to the Bar at Swing City this Friday
Dear Swing City Patrons!
Our summer hiatus is over, and we're pleased to have "Eight
to the Bar" with us again at the Somerville City Club!
Please join us as we launch the Fall season with the region's
most popular band.
7:30pm: Beginner and Intermediate Swing Dance Lessons
9:00pm: Band goes on (DJ in the breaks)
until ~12:30am or when people leave
at Somerville City Club
20 InnerBelt Rd.
Somerville, MA directions
$15 cover ($10 with student ID)
Lesson free with cover
All ages welcome
The long and the
short of the rest of this email:
A Call To Action!
- We need you and your dancing friends!
- Formation of the Swing City/Somerville City Club Beautification
Update on Venues
As many of you know, we have searched high and low for
a suitable new venue, and unfortunately we have turned up
nothing new. Here is the latest on some of the contenders:
Courtyard Marriott, Cambridge: Willing
to host us but requires temporary floors and space is limited.
We are considering SC there approximately once/month here
as it is a great location and beautiful venue on all other
The "New" Huron Ave (West Cambridge Youth
Center): They will not host Friday events. Fridays
are being steadfastly reserved by the City for Parent/Child
events, despite Swing City's tremendous efforts several
years ago to have them build a dance hall in the new facility.
This was to be our saving development, so I can't express
how disappointed I am with the City.
Watertown Greek Orthodox Church (former
location of the "Swing Dance Depot"): The Church
board rejected our proposal to do a few trial nights there.
Their experience with the 'Depot last year left them fairly
embittered toward this type of event.
Springstep: Will not host a regular weekly
dance, and is too expensive.
Somerville Greek Orthodox Church: does
not have fire sprinklers as required by Somerville for dancing.
All other venues we've checked out fail to meet at
least one of several major requirements, such as affordability,
wood floor, reasonable accessibility, proper licenses, or
they simply aren't interested.
A few other long-shots
are still in the lurch, but the bottom line is this folks:
there are very few spaces at our disposal in
this day and age, and Swing City is hardly
the only event in this situation. To that end however, WE
HAVE THE CITY CLUB! We, that is YOU, ME, US, need to make
this place the place to be!
What does the City Club offer?
- Decent floor
- Superb AC
- Plenty of parking
- Close to the heart of Boston
- Directly off I-93
- MBTA is 3 blocks away and zillion bus lines go right past
- All ages
- Very affordable
- Nice lighting
What does it lack?
- a bit of tidiness
- a bit of a makeover
- BIG ONE: the hint of cigarette smoke sometimes exuding
from the members lounge.
- not the prettiest neighborhood in town, but it's not bad.
We can't move the building obviously.
However, they are willing to solve these problems with
WE NEED YOUR HELP HOWEVER!
Here's why and how:
1) Fixing the HVAC/Smokiness problem is going to take some
funding and a little bit of time. Likely, we--Swing City
that is--will need to pay for this, either directly or indirectly.
We are working up a 1 year budget to do that, and it will
likely cost about $10,000, which comes out to $200/week.
That is the equivalent of about 15 extra patrons/week. In
a way it is a temporary rent increase, but in the long run
it will have tremendous impact since it is by far the #1
problem people have at this venue.
2) Tidiness: Due to their own financially strapped situation,
the City Club some time ago laid off their janitorial staff.
We are presently seeking to hire a new janitor who will
immaculately clean our space prior to the event. This is
not a big expense, but it is nevertheless _an_ expense.
3) Makeover: this is in two parts: interior and exterior.
Exterior first: the landscaping is pretty nice, but needs
to be taken care of regularly. We are trying organize some
gardening parties, including both Club members and US. We
need help with this. Any green thumbs out there? Contact
me if you are interested.
Interior: we are looking for new lobby carpets, will be
generally tidying up things, and have the ability to drastically
change the place if we want. However, for this latter part
we need some people who have that interior decorating "feng
shui" sense. If interested, please contact me.
In other words, for the above, we can use your help and
I would like to form an informal committee to handle these
matters. Email me with ideas or to volunteer at email@example.com
Most importantly, WE NEED YOU AND FRIENDS THERE!
Folks, for Swing City to make it, and thus to continue the
long tradition of weekly Friday night Swing Dancing in Boston,
we need THE COMMUNITY to step up to the plate. We have a
very loyal core group of patrons, and we can't thank them
enough, but we need everyone there henceforth or SC simply
isn't going to be viable much longer. Clearly the venue
has been a problem for many, but as I explained, there simply
are no better options.
There have been a great many people who have filed complaints,
some even said: "City Club is a dingy dump and I will
_never_ever_ go there again." Clearly if this is the
attitude which enough of the community takes, the future
Similarly, there are a lot of people who complain that
the City Club is hard to get to. Really folks, it's easy.
Go to I-93, exit 28, and you're there. While it's further
distance than some of the old locations, it's certainly
not much further time-wise than say getting to Newton or
Huron Ave from the Mass Pike. Time and time again people
tell me they had a hard time initially, but once they came
by highway or figured it out, it was a snap. Seriously folks,
this place is very centrally located. (Note: if you're coming
from Storrow you have to come by Rt99 or McGrath Highway
but that's quick too.)
NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE IT
Swing City Patrons, this is your dance. The more people
that come, the more fun it is, and the more we can do to
improve the venue. But, it is is YOUR DANCE. The only thing
I do is try to successfully manage it. Clearly there have
been a lot of unexpected hurdles, and it has been a very
expensive undertaking since I got involved about a year
and a half ago. However, we have to work with the cards
we are dealt, including the venues that fell through, the
relentless competition, "Swing Dance Politics"
with the history, egos, and personal agendas surrounding
that, the economy, and an endless list of other factors.
I can no longer count the number of times I've almost called
it quits, but I did attend some of the SC events in its
heyday and sure would like to see that again. Those were
some great parties. I think we can get 90% there quite easily
with a bit of communal commitment.
Lastly, I want to shout out to Cynthia Lyon and ETTB for
their support of Swing City and their undying enthusiasm
for this artform and good times. Thanks guys!
I and the SC staff and entertainers hope to see you this
and every Friday!