Nightlife culture is part and parcel of the character of New York City. The public, be it the marketplace or the pub, act as centers of everyday individual and communal existence that shape the experiences of people and color the culture as a whole. These spaces have specific, codified forms of mediation.
The speakeasy, both as an historical icon and locality, is no different. As centers of media, culture was created and negotiated in terms of race, economy, linguistics, and the dialectic of power.
With time, however, we as New Yorkers feel nostalgia for these places, and in their place create hyperreal centers of media that try to strike a balance between the past and the present, resulting in the obfuscation of what the past really is.