By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
By New Times
I'm perched on a stool at The Merc Bar, a bucket of vodka-Red Bull before me, with the superstylin' sounds of Britain's Groove Armada pulsing through the stereo, and -- if I get any more relaxed -- Mary-Kate Olsen's bony butt could knock me over by bumping into me.
Jett's seated next to me, sipping an Absolut Mandarin on the rocks, scoping all the eye candy on display at this suave, P-town lounge, where the hip and the beautiful congregate, conversate and hook up. It's a meat market, but one that peddles only filet mignon. Ya smell me?
Drop-dead dime pieces in backless black dresses nurse pink martinis, while GQ-gorgeous guys enjoy their Belvedere vodkas straight-up. Everything is dimly lighted and swank, with low chairs, couches and ottomans where clusters of Coolios kick it.
The name ain't for the Mercedes of the dude who owns the joint. It's short for Mercer Street in Manhattan, site of the first Merc Bar, of which the PHX version is a spin-off. Gives that phrase "the jerk in The Merc" a whole new meaning.
I'm requesting another round for myself and the L-word Kimora Lee Simmons when two supermodel types saddle up beside us and order French martinis, frou-frou concoctions of Ketel One, Chambord and pineapple juice. Like the song, these gals are ebony and ivory, and each thin enough to give their boyfriends paper cuts. The ebony one has laryngitis and so declines an interview. But the ivory lass, she of the dark, hennaed hair, is up for a little confabulation. Her name's Andrea Gregg, big sis of Monika Gregg, executive editor of Switch magazine.
"I turn 27 on Tuesday," explains the looker, dressed in a slinky purple number that leaves her pale shoulders bare. "This is sort of a pre-celebration."
"Do you have to work on your birthday?" I wonder, thinking that would explain a pre-b-day outing.
"Oh, noooo," she answers, somewhat amused. "I don't work."
"How do you swing that? You're not one of the Hiltons, are you?"
"Unfortunately, no. My family's not really prominent. I'm more the prominent one, though no one knows who I am. What I do for a living is live!" she says with an aristocratic toss of her mane. "I travel. I've been traveling for four years now. Hawaii, Alaska, Europe. This year I'm going back to Europe. I'll be living in Amsterdam for five years, and then Germany for life."
"Germany for life? Sounds like a pretty harsh sentence," I kid. "Amsterdam, though, is another matter. That's where you get the good ganja, and it's all legit."
"I don't like staying in one place for too long, but Germany is my favorite place," she says, oblivious to my ganja reference. "It's also my heritage, as I'm half-German, half-Irish."
"I must admit, they've got great sausages, the Krauts. And beer."
Countess Gregg chuckles, "Depends on what kind of sausages you're talking about."
"Are German men hung like NBA stars?"
"They are, actually," smiles the Countess, slyly. "Not that I discriminate."
"But they tend to be allergic to soap, eh? They like that natural scent."
The Countess was ready to object when she of the lipsticker tendencies elbowed me in my flabby side. "Check out the babe-a-licious one I'm rapping with," she whispers. "She's married, but at least we get to look."
Of course, Jett's gravitated to the most gorgeous piece of eye candy in the place, Farah Quinn, 24, who's from Indonesia, and has short, black hair and caramel-colored skin. Cute and curvaceous, she's wearing a long, slit skirt and matching FCUK purse and top. Come to find out, she's newly married to Carson Quinn, The Merc Bar's assistant manager, and one of the mightiest Sir Mix-a-Lots in the drink-slingin' game. Certainly one of the most attractive, as the tall, blonde Quinn resembles a better-looking Colin Wilson. As we're chatting up his woman, he slides up next to her.
"Thank you, but we're only married a year and a half," she says in her exotic Indonesian lilt. "I would like one of each, boy and girl."
"How did you two meet?" asks the J-grrl.
"Farah came in the bar and was asking for another bartender," says chick-magnet Carson, who's dressed like that dood Farnsworth Bentley from the OutKast videos, in a long-sleeve pink shirt, pink belt and striped gray dress pants. "When I saw her, I was instantly smitten. It was like she had lights shooting out from her hair. I knew she was the one."
"You're a lucky fella," says Jett.
"And a nervous fella. Her parents are coming to visit from Indonesia. They're Muslim, and I'm a bartender!"
"And not just any bartender," Jett tells me, as she knows the couple from previous outings. "He's actually invented drinks. Like the South Beach martini, and the Carson City martini."
"You are so busted," I tell him. "Allah's gonna kick your ass."
"Hey, don't rub it in," he says sheepishly. "I feel bad enough as it is."