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Nightlife is largely shaped by darkness and the rhythms of the day and is associated, like city life in general, with both danger and freedom. Cities are different at night as activities and populations change. Some commercial areas become entertainment districts, while others are largely deserted; residential areas stir before settling down for the night, although their daytime inhabitants might well be enjoying themselves elsewhere. Wolfgang Schivelbusch and Joachim Schlör have suggested that a number of developments came together to shape the idea of urban nightlife in European cities from the 1830s onward: the extension of street lighting, the parallel expansion of commercial and festive lighting associated with a burgeoning night-time economy, and the growth of an enormous curiosity concerning what went on in ...

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