A Dark City

New Yorkers have always had a reputation for being distinctively jaded and secular. In certain areas of the city, something of the veil of morality has been stripped away, and what lies beneath is rich and subtle like a fine dark wine. Wealth, beauty, sensual indulgence, and convenience are shameless pursuits; people live for the nightlife, and those are its pillars.

New York City's notorious cultivation of the subversive and the rebellious is reflected in its numerous outlets through which to indulge darker urges— a steady flow of traffic filters through its adult shops, lounges, bars, dungeons, and niche clubs. Washington Square Park and the East Village have a legendary reputation for being zones of deviance and counterculture, and downtown CBGB's gained visibility around the globe by serving as an incubator for countless punk bands.

Clubs are often operating nearly until the proverbial cock-crow, and after-hours clubs are open even later. What enticements will you find there? The quest for discovery is thoroughly addictive. In a city with more niches than a sea sponge, Manhattan collects together every kind of strangeness that can be humanly explored.

Gotham City is the home of the renegade without much of an establishment or authority left to reject. This is the new homeland of the Gypsy, the visionary, the radical. Dressing in black isn't the sign of an outcast; in the bohemian districts Downtown it's practically the designated uniform. New York is both mirror and window; a place of masks and nakedness where you are both audience and actor at the greatest floorshow in the world.

Commentary by the Convergence 7 Committee, August, 2000.

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Photo: Rachel / Models: Kerry, John

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