How do you lure Upper East Side regulars to the depths of the Lower East Side on the first freezing night of the year? Try offering them two parties in one and the promise of a surprise performance.


That’s just what Julie Macklowe did Saturday night when she threw herself a birthday party at the Box that doubled as a launch celebration for her new skincare line, vbeauté. (Actually the event did triple-duty, with 10% of the proceeds from benefiting VH1’s Save the Music charity.) By 9:30, the Box’s claustrophobic front bar area was packed with ladies fresh from having their hair blown out and guys with slicked-back locks. There was also a line for the coat check that rivaled the wait for drinks.

“They need to give you a bigger closet,” said one guy, clearly not familiar with space issues afflicting those south of the Plaza, to the overwhelmed girl in charge. Over at the bar, men were ordering glasses of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (you can take the guys out of the Upper East Side but you can’t… oh, nevermind), while a few adventurous souls went for one of the three Remy Martin V vodka drinks, including a lemon drop accessorized with an LED ice cube.


Macklowe greeted guests in over-the-knee boots and a sparkly mini Rodarte dress accessorized with black sequined hot pants, which she cheekily flashed to a few friends.

“My young daughter could fit into those,” remarked one woman of Macklowe’s petite frame.

Just after 10, the girl of the hour took to the stage, where she announced, “I’m here for my 25th birthday,” before thanking her friends and family for support, especially her husband, Billy, who “did want to set the record straight that he does love my Rosemary’s Baby haircut.”


As for her choice of charities, she recalled her high school marching band days when she played the trombone. Then musician Sean Paul—not a trombone player, I presume—gave a rousing performance that included hits like “Tempertature” and “Shake that Thing.” One plaid-suited man turned the glow stick-esque bracelets into a headband and stood on the banquette for a better view, while others in the crowd seemed a bit perplexed.

“Who is this guy?” one fellow asked me. “Since I moved uptown, I have no idea who is cool.”

Photos: Zach Hyman