Vintage New York trendsetters and scenemakers: Dandy Wellington

Harlem native Dandy Wellington embraces the spirit of vintage New York at Jazz Age–inspired events around town.
 (Photograph: Noffar Gat)
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Photograph: Noffar GatVintage New York trendsetters and scenemakers: Dandy Wellington
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Photograph: Noffar GatVintage New York trendsetters and scenemakers: Dandy Wellington
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Photograph: Noffar GatVintage New York trendsetters and scenemakers: Dandy Wellington
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Photograph: Noffar GatVintage New York trendsetters and scenemakers: Dandy Wellington
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Photograph: Noffar GatVintage New York trendsetters and scenemakers: Dandy Wellington
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Photograph: Noffar GatVintage New York trendsetters and scenemakers: Dandy Wellington
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Photograph: Noffar GatVintage New York trendsetters and scenemakers: Dandy Wellington
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Photograph: Noffar GatVintage New York trendsetters and scenemakers: Dandy Wellington
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Photograph: Noffar GatVintage New York trendsetters and scenemakers: Dandy Wellington
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This dapper gent can be found at vintage New York events around the city, including burlesque shows, and throwback parties thrown by Wit’s End and Dances of Vice. Wherever you find him, you can be assured that he’ll be stylish and witty—in short, a true dandy.

RECOMMENDED: All vintage New York coverage

Dandy Wellington, 28, Harlem; producer, performer and stylist (dandywellington.com)

How did you get involved with retro party planners in NYC?
I’ve been performing all my life; I did theater for years. I started producing events and nights in the New York City club scene, then I was introduced to the vintage scene by my friend Gin Minsky and eventually started producing events there.

Who or what inspires you?
New York has always been an inspiration to me. I grew up in Harlem, in a brownstone that was filled with art and books about the history of not just African-Americans in this country, but great people in general. I watched Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Cab Calloway and Sammy Davis Jr., and listened to Fats Waller and Teddy Wilson. I’m an only child, but they’re my brothers and sisters. It’s nice to visit with them every day, and pay homage to them in the best ways that I can. [In performances] I use a lot of songs about Harlem, that are written by people who lived and worked in Harlem. That’s really important to me.

Where do you like to drink and shop?
I tend to do what I call “the circuit.” I start or end at the Smith (55 Third Ave between 10th and 11th Sts, thesmithnyc.com) and have a drink and hang out. I go to Ladies and Gentlemen (338 E 11th St between First and Second Aves; 212-673-3904, ladiesandgentlemennyc.com). I get lots of hats at Fabulous Fanny’s (335 E 9th St between First and Second Aves; 212-533-0637). Most of my cufflinks, tie bars, collar bars and other jewelry was acquired at Archangel Antiques (334 E 9th St between First and Second Aves; 212-260-9313, archangelantiques.com), Cobblestones (314 E 9th St between First and Second Aves), a lot of vintage places and some consignment places. The red jacket I wore in the shoot is custom-made by Against Nature (159 Chrystie St between Delancey and Rivington Sts; 212-228-4552, againstnaturenyc.com).

What have been some of your favorite events that you’ve worked on?
I just recently started Tuesday Night Social at Hotel Chantelle (92 Ludlow St between Broome and Delancey Sts; 212-254-9100, hotelchantelle.com; Tue 8pm–midnight). It’s an old-time social, with really quality food and entertainment. A social for me is any gathering of people, but what makes this unique is that people enjoy dressing up. A bunch of producers—Gin Minksy of the Minsky Sisters, Jezebel Express, Gelber and Manning—and I had been working on the Champagne Riot, a stage show that’s really based on the talent. Right now we’re on hiatus, but it’s been such a dream to work with these producers. We had some of the greatest burlesque, vaudeville and sideshow performers ever.

What are your favorite venues in NYC?
The venues that I work at are the venues that I frequent, including Macao Trading Co. (311 Church St between Lispenard and Walker Sts; 212-431-8750, macaonyc.com), Duane Park (308 Bowery between Bleecker and E Houston Sts; 212-732-5555, duaneparknyc.com) and Ella Lounge (9 Ave A between E 1st and 2nd Sts, ellalounge.com).

What defines retro to you?
It is a very old scene. It’s about class, elegance and people taking the time and care to present themselves properly; I think people are drawn to that, besides the music and fashion. I’m really in love with the jazz era and the people.

Next up: “Twilight in Harlem” at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th St; 212-864-5400, symphonyspace.org). Sat 11 at 11am; free. • First Annual Boater Ball at Duane Park (308 Bowery between Bleecker and E Houston Sts; 212-732-5555, duaneparknyc.com). Wed 15 at 7:30pm; free with dinner reservation.

Restaurants, Japanese

Gaijin

icon-location-pin Astoria

Known to many as the most diverse neighborhood in New York City, Astoria is home to plenty top notch restaurants. Hidden between two unassuming buildings, Gaijin sits comfortably as if without any competition within a five-mile radius. Gaijin, meaning “outside person” in Japanese, is run by a friendly staff with the main directive in giving their diners an experience rather than settling like other restaurants who often become underwhelming stop-and-go sushi spots. The name Gaijin symbolizes Chef Mark Garcia’s modern take on traditional Japanese dishes. Chef Mark has worked on creating a diverse and innovative menu that can appeal to both pescetarianism and veganism. Menu aside, Gaijin offers a retro-modern Japanese locale that takes you to neo-Tokyo and beyond. White walls are adorned with soft lights while small square tables offer first-date intimacy. The main focal point is the sushi bar that sits right at the entrance. Eight stools adorn a glass wall with a marble table that separates the sushi chef and yourself. Across the wall, wooden boxes hold colorful indistinguishable sushi. Each sushi chef wears typical white aprons and holds an attentive stare. Let’s get to the sushi part because we know this what you came here for. What sets Gaijin apart is its omakase. Known to many as a revolving door of what the current chef has on hand, omakase means “I’ll leave it up to you”. The chef has total control of your flavor experience for the night. Gaijin has three omakase optio

Venue says A Japanese Inspired restaurant offering a special three tier omakase tasting menu at $100, $130 & $160. Book your reservation today!

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