Monday, December 27, 2010

The Nightlife News 2010 End of the Year Wrap-up



Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Prince of the City
2010 Venue of Year
The New York Nights 2010 Venue of the Year Award goes to...

Business

New Year's Eve
The Dept. of Labor ambushes New York nightlife by changing the payroll laws with almost no warning.

Culture
Don Hill’s
New York Press looks at the impact of the reincarnated Don Hill's.

Gary Seider
Gothamist talks to the co-owner of the bar New York Magazine calls the Best Cocktail Bar of 2010

Lesbian Nightlife
Velvet Park offers a lesbian guide to New York nightlife.

Closing
Chi Chiz
The West Village gay bar is being closed by the State Liquor Authority in the next few weeks.

Stone Crow
The Village Bar becomes the latest bar to fall victim to higher rents. It will close on January 1st.

Max Fish
The classic LES venue will close it's doors in January.

Review
District 36
The New York Times offers a quick and dirty review of the newest mega dance club.

New York Nights
Seize the Night
If you are still looking for gift ideas, check out Seize the Night. All the cool kids are reading it.


Happy New Year.

Gamal

Monday, December 13, 2010

Culture Club, Lavo, Strip Clubs and Vintage West



The Nightlife News for December 14, 2010
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy


Events
The Barbados Food and Wine Festival
A Barbados Food and Wine Festival Special Report on Rum the Caribbean Treasure.

Christmas
Seize the Night is the perfect gift for the nightlife native in your life. Get it now in print and Kindle editions.

New Year’s Eve
Find Your NYE Party
JP Events has over 50 events for you to ring in 2011.

Crime
Jennifer Garza
In 2008, Jennifer Garza vanished after leaving Marquee. This week the prime suspect was indicted for murder.

Politics
The State Liquor Authority
The Chairman of the New York State Liquor Authority testifies about improvements in his agency in 2010.

Social Media
New York Nights is moving from its Facebook Group to its own Facebook page. Click "Like" on the page to join.

Venues
Cooper Square
The owners of the Soho and Tribeca Grand plan to take over the Cooper Square Hotel and its New York nightlife venues.

Culture Club
The operators of the old Culture Club are planning to reopen the venue in Midtown.

Lavo
Fast Company breaks down some of the thing that make Tao and Lavo successful in both NYC and Las Vegas.

Pop Up Strip Clubs
New York has pop up store and pop up parties. According to Urban Daddy, now it also has pop up strip clubs.

Vintage West
The West Village venue formerly known as Luke and Leroy and Le Royale is now reopened as Vintage West.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rum: A Caribbean Treasure Offers the Perfect Punch


A Barbados Food and Wine Festival Special Report

By Gamal Hennessy

Along with vodka, gin, whiskey and tequila, rum is a staple of every bar well. Although it is normally thought of as the base of many summer drinks, it has a variety and depth that is similar to spirits favored by connoisseurs.

Rum is a by-product of sugar cane, which explains its distinctive sweet taste. It was discovered by African slaves, who fermented the molasses produced from sugar cane into a beverage that helped them cope with the harsh conditions they faced. Rum production originated in Barbados, but it quickly spread throughout the British Empire and subsequently, the rest of the world.

Because it comes from the Caribbean and partially because of its sweet characteristics, rum is associated with warm weather drinks. Roof top bars all over the city have free flowing rum punch, mojitos and coladas when the sun is out. Although not as common on winter menus, rum is also the basis of winter drinks such as hot buttered rum. Several cocktails lounges like Painkiller, Hurricane Club and Lana Kai feature rum prominently in their menus while venues like Cienfuegos devote most of their cocktail menu to it.

Rum is similar to tequila, whiskey and vodka in that there are different vintages and varieties based on the preparation process, place of origin and aging. Bacardi, Captain Morgan and Malibu are most well known brands in the U.S., but in Barbados Mount Gay is the main local brand. It was also the subject of one of the seminars in this year’s Barbados Food and Wine Festival. On a perfectly sunny Caribbean afternoon, wine and cocktail expert Anthony Giglio provided descriptions and samples of various Mount Gay vintages and offered cocktail mixing techniques from some of New York’s well known speakeasies in an open air restaurant overlooking the ocean.

Before we arrived, I assumed the “class” was just an excuse for vacationing foodies to sip cocktails in the sun, but these drinkers did not take their rum lightly. The level of technical input from the crowd often seemed just as high as the information offered by the speaker. You know people are serious about their cocktails when they start debating the rate of ice melt in a shaker, the virtue of fresh limes, the proper formula for simple syrup and the ratio of lime juice to water in a mojito. These were clearly professional drinkers and I was in good company. I’m sure the several glasses of premium rum we shared also helped to enhance the experience.

Vodka and tequila are the current spirits of the moment in nightlife. Whiskey and wine are the realm of the aficionado and the enthusiast. But if you have a sweet tooth and you want to go in an unusual direction, try a few rum drinks for a change of pace. You might find yourself as a regular in Painkiller and hoarding fresh limes in your house.

Have fun.
Gamal

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sunburnt Calf, International Nightlife and Binge Drinking


Nightlife News for December 1, 2010
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Events
New Year’s Eve
Is New Year's Eve the worst night to experience New York nightlife? Eater offers its opinion.

The Nightlife Holiday Season
Here are a few tips on drinking, health, money and safety during this year’s nightlife holiday marathon.

Business
Sunburnt Calf
The Sunburnt Calf now offers 'Pour Your Own Keg' service. This may not end well for some nightlife amateurs.

Culture
Binge Drinking
New study shows 50% of New Yorkers don't drink but the ones that do drink are probably binge drinkers.

Politics
The NYC Department of Health launches new ad campaign to reduce binge drinking
over the holidays. Amateurs take note.

Prince of the City
Has America Watered Down International Nightlife?

Holiday Gift Offer
Seize the Night is the perfect gift for the nightlife native in your life. Get it now in print and Kindle editions.


Nightlife New York Television Teaser
A new show about nightlife culture is coming in 2011. The trailer is ready now. Take a look...


Have fun.
Gamal

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

District 36, Holiday Party Survival Guides and the Politics of Drinking


Nightlife News for November 23, 2010
Complied by Gamal Hennessy

Culture
Music
See the 10 best live music venues of the 21st century according to Flavor wire (Two of them are in New York City)

Politics
Drinking
If Four Loko is wrong, then why is Red Bull and vodka ok? Is it a class issue or ignorace among our politicians?

Prince of the City
Surviving the Nightlife Holiday Marathon
Here are a few tips on drinking, health, money and safety during this year’s nightlife holiday marathon.

New Venues
District 36
We’ve been talking about Midtown becoming an epicenter of New York nightlife all year. Now a new dance club opens just in time for the holidays.


Have fun.
Gamal

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Surviving the Nightlife Holiday Marathon



By Gamal Hennessy


For the nightlife native, going out several nights a week is a normal part of urban living. We hit several venues a week in the same way other people hit Starbucks every day. It’s not something that we put too much thought into.

But December can be taxing even for the seasoned patron. All the different events, from Thanksgiving Eve, to your office party, your client’s office parties, your friend’s office parties, office parties of people you don’t even know, family gatherings, promotional events, New Year’s Eve parties and your own regularly scheduled hustle can take a toll on your time, your sanity, your wallet and your liver. We could all use a little help to digest all the holiday cheer.

I have learned a few techniques while sliding in and out of parties over the past few years. Hopefully some or all of these tips will help you look good in those FB pictures, stay safe and most of all, have fun…

Schedule:
“Eve Events”: Decide on your “Eve events” (Thanksgiving Eve, New Years Eve) in advance, so you can shop around, get tickets in advance and guess how much money you’re going to spend (See the Money section below). Our list of top New York Nightlife Sites will help you figure out where to go

Coordination: Hit up your usual suspects (significant others, clients, friends, family, lovers and other co-conspirators) as early as possible and get their scheduled events into your smart phone (if they decide to invite you, of course). Because you are so popular, you will inevitably be double or triple booked, but the earlier you know what's going on, the more time you have to decline some invitations or plan a whirlwind tour.

Health:
Exercise: It makes sense to reschedule your workouts for earlier in the week during December. Holiday parties tend to fall later in the week and you might not have the energy or the motivation to hit the gym after a night of club hopping. Exercise earlier in the week will help you maintain some sort of consistency in your workout.

Fashion: When getting dressed, keep in mind that you might be moving from freezing street corner looking for a cab to hot crowded dance floor and back again several times in one night. Dress accordingly so you can maintain your sexy without catching pneumonia or passing it to someone else.

Recovery: Give yourself time to recover after a long night. If you have sick days or vacation days left, plan to use one after a particularly heavy weekend.

Rest: If you don’t want to look like something out of the Walking Dead in your FB pictures, remember that Red Bull is not a substitute for actual rest…and Four Loko is no longer an option



Money
Open Bars: Try and figure out which of your events will have an open bar and which ones won’t before you get there so you’re not surprised when the check shows up.

Higher Prices: Keep in mind that some venues add in automatic tips

Added Costs: Remember there are incidental costs beyond just liquor (multiple cab rides, covers charges (or donations to whatever charity the party might be for) and of course Red Bull)



Drinking:
For God's Sake...Eat: Since you already know you will consume large quantities of liquor, it make sense to plan accordingly. If you eat something substantial drinking and/or something light during drinking and your stomach will have something to absorb the liquor you are drinking. Drunkorexia is not a viable long term solution.

2/1 Split: Some of my friends and I utilize the 2/1 split when drinking to modulate our intoxication levels. Basically, we order one glass of water for every two drinks we consume. Advanced natives use a 3/1 split, but if you have 4 or more drinks before you have a glass of water, it probably won’t help.

Hangover Prevention: At the end of the night, I have found that 2 Tylenol and another glass of water before bed prevents most of my hangovers. This might be because the Tylenol reduces swelling of the brain and the water keeps me from getting dehydrated, but you should use the hangover prevention system that works for you.


Safety
Getting Home: While you are out having fun, you also want to make sure that your people get home in one piece. Confirming transportation, “I’m alive” texts at the end of the night and the other general tips for a good club night can be very helpful here.

Female Safety: For ladies, the Tips for Female Safety in nightlife are even more relevant during the holidays. Using ideas like group movement, designated watchers and responsible indulgence can mean the difference between a party and a tragedy.

Attitude:
Have fun: Remember to enjoy yourself. The goal is not to see how many parties you can go to or how much you can drink or any quantifiable measure. The goal is to have fun.

Fanatics: Figure out where the amateurs and fanatics are going to be in your personal list of events. Don’t let them spoil your experience. Decide in advance who you can deal with and who you need to avoid.


Training:
• If you’ve been doing this all year, then all this won’t be new or stressful, but it’s a little late to suggest that now. Keep it in mind for next year though. December will be here again before you know it.



Have fun.
Gamal

Monday, November 15, 2010

NYE, Urban Oasis, Four Loko and Ivy Leauge Hip Hop


Nightlife News for November 15th, 2010

Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Events
New Years’ Eve
Newsflash for all nightlife operators: SLA tightening up the process to stay open past 4 AM on New Years Eve. Apply now

Urban Oasis
Kick off your holiday shopping in style with an exclusive Black Friday trunk show at complete with multiple designers, a heated private garden and music by your truly… http://nynprince.blogspot.com/2010/11/urban-oasis-fashion-event.html

Drinking
Four Loko
The controversial “blackout in a can” is being banned in New York. Let's all celebrate with a big glass of Red Bull and vodka!

New Venues
The Brooklyneer
A Brooklyn beer haven pops up in the West Village. This is for all the hipsters who don’t want to leave Manhattan.

Politics
The New Nightlife Law
Senator Daniel Squadron is still waiting for the NYPD to enforce his new nightlife law.

Culture
Hip Hop Higher Education
On the heels of our hip hop culture article, Yale is releasing a book about hip hop as a modern poetic art form.
Have fun
Gamal

Monday, November 8, 2010

Automatic Tips, The Hurricane Club and Nightlife Television


The Nightlife Report for November 8, 2010
Compiled By Gamal Hennessy

Business
Some Bars Tack On Automatic Tips

DNA Info reports that upscale clubs now include mandatory tips, but the trend goes beyond the New York's eurozone bars.

Music
Masters of the Mix
BET Networks announces a new show about the underground DJs of New York nightlife called Masters of the Mix.

Nightlife New York
Teaser Commerical
A new show about nightlife culture is coming in 2011 from New York Nights. The trailer is ready now. Take a look...

Opening
2nd Floor On Clinton
The new lounge tries to revive the "small, secret, hard to get into speakeasy" trend in New York nightlife.

Opinion
We Love New York
The Village Voice offers 50 reasons why New Yorkers love New York. I particularly enjoy numbers 34 and 38.

Prince of the City
Reviews
Read the Prince of the City Review of the Hurricane Club.

Have fun.
Gamal

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pacha, Santos and the Amateurs of Nightlife


The New York Nights Insider for November 2, 2010
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Events
New York Comedy Festival
Get ready for the New York Comedy Festival, which starts on Wednesday, with recommendations from NYC Go.

Pacha Anniversary
The venerable dance club announces a superstar DJ Line Up to Celebrate its 5th Anniversary this December.

Crime
Santos Party House
According to the Village Voice, Santos Party House, Shuttered Since Thursday Over Drug Charges, Will Reopen Tomorrow

Music
DJ Turntables
Panasonic ends production of Technics turntables. DJs worldwide weep openly.

Prince of the City
Amateur Night During the Holiday Season
New York nightlife is full of amateurs during the holidays. Here's how you can spot them, avoid them and enjoy the weekend.

Politics
Hookah Bars
A Brooklyn City Councilman wants to stop new hookah bars from opening in Bay Ridge.

State Liquor Authority
The SLA moves to clean up liquor laws that haven't been changed since Prohibition.

Have fun.

Gamal

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

HalloweenNYC 2010, Hate Crimes and Getting Past a Tough Door



The Nightlife Report for October 26, 2010
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Events
Halloween
Still looking for someplace to wear your Lady Gaga meat costume? Check out the New York Nights Halloween 2010 List.

Feature Story
Hate Crimes and New York Nightlife
City Hall and New York nightlife need to send a clear message in response to recent anti gay attacks in bars

Opinion
Getting into the Club
Noche Latina offers some common sense tips on getting into exclusive New York nightlife venues.

New Venues
Bunker: Meatpacking District

Windsor: Village

Seize the Night

Kindle Edition
The definitive New York nightlife book, Seize the Night, is available from Amazon in print, on Blackberrys, iPhones and iPads. Get it now
Have fun.
Gamal

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The New York Nights Halloween Event List for 2010

Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Still looking for someplace to wear that Lady Gaga style meat dress or slutty nurse costume? Here are some suggestions for every night of the Halloween Weekend. Keep in mind two things; First, many of these events require ticket purchases in advance, so don’t wait until 6pm on Friday to decide where to go. Second, there are going to be hundreds of other parties not on this list, especially in the bars and lounges around the Halloween Parade route on Sunday, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see something here that fits your tastes.

Friday October 29th
Wepa! Halloween Party
Bar 13 kicks off the weekend in Union Square with a Afro House and Latin Soul themed party complete with Conquito, Cigars and a heated roof deck

Maskarave
House legends Junior Sanchez, Frankie Bones and D’Mitry of Dee Lite headline this mid Manhattan masquerade dance party

Halloween Candy Land
Stitch combines an open bar, free candy and prizes for the best costume with a benefit for the Asthmatic League

Playtime
Willie Graff takes a break from his Ibiza tour to bring soulful dance music to your Cielo Halloween Party


Saturday October 30th
Deity
The premier Brooklyn Lounge has an open DiSarrono bar and Common’s DJ Dummy providing the music.

Jonathan Peters Holiday Ball
The Veteran house DJ headlines the costume party at Pacha

Halloween Pub Crawl
If you just can't make up your mind...don't.

Party Like a Rockstar
Enjoy a rooftop costumer party at Hudson Terrace

Freaks Come Out at Night
If you can’t make it down to the city on Saturday, check out this party at Salud in Yonkers

Scream Party
DJ Camilo and Ric Roc headline this uptown hip hop party at Talay

Sunday October 31st
Webster Hall
Fresh off its Nightlife Awards accolades, Webster Hall hosts the Halloween Parade after party
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Ultimate Halloween Party Film at Le Poisson Rouge

Garage
Music and dancing close to the parade route

Pornoween at Bar 13
Take your slutty costume to a party promising live erotic shows at Bar 13

Have fun
Gamal

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chelsea Room, Snap, The Nightlife Awards and Saving Hip Hop Music




The Nightlife Report for October 19th 2010
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

New York Nights
The Erosion of Hip Hop Heritage
The foundations of blues, jazz and rock are preserved for future generations. Is hip hop getting the same treatment?

Prince of the City
A Short History of American Hip Hop
My brief survey of our most influential musical genre.

Events
The 6th Annual Nightlife Awards
Paper Magazine's 6th Annual Nightlife Awards were held last night. Here are this year's winners.

Reviews
Vintry Wine and Whiskey

New Venues
Snap
An upscale sportsbar will open in the Meatpacking District just in time for this year's World Series

The Chelsea Room
The Lounge that was formerly Serena and Star Lounge is set to open underneath the historic Chelsea Hotel.

Seize the Night
The definitive New York nightlife book, Seize the Night, is now available from Amazon in print and Kindle devices:

Nightlife New York

Talent Search
New York Nights is Looking for Local Bartenders, Chefs, Designers, DJ’s, Dancers and Musicians. Read more about it here...

Have fun.
Gamal

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Short History of American Hip Hop



By Gamal Hennessy

Earlier this week I posted an article about the erosion of hip hop heritage and the reasons behind it. Now I’d like to follow up with a brief history of the hip hop genre to put the art form in perspective. This history is primarily based on my own experience and memory (because I‘m pretty old) but I don‘t claim that this is definitive. I’m also not saying one era is better or worse. I just want to highlight the history and evolution of the genre to show how rich and complex it actually is.

Classic or Old School Hip Hop (1978-1983) This is the recognized beginning of the genre when Caribbean dance hall toasting merged with DJ’s spinning records at block parties and house parties to create a new form of music. Recognized artists from this period include Kurtis Blow, The Fearless Four, Salt & Pepa, the Sugarhill Gang and UTFO. This period roughly begins with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and ends with the rise of Eric B and Rakim.

Golden Age Hip Hop (1984-1995) This is the age when rap adopted a radio friendly four minute structure and production qualities of the records increased. Rap began to branch out here, with one set of artists (like the Beastie Boys and the Fresh Prince) becoming more accepted in the mainstream and another camp (Public Enemy and X-Clan) becoming more antagonistic to the social status quo. This was also the period where local rivalries bubbled over into more violent exchanges. Well known acts from the Golden Age include A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, NWA, Naughty by Nature, Tupac, and the Wu Tang Clan. This period generally begins with Eric B and ends with the death of the Notorious BIG.

Regional Hip Hop (1995-2007): At this point, hip hop was a universal genre in American music. The rap video was a staple on MTV and rap artists began to dominate the music charts. Artists from different parts of the country began to establish their own flavor of hip hop to compete with the music coming out of New York and LA. Cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, New Orleans, St. Louis and other urban hubs all produced successful hip hop acts and redefined the sound. Critics point to this as the period where image and packaging became more important than lyrical talent and originality, but its commercial success can’t be discounted. This period included artists like Common, Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Ludacris, Nas, Nelly, OutKast, and Snoop Dog. This era generally begins with the rise of Puff Daddy and ends with the emergence of T-Pain.

Mainstream Hip Hop (2007- ): Hip hop now goes beyond its own genre and has become an almost required element of popular music. Many pop, R&B, reggae, and rock songs feature a hip hop artist collaborations as a way to boost sales. House and techno mixes of hip hop songs are common. Far from being a passing fad in entertainment, hip hop is now a recognized spring board for an artist to branch out into acting, music production and even corporate management. Drake, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, Lupe Fiasco and T.I. have found success in this period which might be the most lucrative era in all of hip hop. The mainstream period starts with T-Pain and shows no sign of slowing down.

As I said earlier this week, I don’t mean to suggest that the rappers listed in each category only were only successful in one era. Many artists have had long term careers. I am suggesting that hip hop has a rich history spanning more than three decades and a cultural influence that is just as strong, if not stronger than other forms of American music. That music deserves to be studied and preserved in the same manner as the music of Bob Dylan, Miles Davis and the Beatles. Anything else is a rejection of what hip hop means to nightlife culture specifically and American culture in general.

Have fun.
Gamal

Special Thanks: Alysse Jordan, the head of the Social Work Library at Columbia University and a reader of New York Nights, informed me that contrary to my assertion earlier this week, there are historians and scholars working to preserve hip hop music. Anyone who is interested can find more information at these sites:

http://www.hiphoparchive.org/
http://dubois.fas.harvard.edu/hiphop-archive-harvard-university
http://www.stanford.edu/group/hiphoparchive/
http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/hiphop/
http://uhiphop.uchicago.edu/
http://h2c2harlem.com/



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Erosion of Hip Hop Heritage



By Gamal Hennessy

The roots of Hip hop have been in the news quite a bit recently.
Fat Beats , the iconic repository of rare vinyl has closed. Angus Batey, a writer for the London Guardian recently argued that the history of the genre is fading away because early albums are not being reissued in the same way that blues, jazz and rock albums are. When you add to all this hip hop’s inherent obsession with being current and moving forward to the result a loss of years and years of great music by rap pioneers.

The history of rap music is a dramatic story of growth and influence that is not actively preserved. In thirty years, it has gone from what some critics referred to as a
passing fad to the dominant genre of modern music. Hip hop established a strong cultural connection to America from the 80s to today. However, while most other genres of music have historians, musicologists, and other scholars preserving the music and the history of the musicians. Hip hop doesn’t really have that same archive.

One of the main ways music is maintained is through the practice of reissues, where older tracks are re-mastered, unreleased material is added and major box set compilations are released. This gives the original audience a chance to relive the music of their youth while at the same time introduces a new generation to the music. Artists in other genres, including blues, jazz and rock, benefit from extensive reissue collections every year.

Hip hop has several characteristics that hinder this kind of treatment. Live performances, mix tapes and demos are not available or difficult to come by for the purposes of re-mastering. Many of the original artists signed deals that took away all the rights to their albums, so they couldn’t re-release them even if they wanted to. Finally, hip hop has and inherent stigma against living in the past. The Grateful Dead toured constantly for years without releasing a new studio album. Maxwell and Sade stayed out of the industry for years and were able to return with chart topping albums that maintained their signature style. It is very difficult for a hip hop artists do live off their past glory that way. They have to be current or be ignored.

This struggle for reinvention limits the understanding of the public. The general public knows where hip hop is, but not where it came from. Flavor Flav only known for being on Flavor of Love, not as the influential hype man for one of the most popular afro centric hip hop acts in history. Run only known for being Rev Run and having a vague connection to hipster T-shirts, not as one of the foundations of old school rap. Queen Latifah, Ice-T, Will Smith, Ice Cube and LL Cool J have almost completely reinvented themselves as actors first and rappers second. Diddy is on his third name change. These new incarnations aren’t necessarily bad, but the new personas don’t have to erase the original music.

There is some support for the music and artists that established hip hop. VH1 just broadcast its annual Hop Hop Honors awards show to recognize the contributions of founding artists. The Rock the Bells concerts brings back artists to perform their classic albums every summer. As a small contribution to the preservation of hip hop heritage, I’d like to offer a timeline of the hip hop genre of music later this week. It won’t be definitive by any means, but it will be enlightening for anyone who thinks hip hop started with Eminem.

I don’t argue that the rappers listed in each category only were only successful in one era. Many artists have had long term careers. I am suggesting that hip hop has a rich history spanning more than three decades and a cultural influence that is just as strong, if not stronger than other forms of American music. That music deserves to be studied and preserved in the same manner as the music of Bob Dylan, Miles Davis and the Beatles. Anything else is a rejection of what hip hop means to nightlife culture specifically and American culture in general.

Have fun.
Gamal

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Guns in Clubs, Oktoberfest, Stonewall and the Nightlife Awards


The Nightlife Report for October 7, 2010
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Awards
Paper Magazine
Cast your vote in Paper Magazine's nightlife awards.

Events
Oktoberfest
Citysearch offers five German themed bars to help you celebrate Oktoberfest.

Nightlife New York
Talent Search
New York Nights is Looking for Local Bartenders, Chefs, Designers, DJ’s, Dancers and Musicians.

Nightlife Violence
Gun Control
Some states let nightlife patons carry guns. Could New York be next?

Opinion
New York’s Best Rock and Roll Bars
Clubplanet offers a list of the best live rock & roll clubs in New York nightlife.

Prince of the City
Stonewall as the Past and Present Symbol of Gay Rights in America
Recent events should remind us that nightlife is part of the struggle for gay rights and the struggle isn’t over.

Seize the Night
Now Available on Kindle Devices
The definitive New York nightlife book, Seize the Night, is now available on
Blackberrys, iPhones and iPads devices

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

An Invitation for Nightlife Artists



(New York Nights is Looking for Local Bartenders, Chefs, Designers, DJ’s, Dancers and Musicians)

New York Nights has always been a major supporter of nightlife culture. We understand that the artistic energy of our bars and clubs is the real reason why the City Never Sleeps.

We are currently looking for local talent to be part of a television program we are developing about New York nightlife. The show will go beyond the bottle service in celebrity venues to explore the emerging creative energy that defines the nightlife experience.

This is a new production, so the initial impact might be very small. However, when the program takes off it will have national exposure. Getting involved on the ground floor could pave the way for your success down the road.

We are not charging for this service and we are not asking for ownership of any of your work. Our main goal is to find exciting artists that will enhance the quality of our show.

If you are interested in the exposure that this kind of show could bring to your work, please let us know. Send us your contact information, links to your website or samples of your work and information where you perform or work to gamal@newyorknightsonline.com . If you have any questions, please let me know.

Have fun.
Gamal

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fashion Week, The Hurricane Club and Lavo



The Nightlife Report for September 21, 2010

Compiled by Gamal Hennessy
Seize the Night
New Version Now Available!
The definitive New York nightlife book, Seize the Night, is now available on
Blackberrys, iPhones and iPads devices


Fashion Week 2011

Fashion Week Recap
The New York Times looks at the end of fashion week festivities: Nocturnalist Partying, Not Just Posing

Nightlife Winners and Losers of Fashion Week
Eater rates the high profile nightlife venues that timed their openings to coincide with Fashion Week because we there is no nightlife week...yet

Battle of the Rooftop Bars
The Village Voice ends Fashion Week by drinking and dancing high above the city.

New Venues
Lavo
Vegas staple Lavo comes to New York nightlife. Will other Sin City venues follow?

Hurricane Club
An upscale tiki inspired lounge joins Plunge and Millesime to add more nightlife to the Flatiron District

Tip:
Remember, The best venue isn't the most exclusive or expensive spot. It's the place where you and your people can have fun…

Have fun.
Gamal

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Don Hill’s, Sin Sin, Siberia and Parisian Cocktails



The Nightlife Report for September 15th, 2010
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

NIMBY’s Circle Around Sin Sin
(Guest of a Guest)
The home to Soulgasm is in the crosshairs of local residents after a man is allegedly shot and killed at the door

Siberia Moves Closer to Reopening
(DNAInfo)
The classic Hell’s Kitchen Dive bar is one step closer to rebirth.

Don Hills Re-imagined
(Urban Daddy)
The minds behind Kenmare take over the rock and roll venue. It might become a rock and models venue, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.

New York Cocktail Culture Invades Paris
(Financial Times)
The city known for its abundance of wine snobs takes inspiration from spots like Death & Co, Dutch Kills and Painkiller to create a new wave of cocktail drinker in the City of Lights.
Have fun.
Gamal

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nicole John, Lamb’s Club and Fashion’s Night Out



The Nightlife Report for September 8, 2010

Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Special Report: Nicole John
Learning from Nicole John
(Prince of the City)
The death of Nicole John goes much deeper than Tenjune and Fake IDs. Nightlife and American culture itself has to accept responsible indulgence if tragedies like this are going to be avoided.

Who’s to Blame?
(Good Night Mr. Lewis)
Another perspective on the Nicole John death from operator Steven Lewis

New York Nights Review
(Prince of the City)
Lamb’s Club: Understated Class


Event
Fashion’s Night Out
(Papier Doll)
Your idea of nightlife might not include shopping, but these events will have cocktails and music so they can’t be all bad…


Health
Drinking Liquor Could Save Your Life
(Men’s Health)
"Research over a 20-year period showed that more than 1,000 adults who didn’t drink were 49 percent more likely to die—of any cause—than those who drank moderately"... Cheers


Law
Ladies Night is Legal
(Fox News)
A federal court rules that "Ladies Night" in New York nightlife is not a violation of men's civil rights.

Surveys
America’s Drunkest Cities
(Men‘s Health) Contrary to popular opinion, New York nightlife has more bars with fewer drunks than other US cities

Have fun
Gamal

Monday, August 30, 2010

Nightlife Police, New NIMBYs and the Continuing Smoking Struggles



The Nightlife Report
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

A New Influx of New York NIMBYs (The Wall Street Journal)
More residential skyscrapers are going up, which means more conflict between the nightlife industry and rich NIMBYs


The NYC Police Cabaret Unit (The Wall Street Journal)
The NYPD is reinstating its Cabaret Unit, which could be good news or bad news for New York nightlife.


The Potential of E-Cigarettes (The Wall Street Journal)
Are E-Cigarettes the anwser to the NYC Nightlife Smoking Ban? Probably not. City Hall will most likely ban them too.


Smoking Problems (Guest of a Guest)
Unlucky Strike: Juliet Supper Club In Cigarette-Related Trouble...Maybe they should try e-cigarettes...

New Venues
BlkMarket (Midtown)
Lamb’s Club (Midtown)
Tzigan (Meatpacking)
The Whiskey Brooklyn (Brooklyn)
XIX (Lower East Side)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bottle Service, Noisy Bar Crackdowns and Racial Profiling in Nightlife

The Nightlife Report for August 19, 2010
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy


Bottle Service History (New York Magazine)
A short history on "universally despised" nightlife staple, including a reference to a time when buying a bottle actually saved you money...

Noisy Bar Law(New York Press)
New law will revoke the liquor licenses of "noisy" bars. Score another win for the NIMBYS:


Racial Profiling in Nightlife (Gothamist)
Former Bolmor employees accuse management of racial profiling to exclude unwanted patrons. It's ignorant and underhanded if its true, but most modern venues serve niche markets and race figures into that calculation. The only difference is the level of subtlety in the execution...

Top Ten Party Cities (Ask Men)
Ask Men provides a list of the top party cities of the past 100 years including London, Ibiza, Dubai and of course... NYC




New Venue Announcement
Living Room Downtown (Financial District)
Plunge Park Avenue (Midtown East)
Silkstone (Chinatown)
Theater Bar (Tribeca)
White Noise (East Village)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Idle Hands, Salon Millesime, Sankey's and Nightlife Security


The Nightlife Report for August 12, 2010

Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

...we hunt down the nightlife news so you don't have to...


Opening
Idle Hands
The old Save the Robots space in Alphabet City is reopening as a bar that combines high end bourbons with rock n’ roll.

Salon Millesime
The new lounge inside the Carlton Hotel in Murray Hill will be a coffee bar during the day and a live music lounge at night.

Sankey’s
The Manchester mega club plans to open a sister venue across the pond molded in the style of old school favorites Twilo, Sound Factory and Vinyl. If you listen very closely you can already hear the nostalgists moaning that the venue will never work.

Security
NYS Re-writing Rules for Nightlife Security
What does a security guard in Macy’s and a security guard in Love have in common? They both get the same training to do their jobs even though they have very different jobs under very different circumstances. The state legislature is currently debating changes to the rules that would require more background checks and training for anyone involved in nightlife security. The new regulations are still being hammered out and while new rules will improve security inside venues, it won’t do very much to improve security outside a venue where most of the violence occurs.

Have fun.
Gamal

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Gin Wigmore: NZ Rock Invades America



By Gamal Hennessy

New York Nights wraps up its focus on nightlife and music by spotlighting a new face in American music. Virginia “Gin” Wigmore is a chart topping signer/ songwriter in New Zealand who has played with established American artists like John Mellancamp and Sheryl Crow. She sat down with me at the Hudson Hotel last weekend as a part of her second US multi-city tour to discuss stage performances, nightlife neighborhoods and the draw of New York City.

GH: You were sixteen when you did your first performances. Tell me about that experience.
GW: I was incredibly nervous when I first started. I was very intimidated by the thought of performing in front of a crowd. Then I looked out into the audience and realized that there were only six people sitting out there. It was just a couple of my friends and a few homeless guys who were there free drinks. My stage fright was much easier to deal with after that.

GH: So why did you stop doing those shows?
GW: The open mic show had a winner every night and one night I won. When I went to collect my massive $6 prize, they asked me for my name, age and all that stuff. When they found out I was too young to be in a bar they kicked me out and told me I couldn’t come back without my dad.

GH: So you would have been better off if you lost the contest?
GW: Yeah, I should have let them keep their $6.

GH: I assume that when you played in New York for the first time there were a lot more people in the audience.
GW: Absolutely. We did our first show at the Cutting Room. The place was packed with media people, record executives and folks like that. It was one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever done. It’s one of the things I love about playing in New York.

GH: Why is it so important to you to play here when you’ve had so much success in Australia and New Zealand?
GW: When you are growing up as a musician in any country, you want to get to America and you specifically want to get to New York City. That’s the pinnacle of live performance. The only way you could be a bigger deal is if you did a show on Mars or something.

GH: You mean playing in really large venues here?
GW: Not really. Once you get to New York, it could be a tiny little place or a big hall. The key is getting a show in New York. We’ve done some amazing sets at places like the Mercury Lounge, and I would have loved to play at a place like CBGB before it closed down.

GH: So what types of spots do you like to hang out in when you’re in New York?
GW: I love spending time in Greenwich Village at spots like the Spotted Pig and I really want to go back to areas like Park Slope and the East Village. I’d probably get a place over there if I could.

GH: Are you planning to move to the City eventually?
GW: Yeah, once my plans for worldwide domination fall into place. It won’t be long now.

You can see Gin’s latest videos on Youtube or visit her Website to find out more.

Have fun.
Gamal

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The New Nightlife Era



It’s a slow week in nightlife because a lot of the nightlife media is focusing less on the night to night details and more on the big picture. Steven Lewis posted a piece on the lack of originality in current nightlife music. Scott Solish did a piece comparing the creativity of past eras with modern nightlife. Another promoter associate of mine started a discussion on how hard it was to draw in a large mixed group (in terms of sexual preference, race and income) these days compared to the Limelight, Studio 54 era. On a certain level, all these writers touch on a central theme that needs to be understood by nightlife patrons and operators; the culture, society and technology has changed. Nightlife has changed with it.

There is a long list of reasons why nightlife isn’t, can’t be and won’t be what it was in the past. Higher real estate costs prompted the bottle service business model. The AIDS crisis killed many of the most creative personalities in the industry. Social networks don’t give anyone a chance to escape into the nightlife world because everything they do could be recorded forever and available to everyone instantly. Digital music and iPods mean that patrons have 24/7 control of their music now so they are rarely willing to branch out and listen to something new that a DJ might offer. Smoking is banned, dancing is illegal and noise is a crime too. With all these negative pressures, New York should be amazed and proud that we have a nightlife industry at all.

But for all the changes in nightlife, there are some things that have not changed. We still go out looking for acceptance, consumption, connection, entertainment and sex. We still want some kind of release from our daylight routines. And we can still find creativity and originality in New York nightlife. We can still make connections with people we never would have met any place else. You might have to go a little bit farther or look a little bit harder, but its out there. You might have to leave your comfort zone, but it is worth the trip. Nightlife isn’t what it was 20 years ago, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it.

Have fun.
G



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Boom Boom Room, Greenhouse, M2, Andy Shaw and Angelo Bianchi


The Nightlife Report for July 22, 2010

Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

I hunt down the nightlife news so you don’t have to…

Controversy
Greenhouse
(Eater)
If someone is killed out side of a Whole Foods, Chase Bank or Starbucks, the location of the crime is not the focus of the story. When someone is killed outside of a club, that club is immediately associated with the crime. Case in point: disgraced EMT Jason Green was shot and killed over the weekend by a man who drove up in a car. Mr. Green wasn’t in the club and he didn’t come out of the club. The shooter wasn’t the club either. But the club is being targeted as a breeding ground for crime. Greenhouse doesn’t have the cleanest record in the industry, but even if it did, how can a club be held responsible for crimes that take place on the street?

Changes
Boom Boom Room
(Club Planet)
The ultra exclusive club of the moment is taking another step towards on the road of “you might never get in here.” The local community board approved a plan that would allow the hotel lounge to become a private venue after 10 PM. Prospective members will now have to fill out an application, be pre-selected and pay a fee for the chance to drink with celebrities. How many more high end venues will follow the members only option? Will membership fees replace bottle service and become as common as gym fees? Stay tuned…

Reopening
M2
(Club Planet)
The dark streets of West Chelsea could be getting a little brighter. M2 which was shut down a few months back along with several other venues in the area, is set to reopen after working out an arrangement with the Department of Health. The club was closed after health officials and police found that the operators were willingly violating the smoking ban by allowing patrons to smoke and even selling cigarettes. While the reopening might be good news for West Side patrons, M2 will clearly be under a microscope. Local officials, police and residents of the new luxury condos in the area might all be looking for a reason to close the venue for good.

Driving
Mandatory Breathalyzer Tests for Former Drunk Drivers
(The Telegraph)
New York is preparing to impose stricter rules on anyone who drinks and drives. Drivers convicted of DWI will have to have a device installed in their car that administers an automated breathalyzer test every time they get behind the wheel for six months. If you fail the test, your car won’t start. While this could possibly reduce the number of repeat DWI and save lives it might not be foolproof. We don’t know if drivers will be able to dismantle this device and I can think of a few scenarios where offenders enlist the aid of a “designated breather” to fool the machine into letting them behind the wheel. But if you knowingly get into a car with a drunk and help him drive drunk, you probably won’t live long enough to make that a habit…

Personalities
This week two nightlife operators are sharing the limelight. Andy Shaw of Shaw Promotions talked with NBC Nite Talk about his TRASH party and the rise of Brooklyn nightlife and Angelo Bianchi talks to the New York Times about his experiences with Beatrice (Inn) and Jane (Ballroom)

Have fun.
Gamal

Monday, July 19, 2010

House Music: The Home that Nightlife Built



One of the main forms of music associated with modern nightlife is house music. While it did not originate in New York, the diversity and energy of the City created fertile ground for the genre and established New York as one of the epicenters of house music.

House music evolved from disco in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This new form of music had distinct elements of soul and funk blended into a tempo and composition structure designed for dancing. House differed from previous genres because much of the music was generated by machines as opposed to live instruments. While this was a source of aesthetic tension between traditional musicians and house DJs, it did give the house artists the ability to create music rapidly and independently from other artists.

House music developed in Chicago in the early 1980s. It didn’t begin to take off in New York until the opening of Paradise Garage. David Mancuso opened the venue because the gays and minorities he catered to were often harassed at mainstream clubs. One of the first DJs Mancuso hired was Larry Levan, who has been credited with not only developing house music in New York, but bringing together disparate groups like Blacks, Latinos and punk rockers, and introducing an environment designed strictly for dancing.

Paradise Garage gave many prominent house DJs their start including David Morales and Francois Kervorkian. Other house venues soon began showcasing major talent all around the city. Grammy winning producer Frankie Knuckles spun with Levan at Continental Baths, Warehouse, Sound Factory and went on to open his own venue, Power Plant. Junior Vasquez progressed from his initial residency at Bassline to found Sound Factory and have popular residencies at Tunnel, Palladium, Exit, Roxy, Twilo and Spirit. He still plays regular sets at at Cielo. Dozens of other artists developed house over the past two decades, including Todd Terry, Danny Tenaglia, DJ Lithium, Mateo & Mateos, Little Louie Vega, Kenny Dope Gonzales and Blue Six.

Although many devoted house fans maintain that house has faded from New York nightlife, there are still several venues supporting house and its artists every week. Venues like Club Love, Sullivan Room, Cielo, Pacha, Sin Sin, Marquee still bring people together on the dance floor. In addition, many mainstream artists have adopted the aesthetics of house and electronic music. Acts as diverse as Kanye West, Usher, Katy Perry and the Black Eyed Peas utilize the energy and technology that was once the province of house producers. While hip hop may have eclipsed house as the dominant music form in New York nightlife, the influence of the music still generates a strong following and crowds of dancers are waiting for you to join them tonight.

Have fun.
G

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Culture Fix, Nightlife iPhone Apps and the Hotel Bar Backlash



The Nightlife Report for July 14, 2010

Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

We hunt down the nightlife news so you don’t have to…

Opening
Culture Fix
(Urban Daddy)
Operators are trying different tactics to lure patrons in as the bottle service business contracts. Speakeasies, hotel bars, rooftop bars, private clubs, beer halls, bowling, barber bars, burlesque shows, and brunch parties have all had a chance to make their mark. The owners of Culture Fix are combining a modern art gallery with a bar to try and create yet another unique location. Hopefully, I’ll understand the art more after I’ve had a few drinks.

Opinion
Are We Done with Hotel Bars?
(Eater)
The nightlife venue inside a hotel isn’t a new concept and it’s not a concept that is unique to New York. However in recent years, it has become a more prominent element among a certain class of patron. Every property from the Maritime to the Gansevoort to the Empire to the Thompson to the Standard to the Jane will have long lines of people standing outside on weekends looking for a party, not a room. Scott Solish sees this segment of nightlife becoming more congested with competition and a more watered down form of nightlife. He also doesn’t see the trend getting better or ending any time soon.

Technology
The Village Voice Nightlife iPhone App
(Market Wire)
The owners of the counter culture newspaper are diving back into the iPhone app market with a free guide listing local concerts and events, sortable by date or neighborhood. The guide won’t be purely about nightlife, since it will import content from several different VV columns, but you can sift through a little clutter when the app is free.


Have fun.
Gamal

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hip Hop: The Underground Fad that Conquered American Music



By Gamal Hennessy

No other form of music illustrates the potential impact of nightlife culture more than hip hop. It has gone from humble beginnings in New York housing projects to dominating the popular music charts and influencing other industries and media worldwide. While there are various types of hip hop associated with different geographic regions (West Coast, Dirty South, UK, French, Asian, etc.) the movement began in New York nightlife and flourished into a universal phenomenon.

Rap music began in the Bronx, when the records played at house parties and block parties became individual performances infused with the personality of the people playing and introducing the records, instead of the basic radio practice of simply playing one record after another. The influence of West Indian celebrations, specifically dancehall toasting (chanting or talking over a steady beat) combined with R&B, disco, funk and soul to create a distinct new sound.

In the early 1980s, early pioneers like Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore and the Furious Five developed the techniques of scratching, cutting and mixing at uptown venues like Disco Fever. Afrika Bambatta and the Zulu Nation brought hip hop out of the Bronx and into mainstream venues like Danceteria and the Roxy. He was followed closely by other local acts including Run DMC and Kurtis Blow.

Music critics labeled hip hop as a passing fad, but DJs began to spin records in venues all over the city. By the late 80s, artists as divergent as Eric B, LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys began to create radio ready songs and paved the way for a golden age of hip hop that gave us Public Enemy, De La Soul, a Tribe Called Quest and the Notorious BIG.

Hip hop began to spread across the US and into other countries by the mid 1990s. It was at this point that the genre was fully embraced by the mainstream. Groups like the Wu Tang Clan translated their musical success into clothing brands, video games and films. Moguls like Jay-Z and Diddy used hip hop as a springboard to own record companies, nightclubs, sports franchises, film production studios, clothing lines and real estate ventures.

Today, hip hop is the default musical genre of nightlife. It dominates the Billboard charts and the video play lists. Many mainstream pop songs have guest appearances from major hip hop acts embedded in them. Patrons looking for mainstream hip hop can go anywhere from Santos Party House to Hudson Terrace. People looking for the old school classics can run to bOb Bar or Painkiller. Anyone looking for the next big New York talent can visit the open mic events at Pyramid Club or the Nuyorican Poets Café. You can find hip hop in every borough every night. All you have to do is look.

The irony of hip hop is that instead of being a passing fad, it has grown from its humble roots in New York nightlife to a level of influence that surpasses almost every other genre of modern music. It doesn’t simply impact culture in terms of music, fashion, dance and entertainment. It has become a significant contributor to our speech patterns, language and the image of modern America throughout the world. Figures like Jay-Z and Diddy are symbols of the potential of nightlife to move from a counterculture phenomenon to mainstream dominance.

Have fun.
G