UPPER EAST SIDE — She deals in vinyl — and not the kind that covers a couch.
Sharon Saide, aka DJ HotFlash, started spinning records two years ago at age 55 to deal with empty nest syndrome after her daughter left for college — but has already parlayed her passion for music into successful gigs.
She has played at venues citywide — everywhere from former Lower East Side hot spot White Rabbit and Harlem's Moca Lounge to the Upper West Side's Jewish Community Center — and as far away as Boston.
Despite a lifelong passion for music, DJing was neither an expected nor easy path for the Upper East Side resident.
Saide, now 57, decided to take up the turntables as a way of staving off empty-nest depression.
"Basically, I raised a daughter and she went off to college. I had to think of how I was going to have my life without having somebody that I directly took care of every day," she said. "The day is different. The schedule is different. It was a lot of free time."
Saide — a proud former patron of Studio 54 who boasted "I did see Geraldo Rivera there ... once!" and that "the guys behind the bar had no shirt on!" — said the DJing idea came to her on the treadmill.
"I kept thinking: 'I love making tapes,'" she said. "I would play them in the gym at my building and people are like, 'This is really good!'"
Still, Saide never thought she could become a DJ.
"I didn't know that you could be a girl DJ," she said. "I went and I got my master's in human resources management. I did the whole corporate thing."
Though not without its challenges — including learning how to match beats and fade in and out — she pursued the craft despite her age.
"I could have a hot flash or I could just be a hot flash, you know?" Saide said, explaining the roots of her name and tagline, "the hot flash you'll be happy to have."
To that end, Saide put in extra hours on Sundays during Dubspot's open lab — a move that initially gave her pause.
"I was with, like, 20-year-old boys and I was the only girl," she said. "I was like, 'I could have been your mother. Hmm, you don't have patience for me because I'm old. Think of your mother and be kind!'"
But her fears wound up being unfounded.
"They looked at me like, 'What?'" she recalled. "But they were very nice."
Over time, Saide's style came to combine disco favorites, dance classics and modern pop.
"I'll do Marvin Gaye with Robin Thicke. I'll play Donna Summer and I'll play Pitbull. You can play Mick Jagger and you can still play 'Moves Like Jagger,'" she said. "You wouldn't think they go together, but interestingly enough they do."
After a full year of weekly two-hour lessons, Saide made her debut with a 45-minute set at White Rabbit, a onetime Lower East Side watering hole.
"I felt butterflies because I knew how important this was for her," said her daughter, Heather Saide, 24, who attended the performance with some 20 others.
As Saide continued her performance — a blend of funk, disco and top-40 hits mixed amid pulses of blue, red and green lights — she seemed increasingly at ease, Heather said.
If anything, Saide looked at home with the neighborhood's hipster set — sporting leggings, an off-the-shoulder gray sweater, and "cool black-and-gold headphones," Heather said.
"If you didn't know her, you wouldn't know she was nervous," Heather said. "It almost came naturally to her."
But Saide isn't just known for the tracks she lays down. Her friends and family describe her as an inspiration.
Laurie Silver, who befriended Saide on both of their daughters' first day of elementary school, said that most of their friends didn't know how to handle life without child-rearing.
"Everybody was very distraught about the empty nest and sad that their kids were leaving," said Silver, an Upper West Side resident. "Some people went to the gym and got very fit, some people over-ate."
But not Saide.
"Sharon one day said that she was going to become a DJ. I was like, 'run that by me again?'" Silver remembered, adding she herself didn't have the energy to learn a new trade. "I thought she was nuts."
Silver has since seen Saide perform several times.
"Here she was in boots and a leather jacket — very hip and very cool," she said. "I hadn't heard of anybody else who was DJing who was that age. It's utterly exciting."
Heather was also impressed by her mom's tenacity.
"She thought that she wasn't too old to follow her dreams," she said, recalling that her first childhood memory of her mother was a discussion of The Beatles.
Saide's success has even spurred a bit of mother-daughter competitiveness.
"My friends call me 'grandma' because I work really late hours and I don't go out that much. Then I tell them my mom is a DJ," Heather said. "When I first tell them, they think that's the coolest thing ever, and then they make fun of me."