visit to New York City was back in June of 1995 during Gay Pride. I was
convinced by friends beforehand that people either love the City or they
hate it, and I honestly had no idea at the time under which category I would
fall. I arrived with an open mind and no expectations, but when the lights
of Manhattan first became visible during my cab ride from the airport, a
euphoric feeling consumed me that would only intensify exponentially as
the weekend progressed. Something inside me said, Welcome home.
totally empowered by the Citys intense vitality, and I was in absolute
awe of its sheer magnitude and scope. Spectacular parties shared with close
friends on the Intrepid Aircraft Carrier and at Palladium and Twilo left
me with an overwhelming sense that this is where it all begins everything
that I had known and experienced up until that point seemed to all come
together and, for the first time, made perfect sense. Even if I didnt
yet have a mailing address in New York, I was indeed home.
New York knowing that I would eventually return for good. After a few more
years in Miami and a brief stopover in Washington, DC, I finally realized
my dream in April. In some ways, I cant believe its already
been seven weeks, but when I stop to reflect on all that has already happened
since I moved here, and think about what the future holds in store for me,
I realize my journey has only just begun.
thing happened during my first week in New York. You see, on Saturday, May
5th, Victor Calderone played his last record on the Roxy turntables (he
left the club to pursue other as-of-yet undetermined opportunities). On
the very same night, the infamous nightclub Twilo (my absolute favorite
dance space) was shut down by the City on some inane technicalities, leaving
the legendary Junior Vasquez also temporarily displaced. I couldnt
help but think, Was it something I said?
these unfortunate developments, I am confident that once Giuliani steps
down from his throne, New York nightlife will once again find its groove
and be quickly restored to its former glory. Both Victor and Junior will
surely find new, more fabulous residencies (whats that rumour about
two massive clubs ready to open their doors the very same day our new mayor
takes office?), and everybody will live happily ever after in clubland.
But what in the hell am I going to do in the meantime?
Culture and Other New Experiences
New York has much more to offer than just nightclubs, so I decided to begin
my cultural exploration last Friday night by taking in my first Broadway
production The Rocky Horror Show. Granted, I was a Broadway virgin
and didnt really have anything to compare it to, but my friend Dale
is a Broadway veteran, and we both agreed wholeheartedly that this was a
stunning and remarkably entertaining musical that everyone should experience
at the midtown bar Barrage followed, and later that evening I was coerced
by some new friends to visit Vinyl for Danny Tenaglias weekly Be Yourself
party. I had sort of been avoiding Vinyl since moving here based on a couple
past experiences that were rather disappointing, but something was very
different (and much better) this time around. The place was packed and full
of energy when we arrived around 4:00 a.m. We barely had time to grab a
drink (non-alcoholic, unfortunately Vinyl does not have a liquor
license) before we were sucked onto the dance floor by the hard and mesmerizing
beats Danny was throwing our way.
finally got around to exploring the club, I was pleasantly surprised to
find an extremely diverse and intriguing mix of people. Packs of beautiful,
strategically enhanced women roamed the premises flaunting their femininity
and enticing their equally gorgeous, shirtless male counterparts, while
the mostly attractive gay contingent seemed more at home on the dance floor.
Now I know where all the displaced Twilo regulars have been going.
the club shortly after 6:00 a.m., and despite reeking like an ashtray (the
cigarette smoke in the club is a bit overpowering, to say the least), my
fears had been put to rest I may now confidently report that, despite
Giulianis relentless and ridiculous attempts to quash our fun, damnit,
nightlife in New York City is indeed alive and well.