So, what, exactly, will she do once she gets rolling?
The conflicts she sees are a nexus of vibrant nightlife, residents who don’t want to listen to your 2am karaoke, businesses trying to fill the needs of night owls, and city regulations. Her role, as she sees it this early, will be to untangle the inevitable knots between those stakeholders.
“That really remains to be seen since it's really the first of its kind and I'm really in my first week in the position,” she said. “There's a lot of opportunity to be creative, to define what that is.”
As Palitz continues her listening tour and New Yorkers begin to understand her role, we can look to other cities’ successful Night Mayors for a hint at what comes next. In Amsterdam, for example, the local nachtburgemeester began assembling what amounts to a nightlife district away from city center and its long-suffering residents. London’s so-called “night czar” helped LGBT venues vulnerable to closure stay open. And stateside, Pittsburgh’s Nighttime Economy Coordinator has supported efforts to make her city a live music destination.
As NYC Night Mayor, Palitz could set her sights on noise complaints, untenable rent, or disappearing service industry jobs, to start.
“For me, New York, what defines us is that we really are the best. We have the best restaurants, the best nightlife, and we have very high standards,” she said. “I want to keep our standards high, whether it's in the DIY or the most elegant white tablecloth restaurant, I want operators with great visions of hospitality and creativity to be able to deliver what New Yorkers demand, which is the best -- and what the world demands -- and to make that easier to deliver: The best.”
Now the good stuff: What does a Night Mayor do on her night off?
“I wouldn’t want to pick out any one place in particular, but you know, I think the diversity of what New York has to offer, for me is always a perfect nightlife,” Palitz said. “You know, being able to see a live band, have a great meal, get a great drink, and hang out with my friends, like everyone else.”