NYU Diaries: Winter in Clubland
Written by Bwog Staff
Bwog NYU correspondent W.M. Akers is back, this time with a few observations on how our neighbors to the south go out and get down.
Does Columbia have a “Sex and the City” problem? Girls at NYU, it seems, are still infatuated with the show, and those who go out regularly tend to fancy themselves as Carrie Bradshaw. Miranda was always my favorite–so sensible!–but I never see anyone dressed up in a power suit and bad teeth. Perhaps it is unfair to connect the habits of the NYU sorority crowd with a single TV show–it’s possible they came upon their style as a group, convening around the start of the millenium to agree, “Okay, so it’s a little black dress, high, badly bleached hair, and heels we can’t quite walk in. We’re wearing that three nights a week for the next decade.” But they do as Carrie did, riding cabs to the coolest clubs, sipping designer cocktails and sharing anecdotes in a haze of post-feminism, which took the place of cigarettes years ago. Carrie, of course, was deft enough to enjoy both at once.
As every first week freshman knows, to have fun in New York one must spend $30 to walk into a loud room where they sell $11 drinks and help you get a $20 cab home. After a few weekends most freshmen–or at least their parents–notice that such fun abuses body and wallet, and begin socializing more conservatively. The onset of cold weather poses a unique problem for those students who continue to spend their weekends on steamy dance floors. If there is a coat check it probably costs extra, and God knows you won’t look cute if you don’t shed the fake mink before you start to shake your thighs.
The correct approach is that of a pair of coatless young students huddled outside my dorm last night, learning that cold winds grope indiscriminately. The rational clubgoer dresses for heat, avoiding the biting cold during the few the minutes it takes to hail a cab. They shivered, hunched over, tried to catch a driver’s attention and lost him to a couple wearing sensible shoes. When I finally moved on, our pair was clomping towards the stolen cab, expressing their disgruntlement in full voice. Down the street at La Esquina, hungry predators waited for tacos and watched the miniature drama.
These creatures–the stumbling and the staring–are good specimens of a nightlife tadpole. As they grow–note that the word “mature” is inappropriate–they will become more assured and less excited about their excursions. They may go out less often, but with stronger sense of purpose. Many will fail to reach full growth, passing instead to a dating lifestyle of take-out Chinese and Blockbuster rentals. But for those who develop fully, a thrilling, if tawdry, life awaits them. Take, for instance, a couple I passed a few Fridays ago, shuffling home after two in the morning. From head to toe the woman had perfect conformation, not attractive so much as well-executed: gently curled hair, flesh-pinching silver dress, the works. She marched, shoulders back and with eyes looking at neither the sidewalk nor her mongrel boyfriend.
Now, I am ever amused by the success or failure of women in this city to walk in high heels. For a man amazed that they even make shoes like that, much less that anyone can strut in them, there is no better exhibition than the sidewalks of SoHo on late weekend nights. Whenever I see a woman walking steadily, I have to see what height shoes she can manage. I turned to check out this woman’s footwear and when I looked back up, disappointed by the gentle slope of her heels, her boyfriend was glaring at me, hollering unintelligibly about, I suppose, keeping my eyes off his baby. A casual interest in insane footwear almost got me punched in the nose, and all because this simp’s girlfriend keeps her feet so near her ass. I hope, Bwog readers, that you appreciate the risks I take for you.