So the other night my friend and his wife invite me out to this Manhattan nightclub. I normally hate clubs because:
a) I don’t dance
b) I don’t like waiting in line to be judged on how “cool” I am by some guy making $100 a night
c) I get angry paying $20 for drinks I would normally get angry paying $11 for.
d) I find “club people” sketchy
e) I go out to drink, chill with my friends, and maybe pick up girls if I’m single and clubs are generally so crowded I can’t do any of that
Anyhow, my friend’s wife’s friend is a promoter or something and apparently knows the owner so in theory there should be no problem so I reluctantly agree. My GF is like “screw that, I’m not meeting them out at midnight to go to some sketchy club to have my ass grabbed” so I will be rolling solo.
So of course, it’s my worst nightmare. Shithole neighborhood, line 50 people deep, douchebag bouncer, lots of riffraff, the works. I get there at the appointed time but the rest of the group is running late. Surprisingly, the club is not eager to let in one lone dude, not wearing a douchey Ed Hardy shirt, Diesel jeans or a trucker hat, not traveling with 4 girls and not paying for $300 bottle service. This is fine with me since I don’t want to be lost in the club just in case they all decide to go somewhere else.
Finally everyone shows up (about 20 girls and guys in all) and after another 15 minutes of the promotor dicking around with the bouncer, we all go in. Now that the bouncer knows I am with people and not just some lone weirdo I am eligable for a “reduced admission” ticket (reasonable at a mere $20).
Inside, the place is, of course, packed. And it appears we do not have any sort of dedicated section or table or anything. Which now means our party is scattered to the four winds with no hope of communicating with each other. My friend and I buy one round of overpriced drinks (which is immediately accidently knocked out of his wife’s hand and shatters on the ground).
At that point (a mere 15 minutes after entry) we declare that the place “sucks” and grab a cab downtown to find a nice laid back bar or lounge to hang out in.
So I can safely say that there still isn’t anything in those clubs or bars with the huge lines that is actually worth waiting in a huge line for.
I never got the appeal, but I guess I’m just not cool enough. If I go out with friends, I’d like to go to a place where talking isn’t impossible. And my time is much more important than waiting in line to possibly get into a club full of douchebags… Even if that time is spent watching TV, at least it’s more enjoyable than standing outside a club in a long line.
If it makes you feel better, that same night, I was at a futuristic-on-the-inside-but-shithole-on-the-outside lounge in Manhattan for my girlfriend’s (and her twin sister’s) 30th birthday. The night ended with a group of ten of us standing around the bar at 4:30, going line by line on various receipts to prove that the bar was trying to double charge us for a couple hundred dollars in drinks. Luckily the manager ended up being reasonable, but christ, long f-in’ night.
I got one. I was at a Manhattan nightclub this weekend that most certainly was a shithole. But I loved it! Always have loved this particular club’s reggae room, because the music is excellent. Also, the ‘hip hop’ room played Michael Jackson all night.
The kicker though; the* 30 dollar parking*. Geezuz Krist, I never get used to that.
ETA: You hafta understand, the parking for the reggae clubs in my own hometown is free.
I don’t dance. I don’t like crowds. I don’t drink much now and at the time, I didn’t drink at all.
The guy at the door was all for letting my 3 friends in. They were all skinny, good looking girls, wearing skimpy outfits.
I was a bit heavier, wearing jeans and a classy sweater.
He refused to let me in. He said I wasn’t appropriately dressed.
I told him that I had no intention of drinking, dancing, or mingling. I was the designated driver. I didn’t even want to be there but I agreed to go, for the safety of my friends. I said I’d be much happier at home, in my pjs and reading a good book. But, since I was the DESIGNATED DRIVER, either he could let me in, casual clothes and all, or he could lose my three friends who had every intention of drinking as much as their bodies would allow.
There was no line by the way - probably because this place was in a casino and most of the people there were looking to gamble and drink for free. Only the young, hip, trendy people wanted to go to the club.
He let me in.
I almost wish he hadn’t. God, it was so boring. And loud. Very loud.
I’m sure if there had been a line, he would have had no problem turning the 4 of us away, just because my clothes weren’t revealing enough.
After about half an hour, even my friends were bored stiff and we all went back out to the casino.
I never minded clubs if i wanted to go out dancing, but for just a regular night out, they’re fucking awful. Give me a good bar or pub any day. And for clubbing, i actually tended to prefer gay clubs, because the music was always good, and there are far fewer assholes around.
Some of the clubs on New York sound especially dire, and the one in the OP seems to fit right in. The prices are unbelievable, too.
Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, check out this blog, written by a NYC bouncer. He is pretty scathing about the whole club scene.
I haven’t followed it for a couple of years, because it started to get a bit repetitive. Go back to the 2006 posts for some good stuff. The author himself is a bit of a douchebag at times, but he’s also pretty insightful sometimes as well, and he has some good stories to tell.
I definitely got the impression that this club was trying really hard to be more trendy than it was. I was very surprised when he said I wasn’t appropriately dressed. My jeans were clean, new, and somewhat expensive. My sweater was light weight, clingy, and low cut - showing off quite a bit of my ample cleavage.
I’m not sure exactly what he was looking for in my case. I wasn’t skinny enough to wear the handkerchief type shirts my friends were wearing. I wasn’t wearing makeup. Maybe that was it. I didn’t “gussy” myself up enough for him.
I used to enjoy going out to clubs when I was in my mid-20’s. I like to dance and being there with my bi-curious girlfriend didn’t hurt, either. We would have a few drinks before getting there. It was packed and sweaty, and plenty of opportunity to bump & grind with sexy girls in sweaty tank tops. The cover charge pretty much limited us to only one or two drinks a piece, but we were there to sweat, not get drunk. It was a good form of foreplay.
But that was almost 20 years ago. You couldn’t get me in one of those places now, not that they’d be tripping over themselves to let me in either. I’m too much of an old fart, even though now I can much more easily afford it.
Love that blog (though you’re right, he can be a bit of a douche). There’s also one written by a barmaid… arg, can’t remember it right now. Poor people, have to witness this crap every night. I have definitely put my nightclubbing days behind me. I think the nail in the coffin was when I basically got Night at the Roxbury-ed (bumped between) two assholes. Now, whenever I find myself in that sort of environment for a friend’s night or DJing gig, most of my time is spent whispering to my SO, begging him to never leave me.
I had a girlfriend who really enjoyed clubbing which I had done very little of up to that point. Initially I went with her every time she went out. Every single time, without fail, some random dude would grope her at least once (even if I was dancing with her). I am not talking about bumping or even grinding but actual hands on ass/breast full on groping. This left me with the choice of making a scene or just sitting there and getting pissed about it (only one egregious time did I choose the make a scene option). It never seemed to bother her, so perhaps I should not of let it bother me, but it always ended up ruining the evening for me.
I eventually stopped going, explaining my reasoning. She basically took it as I didn’t like dancing, which was a big part of her life. While I am not a big techno fan, I usually would be enjoying myself up until my girlfriend got groped. We split apart pretty soon after this. She was rather hawt, but a pretty big ditz, so it is just as well.
I’m 35, and look every day of it, in my opinion. *Way *too old for clubs. But, I love them anyways, and go almost every single weekend. Strangely though, most clubs that I have been to tends to skew to the upper 20s - mid 30s, and those are the kinds of clubs I have gone to since I was very young.
I don’t smoke or drink, or even dance. (unless you count some lone hip wiggling by the speakers) I think people that really like clubs just love loud music and the general vibe of people celebrating and drinking. Because, that is what is happening. People are celebrating Friday, payday, good music and being young and energetic.
The vibe is really nice, too. In the reggae clubs the speakers vibrate the floors and the women do these amazing dances that are magic to watch and the entire place smells like weed, which I love to smell (though I haven’t smoked it in well over a decade).
But, yeah, I can certainly see how someone who wasn’t into any of that scene would find the whole thing lame.
Why would you be “too old for clubs” if they skew towards late 20 and 30 somethings?
I don’t get people who don’t like clubs or bars at all. Do they have something against fun? But the place we went Saturday was not fun at all. Basically I hate clubs that are so packed that you can’t do anything that you go to a club for.
I drink at bars fairly often, but have never gotten into nightclubs. Even without going to nightclubs, I was annoyed by them. Back in LA, you couldn’t walk two blocks without some “promoter” ramming a flyer in your face, promising you “VIP Treatment” if you go to his shitty club. Get out of my face, already.
So anyway, a few years ago my friend insists on having his birthday party at a typical Hollywood shithole. Yes, you’re imagining correctly. Long line, loud music, women pretending to be comfortable in four inch heels (myself included… I am ashamed), guys trying to argue their way out of cover charges, women being ushered in immediately and for free. So by the time the night is over, I’m not nearly drunk enough for my feet to feel okay, and I sit down on the curb while my friend is fighting the 100 other people outside for a cab. The bouncer walks up to me and says, “You really don’t want to sit there.” I figure this guy knows what he’s talking about, get up, and roughly 30 seconds later a gaggle of 105 lb girls, who had apparently done too many Jager bombs, proceeded to hurl all over the curb exactly where I was sitting.
Right. I mean, when people find out that I love going to clubs, they say, “you know you are too old to be going out clubbing!!”
The clubs that skew younger are not considered the ‘cool’ clubs in my culture. We call clubs for the 25 and older set clubs for the ‘grown and sexy’ and the young bloods often try to get in even they they are too young.
But the people that I know that don’t go to clubs are always telling me that I’m too old to be going out. So, I say, that may be true, but I’m not stopping!
Another odd thing… My husband doesn’t go out to nightclubs and is perfectly happy to stay home with our daughter while I’m out. I mean, seriously, it is after midnight…not exactly a time when he has to do a lot of active ‘babysitting’.
But I still have people scolding me for ‘running around in clubs when you should be home with your kid’. What the hell?
Back in the day I lived in a smallish city that, while lagging a bit behind culturally, did try to keep up. We had an “exclusive” disco that we all stood in line for late in the evening, in our platform shoes! (not so much being judged on hotness, but to allow the proper number of revellers in at a time to avoid overcrowding). Trouble was, the city WAS small, and we all more or less knew, or knew of, each other, so the exclusivity was compromised by the feeling that - who the hell were we fooling??? Example: the scowling bouncer guarding the sacred portals to the club had a day job as a well-known car mechanic, and he used to get lots of questions about car problems from the customers. Which took away some of the mystique, when one of the trying-to-be-hip would blurt out, “hey, Jim Bob, my car is still making that funny noise, I want you to take another look”.
There’s nothing sadder than spotting that one too-old-for-the-room person who shows up all the time, trying to have a good time and fit in. There’s always one. Though they become well known to the regulars and occasionally get lucky - they’re just plain sad to see.
How does this work? I’ve seen this only on TV, the bouncer appeasement, but never experienced it IRL. They’re not just regulating the number of folks inside the club but filtering them too? What criteria and what do they say to someone that doesn’t rate?
I’m pretty sure I’d never get in a place like that, mainly becuse I couldn’t hide the look of disgust on my face for someone engaging in such a shallow practice.