Category Archives: Night Club Spotlight

The Top Clubs in the Meatpacking District

Pictured: The gorgeous bar at Tenjune in the Meatpacking District

By Samantha Nicholson

Clubs and lounges in the Meatpacking District often have the reputation of being pretentious. However, these clubs are also known to offer the best time, and the most celebrity-spotting. If you can get in, you are practically guaranteed to have the time of your life mingling amongst the city’s elite and fashionable. Some of the top night clubs in the Meatpacking District include Tenjune, Avenue, 1Oak, and Kiss &Fly. These clubs have a similar atmosphere, but they differ in several ways. This guide will help you choose which one suits your tastes for a fun night out in the infamous Meatpacking District.
Tenjune is one of the easier Meatpacking District clubs to get into. Two years ago, this was a different story. However, the doormen can still be difficult if you aren’t dressed fashionably or have too many gentlemen in your group. Make sure your group has a favorable girl-to-guy ratio and everyone’s dressed to the nines. Also, be polite to the doorman, and definitely don’t beg for entry. Begging has never worked for anyone. Clubs actually like having the beggars outside because it gives the club the an “exclusive” image. Doormen know from the moment they see your group whether you are partying there tonight or going to be left out in the cold. If the doorman tells you no, say “Ok, thanks” and go find somewhere else to party. This applies to all clubs. If you get into Tenjune, you will enjoy the gread soundsystem and beautiful atmosphere. This club might not be the best anymore, but it still gets lots of models and celebrities on a weekly basis. Tuesdays are the best nights at Tenjune.
Avenue and 1Oak are very similar. They are actually right next door to each other, and once inside you can find the secret pathway upstairs that leads to the other club. The crowd is also very similar; the people are definitely fashionable. A gown or a full suit is not appropriate here, but a sundress or a blazer with jeans would be fine. The doormen can be arrogant, and if you plead for entry you won’t be treated nicely. Once inside, you will find great DJs and delicious drinks. Yes, the drinks are about $18 each, but you have to expect this from NYC’s Meatpacking District. These clubs are arguably the top clubs in New York City.
Kiss and Fly offers the same glamorous Meatpacking District experience as 1Oak and Avenue, but it is slightly easier to get into. Tons of club promoters work for Kiss and Fly, so if you can befriend a few, you will be guaranteed easy entry here. Kiss and Fly is also slightly larger than the other two clubs, so you have more room and more space to sit down. Kiss and Fly is best on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The Meatpacking District is arguably the best club district in the world. When and if you get inside a club in the District, you will never want to party elsewhere.



Filed under Night Club Spotlight, NYC Culture, Samantha Nicholson

Bar Profile: McSorley’s Old Ale House

by Sam Cook

McSorley’s Old Ale House, located in the East Village at 15 E. 7th Street, is a historic bar that has attracted locals and tourists for over 150 years. An Irish immigrant by the name of John McSorley opened up the bar after being driven out of his homeland shortly after the potato famine. The play “McSorley’s Inflation” opened on Broadway in 1882 and essentially put the bar on the map. Since then, the bar has been an inspiration for the works of artists like John Sloan and writers such as E.E. Cummings and Joseph Mitchell.
If you come here to drink, you must like beer, and you must like McSorley’s Ale because that is all they have. The good thing is that it’s pretty damn good! The beer comes in 8 oz steins in two varieties, light and dark (very creative). When you order one you get two, not a bad deal right? The only catch is that you have to keep drinking. You’ll be shown the door if you stop drinking as they don’t take kindly to freeloaders. They even adopted the slogan “Be good or be gone” as their motto.
McSorley’s, has welcomed many celebrities over the years including Teddy Roosevelt, John Lennon and the New York Rangers who drank McSorley’s Ale from the Stanley Cup after their victory. The bar is also home to priceless decor including the last photo of Babe Ruth, an original invitation to the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, and an original Wanted sign for John Wilkes Booth. One cannot walk into McSorley’s without noticing the incredibly dusty ancient gas lamp up above. Supposedly, soldiers hung wishbones on this lamp before heading off to war only to be removed if they returned. It now serves as a memorial and a sign of respect.The bottom line with McSorley’s Ale House is that it’s a old fashioned bar with rich history. It’s not a place for a nice meal, cocktail, or quiet conversation. The forms of payment is still primitive, accepting only cash and the urinals in the Men’s bathroom hasn’t been renovated since 1911. Can you tell? It’s nonetheless a historic New York City bar where one can enjoy the game, the unique decor, and a damn good beer. It is clearly a must-see in New York.
For more on McSorley’s Ale House be sure to check out Sean Parnell’s article with the Chicago Bar Project.
To LIVE the history of this bar as well as others in the East Village, book the East Village Pub Crawl with Uncle Sam’s New York today!

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Does 22 go into 40?

By David C

I used to live in Kenya, a stunning country whose silver beaches are lined with tropical palms, fluorescent corals and young Maasai African men… rubbing sun cream onto middle-aged German women.

At the ignorant and un-lubricated age of 18, when I first encountered this phenomenon, I assumed these relationships to be solely financial – not the case at all. Replace palm trees with crack-cocaine salesmen and fluorescent corals with neon club lights and you’ll notice Manhattan is host to exactly the same sort of chronophilic behavior. Attraction to someone outside of one’s own age group is common amongst expiring men for obvious physiological reasons, but as a youthful ‘cub’ my interest lies in the emerging tendencies of the older (or less-young) female elite – COUGARS!

In the late 16th Century Queen Elizabeth 1st (53) flew the wrinkly flag for the MILFs when she had an affair with the Earl of Essex (26) and since then Demi Moore, Gabrielle Solis and my dentist have led the ‘cougar revolution’ into the new decade. The question is, why are there so many more of these playful paraphiles parading around?

Prowling 40-somethings are melting through the generations like crumbling Pavlova in an unplugged fridge: fortunately the crusty meringue barely escapes the rusting upper shelves, whilst the soft bits form a tasty glazing over the fresh fruit at the bottom (us). I appreciate that our utopic romantic ideology, rippling wash-board abs and youthful stamina are more appealing than a husband who could use his own nasal hair to fashion a toupee for his balding genitals, but are we really worth the chase? Well… yes, apparently.

A self-confessed cougar explained to me that she approaches younger men regularly, not just for their youthful good looks, but also for their non-traditional appreciation of females. It transpires that we have grown up in a generation that views women as equals rather than as subordinates and are therefore not threatened by their wealth and experience. As such, we can concentrate less on feeling threatened by their independence, and more on satisfying all their wildest neo-teenaged bedroom fantasies.

However, I am also told that the pre-frontal cortex – the part of the brain that makes most decisions – is not fully developed in males until the age of 25. I for one have no problem deciding that I would prefer to carry out my own colonic irrigation with a straw than to be married or have children dribbling down my shirt… but I imagine immaturity is up there on the list of drawbacks cougars might consider.

We should also ask what a horny young stud could find appealing about a woman who will loose her dentures before her bra, and whose pussy can most accurately be described as the hair between her boobs. Well, the truth is that not all of them look like the product of someone cleaning out the bath plug with a half-chewed breadstick. With intelligence, experience, natural and non-natural good looks, cougars are stealing men away from their own daughters without even the offer of a sportsman’s double (look it up!). If you happen to be one, I applaud you for maintaining such class and energy above the cesspool of stagnating, sweat-pant-clad slugs most women succumb to.

I’ve met many cougars prowling the nightlife scene in New York and have noticed a few subtleties that govern their success with the prey. Those whose bodies are still clinging together are not afraid to advertise them, but this must be done tastefully. I’m told the general rule is 2/4: you have four seductive areas on your body – shoulders, back, waste and rack – and only two of these should be naked at any one time (unless, of course, a post-apocalyptic waxwork Mrs Doubtfire is the look you’re going for). Similarly, your seduction techniques, whilst effortless, can often be a little, well… terrifying. I don’t usually need you to remind me where my bits are (or where yours are, for that matter) to be attracted, and biting is definitely off-limits in the first five minutes.

However, drop the pretence that you are as young as you look and you can undoubtedly bring a level of elegant flirtation to the evening that your adolescent counterparts can’t compete with. But there is one more snag… insecurity. I fear that your crippling fear that your hip may crumble before you get to the bar to talk to us is hindering your confidence. In my opinion the toy-boys of New York, mature enough to be proud of their sophisticated tastes, should revel in the opportunity to learn something new about dating and about romance. So have fun exerting your power as the elegant temptress he dreamed about when he was 13 and you’ll soon know the answer to my opening question!

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Why do we do it?!

– David C.

After a swift 45 minutes in line you have now fashioned a healthy arrangement of icicles under your nuts and the vodka shots you thought would ‘get you in the mood’ before you left your apartment have worn off. You considered giving that homeless guy in a wheel-chair 5 bucks but decided to save it for lollipops and cheap after-shave in the bathroom. The majority of your compatriots in the line have formed a penguin-like huddle to keep warm and their energy-conserving silence is punctured only by contemptuous moans and hisses as each new throng of ‘VIPs’ parades through the door without so much as a murmur from the bouncer. He, by the way, is a 12-foot Ork whose face resembles an old woman’s cushion left out in the yard for cats to piss on. Once inside, the club management charges only $4 to lose your coat and sneering bartenders snatch ungratefully at your tips. Gasping for fresh air amongst the wasteland of smokers outside turns your skin grey and your eyeballs yellow but is the only reprieve you can get from the DJ’s monotonous drone and the blistering screeches of women around you. (Why is it only the ugly ones that claw at you like mummy’s from the grave?). Your attempts to bust shapes on the dance floor more closely resemble a drowning orangutan with Parkinson’s than the latest Timberlake video, and you have now lost both of your friends amongst the swarm of swaggering protein shakes with tattoos.  You come to the swift conclusion that, despite the hand-towel-peddler being your only friend in this place, his bathroom lollipops are a rip-off. Stumbling outside once again, you hurl a little unintelligible abuse at the Ork-man and make for the nearest street-meat stand. As you glance down at the cocktail of salmonella, swine-flu and herpes that festers amongst your chicken kebab it begins to rain and your odds of attracting a taxi slide a little closer toward those of attracting a girl. Only three subway trains later (one broke down for 20 minutes) you are back in your decaying apartment. You empty your pockets of crumbly chewing gum sticks and that single, naïve condom and sneer at the slightly better-looking you in the mirror. With your jeans barely unbuttoned, just the thought of gathering the energy to masturbate bores you to sleep…

Why do we do it?!

The ‘nightlife’ scene of any city is the single most universally enjoyed activity for its youth. Despite every word of my anecdote ringing true to the vast majority of adolescent boys and men we continue to shed dignity by the glass-full and why? … SEX.

Girls, if you are continuing to read, don’t be alarmed – you are no different! I enjoy the friendship of many members of both sexes (and one hermaphrodite) and have noticed one thing binding them together: they party to meet the opposite sex. And what’s more, they’re pretty likely to stop partying once they’re hitched and don’t need to anymore! If you are in the anti-Darwinian minority that insists you are just there to ‘chat to your friends’, please ask yourself whether there mightn’t be a more apt location for you’re A-sexual endeavors than a throbbing nightclub.

Replace disco-ball with log-fire and you’ll recollect that we’ve been practicing this social game for around… 40,000 years – we’re just not very good at it! Of course some are better than others and I’d like to reframe the rather uninspiring image I painted for you earlier with a brighter and more vivid impression of how exciting New York nightlife can be:

You are magnetized to the radiant glow of beautifully crafted individuals gathering outside the club, and that tune that always gets you in the mood for the night. Jordan – the pleasant bouncer whose kid wants to be a basketball player – recognizes you and your two buddies and waves you straight in, along with the four lovely girls you’ve invited along from the last bar. You enjoy even the line for coat-check by chatting to an interesting guy who turns out to manage recruitment at the company you’re applying to. Now the path to million-dollar success in your career is in the bag you can return your attention to the critical matter of awesome bar games. Bright colored lights illuminate the party you’ve created just by having FUN and before you can say “where did this stick come from” you’re beating girls away with a stick. As your friends make themselves comfortable with Lilly and Amanda you spin Jennifer in closer and fend off her cheeky remarks like “so where do you live, Don Juan?” and “mmMMMMmmm”…

What changed here other than your frame of mind? Enjoying this kind of nightlife experience – or any other that suits you – is not difficult once you are in the right mindset… and when better to start than this weekend?

In New York the opportunities to socialize are limitless and their nuances and intricacies fascinate me. I am not a millionaire but I am learning quickly how to party like one, using only one tool – charisma! This is exactly what I will be writing about every Thursday to get you IN THE MOOD for the weekend. By exploring every aspect of the New York scene, I will offer tips and observations on a range of nightlife phenomena including: getting in quickly, charming the bartenders, perfecting your bar-side body language, winning free drinks and, of course… hooking up.

Until next week, Go out, Be you, Don’t worry, and HAVE FUN!!

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NYC Nightlife: The Paradox of NYC Nightlife

Welcome to the Nightlife Corner.  I am going to take this opportunity writing the first column for our nightlife column to explain to you the paradox of New York City Nightlife.  On the one hand, it is the most magical, enchanting city at night in the world; on the other hand, it is the most complex and bewildering city to navigate at night.

First, the Majesty.  Frank Sinatra’s immortal song, New York, New York, perfectly captures to the idea of New York City when he called it “The City that never sleeps.”  With subways, buses, and taxis running 24 hours a day – compared with London where the subways stop at midnight – and laws that allow bars and night clubs to stay open until 4 am, New York City is always abuzz with something.  I was walking with my Uncle this summer, an avid world traveler, and he remarked to me that of all the cities in the world, he is struck by the life of New York City “It is literally Throbbing.”  From the oldest bars in New York City, to the newest, most chic night clubs, there is a nightlife option for everyone to enjoy the magical city lights.

Now, the mystery.  New York City is so great a night because it has an almost unlimited supply of options.  But this makes the city also one of the most complex to navigate.  Where do you go?  And on what night?  A night club one night might be perfect for a group of 20 something travelers from all over the world, but the next night, because of the D.J. and the crowd, it would be the worst place in the world to send them.  Likewise, some bars on some nights are perfect venues to enjoy a few drinks with friends around a table, whereas on another night it will be packed wall to wall with people.

So what to do?  If you are a traveler or new to New York City, you are completely lost.  But don’t worry, even the locals are.  In New York City, locals have such a hard time following the nightlife scene that they literally outsource it to promoters and event companies who keep them informed about the latest parties and events.  This column is going to focus on helping both locals and Travelers unlock the secrets of following the trends and enjoying New York City nightlife, whether you are a low key bar connoisseur, or a high energy night club party goer.

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Night Club Spotlight: Marquee

It’s hard to talk about NYC nightlife and not bring up Marquee, where stars like P. Diddy, Scarlett Johannson, and Michael Phelps have partied. The West Chelsea hot spot has been ranked #32 on the 2009 Night Club & Bar Top 100 according to and appeals to those who want the high-energy of a large club while still maintaining the intimacy of a smaller one. The firm of Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie Archiects along with nightlife designer Steve Lewis, created the ultra-lounge that opened in December of 2003. Johnson is known as the dean of 20th century American architecture, creating Manhattan landmarks such as the Lipstick Building and the Seagram Building. He finished up his designs for Marquee shortly before his death, but there is no doubt that his fine work will continue to be praised.Marquee is set apart from other venues by it’s architectural originality but some connect it’s style with that of a classic gentlemen’s club. The main cabaret space was created by carving out the original roof and replacing it with a 24-foot vaulted ceiling and decorated with lighting fixtures to highlight the signature 35-foot wishbone staircase. The night club features three distinct areas; the main room which tends to play house/techno, the second level where one hears hip/hop, and the Red Room which is tucked in the rear of the main room (ideal for intimate interaction). Each of the rooms come with a full-service bar where one can enjoy a cocktail for a steep $18 on a busy night.
Natural woods, glistening brass, glass accents, and the plush, leathery banquettes add to the luxurious ambiance of Marquee, which entertains thousands of guests weekly. The club uses its own chic tableware and top of the line audio and lighting technology. It has a capacity of 600 people so don’t surprised if you don’t get in if you’re only decently dressed, with a group of guys, or refuse to shell out the average cover of $25. The crowd tends to comprise of many Europeans due to its international praise, which may or may not be what you’re looking for. It is also a wise idea not to bring too much into the Marquee because the coat check will charge you for each item you wish them to hold. Hit up Marquee if you’re looking for a luxurious night in NYC and you’re not on a budget. Play your cards right and you may just bump into one of your favorite celebrities! Check out a video of Marquee during New Year’s Eve 2007 to get a better feel of what you’ll be experiencing inside.

Get more info on one of Chelsea’s hottest night club’s at Marquee’s official website here.

To skip the lines, get free drinks, meet new people, and go home with a story in clubs like Marquee, be sure to reserve your spot on the Chelsea Night Club Tour operating Friday and Saturday nights.

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Getting into NYC Nightclubs

So you want to enjoy New York City’s legendary nightlife filled with dancing, drinking, socializing, and a story to go home with? Well we got good news for you. You can make this desire a reality as long you follow some unwritten nightlife rules. Some of these tips may be obvious, all are simple, but they are also key to having a successful clubbing experience in the city that never sleeps. The first step to enjoying a NYC nightclub is to actually GET IN the club. There’s more to this than you may initially think so be prepared to get turned down if you don’t take these things into consideration.

  • Get on the list
    • Planning to party at a nightclub does not have to be last minute. If you plan ahead and get on the guest list, you have a lot better chance of getting in. Go on the desired club’s website or a promoter’s website and look to sign up. It’s always a good idea to get on a few club’s guest lists if you are unsure of where you may end up.
  • Get in with promoters
    • If you decide to get on the list of a nightclub promoter make sure you get their name and number so you can give them a heads up when you arrive. Promoters make their money by getting people in the club, so they want you there. All you have to do is let them know when you show up and you’ll jump that long line.
  • Book a table ahead of time
    • If you are traveling with a group or meeting up with friends at the same club, booking a table in advance is a great idea. It is a lot more convenient and you’ll be able to cut the line. Booking a table can be done through promoters or nightlife tour companies, just remember to name drop the promoter or company at the door.

So far these tips have been for planning at least a day or two in advance. What if it’s the day of and you haven’t done any of the above? You may not be totally out of luck, but realize that it will be a bit tougher to get in and will most likely require waiting. Even if you did plan ahead, there are still things you need to take into consideration for the night of. Here are some last minute tips

  • Dress to impress
  • Arrive with women
    • Bouncers will let women in first so you’ll probably get in faster if you’re with a group of them. If you’re a social butterfly and you’re flying solo, you might want to get to know some ladies while on line.
  • Respect the bouncer
    • If you annoy the bouncer, you won’t get in anytime soon it’s as simple as that.
    • Asking stupid questions or being cocky won’t help your chances but trying to be buddy buddy with the bouncer won’t either. They aren’t there to make friends, they’re working
    • Tipping the bouncer is risky. Many bouncers won’t accept tips and plenty will take your money and simply not let you in any sooner. With that in mind, I suggest saving your money to spend on a drink for the cute girl inside.

There you have it. If you keep these things in mind and follow some of the advice offered, you should have no problem getting into a NYC nightclub. Once in, expect to pay a cover charge at the door, especially at popular clubs on the weekends.

Enjoy the clubbing experience in New York City and don’t hesitate to add suggestions or ask questions about these tips.

If you want the ultimate nightlife experience, including two free drinks, line cutting, drink specials, and the opportunity to meet new people, book Uncle Sam’s New York’s Chelsea Nightclub Tour operating every Friday and Saturday night.

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