1. Hyde Lounge
Hyde was a Hollywood celeb hotspot back when Lindsay Lohan still had a career and Nicole Richie was better known as the “fat” friend on The Simple Life — which is to say that it was popular a long ass time ago. I was living in LA during The Hills heyday when clubs like Les Deux and Area were all the rage, but since I was a 21-year-old nobody, I couldn’t get into those places. Instead, I had to settle on going to clubs that had recently become ghost towns but still had to pretend they were exclusive to save face. In other words, I had no choice but to go to Hyde if I wanted to have a douchey Los Angeles moment, which I guess at this point in my life was often enough. Keep in mind though that I normally went to dive bars on the Eastside but occasionally I would have to satisfy a shameful craving to spend 20 dollars on a cocktail and rub elbows with a D-list celebrity. Blame it on our celebrity-obsessed culture, blame it on the tabloids, blame it on Lauren Conrad but I used to derive much joy from going to a “cool” club. So one night I went to Hyde with a few of my friends back in ’07 or ’08 and, surprise surprise, we got judged so hard by the bouncer. He stared us up and down like we were a security threat, trying to gain entrance into The White House. Finally, he sighed and was like, “Just this once!” and let us in. I was vaguely insulted by the fact that he felt like he was doing us a favor but I was too excited to truly care. Inside, I imagined seeing Britney Spears shaving her head in a corner and Brandon Davis and Paris Hilton doing lines of blow off of each other’s buttholes for TMZ cameras. But, alas, we saw none of that. Instead, there were just a handful of people, one of whom was Verne Troyer, sitting distantly on luxurious couches. The club was legit empty but I was determined to make this a night to remember so I sat down and ordered a cocktail and some “milk and cookies” thinking it was code for cocaine or something. Unfortunately, when the waitress brought my order out, I discovered that I had literally ordered milk and cookies. At a club. For 35 dollars. The cookies weren’t even good either! They were on that stale Chips Ahoy! tip. Needless to say, I never went back.
LAX isn’t just an airport. It used to be a successful nightlife spot too. I went there once to attend their Banana Split Sundays (get it?) party, which was supposed to be really cool, hip, young etc. I showed up and immediately ran into this psycho LA personality I knew vaguely who went by the name of BJ Panda Bear. Seriously, you guys. This kid was so bizarre. He once kidnapped me to go on an “adventure” in Beverly Hills, which just translated to me watching him eat dinner and talk about his performance art. After running into that delusional downtown diva, I wanted to bolt but I decided against it, since Paris Hilton had just started dancing on the table. It was weird watching the camera flash as she and her lazy eye tried to move to the music. And by “weird,” I really mean “OMG, PARIS HILTON IS DANCING ON THE TABLE AND PEOPLE ARE TAKING PICS!” What an L.A. moment! Can I go home now?
By the time I moved to New York, I finally got a mitt and caught a clue, realizing that haunting these celebrity hotspots was actually kind of boring and made me look desperado. But the first week I moved there, my friend roped me into going with him to this “too cool for school” lounge called Upstairs, which apparently always had Josh Hartnett sightings. So I went and had a terrible time. At one point, my friend was like, “Can you turn your shoulder real quick?” and did a line of coke off of my upper arm. I found that to be really rude. If you’re going to be doing coke off my body, you need to at least tell me first. The night got worse after that when the dude who runs Last Night’s Party tried to get me to pose in all of these weird “soulless club kid” ways, although I have to admit that I was excited to already be featured in Last Night’s Party, days after moving to the city!!! My excitement faded, however, when I saw the pictures online and started screaming.
This was the first club I ever went to. My friends and I bribed the bouncer with fifty dollars to let us in, which he accepted because 80% of the people who went there were still in high school. It was during a time when they had a party called Dim Mak Tuesdays and DJ AM and Steve Aoki would play. It was also where all the Cobrasnake photo shoots would take place which, at the time, was super cool and trendy. The night I went, Uffie and The Like were playing and 8,000 16-year-old girls were walking around wearing nightgowns and headbands. I’m not joking. They would wear ankle boots, tie barbed wire around their head and don an Elmo knee-length nightgown to the club. I didn’t get it. I was living in my hometown of Ventura back then and I remember thinking, “OMG, LA IS SO WEIRD BUT COOL. I CAN’T WAIT TILL I MOVE HERE!”
To be fair, I’ve only been to Westway — an unassuming club by the West Side Highway that’s currently popular — once, so I don’t know, it might be cool. But the one time I went, it was so #dark and the music really sucked. I ended up getting introduced to Mischa Barton, who was looking to smoke pot somewhere, and making a bad joke about rehab. By the time I got home, I was feeling so nauseous that I ended up puking. AND I NEVER PUKE… anymore.