The Queer Issue: A Nightlife Guide for Dykes

Not that we didn't love The L Word, but New York girls have reclaimed their rightful place as the center of the lesbian universe. You won't find West Hollywood's clueless starlets or faux futches on our dance floors. No, girlfriend, what you get here is full-on dyke realness. With girly Pride events quadrupling this year, you'll have to work at not getting some girl-on-girl action with this city's diverse array of Sapphic sistahs.

True, most of the city's queer clubs are usually crawling with gayboys. But even Heather's two mommies will venture out this weekend. "Pride is a little bit like New Year's," says Chris, a self-described homebody spotted recently at Metropolitan [559 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, 718-599-4444]. "There are so many parties going on, it's a little overwhelming. I always joke at the end of it that I don't want to see another queer until next year."

Start your partying on Friday with LaReiNas Entertainment's moonlit 'Ride the Rainbow' [June 26, from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., the Cabana, Skyport Marina, East 23rd Street at FDR Drive], a docked-boat party popular with the tristate Latina crowd. While you're checking it out on myspace.com/lareinasmixx, look for LaReiNas' 'Girlcode' on June 27 in Astoria or 'MiXX' at Honey on Sunday. Women of color love 'LovergirlNYC' [June 26, from 10:30 p.m. to 4 a.m., $25–$50], which sets up shop at Pier 59 for Pride Kickoff 2009. (Lovergirl also hosts a 'White Party' at (le) poisson rouge on June 27, and a 'Pride Finale' at Shadow on June 28. Check lovergirlnyc.com for details.)

The night before the March is the big (big!) dance, 'Rapture on the River' [June 27, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Pier 54, 13th Street at the West Side Highway, 800-494-8497, $25–$45], Heritage of Pride's official women's event. DJ Susan Levine spins, while you watch the sun set over the Hudson River with a few thousand new friends. A few piers away, revelers keep the party going at 'Pier Pressure' [June 27, at 9 p.m., Pier 59, 18th Street at the West Side Highway, 800-494-8497, $25–$30], which stakes its claim as the "most erotic." More than 2,000 women will be dancing to the tunes of DJs Kim Dazy, Stacy, and Sandman in a 12,000-square-foot waterfront venue. After the big March, get in line at Village mainstays like Henrietta Hudson [438 Hudson Street, 212-924-3347, henriettahudson.com] and Cubby Hole [281 West 12th Street, 212-243-9041, cubbyholebar.com], which draw covens of women for refreshments after the long walk down Fifth. If there's an upside to the endless wait for refreshment, it's the fact that on Pride Sunday, the spillover crowd creates an impromptu street fair—with curbside quaffing.

Femme fatales take over the cabanas at the Maritime Hotel for 'Stiletto' [June 28, from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., 363 West 16th Street at Ninth Avenue], a glam poolside lesbian brunch hosted by Maggie C, who is also the promoter of lipstick lezzie fave Eden on Wednesdays [check myspace.com/edenevents for more info]. Find professional femmes frolicking at Shescape's 'Pride Weekend Explosion' [June 26, at 10 p.m., Apple, 17 Waverly Place between Mercer and Greene streets, shescape.com, $20].

The best roof in town is at Snapshot's annual 'Proud As F*ck Blow Out' [June 28, at 6 p.m., 168 Delancey Street between Clinton and Attorney streets, snapshotnyc.com, $10–$15]. The ultimate hipster/rocker/dyke/gender-queer/trannie party features six DJs and welcomes more than 1,200 asymmetrically coiffed hotties. You'll also find alternaqueers at the 'Gaysha's Choice Cunts Race to Brooklyn' [June 27, at 9 p.m., Kalli Lounge, 160 North 4th Street between Bedford & Driggs, Williamsburg, choiceinbrooklyn@gmail.com, $10–$15], Dee Finley's old-school edgy art bash 'X-Party' [June 27, Collective Hardware, 169 Bowery, $10], Trent and DJ Tikka Masala's trans-pride installment of 'That's My Jam' [June 26, from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., Sputnik, 262 Taaffe Place, 718-398-6666, $10], and 'Banned!' [June 26, at 10 p.m., Outpost Lounge, 1014 Fulton Street, 718-636-1260, $3]. Their punk-rock striptease is hot, but the kink gets turned up a notch at woman/trans s/m sex party 'Submit' [June 27, call for location, 718-789-4053, submitparty.com, $15–$20].

It's worth a subway ride anytime to Park Slope pub Ginger's [363 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, 718-788-0924, gingersbar.com] for its garden. But make it a point to stop by on Saturday, June 27, post–Dyke March, for a fundraiser after-party, or on Sunday, June 28, for a free backyard BBQ. Back in Manhattan, the crowd is at least as eclectic and the good vibes as plentiful at East Village fixture 'Starlette' [June 28, from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., Angels & Kings, 500 East 11th Street, starlettesunday.com, free].

By no means should you overlook the Stonewall Inn [53 Christopher Street, 212-488-2705, thestonewallinnnyc.com]. On Friday, June 26, join DJ Stacy for the weekly Lesbo-a-Go-Go, which will, no doubt, draw a fair share of worldwide lezzie tourists around now. If not for the riots here 40 years ago, there'd be no Pride at all. You'd probably be cocooning with your girlfriend in front of the tube—great during any other weekend, sure, but if you think that's the way to celebrate Pride, you've really got to get out more.

 
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