Halloween and the Nightlife Amateur

By GamalHennessy

Halloweenis one of my favorite holidays. It beats out Thanksgiving, July 4th andeven Arbor Day. Halloween is similar to nightlife because it gives people achance to move away from their daytime personas and create a new identity fromtheir imaginations. Unfortunately, Halloween is also a breeding ground foramateurs, and little good can come from a night over run with amateurs.

Natives and amateurs
I need to be very clear about my distinctionbetween nightlifenatives and nightlife amateurs. Where you fit in isn’t a function of how many clubsyou’ve been to or how many times you go out. It’s about quality, not quantity.

For nightlife natives, going out is part of their lifestyle.We enjoy the drinking, dancing, dating and hustling that is a part of cityliving. It’s not a problem for us to go out three or four nights a week andconsistently make it to work the next day without hangovers, scars or gaps inour memory.


Amateurs on the other hand tend to crash and burn.The combination of liquor, hormones, drugs and sleep deprivation that nightlifecan generate often overwhelms them, leading to decisions that can generously bedescribed as questionable. When you’re out at night and you see people fighting,throwing up, peeing between cars, getting thrown into a squad car or anambulance or unable to show up at work the next day, you’re looking at amateursin action. When community boards complain about the nightlife that is ruining theirquality of life, they’re complaining about amateurs. Simply put, amateurs give nightlifea bad name.


The need for amateurs
At this point, you might think that I don’tappreciate amateurs. That is simply not true. Amateurs are essential tonightlife for three reasons. First, everyone has to start somewhere. It hasbeen said that you don’t really know your limit until you’ve crossed it. Manynatives go through an amateur period in the beginning that teaches them whatthey can and can’t handle. If you can evolve from that stage no worries.Amateurs often serve as an entertaining example of what not to do.

Second, amateurs are a good source of nightlife revenue.When amateurs go out, they are willing to pay extra to get in or they just buybottles. When natives go out, many of them can have a very good time withoutspending a lot of cash. If everyone was a native, clubs might not make enoughmoney to stay open.

Finally, and most importantly, some people likebeing amateurs. Of course, they don’t call themselves amateurs. They considerthemselves hardcore party people or players inspired by Jersey Shore who needto prove how much liquor, coke or sex they can consume in public. But since ourdefinition of amateur revolves around excess quantity, anyone whose goal isover consumption qualifies as an amateur.

Avoiding amateurs
If you’ve read this far and decided that you wantto avoid amateurs at night, be careful. There are some common misconceptionsout there. Some people believe that if you avoid B&T traps, you avoidamateurs. Not true. While many amateurs come from outside the city, they canpop up anywhere…even in Brooklyn.

Also,some people might think that if you just get a bottle and stay in the VIP area ofa club, you are shielded from amateurs. This is a trap. Amateurs often buytheir way into places they couldn’t otherwise get into. They are actually drawnto the VIP area for the temporary status it promises. There is nothing worsethan paying several hundred dollars for Grey Goose AND being surrounded byamateurs all night.

There are two main ways I’ve found to avoidamateurs. The first is to go out on the nights that amateurs stay home. Thedays from Sunday to Thursday are often the best native nights. Friday andSaturday are mostly amateur nights. The second solution is to go to the placeswhere amateurs can’t get in, including house parties, private clubs or out ofthe way spots that the amateurs haven’t found yet. Even in this period ofpolitical change, this might be one occasion where segregation is desirable.

When amateurs attack
As I stated before, you can find amateurs all overthe city on any given night. However there are some nights when theconcentration of amateurs swells to crisis levels. These nights include thebirthday of the individual amateur, New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day and ofcourse, Halloween. It might not be so bad this year since Halloween falls on Monday.Saturday will be the big party night, which means I’m going to a private party.Nightlife needs a certain number of amateurs, but I don’t need to be aroundthem.

Have fun.