11:00PM - 4:00AM
313 Bowery Street
Alchemy provides two roles for the NYC club scene; an inexpensive Monday hangout for those to whom a night without going clubhopping is inconcievable, and it provides a stage for Gothic bands who might otherwise not be given opportunities elsewhere in NYC. These roles it fills, though the turnout on nights with lower profile bands (or none at all) ranges from sparse to nil.
The DJ is Jason Ledyard, frequently spinning a mix of Dark Wave and classic Death Rock. You will usually find him in the company of Althea, his bartender girlfriend, who acts as promoter for the night.
CBGBs Gallery is a narrow, smoky, dimly lit neighbor to the main CBGBs, connected by a shared basement. It has the pretensions of being a gallery, and several works of art can usually be found on the walls. Primarily a bar, it has a few booths and a ring of comfortable couches near the door to provide drinking space for the morbid conversationalist though often the sound system is overly loud. The bar is small but the drinks are usually affordable and not watered down. Dancing is no longer permitted because of city ordinances.
It has a small stage with a smattering of cafe tables and chairs in front of it. A small and unsanitary bathroom can be found past the stage to the left, and on crowded nights one should be prepared to encounter a line. It is sometimes awkward to push through the audience or walk in front of seated carousers in order to make it to the toilet, because it is quite visible to everyone where you are going because of the layout.
The new basement area is a highlight of the space, with an area for a second bar on some nights, a good sound system, and other treats. On some nights a second DJ area is set up there.
Commentary by Daniel Feldspath, Saturday, April 18, 1998.