Best Proof That NYC is Dead: Soundfactory on a Saturday Night
An ongoing argument with our friend revolves around the
statement that New York City is dead. Dead as in irrelevant.
She posits in the affirmative, noting the changed clientele
in many of her favorite haunts. The loss of Times Square.
The homogenization and sterilization. Et cetera. Predictably
contrarian, we claim that the city's supposed demise is
quite likely in the eye of the beholder.
We argue that her opinion is a reflection of her own changes.
Oh sure, like the rest of this country, New York City now
has enough Starbucks to host every family of five in from
Iowa. And there are more tie-over-the-shoulder handjob types
chugging at the pub than ever before. But. Still. Start
looking for affirmation that the city is on the wane, and
you'll find it everywhere. The dirt is still there. Not
in Times Square, granted, but just because the Greeks no
longer rule half a hemisphere doesn't mean there's no more
assfucking in the world.
And speaking of assfucking: that's what we were looking
for that night. Well, not assfucking specifically. We weren't
cruising. Rather, assfucking as a metaphor, as a symbol
of hedonistic indulgence, of danger in the city. And it
could be anyone's ass being fucked. Male or female. We just
wanted to see something just a little wicked.
Swinging over to Soundfactory at 2 a.m. certainly wasn't
our idea, but that of a friend of a friend from Queens (of
course). We'd been absent from all sorts of NYC clubs for
years, so her description of Soundfactory as a decadent,
sex-infused den of sin piqued us. We like sin. We're still
a bit decadent, especially when the pack provokes and/or
inspires us. We're game, we said. Bring it on.
Half an hour on line outside: fine. Invasive frisk: fine.
$35 cover: fine, fine, fine. Asshole meatboy bouncers are
nothing new, and they're almost as tired a topic for discussion
in this city as cigars and cellphones. A club's a club,
and a certain amount of hassle is required to lend the appropriate
air of exclusivity. To steal from Groucho Marx, if we're
paying thirty-five bucks to get in to a club, it had best
be the kind of place that wouldn't normally let assholes
like us through the doors.
Inside, there was hope: at the end of the bar on the top-most
floor was a 3/4-naked woman, squatting atop the counter,
surrounded by a gang of slackjawed, wide-eyed yahoos standing
shoulder to shoulder, packed box-of-straws tight. We expected--yes,
simply expected--to see a stream of ping-pong balls come
flying from an unseen, exquisite pussy. (And because this
is the Age of Branding, maybe her pubic mound would be shaved
into the Soundfactory logo. Or maybe the name of her website.)
This was going to fucking rule! How glorious! How inspiring!
A barrage of glistening ping-pong balls, glowing under all
the goddamn blacklight, popping over the heads of fat-pupilled,
rolling Jersey meatballs.
No such luck. Her crotch was concealed by pleather. Her
tits the same, even. She was simply posing with boys while
they waited to be served at the juice bar. Yes, the juice
bar, serving smoothies and bottled water to the e-heads.
But fuck it: fine, fine, fine. We expected too much too
soon. Maybe downstairs...
Where we proceeded to find..nothing interesting. More sweaty
assholes. More pounding beats. The skanks leading each other
around in collars were just run-of-the-mill cokewhores.
The buff, waxed boys with studded collars and nipple rings
were just Chelsea fags playing dress-up. No golden showers
on a platform. No bloody fisting on the bar. No good-natured
degradation and mild, temporary damage. No ass-fucking for
the crowd's pleasure. Even the bathrooms were fairly tame:
some doubling up in the stalls, but that was strictly coke--no
obnoxious, loud rutting like we've heard even in places
as tame as Mars Bar.
We're sure there are plenty of interesting and dangerous
clubs out there. S&M. Degradation. Assfucking. But those
clubs aren't just around. Clubs like Soundfactory are around.
That's where people go. It's their destination because they
don't know where else to go. Either Soundfactory or some
place like it. They're interchangeable--the fucking Starbucks
of the club world. Sure, you can get an eyefull of some
tit-job cunt in a skimpy outfit squatting on a bar, but
the espresso at the French cafe eight blocks away is still
better, despite the inconvenience. Let the bridge-and-tunnel
pussies go to those places because they're easy to find.
Let them think they're actually in New York City. That they're
crazy. That they're living dangerously. In the meantime,
the real sex clubs change all the time. They have to, precisely
because all the Jersey Transit dickheads from hellholes
like Princeton will show up and ruin it for the rest of
So, um, sure, New York City is dead. Whatever it takes to
make you believe it ain't worth the trip across the river.