December really is that girl. Thanks to the Earth’s tilted axis, the sun sets by 4 PM. This lasting darkness is a true two-birds-one-stone scenario, resulting in New York nights that are longer than ever and that heavy makeup worn by the city’s coolest it-people looking better than ever. Our beloved sugar daddies got their holiday bonuses, so we’re taking Uber Black cars all over town (even though the train would’ve be faster). It’s finally cold enough to bust out our fur jackets. My favorite part about December, though? Eleven months of penny pinching has left every major fashion brand with excess funds in their yearly budget, meaning hundreds of glamorous holiday parties with open bars, celebrities and overconsumption.
I’m no Scrooge, so in true holiday spirit, I attended every single event, from star-studded galas to raves in Bushwick. My belated holiday gift to you is tea on all that went on at each party. Well, the ones that mattered, anyway! Oh, and before we get started I wanted to apologize for taking a week longer than usual to write this month’s column. Like everyone else in club land, I took a week off to recover from COVID. (Omicron, to be exact.) But don’t tell anyone, it’s our little secret!
December 1: Viktor & Rolf Holiday Party at House of Yes
When I first moved to NYC, I made ends meet from my day job at Sephora. I would always hang around the fragrance wall, and whenever a cute guy would walk into our store I’d douse myself in my favorite perfume: Flowerbomb, by Viktor & Rolf. When I got an email invitation to their holiday party celebrating the newest edition of Flowerbomb, Ruby Orchid, it was a full circle moment. I had my own reservations about the party being at House of Yes (they fired me back in 2017 for having a “bad attitude” can you believe it? Doesn’t sound like me!) but I trusted the process and went anyways.
When I arrived a PR girl said, “You’re Linux right? Come with me,” and rushed me to the step-and-repeat for hundreds of press photos. Immediately, I had been won over! The entire venue had been reimagined and transformed into a sort of sexy floral paradise. Even the drinks had orchids in them. (While chugging a cocktail I accidentally choked on one of them… the glamour!) In the middle of the room, a naked woman swung back and forth on a vine of orchids attached to the ceiling. Around 9 PM, Miss Fame hosted a 45-minute long cabaret show. She looked so good!
On the way out, the V&R team handed us goody bags, containing personalized bottles of both Flowerbomb and Flowerbomb Ruby Orchid. Congrats to the PR team at Viktor & Rolf for managing to make House of Yes fun, I was among the last to leave.
December 2: Coach Holiday Party at Rockefeller Center
Every December, thousands of out-of-towners take time off from their nine-to-fives to book a flight to JFK and invade New York City — or, more specifically, Rockefeller Center. Home to NBC studios, the block also hosts the city’s largest and most iconic Christmas tree. The ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center is the New York holiday staple.
December 2 was the first day the city opened the rink to the public. Well, it would’ve been the first day it was opened to the public, had iconic fashion brand Coach not rented and gated off the entire center for their invite-only holiday party. This iconic, bitchy move left the tourists from South Dakota banished from Coach’s kingdom and gave micro-influencers the place to themselves. The shade! Luckily, Coach Creative Director Stuart Vevers is my best friend, so they sent clothes and a driver to bring me and some friends to the private skate.
Since it was the first day Rockefeller Center was Christ-yassss-ified, the entire block was madness. Once we got passed the barricades and were in Coach-only territory, the fun began. Hunky waiters ran around with hors d’oeuvres while sexy bartenders poured us bottomless hot toddies. When I wasn’t getting my picture taken, I was receiving endless compliments from Coach’s PR girls. The only thing cattier than ice skating in the middle of New York is doing it with every model on IMG’s board while families from Ohio watched in jealousy. After I turned in my ice skates, my friends and I spent the rest of the evening downing spiked hot cocoas in our own little private Chalet overlooking Rockefeller Center.
Somehow in the madness of it all, I lost my left heel. Coach knows how to throw a party and I’m already counting down the days for Coach’s rumored Valentine’s Day party.
December 9: AMI Paris Party at the Empire State Building
I had never heard of the brand AMI Paris until the afternoon of December 9, when all of New York’s fashion girls started asking me, “Are you going to the rave at the Empire State Building tonight?” My immediate answer was, “No,” since I wasn’t invited. But after an ounce of research I found out most of my friends were invited, and where there’s friends, there’s plus 1’s!
AMI, a fashion brand based in Paris threw a huge party on the 65th floor of the Empire State Building to celebrate the opening of their first New York store. In all my years as a New Yorker, I had never actually been inside of Manhattan’s most iconic building. Aquaria, Austin Smith and I arrived at 11 PM. The moment we got in the elevator, a notification from Instagram alerted me I had been mentioned in the Empire State Building’s IG story. Within seconds, a video of us getting into the elevator heading up to the sky was posted for all of New York to see. I was imagining the 65th floor of the famous venue to be glamorous AF, but the atmosphere we arrived to was the complete opposite. The entire room was emptied and industrial, with unfurnished concrete floors and exposed metal beams throughout. The room was filled with fog and pulsing red lights. The DJ played only techno. I was completely gagged. AMI Paris managed to throw a proper rave on top of the Empire State Building.
Around midnight, the techno stopped for Kid Laroi to perform (I think he’s a TikToker?) The only non-rave thing about the party was the fact that it had a VIP section. Once I scammed my way inside VIP, I plopped down at the nearest bottle of vodka to pour myself a drink. Before I took the first sip, I took in my surroundings and realized who was sitting at the table with me. I had unintentionally planted myself in between Joe Jonas and Normani. (Oops!) Joe told me he liked my hair and I asked him if he could tell if I was trans or not. He hesitated before Normani butted in with a, “Don’t answer that, Joe!” We all laughed.
So now I’m not only at a rave in the Empire State Building, but I’m technically having drinks with Fifth Harmony and the Jonas Brothers! Superstar hairstylist Brad Mondo then joined us and we all began discussing how much we are supposed to tip our doormen for Christmas. I think I then drunkenly heckled Mondo’s assistant, Francesca, into taking countless photos of us all, which either Joe, Normani or Brad still need to send to me! I’m still not entirely sure what kind of clothes AMI Paris makes, but if fashion doesn’t work out for them, throwing parties definitely will!
December 24: Christmas Eve at Q Club
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‘Twas the night before Christmas! After almost two weeks of the clubs being dead due to Omicron fears (I’m looking at you, Honey Dijon!) I feared the scene was about to take a hiatus a la 2020. With a pocket full of hooker money and no family in the tri-state area, there was only one place I wanted to spend my Christmas Eve: a good, old fashioned gay club!
OG nightlife it-boy Frankie Sharp opened the three-story Hell’s Kitchen club this past summer and it’s been making waves as the place-to-end-your-night-at since. I got there at 11 PM expecting a short night and ended up partying like I haven’t in a while until the lights came on! (I blame the DayQuil Ruby Fox gave me in the Uber there.) The thing I love most about Q Club is there is a room for any person and any mood. The first floor is your typical gay bar. The second floor has two rooms: a dance bar and a chic cruising room that you have to take your shirt off if you want to enter. (I’ve gotten my ass eaten there twice.) Then the third floor, which is everyone’s favorite, is the club room, where hundreds of shirtless gays pack themselves onto two dance floors and a balcony overpass.
On Christmas Eve, Q didn’t disappoint, as every single floor and room was filled wall to wall! The gays were horny and the music was major. There was never a line at the bathrooms, coat check or any of the club’s four bars! I knew it was time to go home once I threw up on the floor of the balcony and my vomit started dripping into the people below me’s hair. (Hopefully they were vaccinated!) For the nights you need a shameless gay carry, go to Q. God may be disappointed with your decisions, but you definitely won’t be!
December 31: Y2RAVE2
On New Years Eve 2020, Ty Sunderland and I threw our first collaborative event, Y2RAVE. It was an appreciation of early 2000s rave classics, as well as a celebration of entering the new decade. Keep in mind the first Y2RAVE was before COVID, back when we still had that thing called optimism. Ironically enough, for 2020 we prerecorded audio of my voice for the midnight countdown that said, “One minute until quarantine… 30 seconds until quarantine…” (little did we know)!
Two years and trillions of pounds of PPE in landfills later, Ty and I had just thrown our legendary Halloween Party, Muscle Memory: Dead Celebs, and were ready to give Y2RAVE New Year’s Eve another go. Everyone was being alarmist about Omicron, so it was up to us to keep New York nightlife alive. The party started at 9 PM and went until 7 AM. Every major techno DJ in the city played: Love Prism residents to TT, Fashion Labeija, and Joey Quiñones. For almost 12 hours, shirtless gays, goth nonbinaries and bitchy trannies danced to techno music, and celebrated the beginning of 2022.
I began getting nervous that the crowd would thin out in the early hours of the morning, but once I saw Seva Granik, producer of Unter, walk into the party at 5 AM, I knew we’d all be there until sunrise. After Y2RAVE ended at 7 AM, Berghain DJ Volvox, Radical Pom, and I warehouse-rave hopped all around Bushwick until 4 PM.
Needless to say, I started showing symptoms by January 3.