September 4, 2019

Waiting for the Jonas Brothers And the 2000s downtown art and rock scene returns to the Bowery.

By Ben Widdicombe

The Jonas Brothers made a new record last Thursday night: for being fashionably late to one of their own events.

To be fair, the trio had a busy evening, performing at Madison Square Garden. Afterward, they were to appear at John Varvatos’sboutique on the Bowery, where Mr. Varvatos and the band’s most marketable member, Nick Jonas, were promoting a tequila called Villa One.

Their 11 p.m. arrival was pushed back again and again, until Thursday turned to Friday with only Gina Gershon and Michael Park, the actors, making lonely appearances on the red carpet.

Mr. Varvatos paced behind the press line, muttering his frustration. “Do we have an updated E.T.A.,” he asked an aide. “This is the never-ending story!”

Inside the store (the former home of the punk club CBGB), Swizz Beatz started and finished his set. Hanging around the hot room were various models including Winnie HarlowSlick Woods and Taylor Hill, as well as Jordan McGraw, the pop singer (and son of Dr. Phil), who opened the Jonas Brothers’ show.

The brothers finally appeared a little before 1 a.m. to an explosion of camera flashes. At 26, Nick Jonas is already 19 years into his show-business career, and was able to placate the antsy press corps with his practiced charm.

“Sorry to keep you waiting,” he said. “The holdup was meeting fans after the show.”

Amid bromides about the tequila, Mr. Jonas admitted that he and his brothers had played drinking games while filming “Chasing Happiness,” a recent documentary about the band’s rise, breakup and reunion. It helped them “answer really honest questions which were very uncomfortable,” he said.

“I wouldn’t suggest that every family do it, but it worked for us,” he added.

Kevin and Joe Jonas, his bandmate brothers, arrived shortly after. They were accompanied by Nick’s wife, Priyanka Chopra, and Joe’s wifeSophie Turner, regal actresses who moved as gracefully as queens across a chessboard — right around the back of the photographers, skipping the red carpet altogether.

The glamorous caravan took up spots on a V.I.P. riser inside the boutique but stayed for only 20 minutes. Perhaps they were running late to another event.

Directly across the street from the Varvatos store, a different kind of crowd gathered Tuesday night at the Hole gallery for an artists’ preview of “Meet Me in the Bathroom: The Art Show.”

Inspired by Lizzy Goodman’s 2017 oral history of the same nameabout the early 2000s New York rock scene, it was curated by Ms. Goodman and Hala Matar, a film director. The exhibition features over 100 works by downtown art favorites like Dash Snow and Ryan McGinley, as well as musicians including Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Highlights include large-scale photographs of vomiting party boys and naked rock chicks; a double pane of damaged bulletproof glass on sale for $200,000; and an ironic obituary for Macaulay Culkin, the actor (who’s not dead).

The show so drips with ’00s downtown cool, it may be triggering for anyone who tried and failed to get into bygone hot spots like Beatrice Inn.

Mark Ronson D.J.ed tracks by Blondie and the Strokes, as artists represented in the show, including Andre SaraivaNate LowmanJenna Gribbon and Hisham Bharoocha, mingled with musicians like Regina SpektorSammy James Jr., Adam Green, Blu DeTigerBrian Chase and Nick Zinner.

Ms. Goodman said the previous decade, with its disruptive technologies and post-9/11 anxiety, created a “world-is-on-fire kind of vibe for musicians and artists.” “It was a weird panic moment where a bunch of kids got to kick down the door and be like, ‘hey, let us in,’” she said.

Just then, Leo Fitzpatrick (the teenage star of Larry Clark’s cult 1995 film, “Kids,” and now a director of the Marlborough Chelsea gallery) appeared at the door, as if conjured by her words. Johan Lindeberg, the fashion designer and scenester, sauntered in. Even Arianna Huffington managed to stop by on her way to the United States Open in Queens.

“There was an energy of joyful misbehavior in the face of tragedy that pervaded that era,” Ms. Goodman said, as a smoke machine sputtered over the open bar. “New York is a very glossy, moneyed place right now. And this is about trying to reconnect with a sense of disorder that is productive and beautiful.”