The smell of sweat may have gone from the basement of 73 Edgewood Ave., the beer in the Solo cups may be three weeks dry, but “Modern Love” is not dead.
Organizers say that there is an urgent need to have Modern Love return. David Rudnick ’09, the creator of the event and a frequent DJ, is appealing to Yale College administration officials to give him a space or “pit” as he calls it in his British lilt.
“Modern Love.” The idea was simple — a party with great music, midnight till 4 a.m., Friday:
Anyone could come, regardless of race, culture, sexuality or identity.
Anyone could DJ, regardless of their ability.
Anyone could have a great time.
“No more scenes, no more cool, no more irony, no more trends,” ran the motto.
But after a four week stint, it couldn’t go on.
“We’re in a difficult position right now,” Rudnick said. “It’s very hard to do something like this in a residential neighborhood.”
“Modern Love,” which became a regular Friday night stop for four-hundred or so members of the graduate and undergraduate population for the four weeks it lasted, was know for its great tunes and innovative DJs. Jocks mingled with alternative artists and, generally, tensions were low.
But the organizers couldn’t keep a 400-person party in their basement. It started to spill into the road, and neighbors complained.
“STANDING IN THE YARD BRINGS COPS! SMOKE IN THE LIVING ROOM OR IN THE DEN YOU CRAZY KIDS IN AMERICA!” read one of the Facebook group’s messages.
“The downside was that way too many people were invited,” said Lucia Diaz-Martin ’09, a neighbor of Rudnick and a keen Modern Love reveller. She thought the problem was simple: there was not enough space for Modern Love to happen.
She affirmed, however, that she thought both the DJs and the parties were “really fun.”
“It wasn’t made to be an affront to anybody,” Rudnick said. “It was meant to be super-welcoming and only a positive experience for the people who attended.”
Rudnick said that he was proud to have seen freshmen mingling with Ph.D. and post-doctoral students.
“It felt so nice to make them feel welcome and to play some music for them,” he said. “There has been amazing energy from the Yale community and the response has been humbling.”
Indeed, in the basement, familiar figures became warped and the Yale bubble seemed far away. The Facebook request line was filled with songs by the end of the summer — great stuff that Rudnick said he had never heard at Yale parties — leaving him asking himself: “Why has nobody played this before?”
Rudnick said that he felt Yale needed a “vanguard space” like a nightclub where people could have a cultural experience when they got together.
But Yale failed when it came to social interaction.
He said he believes the Yale party scene is “so out of sync with every way that Yale tries to be in touch with culture. Yale professes to be, if not at the vanguard, at least aware of, and in dialogue with, all cultural mediums, and it’s proud of it. Is it really becoming of a Yale undergraduate to spend four years going to parties where it’s just about getting drunk and being seen there?”
Yale currently has no space where parties can happen past midnight without security which itself costs an arm and a leg.
“We used to run Modern Love on $80 a night,” he said. The money was mainly spent on alcohol. Revelers remember the airheads in grain alcohol less fondly than they do the music.
YSAC does grant $5,000 to undergraduates every semester to throw a party, but Rudnick said he thought such parties were “farcical.”
“It’s not about being wealthy and having extravagant party decorations,” he said.
Now, Rudnick is “desperate for a venue.” But he hasn’t found it yet. He said despite the fact that he offered to throw the party with no alcohol, all his requests have so far been turned down.
The University’s lack of an undergraduate party space causes students to seek out parties farther off-campus in neighborhoods which are often dangerous at night.
“If Yale college doesn’t build a social venue for Yale undergraduates, within the two new colleges, it would be a display of negligence to the Yale population and an insult to the kids,” he said.