Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people who work in the nightlife industry have kept our city running, while facing significant emotional and physical demands of their own: many became unemployed, risked exposure to illness, and became isolated from their communities. The uncertainty and anxiety associated with COVID-19 has created a collective trauma in the industry. Now, people who work in the industry are charged with bringing back the city's thriving nightlife, but they may bring with them lingering and new mental health concerns. In response the Office of Nightlife is now working with our partners at the Mayor's Office of Community Mental Health and Backline Care to connect the nightlife community directly with mental health resources and services through the new ELEVATE Nightlife Mental Health Initiative.
These ongoing and proposed initiatives are the result of stakeholder engagement; constituent services casework with nightlife businesses, workers, and neighbors; focus groups to solicit detailed feedback regarding the issues and challenges facing New York nightlife; in-depth research of national and global best practices; and extensive partnership with other government agencies.
ONL's purpose is to help establish and coordinate systemic solutions to support the nighttime economy, culture, and quality of life. Its goal is to make nightlife fairer, safer, more equitable and accessible, and to make sure that nightlife works for all New Yorkers, and the city's millions of visitors each year.
In the three years since it was established, ONL has made major strides toward fulfilling that mission. This report serves as a record of that progress and sets forth recommendations to help secure the future of nightlife.
The first part of the report, "From Legislation to Agenda," describes the establishment of the Office of Nightlife, the community engagement and research process, and the commission of the economic impact study of the nightlife industry in New York City.
Improve the business environment for existing and prospective operators by creating resources to assist businesses understanding of regulatory processes, and coordinate efforts of city agencies involved in managing, regulating, and promoting nightlife.
Promote opportunities in nightlife for people to look out for each other through campaigns and workshops to promote harm reduction, bystander intervention, mental health awareness, and worker and patron safety.
In recent years, a number of scholars have explored ways of understanding surveillance that challenge dominant perspectives, which see surveillance as organizations, power relations and inspire negative, Big Brother-type emotions. This direction of post-panopticism (Boyne 2000) includes the study of the experiences of the subjectivity engaged in surveillance practices, e.g. surveillance as resistance (Ball 2005), empowering exhibitionism (Koskela 2004) or participatory surveillance (Albrechtslund 2008). Our ambition here is to further explore how the subject participates in surveillance situations with a particular focus on how users experience everyday tracking technologies and practices. Of particular interest to us is the recently ubiquitous presence of smartphones and the emergence of wearables connected to them. The main purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic and empirically grounded analytical understanding of how individuals relate to technologies which pervade everyday life activities. The pervasive use of surveillance technologies in intimate contexts of everyday life is a critical and, at the same time, an underdeveloped issue. Systematic scholarly inquiry into this issue has the potential to significantly improve our understanding of the motives and consequences of the deep infiltration of technology into contemporary life in a networked world. Understanding these practices is a precondition for improving public policies and technology design to promote privacy protection as well as user empowerment. We focus on how the self is enacted, negotiated and maintained in an environment of increasing and elaborate practices of tracking via mobile technologies. First, we explore and analyze the theoretical implications of participatory surveillance practices in relation to smartphones. Second, we study the case of smartphone users in the nightlife district of the city centre in Rotterdam. This includes an understanding of media consumption in the public sphere. Third, we use our findings to contribute to a research agenda for surveillance studies in relation to the self.
Although participation in surveillance can occur in many forms, we focus on the making and sharing of footage (pictures or videos) recorded by visitors in public nightlife districts. Users of smartphone cameras in these spaces might be active in night-logging; creating footage of what happens on a specific night (see Mann et al. 2002). The sharing of such content and making it available to others implies an act of subjection to potential surveillance; citizens volunteer not only to watch but also to be watched. By whom the footage is watched, and where it ends up, is out of control of the subject who shares his or her data. Equally important, participation can happen intentionally and unintentionally; the content-maker may or may not have intended the footage to serve specific surveillance purposes. Once the record-button is pressed, one is in some form or another participating in surveillance by recording a human activity of that night out. Once material is shared, it becomes researchable and indexable by many other actors.
Interviewees have been recruited via snowballing (asking the interviewee to provide names for other potential interviewees). The interviews were conducted in the city centre of Rotterdam. The interviews were held in the nightlife district, and audio recordings were made of the interviews with permission of the interviewees to record the interviews and to transcribe the recordings. The interviewees ranged from 17 to 30 years old. The interviews explored whether and how smartphone cameras are being used and to what extend interviewees connected this use to topics of safety, security or surveillance. After transcriptions, TAMS analyzer software was used to explore the interviews.Footnote 10 A topic list and a code scheme were developed by close-reading the transcriptions from the interviews. Queries were performed on the transcriptions across interviews using the topic list. For reasons of anonymity, fake names, or only first-names are used in the transcriptions.Footnote 11 We use interview excerptsFootnote 12 to unpack and elaborate how smartphone use changes how the self is enacted, negotiated and maintained in a nightlife setting.
When Christina was confronted with a case of police surveillance (a scenario in which the police would use YouTube footage uploaded by urban nightlife visitors such as herself to reconstruct an accident and identify suspects), she pointed out the following:
Once known for slum-like conditions in its immigrant and working-class neighborhoods, New York City's downtown now features luxury housing, chic boutiques and hotels, and, most notably, a vibrant nightlife culture. While a burgeoning bar scene can be viewed as a positive sign of urban transformation, tensions lurk beneath, reflecting the social conflicts within postindustrial cities. Upscaling Downtown examines the perspectives and actions of disparate social groups who have been affected by or played a role in the nightlife of the Lower East Side, East Village, and Bowery. Using the social world of bars as windows into understanding urban development, Richard Ocejo argues that the gentrifying neighborhoods of postindustrial cities are increasingly influenced by upscale commercial projects, causing significant conflicts for the people involved.Ocejo explores what community institutions, such as neighborhood bars, gain or lose amid gentrification. He considers why residents continue unsuccessfully to protest the arrival of new bars, how new bar owners produce a nightlife culture that attracts visitors rather than locals, and how government actors, including elected officials and the police, regulate and encourage nightlife culture. By focusing on commercial newcomers and the residents who protest local changes, Ocejo illustrates the contested and dynamic process of neighborhood growth.Delving into the social ecosystem of one emblematic section of Manhattan, Upscaling Downtown sheds fresh light on the tensions and consequences of urban progress.
Research over the last decade has focused almost exclusively on the association between electronic music and MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine or "ecstasy") or other stimulant drug use in clubs. Less attention has been given to other nightlife venues and music preferences, such as rock music or southern/funky music. This study aims to examine a broader spectrum of nightlife, beyond dance music. It looks at whether certain factors influence the frequency of illegal drug and alcohol use: the frequency of going to certain nightlife venues in the previous month (such as, pubs, clubs or goa parties); listening to rock music, dance music or southern and funky music; or sampling venues (such as, clubs, dance events or rock festivals). The question of how these nightlife variables influence the use of popular drugs like alcohol, MDMA, cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines is addressed.
The study sample consisted of 775 visitors of dance events, clubs and rock festivals in Belgium. Study participants answered a survey on patterns of going out, music preferences and drug use. Odds ratios were used to determine whether the odds of being an illegal substance user are higher for certain nightlife-related variables. Furthermore, five separate ordinal regression analyses were used to investigate drug use in relation to music preference, venues visited during the last month and sampling venue. 2b1af7f3a8