This is What You Missed Last Month (According To Linux), in which nightlife it-girl Linux takes us behind the velvet rope and into the VIP section of Scene-City. Through her extreme (sometimes exaggerated) lens, Linux gives us the tea on what really happened at every party-of-the-century that floods our Instagram feeds. (A note from the author: don’t take what she says too seriously — she’s just a club kid after all).
Late springtime in New York is the moment life makes its way back to downtown. The subway rats are out on the streets from their cement burrows. The city birds that migrate are back from their winter in Miami. Even the eurotrash tourists have made a return, swarming the boutiques of Soho guarded by their Gentle Monster sunglasses.
Everything seemed to be thriving... besides the scene. In a town full of sentience, nightlife was dead. In all of April’s 30 days, not a single moment was had. Nothing gagged us, nothing tore, and absolutely nothing served cunt. April was so lame. In fact, I just chose to skip the column that month entirely. This is What You Missed Last Month, after all, and honey... you missed nothing. The most action you could find in New York City was the two-hour line at Jack’s Wife Freda. You have to give a little to get a little, and the clubs gave me nothing, so I followed suit.
But, you know what they say: April showers bring May flowers. And honey, did those flowers bloom! Roses in the form of designer raves, Tulips cast as Wall Street galas, and Alfalfa blossomed as high profile after-parties. To put it simply, May... was... fabulous! Congrats Scene City, you live to see another month. But I’ve got my eye on you...
The first Monday in May has been the night to go out in New York City for almost two decades. Am I allowed to talk about Vogue on PAPER Magazine? Whatever, I’m doing it anyways! Each year, Fashion Celebrity Mecca exists at Anna Wintour’s Met Gala. Everyone on planet earth knows what the Met Gala is, I’m not pretending to explain it to you. But we’re not here for the Gala itself... we weren’t invited (this year!) We are here to talk about the five billion afterparties that took place afterwards. So many parties, so little time!
I started the night at Instagram’s party at Duke House in the Upper East Side (so Met Gala vibes!) I walked in halfway through SZA’s performance and got to catch the last minute of "Good Days" before running to the bar to get a cocktail. In line to get my vodka cranberry, I noticed Mayor of New York Eric Adams waiting in front of me. He was probably super thirsty after spending the week having raided homeless encampments and arresting people for being poor. Oops, I got distracted, where was I? Oh yeah, Instagram. I met up with my besties Aquaria and Ty Sunderland, and after the Instagram party started to die down we decided to head to the next spot: Boom Boom Room.
The afterparty at Boom Boom Room happens every year and is the celebrity hotspot. This year, Cardi B was hosting it with Playboy Magazine. A usually impossible door, the Playboy party was surprisingly easy to get into. We shared the elevator up with Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of Valentino, who complimented the Valentino shirt Ty was wearing. Once inside, a quick scan of the room had my jaw on the floor. While my one friends cornered Billie Eilish into a drunk convo, another was sitting on Donatella Versace’s lap, forcing her into taking IG stories. Cardi B jumped on the bar with a microphone and I quickly took a seat next to Jared Leto and Gucci's Alessandro Michele, who were in matching looks. Cardi held up a shot glass of tequila and didn’t take it until we all took one with her. After the 100-person shot, Cardi then instructed us all to get our “sniffs” in.
After the A-Listers started filtering out of the party and the Z-Listers started filtering in, my friends and I gave each other a look and knew it was time to head to the final party of the evening. We hopped in an SUV and sped to Naomi Campbell’s event at The Box. The entire block of The Box was filled with people trying to claw their way into the East Village nightclub. Luckily, my best friend is the manager, so getting in was easy. Seeing that it was 3 AM, Naomi seemed to be long gone. Of course, I couldn’t say the same for Cara Delevingne, who was slapping Megan Thee Stallion’s ass in a booth right by the stage before falling over her. I heard a rumor that Elon Musk was upstairs in the VIP balcony, but it was impossible to get up there so late in the evening.
As expected, the Met Gala night of a thousand afterparties did not disappoint. 10/10, if I could relive this night a thousand times over I would do it in a heartbeat. Call me, Anna!
May 13: Ali Forney Center Gala at Cipriani
Photo via BFA
There’s nothing I love more than a Gala. Over-the-top looks, somebodies that are actually nobodies, people with money, and an open bar... what more could one need? Take those things and actually donate the gala money to a project worth supporting and its a hit!
For 20 years, the Ali Forney Center has supplied LGBTQ+ homeless youth with emergency housing and other services to prepare them to live independently and thrive. The yearly gala took place at Cipriani downtown (one of the most glam spots in New York). As we enjoyed filet mignon in our borrowed couture gowns, a live auction was held: Meet & greet Chromatica Ball Tickets sold for $60,000 and a role in the next season of Gossip Girl sold for $10,000. I understood that all of this money was going to The Ali Forney Center, but where was it really going?
After the auction, an extremely moving speech was made by a trans woman on the board of the center explaining just that. With the funds raised, AFC planned to purchase a building in NYC that would be entirely dedicated to specifically supplying transgender homeless youth with emergency housing. My close friend who invited me, Terence Edgerson, received an award from AFC and shared their journey from client to board member. By the end of the multi-course meal and countless speeches that had me crying into my Cipriani-branded napkin, AFC ended up hitting their goal.
To celebrate, we took the party upstairs to the second floor, where myself and every other gaylebrity drank way too much champagne. If anyone’s ever looking for a project to support, this is the one!
May 14: SNL Afterparty at L’Avenue at Saks
Photo via Getty
Since I can remember, I’ve massively fangirlied over Saturday Night Live. Like, "Jizz In My Pants" was the first song I ever downloaded off Limewire, now that’s Gen-Z cusp fan behavior! After spending months social climbing my way into Bowen Yang’s good graces, I finally got an invite to the live taping with Selena Gomez hosting and Post Malone performing.
Upon making it through security, a guard handed me an envelope and whispered, “Here’s the address to the after party.” I absolutely gagged. During a commercial break, I opened the envelope to see the address of the upscale lounge L’Avenue, which is on the top floor of Saks Fifth Avenue. I had to go.
After the show, I pumped it to Saks, which was just a block away from NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center. I had gotten there pretty early to avoid door drama and when I walked in I almost began regretting my decision to go there, as the two-story cocktail lounge was virtually empty. Pissed off, I went onto the terrace to smoke a cigarette. I was blabbing to a random outside about how New York was dead, when I began seeing cameras flashing through the terrace window. Did someone finally arrive to the party? I threw my cigarette off the building and left the man I was talking to mid conversation, in hopes of seeing someone who actually mattered.
In the few minutes it took me to smoke that cigarette, the entire top floor of Saks filled with people. And when I say people... I mean people. Selena Gomez gabbed with a 10-person table of supermodels. Post Malone and his cronies drank Bud Lights. I waited over 10 minutes to use the bathroom, which was occupied by none other than Cara Delevingne. (What has she been going through, lately? I feel like she needs a nap!)
There were so many stars, but I wasn’t there for them. I was there for one king in particular: Colin Jost. Yes, star of SNL’s Weekend Update segment. Have you seen that episode of Kardashians when Kim hosts SNL? Even she was squirming when she was around him. Colin was across the bar talking forever with Paul Rudd. After an hour of begging Bowen and Sarah Sherman to introduce me, they finally obliged. I can’t tell you what happened after that, it was all a blur! I told a joke about cocaine, Colin laughed, I scammed him into taking 100 blurry photos with me and now Scarlett Johansson and I are sister wives.
Literally, everyone stayed there until after 4 AM. There was no music, no moody club lights, just 100 SNL-Listers in a room blacking out. I found myself doing shots of Fireball with the show’s executive producer, Lorne Michaels. I don’t know what was said between us, but I drunkenly left under the impression that I got hired to be a writer for the show. For some reason nobody will respond to my DM’s, though... I’m calling HR!
May 17: On Top at Le Bain
Trapped at home in Wisconsin, I spent nights after school scrolling Instagram obsessing over the looks New York it-kids turned at each and every Susanne Bartsch party, dreaming of one day hopefully turning a look there of my own. For over a decade now, the Queen of the downtown scene has thrown a weekly summer party on top of The Standard in Meatpacking and called it, well, On Top.
The opening night was May 17 and in case the line around the block didn’t make it clear, New York was officially back! Susanne prides herself on having one of the last no-cover dance parties downtown, ensuring everyone access to the Suzie-Boozy Bartsch experience. On Top is also one of the last looks parties, with the dancefloor packed with BDSM clowns, sexy cowboys, Madonna look-a-likes and alien club kids.
The rooftop upstairs is the perfect spot to get away from the madness on the dancefloor and into a chain-smoking gossip fest with fashion twinks. The view from all corners of the party gives you the best view of the New York skyline you’ve ever seen, making you truly feel On Top of the world.
May 22: Balenciaga Rave in Chinatown
Sunday afternoon all anyone was talking about was Balenciaga taking over the New York Stock Exchange to throw their Fall 2022 show. After the show, everyone around New York began receiving email invites to the afterparty, which was taking place at an abandoned mall in Chinatown. If you were cool, your invite said the party started at 11 PM. If you were really cool, your invite said it started at 9 PM. I got there with my other really cool besties at 8:50 PM to avoid any and all entry drama.
We got inside and took an escalator to the second floor into a large carpeted room with low ceilings and hella fog. I was nervous it was going to just be another after party, but seeing that the haze was so thick I couldn’t see past my arm, I knew we were all about to rave. The open bar served black vodka (so fashion!), and after a few cocktails the rest of the crowd started piling in, bringing the room to 100 degrees. (Pro tip: if you party a lot, get Botox! It stops you from sweating, so you never feel hot in moments like this. I go to Velour, they do all the dolls!)
The room was equal part A-List celebs and NYC ravers. Suddenly a hot British guy in the new Adidas/Balenciaga collection came onto the mic and asked if we were ready to party. A favorite DJ of mine, Bikrav plugged into the CDJS behind him and started pumping hardstyle gabber through the speakers of the abandoned mall, which was now not so abandoned. Everyone gagged. It was that kind of rave.
In VIP, I smoked a blunt with Amanda Lepore and Susanne Bartsch (the most iconic blunt rotation, if you ask me.) Across from our table I could see Christine Quinn take Alexa Demie by the hand towards the bathroom (major crossover moment).
After I finished my smoke sesh with the legendary nightlife queens, I decided it was time to rage, front left. I went as deep into the crowd of ravers as I could to front left of the DJ booth. We talk about front left a lot in this column, so you should already know the importance of it. As I was raving (hard!) and smoking a cigarette in the sea of techno, a hot guy tapped my shoulder and said, “You are exactly who should be here," and went on to compliment the Adidas latex look I was sporting. I said "thank you" and continued dancing, after my friends ran up to me informing me that the guy who just complimented me was Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga and the most influential person in fashion, right now.
The night turned to a blur. As the sun rose, we all stumbled home feeling validated AF that one of the coolest designers in the world put his stamp of approval on the rave scene that so many of us live and breathe each and every weekend.