Get your dose of Justin Ross Lee's JEWce
JEWced with JRL is unadulterated no-holds-barred column shtick that shamelessly seeks to scrutinize New York nightlife by "calling out one asshole at a time." Get your dose of Justin Ross Lee's JEWced every week.

Too Busy JewJetting to Blog This Week

posted on 02.05.2010

Sorry, no post this week, JRL was JewJetting on assignment in Miami. He's also still recovering from this:

Check back Monday for the latest JEWcy content.


Is Arrogance in Nightlife Good Business?

posted on 01.25.2010

Pull my hair, spit in my face… is gratuity included?

There is nothing that confounds me more than the dysfunctional club-patron relationship, which occurs between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m.; club-goers have rolled over and accepted the attitude and adversarial interface that has become New York nightlife.

I’d sooner buy a ticking magnum of “Absolut Infidel” at a club called Hezbollah than contribute to a venue that treats me like Ari Gold trading stocks on the phone at a Waffle House in Washington Heights. What baffles me is that club-goers accept this Whitney-Houston-style abuse, but the belligerence doesn’t end past Bobby Brown’s velvet rope. From Doberman doormen, to bitchy bartenders and matador matrons, I just want to ask the putzes customers: is there any other hospitality or service business where you’d allow yourself to be treated like such a degraded doormat?

If you walk into a Lexus dealership with a certified check and someone with an earpiece pushed you and demanded you move from where you’re standing, you’d use OnStar to locate Ray Catena and hunt him down with a tire iron. Hospitality in New York City nightlife is Holiday Inn service at Ritz Carlton prices. The only other businesses where patrons are told, “we don’t need you, you need me” are operated on street corners across from Methadone clinics.

“Ballers” are turned into battered wives who are afraid to leave, literally hit with a “club” repeatedly burning their hands on the Kettle-1-OAK. Here’s the deal (or no deal): if you’re going to swipe plastic like Howie Mandel in his dressing room, make sure dignity is the “case.”

Click here to follow JRL on Facebook and Twitter. For more JEWced be sure to check back every Monday at clubplanet.com/jrl.

The comments stated in this column are Justin Ross Lee's personal opinions and do not represent the opinion of Clubplanet.com or any one of its parent companies.


NYC Doorman Superlatives

posted on 01.18.2010

Most Talented: Stephan Seguin (Griffin)
Stephan works his door calm, cool, collected and with a witty, dry sense of humor. Well-respected and unparalleled in the business, this sharp chap is a human bullshit detector, so you better “come correct.”

Most Pathetic: Rich Thomas (Avenue, Marquee)
No one is really sure what Rich actually does for Strategic Group, but I've determined that this passive prick is about as useful as a live cock at Rosie O’Donnell’s house.

Most Incompetent: Frank (Tenjune)
This former Tenjune barback and newcomer to the TJ door exercises about as much door control as Michael J. Fox sans meds. The only difference is that Mr. Fox has more of a grip.

Most Balanced: Ross Hutkoff (Hudson Terrace)
Having worked everywhere, Ross knows the biz and isn’t easily impressed. He’s one of the only veterans in the game who's never had an ego. Ross is so humble and approachable that those convicts on the street selling roses would likely proposition him.

Most Dignified: Ruben Rivera (Juliet)
Ruben has as much ‘tude as Noah Tepperberg has hair. He’s extremely savvy and crowd-centric. No wonder the new Jon B. hotspot, Juliet, has some of the hottest numbers in town.

Most Stylish: Matt Oliver (Revel, Day & Night)
Matt applies his personal style to his standard of entry. Bring your couture.

Most Hated: Aalex Julian (Tenjune, SL)
Aalex is as insulting as he is incompetent… and inflated. Ask Aalex about the time he was propositioned by a patron interested in purchasing a table and responded by saying, "I don't sell tables, I sell real estate.” This is like trying to sell yourself to a woman that you’d like to bring home by saying, “I don't sell orgasms, I sell regret.” Well Aalex, if real estate at Tenjune were on the market, it’d be advertised as, “two-and-a-half glory hole stalls with a tramp-stamp view and loose plumbing.” Try out your best euphemism with this detested deviant: “Aalex isn't bald, he's hairless.” Then ask him what the extra “A” in his name stands for.

Most Civilized: Franz (The Gates)
Franz is so cordial and verbally astute that he could make Roman Polansky feel good about being denied entry at the door of a Girl Scout meeting. He’ll tell you up front if he’s buying your cookies.

Most Inconsistent: Romaine (Kiss & Fly)
Romaine’s door flow is about as constant as Mel Gibson's pulse in Shul. Make up your mind, Romaine, is this Marquee or a high-end venue?

Most Misunderstood: This category deserves a tie. Binn (1Oak) & Gans (The Box)
These two brothers are surprisingly likable from the other side of the velvet rope. Their game is stern and should be taken at face value: think Ken Jennings with a mental clipboard and an eye for models.

Most Scrutinized: Wass Stevens (Avenue)
Wass may get a bad rap, but he happens to be cordial and reasonable if you don’t cross him. This victim got away easy. Be careful what you feed this veteran; he worked the door in ‘Nam. 

Most Likely to Work the Door at Bed Bath & Beyond: Danny Volk (Tenjune, SL)
While technically not a doorman, this employee of the EMM Group is a Manager at SL. He's reportedly the former college roommate of Eugene Remm, whose passive Napoleonic narcissism has successfully run Tenjune into the ground. I've seen Danny exercise his ineptitude by admitting a group of teenagers just to reject a high fashion runway model. This guy can work a door about as well I can work a Church. The difference: I'd at least pull some donations.

Click here to follow JRL on Facebook and Twitter. For more JEWced be sure to check back every Monday at clubplanet.com/jrl.

The comments stated in this column are Justin Ross Lee's personal opinions and do not represent the opinion of Clubplanet.com or any one of its parent companies.

The Do's and Don’ts of Coming Correct

posted on 01.11.2010

An angle of attack when approaching a doorman is mission critical.

Clubs need shmucks outside playing their Crackberries like violins just as much as they need Persians inside popping bottles as if Great Neck had succeeded from the Union.  Following these guidelines will have you inside in no time.


Walk with conviction.
Storm the door as if it were fucking Normandy: head up, chest out, shit-eating grin. Most doormen are like Dobermans; if you approach one with confidence and clout, he will heal. Approach him with a shtickle of doubt, and Aalex Julian (of Tenjune and the Mr. Clean Products) will have you "bent over" eating Kibble.

Be Unique.
Have a door story rehearsed and, just as important, keep it as succinct as Twitter. This is a 10 second elevator pitch. Your bullshit doesn’t have to be a great tale, but it needs to be something they haven’t heard before - and must be well presented. For example, the virgin approach: “I’m here +2, I’m on no list, no table whatsoever and I have zero credentials... but it’s my first time and I want to come in and have a few drinks. Can you accommodate me?” Doormen are often taken so off guard by this honest approach that they can’t fire back with a comeback-worthy reply. More often than not I’ve found this to be a prudent tactic.

Exuberate some fucking humor.
For a doorman, standing outside 5x per week can get mundane. Most of these professionals know the ropes (literally) and your job is to play double-dutch. If you’ve got some smooth shtick or a funny joke about what some rope-rejected bimbette is wearing - use it. Not only will it act as a breezeway catalyst but it’ll make you more recognizable to door staff for future visits.

Acknowledge security.
A slight head nod is often appropriate to our earpiece-imperious intimidators; but unless you’re coo-de-la with “Tenacious Tyrone” muscling the venue, keep it subtle and stay in your element. Just because you had a WuTang-themed Bar Mitzvah doesn’t mean you’d be welcome at the Apollo Theater.

Scrutinize your posse.
Ask yourself the following questions: A) Are there at least two “XX” for every “XY” chromosome? B) Would your doorman or roommate give you the silent thumbs up if the worst looking girl in your group came home with you at 4 a.m.? C) Would Eliot Spitzer pay to have any of your women ruin his political career? Or D) Are the girls’ physical assets as toxic as Courtney Love’s vital organs? If you answered “no” to the afore questions, go home and trim the fat on your BBM roster.

Dress the part.
This is not Boston, it’s New York. The “fighting Irish” image won’t even work for Colin Farrell in this city. Whatever look you’ve cultivated, put yourself together.


Don't Level Jump.
Just because Wass Stevens lets you into “Avenue” one night, doesn’t mean he wants anything to do with you a week later. Eye contact and a confident smile is mandated, but don’t go so far as to reach in for a man hug like you’re Jeremy Piven. Additionally, an uninitiated handshake is not advised. Like security, doormen do not like to be touched.

Don't over-extend yourself.
You’re not a promoter - you bathe. Make sure your human capital is less than six in total keeping the 2:1 ratio in mind. Any more in your group will make you look like you just stepped off a party bus from Staten Island.

Don't wait around.
The moment the doorman ignores you, you’ve been branded as “outside rope-rat real estate.” The club is currently using you as an exterior seat-filler.  Now your likelihood of waiting indefinitely is as high as Adam Goldstein’s toxicology report.

Don't roll with liabilities.
If one of your “gallop girls” still drinks like she’s pledging SDT at Hofstra, send the slop back to Syosset. The last thing you need is one of your crew-members throwing up on Noah Tepperberg’s bald head. Advise the Long-Island-loon to regurgitate as per her normal schedule, right after meals.

Click here to follow JRL on Facebook and Twitter. For more JEWced be sure to check back every Monday at clubplanet.com/jrl.

The comments stated in this column are Justin Ross Lee's personal opinions and do not represent the opinion of Clubplanet.com or any one of its parent companies.


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