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The debacle at Milk River Brooklyn and the ugly truth about urban nightlife

I usually do not use neither my column nor my words to bad mouth or degrade an establishment especially one, which represents employment for the inner city, but something must be said and done about this long standing issue with urban new york city clubs.

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Brittany Lewis

Lets first talk about the positive, a good friend of mine Brittany Lewis, music editor at Global Grind, who’s an amazing journalist but an even better person ran the Brooklyn half marathon on Saturday May 17th. She did a great job running 13.3 miles in 2 hours and 32 minutes completing her mission that started 6 months ago. Brittany sacrificed her time, body, drinking, her favorite foods, and outings with friends etc. for the right to say she finished the BK half marathon.

A couple of months before we spoke about celebrating her run with a big party, she was so excited about the possibility of getting all her friends together to have a good time and toast to this amazing feat she had accomplished. As we put our heads together we came up with different venues for this event, eventually she decided to go with Milk River Brooklyn. Although I was hesitant about partying in Brooklyn, I said “anything for you luv”. She sent out the flyer which included open bar Hennessy (the sponsor) and those RSVPs flew off the handle, so many people wanted to be there for her and I for one couldn’t wait.

The night finally came and I got on the A train all the way from upper Manhattan, and got off on the Clinton stop in Brooklyn. A friend of mine texted me “apparently they are not allowing sneakers”, I immediately responded with “wait what?” then another friend that was in the text thread responded with “they are not allowing white sneakers” and of course my sneakers were black and white. Now I’m a little nervous but I said to myself “I should be good”. I get to the door and was immediately greeted by Brittany who looked amazing in her powder blue dress and 7-inch heels. She handed me my wristband and escorted me to the lounge, as we approach the security area the “guard” told me I couldn’t get in because I have on sneakers with the colors black and white. I didn’t say anything to the “guard” because I didn’t want to elevate an already hostile situation. Brittany took control and spoke with the “guards” and some sort of pseudo manager who ignored Brittany, at this point Brittany is visibly upset and to add to the situation more people showed up to support her who weren’t up to “dress code” and made the whole situation sh**y (for lack of a better word).

After an hour of attempting to get in we decided to leave but not before telling Brittany goodbye. As I left I noticed a gentleman with a cream sport’s jacket, jeans, and white Air Force Ones got in and I just looked at the “guard” and said sarcastically “so he’s good huh?” he acted as if I said nothing but I already knew what that meant which brings me to this point, why do urban clubs want the upscale look in the inner city? Why do clubs ran by black and Latinos in the urban community feel the need to have a dress code to maintain some sort of prestige but then turn around and pat you down for weapons? I have been partying in NYC since the age of 15, almost 20 years of nightlife and one thing I’ve learned is that if you go into a club and they have to pat you down, then that spot is “urban”, “ghetto” or whatever terminology helps you sleep at night. News flash Milk River you are located in Crown Heights, the hood, not Williamsburg, not downtown BK, not DUMBO or Park Slope, CROWN HEIGHTS! You want to maintain a look? Then promote your establishment to a certain group or demographic. For all intents and purposes you’re a club in the HOOD, get used to this idea, don’t pretend to be something you’re not. You’re NOT 1Oak, Avenue, WIP, The Standard, Le Bain, Gansevoort Park Ave, etc., which by the way don’t have an official dress code. You Milk River are a new spot in the GHETTO, and although I’m pointing out deficiencies with Milk River, this is for all the clubs in Harlem, The Bronx, Bed-Stuy, Jamaica Queens who feel the need to treat their own like robots.

This whole idea of a dress code is ridiculous, Milk River wouldn’t allow someone fashion forward like myself but would allow a 400 pound man with a 6x polo wearing shoes, now I’m not poking fun at the 400 pound man just trying to make a point here. A person may have on worn out shoes, a bad shirt but because you’re wearing “shoes” or all black sneakers you’re let in. How does the type or color sneakers you wear matter in a HOOD spot? What does that guarantee you as an establishment? Better pictures for your website? Are you trying to attract tourist? What’s the difference between black/white sneakers and all red sneakers? I can understand if the dress code is no sneakers allowed but to say no sneakers specifically with white at a private event held by a major player in hip hop media and fellow media friends and tastemakers in attendance is probably the DUMBEST move ever.

In short, Milk River Brooklyn should NEVER be allowed to host a private party for anyone EVER again. Also the security team needs to all be suspended, to tell my friend Brittany who just ran a half marathon in Brooklyn that almost a third of her friends aren’t allowed into her party for a bogus dress code which wasn’t conveyed to her prior to the event is complete and utter BS. Nor a manager or the owner were available to help, they should be ashamed of the way they treated one of their own. For now my friends and I will spend our money, time, great vibes, and influence in Manhattan where we are treated with respect and don’t have to worry about our own people treating us like crap. Milk River would be so lucky to have my collection of friends inside their “club”.

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