Which Underground New York Party Will Go Under Next?

by BILLY GRAY · June 9, 2010

    It's no secret that growing numbers of people are fed up with the increasingly boring mainstream nightlife in this town. And while there's no shortage of alternative local scenes, they seem to have come under threat recently. How many alternatives to alternatives to alternatives can New Yorkers burn through before burning out?

    My assessment is a bit too dire. It's not so much that semi-underground parties have died out, but that they've been forced into a kind of hiding that even they find excessive. Consider some recent developments:

    Unlikely downtown hotspot Mike's Apartment (it's exactly what it sounds like) stopped throwing dawn patrol after hours parties following a flurry of blog exposure. Also, a new tenant not named Mike moved in.

    A "fiery sex den" in Tribeca that brought new meaning to the phrase "porno for pyros" shut down in March after neighbors complained.

    In April cops raided and shuttered Bushwick's Market Hotel, grungy DIY home to lo-fi rock concerts and late night/early morning dance parties like Mister Saturday Night (which continues to take its act on the road).

    Blkmarket Membership suddenly stopped throwing techno ragers in Bushwick warehouses and sent out an email saying "after the rain there is always sun" and mentioning "past turmoil which has put us all in a confusion." Thankfully the email went on to include directions to the next party...in Gowanus.

    BKLYN Yard, the little slice of summer heaven off the sparkling shores of the Gowanus Canal, closed right after a Memorial Day weekend opening bash. Blame the evil landlord. The great Sunday Best hoedown, once based there, is newly nomadic, but keeps on keeping on.

    There will always be off-the-radar, vaguely illicit and most likely illegal places to get down in NYC. But it's too bad they've had such a rough go of it and seem so much more vulnerable to raids, cranky neighbors and duplicitous landlords.

    Sure, that's the nature of the beast when you have limited resources to break from the norm in a venue off the beaten path. But it's a bit unfair that these happenings are seemingly held to a higher standard and kept on a shorter leash than the more established big boys of nightlife from which they offer a welcome respite.

    You could say that being forced even deeper underground is a good thing for parties like these. But eventually there'll be nowhere left to dig.