Gay New York: a guide to clubs, bars, drag shows and queer culture

Revellers at the historic Stonewall Inn, an iconic gay bar, granted historic landmark status in June 2015.NYC is a gay-friendly town with a variety of neighbourhoods offering pockets of queer culture and nightlife, each with its own fruity flavour. In the past decade, a lot of the action has left “the big city” for Brooklyn districts such as Williamsburg and Bushwick, but there’s still plenty of adrenaline left in Manhattan to make heat-seeking worthwhile there. The West Village – the hub of the modern gay movement, thanks to the 1969 rebellion at the Stonewall Inn – still bristles with gay bars and drag clubs, mostly unaffected hangouts such as the appealing Pieces, and The Monster, a two-floor nightlife emporium with piano bar on top and disco down below.

Chelsea (the gay mecca in the 90s) was beset by a mass exodus as it became gentrified, though the long-running Barracuda Lounge still provides booze and schmooze, and G Lounge never goes away, thanks to its ambient mini-areas in which to hang with your clique. And Hell’s Kitchen (or HK) is now the gay epicentre, where rents are a little more affordable, thereby attracting swarms of new arrivals who prowl the streets and look for fun on an obsessive basis. (On last count, there were 14 gay bars in the area, without a cap off in sight.)

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