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andee's world: Why New York Is Awesome, pt 3

andee's world

Hello and welcome to my blog. This space will be devoted to opinions, observations, lists, articles and whatever else I feel like posting. Subjects will include music, human nature, politics, life in NYC, etc. If I paste someone else's writing up here, it is because the author said something way better than I ever could. By the way, I don't claim to be a particularly smart guy; I'm just a musician with some opinions. If you disagree with me, that's cool -- but then, you're probably wrong.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Why New York Is Awesome, pt 3

The PS1 parties.

For those of you who don't know, the PS1 parties are weekly, summertime-only throwdowns at the (I think) MOMA-owned PS1 school in Queens. These open-air Saturday afternoon events attract a kaleidoscopic throng of New Yorkers dancing to incredible DJs and other live performers, standing in the sand, hanging out in hammocks, getting a buzz in the sunshine or strolling about inside the school itself, checking out art exhibits. It is truly one of the coolest things you can do in NY in the summer.

I went this past Saturday with a couple friends and man -- just too, too much fun. There were some live performers from the Touch of Class label (one of which was mesmerizingly awesome, the other not really awesome in any way but hey, it made for a nice long beer break) and several hundred colorful humans in a collectively great mood. Around dusk, the final DJ went on and by then everyone was on the giant courtyard dancefloor, dancing and singing and smiling uncontrollably.

I know what some of you are saying: "but andee, I'm not really into dancing." Thing is, it doesn't really matter. I can't imagine anyone who's not a total misanthropic sociopath being there and not getting swept up in the feeling. The DJ's set was most definitely "dance" music (everything from the new ChemBros to that "la-da-dee-la-da-dah" song from the early nineties) but there was absolutely no scenesterism or indie snobbery.

Indeed, what could be less "cool" than the Police's "Roxanne"? But this DJ played it at the end of his set, and the crowd went absolutely berserk, sang every word. He then capped off the set with "London Calling," an undeniably powerful song in any context. It was uproarious.

In darkened nightclubs there are a lot of facades being held up, a lot of smoke and mirrors. People can be cagey and self-conscious (and let's face it, deceptive) in that environment. But that kind of stuff is nonexistent at a party like PS1, which takes place in full daylight. Everyone's guard is down and there is a total lack of pretentiousness, nobody standing around with that arms-crossed, "impress me" vibe. There were ravers, breakdancers, indie kids, hippies, middle-agers who will never grow up. And hotties galore. What's not to love?

Go check out a PS1 party this summer. It's only $10, a pretty low ticket price for one of the most unique experiences you'll have.


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