1) Studio 54. The be-all and end-all of ’70s glitz and hedonism. A crazy salad populated with the bad and the beautiful.
2) Mudd Club. The anti-54, this divey new wave hangout on a side street in downtown’s then-wasteland bred skinny ties, attitude, and sheer brilliance.
3) Area. A gigantic ’80s club that made its own rules, dedicating itself to art themes and frisky people.
4) Danceteria. A four-floor haunt for big-haired ’80s performance types who comprised a monument to boho brassiness, back when there was an underground.
5) Jackie 60. Partying with aesthetics, poetics, war paint, and a dress code. Gorgeous!
6) Happy Valley. Just four years ago, it brought back the club kid explosion on Tuesdays as if recreating a sexier, cross-dressing Brigadoon.
7) CBGB. If you didn’t have a pierced nose, they’d gladly give you one.
8) The Roxy. Gay heaven every Saturday night, especially if you had a nice chest (and that included the drag queens).
9) The Palladium. A multi-level colossus that was the height of ’80s gall and recreation, from the Mike Todd Room on top to the Engine Room on the bottom.
10) Limelight. A church-turned-decadence-den with a few nice people sprinkled in.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 19, 2011