Hey, Woman! Listen here. Since your old man ain’t got no heart, maybe you like to see a real man. And before I get to the sexy details about this date, let me tell you this: Friday Night Fights is the shit. It’s not the bomb. It’s not the sweetness. It is the shit. Friday Night Fights is Rocky 2 3 AND 4. By comparison, dinner and drinks doesn’t even rate a Girlfight; it’s more like that terrible boxing movie with Meg Ryan and Omar Epps [Against the Ropes -Ed.] only worse (which would make it Play it to the Bone).
Thai kickboxing + Upper West Side + Catholic church basement = The Shit.
Friday Night Fights “keeps up the tradition and aesthetic of “Old School Fight Club” while adding a few new twists… …there may be no red carpet, VIP service or Network Television coverage… while Disney takes over Times Square and the entire city becomes gentrified, the Friday Night Fights NYC Series gives our fans hard to find, indigenous, old school fun.” And, how!
From the minute you walk into the dankish basement, the violent swell of sexy pops you in the eye. It almost feels a little illegal which I think is partly because of the low ceiling. If this venue and these fights don’t make you a little bit hard you might want to try Lincoln Center up the block, wuss.
“That’s right, I have rassled with a alligator. I done tussled with a whale! I done handcuffed lightning, throwed thunder in jail!”
Also, it should not be underestimated how much the smell of basement, sweat, and violence can really rub a woman’s rhubarb (there is a reason women love the stairs scene from History of Violence).
The fights aren’t actually that brutal and they go fast (bouts are three 2-minute rounds.) During our visit there was not a single knockout. The loser even gets a little trophy so it’s kind of like grade school art show except with sanctioned beatings. Between bouts they blast everything from rap to AC/DC (but it is still possible to talk).
Tip: The line is longer than Cinderella Man. Get there either super early or a little late. First bell is supposedly at 8:00 pm but it’s more like 8:30. It’s a smallish venue but if you get there early enough you get a better view. Best bet is arrive around 7:45, wait in the line and actually talk. If you want one of the limited seats better get there around 7:00 pm and prepare to wait.
Tip: Hit the bathroom DURING a bout when there’s no line.
Tip: Thailand’s national beer, Singha, is $4 a can. There are also hotdogs and other stuff you’d expect at a sporting event. The throw-togetherness of the food/drinks area adds to the fun.
Tip: Dress code is casual. Everyone from skinny-jeaned hipsters to pooka-shell-necklaced meatheads.
Tip: Don’t ogle the ring girls. They can’t be more than 17.
When: Next fight is August 10th and tickets are still on sale. Get them now as the event sells out up to a week before. Check the site for next dates.
Where: St. Paul’s church at 60th Street and 9th Avenue. 1/A/C/B/D train to 59th St. Columbus Circle. Walk 5 - 8 minutes to 9th Ave.
Cost: $25 in advance online. Beers are $4. Dogs are like $2.
There’s no way around the fact that bars in this area suck. Especially at 7:00 pm on a Friday evening. If you don’t mind a longer walk…
A good stop before the match (and after work) might be the Russian Vodka Room at 265 W 52nd Street between Broadway and 8th Ave. Boris Yeltsin would have loved this place; tons of glasnosty character. Get an infused vodka shot or martini (warning: the martinis are on the expensive side at around $12 but one’s all you need to mess your shit up.) They also have food like Herring with Potatoes Russian style and Tulka sandwich Odessa style (both under $8).
This date’s young, it’s handsome, it’s fast, it’s pretty and can’t possibly be beat.