Pop Culture
Sep 11, 2009, 04:57AM

The New Country Club

Are designer gyms the next hub of pretentious living?

David barton gym.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Gyms are so unfabulous. You go there, you work out, bleh bleh bleh.

Nobody understands my disdain for gym life better than my gay-mother Victoria Beckham. I squealed when reading that The Grand Stiletto of the House of Ferosh once told a reporter: "I have joined a gym but I can't bring myself to start...What do you wear on the running machine? I can't bring myself to wear flat shoes." Ain't that right girl frrran!

How can you pay cash money to go to a place that reeks of feet, sweat and plastic? It's hard to be fabulous when you're stretched out on a treadmill. You're up there, sweating, hair matted to the head, pit stains showing, looking ugly under that unflattering gym light. Nothing looks hot in that rotisserie-chicken light. Think about that time you were out at the club and you met a super hot dood/broad on the pitch-black dance floor and you thought, OK, this chick/bro is pretty fly. But then you get to the fluorescent light by the coat check, see the bitch as they really are and then freak out, like this:

"Uhhh. Oh, sorry. I can't take you home tonight. I forgot I have to, um, fill up my Brita filter... Yeah."

Last week I strolled up into New York's newest, hottest gym-David Barton Gym at Astor Pl. You can't believe how sexy it is. "Look Better Naked." That's their slogan. And boy, will you ever! You walk in and there's this ultra dim light and a bouncer at the door, thumping techno/house/indietronika and it feels like you're at some exclusive WeHo A-List nightclub. No fluorescent light here, only cool yellows, purples, blues, and pinks-the better to accentuate your ass! The décor is totally ferosh, too: kooky, vintage furniture, paisley walls, elaborate staircases, huge designer mirrors, a locker room that smells like fabulous cologne, and a giant disco ball that is actually a DJ booth.

I have seen a good number of exclusive gyms-from the hoi polloi gym at the Yale Club of New York City to the Missouri Athletic Club. But this is a gym! It's sexy. And it's so New York, because only in New York can a gym also be a nightclub. Maybe I'll join-not to, like, work out or anything, because I couldn't possibly wear flat shoes. I'll join just to rehearse my couture poses against the paisley walls.

Truthfully, I've never understood people who go to the gym a lot. You catch them on the subway in their little gym outfits. The gym queens I know are all gay, and if you're a gay and don't have a 29-pack, You Will Not Get Laid.

I was totally that kid in high school. The one who was always the last to be picked for team sports. I put zero effort into kickball, football or any "ball" because I just didn't give a flying flop. I never understood why the other boys got so worked up and fought over the games. IT'S PRETEND! Of course, I'd overhear them laugh and call me "fag," so when they did I just waved at them from the benches, took my make-up kit out of my purse and put on a second coat of purple lipstick.

What David Barton Gym totally gets is that if you make something fabulous enough, people will happily shell out the dough and do whatever they need to do to be a part of it. The gym is so ferosh that I am ready to join, and I hate gyms!

The thing is, DBG is not just a gym: it's a perfect example of the modern country club. The modern country club isn't so much about old guard high society, cucumber sandwiches and tea and shit, as it is about house music, and the sex appeal of downtown sleek. In New York City, where there is already so much of everything, especially gyms, the lesson is: if it's fabulous, they will come.

  • Funny article, and I like taking in Moore's ongoing stories about being "fabulous." Not that I can relate, and I've never joined a gym, but what he describes is a completely different world.

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