R.I.P. Splash

by Paul Siciliano


I just learned today that the first gay bar/club I ever went to when I was 20 (back in 1995), Splash is closing on August 10.  At the time, Splash did not have a cabaret license so dancing was not allowed.  I returned a few times from 1995-2000 as the place transformed itself into a nightclub.  

By 2000, I was living in New York City so I went there relatively frequently.  During this time, the only place I went more was xl.  Still, Splash always has a special place in my heart, and not because it was my first bar.  I had some crazy ass adventures there.  I remember when a dancer dropped one of my friends on another.  I remember dancing to Olive's "I'm Not in Love" at 4 am.  I remember when Crystal Waters first dubbed the theme from the Price is Right into a song.  I remember the hot dancers in the showers.  I remember the bathroom, and the number of times it was redone.  I remember the time I was there for Happy Hour when the place was closed down by health officials.   

And that is only the clean stories.  It really is an end of a gay era for gay life and culture.  The focal point of gay life has been the gay bar, but the bar, while still popular, is falling out of favor.  I feel younger gays prefer the Internet, with Grindr and the like, to find a soul mate or a mate for the night.  It really is a shame.  There is something in a club that cannot be recreated on the Internet.  Yes, the club may have had rigid standards of beauty.  So does the Internet, but at least it is not in your face.  I never fell into such rigid standards - I love the music, merriment and camaraderie.  At least there are plenty of other places in New York City, but Splash was an institution for so long.   

With that, I will post Cyndi Lauper's "Into the Nightlife" (an excellent song) that was shot in Splash: