Forty years after the uprising at the Village's Stonewall gay bar that sparked the modern gay-rights movement, New York's LGBT nightlife is fairly robust still anchored in downtown Manhattan, but with an impressive array of options in the other boroughs. There are venues for Chelsea muscle boys, Billyburg alterna-queers, hyperlipsticked lesbians and a good handful of spots where those types and more crawl all over each other. Even Staten Island's getting its first gay bar in years!
Financial District and Lower East Side
Baña Pool Party
Wildly popular monthly late-night party at a financial-district spa with pool, sauna, steam room, open bar, D.J.'s, performances. Very nouveau-Continental Baths. Next party: Friday, June 26, at Wall Street Bath & Spa, 88 Fulton St., nr. Gold St.; starts at midnight.
Club Gorilla: The Big Banana
The Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard St. nr. Broadway; 212-219-3006
Gays Gone Wild–style new Saturday-night party co-hosted by Josh Wood and longtime bad boy Jonny McGovern. Could be the party of the summer.
The Ruff Club
The Annex; thehotpink.com/nyc.html
Polysexual skinny-hipster party Fridays at the Annex, 152 Orchard St. nr. Rivington St. Legendary drag queen Sophia Lamar hosts; pictures taken (in the MisShapes tradition) and posted online weekly.
The F Word
Saturdays at Santos Party House; 96 Lafayette St. nr. Canal St.; 212-613-6255.
"A little bit old-school, like the Roxy grew up," says Brian Moylan, editor of Next, a weekly gay party rag. "House music, fairly diverse, twinks and muscle boys."
Queers, Beers & Rears
Cake Shop; 152 Ludlow nr. Rivington; myspace.com/qxbxrx
Monthly queerboy punk-rock party at Lower East Side hipster shrine Cake Shop, maintaining the boys-and-girls-together tradition of defunct nineties party Squeezebox. "Hipster gays come in from Brooklyn," says Moylan. "Skinny scarves, V-neck T-shirts, tight jeans." Typically first Saturday of the month. www.qxbxrx.typepad.com
The Delancey; 168 Delancey nr. Clinton St.; snapshotnyc.com
Well-established Tuesday-night lesbian party draws crowd with "a rocker edge," says one regular. "There's definitely a higher tattoo quotient than at a lot of places."
29 Second Ave. nr. 2nd St.; thecockbar.com
Late-night dive with great D.J.'s, trashy go-go boys, and ample debauchery moved here after a notorious seven-year run (1998-2005) on Avenue A and 12th St. "Lives up to its legend," says Peter Hemmel of gay party guide HX. "The place to take out-of-town guests, where you never know what's gonna happen." "Don't go before 2 a.m.," says Moylan, "because it's not worth it." (On same block as the glossier gay bars DTox and the Urge, making this the closest the E.V. has to a gay strip.)
225 Ave B nr. 13th St.; thehosenyc.com
Spiritual heir to the Cock—boys and men on the bearded, art-y, bear-y side—with a newish, instantly infamous Wednesday-night party, Le Raunch. Swooning speculation continues over the sexual orientation of Geoff, the friendly, shirtless, mustachioed bartender/apparition from a seventies-porn fever dream.
447 East 13th St. at Ave A; 212-477-9979
Flaming-red-brick exterior encases popular, down-to-earth gay pub with cheap draft beer, pool table, and a juke that, on any given night, will spout early Madonna, MGMT, Morrissey, and the Supremes. Wednesday nights packed with a young, arty, brainy lit-type crowd. Where fashion-y bears meet working stiffs.
Beige at B Bar
40 East 4th St. at Bowery; 212-254-7536
Fourteen years in, the Tuesday-night B Bar bash is still the weekly court gathering of gay New York's pose-y, under-40 fashion/media/finance axis. Always sprinkled with major and minor stars, recently including (and according to its promoter Erich Conrad) Rupert Everett, Calvin Klein, Steven Klein, Katy Perry, and Lady GaGa.
86 E. 4th St., nr. Second Ave.
Nineties grunge redoubt of Hole fanatics enjoying renaissance thanks to cheap, strong drinks and eclectic killer jukebox. Painfully edgy Butt magazine has thrown parties here.
322 E. 14th nr. Second Ave; 212-477-4744
No-frills subterranean pub popular with boys and girls.
The Stonewall Inn
53 Christopher St. at Seventh Ave. S.; 212-488-2705
After closing three months after the 1969 Stonewall uprising, this site housed various businesses until it was reopened in the nineties as a gay bar under its old name, then closed and reopened again in recent years. Hosts the popular "Stonewall Sensation" singing competition on Wednesdays. The last Thursday of the month features Jell-O shots and women's Jell-O wrestling, and Fridays is another girl party, Lesbo-A-Go-Go.
Wednesdays at Country Club, 248 W. 14th St. nr. Eighth Ave.
Super-hot high-femme weekly lesbian party, two years running. The Top Chef girls, like Josie Smith-Malave, hang out here. Won lesbian mag GO's "Sexiest Vibe" award in '08. "It's sweaty in all the right ways," says editor and publisher Amy Lesser. "A babefest."
The Cubby Hole
281 W. 12th St. at W. 4th St; 212-243-9041; cubbyholebar.com
Super-friendly corner lesbian bar with digital (read: anything you want!) jukebox and tons of weird toys and stuff hanging from the ceiling. "You'll see every type of dyke," says a regular, "from mullet-wearing, fanny-pack Birkenstockers to the ultrachic to the rockers." Also loved by gayboys and straight folks; recent sightings include James Gandolfini and his wife, says a bartender.
438 Hudson St., at Morton St.; 212-924-3347; henriettahudson.com
Longtime lady-bar offers "Lesbian Stimulus Package" happy hour every weeknight 4 to 7 p.m., weekends 2 to 5 p.m. "It's dyke central," says GO's Lesser. But another lady-about-town calls it "cheesy, bridge-and-tunnel. You can be a dyke and have cute style. Why haven't you bothered to change your mom pants and why are you wearing your keys on your belt?"