The exclusive downtown private club that's too cool for corporate suit-and-tie types just kicked about 500 of them out! Too bad that's the only kind that wants (or can afford) to hang at your overpriced, Meatpacking digs.
After banning suits last spring, the club just axed 500 members over the past year, and another 500 are going to get cut so that the membership will be reduced to a cool 4,000. They're trying to get rid of the untucked button-down, embellished jeans, and square toed shoe hedge funder types that have plagued New York nightlife for so long. Club founder Nick Jones tells the Post, "When I went there, it didn't have the right feel anymore. It has always been a creative, friendly place with a relaxed feel. If there are too many corporate types around then that atmosphere doesn't occur." Jones wants to attract more creative types and more people under 27. Yeah, right. That isn't going to happen.
First of all, the only people who want to pay $1800 a year on top of exorbitant food and drink prices to hang out in the Meatpacking District are the exact type of people they want to get rid of. Have you been down those cobblestone streets lately? It's full of Scandinavian tourists, hoochie mommas from New Jersey trying to have their Carrie Bradshaw moment, and guys who wear a jacket and tie to hide the fact that the fattest thing on their body—next to their wallet—is their gut. There's even an Ed Hardy store down there, for fuck's sake. Why would anyone want to hang out down there in the first place, especially if they have to shell out some green for the privileged.
It's hard enough to be under 30 and pay rent to live in Manhattan. Who can afford an extra 2K to go to some schmancy club and hang out on its rooftop pool in the summer? People who work at Goldman Sachs, that's who! Sure, they probably don't have much time to enjoy it, but they're the only ones who have enough left over after all their other expenses to afford it. They're also the only ones who can pay to live in the Meatpacking District these days or in adjacent areas of West Chelsea and West Village. Why would all the poor artists want to travel from the Williamsburg, Bushwick, Harlem, the East Village to sit where Samantha Jones' bony ass was once lucky enough to dent the lounge chairs?
So, sorry, SoHo House, if you want to continue being all expensive and exclusive, then you're going to have to stick with what you got. For more than a decade now Manhattan has been gussying itself up and pushing out the artists, hipsters, and other assorted fun-loving degenerates for the beige rich with their filthy millions, boring past times, granite counter tops, and generic, cookie-cutter "luxury." Either SoHo house is going to have to start subsidizing the cool kids to maintain the right "balance" to their club, or they're going to have to deal with the soulless jerks who are rapidly inheriting this island. The infestation of undesirables isn't SoHo House's problem; it's just another symptom of a disease that is slowly killing us one gentrified block at a time.
[Photo: Annabel Vere/Flickr]