Jewish Journal

Going to a Club in Los Angeles

by Nicole Behnam

April 22, 2013 | 8:29 pm

Guest of A Guest Photography - Bootsy Bellows

Determined to make your way in through a sloppy crowd, you start talking to the bouncers and dropping promoter’s names with your ID in hand, hoping to reverse their permascowls. It doesn’t matter if it’s your best friend’s birthday, or that you’re Sam Nazarian’s “cousin.” It’s 12am on a Saturday night and you’re not an anorexic blonde.

And as for the bouncers and promoters whose only form of power lies in vetoing the unattractive or poorly-dressed who are merely trying to have a good time, they will likely categorize you abruptly and pay no further attention unless you’re willing to spend at least $600 on a table. Is this not a form of prejudice? Look around and you will occasionally see desperate hopefuls who have been ditched by their friends as well.

It’s sad, really. Welcome to Los Angeles.

How clubbing has somehow become an integral part of an Angeleno’s weekend is baffling. The club regulars seem to have no hobbies other than "popping bottles." And a majority of these people are uncomfortable dancing or letting loose without any alcohol. The club is the ultimate venue for the passionless—for people who are often so overly-eager to pick up a stranger because they feel there is no other outlet through which they can meet another person with a shared common interest.

Even the fancy white tufted couches don’t make the idea of dancing provocatively seem remotely classy or alluring. To tolerate the thumping bass—so loud that when you walk out, you experience a constant ringing in your ears—requires a certain level of alcohol buzz.

A group of friends who party at clubs to celebrate once in a while is understandable, but for the people who attend clubs regularly, they’re out to find happiness, companionship, and temporary escape where it doesn’t exist.

I’m no Saturday-night elitist, and I’ve definitely spent enough of my Saturday nights in Los Angeles nightclubs to know what they’re like. But a thoroughly enjoyable weekend for me involves conversations and laughing and good food with friends and family. I’m sure most of us would rather sit around with our friends and exchange funny stories than wear uncomfortable clothes and shoes hoping to catch someone’s eye in the unbearable darkness that is somehow essential to the club’s atmosphere.

A club is like Physical Education class, where one person’s worth depends on being “chosen” by another similarly-lonely stranger who finds you physically adequate. How flattering. Is this how you want to meet people? Even online dating provides more information than your 30-minute drunken encounter. Think about it before you decide to become a club regular.

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When Nicole Behnam was 15, she joined the school newspaper and discovered that journalism was one of her passions. To take her passion one step further, she called Brentwood...

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