What You Missed Last Month in NYC (According to Linux)

What You Missed Last Month in NYC (According to Linux)

Story by Linux / Photography, styling & creative direction by Airik Prince / Art direction by Chris Correa
Mar 11, 2024

This is What You Missed Last Month (According To Linux), in which nightlife it-girl Linux takes us behind the velvet rope and into the VIP section of Scene-City. Through her extreme (sometimes exaggerated) lens, Linux gives us the tea on what really happened at every party-of-the-century that floods our Instagram feeds. (A note from the author: don’t take what she says too seriously — she’s just a club kid after all).

February in New York City. A time when holidays like Valentine’s Day, President’s Day and NYFW claim responsibility for why we’re out celebrating, when in reality those moments are why I’m begging to stay home. Because let’s be real: I don’t want to take my boyfriend to dinner, I don’t think we even know who our President is and “fashion in New York” died when they took down the Mercedes-Benz tent in 2009.

There’s rather a much more iconic, stimulating, and powerful month-long cause for going out and celebrating in February: Black History Month. The bold impact of Black artists is seen in every industry, from fashion to music to the arts. As an intersection of all those fields, nightlife in New York City is no exception, in fact, it’s the rule. Nightlife in this city was built upon the genius minds of people of color. Ballroom, jazz, house and techno — to name a few. Hopefully for your sake I am not the first person telling you this, and if I am... how the hell did you end up here? So join me, The New York Downtown It-Girl, as I fill you in on what happened at NYC’s best parties, during what might arguably be the best month of the year.

February 16: Papi Juice @ Elsewhere

For more than 10 years, three-member party collective Papi Juice has been bringing the city (and others abroad) together for their monthly she-bang celebrating queer and trans people of color. Over the last decade the party has ebbed and flowed, with their most recent installments at Elsewhere in Brooklyn as evidence they’re well into their flow state. Three oiled-up fingers on the pulse, Papi Juice never fails to curate the perfect vibe, music and long list of attendees. This month’s Valentine’s Weekend edition of the night was no exception.

There are three rooms at Papi Juice’s Elsewhere shows: The Hall, which holds court for a huge multi-leveled dance floor to enjoy the evening’s main headliners; Zone One for the heavier junkified music and The Loft, which has more intimate space to dance to “music with words” and spots to sit. In the warmer months, an outdoor area opens up for the girlies to roll up and make use of the newly legal recreational marijuana laws. All these spaces under one roof leaves endless possibilities for the Papi Juice guest. The past few times I’ve attended, I’ve found myself arriving at 11 PM and staying well after 5 AM, not find myself bored once. You can come alone or with friends; just make sure you stay late enough for when the music takes on a life of its own. Of course the sound is great throughout, but it gets incredible after 2 AM. Walking through the smoking section you’ll pass icons like Telfar Clemens, Jeremy O. Harris and Uglyworldwide deep in conversation. Look over there! Is that Luar’s Raul Lopez and Laquan Smith walking into the green room? Oh, and did I mention the producers are all hot?

There’s something for everyone here: sexy vibes, cunt vibes, networking vibes, vibes vibes. I might even go so far as to say it’s currently my favorite party in the city. And if I’ve proven anything to you, it’s that I know what I’m talking about!

February 17: Dance Planet @ Paragon

It’s been just over a year since Paragon blessed us with their three-story nightclub in Bushwick. Since then, there’s been a plethora of great programming from the venue. From branded events like Doc Martens’ Lolahol party to underground parties like the one I went to this month: Dance Planet.

Upstairs were celebrated DJs River Moon, Toccororo and Winter Wrong. In the low-ceilinged basement, DL Presents (who throws the beast of a party Mercury in Reggaeton) took over with DJ Guari, Mokanno and Skywalker. We didn’t get a Mercury in Reggaeton this month, which is one of the best in Brooklyn, but I knew their downstairs moment at Dance Planet wouldn’t be anything less of a tear. If you can’t find your friends on one of the two dance floors, odds are they’re trapped in the bathroom stall with 10 other people. The music was equal parts flavor and high bpm. I’ve had the opportunity of seeing Toccororo and River moon twice this month, they slay in the club and their sets online slay even harder. While DL’s night in the basement was major, it was just a small taste of what they have to offer, with their fully fledged Paragon takeover Mercury in Reggaeton being March 16th. The next Dance Planet is April 27.

February 22: Charli XCX's Boiler Room @ 99 Scott

Photo by Lea Garn

You’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t seen all the press from Charli XCX’s Boiler Room set at 99 Scott last month. But until you’ve heard my drunken recollection of what happened, fully weeks later, [RuPaul voice] you’re only getting half the story! When the Boiler Room set was first announced, I knew considering my history with Charli XCX there was no way in hell I was getting an invite. Contrary to popular belief, I’m a pretty pleasant person. Unfortunately, however, I’ve accidentally been my most hellish at times when Charli XCX was also in the room. Let me paint a picture for you.

Example #1: Last winter at a YSL Beauty party, my usual strutting-past-the-bouncer to get into VIP didn’t work (and I was in such a bad mood from my sugary cucumber drink) that I threw a bit of a tantrum. Suddenly, I hear a calm English voice behind me, “She’s with me and she can have my bracelet. I’m leaving anyways, you can sit here babe.” I turn around and find myself face-to-face with Charli XCX, as she finds herself face-to-face with the most embarrassed Linux on earth. She slips me the VIP bracelet and leaves.

Example #2: I’m at Coachella, front and center of the artist section for Charli’s set. Twenty seconds into “Welcome To My Island,” and I immediately know the peak from my ecstasy has me ready to vomit everywhere. Charli’s manager spots me, pulls me up to a garbage can at the side of the stage and hands me a bottle of water. I look up fresh from puking while her manager holds my hair, only to lock eyes once again with Mother mid-performance. (Important to note: This is our first contact since Example #1.)

Example #3: I’m in Paris walking into the Balenciaga rave. From across a very quiet, intimate smoking section, I see Charli XCX. My drunk ass decided to scream in a silent room, “oh my god, Charli XCX!” (Yes, full name, how embarrassing!) Her eyes dart to me, annoying ass Linux, who just blew her cover.

Now that I’ve given you that herstory lesson, you can understand why I would never in a million years expect Charli to want me at her Boiler Room set. Sitting at my home on a Monday night, one vodka cranberry in, I did what any woman would do: I slid into her DMs. Within seconds she responded, promising me a list spot +1. (One of the only times that’s ever worked!)

When I got there with my friends, the sweetest PR girl, Daniela (whose name was on everybody’s lips outside the entrance) quickly brought us past the long line and strapped green room wristbands on us. We then found ourselves walking through a back alley and directly into Charli’s greenroom. Bartenders made us drinks while NYC nightlife’s most notable party girls pregamed for her set. Blizzy McGuire, Aquaria, Fashion Faguette and myself had a doll linkup, which was quickly crashed by Addison Rae asking the group of us for a photo (the queen of knowing the vibe!) Dion Lee and his hot raver trade of the evening stood in a corner small-talking. Julia Fox walked in and ran up to me saying, “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiii,” with her arms out to hug me. Before we hugged I had to pick my jaw up off the floor, because in what universe is Julia Fox saying hi to me? While all that clout-farming was going on, Alaska, Paper’s social media editor, went in for the kill and took some scripted videos of Charli XCX in the center of the green room while everyone else was too pussy to bother her. Finally the clock struck nine and it was time for the pop star’s much-hyped show to begin.

Together as a slew of D-Listers, we left the solace of our VIP enclave and headed towards the DJ booth. Waving our wristbanded hands like machetes to clear through the dense crowd, we were nothing short of obnoxious.

What happened next was beyond iconic. For hours, Charli XCX and friends played a set filled with PC Music, classic pop references and pop-up mic-less performances. Charli and Addison shared the stage to their song “2 die 4.” Julia Fox surprised the crowd with the debut of her unreleased song “Down the Drain.” A.G. Cook’s hair accidentally brushed against my face and he smelled amazing. At the end of her set, a path straight out of the venue and into a party bus made way for Charli XCX to disappear into the fog and to her after party a few blocks away. The next day, Charli even thanked me for coming. I think after all these years of awful impressions, I finally may have given her a good one.

February 20-24: Dweller Festival

Since 2019, a New York based music festival known as Dweller has platformed and celebrated Black electronic artists from across the world. This year’s fifth annual Dweller festival was by far the most massive, with weeklong programming happening at New York’s coolest spots, focusing primarily on the brilliant Black artists in the dance and techno scenes. Iconic staples like Robert Hood, Princess Peggie, Shaun J. Wright, DJ Miss Parker, Memphy and many more already regularly take over the city’s nightlife terrain. But during weeks like Dweller, these ultra-talented artists are spotlighted and celebrated at the forefront.

Throughout the week, one couldn’t escape Dweller’s hold over the city (and why would they want to?) At iconic spaces like Nowadays, Bossa Nova Civic Club, Basement, Public Records, Paragon and more; Dweller attendees could come and go as they please to get a taste for all the scene has to offer. The week started with an opening ceremony on Tuesday at MoMa PS1 and ended the following Sunday at Nowadays. Finally, a production team committed to supplying New York City with a week of parties that guaranteed quality music, quality atmosphere and a quality message. My only complaint? It was physically impossible to be everywhere at once! If only we could live in a world where months like February and weeks like Dweller happened year-round... but y’all ain’t ready for that conversation!

Photography, styling and creative direction: Airik Prince
Art direction: Chris Correa
Photo assistant: David Alcocer