There are many titles in this world we proudly assume for ourselves: “Mother,” “Hippie,” “Artist,” “Computer Wiz.”
But there is one title that only a certain subset of geographically blessed, young individuals can claim for themselves: NYC Club Kid.
You know who you are. You’ve known it since the first underaged night you stepped foot inside GunBar, or Arena or Cielo and loved every minute of it.
The title practically made who you are today. It also practically ruined clubs for you today.
Now, you make fun of your friends for going to Finale because you were frequenting the place when you were 16. You’re over the champagne showers.
You’re popping your hip more than your bottle. And you’ve already hooked up with everyone in your friend group to really enjoy dancing with each other anymore.
After more than 10 years of club-going, you know where every bathroom is located – you feel dangerously at home.
The novelty has worn off. Even the new music blasting through the updated sound systems has you nostalgic for the old jams. That is, if you can even hear anymore.
You don’t have anything to prove. When out-of-towners try to impress you with their nightlife knowledge, you just smile and nod, knowing full well their one weekend of debauchery will never come close to your entire childhood’s worth.
Did early clubbing harden you, or did you harden yourself to clubbing?
Here are the 13 signs you were an NYC club kid.
1. You have a Facebook photo history that is lethal
You have so many pictures with you and decorative couches, strangers think you’re a Raymour & Flanigan salesman.
The sweaty club photos you thought were so cool to upload online when you were 16 now serve as embarrassing footage to post when it’s a friend’s birthday.
You don’t want to be caught frequenting a club now, much less capturing photographic evidence of it.
2. You have a “back closet” filled with all your old club clothes
Sometimes you even find yourself eyeing a short, tight, backless-open-chest-concoction of a dress and are drawn to it, only to remind yourself that you don’t have anywhere to go in it anymore.
Ten years ago, you probably would’ve bought it and worn it that night.
You don’t have the heart to give away your vintage club favorites, for they carry memories of wild nights, practically stitched with your stories.
And, let’s be honest, they also smell like stale cigarettes and have hidden stains in the creases. That won’t stop you from considering it for next year’s Halloween costume, though.
3. You refer to the “new” clubs by their old names
Even if you haven’t been to The Collective, you already know what the inside looks like because you’ve been to ONE Little West 12th.
You don’t know what “Riff Raff’s” is, but you are familiar with Bungalow 8. And you refuse to show up at the “new” Marquee NYC because you still have fond memories of the old one.
4. You had a fake ID before you had a license
The great thing about NYC is you don’t need to be able to drive to get to the clubs! When you get carded at the door now, you still have a momentary nervous-PTSD from all the times you tried getting past the bouncer underage.
5. When people say, “Kiss and fly,” it doesn’t mean “hit and run” to you
The only church you’ve ever been inside is at Limelight. You’re still scarred from The Box. And when clueless people name drop Tenjune, well, you know better.
6. You have a visceral reaction to vodka sodas or cranberry vodkas
Just thinking about kamikaze shots makes you sick. You refrain from any type of nighttime activity that includes a massive pregame before the main event.
You’d rather enjoy your homemade drink over the club’s watered-down version. You’re wiser than that now.
7. You still get Facebook invites from ex-promoter friends
On your birthday, they even have the audacity to spam your inbox with “celebrate at this teen-club overrun hotspot” recommendations. You’d de-friend them, but a piece of you still likes to feel in-the-know.
8. The bouncer doesn’t scare you
Chances are he’s either your best friend from high school now or remembers you from the club circuit.
Regardless, he’s no longer the intimidating man with all the power. If you don’t get in, you don’t really care. You were there long before this guy was holding the door for you.
9. You haven’t been to a club in 1,000 years, but you look 1,000 years old
NYC club kids have been smoking since they were, like, preteens and drinking since the sketchy sushi place didn’t give a f*ck. You’ve basically lived one thousand lives and totally look like it.
10. Your ability to jump on couches rivals Tom Cruise
Difficulty balancing on top of the couch is for amateurs – you still got it! Heels and cobblestones are not a big deal for you, neither is waiting on line in freezing temperatures with just a leather jacket on. And yes, you take pride in this, thankyouforasking.
11. You know when it’s B&T
Bridge and tunnel. Even if you’ve never been there, you can just sense it, kind of like how Jewish people can spot other members of the tribe.
12. You don’t go to the Meatpacking District anymore because it’s packed with your mistakes
It’s also just not cool anymore. But really, there are too many fallen late-night pizzas and dignities entrenched in those cobblestone quarters to ever make you want to relive that.
13. You claim that you’re over them now…
But you still wouldn’t turn down for what a club night.