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Dance the Night Away

How is it that Anderson Cooper at age 10 was allowed in a nightclub accompanied by his mother, but children today are not?

With news of the to get dancing privileges it makes one wonder how things have changed over the past four decades of discos and nightclubs.

When news spread of dancing not being approved for The Abbey, I began to wonder based on that parent’s testimony that his kids and he would like to grab a meal at The Abbey, but would be refused if it got a new conditional use permit if it was then made now into a nightclub.But I began to really wonder what’s the entire buzz about. 

If everyone remembers in recent years after Michael Jackson passed away, Anderson Cooper’s bragged on CNN about his mom, Gloria Vanderbilt taking 10-year-old Anderson Cooper to Studio 54 back in the late '70s and it was no big deal. And little Anderson got to see Michael Jackson dance the night away. I picture little Anderson in his pajamas, making a fun night in NYC at the notorious Studio 54 while naughty things were happening with the adults in the infamous basement lounge areas.

And around this same time, I grew up in Southern New Jersey, three miles West of Atlantic City, so when I was 14 years old in junior high in 8th grade, I was in a production of the musical “Lil’ Abner” at the local Jewish Community Center. Our cast party was going to be at Chester’s disco—a well-known gay disco on New York Avenue in Atlantic City. Little did I know this would not be the first time or the last time I was going to be in a gay nightclub? 

So one of the cast members said for me to bring my Mom then it would be okay. Back then, it appeared if you were a kid if you had your Mom or parent bring you to a nightclub or bar it was no big deal.

And I remember the night at Chester’s gay disco very well with my cast party 'cause Donna Summer’s long version of “Love To Love You Baby” played as two lesbians staring in to each other’s eyes in their denim bell bottoms and platform disco shoes with their legs intertwined grooved to the orgasmic beat of Donna’s infamous song. At that time the drinking age was 18 in New Jersey and New York and all the bars and nightclubs stayed open until sunrise and still do today.

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jimmy May 07, 2011 at 11:12 PM
Michael Jackson didn't just "pass away". It's my understanding he was on some cocktail of drugs, either self-prescribed and/or multiple doctors prescribing "doctor shopping". You make it sound so innocent, and it wasn't. And how do you know about this "infamous basement lounge area" at Studio 54? Did you just stumble across it, like by happenstance? And what were you doing out so late when you were just a teenager? Do you know what the consequences were if I stayed out that late as a teen? That's right, absolutely nothing, cause my parents were in bed by 8:30 pm, and after then is when I would go out.
LisaJ May 08, 2011 at 04:17 AM
Ask any New Yorker over 50 about the "infamous basement lounge" they'll tell you. Legendary.
Jerome Cleary May 08, 2011 at 05:03 AM
ha! I only know from that VH1 special on Studio 54 they played on TV a lot, Lisa J. do tell!

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