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SPOTLIGHT:
CALIFORNIA DANCING
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DanceSpot Review: A Changed View of the World: Dancing Atop Los Angeles at 360° 9/26/2001.

by Rachel Levin
September 26, 2001
Los Angeles, CA

DanceSpot Review: A Changed View of the World: Dancing Atop Los Angeles at 360°


9/26/01


360° Restaurant and Lounge

Penthouse @ Sunset and Vine

6290 Sunset Boulevard

Hollywood, CA 90028

323-871-2995


Bar open nightly until 2:00 a.m.

No cover

Dress code enforced


Tuesdays: DJs for the "fashion gay crowd"

Thursdays: House DJs

Fridays: Dance, R&B, hip-hop, house

Saturdays: Live jazz and DJs

Sundays: 2 step/garage




The weekend after the fateful events of September 11, 2001, Los Angeles nightlife was hushed. Across town, you could feel the retreat from the usually frenetic pace of Friday night. Some die-hard clubbers undoubtedly still ventured out, but the mood was certainly more tentative. People went out to connect, talk, and perhaps down a drink to calm their nerves, but few were dancing for joy.

By this weekend, after ten straight days of chilling media reports and an overwhelming sense that many freedoms we took for granted may now be restricted, people were ready for a release.

Perhaps in direct defiance of the terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center's top-of-the-world view forever, the substantial crowd at Club 360° Friday night flocked to the uppermost point in Hollywood to survey their own city and to dance off some of the angst. The signature marketing line on 360°'s website says, "I just love a Penthouse view." After September 11th, this statement certainly took on new meaning, as the ability to safely ascend to the top of a building became a freedom newly appreciated.

The view at this bar and restaurant truly does offer 360 degrees of Los Angeles panorama in all its glory, from the game lights at Dodger Stadium on the Chavez Ravine slope, to the impossible-to-miss yellow neon sign over the Church of Scientology Celebrity Center, to the hazy glow of Century City across town.

The club itself is inlaid with honey-colored wood floors and walls set off by modern furniture in white and black leather. The dress code is hip but not fancy, since many people were in jeans dressed up by funky shirts and accessories. One nice touch for smokers and non-smokers alike is the glass-enclosed smoking room at the far end of the bar where smokers can get their fix without having to descend the 20-plus floors to step outside.

"Master mixer" Victor Rodriguez spun groovy pop and hip-hop tunes to get people moving. The dance floor space is ample so there is plenty of room to get into the music. While there were certainly couples dancing, the majority of people seemed to be dancing in circles of friends, which made it seem almost like a college get-together. Maybe this was a result of the focus on connection with friends and loved ones in the wake of the tragedy, but 360° definitely seems like a good place to come with a group of people. When you're taking a break from dancing, you can enjoy an apple martini, one of 360°'s specialties, which includes real apple slices as big as sliced beefsteak tomatoes.

Toward the end of the night, a friend who went to the club with me ventured into the smoking room to soak up the view from that particular corner of the building. While inside the glass chamber, she overheard two guys talking about the height at which they found themselves, "Man, if I had an explosive right now, I could take this whole thing down. One floor would just pancake on top of the other all the way down." Suddenly, my friend became claustrophobic and all-too-aware of the precarious position that the tops of buildings now occupy in this changed world. While we were thankful for the chance to release through dance and to affirm our freedom by gazing at our beloved city from 360°'s perch in the Hollywood sky, we were ready to get back on solid ground.

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