Life In Motion
It’s been way too long since we posted on the blog – apologies! Here is another great LIC story, coming from New York Daily News. Read about Long Island City’s The Oracle Club, a new ecclectic private club and haven for the literary, artistic, and creative.
“There is a certain breed of New Yorker for whom the word “club” does not summon up the Meatpacking District, but the upper East Side; there are some in this town who crave not Cielo’s bottle service and booming music, but a cocktail in the wood-paneled comfort of the Knickerbocker.
Private clubs have long been a staple in New York society. These clubs are extremely expensive, with membership dues that reach into the thousands. As such, they are unavailable to most of us, who have to do with a cozy corner of Starbucks for our social needs.
That’s why the Oracle Club in Long Island City is such a welcome addition to New York’s cultural landscape. It strives to be a meeting (and working) place for writers, artists and intellectuals.
Nor is it, technically, a social club, but a hybrid of an intellectual salon and the kind of writers’ spaces that have become popular in recent years. One book-lined room is reserved for writers and another for painters. A third serves as a gathering place where readings and classes (ballet, cosmology, art) are held; in this airy ‘salon,’ a member can also simply read a book or chat with another Oracle member over a beer (yes, there is a bar).
The Oracle is the brainchild of novelist Julian Tepper and painter Jenna Gribbon, who run the club out of the ground floor of a building owned by a friend. Tepper and Gribbon live above the club with their 1-year-old son.
They started working on the Oracle in late November; today, with its welcoming library, Gribbon’s surrealistic paintings and eclectic furniture (including some very frightening couches with horns), it looks like it has been around for a century.
‘t will be one of the most beautiful places in New York City,’says Tepper with a Manhattanite’s unmistakable bravado. Indeed, he is a native of the East Side who, in addition to creating the Oracle, has just sold his first novel, ‘Balls,’ about a man battling testicular cancer.
But while the Oracle does indeed look and feel like a cousin of the National Arts Club, it aims to be more than just a social club. While one can join only the large central salon, Tepper and Gribbon hope to draw like-minded writers and artists. The attraction is a library straight out of the Ivy League, reserved for writers, and a vast artists’ studio on the lower level for members who paint.
Gribbon, who hails from Tennessee, says they are looking for other dedicated artists with ‘ink on your fingers and paint on your pants.’
This wouldn’t be a New York social club without some exclusivity. Tepper and Gribbon interview all members, who — if they are accepted — gain access for $175 per month for artists, $125 for writers and $50 for salon-only members.
The club already has 25 members, who might be sequestered away in a library nook working on a novel or painting the next masterpiece downstairs — or simply enjoying a drink in the salon.
You know, just like they do on the East Side.”
- Alexander Nazaryan, New York Daily News
Looking for more to read. Check out The New York Times blurb on The Oracle Club: http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/20/just-opened-the-oracle-club/
The club’s website: theoracleclub.com
The Oracle Club, 10-41 47th Avenue, Long Island City, NY; 917-519-2594