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I Spit on Your Grave - Part I

Five years ago or so it was a fairly common circumstance that you could find me in the club. Sippin' on a bottle of bub. Those were the days that I was into having sex, I wasn't into making love...
2010-08-13 12:08:00


Five years ago or so it was a fairly common circumstance that you could find me in the club. Sippin' on a bottle of bub. Those were the days that I was into having sex, I wasn't into making love.

Remember shorties? We partied as if it were your birthdays. Sipping Bacardi as if it were your birthdays. How can I even describe it?

It was almost like we didn't even give a ---- because it's your birffday.

Last night this rapidly aging "nightlife journalist" went on a bar crawl for the damned: Space Ibiza, Pegasus, Snatch, Pier 1, Windows Too, Sugar, and, of course, the bitch that burned brightest of them: Attica. All "banging" clubs in their time that have since gone out of business, existing now only in the minds and memories of a few Shanghai lifers.

But I remember you, Attica. I remember.

Our numbers are thinning. The party is over. But for one last time let us remember:

Space Ibiza


Opened: October 2005
Closed: January 2006

Back in the Day:



Legitimately associated in some way with the famous Space on Spanish party, party, party island Ibiza, the Shanghai Space Ibiza was something the city had never seen before: its first true mega club. This was back in 2005 when a little club called Bar Rouge was the biggest thing in town, making the scene by being really sensually red and selling unholy amounts of champagne.

Space Ibiza was a massive, massive warehouse, with multiple gigantic dance floors -- including one outfitted with hydraulics or some shit that moved when you danced on it -- VIP rooms galore, 90 different bars, laser tunnels... everything really. It was something like two square kilometers in there. It was a bold move. A strong statement. Space Ibiza was to bring the Euro rave to Shanghai, inaugurating a new wave of excessive clubbing that would sweep Asia. Alas, they figured out too late that they should have outfitted the place with a time machine as well, because the year was 2005 and well... it was 2005 in China too. Fuck raves, man.

They opened big and hard with a packed party... and then no one ever went ever, ever, ever, ever again. Before imploding, Space Ibiza must have been open for about oh say... the length of an ecstasy trip. Still, no one has invested that amount of cash and built something so absurd in... well, it's been a while.

What it is now:



It is now the Juneyao Airlines Logistics Holdings Warehouse. We wandered into the place last night -- where da party at, yo -- and found three shirtless migrant laborers lying on broken wood drinking green tea and baijiu. They had no knowledge of Space Ibiza. They looked crazy from the heat. Their eyes darted from side to side like we were all engaged in something illegal. They had no desire to discuss Shanghai clubbing circa 2006. It was like they didn't even know about the place. WTF. Everything was coated in a thick, impenetrable layer of dust and transport trucks thundered by on the street outside.

Lessons from Space? Don't build your shitnificent mega club in the middle of nowhere. "220 Hu Qing Ping Expressway"? What the hell is that, man.

Pegasus


Opened: November 2003
Closed: September 2006



Back in the Day:

Pegasus was basically a hip hop club at the center of a much smaller and more integrated expat clubbing community about five or six years ago. Newer residents to Shanghai might be surprised at how few places there were to go to back in the early '00s, and Pegasus was definitely one of the most high profile clubs in the city -- arguably the most successful of Shanghai nightlife matriarch Judy's several clubs over the years.

Well, I guess it was successful, and then at some point not successful because they closed. Thursday nights, allegedly, were the night to go (as well as any other night I suppose), featuring as they did a future manager of The Shelter running the hip hop.

With an emphasis on commercial hip hop, boozing, and promiscuity, Pegasus could be seen as setting the template for the current brash of commercial hip hop clubs that are now the norm in Shanghai. Pegasus was also one of the first venues to host brand-name Western DJs and hip hop acts. Ice-T played there man. Ice-T. From Law & Order. And Sven Vaeth. And a certain local drum 'n' bass promoter got her start in Shanghai there, before moving on to Bonbon. LTJ Bukem played at Pegaus.

But as a boozy, wasted melting pot of expats from all over the world as well as local Chinese, Pegasus inspires fond memories for a certain demographic of graying expats, 'before the city got pretentious.'

What it is now:



After Pegasus closed, Judy tried a few other things with it. "Moments" was briefly open as the company's foray into jazz and blues territory (man, that JZ Club must do very well huh?), and then it became something called Club Caribbean for a while, which was... what... reggae and an open bar, I think. And then it was Judy Q, which is also now closed.

Currently, Pegasus adheres to the sternest door policy you can devise: two bolted doors with a bike lock around the handles.

It ceases to be about who you know at that point. There's just no getting in the place. Erased in the sober neon glow of a particularly commercial bit of Huaihai Lu, Pegasus is two locked doors at the front of which it is still impossible to get a cab. The McDicks is still there though.

Snatch


Opened: March 2006
Closed: April 2006

Back in the day:



It was this:

"Greg Lites, co-owner of the most successful club promotion company in the U.S. - Icon Entertainment, has brought the flava of Hollywood to Shanghai to open a club with a name that symbolizes celebrities, gorgeous girls and the hottest club music on the planet: SNATCH!"

Yeah, Snatch was EXACTLY the "flava" of Hollywood, gorgeous girls, and the hottest club music on the planet. EXACTLY.

Actually, it was a club that was open for about a week that featured at its opening party the presence of one Mike 'I will eat his children' Tyson. It was surmised by the club management that if they paid Mike Tyson to cut the ribbon at Snatch and hang out and bro down for a bit, their club would become synonymous with celebrity and glamor.

Actually, what happened was that their club became "that janky-ass place that paid Mike Tyson to hang out for like 20 minutes before he PEACED OUT to his hotel."

And how about that name. Snatch. Snatch? Snatch! Pretty crude. Kinda of like naming your club GUNT.

"Thinking about taking my girlfriend to a place called GUNT this weekend. We've heard good things."

What it is now:

Probably one of the most depressingly crap restaurant malls I've ever had the pleasure of getting down with. It's one of those places that never turns the escalators on because they want to save on the power bill. And it's like someone has sprayed axle grease on everything. Feels like you're getting esophagus cancer just by being there. Snatch was on the third floor of this mall place, and a particularly grim-looking hot pot restaurant and a sketchy-looking massage place occupy the space Snatch used to be at.

However.

The stairs lead beyond the third floor into what looks like a construction area; there is something else. Something else entirely. The stairs lead right into a drawn curtain. There is no sign and no indication of what the place is outside of the drawn curtain.

As you pull the curtain back, another set of stairs is revealed, and these are all lit up by Christmas lights. On the walls up the stairs are airbrushed pictures of naked chicks framed in glowing lights. It kind of looks like a strip club from the 1980s in Dallas. You get to the top of the stairs and there is a guy in a suit waiting at a desk. Replicated renaissance statues line the walls, potted plants everywhere, thick purple carpets underfoot. Cigarette smoke hanging in the air. In the other room are about 12 girls in short skirts and stilettos milling around, not saying anything to each other. Your conversation with the guy goes like this:

You: Ni hao.

Guy: ...

You: Um... I don't think I'm supposed to be here.

Guy: ...

And then you turn around slowly and leave. You don't take any pictures because you don't want to get yakuza'ed in the head.

As you leave the mall, the waiters in the restaurants stare and you and smile knowingly.

And you smile too because it's like... somehow Snatch lives on.

***

Next week we get our Kangol hats and shutter shades on and check out Pier 1! Windows Too! Sugar! Attica!

Horray! I spit on your graves!

***

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