Friday, September 17, 2010

The Limelight

When I was in New York last week, I walked past the old church that once housed the infamous Limelight nightclub and was stunned to find that it had been turned into a mall.

The Limelight was a notorious disco and drug den in the 1990s, and was the hangout of Michael Alig and the Club Kids, who became better known for a grisly murder recounted in the film Party Monster. I have only a few personal connections to the place.

Once, in 1997 or so, I tried to go there with my friend Arthur. But we'd been walking around New York all day and we were wearing sneakers. As I recall, they turned us away at the velvet rope because our feet were not stylishly shod.

By the time I tried to go back, The Limelight was no more. It had become another nightclub called Avalon, and I went to a fundraiser for Howard Dean's presidential campaign there in 2003. I saw Gloria Gaynor perform "I Will Survive" beneath that peaked Episcopalian roof -- not to mention Howard himself and, I believe, Whoopi Goldberg.

Now, in what is surely another sign of New York's Disney-ization, it's a mall. And it's a schmantzy mall too, full of stuff like guest soaps and fragrances and scarves. Things, in short, that I would never buy.


  1. I have been meaning to stop by the renovated old Limelight just to see what all the talk is about. It is so close to where I work that you'd think I would have done it by now. I guess I am just not that interested afterall. Back when I was going to NYU I went to the Limelight to see Marilyn (he was linked to Boy George who I was hoping to see there). It was dark and crazy and I was totally out of my element. But I do remember I had on cool shoes.

  2. I think I would boycott any place that turned me away for wearing sneakers! Looks sort of like Georgetown Park to me now.

  3. what a shame.
    it looks like a great building