Brooklyn Boro

New city website supports nightlife industry

May 13, 2019 Scott Enman
NYC's Office of Nightlife unveiled this new logo on Monday morning along with a new website.

New York City’s Office of Nightlife released on Monday a sleek new logo, a revamped Facebook page, and most importantly, a website.

The website is a one-stop guide for the nightlife community, a thriving industry responsible for 299,000 jobs and $35.1 billion in total economic output.

Office of Nightlife Senior Executive Director Ariel Palitz, commonly referred to as the Night Mayor, said that the website will help artists, venue owners and residents easily navigate and connect to the city’s resources in a single location. She also said it would be constantly updated and would provide residents with tools they didn’t even know existed.

“The website that we’ve created — and also the Facebook that we have — is a living, breathing document that will continue to evolve, address issues and inform people on changes,” Palitz told the Brooklyn Eagle.

“A lot of people are always looking for solutions, or looking for ways that the government can help, and there are so many ways, but the problem is they don’t always know what they are or how to find them,” she added. “That’s really what we’ll be focusing on: making sure people know what their resources are and how to find them.”

The Office of Nightlife’s Night Mayor Ariel Palitz (right) and Councilmember Rafael Espinal, who sponsored the bill creating the new agency, addresses the crowd during the five borough Listening Tour. Photo by Kenny Rodriguez
The Office of Nightlife’s Night Mayor Ariel Palitz (right) and Councilmember Rafael Espinal, who sponsored the bill creating the new agency, addresses the crowd during the five borough Listening Tour. Photo by Kenny Rodriguez

Users can learn how to open and operate a nightlife venue, understand their rights as nightlife workers and address quality of life complaints.

From an official guide to nightlife in New York City to a list of Broadway shows and restaurant recommendations, the website also provides information to New Yorkers and visitors on how they can make the most out of their nights out.

The website also features information about the Economic Impact Study on New York City nightlife, a review of the 2018 Listening Tour, upcoming events and relevant contact information.

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Palitz said that a website was one of the more prevalent requests she heard on the office’s five borough Listening Tour, a series of town halls where nightlife professionals voiced their concerns to employees from more than 10 different city agencies.

She said the new website would also help stakeholders navigate the city’s bureaucratic red tape and remove a lot of “guesswork.”

“We’re taking what we’ve learned and what we will always be continuing to learn and sharing those guidelines and best practices and codes of conduct on our website to help raise the bar in the way that the industry, community and city interact with each other to get open, stay open and to thrive,” she said.

The website is organized into four sections to address different components of the nightlife community:

Office of Nightlife: Lays out the mission of the Office and lists upcoming events that will be updated regularly.

Nightlife Businesses: Walks owners and operators through the steps necessary to open and run a nightlife venue, including licensing and permitting, waste removal, sound guidelines, best practices and more, with links to relevant city services.

Nightlife Workers: Features a comprehensive list of worker rights and resources, with information on paid sick leave, discrimination, freelance worker rights and more.

Nightlife Community: Lists resources for New Yorkers who interact with nightlife, including information about Neighborhood Coordination Officers and mediation services.

The five borough Listening Tour was a series of town halls where nightlife professionals could voice their concerns to employees from more than 10 different city agencies. Photo by Kenny Rodriguez
The five borough Listening Tour was a series of town halls where nightlife professionals could voice their concerns to employees from more than 10 different city agencies. Photo by Kenny Rodriguez

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation in September 2017 to establish the office, which stemmed from a bill sponsored by Councilmember Rafael Espinal. The office, which has only four employees, officially began operating in March 2018.

“The Office of Nightlife was created to provide support and information to all those involved in the nightlife community, a community that is especially vibrant here in Brooklyn with its abundance of venues and DIY spaces,” Espinal told the Eagle.

“This website is an important step made by [Palitz] to ensure that these spaces, their workers and the community as a whole is supported.”

New York City is one of more than 30 cities around the world that has implemented an office of nightlife. The agency is tasked with regulating the nightlife industry, helping DIY venues stay open and creating a safer partying environment.

The office is also responsible for conducting outreach to nightlife establishments, acting as a liaison for venues, referring those organizations to city services and reviewing 311 complaints, among other duties.

In January, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment released its first-ever economic impact study of New York City nightlife, which found that the industry creates $13.1 billion in employee compensation.

The study also found that nightlife-related jobs and wages are growing faster than the rest of the city’s economy. There are roughly 25,000 nightlife establishments across the five boroughs.

Follow reporter Scott Enman on Twitter.

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