New Party Alert! Duh Fridays at Hôtel Americano

by Mathias Rosenzweig / photos by Zac Sebastian
Most people would rather attend a house party thrown by a friend than that of a stranger. In New York, we often seek the same comfort in nightlife -- whether it means knowing the DJ, bartender, promoter or venue. Despite the intrinsic difficulty of merging the teasing exclusivity of most Manhattan clubs with this desire for familiarity and ease, Hôtel Americano's new weekly party, "Duh," seems to have found the right balance.

Organized by Joe Grun and Paper alums photographer Zac Sebastian and Alex Chapman (a.k.a. the rapper "Chapman"), Duh has already caused cool kids to queue up after only two parties. No doubt, this has something to do with the impressive names dropped on their weekly flyer. Opening night kicked off with rapper Theophilus London on the decks and a live performance by Le1f, who worked his flow right in the middle of attendees. This previous Friday, The Misshapes' Greg Krelenstein spun tracks before passing on the spotlight to rapper Junglepussy, who performed live. And tonight, Westgay's Frankie Sharp will be playing host and Vashtie will be in the DJ booth.

Theophilus London

And, despite the Billy Farrell-and-Patrick McMullan-approved names, the promoters say they want to maintain a relaxed, unpretentious vibe. "It's a new, popular party, so the door can get pretty tight. But the attitude of the party and the team throwing it is very fun and friendly," says Malik Winslow, who works as one half of the door team with Rachel Karp. In most cases, people are only turned away once the venue hits capacity -- not the capriciousness of the door guy/girl.

When you do make it downstairs, it can feel like you're in the coolest frat party you know -- not a bougie club. And much of that goes back to the crowd, which for the past two weeks has felt like a diverse mix of friend groups that nevertheless run in overlapping circles. Inside the party, "you see people you know and people you want to know," Grun says. He adds, "The ideal party crowd is a nonjudgmental, open-minded group of beautiful souls -- people who go out to enjoy themselves and not because going out is the cool thing to do."

"It's all about bringing people together who wouldn't normally go to or have fun at the same place," Chapman says. He credits the DJs' music tastes  (which, he says, can range from Kanye's "Drunk in Love" remix to Shaggy's "Wasn't Me") as helping draw in an eclectic crew. 

Though they're only two weeks in -- we're calling it now: New Yorkers have a new home away from home waiting for them in the basement of Hôtel Americano every Friday night.

Check out more photos from the first two parties above and below.

Duh Fridays at Hôtel Americano, 518 W. 27th St., New York; 10pm-5am

Greg Krelenstein and Nicola Formichetti



Chapman and friends

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