Long long ago in a strange land far off the beaten path—actually, it was the 1990s in the Meatpacking District—there existed a small nightclub that, paradoxically, was equal parts Innocence and Decadence.
Jackie 60 it was called, and it was the quixotic love child of Johnny Dynell, the celebrated disk jockey (as they were quaintly known then), and his better half, Chi Chi Valenti, the poetess and hostess whose equanimity is unequaled.
Every Tuesday night, from 1991 to 1999, Jackie was the destination for all the right people. When they entered its portals, they knew they were at the right place at the right time, and they didn’t want to go home.
Unlike a lot of boîtes, which overstay their moment in the sun, Jackie was a labor of love. When the arrondissement became overrun with arrivistes, Johnny and Chi Chi discreetly shut its doors, and withdrew into the velvet night.
Now there is exciting news. On July 1, fifteen years after Jackie 60 went to heaven, it is being reincarnated for one night only at The Black Rose, 117 Avenue A, with a revival of its widely acclaimed Brown Party. (“My favorite Jackie event,” says Patrick McMullan). The invitation describes the original Brown Party as “a tongue-in-cheek take on the era’s ubiquitous Black Party and White Party on the gay ‘circuit’.”
Jackie 60 invitations, mailed every week to the faithful, were always hilarious (they’re worth a fortune on eBay, by the way, unlike the “Paperless Post” electronic ephemera one gets today) and they always dictated a “dress code” for the upcoming theme party. Here’s the dress code for the July 1 party:
YOU MUST OBSERVE THE BROWN DRESS CODE TO BE ADMITTED:
WEAR SHADES OF RUST, REPURPOSED WOOD, CHOCOLATE, MUD, MACRAME SHAWLS, BROWN TWEED, SIENNA, UPS BROWN, CHAMOIS, LOWER EAST SIDE ECOLOGY CENTER LOGOS, BROWN PLAID, BURNT UMBER, LOOSE-WEAVE BURLAP, BROWN STEAMPUNK, HAND-TOOLED LEATHER, EARTH SHOES, COFFEE OR TEA TIE-DYE, OR ANY OTHER BROWN AFFECTS. NATURAL FIBERS PREFERRED.
Chi Chi and Johnny (known in the Jackie Family as Mommy and Daddy) will be there, bien sur, along with their original co-conspirators Hattie Hathaway, who master-minded the logistics in a spirit of refined rebellion; Paul Alexander, who masters the ceremony by purring like Barry White; Kitty Boots, whose intuitive door policy was flawless; Richard Move, the artiste who found fame as a legitimate choreographer; and Althea Loveless, the original Brown Party lounge DJ.
Don’t be surprised if Jackie Legends like Mark Jacobs, Joey Arias and Debbie Harry drop by. Plus others who want to bask in the Jackie juju.
You know, of course, that July 1st is the Full Moon. According to the Farmers Almanac, it’s called the Buck Moon and it peaks at 10:20 p.m. Don’t you have goosebumps already?