New York City, the Big Apple, if you can't find it here, you can't find it
anywhere. That sentiment is doubly true for gay life. Gay life in New York has
developed to the point of fracturing, that is instead of having the disco and
leather bar, New York has disco bars for the leather crowd. New York City gay
life was historically centered in the East Village, but over time New York
developed two additional “gayborhoods” – Chelsea and more recently Hell's
Here's a quick overview of what's happening in gay New York:
THE EAST VILLAGE
The East Village is studded by eclectic bars, funky shops, and ethnic eats.
The “EV” keeps it pumping all night offering up bohemian-inspired nightlife and
entertainment. Along its wide avenues you'll find funky second-hand shops, dive
bars, cheap eats, and great people watching.
The Stonewall riots of 1969 are often credited as the tipping point event of
the modern gay rights movement. The Stonewall Inn (53 Christopher
St.) hence is more than a bar, it's a gay history landmark.
Music and dancing (disco and house) can be had at Mr. Black (77
Bleccker St) in an unpretentious and very fun atmosphere. This underground
lounge features nooks and crannies filled with plush seating and wooden walls.
Henrietta Hudson (438 Hudson St.) in the West Village is a
multi-cultural and boy friendly lesbian bar.
A new location for Alfredo Troche's Big Lug (85 Ave. A) puts it at
odds with established area bear bars Dugout(185 Christopher St.),
Ty's (114 Christopher St.), and Eagle (554 W. 28th. St.). But Big
Lug, a former once-a-week event, draws a hipper East Village bear toy with its
deep house night called Trucker.
Almost as if on cue, Phoenix (447 E 13th St.) has risen again. Since
reopening to large crowds the undecorated bar has enjoyed a good vibe. The
outdoor patio in the summer provides a sumptuous getaway from the hectic NY
Other bars in the EV include: Monster Bar (80 Grove St.) open
since they invented queerness, Cock (29 Second Ave.) for the sleaze in
you, and Eastern Bloc (505 E. 6th St) great music and a cool
Chelsea has dominated the gay scene since the late '90s when its vacant
warehouses and derelict buildings were transformed into a culture ward of
contemporary art galleries, performance spaces, and trendy restaurants.
Fashionable gay bars and chic eateries line 8th avenue on the east
side of the neighborhood.
If you're looking for queer-styled entertainment stop by Xes Lounge
(157 W. 24th St.) for karaoke and drag shows, or play along to the
raunchy Ass Circus (you do want to know). An outdoor smoking patio could
lead to more satisfying oral pleasures. Winner of City Search's Audience Award
2006 for best bar!
Splash (50W 17th St.) HX's best gay club of 2006, we should
make that mega-club. Splash continues its long tradition of packing in the hot
men. Now with a bigger dance floor! If it's an over-the-top NY gay clubbing
experience you're looking for, look no further.
A real sports bar can be found at Gym Sportsbar(167 8th Ave.). The two level bar houses massive amounts of television screens for your sports viewing pleasure, pool tables and video games. Cozy seating areas are scattered throughout. Gym is the place to be on Monday nights when their "2 Fisted Mondays" drink specials draw a large crowd.
Other bars in Chelsea include: Rawhide (212 8th Ave) a
leather/levi hang for 25 years, Barracuda (275 W. 22nd) great
music and drag, G Lounge (223 W. 9th St) the original Chelsea
lounge. Restaurants include: You can find the soul of Cuba at Cuba Cafe
(200 8th Ave).
As Chelsea and the East Village became increasing gentrified in the late
'90's gays and lesbians looked to Hell's Kitchen as their escape. A frenzy of
playful lounges have recently opened in this mostly ethnic neighborhood creating
a laid-back sexy vibe. What has been created here in just a few years is pretty
Take the trendy Chelsea look, add the friendliness of Hell's Kitchen and you
got Barrage (401 W. 47th St.). Floor-to-ceiling windows offer
a unique view as you mingle with a mixed crowd of neighborhood residents and
Therapy's (348 W. 52nd St) cure for what ails you is a
simple space followed by a prescription martini, such as the Delusion or
Other bars in Hell's Kitchen include: Posh (405 W. 51st St) offers a
refreshing watermelon martini in a swank lounge, Ritz Bar and Lounge (369
W 46th St) a two story bar with a great outdoor patio. Restaurants
include: Bamboo 52 (344 W 52nd St) hot late-night sushi bar.