Rubulad: The Burning Man of Brooklyn

Whenever you’re having one of those, I’m sick of New York days, the parties are all the same, just go to Rubulad and you’ll feel like the prude in the crowd. This underground party has been going on for years, and I’m guessing most people have been to at least one of their elaborately themed parties in South Williamsburg and now Bed-Stuy.  I had almost forgotten about this avant garde, raver-style bash, until an email popped up in my mailbox reminding me to attend this Friday’s Bunny Hop.

A fixture since the 90′s, Rubulad was one of Williamsburg’s early art settlers, encouraging the starving (then) artist hotbed to showcase whatever medium they could come up with. Whether it was puppeteers, electric violins, performance artists, you name it. While this sort of fringe type entertainment is usually reserved for Burning Man and basement theaters in the city, Rubulad brings together a diverse crowd of New Yorkers looking for something new to do on a Friday night. You don’t need to have a Mad Max haircut or a Ecstasy problem to fit in (although it helps), but you certainly won’t be seeing any Mets jerseys or pop collars there either.

I’ll never forget the first time I went (well the details are a little blurry). It was back in 2006, I was working some bullshit part-time job in Mid-Town which to my surprise, involved spending all day in a factory putting price stickers on Christmas Cards. I befriended an Australian girl, one of those wandering couch-surfing types, who had just arrived from Edinburgh and was living in the projects in the LES.  Let’s just say she had a lot of circus friends, if that paints any sort of picture.  Anyways, I digress, she really wanted to see some DJ at Rubulad so we headed over there on Halloween night.  For people who normally dress in costume on regular days, you can imagine the sort of glue-gun creations that showed up on Halloween. It made Paris is Burning look like a JC Penney catalog.  There were multiple floors, crazy decorations hanging from everything and everyone in masks. I felt like I was inside David Bowie’s masquerade ball in the Labyrinth. Of course those are also the perfect conditions to lose people and find yourself sitting on a bench by yourself holding a mysterious cup of punch, wondering how you got there.  The only thing I do remember was stepping over puke outside, jumping into a car I hoped was a car service, and thinking I had a really good time.

So if you ever find yourself sick of hearing the same fucking MGMT song and wondering what people wore before V-Necks were given out at the Bedford stop. I suggest doing some research and track down the next Rubulad party for some out of the box, let’s all drink the kool-aid type of entertainment.

Photo Courtesy of: Flickr

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About the author

Laura S - Spendthrift Scribe

Laura S, left the "sixth borough" three years ago to settle in Brooklyn. After working at some daily rags, she now does writing on the side but still eats more Ramen then necessary. When she's not moving residences every 6 months, eating her way through every neighborhood, and trying every microbrew known to man, she is unsuccessfully rediscovering home economics. With her binging days behind her, she's now exploring new projects and rediscovering the city that she loves (although is still prone to sliding on her knees during a Prince karaoke set).
  • Stephanie

    i cant find any information on the next party, but you mentioned this friday’s bunny hop…do you have an address?

  • http://brokeassstuart.com Broke-Ass Stuart – Editor In Cheap

    This is the address I just found:

    338 Flushing Ave
    (Between Classon Ave & Taaffe Place)
    Brooklyn, NY
    718-782-8523

    I got it from this link: http://www.revelinnewyork.com/takeaways/rubulad

  • svetlana

    do you know if theres something happening there 4/2? this friday

  • jessi

    awesome! thanks for the info. love the write-up.

  • http://ArtistsintheKitchen.org Mike Felber

    Hello, I started & run a FREE Arts Festival for my Hell’s Kitchen ‘hood (last whole weekend event 6/24-26, ~ 100 venues, all genres of art & performances, 6 parties, meet artists in home, studios, galleries, gardens, groups shows…) for I have been doing since ’09). Here is the link for a spin off from this event: the full color arts & culture magazine I started & described, The online version can be seen at http://bit.ly.attheedge.

    I welcome all to attend & participate. Also, I write now to get the contact info for Rubulad. I am specially featuring arts groups in NYC for our next issue,. Do you have their # & E-Mail? Thank you!