West Village Pride: Plan the Perfect Pride Weekend in NYCBy David Farley
In the very early hours of June 28, 1969, a small legion of New York City police officers raided the popular West Village gay bar the Stonewall Inn. The Stonewall and many other gay bars in New York City (and the rest of the country) had been raided frequently before. But this time would be different. Patrons and local residents fought back, and the uprising that ensued lasted for three days.
And thus, for many, these events mark the the emergence of the modern gay rights movement. Soon, awareness of LGBTQ rights began to chip away at long-standing discriminatory attitudes and policies in the nation. While equal rights is not yet a reality throughout America, the sparks born during the Stonewall uprising helped culminate in the June 26, 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality protected by the United States Constitution.
Not long afterwards, the Stonewall Inn, where it all started, was declared a National Historic Landmark.
Which is why it’s never been a better time to celebrate Gay Pride. And this year, New York is the best city on the planet in which to do so. Officially called World Pride NYC, the annual street party and parade attracts tens of thousands. And those are just the people who march.
Thousands and thousands more descend upon the route, especially in the West Village — the unofficial epicenter of the festivities — to cheer on the parade and partake in the glorious revelry of it all.
So this year, don’t miss the street soiree at the end of June. Here’s a short but important list of Pride-friendly places that should not be missed.
Anchored on the corner of Christopher Street and Seventh Avenue, The Duplex is a gay institution. Since 1950, this bilevel piano bar has been shaking up martinis for its show-tunes-belting regulars and putting on cabaret and other campy performances, including live jazz and drag shows.
The preferred West Village bar for women who like women is Henrietta Hudson. Cubbyhole, the other neighborhood bar that attracts lesbians, is also a common drinking spot for gay men and fun-loving couples. But if you want a bar just for the ladies, Henrietta Hudson is your place. Located on Hudson Street, just a few blocks from the river of the same name (Get it? “Henrietta Hudson”), this Sapphic spot serves up some strong cocktails and fun times.
This West Village gay bar, often filled with men of the more mature variety, claims to be “one of the oldest gay bars in the Village.” First pouring beers in 1864, the bar started attracting gays in the 1950s. Today, Julius’ is packed nightly with regulars from near and far who come to sip drinks, chat and graze on the bar’s better-than-average burger.
LGBT Community Center
A welcoming home for the LGBT community since 1983, this community center is a multi-resource spot. It also puts on fun events, such as talks, readings, plays and film screenings. Check the website calendar to see what’s on when you’re in the West Village next. And be sure to stop by the connected cultural center and bookshop, The Bureau of General Services — Queer Division.
This Christopher Street bar is a riot seven days per week. Home to almost nightly drag-queen shows, as well as campy karaoke nights, Pieces also does a bibulous Liquid Brunch on weekend afternoons, offering dangerously cheap (and potent) cocktails until 8 p.m.