By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Free DJ Wendella, Volume 1
I enjoyed "The Next Brooklyns." As a struggling DJ here, I have often thought of fleeing for greener pastures, and it was interesting to read that others are doing just that.
Between my being thrown out of Pianos bar last year for dancing (yep, still can't believe that one, but it sure does make a great story to tell nonNew Yorkers!) and having my favorite little DJ-friendly bars and lounges close down one by one, New York isn't really the starving artist's paradise I'd envisioned when I moved here two years ago. I know top-rate DJs here that have been doing this their whole lives and are barely even able to make a living now. And a little hobbyist DJ like myselfI can hardly get gigs anymorefinds it even harder to connect with the lovers of music out there in the sea of overwhelming choices that is New York nightlife.
So the article tempted me. . . . But it failed to touch on how these DJs are able to live and work in Europe. Are they just overstaying their tourist visas, leaving the country every three months to renew their visas?
Living in Barcelona in a big apartment with a thriving nightlife scene eating paella and tapas until the wee hours does sound very appealing, but living in secret, illegally, without the national health care benefits that many offer their citizens sounds . . . less appealing.
Come November, if the masses in America choose to keep the current administration, I may follow suit and pack my bags. Perhaps there are enough answers out there to warrant a sequel to this story, to help those of us daydreaming of flamenco dancing decide if it's really as dreamy as it sounds.
Librarians in Iberia?
I've been waiting for an article like "The Next Brooklyns" for a while. In it Romano notes that New York's dance music scene is undergoing a brain drain. But it's not just that scene which is fed up with the new conservatism in this country and is jumping ship. I've talked to people across the country in their thirties and fortieslibrarians and teachers and social workers (like myself), some with childrenwho say they'd seriously consider moving to Germany or Spain if they could find a legal way to do it. They're tired of trying to live in a country where fear has supplanted freedom and quality of life is being held hostage by ignorance, intolerance, and greed.
I wonder if we're facing a time when, like Paris in the '20s, some Americans found the atmosphere at home too stifling and left. Except this time, it won't be just the artists.
Lyle Derek was misidentified in Tricia Romano's "Moonlighting" [Fly Life, August 1117]. He was not the "man behind" Squeezebox. During the party's heyday, he actually worked as a go-go dancer. Martin Belk, Michael Schmidt, Patrick Briggs, Miss Guy, Misstress Formika, and Steve Trask were the primary promoters. And in last week's Fly Life [August 1824], the event that police busted at Volume was thrown by Indymedia, not Madagascar Institute, as Volume employees told the Voice.