The other night I was partying at Westway because my boy's girl was dj'ing, and of course, I can be lured anywhere by the promise of a free bottle. When I showed up to the club and promptly strolled past legions of young finance guys, and chicks who have never heard of manrepeller.com, to the doorman and said I'm here for Kate, I was stamped and immediately let past the velvet rope. I had assumed all the guys waiting online outside were not being allowed entry because they were wearing blousey untucked button up shirts from Brooks Brothers (not Black Fleece, regular BB) and looked like a casting for the Duke LaCrosse team. But when I got inside, I realized every single guy in the club was also wearing flowey untucked button down shirts, in various shades of blue and periwinkle. I was a little blown away. I mean, I haven't been to Westway in a while, but I was not ready for this assault of anti-style. There is nothing more immediately embarrassing than finding yourself in a huge room with a bunch of future Wall Street date rapists grinding on their future abusees, while trap music blares over the sound system. I was immediately transported back to the year 2000 when I was attending Syracuse University and was constantly mystified by the outlandish and a-moral behavior of privileged frat guys. Do these people know how ridiculous they look in those billowey shirts with half the collar popped, translucent from sweating out Molly and Coke, grinding on women who look like they are the B-team for a low level sex trafficker? I don't think they do.
So here I give you, Ben Ferrari's rules for clubbing in NYC.
1. Don't wear a loose fitting, untucked button down shirt. Matter fact don't wear a button down shirt at all. Wear anything else, like a t-shirt or a leotard for Christ sakes, but do not, under any circumstance wear a button up.
2. Leave your jacket at home. Nothing is more annoying than having a coat at a club. Bringing your coat to the club is like bringing your laptop to the club. You immediately need a safe space to stash it and you are constantly glancing over at it all night long wondering if it's still there. Clubs are filled with opportunistic thieves, and the nicer your coat, the more likely it is to be taken from you, silently, while you chat with the thieves' friend.
3. Go to the same club repeatedly and wear similar clothing for the first few weeks you go. Successful clubbing is all about being known by the right people, like the bouncers. If you switch up your steez too much they won't remember who you are. I used to rock a huge brimmed hat from New York Hats as my signature going out accessory. Everyone remembered me because of that hat, and when I walked up to the door they would recognize me right away and let me stroll in.
4. Say what's up to all the staff and say goodbye to them when you leave. I shake hands with everyone who works at the club, and I say thank you on my way out. There is no substitution for this. There are so many gnarly assholes in NYC that being a decent dude with some manners goes along way with the staff. Next thing you know people who work there will be hitting you up to come to special 'friends of the club' events. These are usually midweek, but who gives a fuck, they WANT u there, and that's what u want.
5. Be interesting. Some clubs, like Westway on a Friday night, have no patience for interesting people. It's loud as hell and everyone there is about as middle of the road as you can get. Other clubs, like say, Electric Room, relish in interesting people. It's loud as hell at Electric Room as well, but it's the right type of loud. Yelling over rock music vs. screaming over muffled bass from hip hop. If you are cool, stylish, and interesting at Electric Room, you will make friends, and those friends will be like you. The other night I chilled with Peter Beard and unwittingly tossed him off the couch when I leaned back too hard. He may not have remembered me before I almost killed him, but given the bruises on my back and arms the next day, you can be sure he remembers me now. And I have a sick story to tell people about almost killing a world famous artist.
6. Don't show up sober. The only way to be in the club is turnt up. So you have to show up turnt up. When I am hammered I can seemingly do no wrong. I stroll past the line and act like I own the place and walk right in. I make a new friend immediately upon entry, and I find myself sitting at a promoters' table sipping vodka Red Bull within 10 minutes. Maybe it's the drunk swagger, it's DEFINITELY the drunk swagger. Nowhere is not giving a fuck more celebrated than at an A-List club. So start sipping early and show up ready to party. Showing up sober is for restaurants, where it's perfectly acceptable to get completely smashed over the course of 2-3 hours as long as you don't show up that way.
7. Leave your problems at home. No one wants to hear about your problems at the club, save them for your close friends. The club is a fantasy land, a place that does not want to be in touch with reality. Where else can almost anybody present themselves as a rock star and actually pull it off? So, forget about work, forget about your ex, forget about your past due rent, and dive in as the fantasy version of yourself. The person who believes in their dreams and are disconnected from the trivialities of their day to day life.
8. Grab any chick you want (figuratively) and chat her up. Chicks go to clubs to socialize, so don't be a wallflower. If you're not talking to a chick within minutes of entry, your gonna have an uphill battle and likely a shitty night.
9. Follow up on business cards. If you're cool and creative and hanging out at the right place, chances are you will meet like minded people you can build with. If you exchange business cards, follow up the next day with a 'nice to have met you' email. It actually goes a long way. People respect other people who aren't flakey. Flakeyness is like a virus in the club, stay away from it.
10. Don't spend time looking at your phone. Nothing will make you look lamer and more insecure than constantly checking your phone. If you are flirting with a chick who is out somewhere else via txt, do so discreetly. Staring into your phone for any length of time will not only make you look like you have no confidence but it will illuminate your face in a horrid blue tinged light that will make you look like a monster against the dim setting of the club.
11. Put on a smiling face and have fun! Nuff said.
That's it. Follow these rules and you'll have mad bread to break up... Or just tons of sick stories about partying and meeting chicks to tell your grand kids. Lol at grand kids, who can even afford to have a kid these days anyway?
For a similar story read 10 Ways to Black Out in Toronto ...