-One time “L” invited me to an afterparty when I had been closing the bar that I worked at. Five AM I took a cab to this random address in Williamsburg, before it looked like a mini Manhattan and waited outside of a closed door. Finally I was let in. The owner has opened several extremely successful venues by the same name in other cities so I will leave it out. Wonderfully talented and thoughtful. One the doors opened, to the left sat a closed group of booths made from pallets and old car seats the entrance facing a sleek, simple concrete bar and a diagonal set of stairs behind it leaving to the office and DJ booth. this space was very grey scale and wooden, total industrial vibe. I grabbed a drink at the bar and was introduced to some of the most eclectic, talented, visually stimulating an intelligent humans I’ve ever met. This bar/venue was closing and this was it’s private goodbye. I’d felt special being let in as it was my first visit here and these people were friends celebrating the end of an era and saying their goodbyes. If you walk to the left of the bar, there is a large steel door into the hallway. The hallway led to three bathrooms and the final door. The entire hallway was painted brightly with an aquatic wonderland, blue and swimming with tropical fish. Each bathroom retained it’s own hand designed theme as well. The themes of the other two bathrooms escape my memory but the one I do remember was hand drawn sketches, floor to ceiling, of Chuck Berry with his camcorder. Lots of cocaine was done in those bathrooms that night. The audio led to a few weird vibes. In stead of pumping music into the bathroom they decided to play old medical informercials about STDs which I can only assume came from the Vietnam era based on the quality and phrasing.
In the hallway I encountered one of the raddest moms on planet earth and she took this photo. Hey it was late and it was a wild night.
She led me into the last door. Another steel entrance. It opened to a 50 floor ceiling warehouse with three walls lined with huge projector screens playing a local artists looping visuals, music blasting over that, soaked in darkness minus the screens. There were low white couches, almost colorless morrocian-style set me dinner wear on low wooden tables. The owner made an announcement to everyone that since it was the last day, though they had a bartender helping here and there, to feel free and rink everything until its gone, as they weren’t bringing it with them. Also mentioning that the back bar was full of edibles and there were bowls and jars of weed available at the front bar to enjoy. Then went on to give the breakdown of what the five courses he was about to serve us and the music continued. All I can remember out of this meal after all these years was an amazing fennel salad. After the morning continued and the dinner and dancing commenced, the party thinned out and just a few of us remained. We sat in the couch located in the middle of all three screens and 5 or so of us watched the Criterion collection of the 1982 west German classic Fitzcarraldo, starring the brilliant Klaus Kinski. I got home at 11am. It was one of the greatest times I had in my years in NYC.
-After parties were basically what you did when I lived in NY, sleep wasn’t popular, unless you had a half of a day off in the sunlight to pass out. There is a friend of mine who was the older brother of a man I went to school with my entire life. Within the passed few years we lost his Brother and recently he’s lost his Mother. He’s spent years skating, train hopping and documenting junkies, briefly attempting not to become one. I follow his life from afar now-a-days and I send a message when I am reminded of my life with this kid. He hasn’t had an easy run since the get go. Went to Israel to study religion and avoid charges, came back and skated ramps in full beard, kipper and tzitzit, wth the fringes flapping in the breeze. He is one of the strongest and intelligent people I know. Battling with the heavy depression most of us drag along, he finds a way to break out of the sadness and let it drive him. We connected on music and records. When he needed a place to stay I offered my futon and access to my records and continued on a spree of his discovery into new and foreign styles of music. That night, this is who I was out with and he took me to SWAY. Being a regular there he know a lot of folks upon arrival. We dance and talked, running into some of his partners in crime. A semi well known underground hip artist friend of his was invited to a party thrown by one of the higher ups at Vice, so we were invited too. We all piled in a cab and headed there. It was a section of Manhattan I’d never been to. The building was tall and had a rooftop view as the sun rose. We smoked joints and cigarettes until we retreated into the tall den of people. One memory I see when I close my eyes is a women in a body suit and a Sergeant pepper style band leader jacket and hat laying on the floor. They were alternating who was playing what off of a laptop in the middle of the warehouse room. I put on Fleetwood Mac and meet 3 people who didn’t know who Stevie was…..
My memories. Dancing, friends, somehow being stuck with the cab fair and the great unknown of mornings in NY.