New York's Hottest Club Is
May 23, 2013 5:16 AM   Subscribe

The Night Heron (SL NYTimes), an invitation-only club held in an abandoned water tower in Chelsea for 8 weekends in March, April and May.
posted by dabug (102 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Relevant
posted by lalochezia at 5:20 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sounds insufferable.
posted by jonmc at 5:24 AM on May 23, 2013 [13 favorites]


Ha! The Nycticorax clan are, of course cousins of us Ardea.




The no-necked barstids.
posted by Herodios at 5:26 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


/Rolls eyes

Yeah, you go ahead to that lil shindig. I'll be at the real underground club, you've probably never heard of it. It's just a few friends, really, but really, it's the hottest place.

Sorry, invite only. Go back to your precious New York Times.

/sneers, sighs
posted by zardoz at 5:29 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is gonna get so much hate here but I think that place looks awesome.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:33 AM on May 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


Sounds like an awesome speakeasy and if friends of mine did something like this I would be stoked for them.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:33 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Check the photo set. Yes, it's full of fedoras.
posted by Dr Dracator at 5:34 AM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm waiting to hear Stefon's take on this
posted by C.A.S. at 5:37 AM on May 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


My club is so hot and underground that the only person allowed in is ME.
posted by briank at 5:41 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


This looks like fun, but of course now I want to live in a water tower.

(Also I have this vision of a mystical order of monks that use old water towers as their monastery cells and fight evil. Somebody call Marvel).
posted by selfnoise at 5:44 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love this for about five reasons and hate it for three reasons. Some of those reasons are the same.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:46 AM on May 23, 2013 [23 favorites]


And to think, once that tower had some refreshing H2O in it. Sad.
posted by uraniumwilly at 5:47 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd love to be invited, but I'd hate to go . . . kinda sums up my life actually.
posted by Think_Long at 5:48 AM on May 23, 2013 [13 favorites]


My club is so hot and underground that the only person allowed in is ME.

My club is so underground I don't even know it, let alone that I would be allowed in.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:54 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Anything that uses pocket watches as an invitation graduates to awesome almost immediately.
posted by Mooski at 5:54 AM on May 23, 2013


Think_Long... hate people, love gatherings?

Zardoz: That comment's so sarcasm-laden I can't even tell what you're sneering at any more. Well done. Have a favourite.
posted by Leon at 5:56 AM on May 23, 2013


OF course the place is hot. You can't air-condition a joint like that.

Also, what ever happened to just swimming in the damn things?
posted by From Bklyn at 5:58 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


This thread's most meta comment is
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 6:02 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not as cool as the random sites I used to occasionally StumbleUpon. From what I remember:

1. an exclusive club which held sex party soirees in some European castle/estate and had an extremely vague website which almost made it seem like it was just some secret group until you got a few links deep

2. a seemingly abandoned building in Seattle with fantastically designed rooms inside (though when I looked up reviews, I found their food apparently isn't that great).
posted by DisreputableDog at 6:03 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


The club was eventually closed when rivals, owners of the Swanning Jupiter based out of a nearby smokestack, paid off a taco truck to park near the Blue Heron's pick up location.

"I just couldn't go back," said Jules Brix, a Freelance Insertion Brand Evangelist from Williamsburg, "The smell... you could taste it... it infused all the drinks and not in a good way."

"Our artisanal air freshener makers just couldn't keep up with the demand," sighed Austin. "We tried to put a note in the pocket watches to not eat the tacos, but..."

"...but they were really good tacos," interjected Brix. "Like, really good."

When asked about the taco truck, M.L.T.H.J. O'Reilly, owner of the Swanning Jupiter simply hooked his thumbs into his suspenders and laughed so hard all three of his monocles fell out.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:03 AM on May 23, 2013 [86 favorites]


This thread's got everything: Snark, flags, jonmc, snarkgasms.

Snarkgasms?

It's that thing where you can't tell if a comment is serious or sarcastic.
posted by bondcliff at 6:05 AM on May 23, 2013 [15 favorites]


That water tower is bigger than half the joints I play in here in Tokyo.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:05 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


But... but... toilets?
posted by soundofsuburbia at 6:07 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I never get in to anything. Do any of you still have Gmail invites you could send me?
posted by yerfatma at 6:09 AM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've snuck into this place and installed a trap door that deposits all the patrons at a Bennigans in Belmar, NJ.
posted by jonmc at 6:09 AM on May 23, 2013 [23 favorites]


I've always wanted to own a water tower and convert it into something!

Aaaarrrrrggggghhhhh.

My version wouldn't have hats, however.
posted by aramaic at 6:10 AM on May 23, 2013


I don't usually like story comments but that robocop comment is really good. That is all.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:10 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does it have subway sleeping bags?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:18 AM on May 23, 2013


Check the photo set. Yes, it's full of fedoras.

If by "full of" you mean one guy wearing a fedora.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 6:21 AM on May 23, 2013


petticoat junction intro
posted by bukvich at 6:22 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


If by "full of" you mean one guy wearing a fedora.

That's more than full of it.
posted by biffa at 6:23 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


If by "full of" you mean one guy

Well, yeah! How many people can a water tower hold, really?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:24 AM on May 23, 2013


New York's Hottest Club

I gotta say, when I hear the word "hottest" to describe anything other than a day last summer or a plate of Indian curry, I get the creeps.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:25 AM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Flapjax - it's a reference to Saturday Night Live's Stefon

This reminds me of Chateau D'eau, a converted water tower in Steenokkerzeel, Belgium, that I would punch someone in the neck just to spend an afternoon in.

I just feel sad that I'll never be invited.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 6:29 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've always wanted to own a water tower and convert it into something!

Aaaarrrrrggggghhhhh.


Me too.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:31 AM on May 23, 2013


I thought it was interesting until I saw the "No Homers" sign by the entrance.
posted by Atreides at 6:32 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


HAHA, look at those assholes having creative fun.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:33 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


DisreputableDog: "Not as cool as the random sites I used to occasionally StumbleUpon. From what I remember:"

Oh, man. When I first moved to DC, the place was under about 8 feet of snow, so I spent my first week in a 2/3-empty apartment, googling about the city, its culture, and trying to find the "cool" spots. Eventually, I stumbled upon a labyrinth of sites discussing the city's underground sex/orgy scene.

I'm still trying to scrub those images from the backs of my retinas....
posted by schmod at 6:36 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


The existence of this place is seriously making me want to become a communist. Or a Republican. Whichever group is most opposed to the filthy rich decadent bohemian bourgeoisie.

Grow up and get job, you arty slackers!
posted by gkhan at 6:36 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is a pretty awesome concept.

Still waiting on a reservation at Dorsia.
posted by bfranklin at 6:37 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sometimes, a hipster is someone doing something cool in a way that annoys other people who also, on a level, think that thing is cool.

I think this is one of those times.
posted by Aizkolari at 6:41 AM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


The existence of this place is seriously making me want to become a communist. Or a Republican. Whichever group is most opposed to the filthy rich decadent bohemian bourgeoisie.

That would be us. I take it you're new to Metafilter? ;-)
posted by leotrotsky at 6:42 AM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


Drinking and ladders, what could go wrong?
posted by octothorpe at 6:49 AM on May 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


Drinking and ladders, what could go wrong?

The part that got me was that they were specifically looking for buildings with safety violations. Like... I understand that those indicate neglectful landlords, but they also indicate safety issues.
posted by kmz at 6:52 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Such snark. This is delightful, and the people running it seem kind.

The term "trespass theater" is a little goofy, but I do have friends who run a NYC trespass tourism company. The word might just be in the air this year.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 6:57 AM on May 23, 2013


I mean, one the one hand, I think this is sort of neat, but ... pocket watches as invitations? Buildings with extensive safety violations? Smoking in a room that probably doesn't have any real ventilation? Music by Newsies?
posted by uncleozzy at 6:57 AM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Music by Newsies?

Hey now, nothing wrong with music from Newsies!
posted by kmz at 7:00 AM on May 23, 2013


Oh god, interactive performance art.
posted by elizardbits at 7:01 AM on May 23, 2013


I mean, one the one hand, I think this is sort of neat, but ... pocket watches as invitations? Buildings with extensive safety violations? Smoking in a room that probably doesn't have any real ventilation? Music by Newsies?

The Sleep No More references are spread a little thick, but, come on. These kids are on the side of the angels. As illegal NYC venues go, this one's no more physically dangerous than any of the others, and the difficulty of getting in is already going to keep out minors.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 7:02 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's got everything- Windmillpunks, bike messengers dressed like Snake Eyes, Estonian folk dancers, Eleanor Hoesabout...that's a drag queen who dresses like a slutty version of Eleanor Roosevelt.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:05 AM on May 23, 2013 [14 favorites]


And DJ Baby Bok Choi?
posted by Kitteh at 7:05 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


One way to make this work would be to have Rory Cochrane and Co hang outside and smoke pot while Steve Miller played in the background...

"Oh, the way Steve Miller played....."
posted by jonmc at 7:07 AM on May 23, 2013


Does that place meet NY Fire Department safety requirements?
posted by Postroad at 7:08 AM on May 23, 2013


It just struck me, wouldn't it be cool if the new superman film had a scene where a building was on fire and superman picked up a water tower and tipped it on the blaze and out poured a slurry of Metropolis/New York's hottest fedora wearing clubbers?
posted by biffa at 7:12 AM on May 23, 2013 [25 favorites]


I want to go there, and then kick everyone out, put in couches and a TV and live there. But of course, I feel that way about all sorts of places.
posted by xingcat at 7:21 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only way to get in was to be handed a pocket watch by a prior guest (who had been instructed to offer minimal explanation), report to a street corner at a certain time, and call a number pasted inside the watch. Mysterious helpers led guests through one decrepit building into another and up 12 flights of stairs to the roof.

Mr. Ventura said a friend had arrived at his office unannounced to give him the watch. β€œHe placed it onto my desk, looked at me and said, β€˜I will answer no questions.’ ”


Why are grown-ups doing this cloak-and-dagger bullshit? And watches? No one exchanges eggs anymore?
posted by Tanizaki at 7:26 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I...just outlined a scene with an underground speakeasy called The Night Heron. I had not heard of this thing, I got the name from a documentary about birds.

* cue twilight zone music*
posted by The Whelk at 7:37 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Night Heron, sneaky and mean
Spider inside my dreams
I think I love you
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:45 AM on May 23, 2013


Are you sure you weren't simply misspelling Night Heroin?
posted by aramaic at 7:50 AM on May 23, 2013


"This place has everything! Ladders, fire marshals..."

"What's a fire marshal?"

"It's that thing where a middle-aged guy shows up halfway through the night and tells us to get the fuck out because we're in danger of piling up in front of the door only to succumb to smoke inhalation."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:51 AM on May 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


I'd love to be invited, but I'd hate to go . . . kinda sums up my life actually.

One of the happiest moments of my life was when I realized that I had a standing invite to [Something Really Rather Exciting And Outre] and instead of going to spend an evening in a smoky room full of status anxiety [and, it has to be said, also full of amazing costumes, good music and very fine radical drag performances, but the status anxiety really tips me over into personal anxiety, I never liked it even when I was going to Cool Underground Punk Shows]....anyway, instead of actually going, I could stay home reading the internet and eating snacks and then hear about it the next day from people who had gone.

It's funny - I'd say I've done some punk rock points stuff in my life - pirate radio, been a semi-regular at some significant artsy stuff, been in the general environment of protests that turned into riots, filmed acts of exciting civil disobedience, etc - and yet most of the time I just really like staying home.
posted by Frowner at 7:53 AM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Also, it's been my experience that unlicensed venues should have multiple points of exit for when the cops show up.
posted by The Whelk at 7:53 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm unclear how an invitation-only "club" of this size is different from a private party. I guess the drinks cost money? I mean, I have a super-exclusive invitation-only club in my apartment, but the only drink available is 2% milk and the entertainment is cats.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:56 AM on May 23, 2013 [22 favorites]


Also, it's been my experience that unlicensed venues should have multiple points of exit for when the cops show up.

one possibility.
posted by titus-g at 7:57 AM on May 23, 2013


On the one hand inaccessible to wheelchair users

On the other hand I could probably qualify for medical marijuana wherever it exists so HA
posted by angrycat at 7:57 AM on May 23, 2013


I mean, I have a super-exclusive invitation-only club in my apartment, but the only drink available is 2% milk and the entertainment is cats.

Get some tap water in addition to the 2% and I will be totally up for an evening of being entertained by cats.
posted by Frowner at 8:03 AM on May 23, 2013


Come on, that's awesome.
posted by Miko at 8:05 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why are grown-ups doing this cloak-and-dagger bullshit?

Because it's fun.

I'm sitting here trying to figure out if I'd have to nerve to use the pocket watch if it was given to me under these circumstances. Especially once we started climbing 12 flights of stairs in some old semi-abandoned building.
posted by Mitheral at 8:06 AM on May 23, 2013


Metafilter: the only drink available is 2% milk and the entertainment is cats.
posted by a halcyon day at 8:32 AM on May 23, 2013


petticoat junction intro

I always wondered what that dog was doing with those boxer shorts.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:37 AM on May 23, 2013


lots of class envy, snarky and jaundiced shots at the Others. As the zen scholar said: fuck them. I got my own bathroom to hang in.
posted by Postroad at 8:41 AM on May 23, 2013


Hah, I was going to say I'd kinda go to the European thing, a la undercover Eyes Wide Shut, if I could.

Trying to figure out which "underground" Tokyo one I should go to when I don't speak the language. Seems exciting. Might be disappointing. Undoubtedly an experience.
posted by DisreputableDog at 8:45 AM on May 23, 2013


Does that place meet NY Fire Department safety requirements?

More like a meet n' greet. You get five minutes with safety requirements before you have to move on.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:53 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Animaniacs did it!
posted by The Power Nap at 8:57 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yes, but they were zany to the max.
posted by elizardbits at 9:29 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I feel as though this thread and this thread should be linked

and now we wait for twenty years
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:31 AM on May 23, 2013


Well dammit, now I have to burst into tears in this thread too? Grar.
posted by aramaic at 9:32 AM on May 23, 2013


It just struck me, wouldn't it be cool if the new superman film had a scene where a building was on fire and superman picked up a water tower and tipped it on the blaze and out poured a slurry of Metropolis/New York's hottest fedora wearing clubbers?

And the big reveal at the end would be that 95-percent of those clubbers didn't know the difference between trilbies and fedoras... Right?
posted by Ranucci at 9:53 AM on May 23, 2013


Man-oh-man. That makes me just itchy with claustrophobia just looking at it. Especially with the smoking and no windows and people packed in there and only that tiny little hatch in the floor to squeeze out of.

No thanks.
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:06 AM on May 23, 2013


I feel an almost unbearable sense of glee just knowing that something like this has existed. Yes yes yes. More of this please.
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:11 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Alcohol and ladders are never a good idea.
posted by cazoo at 10:11 AM on May 23, 2013


Tanizaki: "Why are grown-ups doing this cloak-and-dagger bullshit? And watches? "

It's fun! Don't be a big sour blanket!
posted by boo_radley at 10:16 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


New York's hottest club is Big Sour Blanket - it has everything: a giant blanket, soaked in milk, and left in the sun.
posted by Think_Long at 10:28 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


And the big reveal at the end would be that 95-percent of those clubbers didn't know the difference between trilbies and fedoras... Right?

A fedora wasn't part of the lazy get out of jail card ending in the new Star Trek film?
posted by biffa at 10:43 AM on May 23, 2013


Looks like they're having fun.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:49 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I were invited, I'd be the guy standing right next to the trap door all night to be the first one out in case that cigarette or any of the lighting caused the combustible coffin around them to ignite.
posted by yeti at 10:50 AM on May 23, 2013


And the big reveal at the end would be that 95-percent of those clubbers didn't know the difference between trilbies and fedoras... Right?

A fedora wasn't part of the lazy get out of jail card ending in the new Star Trek film?


Not tribbles -- trilbies.

One is a velocipede for retirees, the other a cambrian authorpod.

Rookie mistake, but a common one.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:51 AM on May 23, 2013


There's a lady puffing on an electronic cigarette, but I don't see anybody actually smoking.
posted by monospace at 10:53 AM on May 23, 2013


The girl who works outside my office was the bartender. That doesn't make me cool at all, but I thought it was interesting.
posted by fungible at 11:15 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Few dozen people, a few at a time, friends only. Some booze. Some tunes. What's the lede here?

Where's the motivation for the NYT to post this? That it's in a derelict water tower? That's it? That there's cool stuff happening?

I... I don't understand the snark, and I really don't understand how this is a story.

Am I too old?
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:31 AM on May 23, 2013


You know, I liked this. It described a cool bit of New York's local color. If it had been in the style section, it would have sucked, but the regional section rescued it. Sure, it's filler, but they could have filled that space with worse.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:32 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Apparently, the NYT has an article limit? Weird. ... Clears cookies/cache ... hm.

Oh well.

Water towers: NYC's misunderstood icons
posted by mrgrimm at 11:39 AM on May 23, 2013


GUYS, there's an exclusive nightclub in New York City?!

...and The Times Is On It!
posted by straight at 12:01 PM on May 23, 2013


. . . . . Kevin?
posted by erniepan at 3:23 PM on May 23, 2013


This is how it always works; somebody comes up with something neat, and the people on metafilter snark about it. And thus the circle off life is maintained.
posted by happyroach at 5:25 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


a seemingly abandoned building in Seattle with fantastically designed rooms inside (though when I looked up reviews, I found their food apparently isn't that great).

Holy shit this is REALLY familiar. What was the name of that place again? i remember hearing it get brought up several times a couple years ago...
posted by emptythought at 7:05 PM on May 23, 2013


I don't see anybody actually smoking.

Ah, my mistake. I saw the vapor and figured it for smoke from a cigarette in a fancy holder, but you appear to be right.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:39 AM on May 24, 2013


I went to this. It was actually awesome.

There were two exits from the water tower -- the hatch at the bottom, and another hatch at the top which isn't shown in the photos. Neither is the real height of the water tower and the incredible furniture inside. The bar and all of the cocktail tables were made by hand out of old pianos. Once inside, it did not feel unsafe at all. The wood (cedar) inside the tower was gorgeous and so soft to the touch. The organizers also had a safety harness which you could use if you wished, while entering or exiting the tower. Nobody in my group chose to use it while climbing the ladder.

There was no smoking (e-cig or not) and no band playing when I went. None of the people who I went with were dressed "hipster"-ish as we were not told exactly where we were going, just to wear closed toed shoes and be prepared for stairs and ladders. The crowd and band all looks staged for the NYT. There are also 4-5 additional people in the photos, I think we maxed out at about 10, so it did not feel claustrophobic at all.

Anyway, it's closed now. I can only imagine what it will be like when someone stumbles upon the remnants of a speakeasy in a water tower, years from now.
posted by kathryn at 8:32 AM on May 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


So did you enjoy Bennigans?
posted by jonmc at 4:58 PM on May 24, 2013


Me and my girl Missy gettin' pissy up in Bennigans
Makin' all of you other rappers begin again
Like Fennigan, Christians repent then sin again...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:37 PM on May 24, 2013


Why are grown-ups doing this cloak-and-dagger bullshit? And watches? No one exchanges eggs anymore?

Or "ices" each other? Was anyone here ever actually "iced"? I feel like I read more news articles about it than I actually heard of it being practiced in real life.
posted by pravit at 8:07 PM on May 24, 2013


Only people I ever know to ice each other did it after hearing about it on the news.
posted by Think_Long at 8:33 PM on May 24, 2013


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