"Ay, Papi!" shouts a tall, reedy Latina woman in cornrows and a black Adidas tracksuit, propping her elbows against the bar. It's near 6 a.m. at Shelter; this Saturday-night-into-Sunday-morning, like every week, the party will lure deep-house devotees to 20 West 39th Street. "Give me a water and don't give it to me on Puerto Rican time." She slams down a few bucks as her fistful of silver rings clangs on the countertop, twists open the bottle, and then turns to slip one arm around a small woman's waist. The raw, percussive intro to River Ocean and India's classic "Love and Happiness (Yemaya y Ochún)" unwinds through the sound system, which prompts the woman to scream, "Oh shit!" Suddenly she's smiling madly and jumping up and down with her hands flying in the air, yelling, "Yo, this song... More >>>
By photo: Cary Conover
The Shelter dancefloor, where time travels in reverse.