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Skin and Swimmers Open Fitness Club

March 26, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

Equinox Fitness Club opening event Equinox Fitness Club, Greenwich St. Wednesday, 03.20.02, 7 PM onward
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“We call it 'Chic-quinox'” said Celia Chen, who, along with event maestro Lyman Carter of Plug (he co-produced the big Prada blowout last December) organized a splashy opening party for the new Equinox Fitness Club, complete with swimsuit-clad caterwaiters and three different DJs. To mark the official opening of the West Village club (it had a soft launch in December), the five-story building was lit with a kaleidoscope of bright lights visible from the street.

Inside, Carter chose a retro, old Hollywood theme for the lap pool area in the basement, where buff-bod caterwaiters attired in swimshorts and waitresses in bikinis with fringed wrap skirts and heels (all from Urban Staffing) served drinks to guests who relaxed on the poolside lounge furniture. The pool room was lit with cool, mint-green lights from Bernhard Link Theatrical, providing a refreshing, laid-back atmosphere.

For entertainment, a troupe of four synchronized swimmers from Waterworks--dressed in snazzy, skirted black swimsuits, tights and black heels-performed short routines for the small group gathered poolside. (The pool is only four feet deep, so nothing spectacularly acrobatic could be done). And when Waterworks wasn't performing, DJ Ursula 1000 spun an excellent mix of fun lounge music.

Upstairs on the second floor--the ground floor houses the locker rooms--guests mingled among among the cardio equipment and weight machines while a large projection screen and the gym's TV monitors showed arty fitness-themed videos by three video artists curated by A Kinetic Corporation. Members of the Rock Steady Crew gave spontaneous breakdance performances in front of the screen, and DJ Kiara and DJ Sky Nellor rotated spinning duties for the second floor, which had a more modern, clubby atmosphere with a bright, multicolored lighting scheme.

The event drew a large, attractive crowd of about 700 people ranging from their 20s to 40s, who checked out the facilities and downed energy drinks mixed with vodka. Just don't call the place a gym: One Equinox publicist told us, “It's more than just a gym. It's a lifestyle club.” But we're sure the folks willing to plunk down $1,800 a year to join can call it whatever they like.

--Suzanne Ito

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