New York City is known for its nightlife. You can go out on a Monday at midnight and find a party happening somewhere. On summer weekends, it can almost be too crazy. Lines forty people deep for the best bars and clubs. People squeezed in like shoppers on Black Friday. However, the insanity aside, there are some really fantastic clubs to party at in New York. I’ve talked to a lot of people from lots of countries, and most agree that nowhere has more outlandish, more decadent, more insane clubs than New York. Here are five of my favorites.
I studied French in high school, not Spanish, so it wasn’t till years later that I learned Cielo means Sun in Spanish. That’s a good description of this popular club. For years it was my favorite club in New York. There’s a dance floor where the vibe often approaches hysteria. The music is always good, which is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Many clubs play top 40, which is good in it’s own right. But Cielo is known for always hosting the best DJ’s who play the beats that you won’t hear anywhere else.
The pulsating lights, disco ball, massive subwoofer, and fog machine all combine to create a transcendent atmosphere. Almost everyone joins the party, you’ll be hard-pressed to find wallflowers strangling their drinks. The one drawback of Cielo is that it’s expensive to get in. Cover is usually $20 or $30 at the door. However, there are exceptions. At the moment you can get in free every Wednesday by 11pm, and get two free vodka cocktails to boot. They also occasionally have other free events and sometimes presale tickets go for as little as $10. Check out their website to learn more.
Jane. Is. Amazing. Talented DJ, two floors of madness, people dancing on couches and tables. It’s like something out of a Great Gatsby party, and it happens every weekend. Dress nice, carry yourself well, and you’ll get in for free. Come too drunk or donned in sloppy clothes and you’ll be ushered out, only feet from the entrance to this amazing party. If you’re looking to party earlier in the week, Jane is usually good on Thursdays. You can stay until the sky is deep purple, by which point your eardrums will be blown. Worth it. If you get denied at the door, put nicer clothes on, don’t pregame, and show up again the next night.
3. Pianos / No Fun
Cielo and Jane are both located in the posh, outrageously expensive Meatpacking neighborhood. Party here and you’re likely to find stockbrokers, marketers, and people with a checking account bigger than my parent’s mortgage. Lots of times that’s a blast, but other times it’s cool to party with people still on the come up. I’ve grouped these two bars into one because they’re right across the street from one another and very similar.
Pianos is fantastic because you can go there any night of the week and have a blast. Monday, Wednesday, Sunday, raining or terrorism, it doesn’t matter. There’s going to be people partying. It’s a staple in the area and it will probably be there when my kids are making their first forays into the New York nightlife scene. The bottom floor is a bar, with a small concert venue room that usually hosts some sort of live act. Upstairs is where the party happens. There’s a decent sized dance floor and a good DJ most nights. It gets hot, it gets crazy, it’s a lot of fun!
No Fun is actually fun, although it’s usually only good on the weekends. Drinks are expensive but they have a great dance floor at the back. It’s also easier to get into than Pianos, which sometimes has a line that’s not worth waiting in.
4. Le Bain
Le Bain is the hardest club to get into on this list. Reasons you won’t get in: dressed like a clown (t-shirt, shorts, sneakers), too drunk, the doorman doesn’t like your face, two or three guys with no girls, bad haircut. And so on. However, when you do manage to get up, it’s worth it! Le Bain is a club on top of the Standard hotel. Eighteen or nineteen stories in the air, it offers a fantastic view of the New York skyline. There’s a pool, two bars, a huge outside lounge area, and an atmosphere of success. Unlike Jane, you won’t find people going crazy here. It’s the most laid back of the places listed, but Le Bain makes up for it with it’s fantastic views and chique atmosphere.
Slate is a massive club right in the middle of New York. It’s got an interesting vibe that will suit almost anyone. Downstairs are have ping-pong and pool tables, and a chess set on the floor with pieces the size of medical school textbooks. Upstairs is a large dance floor, more tables, and an elevated bar. On party nights it gets crazy and there’s a great vibe. It’s definitely not as upscale as Jane or Cielo, but it’s a fun place to have some beers and celebrate a birthday. The massive size of the club guarantees that you’ll never run out of things to do. There may be cover at the door, but there are often promotions through this website which allow you to get in free.
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