Why Gawker Needs to Quit on This Mike’s Apartment Story, ASAP


Not because we found it. At 9 Great Jones Street, right above ACME, corner of Lafayette. Big red door. And not because Axl Rose and the rest of the nightlife elite don’t deserve some after-after-hours spot to hang out it, even if it’s the apartment of a regular dude with Phish posters and a pickle fetish. It’s New York; we all need to go somewhere. No. The reason Gawker–who followed up their original, insinuating “The Newest Hot Spot in NY” story with an update this morning featuring the humiliating boast that “everyone with any claim at all to downtown cred has been through”–needs to stop writing about Mike’s Apartment is because it’s marketing, not any kind of useful service to anyone but the people involved. The only demographic it serves are those invested in Mike’s Apartment. And who are they, again?

Well, for starters, Gawker’s Ravi Somaiya, writer of both posts. On a pedestrian and not very interesting level, Gawker’s famous pageview incentive program–which we will not pretend to understand the details of, except in the generic “more hits=better” sense”–rewards Somaiya for keeping both posts afloat and in the conversation. As long as “Mike’s Apartment” exists as a concept, that’s a win for Somaiya and for Gawker as well. Nevermind that Gawker would’ve ripped its own original post to bloody shreds had it appeared in, say, the Observer. Or that the site’s essential function is supposedly demystifying the various species New York elites, not fucking valorizing them or worse, actively keeping their secrets. But Gawker mission creep–egregious an example of that as this is–and Ravi Somaiya’s lame attempt to keep people interested in place that proudly entertains a decrepit Axl Rose on a nightly basis aren’t anywhere near the worst things in play here.

To wit, what is Mike’s Apartment again? A spot for “promoters from Avenue, 1OAK and Greenhouse,” according to the original Gawker post. Run by a guy named “Mike,” who is currently “developing a new nightclub project” with some “fairly unorthodox nightlife friends.” So we’re talking about professionals here. Professionals who stand to reap all kinds of benefits, credibility, and negotiating leverage in their various ventures should Mike’s Apartment become some legendary mecca of New York nightlife. Gawker might as well be printing business cards for these assholes. And the site pumping up the place is only good news for them, especially when the riff raff still can’t get in–you can hang outside (again, that’s 9 Great Jones Street, red door), but unless you know the right phone number, you’re not going up.

While we’re at it, what else is going on over there? Well, as Eater’s Scott Solish points out, “there have been rumors floating around about the Acme space for months”–to wit, that it’s the site of a new venture from Beatrice owner Paul Sevigny. In fact, that was Gawker’s scoop–Ravi Somaiya’s, to be exact. The venue, Gawker reported back in late December, “is in final negotiations, is near Soho and over multiple floors.” Eater commenters pegged the venue as ACME long before Mike’s Apartment was a glimmer in the Internet’s eye.

So what’s essentially being conducted is a media-assisted, shadow advertising campaign for what likely will turn, eventually, into a legitimate nightlife venue, with furniture trucked in from the old Beatrice Inn and a restaurant not unlike Sevigny’s just sort-of-opened Kenmare. That not one of the rest of us, including Gawker’s own readers, will ever be able to get into. And Somaiya, who has been dropping hints about it since last year, knows all about it. It’s just that he–and Gawker–aren’t telling.

Mike’s Apartment: an Update [Gawker]
This the Infamous “Mike’s Apartment,” aka New York’s Newest Hotspot? [Sound of the City]
The Newest Hotspot in NY: Some Dude’s Apartment [Gawker]

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