By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
The Village Voice used its space more than appropriately in the five features that made up the cover package "Superclubs Die: Let a Thousand Parties Bloom" [July 17] to emphasize what happens when a humorless city government wages war on nightlife. Condemning the since-closed club Twilo for providing water and private ambulances to patrons is like condemning a needle exchange for providing clean syringes to addicts. Chalk up another casualty of ignorant, conservative hysteria.
Adjunct Professor in Music Composition
State University of New York
SIX DEGREES OF PROHIBITION
As an adult in New York City in the year 2001, I find the enforcement of the Prohibition-era cabaret laws extremely insulting to our culture. This city telling me where I can shake my rear end is ridiculous. I feel like running around an abandoned warehouse like Kevin Bacon to the song "Footloose." I have seen several clubs closed or fined because of these laws. It could be your favorite place next.
A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED
A brief comment on Frank Owen's article "Private Pandemonium" [July 17], about the fact that the New York club scene is played out and underground house parties are more fun. No shit. Let's think for a moment about why this is. Perhaps it has something to do with the access that has been given to way too many jerkoffs, morons, and yuppies. Assuming this is the case, why then, when there's something new happening, something real and freaky and interesting, would you run a story about it? Please, if you get the inclination to do something like this again, think about it. There are so few places left to get away from these people. Why do you have to write them a fucking guide?
DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE
Although there are a few inconsistencies in Frank Owen's July 17 report on our group, I agree with the basic premise that Giuliani's "quality of life" measures and the use of archaic cabaret laws have severely stifled nightlife in New York. (For the record, the city was sued [after the demolition of the 5th Street Homestead squat] by the 5th Street Homestead Coalition of which the Blackkat DJ collective was a part; and our works are solid and not held together by "bits of duct tape.")
However, I disagree that the Giuliani crackdown has led to a flourishing of underground parties. These obnoxious acts by the city have hurt warehouse and loft events. The moving parties that survive today take place only through dogged determination, networking, and endless hassle. Perhaps a few clubbers have moved into the private spaces, but for those of us who have supported hardcore techno for years, the clubs, the lounges, and bars never offered much.
Most Voicereaders would agree that city policy under the current mayor has hurt cultural life on many levels. I contend that the bigger enemy is the apathy and desperate need for quiet and convenience so prevalent in lower Manhattan and affluent Brooklyn neighborhoods. That's the real backbone of support for Rudy's monster. Would-be hipster upwardly mobile single young adults in this city need to ask themselves, "What have I done to stop this? What can I do?"
RUDY AND THE REDNECKS
Clearly, an unstated aim of Giuliani and his cronies is the attainment of control over nightlife. The public is led to believe, however, that by paralyzing "these little buckets of blood," society will be better off in the long run. What officials fail to realize, though, is what is brooding underground.
If Giuliani's wet dream was to aggravate the hell out of club owners, promoters, and those who flirt with the scene, he has succeeded. On the other hand, and more importantly, his temporary gain has created a long-term loss. Namely, the semi-fascist Giuliani administration and those tied into it have prompted the younger generation to realize a painful truth: Only sustained resistance can prevent the takeover of our world by those geared to exploit and control it.
Giuliani can get the fuck off my dance floor. I don't want him there anyway.
There are reasons why clubs like Twilo, the Tunnel, and Limelight are chased by the city: lack of illegal-substance control, owners who don't pay taxes, improperly trained staffs, etc. Some of the biggest clubs in New York city are untouchable because they follow the rules. The city only closes a business when they have concrete reasons to do so.
BEHIND THE SCENE
I think the authorities were completely justified in shutting down Twilo. I was a Twilo- goer for a long timethat is, until three episodes where I was almost escorted to the infamous back room [where people who had OD'd allegedly were hidden]. That club was a crack palace. If it had stayed open, more deaths due to drugs would have occurred.