Ever since the days of Tammany Hall, there have been gatherings that exist in the city's shadows. Here's a small sampling of today's best.
Wed Nov 25 2009
Secret "R" party
In the '80s, the outlaw art-party world claimed a big piece of the underground-nightlife pie. In the '90s, that scene dissipated, but "R" is doing its best to keep the spirit alive. Held on an irregular basis several times a year, this granddaddy of the current art-party scene is so secret, you'll have to know someone who knows someone to get the 411. There's no mailing list or website, but it's worth tracking down (we suggest keeping an eye on Nonsense NY [nonsenseny.com])—it's a total extravaganza, with top DJs, cool bands and edgy art exhibitions filling a scruffy, multiroom outer-borough venue. Without fail, "R" attracts a crowd of nightlife and art-scene connoisseurs jamming to down-and-dirty funk, cutting-edge house and everything in between.
Similar to the "R" parties in spirit but slightly less secretive in practice, TheDanger is an art-and-music spectacular held several times a year, complete with burlesque action, acrobats, fire-eaters and the like. The multivenue Halloween editions, in particular, are absolutely killer. Sign up for the mailing list at thedanger.com.
One of the city's premier techno crews, the Blkmarket gang can often be found in legitimate clubs like Cielo and Love. But the secret warehouse affairs, which in the past have featured spinners on the level of Sasha and Mr. C, take it to the next level. Look for them once or twice a month. Find out how to R.S.V.P. at blkmarketmembership.com.
Even if you disregard the covert-operations aspect, Easy Lover—held a few times a year in venues ranging from private loft spaces to dim sum restaurants—would be one of the city's best low-key house-music soirees, with Nublu resident Probus and top locals wrecking the decks. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the mailing list.
Brooklyn's nastiest queer gathering invites anyone who is not straight to check his or her pants at the door (it's mandatory!) and then get going with some hot action in various sex-friendly corners. DJ Queer Boy provides the sultry background music. Call 718-789-4053 for the secret Park Slope location.