By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Oh, my God. I hope not. But Sugarland was completely empty on all sides, and now there’s three buildings that have gone up. You’re watching the development and gentrification of that neighborhood.Do the neighbors complain about noise?
Some. And we’re working as a community to fix it. We don’t want to anger our neighbors. Eventually, people moving in is good for the neighborhood, but at the same time, we have to be able to bring you music and have people there.How has your family responded to your work? My family is incredible.
They’re very supportive people. My dad’s hairdresser growing up was a transsexual man, and my dad was heavily in the gay world, and my mom was a ballerina. I have really open parents.But how open are you? Would you ever venture into the dreaded world of bottle service?
I’ve done it, and it was awful. I know how much money they make. I get it, but I just don’t think I can do it.You feel like a whore?
I do. And I don’t like to work in straight bars for that reason. Much as I joke that people hit on me at Sugarland, it’s not like a meat market thing. We don’t allow bottle service at Sugarland.What do you hope to get out of all this?
I’m an artist, and I perform, and bartending has been an amazing platform. I also work at Metropolitan in Williamsburg, which is also a gay bar. My customers have definitely become supporters of my art and vice versa. I’ve met a lot of people I’ve collaborated with—you talk to them and end up doing a silly video or recording a song. That’s what I mostly get out of it—and it pays the rent.Your advice to a bartender starting out?
They definitely need to drink water. That’s the first thing. And don’t forget it’s a job. It’s definitely a marathon, not a sprint, and your body can only take so much. You’re working nights, and you’ve got to eat right and not firstname.lastname@example.org
This was a fun, breezy read. I plan to go to Sugarland before that area gets completely gentrified and the nightlife bulldozed.Hooray for Mary Jo!