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2 min

Dancefloor dish: Goodhandy’s & The Barn

Animals hibernate in order to conserve energy when the weather turns nasty and food is in short supply. It’s a state of depression marked by slower breathing, a lower metabolic rate and a lower body temperature. Bears and porcupines spring to mind, but we’re all susceptible to this comfort-plus denning.

I’m happy to report that, finally, many of us human folk are going into heat, coming out of our caves and shaking our flat office asses all over town!

But has the town come out of hibernation or has Gotham once again fallen victim to the insidious Mr Freeze?

Case in point, two fags walk into a bar. It’s the bar of our youth — our tight jeans tucked into big boots, big buckled, backstage pass, T-shirt wearing, Labatt Blue-swigging youth. We’re drawn by memories of dark corners, shady characters and liberal dancefloors. Ah, The Barn. Ten years later, and after a five- minute “we’re at capacity” wait, we’re asked to show ID. Flattering, yes, but a far cry from the easy, sneaky entry of yore.

We enter. Within 30 seconds we’re in another line for mandatory coat check. People with pocketknives and flasks be damned, our fringed leather bomber jackets are our identity and they aren’t coming off without a fight (or a proper seduction) — let alone for $5. But we comply, hungry for the possibilities of upstairs.

Well… insert dying cat cries here. The dancefloor, shockingly “at capacity” with meaningless Muzak, is patrolled by (not even sexy) guards and we are asked to wait in a line elsewhere. After unhappily ordering our gin and tonics in hopes of revisiting those sheltered crannies, we learn that the newly sanctioned “sexy space” has a no alcohol policy.

Furious and disappointed, we sashay ourselves out of this disco tundra, verbally assaulted by a young man on the way and make camp.

After having forgotten what a night out is supposed to be over the winter we ask ourselves, “Is that all there is? Boys with dyed hair and spandex T-shirts dancing with each other?”

Confused and feeling lost in the expanse that age can bring, we walk. Saturday night, full of promise; the streets are empty.

Though in the midst of dejection, as if sent by the gods of go go, Goodhandy’s, in all that marquee-lighted glory, appears.

We climb the stairway to the heavenly door girl who gives a late-night discount and encourages us to “go wild.”

Inside Mimi has electrified the floor and smiles are contagious. We’re elated and feel welcome; people are different from each other and proud of it. The fringed leather bombers are cast off and forgotten to join in the sweaty revelry brought on by Spice Girls classics and near-forgotten Faith Evans. The tried and true mix feels strangely futuristic in this young room. Bodies collide and hands roam. Knees are bent and arms are raised. Dancers on platforms are actually arousing excitement rather than dumb awe. Saturday suddenly transforms into a polyamorous frenzy and blossoming boys and girls give thanks.

And what is the lesson to be learned from this plight? Well, simply put, after having been stifled by a relentless blanket of rain and snow, call bullshit out for what it is and encourage your loved ones to “go wild” this summer.