Time to pull on your party duds: We’ve rounded up great reasons to get out and experience the summer nightlife scene. Catch some top-notch deejaying at House Party, burlesque at the Plume Review or all-out entertainment at Floating Cabaret.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in the summer in NYC
Get decked out in your kinkiest gear—or at least don't show up in an ironic tee and orange Pumas, hipster—for the city's biggest weekly fetish bash. Barbers help you achieve that sexy buzz-cut look, and bootblacks keep your kicks glossy while you chug cheap beer. Acceptable attire includes leather, rubber and uniforms. Check the website for more extensive info. And don't fuck it up—the doorman's decision is final.
The weekly hip-hop party features a different style on each of Webster Hall's four floors. In the Grand Ballroom, Just Blaze, NYC stalwart DJ Soul and their pals fling the funk. After-dark fixture Va$htie curates the 1992 party in the Marlin Room; Jasmine Solano and Melo-X's Electric Punanny party play reggae and dancehall in the Balcony Lounge; and the Brick Bandits—club kingpins DJ Sliink and Dirty South Joe—unleash their bass-heavy sounds in the Studio.
Two weeks ago, Will Guidara and Daniel Humm—the young guns behind Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad—launched this classy jazz series evoking old-school New York. Sink into leather couches and listen to live bands, such as Grammy nominee Stacie Orrico, through Feb13. Butter-dipped radishes and chicken-liver mousse, along with other fine-dining snacks, are available on the bar menu, along with serious cocktails and wine.
The ’50s-pinup–inspired venue Nurse Bettie (named for Bettie Page, one of the 20th century's premier hotsy-totsies) is a natural setting for burlesque performers. This weekly get-together is produced by "Asian sexsation" Calamity Chang, and usually includes six or seven acts, as well as preshow go-go dancers. Prepare to get up close and personal in the small, intimate bar space.
Duane Park presents this weekly, feather-heavy salute to hot jazz and steamy burlesque. Cunio is among the night's rotating roster of hosts, the Duane Park house band plays the tunes, and stars of the NYC burly-Q scene (Gal Friday, Tansy Tandora, Essence Revealed and Peekaboo Pointe among them) work their onstage magic. Dinner is available for $80.
Galapagos hosts this long-running, crowd-pleasing cabaret night, featuring a rotating cast of amazing artists, including resident dance troupe Jenny Rocha and Her Painted Ladies—expect burlesque, magic, trapeze and much more. After the show, a dance party keeps the fun coming till 1am. Check the venue's website for each week's cast.