Friday, June 27, 2008

PrideFest, Shanghai Mermaid and Beer Gardens

The New York Nights Club Report for June 27, 2008


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pride Week: A View from the Outside…

…or Why I Can’t Be a Lesbian

By Gamal Hennessy

I’m not a lesbian. I spent time among lesbians, in their bars and at their parties. I submitted an application and studied for the entrance exam. I had good recommendations from respected and accomplished lesbians. I loved women and I was eager to learn more. I didn’t know it at the time, but I even
shared the same brain structure with lesbians.

Even with all this going for me…I failed.

Some would assume I was rejected based on anatomy. I actually think I just couldn’t handle the social pressure.

Some would assume I was rejected based on anatomy. I actually think I just couldn’t handle the social pressure.

There are internal pressures in the lesbian community that I refer to as the “small town” effect. It’s like dating someone in your office, or dating someone in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. The only difference here is that you really can’t quit your job or move out of this town.

Let me clarify; there are only so many lesbians and only so many places lesbians go to meet other lesbians. The community isn’t large, even in a city as big as New York. So if you’re a lesbian, almost every girl you meet already has a connection to you, even if you have never heard of them. They’re already friends, enemies, current lovers or ex-lovers of one your friends, enemies or current lovers or ex-lovers. There is no clean slate. You can’t separate her from her social situation. When you meet her, you have to quickly try and figure out where she fits in the fluid and Byzantine arrangement of women.

If you hook up or date, you might start to share friends and enemies, which can be disconcerting if former friends are no longer welcomed or former enemies are now OK. If and when you break up, the whole structure shifts. New barriers go up, former friendships are strained and who is going to show up at what party now becomes a source of stress as everyone tries to adjust to changing circumstances. Multiply this several hundred times and my little brain can’t handle all the permutations.

Before I submitted my application, I took for granted my ability to date someone who had no connection to me. I could project whatever persona would appeal to her without my past indiscretions getting back to her from someone else. When we broke up, my circle of friends was intact. That doesn’t work here.

Now you can see why I’m not a lesbian. I’m just not smart enough.

Keep in mind I’m not even including the external social pressures on lesbians or the normal issues of education, money, religion, family upbringing and social standing that make any long term relationship difficult. It is a wonder that anyone lasts for any amount of time in this system. This situation might be similar with gay men and bisexuals, but I don’t have any first hand observation of this.

I have witnessed ways around the small town effect, although they are not universally effective. She can find someone hundreds of miles away from where she lives. This will remove her from the network and allow for a relationship to grow without the pressure I just described. The only problem here is the pressure of a long distance relationship replaces the small town effect. She can go online, but the online and offline worlds overlap. The small town effect might just invade her laptop so she can’t escape even if she stays home.

There are girls who make this work and are enjoying the lesbian dating scene in spite of the pressure that we put on them and that they put on themselves. I applaud them for being able to do it. I know I’m just not qualified.

Happy Pride Week


Friday, June 20, 2008

Clover Club, Lotus and the Best Dance Clubs

The New York Nights Club Report for 6.20.08

New York Magazine
The Meatpacking District loses one of its staples.

The Clover Club
The creators of the Flatiron Lounge bring Old World drinking back to Brooklyn

Best New Dance Clubs
Sharon Feiereisen offers a list of new spots to get your dance on…

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NYN Insider. It's free.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Summer Solstice: The Party with a Purpose

Interview by Gamal Hennessy

Not every club night is an excuse to lose your mind on the dance floor and get hammered for no good reason. Sometimes, there is a very good reason.

This June 21st, will give you a good reason to party. The longest day of the year is going to set the stage for the
Summer Solstice Party, a nine hour benefit for muscle disease research. DJ Haze, the organizer of the event took some time to speak with New York Nights about the party and his connection to it.

NYN: First, tell us about your music and how you became a New York DJ.

DJ Haze: In college I was in a ska & reggae band and when we all graduated we went our separate ways – I didn’t have the time during my 1st job out of school to go to rehearsals and gigs so I started producing music on the computer where I could be the entire band and on my own time. From there I started finding other producers who were making compelling house music and naturally progressed to spinning my own tracks along with the stuff I was discovering. After a while I realized that the other producers were much better than I was and that I was much better at blending records. That was when I made the switch over to DJ.

NYN: What is your connection to the Keith B. Hayes Foundation for Muscle Disease Research and what is your connection to Keith?
DJ Haze: My brother Keith passed away last september at the age of 20 as a result of an undiagnosed neuro-muscular disease in the family of diseases known as Myopathy. In order to carry on Keith’s legacy of giving my family and I founded the charity in his memory in the hopes that one day people with similar ailments and disabilities can be treated.

NYN: What can people expect at the Summer Solstice Party in terms of music, activities and atmosphere?
DJ Haze: The fundraiser is a loft party in a really cool penthouse space with 2 roofdecks and will feature an open bar sponsored by Right Gin and Kubler Absinthe. So there will certainly be a festive vibe. The music will range from hip hop and funky in the early evening and during this time there will also be a silent auction. After midnight, the music will turn to deep and electrohouse and will definitely be dancing.

NYN: How will the donated money be used?
DJ Haze: Donations from the event will be used for 3 immediate goals: first it will help fund an academic scholarship for a deserving disabled student at Ramapo College in NJ (where Keith was attending). Secondly it will provide support for families and young people with muscle disease and similar disabilities in their lives such as the donation of wheel chairs, psychological support, and social awareness. Most importantly, the money will be added to the fund to provide medical grants for doctors and scientists who are researching muscle diseases. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation and therefore all gifts are tax-deductible under the extent of the law.

NYN: What else do you have planned for the Foundation after Summer Solstice? Will this be an annual event?
DJ Haze: The solstice has always been a day of importance to people throughout the ages from ancient egypt to the builders of stonehenge to the Inca, Maya and Aztec. Keeping with this theme we are planning a winter solstice party benefit to celebrate the longest night of the year – and hopefully these solstice parties will become annual events that draw bigger and more diverse crowds.

And if you want to find out more about what's going on in New York nightlife, sign up for NYN Insider. It's free.

Editors Note: New York Nights is indirectly involved in Summer Solstice because I’m one of the featured DJ’s for the night.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Can We Keep Clubs Open? A NYN Special Report

By Gamal Hennessy

Behind the scenes of New York’s constant nightlife party there is a struggle for control. The outcome of this conflict will dictate where and how you enjoy New York bars and clubs. A few weeks ago, we published Last Call to explain this situation from the point of view of the bars and clubs. This article will bring other influential groups into the debate. While NYN maintains its position as an advocate for nightlife, we feel our readers need to understanding the perspective of the other players involved will make all of us better informed about the issue.


Can We Keep Clubs Open? Part II

By Gamal Hennessy

This is the second part of our Special Report on Community Boards and New York Nightlife.


Can We Keep Clubs Open? Part III

By Gamal Hennessy

On Tuesday and Wednesday we started looking at the discord between New York nightlife, local community boards and the role that the State Liquor Authority plays between them. Today we’re going to try and provide some editorial context for all of this and a suggestion for what should happen next…