Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Being bounced by high-class New York clubs

I was pretty excited to be in the Big Apple. I hadn't really been here in about two years. I made sure to spend a weekend here at the start of my Thanksgiving 'week-off' trip. I was disappointed enough to get into the city late on Friday evening so that I would miss the 'night activities'. No p. I moved on. I hoped for a Saturday to remember. I did get a Saturday to remember, and with this blog, a Saturday to be talked about for a while. I arrived at my friend's in Columbia and he and his friends were talking about women, black women, white women, relationships, etc. If I didn't address the topic in my last blog entry what makes you think I will share my opinions here. See me in chambers. So let's move on to Saturday, shall we?

I watched the Manchester United-Aston Villa game at a bar near Columbia University with the news of Chelsea and Liverpool both involved in blank goalless draws earlier. I cheered the Red Devils on but they ended up drawing nil-nil with Villa too. I met a couple of friends later and this brought me to about 10pm when I rushed to Columbia's Lerner hall to see my friend's band perform. I caught more of the show, his band was performing last. The Asian American show (Culture shock) was great.


I left Columbia shortly after this show for some location I have forgotten, which is where a couple of my MIghTy Afrikan friends were. I got there, and chilled for awhile. I met some of their friends - including four fly Somali girls we'd go out with later. The venue was like a hookah bar/restaurant, and they were playing music from Mediterranean countries I think. It took us a while to get a taxi, nah, it's not because we were all black, but we weren't sure what taxis we wanted to take or how we wanted to split, etc, etc. Eventually, we left there for this place called pink elephant in Manhattan.

When we got there, I realised we had a problem with the bouncer and it turned out that he said he won't allow me to go in cuz I was underdressed. What? Underdressed? This is not a summer day in LA. This is a falling into winter in cold New York City. Should I be wearing a tuxedo? We are in a credit crunch. I can't rent one. My other friends tried to beg him but he said no. I dunno if he had a problem with my African shirt or something. Seems my shirt had two colours too many. I was wearing that with jeans and a pair of shoes.

My Kenyan friend stayed with me and I feel he did so because they weren't allowing me to go in. I am not sure if they found a problem with his attire, he was just being a good 'brother' I guess. My other friend (who was Somalian) went inside with these 4 Somalian leaving us (me and mKenya rafiki yangu behind). I thought they were going to try and come back for us but they never came back out again. We ended up texting them to figure this situation out.

Other people came through the line after us and plenty people were wearing jeans, regular shirts, etc. One other friend from college who I hadn't seen in ages also came through. When we complained to the bouncer, he said we were not on the guestlist, etc and we would have to buy a table or get a reservation. Tables cost $1000 and up so we weren't gonna buy one. Pink Elephant is supposed to be some up-scale high-class New York club where underdressed people are not welcome. They should come to the Bay Area and see. The richest people are not the ones wearing suits all the time, they are too rich to even impress anybody. Anyone can wear a suit, you can't judge 'trouble-causers' or poor people by what they are wearing. After all, this is credit-card country. Anyone can own a suit.

Eventually a white girl came up to the line with a friend. My Kenyan friend approached her, I guess he was trying to get her and a friend to go with us, so we could use them as collateral to get in. She was underage and my friend was trying to assure her that he'll get her in. He proceeded to take her number and without resistance. We were thinking that it was a maybe number. I don't know if he's called it yet. Another guy talked to this girl and proceeded to enter with her. But like we all know, this shordy is underage and she had no ID. She begged the people to enter but the bouncers said no. "Do you want me to give you a kiss?" To my disbelief, the girl kissed the bouncer and the next moment, she was entering the club. "Agya wadwo, asEm bEn nie!" When some of us get really angry, we speak our mother tongue. The statement before can be translated as "@&$()#@^$, what's this?!" Girls got it good.

My Kenyan friend gave the bouncers his piece of mind and they told him to leave because he was rude. They told me maybe I could enter bcuz I had been nice, etc but I left with him (cuz am a brother lol), we had spent like 20 minutes begging these guys. My friend complained about them being racist and the bouncers said they had allowed black people in, but I actually think at that point, the only black people he had allowed in were those we came with.

We go to another club which is even more ghetto because my Kenyan friend believes it's the only one we'll get into. The bouncer greets us with bad news, we can't go in bcuz we don't have women with us. I know there are more women than men and several men like us are sadly in prison so we should be able to get some women but come on. We are like this is ridiculous. So we stay around there, because my friend has already advised that this is the only club we can get into in this area. It's about 2am now anyway. 4 girls walk up behind us (alone) and my friend asks them if they'll go in with us. To our delight, they agree so we approach the bouncers. This same bouncer goes on to say one of the girls is drunk so she can't come in after the girl did a small Harlem shake. That means, the other 3 girls won't go in either and that applies to me and my friend too. A S E M, asem! We tell the bouncer the girl is feeling cold that's why she's acting funny but this guy will have none of that. My friend discloses to me he thought the girl was drunk though.

These girls left, but shortly after that another group arrived; 2 guys and 4 girls. I approached one of the girls and asked if me and my friend could join them, go inside with the extra 2 girls. She agreed and we marched on gallantly to partay. We almost entered the club oh, before this same bouncer told me and my friend to step aside. This my friend reference makes me even sound like John McCain. He tells us we are not with these girls so we can't go in. He says we didn't come with them bcuz he had seen us earlier. These girls were even holding our hands on our way in. We can't catch a break. We realise he won't allow us to go in anyway and we are not going to pay him any extra money so we left. I think there and then I probably cursed somebody. I was pissed.

On our way away from the club, my friend says single black men can't catch a break in NYC clubs. We headed to a bar/club near where my MIghTy Afrikan friends lived, around 14th st. When we entered, I heard them playing 'fire on the mountain' by Asa, I was so excited and ,y paddy said this place played African music. A group of young women were on their way out but we still decided to stay though there were like no young women left. There were done for the night, we were just getting started.

I talked to the dj at some point and told him about museke. He also played one of wanlov da kuborlor's songs, vul'undlela, nakupenda by Brenda Fassie as well, Premier gaou, amoulanga also by magic system, wolosso, etc. We had a lot of fun, it was great. We left there around 4am for my paddy's place where I slept. Two of the Somali girls were there already and my Somalian friend came home drunk as anything.

So that's how the night went. I am feeling a little okay about the whole experience bcuz maybe it's just Manhattan clubs and they only allow people who have dressed real well to enter, people with nice jackets, nice shoes, pants, etc. The jacket I was wearing was green, I think that was their major issue. It's like a cardinal sin to wear a darkless jacket to a high-class New York club. They still allowed people who were dressed just like me and I guess they just wanted to wield their power. It's sad but I've gotten over it.

I hope the pink elephant and lass clubs burn, I was really pissed that night because I didn't really chill both weekend nights in NYC. Yawa. I mean, come on, we have a black president-elect, we black people must catch a break here and there. Especially when we mean no harm. All I'll say is karma is a bitch. We go see.
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