Bossa Nova Civic Club
Bossa Nova Civic Club
By Andreas Vasilatos
Rating: GO (as opposed to “no-go”)
Bossa Nova Civic Club is the proof that Manhattan is the skin of New York City, but the outer boroughs are definitely the heart and guts. If you are a Manhattanite that doesn’t venture to the outer boroughs, you probably also like having sex with your clothes on too. Let me get one other thing out there – Bossa Nova does not play Bossa Nova music, they play electronic dance music. If you do not like electronic dance music or do not like having fun, read no further.On a random Friday night, I discovered Bossa Nova completely by accident, and it reminds me of a New York City that, in large part, no longer exists. My experience in discovering it provides ammunition to the argument that New York City is meant to be lived through the people who live there. Go out and discover NYC by talking to people. Go Native. Stop reading Yelp reviews and following a virtual herd of sheep. It seems common sense, but a lot of people are just happy to wait for hours at the velvet rope wasting life, just to make the cut at the velvet rope and pay for a $25 drink, listen to terrible music and then go home – the “velvet rope” experience is New York City (the City that bites back) playing on your insecurities like you are a thirteen year old. But New York City while preying on the weak and insecure, like fortune, also favors the bold.Bossa Nova resides in Bushwick, Brooklyn, completely nondescriptly and undercover. I never would have stumbled into Bossa Nova except for the fact that I was hanging out in Williamsburg in a typical Williamsburg bar filled with typical Williamsburg people posing like they are in a Gap commercial and trying really, really, hard to look trendy. Nevertheless, I struck up a conversation with a perfectly interesting couple – girlfriend is a diminutive Japanese girl with an English accent, guy is Swiss – both live on the Upper East side, work in finance, and confided to me that they heard of this club in Bushwick and that they spin really great house music and that they want to go with me. We take a cab to Bossa Nova, and the whole time I can hear this other girl (who also randomly joined us) “oh my god, we are going to Bushwick, we are going to be raped and robbed”. Over and over, chewing my right ear off. I assure you, you won’t be raped and robbed in Bushwick.In any event, we get to Bossa Nova at 1271 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn. From the outside, the place is completely unimpressive, and you can hardly find Bossa Nova except that the cab driver knew where it was and that there were people smoking outside. NO COVER CHARGE!! That was refreshing, and really surprising cause it was a Friday night and the place was packed.The second thing that I noticed is that the place smelled like exactly like you would expect Bushwick to smell like if you have never been to Brooklyn (or Bushwick), enough said. Do not let the pungent body order dissuade you. I quickly realized that the pungency was a welcome side effect of people dancing and actually having a good time. Everyone was dancing. Also, I have to note that the DJ booth was properly situated right next to the dance floor, as opposed to having the DJ on a stage so that people could “rock out” like a Guns and Roses concert (if you are doing that, you are doing it wrong, go home). Electronic Dance Music is meant to be danced to. Also, try not to buy tickets to a DJ concert through Ticketmaster (and if you did through Stub Hub and paid extra, you should kill yourself). I digress… Bossa Nova has no coat check. It was fairly cold outside, and everyone was throwing their coats on the floors. I cannot guarantee that you will find your stuff at the end of the night, but no one in our group had their belongings stolen or misplaced. The crowd was in the their early twenties and very friendly – our group was in our thirties and it was all good and very comfortable. As far as ordering drinks is concerned, the bar, although sizable, was mobbed. I honestly can’t remember how much drinks cost, but I definitely remember thinking that drinks were inexpensive. At the end of the day, the place looks like a dilapidated Irish Bar hijacked by some true yorkers who wanted set up a no frills place for people to actually enjoy and dance to the music.
Social’s Review – Bossa Nova is a Go.