Clubplanet's Guide to Gay Pride Weekend

Clubplanet's Guide to Gay Pride Weekend

by Tom Blunt
06.26.2008

 

Pride, like all deadly sins, sneaks up on you.  If you're like me, then while a valiant few have been laboring year-round to organize events meant to inspire, commemorate, tempt, and flat-out provoke, you've been obliviously passing the warm weekends in an early summer stupor. But now that the big weekend is practically under your nose, you're totally at a loss.

If you were caught unawares by this year's flurry of GLBT mega-events, the choices out there can seem a little overwhelming, especially since many of them expect you to purchase tickets in advance.  Worry not: the night before still counts as "in advance" last time I checked-- so unless you have a serious commitment issues, there's still time to place your money where it's going to take you the furthest.  And of course, the biggest spectacles, such as the parade itself, won't cost you a dime if you play your cards right.  So if your neighborhood bar feels played out or you can't trust your friends to know where the off-the-radar fun is happening, here's a list of the bright spots that will be rocking the city this weekend. 

SATURDAY

Florent
Florent Diner
69 Gansevoort St, 24 hours

The legendary Meat Packing District destination Florent is closing its doors this month after over 20 years of 24-hour freewheeling gentrification, and they're going out with a roar.  Make your reservations now for the restaurant's closing party on Saturday the 28th, and chow down on moules frites and crème caramel while taking in performances by Joey Arias, Murray Hill, and more.
Click for event listing.

Virgin Pridefest
Virgin Megastore
52 E 14th St, 12pm – 6pm

The swarm around the Virgin Megastore will be crazier than usual—Virgin Pridefest will turn the joint inside out, putting you within autograph range of some of your favorite porn stars, DJ's, and performing artists, restraining-order be damned.  There will be dancing, giveaways, and all-out consumer chaos from noon to 6 PM.
Click for event listing.

Blowoff Party
Highline Ballroom
431 W 16th St, 11am - 4am

If you missed the Folsom Street Fair and are still searching for the daddy of your dreams, check out the West side's brand new Highline Ballroom, home of this year's big Blowoff party—after wearing yourself out among the butcher-than-thou crowd, you can order a CD of the playlist from their website.
Click for event listing.

Politics and Pride BBQ
Cattyshack
249 4th Ave, Park Slope, 1pm - 4pm

If a more relaxed (and less oppressively crowded) afternoon is your goal, head to Cattyshack in Park Slope for a special Politics and Pride BBQ honoring City Council candidate Bob Zuckerman.  The event, hosted by Assembly members Deborah Glick and Daniel O'Donnell, will be cooking from 1 to 4 PM.  And then conveniently enough, you'll already have a head-start on the evening at one of the best lesbian nightspots when festivities wrap.
Click for event listing.

Documentary Screening
SAGE Center
208 W 13th St, 6pm – 9pm

Get yourself in an appreciative state of mind before everything comes unglued: SAGE presents an evening devoted to the Stonewall riots with From the Shadows to the Sunlight: The First Year of Gay Liberation, from 6-9 PM at The Center.  A screening of rare footage from the birth of the Gay Rights movement and a panel discussion featuring original participants in that struggle will be an excellent reality check before the the weekend disintegrates into feathers and fetish-gear.
Click for event listing.

Rapture on the River
Pier 54
West St and 13th St, 6pm – 11pm

Saturday night the ladies will be taking over Pier 54 and warming it up for its post-parade traffic jam.  Rapture on the River is the predominant annual dance party for women, featuring music by DJ Susan Levine. Click here for more info.
Click for event listing.


SUNDAY

Masked Ball
Webster Hall
125 E 11th St, 10pm – 4am

A throwback to more classical debauchery will take place at Webster Hall on Sunday when XXL throws a Masked Ball.  Get your tickets in advance, dust off the sexy headgear that you otherwise wouldn't get a chance to wear until October, and explore the Hall's multilevel catacombs in search of the mysterious masked man of your dreams. Click here for more info.
Clicked for event listing.

The Parade
From 5th Ave. & 52nd St. to Christopher & Greenwich St.
Noon – End

The main event that people will either be flocking to or from, of course, is Heritage of Pride's great March itself, with grannies, go-go boys and glamour queens galloping from 5th and 52nd all the way to the West Village.  There will be a moment of silence at 2 PM.  Remember your sunblock, your sense of humor, and your manners—hundreds of thousands will line NYC's narrow sidewalks, but it's one of the friendliest mobs that will ever mow you down.  Click here for more info

Street Fair
Hudson St between Abingdon Sq. & West 14th St
Need an emergency shish-ka-bob or a fresh pair of sunglasses? Cool those marching heels at HoP's Pridefest street fair, a whole-family event that brings together local businesses and performers for a microcosm of the larger Pride universe—an excellent opportunity to combine people-watching and shopping.
 
Dance on the Pier
Pier 54
West St and 13th St, 4pm – 10:30pm

No matter where you end up in the wee hours, you don't want to miss the official close of ceremonies; the open-air blowout at Pier 54 overlooking the Hudson never fails to re

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