Thursday, January 11, 11 p.m. It's not hard to feel like a rock star or a celebrity in Vegas these days. Brandish a few gold bars or a wad of cash, and you can entertain your entourage like any platinum-grilled hip-hop phenom. Bottle lists are exorbitant but well-crafted, and cocktail creation is high theater. With more than enough VIP hosts on tap at every club, not to mention the independent ones fishing at the ends of the mile-long lines, there's a good chance that anyone seeking that star treatment at any level will find it. Ah, Vegas: You want it, we got it! The scene outside Tryst for its one-year anniversary could easily be mistaken for a private, red-carpet, star-spangled affair. But aside from the fact that Tryst is celebrating a birthday, this is a normal night! The Affair, as it is already called, is Tryst's popular Thursday night party, and the red carpet is actually rolled out every night the club is open. Though far less widely promoted than Thursday parties elsewhere, the Affair was a guaranteed success, having already built up a staunchly loyal local following when the club still carried the name La Bete.
Our table is a huge, U-shaped area in the corner and sports a view to a stripper pole. The group is large tonight, a college reunion of sorts, and though our server, Christina Trainor, has been slammed tonight, she is breezy and lovely, cracking jokes and getting us settled with our drinks.
"If two Wynn employees hook up," says Alex Koch, man about town, "is that Wynncest?" As it is possibly the last semi-coherent statement that will be uttered tonight, we consider his proposal, and move on to the business of making a serious dent in a bottle of Ketel One and watching a veteran pole-dancer try to school an amateur in the art of getting her legs behind her ears while hanging midair.
"I love AVN," Koch says, directing my attention to a neighboring table. What I can only assume is a porn star is bouncing around braless as a 6-year-old, her thin, white shirt doing little to hide how excited she is to be here. And apparently she's cold, too. "I can't help but stare at her nipples," I whisper. "It's okay," Koch says matter-of-factly. "I've been staring at them all night."
All around the club, similar scenes are occurring—believe it or not—at every table. In his customary place of honor, Tryst's co-owner Victor Drai (the club is a joint venture between Drai and Steve Wynn) is holding court, smiling from ear to ear, as is managing partner Cy Waits, who works the room, keeping everyone happy. Resident DJs Justin Hoffman and Pizzo are spinning, and when one of them throws on the soundtrack to Rent, the musical, we join our neighbors in a sing-along. "Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes/How do you measure, measure a year?" At this moment, all is right with the world. Happy birthday, Tryst!
But uh-oh. It's the sketching hour, when the tides change and virtues like reason, eloquence and—yes—gravity are out. At the stroke of 1 a.m., a huge tidal wave of man washes over our table, sending bucket, ice, bottle and glass to the far corners of the Library. Somehow, not a drop lands on my dress. I pour out a little water from my shoe and thank the SWAT team of bussers who were on the way over even before our new friend came to rest on the table. Upon later reflection I will describe it as a harbinger of good for the New Year, you know, like they say about a bird crapping on your head. Then someone says, "Eh, the bottle was done anyway."
Xania Woodman thinks globally and parties locally. And frequently. E-mail her at
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