The words “nightlife impresario” and “turtle conservationist” rarely grace the same resume, but Eric Goode — the hotelier and beautiful genius behind New York boîtes such as the Bowery Hotel, the Jane, and Lafayette House — is an exception to the rule. In the 1980s, Goode elevated the nightclub into a hybrid art form when he opened Area, a scenester haunt located in a vacated Tribeca factory, but his love of all things testudinal predates his nightlife acumen.
Goode has harbored a passion for turtles and tortoises since he was given a petite Hermann’s tortoise as a 6-year-old. With two-thirds of the world's turtles and tortoises threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, poaching, and illicit trafficking, a boyhood obsession became an ethical calling. In 2005, he established the Turtle Conservancy, and converted his southern California property into a sanctuary for his “hard-shelled friends.” Goode also travels the world tracking endangered species with transmitters — a recent 60 Minutes clip shows Goode in action.
On February 5th, Goode will throw the first annual Turtle Ball at the Bowery Ballroom to raise money and awareness for the over-poached and oft-overlooked reptiles. The event will be hosted by Sandra Bernhard, and will include a silent auction featuring artworks by the likes of John James Audubon, Jean Michel Basquiat, Ross Bleckner, Nan Goldin, Joseph Kosuth, Richard Prince, Terry Richardson, Walter Robinson, Tom Sachs, and William Wegman, among others. All of the works can be viewed and bid on now at Paddle8.