By Gamal Hennessy
When I talk to people about being an advocate for nightlife culture, the first question I usually hear is “Why should I care about nightlife culture?” It is a good question. This is my good answer.
Nightlife culture is central to the quality of life of acity and the people who live in it. Without a thriving nightlife culture, our social dynamic is crippled. When that aspect of a city is gone students, tourists and young professionals migrate to other areas to find that connection. Without a thriving nightlife culture, the artistic and creative community withers. When that happens, the economy and reputation of a city falls dramatically because people do not feel drawn to that environment. The health and progress of a cityis directly related to the health of its nightlife culture.
Nightlife culture in New York is complex and multilayered.It has fostered our arts. It has shaped the relationships between people of different classes, races and backgrounds. It has attracted people from all over the world to visit, live and work here. It is as much a part of our history and identity as Wall Street, Times Square or Fifth Avenue.
In recent years, nightlife culture has been damaged by political, economic and technological changes. Nightlife has been marked as a scapegoat and held responsible for urban crime and a lower quality of life. Rampant gentrification, higher real estate costs and contradictory urban planning has created conflict between nightlife and local communities. Advancements in digital technologies and fragmenting entertainment markets havestifled many traditional creative outlets in nightlife. While nightlife culture continues to grow and adapt, it has suffered recently.
So care about nightlife culture because it is the real reason why you go out. It is one of the reasons you live in New York City. Understand that it is important to everyone whether or not they patronize nightlife venues. Expose yourself to the cultural side of nightlife and experience everything it has to offer. Most importantly care about nightlife culture to make sure that it isn’t further eroded to the point wherethe city completely loses its artistic and social prominence.