Music and Hipster Mayhem at Lit

Music and Hipster Mayhem at Lit

by Sara Lambert
03.02.2010

Nightlife fixtures rage there on their birthdays. Musical acts as avant-garde and diverse as Peaches and Bambi Killers perform there on the regular. And, chances are, you’ve passed it a million times on a walk through the East Village and never even noticed its entrance. That is the mystique, and intrigue, of Lit Lounge, one of New York City’s subterranean nightlife dens, home to hipsters and A-listers alike.

Lit is no newcomer to the nightlife game. For the past eight years, it has had a consistent crowd streaming through its doors. Even as the newest “It” spots, such as Kenmare and Good Units, hosted events throughout New York Fashion Week, Lit Lounge was right there with them, and held their own with the fashionistas and socialites. Although Lit did not have a hosted soiree celebrating a designer, Fashion Week regulars such as Kell On Earth’s Stefanie Skinner, designer Alexander Wang, and nightlife fixtures Harley Viera Newton and Cassie Coane chose to party the night away there. And, as if Lit needed any more cred, nightlife impresario Steve Lewis decided to celebrate his birthday there this year, and even made a guest appearance on the 1s and 2s. It is definitely safe to say that even after eight years in the East Village scene, Lit has not burnt out.

But what if you are a regular Joe-Schmoe like me? What does Lit have to offer us? Well, for one thing, an unpretentious door; although the modest entrance of Lit may be hard to find, to get in is anything but difficult, which is certainly a breath of fresh air in comparison to the who’s-who process of manning the door at speakeasy’s and mega-clubs. Lit effervesces a “come as you are” vibe, so there’s no need to quote the Page Six rolodex when you hand over your ID.

Ok, so you’ve made it past the gatekeeper. Now what can we expect from this lounge that attracts hipsters like moths to a flame? Well, to be honest, Lit’s strong point certainly is not its aesthetics; the words “ultra dive bar” come to mind first and foremost. Low ceilings, dim lights, and a dance floor adjacent to the DJ booth that is the size of an NYU dorm room are some of the highlights of Lit. The bar has everything from Bartons to Belvedere, so whatever your tastes may be, Lit’s got you covered. They made my signature drink , Maker’s Mark and Ginger , just the way I like it – heavy on the Makers, light on the Ging’ – helping me maintain the perfect buzz as I hipster-bopped to the music.

Of course, if you are heading out to Lit, you are not going there for its chichi demeanor, or even for their generous bartenders. You are headed there, most certainly, for the music. At Lit, the music defines the scene. Its eclectic selection of resident DJs and alt-rock meets electro-rock bands draws an equally eclectic crowd of hipster hip-hoppers. You are just as likely to see a flannel-clad East Villager raging as you are Kanye West’s doppelganger, and of course, the occasional runway model mixed in. Although the crowd may seem like a mish-mosh of Lower East Side stereotypes, every one has convened at Lit for its innovative and interesting nightly set-lists from an array of underground performers, and the crowd’s differences are long forgotten once the music hits their ears.

As the night comes to a close at Lit, and you stumble out of the dank basement of the East Village, chances are you will be drenched in sweat and dotted with cigarette burns. If that’s the case, then congratulations, you’ve had a successful night at one of the Lower East Side’s underground pleasures.

 

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