From The Magazine

Long Live The Hancock, Brooklyn’s Rowdiest Party Mansion

NYLON and The Cobrasnake went inside the house’s winter 2023 rager — before the cops shut it down.

For the better half of 2023, the hottest parties in New York City weren’t happening at a nightclub, bar, or even a venue. Instead, the art kids and the in-the-know downtown set were gathering at The Hancock, an historic 10-bedroom mansion-turned-artist-residence in Brooklyn that was hosting some of the wildest, no-rules house parties since deep during lockdown.

It wasn’t long before the secret got out, first to the press, then, eventually, to the cops, who shut down The Hancock’s last rager on Dec. 15, 2023 — but not before NYLON got an exclusive look. The drinks were flowing, the room filled to the brim, and local band The Life, fronted by party prince and podcaster Curtis Everett Pawley, was in the middle of a sweaty, raging set when the NYPD came a-knocking. The amps were promptly shut off and the lights flickered on as everyone stayed quiet on the off chance the boys would just, well, depart. But after 10 heavy minutes, the announcement finally arrived: “Everyone needs to leave right now,” a host announced.

Harrison Patrick Smith of The Dare

The Hancock has since become decidedly less raucous, with elegant group dinners filling its hallways instead, but that doesn’t mean its tenure as one of the city’s most unexpected nightlife destinations is dead. Elene Makharashvili, an artist who lives at The Hancock full time and has become its unofficial events coordinator, says it’s hoping to make a comeback in time for summer 2024. “It’s not yet confirmed,” she tells NYLON. “But it’s definitely not canceled.” Still, with some discontent neighbors on its back, the house is entering a new phase where it’ll only throw “one or two parties max, and that will be it,” Makharashvili says.

Perhaps The Hancock’s time as an after-hours hothouse is over — but the memories, as they say, are forever. Below, NYLON caught up with Makharashvili and Pawley as they reminisce on their best nights at The Hancock.

Alec Saint Martin, guitarist of The Life
Mia Manning, artist
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Pawley: “I knew [the cops were going to shut it down]. I had a feeling, because it was the end of the year, and it was the central place to be. I was like, ‘This is going to go out with a bang.’ If they could have waited like 15 more minutes, we would have all finished. But there was something cool about the chaos.”

Veronika Slowikowska and Kyle Chase

Makharashvili: “I can barely remember [the first party we ever threw] because it was something I did not expect at all. I thought it would be like a chill house party with a few people, but I was not expecting hundreds and hundreds of people. When I saw the line outside the house, I had a mini heart attack. For me, it was my least favorite [party] because I was really stressed out, running around, chasing people. We didn’t have rules at the time, and it was really messy. We’re [still] trying not to have too many rules.”

Saint Martin and Rayan Mustafa

Makharashvili: “The best part of nights like this is when everyone leaves and it’s so quiet. It can get really sad at some point. It was so crazy like an hour ago, and now you’re just all alone in this massive mansion with the traces of people.”

Nikita Lev, musician
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Pawley: “Everyone who comes in [to play] is like, ‘These are the best crowds we’ve ever played for.’ And it really is a completely different feeling than all the other stuff that happens in New York. When you’re in there, you feel like you’re completely out of space and time. It’s easy to just get lost in the spirit.”

Mila DeGray, musician
Curtis Everett Pawley, The Life
Patrick Raphael Wright, model
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Makharashvili: “I think an ‘Oh, my God, what did I get myself into?’ moment was our Halloween show. We had a younger crowd that was even harder to manage. People went crazy; they were throwing up in corners. I don’t mean under 21 — everyone was over 21 — but I’m just comparing it to other parties where the crowd is mostly in their 30s. I think that that’s when I realized I need to be more careful with booking the bands and what their audience is.”

Elene Makharashvili, artist

Pawley: “A lot of stuff in New York gets old fast because everybody is just trying to capitalize on it as soon as something kind of works. I like that we’re in the lucky position of not having to keep it open like a business. We can keep it more sporadic and keep it feeling special. I think now [people are] realizing this is rare.”

Photographs by Mark Hunter /

Photo Director: Alex Pollack

Editor in Chief: Lauren McCarthy

SVP Fashion: Tiffany Reid

SVP Creative: Karen Hibbert