Star Gazing

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On April - 21 - 2009

Kellan Lutz at Florida RoomWhether at the racy Raleigh, sophisticated Mondrian, celeb-packed Shore Club or any of our fair city’s other amazing nightclubs, New Year’s revelers were afforded plenty of opportunities for “star gazing” (sans telescope) and rang in 2009 with much fanfare and flare, South Beach Style.

The Raleigh’s Burlesque New Year’s Eve, hosted by famed New York City “Queen of the Night” Susanne Bartsch, was an outrageously raunchy affair that would have had Dita Von Teese blushing: from the gargantuan, inflatable open pair of women’s legs floating in the hotel’s iconic pool, to theatrical performances, unforgettable peep shows, strip teases, flamboyant gender-benders and freak shows including well-endowed men wearing zebra and horse heads and female strippers sizing up their (ahem) man hoods, literally, ruler in hand. Bartsch rung in the new year accompanied by designer Calvin Klein, actress Sarah Paxton, transsexual nightlife diva Amanda Lepore and ex-husband/fitness guru extraordinaire David Barton. Bartsch turned up the heat close to midnight, counting down the seconds to 2009 with the help of a completely naked Amanda Lepore and a bevy of human party props. A fabulous explosion of silver confetti showered guests, who were toasting with flutes of Moet & Chandon. Before making her way off the stage, Bartsch told the crowd that according to her watch it was not yet midnight. “I think we’re looking at a case of premature ejaculation,” Bartsch said, to a remix of Prince’s “1999,” during which the DJ cleverly replaced the “1999” with “2009.”

In stark contrast to the wackiness at the Raleigh was the Recess-is-on party at the Mondrian, a much more sophisticated, subdued affair. The hip and beautiful crowd was comprised mainly of socialites and South Beach locals who enjoyed the music by DJ Tavi and free-flowing cocktails and champagne, much like any other night at this gorgeous hotel (except for the “free-flowing” part). Dwyane Wade held a private dinner on the upstairs terrace, overlooking the festivities below, accompanied by other Miami Heat players and actress Gabrielle Union.

The hunky Gerard Butler and Access Hollywood‘s Maria Menounos counted down at the Shore Club for a few thousand PYTs (Pretty Young Things), including Jared Leto, Kristin Cavallari, and 90210-ers (past and present) AnnaLynne McCord, who showed up after her countdown duties at B.E.D., Kellan Lutz (Twilight) and Ian Ziering, who was also spotted across the street at the Catalina. Ron Browz sang “Pop Champagne,” while Pras of the Fugees croonedKilling Me Softly. Afterward, Busta Rhymes performed “Put Your Hands up Where My Eyes Could See.”

Toasting 2009 at the Fontainebleau were Molly Sims, George Hamilton, Nick Lachey, Vanessa Minnillo, Christian Audigier, Maroon 5’s front man Adam Levine and Sean “Diddy” Combs, who held a private after-party at his house that lasted well into New Year’s Day.

Nearby, at the Forge, the crowd went crazy when the clock struck midnight and welcomed the New Year as mash-up master DJ Joe Dert played the John Lennon classic “Imagine” for Shareef Malnik’s BFFs, Mickey Rourke and welterweight boxing champion, Andre Berto.

Privé‘s Ciroc New Year’s Eve, hosted by five-time Grammy award-winning John Legend, was smooth and soulful. Legend delighted the audience by performing his hit “Green Light” during the first moments of 2009 and drew cheers from the crowd when he gave his girlfriend, Christy Teigen, a passionate New Year’s kiss. The couple mingled with the crowd until about 2:30 a.m.

Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson rang in 2009 at Mansion. The BGFs (Best Girl Friends) counted down to ‘09 in the DJ booth, taking turns shouting a number and hugging, as “Auld Lang Syne” played in the background. Ronson wo-manned the DJ booth while Lohan partied until around 2 a.m.

Bite Me … Please!

So there’s that joke that club crawlers are really vampires, whose “coffins” open up at midnight and close again before dawn. This was actually the case when the adorable Kellan Lutz came out to play at Florida Room around 2 a.m. on Thursday. Lutz stars in the vampire series-turned-cult-flick Twilight, which has tweens of all ages (and their mothers) screaming, “Bite me! Please!” Meeting Lutz, who portrays the playful Emmett Cullen, you can easily see why. He describes his character as the goofball who makes everyone laugh and have a good time. “Emmett is the coolest guy of them all, that’s pretty much it,” he said. Like his character, Lutz was good-natured and happy to pose for and with photographers, insisting, of course, that he be given a moment to put his sweater on and get his look just right. Lutz also stars in 90210, along with girlfriend AnnaLynne McCord.

We heard that acclaimed actor and 30 Seconds to Mars front-man Jared Leto was also at the Florida Room that night, but, to be honest, the entire club was packed with adorable “Leto clones” so he was well-camouflaged in the pitch-dark room, escaping curious eyes and cameras.

Getting Back to Our Roots

Acclaimed hip-hop band The Roots checked into the Florida Room, where they gave two knockout performances to a packed crowd on NYE and then took to the DJ booth the next night. According to the first video blog posted on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Web site, Fallon announced that jazzy, eclectic award-winners The Roots will be his house band for the show when it debuts March 2.

Ya Don’t Quit

The new year started right at the Fontainebleau, where Friday night rocked as strong as NYE at LIV with one of New York’s finest DJs, JusSke, who kept the wall-to-wall crowd moving. Enjoying the sounds were Kimberly Stewart and Chase Crawford, who danced on tables until the wee hours.


AnnaLynne McCord, Ian Ziering and Grant Show at the Catalina; Ziering and Maria Menounos (not together) at Red, The Steakhouse; SNL’s Kenan Thompson and That ‘70s Show’s Topher Grace, America’s Next Top Model winner Jaslene Gonzalez, singer Gavin DeGraw, Howie Dorough from The Back Street Boys and fashion icon Richie Rich at Provocateur; Scarface and Que Pasa USA? Golden Globe-nominated actor Steven Bauer (aka Rocky Echevarria for those who “knew him when”) at RA Sushi; Chloë SevignyMichael Bay and Jeremy Shockey at Loftin’s 1116 Ocean; Michael Phelps swimming in the Gansevoort’s rooftop pool; Eva Longoria Parker at Casa Tua; Jerry Bruckheimer and Jackie Mason at Meat Market; Gerard Butler at Mansion and Louis; celebrity DJ Bob Sinclar spinning at Mansion.

One Response to “Star Gazing”

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