A Brief History of Outlaw Parties


When I lived in New York’s Alphabet City and I was getting my MFA in film at Columbia, I used to go to outlaw parties. These parties worked like this: You’d be walking down the street or dancing in some club and somebody would hand you a flyer–meet at place X at precisely X time and bring alcohol.

One time the party was in Nathan’s in Times Square (it’s no longer there–the place was fluorescent-lit, huge, and dirty). Another time, it was on the L train (still there, still fluorescent-lit, too small, and still dirty). For the L train party, we all met on some platform. People materialized with an ad hoc bar. We then partied on the trains with music blaring from boom boxes and so on. The people who had been riding the trains in some prosaic manner had to either party too, or leave. Supposedly I was filmed for some public access show, dancing and drinking. I’d love to see that film. Or maybe not. Maybe I look like a jerk dancing on the L train.

Anyway, these things were often conducted by Michael Alig, who later murdered someone.

They were more fun than I’m describing them. Believe me.

Things progressed with the Internet. People met online and then in some boutique somewhere. Or the L train, the standby party bus. They partied until the cops showed. These days, the parties seem to be getting bigger, thanks to text messengering. A party in honor of Bastille Day took place on the Brooklyn Bridge, with some three thousand people. It then went to City Hall Park (a super-secure spot, obviously) and then went to Coney Island, soon to be ripped down. It was political, but subtly so. Fire juggling and nudity followed. Things are progressing nicely, I say.

2 thoughts on “A Brief History of Outlaw Parties”

  1. Yo! me and two buddies from philly were at the Danger party on the brooklyn bridge! That was an awesome night

  2. Yo! me and two buddies from philly were at the Danger party on the brooklyn bridge! That was an awesome night

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