night ahead.
The only way we can lure Ryan (left, with Mikey and Rich) to Good Times nowadays is if we promise to play a setlist similar to Kylie's current B-Sides tour, even if the only track I've ever played from that tour is Cherry Bomb. Once.
Since I spy two work shirts crammed into this one phone, I'm gonna hazard a guess that work shirts might just be on the rise here this season, especially since you couldn't go a tube stop without seeing them last time I was in London.
This chap here with Andre was dressed to the nines in a bowtie and jacket just because. And that's how we like it.
We almost lost sight that this party was Rich King's birthday party, but that was only because we were unfamiliar with a lot of these early evening revelers.
I believe the fellow with the beard is named Chadd and looks deceptively like an East Village regular even though he hails from the more theatrical parts of town (and by theatrical, I mean musical theatrics).
Now this fellow on the right with the beard is one that I don't actually know but he is welcome back and damn time he pleases. As is DJ Dandylion (left), who already knows that.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICHARD! I hope that "pabst blue ribbon on ice" gets you in the birthday mood.
Ricky (right) got acquainted with our bowtied friend and our bowtied friend's friend, Rafael, who was visiting from San Francisco but promises a return to New York as early as next month.
Jew daddybear Douglas (left) really needs to consider hosting next week's Passover party since we know he can recite a mean Ma Nishtana, even if he's not the youngest Jew in the room.
I love this photo because I know nothing about these two but really hope they are boyfriends of like, 8 years who are adopting an interracial child before the Fire Island season starts back up so they can stroll their baby back and forth down the boardwalk.
These Long Islanders had actually been out partying in the East Village since St. Patrick's Day Saturday and were just using the St. Mark's Hotel as a crash pad for sleeping purposes only when they're not drinking. (Joking. No idea who these hoes are but one has a ginger beard so of course he ended up at Good Times.)
So much beauty crammed into one small digital photograph.
V-necks of varying sorts.
At some point, our extremely reliable photographer Kelvin turned up and got our friends and patrons to pose in silly ways such as this. I wanna say they're playing Mercy but I know that's not true.
Love a dude that orders a glass of white wine at an East Village dive bar on a Wednesday. And for all you red wine lovers, we promise lots of Manischewitz next Wednesday when W. Jeremy and I DJ a very Good Times Passover.
Sad Clown face.
The "caption this" photo of the week. Best entry gets a free drink at next week's party. Go!
It also happened to be not only Rich King's birthday but Rich's good friend Brewster's birthday. Not sure where Brewster was at this very moment but that's his posse, including his handsome gay brother Rusty (center).
Last week, I learned that David (right, with Jeff and Paul) 1) uses Grindr to chat with his friends, 2) loves a Bobbsey Twins denim vest look and 3) will be leaving us for five months starting next Wednesday. SAY IT AINT SO! Hoping we can connect in Europe though, and I'm not just talking about Grindr chat.
Some people call this a successful party. I like to call this "at capacity."
Wait. Are two of these guys related? Are all three related? Actually, if they all had buzzed the sides of their heads and grown out their beards, I most certainly wouldn't be able to tell them apart. #whitepeopleproblems
Behold the cover for our upcoming Good Times wall and desk calendar. (Bartender Darren will be featured as the pin-up for each and every month.)
This is EXACTLY the moment when the Good Times actually begin.
"We fell in love in a hopeless place" (aka Good Times at Eastern Bloc).
I see the good-hearted version and the evil version of the same person all in one picture.
There's the other birthday boy. Brewster (right), with his brother Rusty and their buddy Andrew. Brewster even passed around some yummy birthday cookies he had brought for the occasion and we're never mad at free cookies (even on Passover...wink wink nudge nudge).
I don't know when or how Michael T. (right) and Rich hit it off but since I've referred to each of them individually as Mom (Michael T.) and Dad (Rich) on many occasions, I very much feel like I'm hanging with my really awesome parents till 4am listening to the Who when we get together.
The Lean On Me portion of the evening.
The Lesbian portion of the evening!
The Michael T. Styx performance of the evening, which was THE moment of the evening if not the year.
Michael doesn't lip sync as much as he actually sings live with a full backup band these days so it's always a treat to see him get back to his roots and give full-blown SHOWS.
Michael was up on the TV, down on the ground and back on the stage with his special dedication to Rich for his birthday and it was everything.
Me and the elusive Tai Chi, who usually only comes out of hiding for fashion week or Honey Dijon or a fashion week event WITH Honey Dijon. But it is always so nice to kiki and catch up with Tai.
Andrew (center) and his trademark spread eagle pose, which he now teaches a personal training class solely based on this pose so you too can get wide legged for the Good Times camera come summertime.
Raf (center) acknowledged that his short shorts and sleeveless shirt were weather inappropriate for March in New York, but being a former fashion student from California, he really didn't care.
And let the late night rush commence.
Your former birthday boy Eddie (left), chug-a-lugging with the friendly Good Times staffers known as Rob (center) and Marc.
You too can become one of the chosen people too at next week's big gay Jew Good Times Passover party.
DANCE PARTY USA.
Darren (left) and Sam used to work together back at Barracuda before Eastern Bloc ever existed. In fact, after DJ Xavier gave up cocktailing, I'm pretty sure Sam (right) cocktailed each and every Monday when I'd go to see Candis Cayne perform religiously. #GoodTimes
Brewster actually can't see anything that's happening right now, let alone the camera and flash that are about to immortalize this late night birthday moment.
I'm Afraid of Americans.
Super stoked for me and Marko's mutual buddy, DJ Apt One (from Philly!), to return to Good Times and join us for some more disco dancing on May 9th.
Rikki (left) is a new face in nightlife who was wandering the country a bit before settling in New York City very very recently. He also looks much much younger without the beard, or so we suspect. #toCatchaPredator
Loving Maddox's color scheme from the hair down to the cocktail color choice. You better do it gurl, especially with that upcoming birthday of yours. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MADDOX MADISON! xoxo
All in all, the party was a wild success and we wish Richard the best year ever, though we know Rich is an optimist and a beacon of light and joy so we already know he will have the best year anyways.
The return of Krys (right) and Chad! It's been too long since I've seen these tattooed beauties. Welcome back boys.
This whole posse rolled through sporting major looks, like Jonathan's (center) Geri Halliwell does a Clockwork Orange look. (Why didn't I think to throw on some Geri Halliwell at this moment?! Look at Me?)
I love that long-haired kid even though we never speak and thus I have no information to share about him whatsoever. Sorry!
Thanks again for another amazing Good Times. See you next week for our gay Passover celebration with matzah and Manischewitz and our lovely guest DJ W. Jeremy from the House of Stank.
Now if you'll excuse these two, Michael (right) is a tuggin' at Rich so he can get him home and give him his birthday present. xo