Saturday, March 24, 2012
The Greenwich Village dance bars
The “bars in New York” are mostly small first-floors in old brownstones, cramped because of the high real estate prices. By comparison, Washington DC, almost as expensive, has some large everyday dance venues, and Minneapolis and especially Dallas do better in this regard, simply because real estate costs less there.
The Monster, on Sheridan Square, has a small downstairs dance floor, where people sometimes tend to real “break dancing” (like in the indie film I reviewed seven years ago somewhere). There’s a dancer, and the DJ actually spins vinyl rather than using CD’s or MP3 files. (I once saw an open reel tape deck at Ty’s.) The colors on the dance floor are orange and purple, and odd mix.
Upstairs there’s a piano bar with “New York, New York” getting song. (Sorry, a video of the performance would infringe! Just play the melody that ends the famous film in your head.)
But it’s the old Stonewall Inn, across the Square, site of the 1969 riots, that carries the day. I had never been in it, and for a number of years (when I lived in NYC in the 1970s), Downstairs there is a variety of small rooms and spaces, and upstairs there is this secret packed dance hall and drag show ($5). It seemed to be a women’s space: women and straights seemed to be about 60%. The "singing" performers actually seem to be female (with actual operatic soprano voices) rather than impersonators. Eventually, the patrons get to take over the stage (and a few of them were "perfect" -- athletic, muscular and fatless -- enough for "Men's Health" without the unnecessary pre-pruning). The music, a little more 80s and 90s.