From cannabis laws to illegal dance floors, it’s all in a day’s work for Ariel Palitz. A self-professed champion for the world’s insomniacs, the former New York City nightlife mayor shows no sign of calling it a night.
It’s 4pm in the City That Never Sleeps™ and Ariel Palitz is already hard at work. New York City’s first nightlife mayor is adjusting to her new life since stepping down in 2023 after five years.
Or as she prefers, “I’ve stepped up. I didn’t step down.”
A nightclub owner turned global nightlife ambassador at large, Palitz maintains a whirlwind schedule of consulting, speaking and general information-sharing with the public, public officials and press. Anyone, really, open to understanding the importance of nightlife to culture and economies around the world.
In the NYC Office of Nightlife she worked towards four priorities she hopes other cities, big and small, will adopt. These can be summarised as support business development; improve quality of life; promote safety, equity, and harm reduction; and elevate nightlife culture.
Taking an approach at once proactive, strategic and respectful, she has found willing ears from Berlin to Barcelona.
When we speak, she’d just returned from the Catalan capital meeting with councillors and the deputy mayor to advocate for a night mayor. “The city and enforcement agencies interface with the nightlife industry without a lot of respect or strategy. It wound up being quite impactful, I think we made progress.”