If you’re still crushed over the demise of Billy’s Antiques & Props at the intersection of Houston and Bowery and you can’t get enough of the man who now auctions neglected luggage on the Travel Channel’s Baggage Battles, then you’re in luck: Billy Leroy, the one-time East Village fixture, returns to his old stomping grounds tonight via a party on Cleveland Place.
“If you look at the old spot [on Houston] it’s a rotting space now and there’s nothing there and it’s really depressing,” said the reality T.V. star about the home base of his defunct enterprise. “Everybody comes up to me and says, ‘Dude, why don’t you go back there, it’s so depressing to walk by,’ and I say, ‘Because I’m on T.V. now!’ But I brought a bunch off stuff that will be for sale tonight.”
The party, which is open to the public and runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., is in the future space of Henley‘s e-cigarette Vaporium, which will include a juice bar and café – essentially a lifestyle showspace for the “green” tobacco alternative brand, where you can go and puff on more than 90 of the company’s crazy flavors like maraschino cherry and banana nut bread.
Leroy, who is excitedly anticipating the premier of the third season of Baggage Battles on October 15, says his friend Suart Braunstein is “the idea man” at Henley’s and Billy uses the e-cigarettes to mitigate the impact he feels from sucking on his ubiquitous cigar while on set. “I’m the only one on T.V. that’s smoking. When we’re shooting I go through eight packs and feel like dying and I started using Henley’s behind the scenes,” Billy said. He also says they give him a reprieve from the grind that is being a star in front of the camera. “I never realized how hard it is to be on T.V.,” he told us. “Dealing with junkies and maniacs on the Bowery is like child’s play compared to T.V.”
Tonight at 23 Cleveland Place you can also catch the dark folk tunes of Billy’s wife Lorraine Leckie, who will collaborate with poet Anthony Haden Guest. The two recently put out an album called Rudely Interrupted. The E.V.’s very own Clayton Patterson is also slated to appear (after his screening at the B+B Newsroom tonight, of course) and you can peruse the genius of Amber Lasciak’s reclaimed furniture creations.