Six Stages of Rage
From Circle Line raves to Alexander Wang conga lines, ranking the city’s newest, most over-the-top parties.
Rinsed: Coke Yacht
Circle Line Cruises
Rinsed.it; monthly in summer, 9 p.m. to midnight.
Underground-party staple Rinsed transforms a rented Circle Line cruise liner into a warehouse rave on the Hudson, with scattered blow-up dolls as well as an upgraded set of speakers blasting diva disco and soulful house as the New York skyline drifts by.
Usually there’s that awkward stage of a party where the room’s filling up and people are getting into it, but that doesn’t happen here. As soon as the boat leaves the dock, the party immediately kicks off. —Brandon Robinson, 25, nonprofit director
Rage Rating: 4/9
Stretch and Friends
Up & Down
244 W. 14th St.; Mondays, 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
For what is likely New York’s only Monday-night party lasting until 4 a.m., hip-hop producer and DJ Stretch Armstrong takes over Up & Down’s downstairs lounge, bringing out the ’90s teens dancing to soul, hip-hop, house, reggae, and forgotten classics. The crowd might seem older than on your average club night, but the dance floor doesn’t clear out until the lights turn on and Stretch walks out the door.
It feels like what Butter used to feel like on a Monday. You’re not going out to be seen, but to engage with the party experience: dancing and sweating until Tuesday. —Mashariki Williamson, 35, journalist
Rage Rating: 5/9
235 W. 46th St.; Saturdays 11:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.
It begins with a two-flight descent down a winding marble staircase as an instrumental from God Save the Queen plays on repeat. An elevated stage in the middle of the room allows everyone to give exhibitionism a try, but for those who would rather maintain some privacy, secret rooms are hidden throughout. The 500-capacity Diamond Horseshoe is usually home to the dinner-theater extravaganza Queen of the Night, and sometimes its aerialists show up for an impromptu ceiling show.
A guy I don’t even know how to explain it a man with breasts and a very large penis, like, sat on a bottle of whiskey and sprayed it on the crowd. It’s so dark in there that you forget people are judging you. —Adam Werner, 24, real-estate agent
Rage Rating: 5.5/9
Visit error404.global for dates; midnight to 6 a.m.
The anticipation begins with a cryptic email (sign up online) announcing the date and a link to purchase $15 tickets. Once inside, join the practiced techno heads on the dance floor who flock to hear sets by experimental DJs from out of town (xxxy from Berlin, MGUN from Detroit) who rarely play here. To properly welcome them to the city, no dance breaks are allowed. Performance artists (the last one was wearing only underwear and a mask) entertain the crowd as the DJs switch.
It’s not like every grimy, sweaty Bushwick warehouse party with a million people. The industrial, lo-fi, and really thought-out aesthetics from start to finish bring me back to London and Berlin rave days. It’s not just a party, it’s a community. —Ana Lola Roman, 31, DJ and producer
Rage Rating: 6.5/9
251 W. 30th St.; Saturdays 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Ladyfag has reconceived her seasonal epic warehouse events to fit inside a massive two-story Manhattan club. With a whole bevy of New York nightlife scenesters like La’fem Ladosha, Sophia Lamar, and Domonique Echeverria hosting and four DJs in each room, it feels almost like a queer-nightlife mall. Join in on Alexander Wang’s conga line that’s been seen winding from one room to the next.
The craziest things always happen in the bathroom. One time it was so crowded that these two guys made the bathroom their look for the night. They weren’t even messing around in the stall; their drinks were on the sink. They were literally hosting the bathroom. —Jorge Gitoo Wright, 26, model and promoter
Rage Rating: 8/9
125 E. 11th St.; Thursdays, 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
For a single entry price ($15, but free if you’re a lady or have a flattop), all four of Webster’s rooms are yours to roam. That means meandering from a Jersey club rave in the downstairs studio, to Vashtie’s old-school hip-hop party on the first floor, into Just Blaze and a rotating cast of emerging rappers leading a mosh pit in the main room, and finishing in a sea of reggae dutty wine on the balcony lounge. O.T. Genasis’s Thanksgiving Night performance of CoCo was so turnt, Busta Rhymes fell off the stage dancing.
The last one with Fetty Wap was literally the most insane I’ve ever seen it. Thousands of people. You couldn’t even walk down the steps, and still everyone was in such a good mood. —Franceleslia Millien, 26, nightlife entrepreneur
Rage Rating: 9/9
First, We Take a Shot
New pre-game concoctions to knock back.
1. Erv’s Whiskey-Manischewitz
$10 with a Genesee at 2122 Beekman Pl., nr. Flatbush Ave., Lefferts Gardens; 916-936-2122
Shots of whiskey with a curry-carrot-raisin-flavored Manischewitz chaser are served at this tiny cocktail spot (full disclosure: The bar’s principal investor is Steve Fishman, a contributing editor at this magazine).
2. Butter & Scotch’s Blood & Sand Jell-ohhh Shot
$3; $6 with a High Life at 818 Franklin Ave., nr. Union St., Crown Heights; 347-350-8899
Bartenders serve dozens of these, in a blood-orange peel, made with fresh blood-orange juice, Ballantine’s scotch, cherry Heering, sweet vermouth, and gelatin.
3. Livingston Manor’s Pickle-back
$9 at 42 Hoyt St., nr. Livingston St., Downtown Brooklyn; 347-987-3292
The chef’s housemade pickle juice is miles away from Vlasic; it’s slightly sweet, spicy, and, accompanied by a shot of Espolón or Old Overholt, enough reason to celebrate the once-clichéd pickle-back’s return to good drinking graces.
More New Debauched Bars
Holiday Cocktail Lounge
75 St. Marks Pl., nr. First Ave.; 212-777-9637
Reborn classic dive; bartending brothers; $12 rum punch and $5 Genny cans.
151 Essex St., nr. Stanton St.; 212-219-2000
Jon Neidich helmed; disco-ball-bedecked downstairs lounge; classic margaritas.
305 Church St., nr. Walker St.; 212-680-0101
Employees Only founder; neon BAR signs; upright piano and tin ceilings.
Empellón Al Pastor
132 St. Marks Pl., at Ave. A; 646-833-7039
Agave spirits and micheladas galore; namesake tacos with fixings; ceiling art from local artist Gaia.
145 E. Houston St., nr. Forsyth St.; 212-673-2337
Bro-y happy-hour crowd; Marky Ramone’s brown ale on tap; Sigmund’s pretzels.
736 Tenth Ave., nr. 50th St.; 212-265-0010
Frito pie; Lone Stars; Merle Haggard in the CD jukebox.
Mess Hall Harlem
2194 Frederick Douglass Blvd., nr. 118th St. 646-692-3098
Mounted buck heads; back patio; cheese-puff bar snacks.
900 Fulton St., at Washington Ave., Clinton Hill; 347-763-2537
Haslegrave-designed former hardware store; vinyl DJs; Scotch eggs and burgers.
King Tai Bar
1095 Bergen St., nr. Nostrand Ave., Crown Heights; 718-513-1025
White-wainscoted walls; Miami Vicetealandpink seating; piña coladas.
323 Franklin Ave., at Clifton Pl., Bedford-Stuyvesant; 718-676-5245
Backyard tacos; Matthew Maddy design; frozen margaritas.
333 Douglass St., nr. Fourth Ave., Gowanus 718-522-2110
In-house coffee shop and music venue; rotating food vendors (Roberta’s, the Sussman brothers); brewed-on-site suds (the IPA is called I Hate Myself).
Casablanca Cocktail Lounge
300 Malcolm X Blvd., at Macdonough St., Bedford-Stuyvesant; no phone
DJ-ed soul-funk dance parties; $11 old-fashioneds; vintage theater seats.
2122 Beekman Pl., nr. Flatbush Ave., Lefferts Gardens; no phone
Daytime coffee; craft cocktails and Genny-and-whiskey specials; ’90s-hip-hop dance parties.
486 Metropolitan Ave., at Rodney St., Williamsburg no phone
Skinny Dennis’s sister; Buck Hunter and shuffleboard; Commodore-style crowd on the back patio.
Billet & Bellows
177 Grand St., nr. Bedford Ave., Williamsburg 347-294-4642
Live gypsy-jazz nights; Sazeracs; metal theme (i.e., iron the element, not Iron Maiden).
970 Flushing Ave., at Forrest St., Bushwick 718-366-2742
$7 Pat LaFrieda burger; ace milk punch; ragtag outdoor space.
32-11 Broadway, Astoria 917-832-6414
Basik’s sister; bright back room with window to the patio; blue-ribbon $10 strawberry-balsamic-bourbon cocktails.