Gemini & Scorpio
House of Yes
You don’t have to be fully immersed in New York underground or nightlife scenes to enjoy some of the city’s best secret events. Read on for the scoop on secret parties, under-the-radar supper clubs and a new, secret film series arriving this spring in New York.
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This Ethiopian eatery’s founders—Sam Saverance, Kedija Ali and a third silent partner—got their start last May, hosting private suppers in a friend’s Bushwick loft. They’re working on opening a brick-and-mortar space, but for now, the duo hosts Habesha Nights, a secret dinner series, at venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Chef Ali serves vegan dishes—like the simmered beet dish key sir, or a kale, lime, tomato and avocado salad—and occasionally, Ethiopian honey wine and unique cocktails. Events almost always feature Ethiopian culinary traditions—such as a coffee ceremony, in which raw beans are freshly roasted, ground and brewed. Details are announced ahead of time on the Habesha Nights website, and prices vary, so keep your eyes peeled for the next meal. Locations, times and prices vary; visit habeshanights.com for details.
MeanRed Productions hosts this monthly party, held at Chinatown dim sum spot 88 Palace. After entering the space through a minimall, you’ll find DJs and musical performers—like JETS, Diplo and Flosstradamus—who keep the bash going long into the night. The party has picked up a cult following, but you can get the details for future events on MeanRed’s website; look for a special Red Bull Music Academy event in May, with DJs L-Vis 1990, Bok Bok, DKDS and Metro Area. meanredproductions.com.
Gemini & Scorpio
Party-planning group Gemini & Scorpio is known for its offbeat bashes and dance shindigs, but it also hosts lectures, art shows, theater performances and more at its top-secret Gowanus loft, where they began hosting events earlier this year. While some events are advertised on the group’s website and Facebook page, others are sotto voce, with details revealed only to those who’ve signed up for the team’s mailing list. G&S will launch a Kickstarter campaign on April 27 to help fund the loft; expect a killer kickoff party with costumes and elaborate interior design. Visit geminiandscorpio.com for event and mailing-list information.
DIY venues are a dime a dozen in Brooklyn, but artist collective House of Yes, tucked away on a nondescript industrial block, although spilled glitter outside the entrance tips off first-timers to the location), stands out thanks to its over-the-top acrobatic shows, which include fire, death-defying feats and some very adult content. Newbies should start by checking out Variety Show; the insane costumes, crazy twists, turns, jumps and thrills are so intense, the organizers recommend you not sit in the first three rows of the audience. Shows are mostly publicized via word of mouth, but the group lists some events on its Facebook and Twitter feeds; keep your eyes peeled for the next bout of circus madness.
Secret Cinema New York
This hush-hush film-appreciation series originated in London, where organizers host screenings in diverse locations and use immersive entertainment to bring the movies to life. The group brought in real camels, for instance, to transform North London’s Alexandra Palace into the world of Lawrence of Arabia; and this summer, Radiohead curated and recorded an eerie soundscape for Prometheus. Now, Secret Cinema is coming to Gotham, and while details are hazy at this point, you can sign up for the mailing list at facebook.com/secretcinemany to be kept in the loop.