Mingling Hollywood style.

Vanguard Grand Opening
Hollywood, California
August 9th, 2005

A club opening.. Never been to one and i was kinda excited when i was invited. The thing was from 8 until midnight. The main thing on the invite that caught my eye was it pretty much said free drinks and free sushi. C’mon! I couldn’t pass that up at all.
I headed on over to LA Weekly to hang details about our upcoming events, our as in me and Ben, and events as in everything happening in LA and our trip to Miami for the Video Music Awards.
Traffic wasn’t too bad, not there a little over an hour. Which I am getting way too used to these days.
Got there and hung out. Tried to figure out details, he had to worry about his interview with Damon Dash. Got more details about the Teen Choice Awards, and about 100 other events. Had the Sugar Water Festival and afterparty the next day and Catalina with Pennywise after.
We left a little before 8 to check out the venue and vibe but of course couldn’t get up in there until after 8. I mean who goes to a party right when it opens?. You gots to be a little fashionably late.
The place was kinda hard to find. We were driving back and forth on Hollywood, up and down Sunset and Gower. We eventually found it, and it was kinda behind a building. Looking at the clock, it was around 8:12. We had to drive down this little alleyway and it pulled up to the valets. Jumped out and walked around. Didn’t really want to go in yet, but they had a red carpet type thing. However really much walked around for awhile.
Its funny because i totally remember the area. The church, the free clinic, the subway. A few years back i remember being in the area all night trying to get into a rave. I guess it was like 3 dollars to get in or something. We walked the whole perimeter, “we” as in “the Weiners” the guy division of the raving group. We walked all over it the place trying to find a way in. As i think about it now, i think Vanguard was where this rave was. However it was called teknoclub.
Anyways, after walking about 15 mins. We came back full circle. Decided to finally go in, checked in on the list, headed on in. Dude this place is huge. By far the biggest club I’ve been to. Most LA Clubs are so cramped, i mean just so cramped. This place was really big! Biggest dance floor and it’s about 2 stories, but its open! It’s a 20,000 square foot place, cherry wood floor, and you gotta have the video screens. This is where Deep and Heaven is held on respectively on the weekends.
Right when you walk in, you see the men and woman bathroom, make a quick left and you enter the actual club. On your right you see the only bar however pretty big. I say about 5 bartenders were manning it. Of course i had to hit it up. Got my usual Pineapple Juice and Malibu Rum. I love my girly drinks!! Ben got a Stella beer. Dont forget, it was complimentary!! However you can’t be all cheap, you gotta tip.
Proceeded to walk the floor and saw the sushi bar. It was any random sushi place it was sushi from Sushi Roku and Katana. These restuarants are owned by Ryan Seacrest. They have been featured on a show with Rachel Ray on Food network. As far was i know there are 5 of them in Los Angeles and a new one in Vegas. I knew the sushi was going to be good. I told my homie Manny who works with Ryan at KIIS FM to roll there to hang, however i didnt even see him or get in touch. So I wasn’t too sure if he was coming or not.
The sushi chefs were making hand rolls which was smart. I wasnt too sure what they were making there in front of you. So i pretty much just told them to make me anything. The guys made me Spicy tuna and spicy crab. Wow, it was pretty simple, but really really good. Makes me want to go to the restuarants. I been meaning too but haven’t had the time. I still have to go give Geisha House a second chance. i didn’t like it the first time. I also still have to try out Koi also.
Finally met Alex who was handling this party. I like to meet the publicists or contacts i have. she was pretty cool people. After a brief chat, i was done with my drink and wanted another. Got another Pineablu? Pineapple and Malibu. While i got my drinks, this girl standing next to me went up to me and asked if we met. In my head, i was thinking no i never met you,and this is such a line! However i was humoring her because im a nice guy like that, and she wasnt fugly. She goes on to see where she has met me at. Asked if i was at Coachella, and i was there only the first day and she was also. I guess she was in a band called The Randys or The Randies, don’t know, something like that. A little more small talk around her friends, i mean i was surrounded by them. Then as a parting gift, i gave her a low blow to my people, the people in general. But if you know me, i make fun of myself more than anyone else. Here’s the line, “We all look the same anyways, so maybe…” She… well im saying she and such because i totally forgot her name. Anywho she said, “No No, you stand are hard to forget.” Awww.. on that note, i said ill see you around, and got back to Ben. I wanted to give her my card, but oh well!
So on the invitation; it stated performances by the Aerial Arts. I guess they have a school at the club, which i saw at the website. They had girls swinging on swings. These cute girls in, it wasn’t skimpy however it wasn’t covered. Then i thought to myself, Vicky was doing aerial arts and i was hoping she was going to show up.
The entertainment has begun. Oh, i have to comment on the music. The only way i can describe the music is that it was like updated 80s music i suppose? I mean it wasn’t like music at Bang, Bang is the name of the club at the Ruby in Hollywood on Saturday. I really couldn’t get a handle on the music that was playing. Anywho, they had a magician who did the dated cutting a rope trick and the metal rings looping and such. Ben thought he looked like Danny Bonaduce and i kinda thought he was looking like James Cameron. I guess he was stuck in my mind since i am obsessed with the show Entourage, and they got a story arc with Cameron directing the made up move “Aquaman” with Vincent Chase, who is the main character, dawning the trident.
Proceeded back to the bar and got another of the same drink. Earlier we were told by Alex they had a patio smoking area that was Asian themed. Went outside since there wasnt really much else going on after the aerial arts. The weather was really nice out, it was a mild summer night. The outside area is the biggest ive seen in ANY club. You can actually walk around and breathe, not have to be in someone path of exiting smoke. You see two huge suspended waterfall/rain curtains. It gave the area a nice ambience. I mean you see like Asian tree inspired type things, and in the far back you see a huge Buddha. They have seats and benches everywhere, and even bungalows. I wouldn’t say that but like bed type lounging. I was like, this would be so cool with a chicks. Just hanging out, drink in hand, and getting close to a chick. Did a little people watching, talked a little to the drink servers, and went back on in inside.
Anywho, they had more aerial arts. They had two chicks dressed in American theme clothes. However form fitting and pretty hot doing their spinning and such. All this during Lenny Kravitz’s remake of “American Woman” It was really nice. After or before, I don’t recall they had a ripped dude do his thing. Walked on the other side, and a chick and dude was doing their thing on the cloth ropes. That was really interesting. I really cant describe it, if you ever get a chance to see aerial arts. Go and check it out, it’s really amazing.
While watching this, saw really cute chicks around. This Asian chick was pretty cute and Ben said she got a nose job. Cute though! Some waiter chicks came up with a something Martini, like an exotic margarita or something. I forget the name. I took a sip, i mean it was good but earlier after i came back inside, i wanted to get at an Apple Martini. Dude, it was sooo strong, i mean it was so strong that you could have lit up my breath from out of my nose! After downing that, i was soo buzzed. At this point i had i think 3 Pineapple and Malibu, 1 Apple Martini, and a little sip of that exotic Margarita or something.
Got some more sushi, which had a line now. More mingling, some LA Weekly people were there. Met them and such. After chatting up a storm with me being so buzzed, i had to slow it down a little. I really didn’t want to, but i had to drive home and come back the next day. Got another Pineapple Malibu, this i asked for two cherries. YUM!! Then headed back outside to chill out. Now it got a little more crowded. Found a seat right in front of the Buddha. I decided to rub the Buddha stomach for goodluck and stuck a dollar on the stomach and made a wish. I don’t even think i made a wish but it was stuck there. I got Ben to do it also. I don’t know much about what you are suppose to do. I just learn it around, i should know even though my grandmother is a hella believer.
There was this funny dude with like those tambourines you have on your hands. Like what a belly dancer has, but they make the clicking sound you do with your tongue in your mouth. Anywho, there was two girls that walked by and wanted to rub the belly. I was like yall gotta put a dollar up on that and make a wish. They didn’t want to do it, but they wanted to take a picture of me and Ben rubbing it. I was like sure, uhuh ok.
Heard some music coming from the inside. Went back in and the group VHS or Beta was performing. It was around 11, and i kinda enjoyed the music. It was pretty cool, a Depeche Mode sounding band. At this point, people were already leaving. I mean the sushi was getting packed up, good thing the bar wasn’t. We wanted to check out the outstairs, which was small but gave a really cool view of the dancefloor and stage. Then went back down. I ended up getting a water to make sure i sobered up to drive home. I really wanted a Hypnotic though, i still haven’t tried it out. I’m sure all you guys right now think i am some alcoholic. Trust me i am far from it. I barely stand beer and i only drink socially, but more socially if its in LA. That’s just what I do. You know how we do!!
No drinking and driving kids!!!

About Anh Nguyen

Anh Nguyen is a Los Angeles based freelance photographer. Over the past six years, he has covered various concerts, movie premieres, red carpets, parties, and events. A southern California native, Anh attended UCLA and holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and a minor in Accounting. In addition to photography, he is currently pursuing his license as a CPA and hopes to go law school. Adding to his many interests, Anh also loves to cook and has worked as a line cook for Food Network's celebrity chef Scott Conant's restaurant, Scarpetta, in Beverly Hills.