“I came to New York in 1981 on Valentine’s Day for a love affair — and I fell in love with New York!” says Susanne Bartsch, the Swiss-born fashion icon and party hostess often hailed as the Queen of the Night. Her Bartschland Follies shows at the McKittrick Hotel start at around midnight on Fridays, so Bartsch, 66, tries to sleep in when she can. The longtime resident of the Chelsea Hotel, where she lives with Bailey, 23, her son with her husband, gym owner David Barton, tells BARBARA HOFFMAN where you’ll find her after she wakes up.
I love going to TMPL, my husband’s gym — and yes, I get free admission! They have a saltwater pool but I like working out with weights, I get really fast results. If I wear a revealing look, it’s an instant toner. Sometimes I spend two hours there, sometimes 20 minutes.
Then I go to flea markets. I really enjoy strolling and looking around, never knowing what [I’ll] find. The ones in Manhattan are disappearing, so lately I go to the Brooklyn Flea in Dumbo. I like mixing new and old, and I’m always looking for ’70s boots and anything that goes with my modern stuff.
On weekends I go wig shopping. There’s a place on Sixth Avenue, Kikko USA Imports, where there’s a wig I call “The Babe”: It has a lot of hair you can make [other] wigs out of. Sometimes I see a great bob and add to it. Generally, I go for dark hair, but depending on what work I do, I go blond, or cotton-candy pink.
I love Italian food, and I like to go eat at my friend Giuseppe Delpiano’s place in Gramercy, Novita. They have an amazing gazpacho with crabmeat and all their pastas are flawless. Giuseppe makes people feel so special — I always say he should be mayor of New York City. I always feel like I am at someone’s home rather than at a restaurant.
After a night out, the Standard Grill is great for a late snack. I love hanging out in the banquettes and eating one of my favorite foods — French fries! Sometimes I’ll have an omelet to go with it.
Clubbing isn’t the easiest thing to do anymore. I think it’s better in Brooklyn. There’s a club called Elsewhere in Bushwick that has concerts and parties, and the roof is opening there soon. I love dancing — it’s like meditation for me. It’s the one time people put away their cellphones and are in the moment, feeling and uniting to the beat. I live for it.
You’re only as old as who you sleep with. For now, since I’m not sleeping with anyone, I’m ageless!