Unlike some of my friends last week, I wasn’t in the Hamptons, Rome, Berlin or even Detroit. No, I was getting my jollies right on East 6th Street at funky little dive bar Eastern Bloc at a new weekly Thursday night party called My Chiffon is Wet. Well, I forgot to wear my chiffon sheath, but my nylon panties sure were damp. How could they not be? It was hot as blazes outside and I was dancing up a storm to DJ Paisley Dalton’s fun blend of vintage and new disco with some ’80s and ’90s tracks, seasoned with a couple of show tunes from Cabaret and The Wiz.
Seeing as I was on a budget, I was putting on the ritz in a $9.99 Goodwill turtleneck that fit me like a glove. No one cared about the price tag, because Eastern Bloc is a dark, packed, convivial hangout that’s been around since it took over the old Wonder bar in 2005. It’s a place with an edge, decorated in black and red and retro Soviet insignia, a taxidermist’s dream with a stuffed and mounted zebra and mountain lion over the bar and a rooster, a bear and a moose around the room, plus a stripper pole, disco ball and
a healthy array of friendly hotties. For example: the guest DJ of the night, sultry glamazon Nomi Ruiz, lead singer of Jessica 6 and former member of Hercules and Love Affair. She played her set with rapt concentration, though she smiled when I asked what she was up to. "We’re going on tour soon," she said.
The chiffon in the party’s title is a reference to the 1975 one hit wonder "Get Dancin’" by Disco Tex and His Sex- O-Lettes, typical of Dalton’s insouciant humor (he’s also editor of the arts blog Zeitgeist World). Originally from Detroit, he first started DJing in Berlin, then London and New York, where he began spinning at the Vandam party atGreenhouse and Amanda Lepore’s Big Top. He tends to dress impeccably, resembling a Capuchin monk with his distinctive shaved cap of hair. The host of the evening wasGugu, the new "it" boy fashionista in town, wearing a pink wig, ivory Victorian blouse and plenty of beads.
"It’s my first hosting gig in New York City," he told me proudly. I asked him what he thought the theme of the party was. "It’s about celebrating being gay and different, having fun and also about chiffon," he replied.
A stream of guests showed up throughout the night, including Gabriel Magdaleno and Contessa Stuto of IN*TANDEM Magazine and Kelly Armendariz from Splatterpool Artspace. Artist Santiago Felipe arrived right before closing, which was when I also befriended Jeanine Troisi, a nurse who had lost her glasses. Since I’d just lost my lipstick on the dance floor, I knew we’d have lots in common. We whirled around to one of the last songs Dalton played, that old Andrea True Connection disco ditty, "More More More," which goes "How do you like it/ How do you like it?" OK, I was stuck in New York City for the summer, but I dunno. I like it.