There’s a fascinating article over at New York Magazine about the clubbing district of West 27th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues. (Phew – gotta love New York City addresses!) It gives a very detailed look at the club owners in that area, the clientele, and the culture.
And as is common for club scenes in any major city, there’s the uglier side: rude celebrities, over aggressive bouncers injuring or even killing drunken louts, underage drinking, drug snorting in the toilets, sexual assaults, public vomiting and urinating, girls gone missing or even dead. Like I said, fascinating.
By the summer of 2006, the street crawled with people—forcing the police to barricade both ends. Masses of visored men in bright T-shirts stumbled through, smoking joints, carrying plastic cups, urinating on the walls. Thin girls toddled out in spike heels. It was a boozy Cancún North. People threw up in front of buildings and on their clothes; turned away at the door, they spat at the doormen. “We’d find people passed out in the bathroom,” recalls a former employee of B.E.D. “You would think it was a dead body. Passed out, like scary passed out, like smack them, pick them up, they’re like Jell-O, like someone took their spine out. And on the street. You would literally see people face down in the gutter.”
Inside the clubs, people started doing “bottle shots”—drinking straight from the bottle without using any kind of glass or mixer. Clubs quietly hired EMTs—which cost thousands of dollars each night—and the ambulance companies did a steady business. Men would find women passing out on the street, lift them onto their shoulders, and carry them off to a taxi. On Saturday nights, when Spirit hosted its hip-hop party, there were fights, frequent arrests, and men making suggestive comments to the women leaving Bungalow 8. Prostitutes and drug dealers walked down the street, freely propositioning anyone they met. “It started to feel self-destructive,” says one clubber, “a Disneyland for drunks.”
There’s also an interesting note about the “club cascade effect”:
Celebrities attract models, models attract businessmen, and businessmen bring dollars.
Models of all kinds—runway girls, commercial girls, faces, legs, pretty young things from West Virginia—came to cozy up to celebrities. Bankrolling it all were the “bottles”: the term of art for businessmen who plunk down $400 for $40 worth of vodka.
Perth is a small city with a vibrant clubbing scene concentrated around Northbridge. And we do have the fair share of the uglier aspects mentioned above. It’s unavoidable when you have that many nightclubs in a 3-square block area.
On your typical Saturday night, you can see police in patrol cars, paddy wagons, and on foot, bicycles and horseback. Police on foot are often in groups of 3 or 6. And people still end up doing stupid things, sometimes in front of the passing police which I guess isn’t very hard to do – they are everywhere.
As for celebrities, we don’t have any. Even those from Perth are everywhere else but here! Hahah. But we do have models and businessmen. However, even in places where they frequent I dare say that we don’t have anywhere near the snobbery seen everywhere else.
That’s Perth for you – egalitarian. As long as you look presentable, and behave yourself you can get in. You don’t even have to buy a bottle – not that you could anyway. This is why I find it annoying when I face snobbish door bitches and bouncers who make you feel shitty and worthless by making you wait or not letting you in for no good reason.
Clubbing culture and dance music are endlessly fascinating to me. Sometimes I find the situations that I’m in or the things that I hear and see to be utterly surreal. What I’ve learnt from clubbing all these years: keep your head with you at all times, don’t overdo the drugs and alcohol, don’t accept drinks from strangers, and don’t pick a fight or get sucked into one for any reason.
And most important of all – smile and say “sorry” even when it’s not your fault. You’d find that it defuses a lot of problems before they even start.
[tags]clubbing, nyc, northbridge[/tags]