Tech. Travel. Nerd Culture.

Karma Magazine :: Club 111 Minna

Featured in Karma Magazine Fall 2002
by club editor ray hom

© 2002

It is a Wednesday and you’re about to leave work. You’re stressed out, but you don’t want to head home to sleep it off in front of the TV. You are in a partying mood, and you want to know where to find a good place to check out after 5 p.m. in the middle of the week.

A knowledgeable friend speaks of 111 Minna and she tells you that it’s open until 10 p.m. tonight.
You remember being there during the day when it is an art gallery. You’re not an art connoisseur, but you remember thinking it was a cool, roomy place to relax. That’s a club? You log off for the day, gave your boss the finger, and head to 111 Minna.

Near Mission & 2nd St., there’s an alley way called Minna Street. When you arrive at 5 p.m., a line has already formed and you find your friend flagging you down from the middle of the line. She allows you to cut in line next to her. You ignore the cuss words hurled from behind, because you are about to see what 111 Minna is all about.

When you first enter, you see that the walls are lined with the WWII propaganda art that you observed during your visit during the day. Walking further into the club, you spot a bar to your left beckoning you for a drink. As you get into the groove, a trance beat from the right envelopes the crowd on the dance floor. You notice a smaller bar near the side of the dance floor, but you choose to chill early in the night and go to the main bar. The friendly bartender grabs your attention and efficiently mixes your drink while you continue to scope the club for its appealing points.

You notice an attractive group of five people approach from the dance floor. Surprisingly, they walk towards your friend to give a welcoming hug, and you wait impatiently for your introduction. You are taken aback by how clear their voices are as they announce thier names. The acoustics of the club make it seem like there are two distinct areas within one big room; the back feels like a full-out house club and the front area you are standing in feels like an intimate martini bar. The adequate lighting by the main bar lends a sense of honesty in a rather unnerving situation, as your new friends tell you their names, occupations, and interests. As everyone gets comfortable with everyone else in the group, it just seemed right for you to ask if they would all like to dance.

The trance beat you noticed when you first entered the club has heightened to a faster pace, giving a rhythmic pulse to your movement. Your new friends are not shy, you’ve all moved to the middle of the dance floor and taken over. The lighting that is reflecting the silhouettes of numbers, letters, and the shapes onto the art gallery entrances you. You move your body in sync to the intriguing images, as well as the beat.

For a period of time, the music slows its beat to give everyone a break. You pace your body movement to the slow pulse and continue your observation of everyone on the dance floor. The diversity of people at 111 Minna is new to you. You witness a lawyer dressed in a suit dancing with a raver wearing six-inch shoes and a red wig. Or is that her natural hair color? You observe the people dancing around you and you see this diversity everywhere.

The beat picks up again as you down the bottle of Jamaican beer one of your new friends has bought you. Everyone is having too much fun as it is announced that the club is closing at 10 p.m. You curse that tomorrow is a workday, and you reluctantly hail a cab for all of your new friends. You can’t wait until this damn weekend is over, so you can come back next Wednesday to 111 Minna.

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