Six months after signing the bill to officially create the NYC Office of Nightlife, Bill de Blasio has appointed NYC's first Night Mayor today. Ariel Palitz, 47, founded Venue Advisors, which is "a full service hospitality consulting company with integrated licensed real estate services." From her Venue Advisors bio:
Born and raised in NYC, one of Ariel’s first jobs in nightlife was as a promoter at the club Mars. In 1996, she launched her own event planning company called Soulution Enterprises Inc. promoting weekly events at clubs by night while working at public relations companies, record labels by day.
In 2003, Ariel became an investor in her first club The Flat in the East Village, and in 2004 opened her own venue Sutra Lounge. Sutra was a two-level, DJ driven dance club open for an incredible 10 year run. Today, Sutra is still known worldwide as one of the last good old school New York venues.
The New York Times just published an interview with Palitz:
“I’ve always been a nocturnal person,” Ms. Palitz said, sipping her Manhattan, the only drink she has ordered for months in a superstitious effort to secure the job. “Nocturnal people just sort of gravitate toward night life. But I don’t think that will change even if I have to be in the office at 9 a.m.”
In her first interview since accepting the post, Ms. Palitz suggested that her stint as the Nightlife Mayor would be slightly more sober and focus less on carousing than on conflict mediation. In today’s New York, gentrification has pitted partygoers against the settled residents of neighborhoods like the Lower East Side of Manhattan and Williamsburg in Brooklyn. In her first official act, Ms. Palitz promised to hold a series of listening tours and entertain the gripes of those who are bothered by the vomit on their streets or the noise at 3 a.m.
“Both sides feel unheard,” she said. “Both sides feel that things are unfair. I think the grievances are almost the same but there haven’t been any practical real-world solutions to address them.”
Palitz, in her time as a member of Community Board 3 (which oversees East Village, Lower East Side and Chinatown), she was a proponent for bringing high-end clubs, bars and restaurant into the area, having told The New York Daily News in 2012, "The East Village is ripe for the picking right now, There’s an opportunity to change the culture and the makeup of the neighborhood from the underground nightlife experience to a high-end clientele." This didn't sit well with what she called the “no-more bar contingency" but she tells the Times that she's always tried "to find solutions that work for everyone."
Palitz will head the 12-person NYC Office of Nightlife, the creation of which was spearheaded by councilman Rafael Espinal who is a champion of DIY culture -- like that which is found in his Brooklyn district of Bushwick. "I would love it if she were sensitive to the D.I.Y. underground in Brooklyn too,” Espinal told The Times. “That’s the scene that has set the trend for years and has made things in the city so interesting."