33. Because You Can Party on the Way to Your Party

Photo: Alex Tehrani

What with being a public-transportation hub located in the nightlife capital of the universe, the Union Square L-train stop emits roughly enough excitement on the average weekend night to meet the partying needs of most fundamentalist theocracies for a year. At ten on a recent Saturday night, a team of investigators headed underground to capture the scene. A few days later, we called around to find out what ends all that reveling energy had been put to.

1. John Piersol
23, Williamsburg, “occupation changes from week to week”
“We were hired to promote the movie Juno by running from bar to bar in the East Village as the ‘Dancing Elk Condors’ track team. Some of the ladies definitely asked us to come back after we got off work, but I ended up going back to Brooklyn, to Wells. It’s a cozy place, they have about 150 beers from around the world. After that we went to a dive bar in the area, the Levee. I stayed out till four, of course—we’d worked till one, so I felt I’d accomplished a day’s work and treated myself accordingly. I didn’t meet anyone, unfortunately. In retrospect, maybe I should’ve kept my costume on.”

2. Jason Dessalet
20, Chinatown, NYU sophomore
“The Juno people had asked for runners, and I’ve been running cross-country and track pretty much since ninth grade. And at one of the bars there was this really outrageously drunk guy who challenged us to a dance-off. We were like, ‘Dude, we don’t dance, we’re runners.’ So I raced him in a sprint and he kicked my ass … Afterward, I went to the Patriot Saloon down by my dorm with some friends. They have $6 pitchers; it’s like the cheapest bar in Manhattan. It’s usually filled with homeless people, but we actually met another group of other normal guys, which is pretty spectacular luck for that place.”

3. Stacy Franzman, Rachel Jones, and Cindy Orenstein
17, Syosset High School seniors
Cindy: “We had all gone to the Met, and we were catching the subway down to a sushi place. From there, we went to Penn Station because we all had to catch a train home. My curfew was like midnight, really early, but we missed the train back. It was stressful because we were all on the phone with our parents and our friends to see if we could get rides back to our car. It was okay in the end. I called my parents, it wasn’t a big deal.”

4. Ben Martin
20, Bushwick, photography student at the School of Visual Arts
I was getting off work at American Apparel, where I work on the weekends, and coming back home. One of my friends came over, and we just kind of hung out. Just a girl I go to school with. We drank Stella. Did it classy, relatively speaking—usually I drink Coors Original; it’s a dollar for a 24-ounce can where I live. But girls don’t typically like to drink huge cans of cheap beer. We watched a movie, listened to some music, I showed her some prints, she was taking some pictures of me for an assignment … she stayed at my place … she didn’t stay on the couch.”

5. Chris Arrigo
21, White Plains, student at Westchester Community College
Kim Martinez
21, Astoria, designer at Creative Worldwide Co.
Kim: “We went to Marquee for my friend’s 21st-birthday party. We stayed until it closed and then went to [Ninth Avenue diner] Skylight. Chris took a 6:45 a.m. train back to Westchester.”

6. Rome William
25, Brownsville, head stylist, Club Monaco women’s department
“I usually skateboard at Union Square after work … but that night was kind of cold, so I just went home.”

Photo: Alex Tehrani

7. Max Lodge
26, Williamsburg, actor
I was coming back from a shoot—an indie film based on Candide. I play a footman. I was still wearing my makeup, eighteenth-century style. I went home, then decided I’d kick myself if I didn’t go see [Greenpoint club] Studio B outfitted as a roller rink—as it turned out, it wasn’t outfitted as a roller rink; it was just a bunch of people on skates being drunk. You could hardly move. No room for wide, graceful turns.”

8. Adam Mac Kay
28, Park Slope, Saatchi & Saatchi account executive
Jennifer Sanzone
26, Park Slope, merchandiser for Haskell Jewels
(pictured: Sanzone’s leg)
Jennifer: “Adam and I were on our way to the D line to go home. We had been to the Richard Prince exhibit at the Guggenheim and then at the Dove bar in Soho having a drink. Nothing much happened. We got on the wrong train. Then we got on the right train.”

9. Jamie Debell
23, Washington Heights, Abercrombie & Fitch manager
“I met Frank [Eaton] after work to go bowling. I remember looking at the hats girls were wearing. A lot of people are wearing hats these days.”

10. Frank Eaton
24, Hoboken, Abercrombie & Fitch manager
“We were going to Williamsburg to that bowling bar that just opened, the Gutter. We were there for like three hours waiting to bowl. By the time our number came up, we were already leaving.”

11. Leo Malamud
24, visiting from Newport Beach, engineer
“I like New York, but the way people make it seem, it’s like there are models everywhere. By comparison to Los Angeles, Miami, and Vegas, the clubs were about the same. And New York looked like an older city—L.A. and Newport Beach look newer. Also, it was too cold.”

12. Sean McCracken
27, Chinatown, on disability
“I was free-climbing and shattered my ankle. I actually have the wheelchair so I can go out—I had crutches for a while, but people don’t look out for you, and you get knocked over if the floor is wet. In a wheelchair, you create your own space. You can hold a drink, and you always have a place to sit. We were gonna watch a roller derby in Brooklyn, but we ended up at [Williamsburg Thai restaurant] Sea for drinks and got kicked out for dancing. After that, we got a cab back to Manhattan to the Sullivan Room to dance. In a wheelchair, you can do a lot of spins, a lot of wheelies. Girls will come over and sit on me, and I’ll take them for a ride. They have a blast with it, but in the end, they don’t take me seriously. They’re like, ‘What, exactly, is not working?’ ”

Reported by Kaija Helmetag, Kai Ma, Jen Wieczner, and Rachel Winter.

33. Because You Can Party on the Way to Your Party