A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

A Year In New York header image 2

Day 279: Eco? Maybe. Friendly? Mostly.

April 3rd · 1 Comment

img_7053The other night I attended a fundraiser at Greenhouse, the SoHo club that claims to be New York’s first eco-disco. The rumors said Stevie Nicks would be there. Even more than her purring vocals, I sought a bigger hit:  Can a hipster nightclub really be “sustainable,” or is it an illusion?

Since it opened in December in West Chelsea, Greenhouse has sought two stamps of approval. One is LEED status from the U.S. Green Building Council, to prove wise use of resources.  The club claims to have installed low-flow toilets, swanky waterless urinals, high-efficiency ventilation systems and bamboo paneling. It bought wind-energy credits to supply the power for the speakers, which tonight played (you guessed it) Stevie Nicks.

The second and more important stamp of approval is, of course, the clientele’s. A “green” nightclub must walk an uneasy line: kind to the Earth, yes, but without denying patrons the sense of luxury that they expect. No one wants to party with Dudley Do-Right.

The magic bullet? LEDs!

LEDs are the no-brainer of eco-chic. They use one-thirtieth the power of incandescent bulbs, going easy on the power grid, but they are twinkly and pretty and still novel enough to be hip. As an environmental gesture they are easily and immediately understood. I can’t confirm of Greenhouse’s other environmental claims without examining the water bill or drilling a sample of the bamboo siding. LEDs, we get.

Greenhouse lays them on thick. Thousands of them twinkle from every wall. Alongside them climb ivylike leaves. Greenhouse says these are real plants, treated with fireproofing material, but between my fingers they felt like plastic. Hundreds of crystals hung from the ceiling.

Selso, Tim and Bobbi keep it chic at a corner table.

I found my friend Bobbi and her friend Tim at a corner table. Under the transparent tabletop sprouted an arrangement of pinecones. In a moment we met Bobbi’s friend Selso, who wore a black cloth over her eyes and was, as the song goes, too sexy for this club.

Since this was a benefit the drinks were free. I was so bowled over by this fact that I neglected to notice if my martini was made with Vodka 360, the eco-brand that Greenhouse promotes as its house spirit.

Then Stevie Nicks arrived and proved a big disappointment. She walked with her entourage straight through to the VIP area, said she was delighted to see us all, then surrendered the mike without singing a note. Half an hour later she left. I found it much more enjoyable to talk with Selso, who commented how handsome I was before she sashayed away for a drink. I asked Tim, “So how do you know her?”

“Oh, Selso’s not a her,” Tim said. “Selso is a man.”

My jaw dropped. I watched Selso turn heads as he swung his hips and showed just a glimpse of corset. Which just goes to show that in New York, the women, and the clubs, are not necessarily to be trusted. The sparkly things can deceive you.

Tags: Deep Thoughts · Entertainment · Sights & Scenes

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Susan // Apr 17, 2009 at 12:23 am

    It’s nice to know that you’re hot even at 40, and even to men, eh Dave? I hear cross dressing men have very discerning taste.

Leave a Comment