A friend was in from L.A., so naturally I swept him on a gay nightlife tour spanning the East Side, HK, and Chelsea.
First stop: The Townhouse, which has always been uniquely fascinating because it’s a haven for really old men. But there weren’t enough of them! In fact, the median age was about 40! As the pianist poignantly tinkled some show tune in the background, I seriously wondered if the old coots had transitioned and new oldies aren’t rising up to take their place at this verging-on-obsolete landmark (a former hustler bar that’s now pretty much sans hustlers since they’re all online, so it’s currently filled with guys at the midway mark). No hos and no geezers? Weird.
Across the street is the formerly comfortable Evolve, which I used to go to a lot and which people have begging me to come back to. But the doorman wouldn’t comp me! He simply didn’t give a shit that I was press and kept demanding 10 dollars. The sound of “10, dollars, 10 dollars, 10 dollars” keeps pounding in my head like a siren. I kept demanding that I leave. Bad move, Evolve. You need to, you know, evolve.
Way more welcoming, Industry Bar on West 52nd was really fun because a thin and spunky performer named Marti Gould Cummings (above) was onstage in semi-drag, belting out Broadway tunes with brio, and the crowd was upbeat and a tiny bit tipsy. At one point, Marti ran from the stage to the bar, standing atop it as he performed. “Why are you darting your head around? Did you see something you like?” asked a tall, handsome guy near me. “Um, the performer just ran to the bar,” I replied. “He did?” said the guy. “I’ve had a few drinks.”
Then came Barracuda, which felt a little skanky, the same owners’ Industry Bar ironically showing it up and making it seem like a bastard sibling. A drag queen named Tina something-or-other looked right through me for the second time–either she hates old people, has no class, or maybe she’s connected with Evolve–but Dallas Dubois was all dolled up and did a lovely dance, despite the lack of air conditioning. And it was nice to catch up with Mark the ballet dancer/model and Gus the regular.
And finally, G Lounge was cute and ethnically mixed, and at one point a guy ran up to me and gushed, “You look like Michael Musto!” Hmm. I wonder why that is.
By the way, I started the night with a press dinner at Chote Nawab, an Indian restaurant on E. 28th Street, where the fish in green sauce wrapped in banana leaves was exquisitely seductive. It basically fueled my whole night of kooky carousing!