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NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded New York article click DailyXtraTravel
Believe the hype: New York City has a dizzying array of attractions
that will satisfy even the most tireless traveler.
In the arts, the city is unmatched. Along with world-class
museums, there are smaller galleries in Chelsea and SoHo with works by
gay artists. There's always great theater on Broadway, as well as
smaller companies all over the city producing works by gay playwrights.
There are massive venues for music, ranging from vast houses in Lincoln
Center and Carnegie Hall to tiny rooms in Greenwich Village where you
can see the performers up close and personal.
The gay scene is remarkably varied, changing neighborhood by
neighborhood. Newcomers will most likely stick to Greenwich Village,
Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen and a few others, but there are enclaves all
over the city.
And the city's reputation as a sexual playground? Crackdowns
under the last two mayors have left things much tamer. But listings in
the local gay rags will point you toward some cutting-edge parties for
men of every proclivity.
Several airports serve the New York City area, but LaGuardia is the
quickest for getting to Manhattan. The subway's A line takes you
directly to Manhattan. From Kennedy, the A and E lines are close by,
and so is the Long Island Railroad. The easiest way to get to your
destination from either of these airports, however, is by taxi.
Nearby in New Jersey, Newark Liberty International Airport is
linked to the city via frequent trains run by New Jersey Transit.
Like the song says, "the Bronx is up and the Battery's down." Getting
from one to the other -- or anywhere else in the city, for that matter
-- is easiest on the subway. It's quick, clean and modern. Fares rose
to $2.25 in June, but it's still a good deal, as a few bucks will take
you to the city's farthest reaches. Buses cost the same, but the routes
are harder for a newcomer. Taxis are often your best option. They all
take cash, and many now accept credit cards.
Cruises (212-563-3200) have
views of the world's
most famous skyline.
(212-812-2700) double-decker buses tour
city, letting you hop on and off at
Many cities boast one gay neighborhood, or maybe two. New York City has
almost too many to count: Greenwich Village, the East Village, Chelsea,
Hell's Kitchen, to name a few. And that's just in Lower Manhattan.
There are others spread out across the city.
Greenwich Village: Home of the historic Stonewall Inn, the
Village has an older gay crowd and a retro vibe. Highlights include
Sheridan Square, commemorating the gay-rights movement, and the
Christopher Street Pier, a swath of green popular with sunbathers and
Chelsea: The big draw is the High Line, a narrow park on a
former elevated train platform. Beneath are dozens of contemporary art
galleries. See-and-be-seen eateries line 8th Avenue, with quieter spots
on 9th and 10th avenues.
East Village: Gritty streets are lined with shops selling
everything from designer duds to just plain junk. The food is
incredibly varied. Polish? Ukrainian? Venezuelan? It's here. East 6th
Street has tasty Indian restaurants.
Hell's Kitchen: Despite the ominous name, this is home to some
heavenly young creatures. Take a quick peek at Times Square before
heading over to 9th Avenue for an around-the-world culinary trip.
A place in the sun
When the weather warms up, not all the gay guys in New York City pack
up their sunglasses and flip-flops and head to Fire Island. Some of
them stay right in the city.
There's prime real estate all around the city for those in
search of a little sun. Sheep's Meadow in Central Park is a magnet for
gays, as is Prospect Park in Brooklyn. But if you're looking for
wall-to-wall men, head to the Christopher Street Pier.
Officially known as Pier 45, this popular park sits at the end
of Christopher Street. Opened in 2003, it was one of the first of the
dozens of piers running alongside the Hudson River to be given a
facelift. It now boasts several seating areas under sail-like canopies
and a huge swath of lawn down the center.
The plan to renovate the Christopher Street Pier was
controversial, as this and nearby piers had long been a part of the
cruising scene. Many feared that after they were spruced up, the piers
would no longer be "gay space."
But if anything, the pier has become gayer. Black and Latino
gays hang out on the piers at night, especially on weekends. The "pier
kids," as some call them, have drawn criticism from neighbors for being
too "in your face." (Oddly enough, the same criticism was aimed
at the mostly white gay men who cruised here decades ago.)
On any sunny day, the pier is so full of gay men of all ages and
races that you might have a tough time finding a place for your towel.
The skimpier the better seems to be the dress code, so don't be shy
about wearing that thong.
There's plenty of entertainment, from impromptu practices for
the gay cheerleading group to young guys doing double-dutch jumping so
fast you can barely see the rope spin.
But mostly this is prime people-watching turf, and you couldn't
do better than finding a spot on the grass and watching the passing
Hike the High Line. This former train trestle was transformed into the
city's newest park. Three stories in the air, it has some breathtaking
views of the skyline. Gay guys thought of this, of course.
Take the A train. This express subway line, which runs parallel to the
C and E local lines, hits most of the gayest spots. It's a great way to
get around and the perfect place to ask a good-looking local for
Get a workout. When the weather is warm, you can bike, skate or run all
the way from Chelsea to Battery Park on the waterfront Hudson River
Park. The pier at Christopher Street has plenty of hunky men to look at.
Homo history. Start at the corner of Christopher and Gay streets, site
of the Stonewall demonstrations of 1969. Walk a block west to the
Stonewall Inn. Across the street in Sheridan Square are George Segal's
famous Gay Liberation sculptures.
Head out of town. If you know Manhattan like the back of your hand,
head to one of the outer boroughs. The queer arts scene of
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is a great day trip, while the Latin bars of
Jackson Heights, Queens, are fun in the evening.
at most gay establishments around the
complete weekly events rosters. Gay City
News, the local gay newspaper,
has done an excellent job keeping an eye on anti-sex police and city hall.
Odyssey Magazine, full of glossy bar ads, also has rundowns of what's happening in New York nightlife.
The Lesbian and Gay
Community Center (208 W 13th
Street; 212-620-7310), where Chelsea meets Greenwich Village, is a good place
to get your gay bearings
Events, June 2010
This must be the busiest month in the annual New York gay calendar.
The annual New York LGBT Film Festival since 1988, with films from over 30 countries last year
June 3-13, 2010, the SVA Theatre (333 W 23rd St)
Folsom Street East
The New York City leather & fetish street festival and Leather Pride Night
Festival on W 28th between 10th & 11th Avenues
June 19-20, 2010
Heritage of Pride , the world's oldest pride
celebration, will be held June
19 through 27, 2010. The week will culminate with a massive parade, a PrideFest and the Dance on Pier 24.
For more info log onto Hopinc.org.
Mews Guesthouse (344 W 15th
St; 212-255-9174) eight rooms, men-only, clothing optional; laundry service and bike tour come with the room.
Pines Inn (317 W 14th St;
212-929-1023) gay owned and
operated five-story row house with Hollywood-themed rooms and suites, business center and self-serve breakfast.
Savoy Hotel (204 West 23rd St;
212-929-9353) new building, moderate prices and good location, on a bustling street.
Chelsea Star (300 W 30th; 212-244-7827) has a variety of options from budget dorms to deluxe rooms, singles, and doubles, plus apartment suites; lots of services, central location.
House (318 W 22nd St; 212-
243-9669): 20 comfy rooms, 2 suites, Wi-Fi throughout, roof-top deck,
great location for shops, restaurants, and NY attractions.
Country Inn the
City (270 W 77th St; 212-580-4183):
the New York alternative to hotels with superb, spacious, self-contained studio apartments.
York (135 W 52nd
St; 212-887-9400) 46-story
luxury hotel with apartment-size
rooms, gym/fitness center, swim club pool access, in-house Mediterranean restaurant.
Sheaton Manhattan Chelsea (160 W 25 St; 212-337-8306) truly friendly staff, 158 cozy guest rooms, sleek modern design, workout facility.
(300 W 22nd St; 212-
675-1911) comfortable and hospitable boutique hotel.
17 (225 E 17th St; 212-475-
2845) chic newly renovated budget hotel for students, and travelers on a budget, known as
'The Inn for Hollywood Types and
31 (120 E 31st St; 212-685-
3060) newly renovated, reasonalbly priced, featuring all amenities of a first-class hotel.
(130 E 57th Str; 212-
753-8841), state-of-the-art boutique hotel, acclaimed in-house restaurant, navigator concierges.
The Inn on 23rd (131 W 23rd St; 212-463-0330), modestly priced Chelsea B&B at the heart of Manhattan, comfortably furnished to make you feel at home.
NYC (151 W 54th St;
212-468-8856) well-located luxury
hotel with elegant suites and attentive service; dining by Michelin chef Ramsey.
Click HERE for additional New York accommodations.
and clubs: West Village
Saddles (76 Christopher St)
35-year favorite, recently
renovated, DJ spinning, karaoke Sundays and Mondays a hoot, big beer selection, weekend beer busts from 3pm with go go dancers at 7pm.
Chiz (135 Christopher St) bar
popular with black men and
their friends. Go go boys, karaoke, bingo and pool tournaments.
(61 Christopher St) piano bar and cabaret with top talents and gay following.
(115 Christopher St) down-to-earth, ethnically diverse neighborhood men's hangout with weekend erotic dancers.
(159 W 10th St) NY's oldest gay
tavern, mature regulars, some youngsters, burgers juicey and cheap.
Marie's Crisis (59 Grove St) small, well-loved Village piano bar with showtune sing-alongs, wide variety of people.
Bar (80 Grove St) bi-level
party and cruising institution since 1970. Open nightly, piano bar, show tunes, drag acts, basement dancing until 4am.
(8 Christopher St) relaxed bar with
room for conversation, karaoke, live shows, B-movie nights, contests, porn bingo, young crowd.
(185 Christopher St) replaced Ramrod, formerly the Dugout. Younger rocker crowd, cheap drinks, live music, Saturday go go dancers.
Inn (53 Christopher St) gay
historic icon, newly renovated two floors of fun, open nightly, live music and performances, -- and yes, t-shirts for sale.
(114 Christopher St) jam-packed
neighborhood bar for men and
everyone else (including tourists) until 4am nightly. Good drinks at good prices.
Bars and clubs: East
Village & Lower East Side
Arrow Bar (85 Ave A) wild East Village Sunday night Alphabet, with fresh young go go boys, cheap drinks, party 'til 4am.
Room (86 E 4th St) landmark
bar, alternative crowd, guys from all over town, free Wi-Fi, strong drinks and best jukebox around.
(29 2nd Av) "glitter to gutter, butch to bitch..." friendly raunchy basement for when you get that itch. From April Black Cock every Friday night when the
Mr.Black party comes to Cock.
Bloc (505 E 6th St) cool
East Village space of red and black, sexy weekend dancers, young eye-candy clientele, Sunday beer blasts.
Lucky Chengs (24 First Av) drag cabaret dinner theatre for 3-course pan-Asian feasts, vibrant, sometimes gymnastic, always interactive shows, comedy, and karaoke.
(322 E 14th St) gay boys and girls
pack this dark basement neighborhood bar. Open nightly with pool table, juke box and DJs.
(447 E 13th St) no-attitude East Village neighborhood meeting place,
pool table, indie music jukebox, DJs, packed weekends with good-looking lads.
Lounge (33 2nd Av) two floors
of fun, hot and naughty go-go dancers on the bar most nights, Wednesday hot ass contests, foxy bartenders.
The new Uncle Charlie's LES (87 Ludlow St) Lower East Side lounge for young professionals, south of Delancey Street neighborhood, outdoor smokers' patio. Similar vibe to their Midtown location.
Woody's (31 2nd Av), formerly dTox, relaxed neighborhood hangout, until 4am daily, pizza and bar nibbles, pool games, go go boys.
and clubs: Chelsea
(275 W 22nd St) casual, lively cabaret bar with drag acts and karaoke, brings a bit of East Village to Chelsea.
Boxers (37 W 20th St) a brand new gay sports bar, college jock, boxers, pool nights, 2-4-1 happy hours 4 - 9:30pm
20 (Sundays) (20 W 20 St)
Chippendale-type Sunday male stripper shows, lap dances, VIP rooms.
(554 W 28th St) cruisy-as-hell
leather bar with hot men, voted best of it's kind by NY Magazine. Pool table, roof-deck bar, Sunday beer bust, Jockstrap Wednesdays.
(390 8th Ave, btwn 29 & 30th) new gay Saturday nights on two floors, dancing, live acts, go-gos; from the Chris Ryan group.
(301 W 39th St) diverse
cultural mix latino club, live music, 18+ nights with go go dancers Tuesdays and on all-male Thursdays, Hip Hop to Reggaeton Saturdays, Sunday drag shows, contests and T-dances.
Lounge (223 W 19th St) the
standard for upscale lounge bars, plenty of cruising, after-work happy hours popular, DJ spins house, pop, R&B. Tuesday night Boybox novelty go-go burlesque and striptease, from 10pm.
Sports Bar (167 8th Av) New
York's genuine gay sports bar, outdoor patio, reasonable drinks prices, Saturday and Sunday beer blasts.
Hiro Ballroom (362 W 16th St) Sunday night dance in the basement of the Maritime Hotel. Attractive space with a sea of hot men when the night is right, but drinks are expensive.
(212 8th Av) Levi/leathermen cruising
bar, pool table, manly go-go dancers, happy hours with loyal regulars keep it busy.
(579 Avenue of the Americas) energetic 18+ crowd, randy boys come every Saturday for two floors of dancing.
Lounge (525 W 29th St),
past the industrial-looking entrance, an opulent lounge every Friday and Saturday with a sultry black and Latino crowd.
(50 W 17th St) two levels of dancing, big-time DJs, super-buff men to young dancing boys strip in the showers. Tuesday Twink 18+ nights; Wednesday Hot Ass cash prize contests; Thursday Campus Frat Hip Hop parties.
(232 8th Av) relaxed place, potent
drinks, a view of
the passing parade on 8th Avenue. Sunday go-go dancers, free Tuesday pool games.
(157 W 24th St) laid-back place with videos, DJs, Tuesday bingo, Wednesday karaoke, outdoor smoking patio.
Bars and clubs: Hell's
Barrage (401 W 47th St) dimly lit chill-out
bar with DJ music, plenty of
couches to relax on, popular late-night happy hours.
Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge (642 10th Av) stylish cocktail lounge, cute friendly staff mix a mean Manhattan for attractive clean-cut Hell's Kitchen guys.
Lounge (405 W 39th St)
sleek two-story Hell's Kitchen lounge with parties weekly.
Ninth Avenue Saloon (656 9th Av)
unpretentious hangout for all ages
and types in the Theatre District, cheap drinks, jukebox.
(405 W 51st St) neighborhood bar with black couches, DJs, bingo and plenty of room to cruise the cute locals. Birthday drinks are on them.
(369 W 46th St) brings gay muscle to
Hell's Kitchen, three floors, comfortable seating, outdoor patio, attractive crowd, DJs, game nights, special parties. Wednesday retro music and videos; Friday Flex popular weekly romp with prizes and free drinks for participants showing their muscles.
(348 W 52nd St) a Hell's Kitchen must-see chic lounge with
Hollywood stairway, cabaret acts, contests and shows. Full bar, good-looking crowd, sandwiches and snack platters.
Lounge (331 W 51st St), two-level lounge serving 16
varieties of vodka. Actors, singers, and dancers from surrounding Broadway theaters hang out and perform here.
Bars and clubs: Midtown
(221 E 58th St) chic neighborhood lounge in the Upper East Side, with garden patio for gays, lesbians, bi and straight. Open daily with billiard room, good sound, live entertainment, go go boys.
Bar (206 E 58th St) piano
bar for upscale professionals, older gentlemen and their admirers. Talent shows for cash prizes.
Charlie's Midtown (139 E 45th S) only gay bar in Midtown near Grand
Central Station, pulls an after-work
crowd of young professionals. Piano lounge, comfortable seating, and outdoor patio.
(40 E 58th St) dance club for Asian guys and their aficionados. Slender erotic go-go boys aplenty most nights. Thursday half-price drinks for pantless patrons.
and Clubs: Uptown
Black (271 W 119th St) bar
and gourmet soul food restaurant in central Harlem. Friday or Saturday cabaret acts each week.
Bar (235 E 84th
St) live music cabaret performances nightly, showtunes belted out by the crowd and the energetic staff who join in the fun.
Bar (309 Amsterdam Av) gay neighborhood bar, only one of it's kind on the Upper West Side. Pool games, digital jukebox, good for cocktails and conversation.
(992 Amsterdam Av @109th) gay and
straight neighborhood bar where all mix easily, with stage acts, karaoke, drag shows, DJs, uncommonly good finger food and snacks.
Parking (4168 Broadway @ 177th
St) a chic neighborhood lounge, latino vibe, Washington Heights' only gay bar, go-go dancers Wednesdays through Sundays, DJs nightly.
Box (1742 Second Ave at 90th
St) quiet neighborhood bar
with sports, music videos and adult movies on the tube.
HERE for many more New York gay bars and nightclubs, including those beyond Manhattan.
This city boasts over 20,000 eateries
serving cuisines of every sort,
so it's no surprise that New Yorkers
eat out often. A good resource is
the 'Eat Out' section of Time Out New
For more area restaurants, in addition to those listed below, click HERE
(81 Greenwich Av) $5 unlimited
mimosas and screwdrivers, $10
brunch deals at the carb heaven.
(2 Bank St) drag diner, magnet for
from New Jersey.
Bakery (401 Bleecker St)
get in line for orgasmic
(340 Bleecker St) typical diner, full
of manly men, outdoor patio, full bar, free delivery and open 24/7.
Marie (569 Hudson St) New
American cuisine at
Greenwich Av #2) a hole
in the wall, but the best
Indian around for eating in or taking
W 4th St @West
10th) rainbow-flag restaurant with
Chinese quasi haute cuisine.
(201 8th Av) well-known gay diner,
inexpensive food, fetching Greek waiters, order by phone or online for delivery.
Eighth (254 W 23rd St)
eclectic international fare
(156 7th Av) fancy retro dining room,
popular with pretty
people craving comfort food.
(202 8th Av) classy
Italian place with
all-you-can-drink mimosas at
(176 8th Av) Mediterranean, especially
Mexican Cafe (182 8th Av)
upscale modern Mexican cuisine.
8th Av) the best, and
most affordable, Thai in the
BBar & Grill (40
E 4th St) Tuesday gay nights, outdoor garden, enclosed heated winter seating, open to summer stars; weekend brunch, cocktails, late snacks.
(762 9th Avenue @ 51st St)
gay-friendly Mexican with
52 (344 W 52nd St) polished
sushi bar with outdoor
Restaurant (523 Ninth Av)
(754 9th Av) gay diner, American fare
with a soup on of
Market (10 Columbus
Circle) healthy hot and cold
food, cafe seating.
(663 9th Av at 46th)
intensely healthy vegetarian
Asian fare at Restaurant Row.
Designer Fifth Avenue stores coddle
those with cash to spare, but for
haggled bargains go to Chinatown.
Store (87 1st Av) even after ruffled feathers over accusations of prostitution, and an erotic massage demonstration in the front window, they survived to remain a good source for gay erotica, lube etc; also staff is friendly.
Store (206 8th Av) porn store
with private booths.
Video (139 Christopher
St) DVD, magazine and toy store.
Hommes (217 W 80th St) all-
male adult shop, DVDs, toys,
novelties, no booths.
Chest (156 7th Av) his and hers
sex shop, lots of toys,
Station (207 8th Av) porn,
(277 W 22nd St) large porn and toys
private video booths get busy in the
Palace (592 8th Av)
porn and toys with booths.
Video (797 8th Av) porn,
toys, cruising zones.
Century 21 (22 Cortland) downtown
for cheap undies and other
(111 Christopher St)
leather clothing, accessories,
toys, bespoke tailoring.
Pig (265 W 19th St) edgy
for sexually self-assured
Gear (140 8th Av) male boutique
for trendy clubwear.
And Triangles (192 8th Av) gay
Chelsea landmark with cards,
clothes, and erotica.
Pharmacy (883 9th Av) low
prescription meds, vitamins and
Apothecary (346 Bleecker St)
community pharmacy for
well-priced meds, alternative therapies
and beauty products.
Side Club (227 E 56th St)
membership club with steam, sauna,
private cabins. Older crowd, bears,
Side Club (27 W 20th St)
membership club with steam,
sauna, private cabins. Younger crowd, a
Fire Island (Gayfireisland.com) off the
southeast coast of Long Island,
is a car-free resort. Two of the
island's hamlets, Fire Island
Pines and Cherry Grove, hop with gay
vacationers from Memorial Day to
Labor Day. Events of note include the
Invasion of the Pines, a
drag-queen parade held each July 4.
After their promenade,
gender-benders proclaim victory and
back to Cherry Grove. The
abundant shrubbery between Pines and
Cherry Grove is known as the Meat
6448) a Venetian palace fronting
the bay, nice Cherry Grove location,
exclusively for men.
See our September 2009 Fire Island article by Michael Lavers, and for more links click on our Fire Island/Long Island listings.
In our February 2009 article The Other New York, writer Jonathan Vatner explores gay New York beyond the downtown Manhattan scene.
Party all night long by John Rambow, an April 2010 article about hotel party nights in New York.
We also have
New Jersey listings, including Asbury Park.