A, C, E at 42nd St.-Port Authority Bus Terminal
Should anyone tell you that Hell's Kitchen is just a suburb of Chelsea (i.e., Hellsea), take 'em here: a fairly down-at-the-heels corner of the Theater district. No doubt about it, the bar formerly known as Cleo's has seen better years. On the wall facing the long, vinyl-topped bar are oil paintings by a local artist; above the bar and on the wall in back are mounted leather paraphernalia and various flags denoting the S&M branches of the gay community who are the main clientele. (What, you didn't know there was an S&M flag? It's black and blue, of course.) Whatever else they may be, the folks coming here are patient, since it can take a long time to get the bartender to stop by for your order. But for the local, over-30 crowd that makes up the regulars, this leisurely pace inevitably contributes to the bar's appealingly small-town feel.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.