Time Out New York: Party Flukes in Chinatown and Tribeca

There is this online magazine called Time Out New York. It is supposed to give you good advice on New York City insider events, music gigs, and, most importantly, parties during the week and on the weekend. When you visit its Web site, you see a brilliantly colorful home page made up of juicy hints and tips of what to do in your leisure time. The make-up of the site is temptingly fashionable and up-to-date, so that it’s quite a joy to read. Therefore, it’s no wonder the Roomie is, or rather, used to be a big fan of this mag.

When we first roomed together, she always talked about what a great party was going on at this club and that bar according to Time Out, and that one day we should try it out. Well, this one day happened to come around in the spring, on a nice Friday evening in May. Spontaneously we decided to try our luck and go for a spot in Chinatown, not too far from the Canal Street stop.

Now I happened to already have lived here a bit over a year.
The only other experience I had with Chinatown was in my first few months, when my friend and I tried out the infamous “Happy Endings” on a Tuesday night. Happy Endings sounded so promising, so tempting, and yet it turned out to be a true disappointment. Guess it had been a hot insider spot back in the days – five years ago! Or maybe even the summer before. But of course it was out and done with when we stopped by. Only some lonesome drug addicts were willing to share the bar with us, the dance floor had not even opened up. Back to my story: Happy Ending hat not been too promising. So I didn’t really get my hopes up for this joint. After getting lost a couple of times and then finding the right way, we wandered off the beaten paths and slouched closer to the awaited club night. We sort of did wonder why no one was on the streets anymore. After all, this was supposed to be the “hottest thing to do on a Friday night.” But then we entered Lafayette Street and drew closer to the given address. Two lonely cowboys bouncers stood in front of a ragged-up building. We asked if this was Old Firehouse and they said yes. They also said we stood no chance to get inside as there was a private party going on. I had already questioned their intelligence from their previous appearance but when I asked the guy if there was usually something going on here, he just sneered at me and said: “That’s not getting you in tonight!” Rude Bastard! He then yelled “nice body” behind us as we turned our backs and marched off, but I made sure to respond with a well-aimed “Compared to yours it is!,” until we finally vanished around the corner. Thank you Time Out New York for driving us towards the deepest ghetto parts of Chi-town.

Another story I have to share is the one happening in Tribeca: Fast-forward one month and this time I was stupid enough to consult Time Out NY for a Tuesday evening adventure. There was this advertised rock party, “wildest thing going on during the week,” happening from 10 PM on, located close to the Green House. So we got off at Spring St and walked past high-class-restaurants and wide street crossings towards it. The closer we came, the less commercialized the area looked like and the more deserted it seemed. With my heart still filled with hope for a real “grunge rock party,” I drew closer and saw a flickering light in the middle of the road. It must there! But at 10:15 PM, when the doors should have been wide open already, bartenders and busboys were unloading their drinks and still stocking up the bar. No one was inside except for the bouncer who came out after 5 minutes. Didn’t look like a wild party to us! To make matters worse, the bouncer confirmed our suspicion and pointed out that the bar usually opens at 11 PM. No rock music had been played in over a year, he said. What a disappointment! The Roomie just laughed and said it was okay, as she had erroneously misled us to that Chinatown dump the last time, too. So we just walked back, past the Green House, a popular gay club on that night, had a talk with the guys who were standing in line at 10 PM already to get in first (and didn’t think we would fit the crowd, rudos!) and just went on to the Meatpacking District.

So if you ever make the mistake to actually listen to Time Out New York’s brilliant weekend and party tips, do not say I’ve never warned you! I’ve did it in an entire, hand-written post!