Painting of artist Frida Kahlo photographed by me in the lobby of the Dream Hotel, on West 16th Street in NYC.
Jamie and I were walking down Ninth Avenue towards 14th Street to catch the bus after having a fun time at the opening party for Chris Stein’s new exhibit of Debbie Harry Photos, which was held at the fabulous Dream Hotel on West 16th Street, when we passed by the headquarters of the Google. I was, of course, immediately attracted by their huge Neon Google Doodle sign on the wall of the building’s lobby, which I was able to shoot through the locked revolving doors with a little adjustment of the camera lens. Very Nice.
Hilariously, just a few feet down the road, we saw the neon sign pictured below, which I discovered (via Google – Ha!) is by Lower East Side icon Clayton Patterson. Apparently, “Elgoog” is a thing, but I don’t feel like going into that right now.
The Morrison Hotel Gallery, in conjunction with the Dream Downtown Hotel is currently presenting a collection of fine art photographs by legendary Blondie guitarist Chris Stein. A student of NYC’s School Of Visual Arts, Chris started taking photographs in 1968. In 1973, he met and began working with Debbie Harry and together they founded the band Blondie. Chris was always taking pictures in the environment that surrounded Blondie and, lucky to be on the inside, was able to mingle with many pioneers of the new wave and punk music scenes.
Stein’s photos of Deborah Harry helped establish her as an international icon. This exhibit, celebrating Blondie’s 40th year as a band, focuses exclusively on his photos of Debbie; some that will be familiar and others that we are seeing for the first time.
Last Friday, the Dream Downtown Hotel hosted a fun party to kick off the exhibit the night before its official opening on Saturday, May 10th, and what fun time it was! Here are some photos of the evening.
This awesome DJ warmed up the room with an incredible set of classic punk and new wave that included bands like The Clash, X-Ray Spex and The Buzzcocks. As his song selections advanced through the years, at one point he played The Smiths’ “This Charming Man” followed by The Charlatans’ “The Only One I Know” and Blur’s “There’s No Other Way,” at which point my head exploded.
There was an open bar for at least part of the evening, which served a very potent Texas Cherry Limeade.
My friend Jamie and I toast to a fun evening!
The Rational Animal charity organization had a Booth where they sold raffle tickets to win a guitar, with proceeds going to help Animals. They also gave away these cute and yummy dog cookies (Clarification: Cookies shaped like Dogs, not Cookies for Dogs) which Jamie and I played with before eating. The frosting had a bit of orange zest in it – very tasty!
Here are some more pictures of Debbie.
The light wasn’t great in the space, but you work with what you have.
Chris Stein is releasing a book of photography later this year and you’ll be able to own it and have these photos (and others) of Debbie all to yourself.
I’m not sure how long Blondie 4(0) Ever will be on exhibit, so you’ll have to investigate further on your own to find out. Here is where you need to go:
The Dream Hotel Downtown is Located at 355 West 16th St, Just East of 9th Ave, New York, NY.
Do you like Vodka? I sure do, but I admit I had not heard of Purity Vodka (From Sweden) until I was invited to take the Purity Vodka Taste Challenge – at a party held for that express purpose at Manhattan’s downtown Dream Hotel, nice! — just last evening. Here is how that went down.
First, participants in The Challenge were presented with two unmarked flutes with a bit of vodka in each. We were instructed on the proper way to taste – sniff, tilt glass to check for “legs,” swirl, sniff again, then sip. Taste one glass, then repeat the process with the second. Ceremony! We were then given a pen and asked to tick a tiny box next to the glass holding the vodka whose taste we preferred.
I did as instructed, liking one vodka much more than the other, and then a nice spokes-model lady came over with an infrared light device and was able to deduce that I had chosen Purity Vodka over the competitor, Grey Goose!
I was rewarded with a stylish Purple Rubber Bangle bracelet in exchange for the performance of my fine palate. We were then invited to move along to an adjoining room where a cocktail party was just kicking off. And you know how much I love a cocktail party.
Apparently, Purity Vodka is making the rounds with this challenge to promote the fact that one in two Grey Goose drinkers prefer the taste of Purity Vodka — which is distilled 34 times (read: a lot of times). Also, it is the most award winning Ultra-Premium Vodka in the world, according to its nice website. Well, I took the Challenge and I did like Purity Vodka better, so I am just going to agree with whatever they say about this stuff. Smooth!
Here are some additional photos of the party, which was pretty fun!
The drink above is a Purity Collins, which is like a Vodka Lemonade – sweet and refreshing. I had two of these and I was pretty toasted before I finished the second one, after which, I cut myself off.
Look at what an attractive Martini it makes!
Here is a bottle lounging in some ice. Because Vodka should always be kept chilled!
There was a bit of food also. Above: Tiny Crab Cakes. Very tasty.
This is a Lobster Cobb Salad. Yes, there was bacon in it. Yummy.
Highly efficient bar tending professionals kept the drinks flowing!
Hilariously, the room had this tiny, velvet ropped-off VIP Area, where no one was sitting. Maybe it was just for the vodka.
Everybody had a good time and we all got drunk for free! Purity Vodka!