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August 21 2014

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Toasting New York’s Night Owls

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Last night, scenemakers and 24-hour party people descended upon Webster Hall to toast Manhattan clubland’s most hip at Paper magazine’s Eighth Annual Nightlife Awards. “For a while, New York was just a bunch of the same hipsters hanging out at one place,” said Matt Kliegman (of The Jane Ballroom and The Smile), whose downtown hot spot Westway took home Best Party award for its Tuesday night fête Westgay at Westway. “Right now, New York feels more exciting.”

Inside the disco ball-festooned ballroom, nightlife impresarios like Nur Khan and Ben Pundole sipped Hennessy with the likes of Cynthia Rowley, Samantha Ronson, Cory Kennedy (pictured), and Chelsea Leyland. Winners of the night? Best Arty Party (The Hole), Best Club (Le Baron), and Best Restaurant with Nightlife Scene (Acme). Riffing on the eccentric categories (Best Social Media Nightlife Star, anyone?), presenter Sarah Sophie Flicker conceived her own award idea. “I would love to see old-fashioned dinner theater,” the Citizens Band maven mused. “I know it economically makes no sense, but I just want to dress up in a long dress and hear beautiful music.” Meanwhile, model Jessica White was miffed Richie Akiva and her preferred playpen 1-Oak got snubbed. “He’s known me since I was 17,” the 28-year-old Sports Illustrated model said. “We’re planning a big Halloween party.” Still, not everyone on hand was a self-professed night owl. “My nightlife is more about Netflix streaming,” Girls actor Alex Karpovsky deadpanned before dashing out to the premiere of his flick Gayby.

Following the ceremony and a 15-minute delay, which prompted Paper‘s David Hershkovits to break out into dance à la South Korean rapper Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” Ellie Goulding took to the stage to perform while her boyfriend, DJ Skrillex, looked on. A couple made in nightlife heaven? Hardly. “In New York it’s all about work,” the Brit pop star told Style.com backstage. “And when I’m home in London, I’ll most likely just go to the pub.”

Photo: Paul Bruinooge / PatrickMcMullan.com

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