Redeye June 10 2004

Getting down to it: Ever ask yourself what you were doing one year ago? And if what you’re doing right now is what you expected you’d be doing? Whew, you probably only ask yourself that question if you’re a recent college graduate or you’re trying to write a “sweeps week” sitcom. The rest of us, we probably drink.

Or dance. Was it Kierkegaard or the Eagles ... OK, it was the Eagles who said, “Some dance to remember/Some dance to forget.” I think the “fine Colombian,” as Steely Dan put it, likely played a large part in those soul-searching late-’70s decisions. Probably most of my contemporaries would rather just dance around the subject(s). But it remains: What was I doing this time last year? And am I doing what I expected I’d be doing? The answer is yes. And no.

It was one year ago or so that CL launched the Nightshift section, so it was one year ago that I started writing this column. It’s amazing how the long hours seemed to go by in such a short time.

Did I expect to still be writing this column? Yes. Did I expect that Draconian laws would constrict the city’s pulse, threatening to retard local nightlife’s development even further than the economy’s slow-to-rouse state? That’s an emphatic no, good buddy.

In hindsight, it seems wholly apropos that the first column, last June, addressed the then-impending opening of the Mark. The move from decadance to unhurried indulgence in a lobby/living room-like setting seems so indicative of times now, post-expense account “super clubs” (give or take a Compound opening, Velvet Room closing, etc.) and post laws that helped spur a rise in the private after-hours scene. Bars gave way to hotel bars, which gave way to restaurant bars, which gave way to store-bought bars. Fuck the city government; the future is literally in our hands.

With the millennium’s passing, there was no longer something to look to as “the future.” There was no longer an architect’s blueprint, the sci-fi vision. But passed down was one hell of a set of tools. We’re in a time when we truly make the future. Everyone can be a DJ or producer. You can be a mixologist of the turntables, too.

Will there be fewer nights of panty-peeling pump? Nature is violent, my friend. Don’t get civilization confused with progress. You can bet your sweet ass there will be nightlife. It’s just nestling in plush upholstery and underground (note the non-uppercase “U”). Looks like I know what I’ll be doing for the next year. Just call me Peeping Tom.

Keep one RedEye open. And send all comments, questions, observations and invitations to