The bottle is a miniature version of Koons’ Balloon Venus sculpture with the bottle wedged inside. Read More
By Nate Freeman 9/09/13 2:35pm
Starting around 10 p.m. last Saturday night, the scene outside the mall at Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport was something like a bizarro world Black Friday Read More
By Nate Freeman 9/07/13 4:39pm
The old driver with a long white beard had no idea what he was getting himself into. He had been hired to drive around the ATL Twins Friday night, eventually taking them to The Lightbox, an event space in the Garment District, for The Line Up, a bash thrown for the witty, subversive fashion Read More
By Nate Freeman 9/06/13 9:22pm
How is it possible that the Boom Boom Room is still the Boom Boom Room? New York spots aren’t supposed to survive the winter after Fashion Week. But somehow the Top of the Standard, the golden canopy in Gotham’s skies, has lasted a half-decade.
“What makes it enduring?” Andre Balazs asked us during the rollicking five-year anniversary party he threw for his joint Thursday night. The proprietor of the fine cocktail spot and the hotel that houses it was standing steps away from the Boom Boom Room’s sprawling classic bar, its centerpiece bursting as always with gold-lit tubes like a giant warped church organ. “I think it’s the people, it’s like a child growing up. You can have all the great things, the great view and everything else, but the key to anything is attentiveness.” Read More
By Nate Freeman 1/24/12 6:53pm
The Observer was arrested last Friday for entering the subway through an emergency exit. We were cuffed, frisked and led by a police officer through the station. Commuters with tote bags stared.
We found ourselves in a holding cell in the Union Square station precinct with a man named Felix, who had been brought in for sharing a MetroCard with his pregnant wife. Two others came, and then left with desk appearance tickets.
But we would be joining Felix in central booking. We had a warrant, an open container summons, a relic from a summer in 2008. Ah, right: the G Train, with that girl, drinking Sparks out of a brown paper bag. Read More
By Nate Freeman 1/17/12 7:19pm
A few minutes before Lil Wayne and his entourage walked into El Privado, a low-lit basement space beneath Chelsea’s Hotel Americano, a fellow attendee turned to The Observer and said what the rest of us were thinking.
“You know what would make this party even better?” she said. “If they were playing Aaliyah … and I had some weed.” Read More
By Nate Freeman 1/10/12 7:41pm
The grand plan was to stay sober for the month of January, and it failed. It collapsed the moment we touched down in the Bahamas and felt the silky warmth outside the Nassau airport. The whole place was wet with the prospect of booze—its bars, its dewy palm trees, its bikini-wearing swimmers, its cerulean wading pools. The plane’s tires hit the tarmac, and from then on, rum was god.
In the boxy cab we removed our loafers, took off our socks, stuffed them in a spare pocket of a hand-me-down attaché case and shoved our heels back into the miniature leather gondolas. The engine growled down hardy roads, handling the this-way-that-way roundabouts with the finesse of an arcade pinball.
It was 13 degrees in New York and we had taken up our father’s offer of a trip to Paradise Island. Read More
By Nate Freeman 1/04/12 1:22pm
A fight broke out seven hours into the new year.
“You’re my fucking brother,” shouted a man on Houston Street. “I’ve known you for, oh, how many fucking years, and you know, on our mother, I would never hit somebody.”
The stomping and tears echoed four floors below our apartment. From out our window, where we were smoking, the two men ended a long night—stretched into daylight—with an argument kicked up along the shuttered storefronts of the Lower East Side. Read More
By Nate Freeman 12/22/11 11:49am
After a few glasses of midday white wine in the lounge of the Brook Club, The Observer walked into the third floor dining room and found ourselves seated next to Gay Talese. We had seen him on a few lucky occasions over the past 12 months—the last night of Elaine’s, the Norman Read More
By Nate Freeman 12/15/11 11:18am
Around the middle of the summer, brightly colored fliers started appearing on the Lower East Side, strewn across coffee shop counters and discarded on curbs. “Island Smokes,” they said. “A healthier, less expensive alternative to smoking. Amazing!!!” There was a cartoon palm tree swaying on some exotic atoll to drive the point home, but more intriguing was the word “discount.” And then the details: this wasn’t really so much an alternative to smoking as a way to do it cheaper. Island Smokes went for $29.99 a carton. Three bucks a pack. Peanuts. Read More