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Monday, July 31, 2006

Crashing the clubs

Jennifer Moore
Killed after drunken night


July 30, 2006 -- Just 12 hours before yesterday's heartbreaking funeral for Jennifer Moore, another young woman, who'd been boozing it up on the same Chelsea block as the slain teen, lay collapsed on the pavement.

At around 4 a.m., cops stood by her limp body - as she lay drooling and shoeless - for 35 minutes until an ambulance came to take her away.

Up and down West 27th Street between 10th and 11th avenues, a block teeming with more than 5,000 club kids on an average weekend night, teens and 20-somethings can be found stumbling and vomiting and passed out.

Just three days earlier, Moore, 18, left Guest House here on West 27th at about 2:30 a.m. and stumbled to a West Side impound lot - where her 18-year-old friend Talia Kenan passed out and had to be taken away in an ambulance.

Moore then wandered off and was allegedly picked up by Draymond Coleman, 34, who cops say took her to Jersey, raped and killed her.

And while many of the underage revelers on West 27th Thursday and Friday nights said they were spooked by Moore's murder, it hasn't kept them from going wild.

A 20-year-old named Melissa, also from New Jersey, told her mom she was going to a slumber party on Thursday night.

But at 3 a.m. Friday, the college student was wandering down 27th Street on the heels of her stumbling-drunk friend Jessica, a strawberry-blond 18-year-old from Paramus, weaving through the throng of young bodies.

Jessica and Melissa said they hit the clubs on 27th Street twice a week in the summer, flashing IDs belonging to older relatives and dropping names of promoters and others who work in the clubs in order to get inside.

"These are the clubs we see on 'Sex and the City.' It's the whole image. It feels cool to be there, like you're really part of the city circle," Melissa said. "You learn where to go and who to talk to."

Weeknights are the easiest times to get in, she said.

"There's such a rush when you get to the door and actually get in. These places are exclusive, lots of cool people," said Melissa, who didn't want to reveal her last name.

"There's nothing to do in Jersey," she laughs. "Everyone's here."

Jessica insisted that she was "just fine" and "a little buzzed," but Melissa had to find her keys and stuff them in her Coach bag.

"We'll have to take a cab. Seriously, you can't drive," Melissa said.

She said her friends "usually have a designated driver" to take them home to Jersey, but "things got a little out of hand tonight, so we'll have to cab it."

Just then, there was a commotion down the block.

A bouncer had to carry a drunken woman to the backseat of her friend's car because she'd twisted her ankle trying to leave.

A few feet away, 21-year-old Luke from Mineola, L.I., threw up on the sidewalk, smiled and said, "That's a good night."

On both 10th and 11th avenues, traffic was bumper to bumper until 5 a.m.

It gets so bad on weekends that police set up barricades blocking cars and pedestrians from 27th Street.

Earlier in the night, crowds swelled as bouncers wait until they have a big line outside their club before letting anyone in. That way the first people to come won't be in an empty club - and the crowd outside attracts more people.

Outside club Marquee, a red Lamborghini is parked as men honk from Range Rovers asking girls to come "for a good time."

Just down the block at Guest House - where Moore spent her last night alive - a bouncer took $20 from a clubgoer trying to get in, then demanded, "Give me double that."

Down the street, a group of people waiting to get inside Bungalow 8 cheered as a couple slammed themselves up against a storefront and started making out.

People sat on the sidewalk, smoking and holding their heads in their hands.

"Just last week, I saw three girls sleeping on the street corner from 2 to 5 in the morning," said Omar Ellonzi, the owner of a popular food truck that sells sausages and gyros to people leaving the clubs.

"Girls, boys, they're always drunk. Crazy," he said.

The crowds usually start to clear on out Fridays by 5 a.m.

But that's when the block turned even more raucous.

Courtney Siegel, 19, who has been an insider in the Chelsea club scene since she was 14, said suburban youngsters treat 27th Street like "a big night out."

"The guys'll spend more, the girls'll get dolled up and the bouncers can take advantage of that, because getting inside means everything," she said.

Siegel said promoters with e-mail lists 10,000 names long tell their underage clientele to meet at 11 p.m. so the promoters can escort the bulk of teens through the door, no IDs, no questions asked.
"A lot of teenagers come and use fake IDs," said Moss. "It's easier in some places than others. But when you're 18, you want to be in places like this."

The kids usually learn about club parties by word of mouth and online promotions. Rachel - a 19-year-old Columbia University student with a realistic-looking fake ID - said she loves clubbing during the summer as a break from her studies.

"Pretty much, if you go clubbing you get to know people who let you know where to go on any given night," she said.

Chelsea is crawling with the bridge-and-tunnel crowd in the summer, Rachel said - and it's a totally different crowd.

"The commuters go crazy," she said. "They go to the extremes. It's not real life to them. It's a game."

The "game" turned deadly last week, when Moore was raped and killed after leaving Guest House.

Either Moore or her friend Kenan may have known the DJ at the club, which helped get them in.


WHY THE FUCK WAS SHE GETTING DRUNK ANYWHERE when she's only 18. WHY this has not been mentioned by ANYONE in the MSM is beyond me. The whole reason why she was wandering alone was that her friend was so shitfaced that she needed to get in an ambulence. She was drunk enough that even though she had a cell phone she didn't call for help--she called her boyfriend but not the cops? She didn't just stick around at the tow yard after that and get transport home from there?

Also it begs the question--where were the parents? Did this girl even have a valid night-time license yet to drive? If so, why was a newbie driver tooling around Manhattan? I did the drive from the burbs to NYC for years and it is NOT an easy haul sober, in broad daylight, on a dry day.

Everyone was all over the Falls like stink on shit (rightfully so) after St. Guillen was killed. Why no outrage here over a place that is apparently known for serving up scads of underaged drinkers every weekend?

PS--this is why I hate big name clubs, by the way--a LOT of them look like Daycare with Booze crowdwise. It makes me really miss the old days of MotherNYC in the Meat Packing District. Minimum door age was 25, and average age was 30ish. People with jobs, and lives, who just needed a place to do shit like dress up.

My friends own bars, they let in kids, they're in court.

Kids are bad for business, they fight, they screw each other in bathrooms, they get way too drunk. A smart business doesn't want kids.

This is a bar closing infraction kind of thing. When Immette St. Guillen was found dead, the scumbag Dorian family had the cops all in their shit. But the people who own this club haven't even been interviewed.

I don't believe for one second that an "adult" bought them drinks. I think the bartender served them and serves anyone who comes in. The bouncers don't give a shit and the owners love the crowd, and they don't give a shit either.

The Moore family should sue the owners for letting their underage daughter in and serving her alcohol. Because that's a clear violation of New York law.

But what bothers me more is that she left her friend. Even today, I never leave my friends without letting them know. I have seen teenage girls do this time and again. If your friend is passed out, why would you leave her? What could you possibly be thinking?

posted by Steve @ 6:55:00 PM

6:55:00 PM

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