Guide to the Brooklyn Gay Scene

Guide to the Brooklyn Gay Scene

by Tom Blunt
05.19.2008

 

In a city where dwellers inhale pollution and exhale complaint, it’s hard to take criticism of New York’s gay nightlife too seriously. But for years the dirge has continued to play, and it’s only a matter of time before mourners wear official black armbands—on  the left side for dominant and the right for submissive, naturally—to denote their longing for a wilder time.  This dearth of proper playgrounds has lonely Manhattanites attempting the unthinkable: a commute to Brooklyn after dark, on a weeknight if necessary. The L train runs both ways, and with the East Village just a stop or two away, Williamsburg has steadily developed its own gay nightlife beyond the Lorimer stop’s gay flagship, Metropolitan. Now, however, a constantly-blinking constellation of options pulls the boys into Brooklyn, reversing the tides and rewarding more intrepid voyagers with a fresh crop of old standbys—but knowing exactly where and when you’re going will make or break your night. Better do your homework.


Studio B
259 Banker St

Fear not, this is the furthest you are liable to go on foot.  Studio B offers possibly the biggest and best dancing opportunity for miles, which explains the thoroughly diverse crowd and the strange lions-caged-with-lambs sexual vibe. Greenpoint’s young Polish population mingles with hordes of unapologetic scenesters and dance-hungry gay dudes.  But the club opens only for special shows and events, so if you don’t check their calendar you may stumble all the way there only to find their trapezoidal entrance shuttered and locked.
Click for more info on Studio B.


Sugarland
211 N 9th St

If a just-us-boys atmosphere is more your speed, then you’ll probably want to spend your Wednesday nights at Sugarland for a while.  A safe enough bet on the weekends, the former home of Capone’s has lamentably lost its “free pizza” policy, but a quick de-pantsing will earn you a free drink and the appraisal of your fellow revelers.  Attempts by most Manhattan nightspots to revive a bygone era are limited to hiring a few broke grad students to shuffle around on the bar in their man-panties, and while Sugarland doesn’t veer far from this tradition, the cheap drinks and isolated location add a Lynchian thrill to justify the commute to Bedford Ave. Besides, everything seems dirtier when you do it in Brooklyn.
Click for more info on Sugarland.


Union Pool
484 Union Ave

Do yourself a favor: look up Milksop Adventure on Myspace and add them as a friend, lest you risk missing out on the best every-now-and-then gay dance party in the neighborhood, in which Union Pool is temporarily wrested out of the hands of its shoe-gazing hetero crowd and delivered unto a grateful throng of hedonistic homos. 
Click for more info on Union Pool.



The Abbey
536 Driggs Ave

I’ve heard campfire stories of a gay scene building at The Abbey for five years now, but I’ve yet too see photographic evidence.  If you have any, please forward.
Click for more info on The Abbey.

 


McCarren Park
Lorimer St btn Driggs and Bayard

In the daytime, the park functions as the neighborhood’s unofficial outdoor gay bar; if you feel silly hauling a blanket and a Frisbee all the way from Manhattan, remember that if the cruising goes well, you can always conveniently forget them at his place—a built-in excuse for more Brooklyn wayfaring.
Click for more info on McCarren Park

 


Metropolitan 
559 Lorimer

Until reports about the Abbey can be substantiated, the venerable Metropolitan will continue to reign as the only perfectly reliable watering-hole should all else fail, with rarely a slow night or dull moment (if it looks empty when you arrive, check the back patio: it’s usually floating in an swath of second-hand smoke). 
Click for more info on Metropolitan.

 


Finally, a warning from a local who cares:

Know where you’re going before you leave, and travel safely, dammit.  It doesn’t get more vanilla than the corner of Bedford and North 7th, but once you leave the main drag the streets are poorly lit and quasi-industrial, with only light foot-traffic.  Williamsburg’s boom in affluence hasn’t outstripped its geographical remoteness, and it’s easy to wind up somewhere where you can’t find help or even a cab if you need it.  Having personally escorted poor (drunk) lost lambs out of the recesses of my neighborhood and into the safety and thumping bass of their destinations, let me assure you that this neighborhood may hold the key to resurrecting New York City’s self-image as a gay destination any night of the week, but doesn’t suffer fools any more gladly than the Meat-Packing District in its heyday.  Get a map, get a drink, get a boyfriend—in that order.


 

follow Clubplanet @  
More About Nightlife
Click here for RSS feed
2 Weeks to Voodoo: NOLA Food Experience!
Start your Voodoo weekend early with the Krewe of BOO! Halloween Parade & Afterparty! Known to...
Clubplanet Radio Episode 040 incl Curses Guestmix
CPR is back for another kickoff to your weekend! As you can see we have given the look of CPR an...
Music for the Masses
A roundup of great vocal house, progressive, deep, and electro for the weekend. Dillon...
Clubplanet Radio Episode 039 incl Richie Santana Guestmix
Fall is in full swing and #CPR is here to fuel your weekend! Today we present Episode 39 and we...
Don't Be Surprised If You See David Bowie On Bleecker St. Sunday
Calling all Rebels...BowieBall 2014 is here!  Not sure what the hell we are...
The ClubPlanet Interview: Armand Pena
Armand Pena is a chameleon.  From Rhythm Freak to Beta Rebels, you never really know what...
Eats&Beats | Introducing Holden & Astor
Located at the heart of Meatpacking District, our Eats & Beats Editor had a chance to wine...
Calvin Harris Announces Motion Lineup
Grammy-award winning Calvin Harris announced the lineup for his upcoming fourth album 'Motion"...
Tags
brooklyn     clubs     gay     nightlife     nightout

Log in here to submit a tag

CP Buzz on facebook

Glorifying Violence: CeCe - Dead to Me Video Sends Bad Messsage
CeCe - "Dead 2 Me" - [WHITE ELEPHANT] Don’t you hate it when a horrible video...
Music for the Masses
A roundup of great vocal house, progressive, deep, and electro for the weekend. Dillon...
Don't Be Surprised If You See David Bowie On Bleecker St. Sunday
Calling all Rebels...BowieBall 2014 is here!  Not sure what the hell we are...
The ClubPlanet Interview: Armand Pena
Armand Pena is a chameleon.  From Rhythm Freak to Beta Rebels, you never really know what...
Calvin Harris Announces Motion Lineup
Grammy-award winning Calvin Harris announced the lineup for his upcoming fourth album 'Motion"...
The ClubPlanet Interview: Armand Pena
Armand Pena is a chameleon.  From Rhythm Freak to Beta Rebels, you never really know what...
The ClubPlanet Interview: Basement Jaxx
Life is a circle and everything revolves around love. Basement Jaxx, the duo of Felix Buxton and...
The ClubPlanet Interview: Plastik Funk
Coming from the world of hip-hop, Plastik Funk, the duo of Rafael Ximenez-Carrillo and Mikio...
The ClubPlanet Interview: Steve Angello
What do you do after the breakup of the Swedish House Mafia? If you are DJ/producer Steve Angello,...
ClubPlanet Interview: ADRIAN LUX
Prinz Adrian Johannes Hynne, better known as Adrian Lux, is one of the many talented swedish DJs...