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Best Dance Club - 2011
When it started seeming as if the dance club was as lost a New York tradition as the porn store—thanks to the economy, city crackdowns, and the increasing power of neighborhood boards who detest nightlife as if it were trouble in River City—along came District 36, which got the licenses, beat the odds, and opened last year in a perfectly sane, mid-level way that's right for this era. The 14,000-square-foot place on the site of an old clothing factory is, by its owners' admission, not overly done up. The space is not about excess or gratuitous expense, but it still looks sleek and appealing, thanks to slick lighting effects, slide projections, and a futuristic cage of a DJ booth that has housed names like Larry Tee, Victor Calderone, and Jonathan Peters. Newbies dance without even knowing what a rare and exalted commodity they're engaging in. Hopefully this club will have sex with another dance club and make babies. 29 West 36th Street, 212-244-3636, d36nyc.com (10018)