Lunch Beat Brings Mealtime European Disco Craze to Long Island City

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on June 5, 2012 12:19pm 

Lunch Beat is coming this Wednesday to New York for the first time.
Lunch Beat is coming this Wednesday to New York for the first time.
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Lunch Beat LIC

LONG ISLAND CITY — Now you can have your Saturday Night Fever on Wednesday afternoon.

The "lunch disco" craze that is sweeping Europe will be coming to New York for the first time this week — marrying grooves and grub in Long Island City during an hour-long midday dance party, organizers say.

The $12 lunch-hour dance fest starts at noon Wednesday at Uncanny Valley, an art and performance space at 26-09 Jackson Ave., and aims to get stressed-out New Yorkers away from the office and put them on a dance floor.

"We get stuck in a routine and it seems like we spend over half of our lives either at the office or getting ready to commute to office," said Sarah Reynolds, 32, an organizer of Lunch Beat LIC. "I just love the idea of getting people out of that for an hour."

The party will feature music from DJ Shakey and lunch will be served by The Cinnamon Snail, a popular vegan food truck. On the menu will be their organic and vegetarian-friendly Korean BBQ seitan sandwich.

But don't count on downing booze with your Bee Gees — the party is alcohol free. Forget talking shop because workplace chatter is prohibited, according to the Lunch Beat LIC Facebook page.

The other rule is that everyone has to dance, organizers said.

Reynolds, a photography archivist and filmmaker who lives in Astoria, read an article about Lunch Beat gaining popularity in Europe and said she fell in love with the idea.

"I really like to dance myself and I want to dance in the middle of the day," she said. "That’s why I’m doing it."

Reynolds hopes to attract some Citicorp workers as well as other employees from local businesses and expects anywhere from 40 to 100 people at the first party. If the idea catches on, the monthly boogie near the Citicorp building will become a more frequent event, she said.

The Lunch Beat movement was born two years ago in a garage in central Stockholm, Sweden. On an ordinary weekday, 14 people danced together during their lunch break and decided to keep on doing it, according to organizers.

“We get stuck in a routine and it seems like we spend over half of our lives either at the office or getting ready to commute to office,” said Sarah Reynolds, 32, an organizer of Lunch Beat LIC.
“We get stuck in a routine and it seems like we spend over half of our lives either at the office or getting ready to commute to office,” said Sarah Reynolds, 32, an organizer of Lunch Beat LIC.
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Craig Flanigan

Since then, Lunch Beat has spread across Europe, from Paris to Berlin and Porto, Portugal. The first Lunch Beat party in the U.S. was organized last week in Petaluma, Calif., Reynolds said.

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