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The nightlife in New York City is still the most exciting and entertaining on earth and the nightlife has gotten even headier than before, making things extra fun.

An area that has surged over the last five years is the meatpacking district.  With bars on every corner there is something for everyone.  And if the weather is warm you can walk the "highline" which is an old elevated train track that has been converted to a park running a block above street level.

While it is home to the original mega-venue, Madison Square Garden, the music scene in Manhattan is best taken in at the dozens of smaller clubs all over town.  Anybody with a taste for 70's underground and punk music has heard of legendary, now defunct clubs like CBGB and Max's Kansas City.  Those dirty days, however fun and original, were unsustainable and are now long gone.  But the outstanding, original music has been going strong, with a new generation of artists strongly influenced by the old ones.  Nowhere is modern New York music more clearly defined than at the Bowery Ballroom, where many of today's most critically acclaimed acts put on shows nearly every day of the week.  The shows here are rarely over $20 a ticket, and the rock scene is always one of the coolest in town.

If you want to get closer to the cool kids, you'll need to hop a train over to Brooklyn.  Yeah, Manhattan's got all the style and the money, but Brooklyn's where all the real artistic stuff is really happening these days.  You might get sick of all the "original" looking people walking around in this borough, but please be informed that there are some genuine gems lurking amidst the posers.  If you're looking for some real diamonds, check out the Jalopy Theatre and School of Music in the Redhook district.  This place is dedicated to folk, bluegrass, and other types of traditional American music.  The venue is about as funky as you can get, with church pews instead of seats, and very odd instruments as decorations.  There is also a guitar shop up front, offering music lessons to the unskilled and skilled alike.  These are the kinds of spots, not ironic hipster establishments, which make Brooklyn the place that it is.

But if you just want to party hard, you'll find few places in town more dedicated to your debauched needs than Santos Party House, right between Chinatown and TriBeCa.  While the club does have a stage, DJ's are really the thing here.  Yes, they're graced occasionally with a raging Andrew W.K. performance, but the incredible sound system here is best employed as a booty-shaking device.  Aerobics diva impresario Cherie Lily has been known to rock the house with her somewhat arousing stage show from time to time as well.  Definitely worth a look.

Nightlife is all about the drinks, and sometimes the most fun can be had when the drinks are cheap.  Contrary to its upscale reputation, New York City is home to hundreds of dive bars, where a beer and a shot can be just as cheap as in the Midwest.  Nancy Whiskey Pub, in the heart of Manhattan, is a perfect example of this, just a perfect place to get a little bit sloshed and to take in the underside of the City on a budget.  For the ultimate gritty dive bar experience in town, however, you need to head over to Queens, and check out the Station CafĂ©.  We'll leave the description to you, traveler, because we'd like to keep these guys on our good side.  Just be polite, don't order anything too fancy, and you'll be fine.

Visit the New York City Hotels page for more information.