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Brooklyn girl Kristina Marino keeps it real with Downtown Diaries -- a nightlife blog dedicated to all things below 14th Street worth leaving your apartment on a school night for. This night owl does all the research, so we don't have to. Dub step and bottle service make for the best kind of homework.
Niteside was there for Marino's birthday bash at hotspot GoldBar and got a chance to chat with the blogger about what's next for the Diaries, why New York is pretty much the best place ever and places still worth hitting up even though they are so five years ago.
How old are you today and is this what you thought you'd be doing at this age? So I'm turning 26 and it's really hard for me to tell what the future will bring, but I feel like as time goes on life just gets better and better. The more I live here I feel comfortable with myself, and I feel like that's when better things come to a person.
Why did you start Downtown Diaries? I was just going out a lot and everyone always told me that I was funny and I should write it all down, so I started my blog and it just snowballed and took off from there so I kept with it.
Why is your focus below 14th Street and Brooklyn? I live in Brooklyn and I love the scene there, and I feel like you can live downtown and do that whole hipster BK scene and you can go out to a place like GoldBar -- you can do both. You don't have to choose one or the other. Whatever you like is what you can do, and I believe you can straddle the line between the two. And I think the people who toggle that boundary live downtown.
What are some of your places to hang? So, to be honest, one of my favorite places is The Box. I go there a lot and I know that may be so five years ago but the fact of the matter is that it's still bumpin' -- and after five years they've been able to maintain a steady crowd with little or no promotion. Obviously, I hit up GoldBar on Sundays, CV on Wednesdays, and I love Savalas in Brooklyn -- their jalapeno tequila is my favorite.
Do you have any exceptions to the downtown rule? I mean I go to Juliet and scope out the scene on occasion but have found it to be very hit-or-miss there -- some nights it's awesome, some nights it's so bridge-and-tunnel that I just wanna get the f--- out of there. Also, Good Units at the Hudson Hotel has a lot of really good shows and events. In that case, I'm making it up into the 50s, which is a really rare occasion. My blog is about the Downtown Diaries but it's more so about where downtowners go -- so yeah, it's 14th Street and below, but if there's a good event at the Hudson, people will make the trip.
What gives you the credibility as a source to turn to for the best in nightlife? My whole thing is that I do the research so you don't have to. I spend a lot of time reading other blogs, just scouring the internet for stuff to do, and I personally feel that I have good taste in music and a good sense of what's hot and what's not and that's why I put it out there for people to see. I don't just cover high-end s---, and I don't just cover low-end s--- but I also cover just weird stuff. That's why you move to New York -- to not do the same monotonous life day after day. I try to write about the things that make New York, well, New York, and it just so happens that most of that happens in the downtown scene.
If you had to make a soundtrack to your life right now, what would be the first few tracks? Well right now I'm obsessed with Tanlines "Real Life"-- that's what I get ready to when I'm going out. I love it. A Tribe Called Quest "Electric Relaxation" and anything Calvin Harris I love. I would also say Junior Mafia's "Player's Anthem" and Erykah Badu's "Solidier."
What do you think the future has in store for Downtown Diaries? Right now I'm just focused on getting the site up and running where it should be and really get it going -- and then take it to other cities like L.A. Every city has it's own sort of downtown urban or industrial area like, let's say, Williamsburg where people can say there are hipsters or whatever, but I'm not a hipster but I still embody that downtown lifestyle. L.A. is definitely the next step.
Who are some of your favorite DJs on the scene? DJ Mess Kid I love -- he does like super sick dub step. Obviously The Chainsmokers and DJ MSB, I work with them every Wednesday. From more of the mainstream, I'm really into Calvin Harris. I just do my research and check stuff out to make sure it checks out past my radar. If it's good, it's good. If it's lame, it's lame. You know what I mean? It's all about discovering new s---, again that's what New York is about -- going out, not doing the same average [stuff] and striving to be extraordinary and live a standout lifestyle.
What's a nightlife trend you'd like to see make a comeback? I feel like back in the day things were so wild -- and it wasn't like you had to be on a list or you had to know the door man. I feel like everyone was just there and getting down. And I think that made for such a diverse crowd, just creating a really free spirit. I feel like just through my blog I've become so jaded, and it's like there's nothing fresh and new. Everything is like you have to be on a list, you have to get a bottle -- let's bring it back old school and just throw huge a-- ragers and everyone can get wild. I mean, again, this is New York -- this is the foundation.
Tell me about your party at CV. Basically we're just a group of friends who throw a party every Wednesday. It's about not being mainstream -- we'll have pinatas, we'll play flip cup or have a limbo competition. We're in our twenties, we're all post-college and we just wanna have fun -- we don't want to be uptight and scene-y. It's all about keeping it real.