From hand-locked married couples leaving the City Clerk’s office wearing matching Bride & Bride hats to a rainbow-hued Empire State Building at Pride, there’s no doubt that New York City is one of the world’s great cities for LGBTIQ+ travelers. Indeed, few places come close to matching the breadth and depth of queer offerings here, from cabarets and clubs to festivals and readings.
One of the best ways to dial into the party hotline is to follow the various goings-on of your favorite promoter. Here are some to start you off:
The Saint at Large (www.saintatlarge.com)
Daniel Nardicio (www.danielnardicio.com)
Josh Wood (www.joshwoodproductions.com)
School Night Shenanigans
Here in the Big Apple, any night of the week is fair game to paint the town rouge – especially for the gay community, who attack the weekday social scene with gusto. Wednesday and Thursday nights roar with a steady stream of parties, and locals love raging on Sunday (especially in summer). While there’s undoubtedly much fun to be had on Friday and Saturday nights, weekend parties tend to be more ‘bridge and tunnel’ – Manhattanites often use these nonwork days to catch up with friends, check out new restaurants and attend house parties.
- Brooklyn Multi-neighborhood borough with gays of every ilk, and diverse watering holes peppered throughout.
- East Village & Lower East Side Slightly grittier, sweatier, grungier versions of the west side haunts.
- Midtown Hell’s Kitchen is the city’s 21st-century gay epicenter, with a plethora of eateries, bars, clubs and shops for the LGBTIQ+ community.
- Union Square, Flatiron District & Gramercy Hosts a small spillover of venues from the East Village, West Village and Chelsea.
- West Village, Chelsea & the Meatpacking District Classic bars and clubs in the Village, with a wilting scene in high-rent Chelsea.
Resources & Support
One of the largest centers of its kind in the world, the LGBT Community Center provides a ton of regional publications about LGBTIQ+ events and nightlife, and hosts frequent special events – dance parties, art exhibits, Broadway-caliber performances, readings and political panels. Plus it’s home to the National Archive for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History (accessible to researchers by appointment); a community-oriented cafe; a small exhibition space, the Campbell-Soady Gallery; and a cyber center.
Need to Know
There are tons of websites geared towards the goings-on of the city’s gay community.
Get Out! (www.getoutmag.com) Online version of a print guide to all things queer in town.
Gayletter (www.gayletter.com) E-newsletter covering queer-related culture, musings and parties.
Gay City News (www.gaycitynews.nyc) News and current affairs with a queer bent, as well as arts and travel reviews.
Metrosource (www.metrosource.com) Bimonthly publication with a focus on culture, design, entertainment and travel.
- NYC Pride Rainbow-clad pomp and circumstance.
- Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art The world’s first LGBTIQ+ art museum.
- Industry One of the best-loved bar-clubs in kicking Hell’s Kitchen.
- Marie's Crisis Sing your heart out at this deliriously fun show-tunes bar in the West Village.
- Duplex Camp quips, smooth crooners and a riotously fun piano bar define this Village veteran.
- Eagle NYC Love-it-or-loathe-it debauchery and plenty of leather.
Places to Stay
- Ink48 Skyline views and a hop away from Hell’s Kitchen bars and clubs.
- Standard East Village Crisp, fresh, boutique chic in the funky East Village.
- Chelsea Pines Inn Hollywood posters, diva-moniker rooms and a Chelsea address.
- Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC Jet-setter cool and a rooftop pool in the Meatpacking District.
Classic NYC Gay
- Brunch on Ninth Avenue Pick a sidewalk table and do your bit for Neighborhood Watch, Hell’s Kitchen–style.
- Shopping in Chelsea Style-up at Nasty Pig and other queer-centric Chelsea boutiques.
- Pier 45 (Christopher Street Pier) Butt-hugging trunks and loved-up couples make this a summertime sunbaking staple.
- Fire Island Mingle with the hot and rich at this sand-dune-swept playground just off of Long Island.