REPORTS PUBLISHED IN PREVIOUS TRANNY GUIDES
by Dale De Vere
to the Big (if somewhat battered) Apple!
drag scene here has seen a lot of setbacks recently. Beloved
clubs and shops have closed, and September 11th affected
everything. But, this is still a great throbbing city,
teeming with trannies and every kind of freak, both fabulous
Yes, boys, if there’s one
city where you can wear your new frock on the bus without
worrying what anyone thinks, this is it. Believe me, New
Yorkers have all seen people much stranger than you, and
they don’t give a damn!
let’s start with New York by day.
only really drag-oriented shop in town is now HOTEL
VENUS, on West Broadway between Spring and Broome
Streets; lots of fun stuff including a wig salon.
The surrounding area, Soho,
has the biggest concentration of designer boutiques in
the city, but there are some cheaper and quirkier ones
amongst the Pradas and Chanels, so it’s worth a look around
whatever your budget.
good places to look for clothes and shoes are the two
blocks of West 8th St between 6th Avenue and Broadway;
all the way from 8th St. down to Canal St; ST. MARKS
PLACE between 2nd and 3rd; and the department stores,
MACY’S, LORD & TAYLOR, and the more up-market
For fetish fashions, try
DE MASK (22nd
St. between 6th and 7th) or PURPLE
PASSION (20th between7th and 8th).
wigs, WIGS & PLUS at 49 W.14th Street (between
5th and 6th) has a good selection, reasonable prices,
and loads of hair products and accessories. (There’s another
cheap, smaller wig shop on the same block at No. 55).
If money is no object, though, you can’t beat the fabulous
creations at BARRY HENDRICKSON’S BITZ-N-PIECES
(By appointment, call 397-0711).
For make-up, there are
several branches of both SEPHORA
(where you can try before you buy) and the very drag-friendly
more specialised stuff, the professionals go to ALCONE
(19th St. between 7th and 8th). Lastly, you may enjoy
a campy mini-chain which sells everything from toothpaste
to wigs and makeup, lingerie and sex toys!
York NIGHTLIFE is volatile, especially lately, so be sure
to check local listings or call ahead before venturing
out. n.b. most clubs don’t really get going until around
midnight and go on until 4 am
TRANNY PARTIES Probably
the most reliable weekly venue is NOWBAR,
at Leroy St. and 7th Avenue South, where transsexual legend
‘Glorya Wholesome’ and husband and DJ ‘Gil T. Pleasure’
host parties whose names change from time to time but
which are always on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays,
every week. The crowd varies but the whole spectrum of
the TV/TG world passes through at some time or another
(followed by hordes of lecherous men!) and Glorya is a
welcoming hostess to all. There is usually some kind of
show around 2 am.
long-running venue is LA ESQUELITA, with
a mostly Latin crowd, drag shows, go-go boys and girls,
etc. (39th St. between 8th and 9th).
A brand new Wednesday party,
has started at FLAMINGO,
(2nd Ave. between 13th and 14th); if it’s still there
by the time you read this, it’s probably worth a look.
the notorious EDELWEISS - a raunchy place,
constantly being raided by the cops - is currently closed,
but if you’re curious, you can call 629 - 1021 to check
the current situation.
MIXED PARTIES For me, the
best NY parties have always been those like the late lamented
JACKIE 60 (at
the now-defunct club MOTHER) - an outrageous mix of gay,
straight, transgender, and just people who like to dress
up and dance. Jackie promoters ‘Chi Chi Valenti’ and ‘Johnny
Dynell’ are now doing monthly parties and if you’re in
town for one of them, don’t miss it! They also have a
great website which is the first place to go to find out
what’s happening in town: www.queenmother.tv
popular party, CHEEZ WHIZ, has also closed, but hostess
‘Sweetie’ is now hostessing STAR TARTARE
on Sundays at RARE, (on 14th St. between 9th Ave.
and Washington St). Expect a friendly mixed crowd, fun
shows and great music from DJ Sammy Jo.
On Thursdays SPA,
an upscale dance club on 13th St. at 4th Ave., has a glamourous
party called ULTRA
which attracts a lot of queens;
there’s an exciting new Friday party, AREA 10009,
at OPALINE (Avenue A between 5th & 6th Sts.)
THE GAY SCENE NY gay scene
is huge and mostly tranny-friendly. There are three main
gay areas: Greenwich Village
(also known as the West Village or just The Village) especially
around Christopher St., is the oldest and most traditional,
with cozy cafes, piano bars and drag shows. Try PIECES
or the legendary STONEWALL
on Christopher St. THE MONSTER
is at Sheridan Square.
is younger, hipper and more masculine; trannies are welcome
enough but you may feel a bit irrelevant in a sea of Muscle
Marys. Still, BARRACUDA (22nd St. at 8th
Ave.) can be fun, and if you like dancing, THE ROXY
(18th St. at 10th Ave.) is probably the most tranny-friendly
of the big gay dance clubs.
VILLAGE is funkier and edgier than the
West, with a lot of interesting bars and an eclectic,
anything-goes crowd; check out STARLIGHT
(Avenue A at 11th St.) and WONDERBAR
(6th St. at Avenue A).
you want to venture into a Lesbian bar, try MEOW
MIX (E. Houston St. at Suffolk St.) or NANNY’S
(on 7th Avenue South) across from the NowBar.
DRAG SHOWS Mostly at gay
venues, there are too many to list here, but BAR
D’O (at the corner of Bedford and Downing
Sts). in the Village is crosier and friendlier than most.
Two places to eat, drink, and be both waited on and entertained
by drag queens, are cozy and campy LIPS
(Bank St. at Greenwich Ave.) and the bigger, glitzier
(1st Ave. at 2nd St.) In addition to all these, there
are frequent one-off events.
the listings in TIME OUT NEW YORK or free
gay mags., NEXT or HX, or
go to www.queenmother.tv, and you’re pretty
much guaranteed a good time in the city that never sleeps!