Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Afrika Bambaatta, Closing the Beer Gardens, the CBGB Film, Tenjune, Venugo and Yelp

Nightlife News for May 17, 2011
Compiled by Gamal Hennessy

Prince of the City
A new nightlife site wants to be all things to all patrons, but do they want too much from you?

 I’ve recently started developing a list of reviews on the popular venue site. Take a look at my first 25 listings, including Lambs Club, Milleseme, Painkiller and about 20 venues in the Financial District. Let me know what you think…

Anti Beer Garden Law
A measure has been introduced in Brooklyn that would shut down beer gardens or any outdoor drinking space by midnight, even on the weekends. The proposed law would also require a special outdoor drinking permit for these spaces. While the sponsor of this bill claims that she is not trying to put anyone out of business, it is clear that this type of legislation favors NIMBY elements of her constituency at the expense of operators and patrons. While almost 80 percent of Gothamist readers don’t think outdoor spaces should close by midnight, those people don’t vote and it is the voters (in this case the NIMBYs) that the politicians will cater to.

Club Scents
A recent study suggests that operators who want people to stay in their venue and spend more money need to install fragrance machines instead of smoke machines. The Netherlands study showed that by pumping a venue with orange or peppermint smells, patrons danced more, drank more and had a much better opinion of a club.

Afrika Bambaatta
The Museum of Modern Art is currently celebrating Bambaatta and his seminal hit Planet Rock as a part of its Looking at Music 3.0 exhibit. Along with Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash, Bamtaatta gave birth to a form of musical expression that went from an underground “fad” to the dominant music form of the last 30 years. The exhibit will show how Bambaataa and hip hop itself moved from nightlife culture to mainstream culture.

There is a film being developed about the story of the iconic CBGB. Produced by Lisa Kristal Bergman (daughter of CBGB owner Hilly Kristal), the film will focus on the development of punk rock in New York nightlife and the pivotal role the Bowery club played in the development of that music. The only outstanding question now revolves around the infamous bathroom. Will they actually recreate it or will it all be just special effects?

A lawsuit has been filed against Mark Birnbaum, owner of high profile venues. While the case is still pending and no allegations have been proven the complaint claims that "Birnbaum made unwelcome sexual advances, requested sexual favors and engaged in inappropriate and illegal verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature with plaintiffs.” While it isn’t as high profile as the IMF President’s alleged rape, this doesn’t do anything to improve the image of nightlife in New York. Unfortunately, the negative image of the industry is so rampant that many patrons aren’t even surprised anymore.

Have fun.

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