GET THE PARTY STARTED
The Best Mardi Gras Parties in NYC!

There are as many different ways to celebrate Mardi Gras as there are ingredients in a great jambalaya. And whatever vibe you're looking for, whether it's beads and carnies or dinner and drinks, there's a party in New York celebrating Fat Tuesday just the way you like.

This Mardi Gras, the Fifth Annual Two Boots Mardi Gras Ball is the biggest, craziest party in town. Cyndi Lauper and ?uestlove have been crowned King and Queen, and their reign promises to be spectacular. Stiltwalkers, body painting, hatmaking, and at least five live performers, including the all-female accordion orchestra Main Squeeze Orchestra and the Grammy-nominated modern Cajun band The Lost Bayou Ramblers, this is the closest you’ll get to a real Mardi Gras in New York City. Tickets are $35 for one or $60 for two, and all proceeds go to the Lower Eastside Girls Club. Prepare for great cocktails, great music, and a wild spectacle you’ll be talking about for weeks.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Mister H Introduces Happy Hour

The swanky 1930s Shanghai-themed speakeasy lounge, Mister H, located at the Mondrian SoHo, is now introducing longer hours, complete with a special happy hour from 5-10pm Monday through Friday. Its brother Imperial No. Nine will be providing yummy bites to satisfy your appetite and there will be reduced price specialty cocktails.

Specialty cocktails will be priced at $14 and include creative mixtures such as Keen (vodka, coconut water, agave nectar, kaffir lime, lemon juice) and Fragile (cinnamon infused rum, port, apple cider, fresh lemon juice, maple syrup), among others.

EDITOR'S LETTER
Gary Spencer Does 5 Questions with Sam Young

Hi Joonbuggers –

Yes yes, its been a while, I know, but what can you do? I've been running around all over NYC like a headless chicken, I just haven't had time to write to you guys about my escapades. Next week I will tell you all about the Royal Wedding antics that went down in NYC, but first I better catch you all up a bit.

When I first arrived here in New York (some 12 - 13 yrs ago), the Paramount Bar at the very swish boutique hotel The Paramount was THE place to be. Over time, like most fashionable bars and restaurants, the once Ian Schrager-owned hotspot gradually fell from grace. Until now, that is. Yes, The Paramount Bar is making a welcome comeback in Midtown.

NOTABLES
A Subterranean Escape

The recent opening of SGTs in the Lower East Side just adds to the slew of basement bars that have been infiltrating city nightlife in the past few months. With the spring and summer months quickly approaching (well, more sporadically, considering the drastic temperature changes that occur in 24 hours...), one would think bar owners would be looking more towards rooftops and beer gardens. But we all know how real New Yorkers love their hidden gems. Some of the new and exclusives (and a couple old-school dives, for the low-key nights):

Mister H: Upon entering the speakeasy-style lounge in the new Mondrian SoHo Hotel, a lighted sign assures patrons that "this is not a brothel. there are no prostitutes at this address." Prepare yourself for a fairytale of sorts: Mr. H (the H standing for Hung) is what Armin Amiri pictures as Humphrey Bogart's spot of choice for a nightcap. 150 Lafayette St., 212.389.1000

IN THE SPOTLIGHT
NYC Gets a Sneak Peak at Mister H's China Wonderland

It may not be officially ready yet, but that didn't stop Armin Amiri (of Socialista) from hosting Fashion Week after-parties at his new, speakeasy-style lounge circa China 1930, Mister H at the Mondrian SoHo. The venue, with its "distressed damask walls, red leather banquettes and jade-and-gold-checkered floors," transports patrons into what might feel like some sort of fairytale land - one filled with booze and disco lights, of course. Amiri shares the question he posed to himself when envisioning Mr. H: "Humphrey Bogart gets off work as a private eye and needs a nightcap; where would he go?" The H stands for Hung (as in Mr. Hung), a ficitional owner (perhaps an alter-ego of Amiri's?).