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requiem for ManRay

Some of you may be interested to know that ManRay Nightclub in Cambridge, Mass., is closing. Tomorrow night is their last night. A friend sent me this article from the Weekly Dig that explains the owner of their building is going to tear it down and build an apartment building. It also says that the owners of the nightclub do plan to reopen elsewhere and hope to have a new location by October.

I'd been to ManRay a few times over the years. Although I've never been goth, I've always appreciated the aesthetics and much of the music, so I always enjoyed going there for dancing. When I was living in Medford (just outside Boston and just north of Cambridge/Somerville), I started going once a month to "Hell", their third Friday of the month "generic" fetish night (the other Fridays usually had a more specific theme and were edgier), with my friend parkbenchzine and occasionally some of his friends from work. It's the only time I've approached being part of a scene, and I really enjoyed it. ManRay always felt open to visitors; I never felt awkward going there just with a couple people I knew. In fact, the last time I went to ManRay before moving to Seattle, I ended up going by myself. I decided that it wasn't as much fun to go by myself, but I never really felt out of place and I was never hassled.

When I moved to Seattle, I really wanted to continue doing that sort of monthly night out dancing, and there are a couple goth clubs right by my apartment, The Vogue and The Mercury (a private members club that doesn't have a readily Googleable homepage). However, I just never found someone equally enthusiastic - I know a few people who have frequented both clubs, but actually getting anyone to plan on going is difficult, partly just because everyone's older and busy with other things. Admittedly, I haven't really pushed any of those people to go, just discussed it as a possibility. But perhaps because I know those friends (most of them at least) are part of a well-established social scene at the clubs, I feel as though I'd be intruding - it's not the same as going together with a few friends who aren't already scenesters.

So here's my little tribute to ManRay, "the hub for Boston's freak culture" as the Weekly Dig puts it. Rest in peace, and may you rise again to new life.



( 1 wrote — Write )
Jul. 30th, 2005 12:33 am (UTC)
I've been "planning to get around to go there" for several years.

I will keep my eyes peeled for its reopening.
( 1 wrote — Write )

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