Friday, August 9, 2013

The Last Splash

I love to dance!  It's one of my absolute favorite things in the world to do.  When I'm out on the dance floor, getting my groove on, I'm as happy as I ever.  No worries, no fears.  It's just me and the music, expressing myself and loving every minute of it.

Some may find it strange that someone of my age would enjoy going out clubbing so much.  I don't, really.  I mean, yeah, sometimes I feel like an old fart among all of the young people that go to clubs, but I know I am nothing close to an old fart.  I look younger than my age and I surely feel a lot younger, too.

So when I go to any club, I'm sure that some may take one look at me and think to themselves, oh geez, here's a creeper looking to pick up guys, which couldn't be farther from the truth.  Really, I only come to dance.  If I happen to meet someone, then that's just a bonus.

Dance, it's all I wanna do so won't you dance...K. Minogue

I've had a love for dancing ever since I discovered Diana Ross back in 1980.  From countless hours spent dancing in my room, burning up the floor on Fire Island and in clubs with my ex, and now as a single guy looking for joy, I've always been addicted to the expression of dancing, which brings me to Splash.

Though I'd been to Splash a couple of times during my relationship with Joe, it was never a regular hangout for me to dance until about six years ago, after he and I broke up. You see, Long Island, where I live, is a very strange place.  There is no real Long Island 'community' because the place is so spread out, and the attitude here is pretty unwelcoming.

There is no real 'bar scene' to speak of, and dance clubs have been relegated to special 'party' nights at disjointed places across the island.  Even when you go to a bar here, it's not a good thing to dance, as stares and attitudinal glances make their way in your direction, and it's not fun.  I learned this early on in my second tourney at being single and so I quickly turned to the city...and Splash.

Ever since I've been a club goer, I've been a loyal one.  Whenever I found a club that I liked, I always stuck to it until the very end, for whatever reason.  Maybe it's just good old fear of change. I remember when Kiss, my very first regular hangout, started to wane, it was sad.  It was the same with a bar called Crystals and now it is the same with Splash.

You could tell the end was near almost immediately after XL opened last year.  All of a sudden the Saturday night crowds began to wane and everybody was talking about the new place up in Hell's Kitchen.  Little by little, the new joint began to steal Splash's theme nights...20 Something Thursdays (Campus Thursdays at Splash), Broadway Mondays (Musical Mondays), etc., etc., etc... and the rest is history.

As it turned out, maybe it was overkill, but I did go to Splash one more time last night before it closed its doors for good tomorrow night.  I guess it was an appropriate ending.  Thursday night used to be my favorite night to go there, as it always had a nice crowd and Steve Sidewalk always played great music.  I always did more dancing there on a Thursday than any other night, but last night just wasn't meant to be.

For being one of the last nights in a major club like Splash, there really wasn't much fanfare going on last night.  Nothing special happening, and the crowd was small, though probably a little larger than before the closing announcement came.  John Marto was the deejay, and I haven't been liking his sets lately, especially last night.  The music was full of teaser snippets of good songs thrown into very clubby music that was not fun to dance to.

So, not even an hour into getting there, my last Splash was done.  I took one last walk around the place, remembering what used to be of the place: dancing up a storm for hours on a Saturday night in the makeshift dance floor downstairs; meeting Ivan and helping him find his cell phone minutes after; hanging with Paul, Ozzie, Jeremy, Blanche, Dita and Eddie; the Madonnathon; dancing and flirting with strangers; and a certain look from below the stairs as I ascended.

The Wanted perform at Splash

These are the kinds of memories that have been long gone, really, but memories are made for a reason.  Whenever I think about them I can smile to myself.  Though things haven't been the same at Splash for more than a year already, I'm still gonna miss the place.  So thanks Splash, thanks for giving me a place to express myself and for providing me with a home of sorts for the past six years.    
Splash promoter Dougie Meyer

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