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  • Writer's pictureAnderson

Some Clubs Close, Others Open


When I, Anderson, heard SoHo hipster staple Goldbar was closing soon, I was excited to make an event out of it. I invited pretty much everyone I know. I love a great big party, and what better way to

celebrate a bar and party venue than to have a great big party? Folks I haven’t seen in a while, folks I

have yet to really party with, even folks I didn’t know, I invited them all.

They say in storytelling formulas that when you explain a plan, it should fail in some way.

Turns out that’s what happened. It’s humbling to be reminded we’re all still just characters in the

chaotic narrative of some divine author out there.

The night came to me by surprise. Too much work and not enough connection to time. (I live

unanchored.) The city was weeping at the funeral: a torrential rainstorm was ripping through that

Saturday. If you know New York you know heavy rain here is hellish. I personally hate the rain.

Puddles everywhere, a dark grimy haze over the sky, a severe chill running through you. Most sane

people stayed in that night. Many people flaked and many people never responded to my invitation(s).

Strike one.

Strike two: of course, there was trouble in paradise. There’s a specific kind of frustration when

it comes to having an actual healthy relationship with someone. You will disagree and your feelings

will get hurt but there won’t be any insane transgressions. No one cheats, no one lies, but still you

can’t agree on something, or still there are issues which come up due to off-hand statements taken the

wrong way or subtle lingering looks or even your body language. Is it justifiable to hold a grudge

based solely on vibes? Is it admissible to mistrust due to the pains of the past?

How can I become immortal? Is it a backwards process, a focus on the instant in rejection of the

past and future? Sometimes it feels like the answer is to be ephemeral and effervescent. To lay it all on

the line and dance everything out. Eternity is just neverending moments one after another. That was

what I was seeking really, stubbornly, though the universe was saying very clearly that nothing lasts

forever. Goldbar feels like a glamorous symbol of it. The place was never really that great. The vibe of

it is definitely outdated: it felt like the physical manifestation of Kanye’s “Yeezus” era. It’s unrealistic

to hold onto the 2010 aesthetic, isn’t it? Audacious gold and black, standing on couches, throwing up

middle fingers in photos, screaming the words to “N*ggas in Paris”. The time had to come. I think they were going broke, too; they’re still selling the gold skulls that decorated the walls for $125 pop, like chunks from the Berlin Wall.

Everything has to end. But I couldn’t fathom why they would die without accepting more

money. I put on a new double breasted suit and tie with a fur coat on top. My lover came in a new

dress and thigh-high leather boots. We certainly looked like money. But still, strike three: they turned

us away at the door because it was a private event. Even when I offered to buy a bottle or a table, they

refused. Maybe it was brave or maybe it was stupid, but they chose to die like an animal, resisting

defiance of their nature to the very end, going away without being witnessed. An intimate, secret

dying. Maybe it’s glorious.

My lover asked why I didn’t make some sort of reservation. “I tried, babe.” Of course I emailed

them a pitch of this event and of course they didn’t respond to me. I should have expected an outcome

like this, really, but I hyped it up so much to everyone — myself included — that I didn’t want to

accept reality staring me in the face.

Even in defeat, like a stubborn dying beast myself, I pushed on. We walked to the Blonde and

made it in no problem. The doormen were very firm about just the two of us entering, no one else,

meaning — oof — I couldn’t bring in my one pair of friends who had ventured out to join us for the

funeral party. Disappointed people disappoint people.

The Blonde was cool, I guess; it had the kind of vibe that was perfect for a night out in

sophomore year of college, its generic charm made scandalous by the bouncer accepting your fake ID.

Groups of girls with exaggerated makeup throwing hips in short skirts or very baggy jeans. White

boys in their plain white button-ups (top button open, obviously) sitting around the table they bought,

trying to look cool by virtue of just being there and having expendable cash. Easy and obvious music

choices: Avril Lavigne, Taylor Swift, “I Just Wanna Rock”. My lover bought us shots but for some

reason they didn’t work on me. Soon she was letting loose and leaning into me and I felt stone-cold

sober and out of place.

I suggested we move elsewhere and she agreed to placate me. Laissez-Faire is one of the newer

spots in town and it’s in such a weird neighborhood that it’s still novel and exciting and feels

exclusive. No one with a fake would dare to hang out in FiDi on a Saturday. We walked there through

the rain and snapped a few pictures. (Looking back, I didn’t smile in any of them.)

On paper, that’s when things began to look up. I’ve been to LF enough times now that the

bouncer recognizes me and nods me in without checking my ID. The place had a great amount of

people and the DJ was going hard mixing heavy beats and sharp 808s with snatches and hooks of

Portuguese pop songs. I’m starting to appreciate the appeal of a mezcal negroni and theirs was

magnificent. But the damage was done and.I couldn’t get back into a good mood.

The loneliness of being the only sober one in a room full of smiling and partying drunks had

set in and I just couldn’t let loose. None of this showed until the day after, by the way — I’ve been

growing into the power of an attractive person’s pleasant smile, so I made myself grin and snap along

to the music like I was really enjoying myself. But inside it felt like I was dying alone surrounded by a

crowd and no one could smell it.


I, Anderson, invited to preview Fifi's, a new club in the Lower East Side (aka Purgatory/Paradise). Fashionably late. Yet no one else in the line. Banter with the bouncer then down into the basement. A descent is important. Red in the dark. Dark red. Neon red. Mostly empty. Drinks at a reasonable price. Glances already shot from the cannons of other people’s dates’s eyes. Cocaine in the bathroom you can sense from the keys jingling. Hard bass, misty 808s tiptoeing overhead. Midriffs showing. Pride: I’m the highest in the room. For now. Dresses and chains on the heels of boots. Secret smiles. Sports coats and blazers, collared shirts with the top two buttons left open. Self-employed investors and clouted models. Not so empty anymore. Crossfaded. Holograms. The floor invisible. A group of tourists in Hawaiian shirts. Someone waving a bamboo fan. Hips catapulted. Shazam doesn’t recognize this one. Good DJs, then. Forgot to get their ats. Phone’s dying. Flash photography again and again. Everyone knows their angles. Sweat wiped off the brow. Lipstick left on the cheek from a kiss. Cheeky. Smoke machine fumes and cherry cola vape smoke. The general, dying. Tiktok remixes. Kratom, ketamine, ketosis, Khruangbin. Cleavage. Thigh high boots. Not so much space to move around anymore. The girlies arriving: A. and my A, joining me from a pregame at a vinyl bar. More photos. Hard to hear your own thoughts. The bass enduring. Feet moving on their own now. Haze. Opium. Proximity. Nipple piercings protruding out. Fake blondes. Polaroid camera. Stories of Mexico City. Lover on my hip. More glances over than before, from a man now. Something about the red in the air: makes you want the unavailable. Wistful glances into the distance. Glances lasting an entire song. Time here meaningless. Suddenly it’s packed. Sharp song transition. Knees on calves. Elbows on backs. Hard to breathe, bodies undulating around each other. Taboo tides. Phaser effect. Kisses on the neck. Opportunity. Photo bombing. Faint recognition. BPM increasing. A. drunk enough to remark this one girl looked like 2013 Ke$ha. Glory of the instantaneous instant. It’s over and another one’s here now. You never learned how to dougie. One girl bending over. Jubilant instigating cheers. Her sex covered by a big bandaid. Nothing else. Time to go? Time to go.

1 Comment

Apr 18

I actually love that you wrote about getting turned away from Goldbar bc club doors are so arbitrary power struggles built on little to nothing. Also feels strange that they're turning people away as they close. thank you for your beautiful words and reflections

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