For the past 30 years, Susanne Bartsch has been a fixture in New York night life, creating and producing costumed, fashion-forward, iconic happenings all over the city. Born in Switzerland, she moved to London at 17 and promptly fell in love with a British boy who was headed to New York. “My heart runs my life. I followed him here in 1981 on Valentine’s Day,” she said. The pair broke up soon after, but he left her his apartment at the Chelsea Hotel. Rather than move, Ms. Bartsch expanded. One apartment became two, then four. “One of the apartments belonged to Janis Joplin,” said Ms. Bartsch, who refused to give her age. “I’m only as old as the person I’m sleeping with, which is 41.” Her latest endeavor is “Bartschland Follies,” a cabaret/burlesque variety show at the McKittrick Hotel. Come March, Follies will celebrate its one-year anniversary. Ms. Bartsch lives with her son, Bailey, 24.
SHADES Sunday is my one day to sleep in, so I get up late, around 11:30 a.m. I’m a night owl. I was born close to midnight, maybe that has something to do with it. My bedroom is really dark, so I put on sunglasses and start my day. I’m the sunglass queen.
COFFEE WITH HER MILK I make instant organic coffee, it’s called Mountain something. I add lots of milk because I don’t like coffee. I like the idea of it. I’m Swiss so we don’t do big breakfasts I’ll have bread and jam, maybe boiled eggs. I never feel hungry. It’s already late so I’d rather get out.
ALONE TOGETHER Sometimes I see my son. He has his own self-contained apartment. If I want to see him I have to look for him.
TO THE MARKETS I’m out the door by 2. I don’t shower, I just put on jeans or a casual dress and bootees and go to a flea market. I like the one in Dumbo or the Brooklyn Flea, and the one on east 39th Street in Manhattan. I also like pop-ups where underground designers sell their stuff.
SOUPS AND SANDWICHES I go Whole Foods and pick up ingredients to make homemade chili. While I’m there I buy soup. I like their clam chowder and their potato leak. Sometimes I go to Foragers to get a mozzarella and tomato sandwich or their Brie and turkey. Their food is really fresh and homemade.
CHOP CHOP Back home I start to cook. I cut the onions, garlic, and tomatoes for the chili. I make it for my son and I. We’ll eat it during the week.
BODY AWARENESS Around 6 I go to TMPL, it’s the gym my husband, David Barton, recently built. It opened a few months ago. Before that I went to one across the street from the hotel. I wear jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers. I do free weights and use the machines for the next hour. Lifting weights has fast results and is good for building calcium.
SPOUSAL MATTERS I meet David for 30 minutes. We’re still married, but we don’t live together. He lives a block away. We catch up and talk about our son.
STYLING SESSIONS For the next hour I go through my clothing. I’ve turned the bathrooms into closets. I put on wigs and pick out what I’m going to wear to my upcoming events and performances. Sometimes I have a makeup or hair stylist come for trials. This month I have a photo shoot for Korean Vogue and King Kong Magazine, which highlights groundbreaking artists and designers. I’m also producing several events, including “Play Now,” a monthly dance party at 3 Dollar Bill, and “On Top,” a dance party every Tuesday at Le Bain. I love clothing. It’s a way to express and transform. Recently for “Follies” I was in a high-tech fetish look: tri-stacked “Barbarella” hair, latex bodysuit with mesh peek-a-boo panels and black leather jousting boots.
COCKTAIL HOUR Around 8 I’ll meet a friend for a drink, somewhere in the neighborhood. I like Blue Ribbon, the Standard Grill, and Souen. Sometimes I go the McKittrick to interview new talent. There’s a ring-tossing guy we might use.
POWER DOWN By 11:30 I’m back home. I don’t like to have late nights on Sunday. Then I putter around for a few hours. It’s the quietest time of the day for me, so I’m able to get on the computer and return emails or answer an interviewer’s questions. Then I post on Instagram. I know you’re supposed to do it at a certainly time during the day, but I can never remember when that is. Then I take a bath with Epsom salt. Before I know it, it’s 2 a.m. I try not to stress that it’s so late, because I have to get up at 9.