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Virtual Clubs Helping New York's Nightlife Scene Stay Alive While Still Social Distancing

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Social distancing is the new norm because of the coronavirus, but now virtual clubs are popping up, helping many to maintain their social lives.

Breana Coash usually enjoys spending weekend nights at one New York's famous dance clubs. With those hot spots closed indefinitely, the 23-year-old has found a new place to party.

"It was cool because you got to see everybody pop up from time to time on the screen and everybody had different outfits on," Coash said, "and everyone seemed to be having a really good time."

Coash is reflecting on her night at "Club Quarantee," a virtual nightclub hosted on Zoom.

"When you listen to the music at our party, it feels like you are really at a party," club promoter Hassan Chowdhury said.

Organizers want the vibe online to feel like the real thing. That means there's a $10 cover charge, private tables, a wait to get in, and even a dress code.

"We actually do have a doorman, who is gonna let you in the party," Chowdhury said.

There are also free online dance clubs, like "Club Quarantine," which was created as a safe place for the LGBTQ community, and "Social DisDance," hosted by a team of professional dancers.

"Yesterday, there was someone from Russia in the room that none of us have met before," said Ani Taj, co-host of Social DisDance.


For a different vibe, the legendary New York piano bar Marie's Crisis Cafe has nightly shows on Facebook. Patrons can make request and tip the musicians.

"They are tuning in and making requests, and they've been sending us videos back of them in their quarantine situation, singing along," pianist and singer Kenney M. Green said.

For DJs like Lohrasp Kansara, moving the nightlife scene online has been an adjustment.

"DJing at these online clubs was a unique experience because you get all the comments via the Zoom meeting, right, and you shout out people and then people become happy," he said.

While online clubs are filling a void right now, Kansara expects once people can party in person again, they will.

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