New York club kids party! King Vulcanus Levi at Friday Factory, Library Hotel.

King Vulcanus Levi, new york club personality

Every time I go back to New York, it feels like a homecoming. I lived in NYC for years, and the city kindled my passion for nightlife, alt cultures and fashion.

One New Yorker who inspired me over the years is King Vulcanus Levi, club promoter and nightlife royalty. It was an honor to be his Queen for the night, and host an underground party together.

ny club kids, party promoters

I was here for a TV shoot, and we wanted to celebrate the city’s flamboyant underground nightlife. Reserved Consulting was launching a new club event, called Friday Factory, and it fit the bill perfectly. Their parties shine the spotlight on NYC’s underground through performances and personalities.

friday factory ny underground party

Vulcanus and I held court at this giant gold table, which was reserved for us and friends. Thanks to everyone who joined the fun, and to Reserved for the generous bottles of spiced rum!

ny androgynous club dancer

The scene at Friday Factory was like a “21st century vaudeville.” Most of the guests dressed up to the nines, in styles as diverse as Gothic, retro, leather, lace. Lots of dancing and shenanigans — that’s the New York club kid spirit.

new york club performance art

I particularly enjoyed the performance art: burlesque, whips, urban singers. The highlight was my friend Lauren. She covered her body in liquid glue, stood in a corner to let it dry, and then peeled it off and gave bits of the dried “skin” the crowd. Their reactions were priceless.

blue feather crown

I’m wearing a Moi-meme-Moitie dress and lace top (the brand is by Mana sama, of Malice Mizer and Moi dix Mois). The blue feathered crown was bestowed upon me, by King Vulcanus Levi, who designed it himself! I urge you to add his Facebook page, to see more designs and inspiration.

(All above photos by Alex E. Houston)

peacock feather hats crowns

Before Friday Factory, Vulcanus had a pre-party at his Lower East Side apartment. He showed me his collection of handmade crowns and accessories, a pleasure-palace of peacock feathers, playing cards, Gothic crosses, jewels, and other luxuries.

The Baroness latex designer

He showed me some of signature looks from over the years. A majestic combination of bird on head, feathered collar, cinched corset (standing next to his friend, latex designer The Baroness).

king vulcanus levi, new york clubbing

Vulcanus showed me how he put on his distinctive makeup, with a pure white face, and black V-shaped lips. When I first saw him at NY clubs ages ago, I was blown away by this vision — he seemed like a royal from another planet!

gold bracelets, rings on hand

He puts thought into every aesthetic detail, down to the gloves and rings. I’m in awe at his creativity.

ny club kids makeup

All around the room, our friends were doing makeup touchups, pouring cocktails and dancing.

ny club kids partying

I’ll never get tired of the NY’s nightlife energy. So many friendly and welcoming creatures here.

white facepaint club makeup

Living here sparked my love of subcultures and alternative beauty, which continues strong to this day. In New York, you can express who you want to be, and find other like-minded creatives.

taking selfies party

And the nightlife can’t be beat! If you want to join the fun, you can check Reserved Consulting’s site for announcements about their next Friday Factory events. And add King Vulcanus Levi on Facebook to see where he’s appearing next.

library hotel manhattan room

At dawn, I was happy to lay my weary head at The Library Hotel. In my hazy state, I couldn’t remember my room number: but thankfully, each door has a unique plate that follows the Dewey Decimal System. I was on the Languages floor, so the rooms were called Romance, Asian, Germanic…

yru platform shoes, clear heel

It’s the perfect place for me to stay: a hotel dedicated to book-lovers! I love to read at night to wind down, so this put me in instant relaxation mode. Unlike some theme hotels, there is no cheesiness here: it’s 5 star luxury, with seamless service and cozy design.

Here’s a close-up of my white platform sandals, sent by YRU — here’s the link to purchase them. So cool, the clear heel with a cloud print.

monkey see no evil statue

The Library Hotel has an ideal location, near Central Park in midtown Manhattan. They have a unique “Writer in Residence” program that aims to give authors inspiration and sanctuary. If you qualify, you get a complimentary stay at their properties, and enjoy perks like the lounge and free Wifi.

elizabeth wurtzel, author of prozac nation

My friend, author Elizabeth Wurtzel, joined me for tea. The lounge serves tea, coffee, sweets and fruit all day long “to keep the creative juices flowing.”

teale coco hooded vest

There must have been over a thousand titles on the shelves, from a variety of authors. I wonder if the collection includes Elizabeth Wurtzel’s books, Prozac Nation and Bitch.

My sleeveless jacket with a hood is a gift from Teale Coco. She makes devilish harnesses too, including a full body Lucifer harness.

ny library hotel lobby

The lobby has a Great Gatsby feel. (Are you currently reading any good books? I’d love to hear your reading recommendations; leave me a note in the comments!)

bookmarks bar library hotel rooftop

Take the elevator to the top floor, and you’ll walk into Bookmarks Bar and Lounge. My friends and I drank literary-inspired cocktails — like a Hemingway made with rum, mint and champagne — on the rooftop terrace, which has a lovely view of the Empire State Building.

new york city breakfast berries

Can’t go wrong with a free breakfast that includes berries, lattes and grapefruit juice. Thanks to the Library Hotel for treating us writers like VIPs!

totoro nail art, sprites nails

Finally, a closeup of my mint-colored Totoro nail art by Glam Nail Studio. More of their kawaii Japanese nails on their Twitter.

statue of liberty, burlesque cruise

Here are some Instagram snaps from the Dances of Vice burlesque cruise, which sailed from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty. New York, I’ll never grow tired of you.

Do you you prefer dancing at clubs and holing up with a good book? Or are you fond of both, as I am?



  1. Sue
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:10 am | Permalink


  2. Matthew
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:10 am | Permalink


  3. Jonathan
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    One of the must see locations, New York.

  4. Adopha
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:11 am | Permalink


  5. Jane
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Oh such great memories

  6. JT
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Awesome write up! And so much fun hanging with you! Xoxo!

  7. Aria
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful time

  8. Megan
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    did michael alig come by hehehe

  9. BAM
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    woot so pretty

  10. Trina Morgan
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Amazing photos:)

  11. Library Hotel
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    We were so delighted to have @lacarmina stay with us and thrilled she had a wonderful time!

  12. art
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    UR COOl

  13. Gwen
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Come to Dragon Con please!

  14. S. Black
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    impressive crowns by the king.
    it’s good to see new york still has the same old spirit.
    – S

  15. Zoltan
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Everyone looks great, but very sober.

  16. Hat
    Posted September 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    So much fun so much fun :-) :-)

  17. Serena
    Posted September 3, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Permalink


  18. Varis
    Posted September 3, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    you two rule

  19. abba
    Posted September 4, 2014 at 12:54 am | Permalink


  20. BB
    Posted September 4, 2014 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    NIce to meet u there

  21. Mrs. Sparkle
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    Love it!

  22. Arthur
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Club kids forever

  23. Roel
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    So fab!!

  24. eCp
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    Very cool!!!!!!!

  25. Michael
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    Looks like @SteveStrange from 80s group @Visage !!!

  26. Freddy
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    wow so awesome

  27. ladycaos
    Posted September 5, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I love YRU! So glad that you featured them. Their shoes are gorgeous. I can’t afford them most of the time, but every once in a while ASOS has great sales. They’re super comfortable too, I recommend them to everyone!
    (I wish writing was taken seriously in Italy as it is in the US lol)

    • lacarmina
      Posted September 8, 2014 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      YES I love these shoes!! I will be wearing them more on my next trips – they’re comfortable too! <3

  28. nasrin shah abushakra
    Posted September 23, 2014 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    when will you come visit me in #Dubai?

  29. Jenny Pham
    Posted December 17, 2014 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    I love you and know

  30. Blank Blank
    Posted January 5, 2015 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    So lame.

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