New York's Historic Webster Hall Is Closing And I'm Crushed

New York's Historic Webster Hall Is Closing And I'm Crushed

There's nothing else like it in New York.

Say it ain't so. Alive and kicking since 1886, Webster Hall is closing its doors this week for a few years of renovations and will reopen under new ownership afterward. It's safe to say this is certainly the end of an era.

Webster Hall was recently sold to Brooklyn Sports Entertainment and AEG Presents (think, The Barclay's Center and Terminal 5) and in May, all employees were served termination notices. It was announced in recent months that the space will reopen under corporate management and will feature less of the world famous dance and club nights.

A breeding ground for New York City's finest musicians and the thriving bohemian culture of the Village, Webster Hall saw talents such as Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and more throughout the 1950s and 60s. And in recent years, it has seen names like The Killers, Green Day, John Mayer, Charli XCX, Good Charlotte, Bleachers, and more.

The Greenwich Village Historical Society said it best: "Webster Hall’s played an extraordinary role in the cultural development of the Village from the start. The labor leaders, activists, intellectuals, musicians, artists, and bohemians that danced, cheered, argued, and reveled under its roof and in front of its façade all added to and, in some ways. created the notion of the Village as a place on the forefront of social issues and of entertainment. The intact, elegantly detailed façade of Webster Hall has sheltered some of the Village’s most infamous moments, and this first modern night club deserves to be an individual landmark.”

In 2007, the building and its annex were marked a New York City Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and in 2008, the venue expanded more and opened The Studio at Webster Hall at the basement level of the venue, accessed through a cellar door on the street level.

The historic East Village nightclub and concert venue sits on East 11th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues, and the walk from the Union Square subway hub to the corner of 11th and Third is one I know well. If it were a sunny day or a nice night, you could probably catch my friends and me making the trek from Penn Station all the way there, just for fun.

I've seen my favorite band, Paradise Fears, play Webster Hall four times in the past four years. Once in the Grand Ballroom, with a capacity of 1,500, as they opened for Andy Grammer on his 2015 tour.

Once in the Marlin Room, which has a capacity of 600, but the band only released 200 tickets to make the show feel more intimate. It was 2014, I was 15, but I said I was 16 to get into the show.

And twice in The Studio, which quickly became my favorite concert spot in the city. An intimate performance space with low ceilings and a capacity of 400, I can't think of a better spot to see your favorite band perform. In January 2016 and 2017, Paradise Fears played one-night-only shows in New York in The Studio, since they are not as active in touring or making music as they used to be, but still have plenty of loyal fans willing to come see a show. This was the best spot in the whole city to host it. But now that it's closed, where will the annual show be held?

So yes, Webster Hall is closing, and I'm kind of devastated. Sure, it's reopening in a few years and we'll all be grateful for the updated bathrooms, but the grime, the dirt, the look, the tight spaces... that's all that makes Webster Hall, well, Webster Hall. And now it won't really be the same.

Luckily, the Ballinger Brothers (long-time owners of the club) went out with a bang. The "End of an Era" celebration shows have been closing out the beloved space over the past two weeks, and according to Metro NY News, there was "no curfew. Skrillex, along with other artists, led a crazed all-nighter beginning on Saturday and lasting into Sunday until almost 7 AM, when security staff shut down the music."

Now that's Webster Hall in a nutshell. See you in 2019.

Cover Image Credit: Annie Condodina

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To That Guy

"You are my Love from the Star and I was your love sent from Above"


          Did you know my life was better without you in it? Way back before I even met you? But it was the best when you came unexpectedly. I can’t say that you are the perfect guy because there is no such thing as that. But I appreciate on how you made yourself perfect for me. The first time you laid your eyes on me I was like “woah, that’s the kind of look  I want to see for the rest of my life.” Our first meet was not that memorable, it was in a certain mall and we don’t have that much time because you are flying back to your country. But you know what? It’s not being memorable or what, it is being with the person who stood by beside you.

          I was scared the moment you left my side that day, but it was the scariest when you ask me to be yours and have this thing we called “Long Distance Relationship”. I don’t know what to say or to react that time, I was speechless but part of me was happy, I mean, isn’t that the best feeling in the whole world? When a guy came into your life and accepted the whole of you? Being with you was indeed a ride of a roller coaster. We’ve got our ups and downs, fights and arguments and sweet and bitter love just what like normal couples do. I always told you how blessed I am to meet someone like you. You are my love from the star and I was your love sent from above. We always make God as the center of our relationship. And you always say, “for this relationship to work we just need to be honest and be loyal to each other.” For a moment there, I thought “us” would actually work until the end.

         It’s been how many months since we had our last conversations as a couple right? I know I’ve been really busy this past few days and it’s been a tough fight between the two of us. We tried and fought for the love we thought we had, but things just don’t end the way we expected it to be. I am not writing this to tell everybody the whole story of us instead, I am writing this because for those months that we’ve been together I’ve kept you a secret from everyone. You may call this too late, but I am here now to show the world how great of a guy are you and how thankful I am.

          You are the most effort guy I had ever encountered. Imagine? Sending me those stuffs every month just to remind me that I am loved was the best part of you. Writing a book for me was the most incredible thing you ever did and going home just to see me was the perfect. But I lost all of that. We may lose the relationship we had but I want to thank you for saving our friendship. Can ex-lovers be friends? We’ll see.

          This last gift you sent hit me hard. Your note says “I know you will see a lot of girls holding flowers, chocolates and bears everywhere and I am not there for you to experience it, so I’m sending this instead. I just want to say sorry and thank you. Sorry for the pain I’ve caused and thank you for everything. Moments with you was irreplaceable. I know that how happy we are right now, you and I will always carry a piece of each other, let it be known that we found home in each other’s warmth and you’ll always have a piece within me. You deserve the best and nothing less.” That note made me realize how lucky I am. You are a single lesson, but a lot was learned, what we had made me who I am today, and I am thankful. To that guy who was always there for me, you may not have my heart, but I want you to know that you always have my full support. See you again soon, my friend.

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