Jared Needle and Marco Ovando Put Their Own Spin on The Park’s Party Legacy—Even Without That Seductively Skeezy Hot Tub
(Michael Magnan at The Park)
The thing about Jared Needle and Marco Ovando’s new Thursday night party upstairs at The Park is that you can’t be scared off by how empty the rest of the space is. We’ll admit, we felt a dubious sinking in our stomach as we made our way through the front bar and atrium. There wasn’t a soul downstairs except for one decent sized group at the bar that looked like they all might be Korean frat boys.
But upstairs—in the Penthouse, where gay boys used to hop into the hot tub on Sunday nights with Jonny McGovern—was a different story. DJ Michael Magnan pumped out the jams from the DJ booth, which still boasts a glowing fish tank and an impressive view of the room. Needle and Ovando cruised the room, hob nobbing with their guests. The crowd was the sort you might expect at Griffin on Sundays: scruffy party boys in droopy tanks thanks to Spring’s early arrival. (In fact, we even ran into Griffin promoter Brian Rafferty.) This latest soiree at The Park even got a shout out from über promoter Josh Wood last week, so Ovando and Needle must be doing something right.
Being at the park also brought back a ton of fond memories—most of which we thought were lost forever in a haze of Stoli O. There was JonJon Battles and Jonny McGovern’s The Rambles on Sunday nights; the time we tried to chat up Tommy Hottpants just before he jumped into that hot tub on the roof with a bunch of go-go boys; the “bear soup” that same hot tub used to become at Robert Valin’s Truck Stop parties. (Ok, so maybe some of those memories are fonder than others.) Now Ovando and Needle are ready to put their mark on the venue. We can only imagine what kind of bleary recollections we’ll have of this incarnation of The Park.