As they say, you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. At this point, I think most of us have mourned all those shots we've turned down through the years, all those sweaty dance floors we've complained about (but secretly loved), all those shady/fantastic/weird-ass strangers we've met in the smoking area, and most especially all those nights that turned into sunrises in a cab, wondering how the past few hours could have been real. In all honesty, I even miss getting rejected by a well-dressed door person (there's a certain adrenaline rush to it, no?). Such is the magic of a night out in the greatest city in the world.

It's been a year now since disco balls across New York officially went dark, and while that hasn't necessarily stopped the party monsters from doing what they do best, there's no question that the thump of the city's after-dark heartbeat has practically flatlined in the wake of the pandemic. Unfortunately, a deadly pathogen that spreads in social situations just wasn't going to be good for business.

However, with the vaccine rollout underway in surprisingly record time, things are finally looking up for New Yorkers' favorite industry - and we're not just talking moneywise (ideally), but culturally and creatively as well. Challenge breeds innovation, a plague leads to a renaissance, and NYC will certainly party on (sooner or later) according to some of the most in-the-know scenesters and scene-makers in town. Talk about a much-needed shot in the arm.

From the ways events will evolve, to the expected shifts in the social set's preferences, click through for what industry insiders have to say about the impending return of nightlife. 

[Photo via @makebelieve.jpg]