Displaying items by tag: New York
Nearly a year and a half after the deadly Orlando nightclub shooting, more than 100 restaurant and bar owners have received active shooter training from the NYPD.
Following the mass shooting, in which 49 people were killed inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, on June 12, 2016, members of the NYC Hospitality Alliance were concerned that they weren’t prepared for such an attack.
“They weren’t comfortable they would know how to react,” said Inspector Thomas Conforti, commanding officer of the NYPD’s Crime Prevention Division, which meets quarterly with the alliance.
While the NYPD had active shooter training for office buildings, they didn’t have a specific plan for nightlife, so representatives from the department and the alliance sat down to come up with best practices and ground rules. That resulted in a video that was shared for the first time on Monday.
“The main focus is to familiarize their staffs with the different scenarios that can happen and devise an action plan for those scenarios,” Conforti said, adding that those action plans have to be practiced the same way fire drills are.
Some of the best practices include identifying key staff members who would take the lead if a situation arises, identifying safe rooms and exits in the restaurant or bar, having a continuing dialogue with police and being mindful of suspicious behavior, said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.
“We have to be proactive and think about this,” Rigie said. “This is the state of the world we live in.”
The training video, about 9 minutes long, was shared with all members of the alliance, but will not be made public. It was shot at The DL, said Paul Seres, one of the owners of the downtown venue, a lounge, restaurant and event space on the Lower East Side.
Seres, who is on the board of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, noted that the nightlife industry is vulnerable to this type of attack. “We are a welcoming industry. We want people to come in and feel secure,” he said.
While owners and staff may not be able to prevent a shooting, the alliance hopes the training will help them save as many lives as possible.
Other groups or businesses interested in receiving active shooter training can make a request through their local police precinct.
Search for New York City’s First-Ever Nightlife Mayor Underway
New York is joining the ranks of major European cities as it looks for its first-ever “nightlife mayor,” a liaison between the city’s booming nightlife industry and community residents.
At the end of September, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation sponsored by Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal creating the Office of Nightlife. The senior executive director of that office — the “nightlife mayor” — would work with the mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME). A nightlife task force will survey the scene — bars, music venues and restaurants — manage daily operations and issue recommendations.
Espinal said that nightlife had a significant impact on his life when he was in his 20s and that the new position is inspired by Amsterdam’s night mayor, a position held by Mirik Milan since 2012. He noted that Amsterdam has seen a 30 percent decrease in noise complaints and nightlife-related crime since getting a night mayor.
“The idea is that a lot of the issues that the industry faces is, one, over-enforcement by city agencies and then, two, adversarial relationships with the local community,” he said. “So we can find an avenue where we can create a dialogue, help bring nightlife into the conversation of city planning and open dialogues between the community and the businesses and be able to reduce the amount of noise complaints and the amount of quality of life complaints the city receives.”
Nightlife Industry Gets A Voice
The office — which has a $300,000 budget — will function as a liaison between the nightlife industry, residents and the city government to make sure health and safety regulations are followed and bolster relations between nightlife establishments and the neighboring community.
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A 12-member Nightlife Advisory Board will make recommendations on issues and trends pertaining to challenges business owners deal with, public safety issues, zoning and other community-oriented concerns and share them with the mayor and the Council 18 months after the law goes into effect.
The mayor’s office said many people have applied for the position but that neither the names of candidates nor the number of applicants are public information yet and that the salary likely will be $130,000. Eligibility requirements include at least five years of experience working closely with the nightlife or music industry, with city government regulations governing the nighttime economy or health and public safety and understanding city politics and government structure.
“Nightlife is part of the soul of our city,” Ben Sarle, a mayoral spokesman said. “The musicians, artists and entrepreneurs that make up this community are crucial not only to our culture, but our economy. We are thrilled to launch our new Office of Nightlife which will help coordinate the businesses, communities and city agencies to help New York City’s nightlife industry prosper and ensure it works for all New Yorkers.”
A recent MOME report found that the city is home to one of the world’s largest and most influential music ecosystems, supporting about 60,000 jobs, accounting for roughly $5 billion in wages and generating a total economic output of $21 billion in business revenues and self-employment receipts. It also found that local artist communities, mass music consumption, the global recording business and infrastructure and support services are directly responsible for about 31,400 jobs, $2.8 million in wages and $13.7 billion in economic output.
Espinal said hundreds of people have applied for the job, including from community boards, the artist community, industry folks and business owners as well as artists who are flame throwers, dancers and musicians. He said he would prefer someone from outside city agencies and the administration.
He noted that the city has seen a 20 percent decrease in the number of music venues over the last 15 years and that that stems from city enforcement and displacement because of real estate.
“There’s a lot of concern from the community that this office would only be an office that’s going to help the nightlife community and that perception has to be erased because this is an office that is supposed to help all communities,” he said.
In November 2016, London Mayor Sadiq Khan appointed its first “night czar.” The French cities Paris and Toulouse, Swiss city Zurich and Cali, Colombia, also have night mayors. In July, Orlando hired its first “night manager” and Iowa City selected its first night mayor in April. And in November 2015, the Pittsburgh introduced a nighttime economy coordinator.
Lutz Leichsenring, a spokesman for Berlin’s Club Commission, met with Espinal, de Blasio, the city’s Cultural Affairs Department and MOME in early September to introduce the Creative Footprint project, a nonprofit initiative that aims to “protect creative space and artistic freedom through civic engagement.”
He spoke to them about the importance of affordable spaces and looking at regulations.
“Regulation in nightlife is always hurting creatives,” Leichsenring said. “For instance, Berlin is a 24-hour city since 1949 so we don’t have restrictions on how long you run your venue.”
New York’s ‘Night Mayor’ Plan Pushes Underground Venues Into the Spotlight
The Cabaret Law, a Prohibition-era regulation that prohibits dancing where alcohol is served, requires venues to have a license that only a small percentage of spaces are able to obtain.
Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a bill that will establish a new office to oversee New York’s nightlife. The city will join Amsterdam, Berlin, London and Paris, among 26 other cities that have incorporated an official position to oversee its after-hours.
But some local venue owners and community organizers are worried the Office of Nightlife will do little to protect artists from the impact of real-estate development that threatens dramatic change to the city’s cultural map.
“We can’t say that we think artists are important and then tear down an entire waterfront of studios to put in high end condos,” says Rachel Nelson at an open town hall meeting for the night mayor last week. Nelson is the co-founder of Secret Project Robot, a music venue where alternative bands such as TV on the Radio and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs got their start.
Nelson is one of the many people involved in the D.I.Y. space community. A D.I.Y. space is a small venue such as a concert space or gallery that is formed by artists who feel there is no room for the freedom to express themselves. The majority of New York’s D.I.Y. spaces are in Brooklyn and tend to operate illegally due to lack of resources.
But Rafael Espinal, a New York City councilmember who created the bill, says he designed the Office of Nightlife with underground venues in mind. “When I created the bill for the Office of Nightlife I stressed from the beginning: The one thing we have to focus on is bringing the D.I.Y. spaces and cultural spaces out of the bureaucratic shadows,” Espinal says.
The Office of Nightlife is intended to work as a liaison between venues, the government and the people of New York. The agency will be housed under the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and will have a “night mayor” in charge of a 12-member board.
Espinal also worked with D.I.Y. community members on a bill to repeal the Cabaret Law, a Prohibition-era regulation that prohibits dancing where alcohol is served. The antiquated law requires venues to have a license only a small percentage of spaces are able to obtain. Activists argue that the Cabaret Law is discriminatory and infringing upon the rights of New Yorker’s to express themselves.
“Our art is not protected by the First Amendment,” says Brian Polite of Afro Mosaic Soul, an organization that advocates for safe dance spaces.
Espinal says he has worked closely with the organizations such as Afro Mosaic Soul to ensure that these spaces get a voice in City Hall. The councilmember’s efforts have prompted the government to review the Cabaret Law and consider its relevance. “The administration is committed to repealing the Cabaret Law,” says Shira Gans, the senior director of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.
Gans says that the administration is in the selection process for both the ‘night mayor’ position and the advisory board.
“We are casting a very wide net and very wide search for these positions,” says Gans.
New York City never sleeps.
It also doesn’t stop serving booze until 4 in the morning, which means you not only have to plan your days in the city, but your nights as well (and early mornings if you’re really going all out)! Rounded up below are Manhattan’s five best nightclubs, ranging from a live show venue to a rooftop dancefloor with a hot tub built into it. Welcome to the New York nightlife -it’s been waiting for you.
Provocateur (West Village)
Provocateur Nightclub is filled with lavish décor, including two Royal BB chandeliers designed by Edward Van Villet, lavender walls, and LED ribbon-wrapped staircases. You’ll also find a set of 20-foot Egyptian phoenix wings hanging above the fully stocked bar, adding to this club’s memorable experience. As if this venue couldn’t get any more glamorous, laser light displays, year-round winter snow flurries, and cryogenic smoke blasts keep things feeling magical all night long. As for the music scene? All the big names spin here regularly, from Tiesto and Avicii to Kaskade and DJ Dirty South.
18 9th Ave., 212-929-9036, provocateurny.com
PHD Rooftop Lounge (Chelsea)
The music here isn’t limited to one genre, with DJs spinning everything from house and pop to hip-hop and R&B (and make sure you stick around for the evening, because things always seem to get interesting once the clock strikes midnight). Located at the top of Dream Downtown, you’ll catch some gorgeous penthouse views while lounging around custom-built Italian leather banquettes and marble tables. With two full-service bars, state of the art lighting and audio, and a retractable canopy for the outdoor terrace, you’ll never want to leave this clubber’s haven.
Dream Downtown, 355 W. 16th St., 212-229-2511, phdlounge.com
Le Bain (West Village)
Le Bain has it all, from multiple hot tubs and graffiti-covered hallways to an open rooftop that’s converted into a “grass-covered” crêperie in the summer. We wouldn’t expect anything less from The Standard, though. Self-described as a “penthouse discothèque”, Le Bain features world-famous DJs, a state-of-the-art sound system, and views that can’t be found at any other nightclub in the city. There’s even a plunge pool installed on the dance floor during the hotter months. Too cool, right?
The Standard, High Line, 444 West 13th St., 212-645-7600, standardhotels.com
Terminal 5 (Hell’s Kitchen)
Terminal 5 is as much concert venue as it is a nightclub, i.e. it's all about the live shows. Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival 20th Anniversary Concert, The Flaming Lips, One OK Rock, Celebrating David Bowie Concert, the list goes on and on. This three-floored venue is setup strategically, so that no matter where you’re standing, you’ll have an awesome view of the stage. Couches line the walls, so you can take a seat and chill, or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, take to the central dance floor. The beauty of Terminal 5 is its versatility as a club space, making it the perfect environment for every attendee.
610 W. 56th St., 212-582-6600, terminal5nyc.com
Marquee New York (Chelsea)
The Marquee gets loud, which is not a bad thing in the world of nightclubbing. Fridays you’ll find Underground House music blaring from the speakers, and Saturdays are reserved for Commercial House dance tracks. If you really want to make a night of it, the table service here will give you prime seating in this trendy nightclub and top of the line champagne bottles. Filled with modern décor and a flashy chandelier that brings the entire dancefloor together, Marquee is a favorite hotspot for both NYC locals and tourists alike.
289 10th Ave., 646-473-0202, marqueeny.com