By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
If Halloween is Gay Christmas, then I guess Pride is, like, Gay Mardi Gras, right? The parade, the tourists, the hot drunk boys spilling onto the streets and out of their adorably ironic underoosit all makes sense now! But this party's so gras it needs more than just mardi. There are enough festivities to keep a homo happy jeudi through dimanche.
Kick things off Thursday night like the natives do, with one of NYC's hottest weekly queer parties. James Coppola and his Unitard cohorts are gonna get you soaking wet as Unisex Salon [The Delancey, 168 Delancey Street, 212-254-9920, 10 p.m., $10] celebrates "The Pride Aquatic." The Corrosive Mother, Acid Betty, emcees the 1 a.m. show starring naughty mermaids and mermen, before turning it over to legendary DJ Johnny Dynell. And if that's not enough, the all-night open vodka bar will definitely have you shaking your tail flipper.
For something decidedly dirtier, try Daniel Nardicio's Evening Service at the Cock [29 Second Avenue, 212-777-6254, 10 p.m., $20]. New York's king of queer sleaze brings you a tribute to every faggot's worst foe: the religious zealot. Father McTigger serves some burlesque blasphemy, while go-go altar boys shake it to the spiritual sounds of DJs Scott Ewalt and Aaron Elvis. Expect more temptation than even Ted Haggard could handle.
Friday night, the fellas will be in full force for Men Are From Mars' Showcase: Pride @ Webster Hall [125 East 11th Street, 212-714-4519, 11 p.m., $20 ? ?$25], a night of booty bumping for gay men of color and their admirers. Get your groove on across three distinct dance floors, with DJ Unknown spinning hip-hop, r&b, and reggae, Fred Pierce and DJ Sedrick pumping out house and classics, and Vijuan Allure delivering beats in the Runway Room.
If Saturday finds you a little worse for wear, never fear, a battalion of caped crusaders is just the thing to save your nightlife. Superheroes takes over Offer Nissim and Peter Rauhofer's Work party at Stereo [555 West 33rd Street, 212-947-0400, 10 p.m., $30$80] for a night of masked mayhem, heroic homos, and so much spandex-clad muscle you'll think you're at the local comic shop. Meanwhile, a few blocks south, one of the city's most influential gay DJs is gonna be tearing it up at one of the city's most influential gay clubs before the city tears it down next month. Junior Vasquez and Co. take you back a decade to celebrate 10 Years of Arena [515 West 18th Street, 212-645-5156,11 p.m., $55$65]. Get one last look at this infamous spacewhatever you do, don't call it the Roxy!as you relive Junior's days at Palladium with special guests South Beach queens Power Infinity and Kitty Meow in a tribute to Kevin Aviance. Rumor has it a certain big-boobied blonde is slated to make an appearance (hint: It ain't Amanda Lepore, but they could be islands in the same stream).
Sunday is all about the parade, but with no Pride Fest street fair to follow it up this year, what's a party boy to do with his day? DJ Adam, Steve Sidewalk, and their crew have got you covered. Spend the day at a super-extended Pride edition of their weekly Hot Mess [Porky's, 55 West 21st Street, 212-675-8007, 5 p.m., $5]. Your first drink is on the house, along with a free buffet 'til 7 p.m. So kick back, enjoy the beer bongs, beer pong, and scandalous go-go boys while Rainblo and Ladyfag entertain. Later on, Betty, Epiphany, Logan, and the rest of the House of Acid take over for a night of pop, rock, electro, and, of course, Jello and Super Soaker shots to get you hot and messy.
Of course, the purists wouldn't be caught dead anywhere Sunday night without first making an appearance at the one and only Dance 21: The Dance on the Pier [Pier 54 in Hudson River Park, 13th Street and Hudson River, 4 p.m., $45$150]. Breathe in the salty Hudson air, cast a condescending glance to Jersey, and bask in the glare of the secret celebrity guest performers. Ain't that what Pride's all about?