The best parties of 2011

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  • Photograph: Sez Devres

    The Bunker

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

    Dances of Vice

  • Photograph: Bennett Sell-Kline

    Electric Zoo

  • Photograph: Bennett Sell Kline

    718 Sessions

Photograph: Sez Devres

The Bunker

The Bunker
DJ Spinoza and his party the Bunker bring the best and brightest of Berlin's Berghain venue to Public Assembly on a regular basis—past draws include Marcel Dettmann and Donato Dozzy. The bash benefits from Spinoza's keen ear and great connections—among the highlights this year were Scotland's Optimo and NYC's own Derek Plaslaiko, a party regular. Public Assembly, 70 North 6th St between Kent and Wythe Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-384-4586, publicassemblynyc.com). Biweekly, next party: Jan 6 at 10pm; $TBA.

All Day I Dream
The legendary selector Lee Burridge, from England by way of San Francisco and Hong Kong, officially inaugurated his series of Sunday-afternoon Williamsburg rooftop parties this June, but he's been working on the concept for a while. His 2008 podcast for Resident Advisor, titled All Day I Dream of Her, sets the tone for this bash—dreamy, melancholic, melodic house perfect for falling in love, or at least watching the sun melt into the haze beyond Manhattan. The July 4th edition featured killer views of the fireworks, with one of the best soundtracks in the five boroughs. OfficeOps, 57 Thames St between Knickerbocker Ave and Vandervoort Pl, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-418-2509, officeops.com). Limited summer season.

Dances of Vice
Shien Lee's roving fete is akin to a collective art project, injecting a strong dose of theatrics into the scene. Informed by Dada and the New Romantics, each event centers on a particular theme, and denizens dress, accordingly, to kill. Lee transforms spaces as varied as the Ace Hotel and Le Poisson Rouge into decadent, bacchanalian wonderlands. Last year's New Year's function was a particular hit; this year's will bring a vintage-circus theme to Morningside Heights' castlelike Riverside Church just before we kiss 2011 goodbye. Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Ave at 122nd St (212-870-6700, dancesofvice.com). Dec 30 at 8:30pm; $30--$35.

Electric Zoo
New York's track record when it comes to music festivals isn't the greatest, but we have, over the past few years, been blessed to have Electric Zoo, a homegrown celebration of electronic music that transforms Randalls Island into an Ibiza on the East River every Labor Day. The enormous 2011 lineup featured local luminaries including Danny Tenaglia, Nick Catchdubs and Victor Calderone, among the Skrillexes and Tistos. (electriczoofestival.com). Aug 31, Sept 1, 2; price TBA.

718 Sessions
The year 2011 saw a serious resurgence of deep house, to the point that one of dance music's leading lights, Seth Troxler, poked fun at the trend in his "Party Guilt." "You wanna get deep? What, like deep house? I know the soul, I've felt the rhythm, yeah yeah yeah, boom boom boom." That snarkiness had no place at Danny Krivit's 718 Sessions, which was deep and soulful even before the wave crested, and always pushed a positive vibe. Santos Party House, 100 Lafayette St at Walker St (212-714-4646, santospartyhouse.com). Monthly Sun 6pm, next party Sun 11; $20, before 7pm $5.

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