Melissa Rich Wants You to Party Like It’s (Not) Your Job
NYLON magazine's "On The List" nightlife columnist tells the rest of us where we should be hanging out.
2:05 PM EDT on May 4, 2023
Where do you go out when going out is your job? This is advice I need as I continue my quest to become New York's foremost nightlife journalist. I posed that question to Melissa Rich, a comedian and writer for NYLON magazine, where she pens the "On The List" column, thus making her my rival. Rich, whose column demystifies New York's nightlife while keeping it glamorous, described "On The List" to me as "tongue-in-cheek observations about nightlife, what I think is exciting, or what I think needs to be changed."
Rich told me that these days when she's looking for a consistently good time, there are a few places she tends to find herself—she's never had a bad time at Jeans on Lafayette Street, BASEMENT in Queens, or Good Room in Greenpoint. Parkside Lounge on Houston Street, where her May 18 comedy show "Whomst" with Ben Leary will take place, is also a mainstay, not least because the club usually has a dance party and karaoke after shows.
Where doesn't she like to go out? "Anywhere near Delancey, and it's nothing personal about any of these establishments. The hell mouth that opens on a Friday or Saturday near Delancey…I can't fuck with it," Rich replied. "That being said, that's my neighborhood. I love it. I'll always be there."
While Rich's comedy career has taken her all over the world, New York is always her favorite city to party in: "I'm always going out in other cities when I go on tour; I just went to Nashville. And there's just really nothing that compares to New York, even in Europe. I think we have the best nightlife ever."
Writing about nightlife, she told me, "does sometimes put the pressure on if I do wanna stay in, but luckily, most of the time I really end up wanting to go out."
Thursday, May 4: Evangelical with Marcia Belsky at Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, Manhattan ($20, two-drink minimum)
"Marcia is my friend and writing partner who I wrote 'Handmaids' Tale: The Musical' with. She's so funny and she does a lot of songs that are hilarious. She has a song about, like, cops on horses and how ridiculous it is that we still have cops on horses. You know, stuff like that."
Saturday, May 6: Magic City with Jubilee at Good Room, 98 Meserole Avenue, Brooklyn ($15)
"Jubilee is a genius. Every time I see her, she'll pull something out. [Last Saturday] she did a song, like a Jerry Springer song, mixed in where it was like, 'Jerry, Jerry.'"
Saturday, May 6: Cruising at Parkside Lounge, 317 East Houston Street, Manhattan ($10 presale, $15 door)
"[Parkside Lounge has] gone through so many identities and iterations since I've been in New York. I used to do comedy there around 2014, 2015. It was an improv space, almost. There's this great back room, with bands and everything. But now, they're really focusing on gay parties. Every Sunday, they have a really good one. I'm going on Saturday. If you wanna dance at a gay bar downtown, that's the one, unless you're doing the West Village."
Sunday, May 7: Sophia Lamar's club night at Paul's Casablanca, 305 Spring Street, Manhattan
"I had a really, really good night on Sunday at Paul's Casablanca, believe it or not. I hadn't been in so long, and I was like, all right, I would be open to bringing this back into the Sunday repertoire. Because they are consistent, you know what I mean? Especially on that night. I love Sophia [Lamar], who hosts it."
Saturday, May 10: Gorge Night with Jake Cornell, Union Hall, 702 Union Street, Brooklyn ($11.55 in advance / $15 at the door)
"Jake is amazing. Alison Leiby is on his lineup on the 10th. She's amazing. She had the show where Anna Wintour was ID'ed and like, almost turned away at Cherry Lane Theater. That was her show about abortion. Jake has a podcast with VinePair about going out. He's a really fun nightlife guy who I always go to Fire Island with."
Saturday, May 13: Wonder-full: Annual Tribute to the Music of Stevie Wonder with DJ Spinna, Sunset Park Rooftop, 14b 53rd Street, Brooklyn ($25-$30 presale, $35 at the door)
"I'm excited to see DJ Spinna because the friend who invited me to this is a nightlife guru, and he just has amazing taste. He always knows."
Tuesdays through Sundays: Mansions, 46-63 Metropolitan Avenue, Queens (Free)
"A trend that I'm excited about is the micro-club, like Mansions. I feel like it's a great alternative if you don't wanna buy the $40 ticket or whatever and have an up until 6 a.m. night at Basement or Knockdown. I've been there twice now, and both times it's had great music. It's a good room. It's a small size. They have a good outdoor space. It's just a really fun, fun vibe.
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Adlan has written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Pitchfork, Study Hall and more.
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