Last Thursday, the Lexington Armory on 26th Street in Manhattan was transformed into the Playboy Mansion East, as Playboy magazine threw a totally debauched and over-the-top blowout celebrating its 50th Anniversary issue.
Just how big was this party? The place was literally over-run with Playboy Playmates. You couldn't walk more than two feet without running into one of them. Half of them were up on a small round stage set up in the middle of the room, sporting full-on bunny regalia (ears, tails, satin bustiers, etc.). The other half was decked out in sexy flight attendant gear in a section of the cavernous space that had been transformed to look like the cabin of a 747.
As for celebrities, a fair share of the usual suspects were there. On the hip hop side of things, Ja Rule and his posse were livin' it up. Donald Trump (gee, what a surprise) showed, as did Lara Flynn Boyle, Bai Ling, James Gandolfini, Bridget Hall and Ana Gasteyer. But the real belle of the ball, in PAPERMAG's humble opinion, was none other than dear, sweet Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who was mobbed by well-wishers and eventually proceeded to rock the house with some super sexy moves of her own on the dance floor.
The bash offered some insights into the strange habits of Bunnius Playboyicus. Most of you probably would not be surprised to learn that this particular species of bunny is, for the most part, indigenous to balmier habitats such as Florida, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. But did you know that being a bunny is actually a full-time job? As several of them explained, it's a constant and hectic schedule of travel, party appearances, etc. But from the looks of things that night, it seemed mostly like a life of leisure and fun. (That is, if you can put up with minor inconveniences like balding investment bankers, wealthy shipping magnates and their oily ilk, who were certainly prowling for tail that night.)
At around midnight, the curtains sequestering a central stage parted to reveal a massive 30-foot-high birthday cake. This was surreal enough, but you wouldn't believe what happened next. None other than Pam Anderson and Ashanti popped out, and, as Ashanti started belting out a sultry version of "Happy Birthday," the self-described Mayor of Tittyville and King of Pussy himself -- Hugh Hefner -- took the stage, beaming like a kid in a candy store and Pam planted a big wet kiss on his cheek.
Once the ceremonies were over, bunnies started circling the stage, waving to the crowd and flirting with their rowdy male admirers. Audience members could be heard murmuring about their favorite Playmates, referring to them only by the color of their outfits. An affable trio of HBO staffers asked me who I thought was the hottest. "Green," I replied, after giving the subject a moment's thought. "Green brunette or Green blonde?" "Green blonde," I clarified. "I kinda thought Orange was the hottest," said one of the three. "Yeah... I can see that. But I think there's something to Pink as well," rejoined her friend. Well, dear reader, what exactly do you expect? This was a fucking Playboy party, for Chrissake