Bowery Ballroom Booker Johnny Beach Loves Oksana Baiul and the Jersey City Chili’s


This week is the Voice‘s Best of NYC issue, our annual opportunity to bestow arbitrary awards like Best Guitar Shredder and Best Gay Theater Fest. In turn, we asked a few of our favorite New Yorkers to name their favorite local things.

Johnny Beach, the booker for the Bowery Ballroom, has seen Oksana Baiul breakdancing on the F train. For that, we’ll even let his Chili’s namedrop slide.

Best ballroom other than your own?

There is this really sweet Gazebo in Cape Cod. I think it’s on 6A in Dennis or thereabouts. Also that Gazebo bar on Nantucket is pretty sweet too–try the Mud Slide.

Best use of an empty ballroom all to yourself?

Shotgunning beers.

Best place to forget you’re in New York?

Chili’s in Jersey City!

Best bar to take the band to?

2A or Hi-Fi or Piano’s, perhaps? Or my roof.

Best place to send out of towners who want to see the “real” New York?

Yankee Stadium

Best street performer?

I once saw Oksana Baiul breakdancing at the F train at West 4th St. That was amazing.

Best spot to watch the show from in Bowery?

Ahhh, this one I’ll have to answer like Mr. Belichick. I’ll just say the Bowery was my favorite place to see a band before I had anything to do with it. Mostly because no matter where you are in the room you’ll have good sightlines and sound.

Best New York activity your mother wouldn’t want to hear about?

Don’t worry Mom, I’m ok!!!

Best pick-up line to use on interns?

I remind them I’m cuter than [Mercury Lounge booker] Jay Belin.