The Glitz and Glamour of Holly’weird’
February 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
Ever since transplanting to Los Angeles, I’ve pretty much avoided the opulent and exclusive club scene that the city is most renowned for when it comes to nightlife. I’ve tended to do my boozing on the laid-back Westside, but that was before I received an incoming message on my Facebook page not too long ago. It was from Mariana: a beautiful, fun-loving Italian whom I had grown close to during my studies in Florence. It had been at least a year since we had spoken, so it was quite the surprise when the little red flashing icon on my computer opened up to reveal a message from her, saying she was coming to visit Los Angeles with a group of her girl friends, and wanted me to show them around!
From what I knew about Mariana, I could tell that the casual bars that I called home would not be adequate – she was a club-hopper to the very core. Her perfect day would be a designer shopping spree, tanning, and a night out in a little black dress and stilettos through ultra-exclusive nightclubs.
Now to be honest, another reason I never ventured too far East of the 405 freeway was because without status, money, or women, it can be a nightmare trying to fight the lines into the clubs on Hollywood Boulevard. But suddenly I had four striking Florentine girls who would be following me, and as they say, the world was my oyster.
When they arrived, I directed them to Rodeo drive, which I imagine was something like heaven to them, and after a day of shopping, I met them at their hotel to prepare for a night out at the clubs in Los Angeles. I pretended like I was familiar with the plan, but to be honest, it would be a first for all of us.
By the advice of a friend, I planned for us to check out Beacher’s Madhouse in the Roosevelt Hotel. After a few shots of vodka at a nearby lounge, we walked into the hotel, and the only way I knew we were in the right place was the visible line of well-dressed partygoers that seemed to go on forever. I led the girls to the front, bypassing plenty of angry eyes, and let Mariana do the talking. It turns out beauty is the currency of Hollywood, because next thing I knew we were being led through a secret bookshelf door like something out of an Indiana Jones movie, and down into the weirdest place on earth.
Beacher’s is something like a prohibition-era adult carnival on drugs, with burlesque dancers, fire-eaters, giant costumed animals and little people in green wigs entertaining the hedonistic spectators while live bands and DJs set the mood. Feeling buzzed and thoroughly amused, and a little bit terrified, the girls wanted to dance. We left Beacher’s and even though the rest of the night was new, it all felt fairly normal after such an experience.
I once again was granted immediate entry with the girls into Drai’s, a vegas-style two story nightclub at the top of the W Hotel. The DJ played a blend of house and top-40 music, and after about an hour of dancing, a couple of high-roller movie execs invited the girls (and I) over to their table, where we indulged in shot after shot of tequila that cost more than my month’s salary. As much as I’d like to say it sucked, the night was turning out to be one of the best I’d had in the city. We danced for a while longer and to the disappointment of us all, last call came. The girls didn’t want to go home, and luckily I had one last trick up my sleeve.
We descended back down the elevator to reality, and then stumbled over to the Avalon, which has late night sets that go all the way till sunrise. We jumped and danced in the warehouse-style venue to pounding house music till the wee hours, and by the time I got back to the hotel room and my eyes got heavy, I couldn’t have been happier that Mariana gave me the excuse to finally experience, if for just that once, the high-end decadence of Los Angeles – at least until her next visit.
Daniel Hogan is a writer at Party Earth – a global media and entertainment company that publishes reviews and listings of the best social experiences around the world including: bars in Paris, pubs in London, beaches in Ibiza, plazas in Rome, parks in New York, festivals and concerts everywhere, and more.