This is Fresh Pressed, in which photographer Matt Weinberger takes us inside some of the rawest moments happening in NYC and beyond. Fresh Pressed is all about encountering the juicy ideas, aesthetics and people shaping culture through the lens of the city's many creative scenes.
Playdate at Paul's @ Paul's Baby Grand (1/25/23)
Every Wednesday, Paul's Baby Grand — which has a reputation for one of the toughest doors in NYC — is overtaken by seasoned nightlife personalities for "Playdate at Paul's," organized by Orson Childress. This Wednesday started off with Nina Tarr on the DJ deck, with Orson hopping on for the party's crescendo. Once the disco ball was up and turning, that’s when you knew it was time to turn up, grab your French 75, and dance, dance, dance. Around 1 AM the staff brings around platters with a surprise snack. This week they served an assortment of macaroons.
Beepy Bella x doublesoul @ The Gutter NYC (1/25/23)
What do you get when you jiggle a magical frog and make a wish for a fairy-goth quirky-queen bowling alley sock-filled extravaganza? Beepy Bella is Isabella Lalonde’s brainchild of fun designs geared toward the cool kids of the future and loving loners. Isabella partnered up with doublesoul, an up-and-coming cult-favorite brand, started by Ben Rosenbaum and Allison Strumeyer, known for making really comfortable unisex socks.
Lunar New Year Rave (1/20/23)
Alice Longyu Gao's annual Lunar New Year Rave was the most hyper-electric way to welcome in the Year of the Rabbit. The party was planned by Alice The Club, Gao's club night brand, alongside Charlie Yates and Maisy Kind Swords of party collective Grapenut Brunch Club. The night was filled with an eccentric flow of scene regulars and newcomers hopping around the crowded space. DJs included Number1fairytale, Harry Teardrop, Angel Emoji, Lulu.Wav, Milkfish, TheLimitDoesNotExist and Gao herself. A portion of the proceeds went to Project Reach.
Club Eat's "Bubblegum" Single Release Party @ Mehenata Bulgarian Bar (1/20/23)
A sweet mess of refreshing goodness — the kind of party one can only wish there were more of. The crowd chewed up the good energy and the DJs spit out banger after banger. Ren of Club Eat performed a few songs, including their new single "Bubblegum" — a performance somewhat stifled by a garbled audio system. But the crowd ate it up anyway. No one seemed to mind the audio problems because, well, Club Eat is awesome and the energy was on a major good vibrancy mode.
Jaxon Demme's "Celestial Cues" Opening @ No Gallery (1/20/23)
A bustling crowd burst out the doors of No Gallery and onto Henry Street for the opening of Jaxon Demme's solo exhibition. The show consisted of a number of paintings and drawings encircled by a flurry of 96 concrete butterflies, creating an immersive space, breaking the boundaries of the canvas. Viewers fluttered through the gallery space, exchanging hugs and chattering as they took part in the ritual Friday night gallery hop. The show dealt with themes of reincarnation, corporeality and a refute of specificity of form. As the night ended, like butterflies, the many attendees migrated off in search of something new. The popular spot seemed to be Mr. Fongs, where the unofficial after party was to take place.
The Dare's Freakquencies Party @ Home Sweet Home (1/19/23)
Harrison Patrick Smith's ("The Dare") Freakquencies Party is back on a sporadic basis, and the comeback night was a special one. The dance floor was squeaky as the room boogied into the night. The air was thick and the sweat was sticky but the grooving never died down. Now all we can do is sit tight and look forward to The Dare's next single.
"Afters," A Play by Matthew Gasda, First Reading @ Beckett Rosset's Loft (1/18/23)
The first reading of Afters, a sequel to Matthew Gasda's hit Dimes Square, took place at Beckett Rosset's West Village loft space and featured an all-star cast including Christian Lorentzen, Cassidy Grady, Anika Jade Levy and Vishwam Velandy. Gasda’s writing is sharp and witty, exploring the emotional nuance and all-too-common irreverent discourse often apparent in the daily interactions of city-dwelling millennials.
Hot Blue Subway Fashion Show and After Party @ Deluxxe Fluxx (1/14/23)
A night of multidisciplinary entertainment, organized by Jess Heaven filled with two runway shows, live music, drag performances, great DJ sets, and a crowd that was starving to get their boogie on. All heaven broke loose. Music blasted and the night was filled with cheers and whistles - a sprint of great performances. DJ sets by Jackson Walker Lewis, Abby Kuskin, yesterdayneverhappened, and Velvette Blue were interspersed by live performances by Atom Vegas, Alexis Jae, Localhotdad, and Paid Victim with a second runway show of the night hopping into the mix showcasing a new line by Goodsport, designed by Madison Calderon.
The audience was also treated to a few hyper-fun drag performances by Fin Argus aka Pig Milk, Prince Dyonne, and Lucia Fuchsia. The crowd was eating it all up — a genuine twelve-course dinner of talent goodness. I imagine most anyone who attended left feeling satisfyingly full, with stomachs, minds, and hearts filled with the joy of seeing some of what the many talented treats of NYC have to offer. Cheers, swig, smile, an abundance of style. Pom Poms, dyed hair, neon lights.
Perfectly Imperfect x Forever Magazine Party @ Baby's All Right (1/13/23)
I like that Ezra, who is a popular writer/journalist, is getting out there hopping on the DJ deck (everyone loves a multidisciplinary renaissance man). Alice put on an absolutely electric set as she bounced around the stage like an enchanted ball of pent-up hyperpop energy. At one point she threw on The Dare's beloved single “Girls,” which roused the crowd into a state of a jovial glitch-nirvana frenzy.
Angel Prost, another scene favorite, who makes up one half of the on-the-rise band The Frost Children alongside her sister Lulu Prost, did nothing less than perform greatness. She is the quintessential good DJ: awe-inspiring, aspirational and other-worldly, all while playing music that makes it impossible not to dance.
At one point, Lulu hopped up on stage with Angel and, like the Avengers assembling or the Power Rangers turning into a Megazord (or whatever it is they do), a new strength and power was unleashed, and the venue turned into a burning-hot frost puddle of boiling enthusiasm. Lulu’s cameo on stage was definitely a top moment of the night, adding to what was already a great mesh of some of NYC’s favorite cultural personalities. The night ended with Ren from Club Eat performing a low-key set in the front room of the venue as things wound down.
Chrissie Miller's Party @ Jeans (1/12/23)
An interesting mix of the most recent old guard and the new, with the general crowd being a bit older than myself (people in their 30s, 40s). I got the sense that a lot of the older crowd had been a part of the cool kid NYC scene back in the '90s and 2000s. I heard that one of the co-hosts, Chrissie Miller, was married to Leo Fitzpatrick, who played Telly in Larry Clark’s seminal film Kids (1995).
Some faces of note included Sabrina Fuentes of Sicky Sab (who I first saw perform when I was in high school), Rex DeTiger (who has a great business card), Zak from Lucien (who I finally let borrow a roll of film from me), Reza Nader aka The Arab Parrot (who may be my new favorite doorman in NYC) and Quinn Elin Mora (who is a fantastic model). Smiles, hugs, furs and leather. Sheer tops, booty drops, three chains and a room filled with potential fame.