Tag Archives: LGBTQ

Immersing Yourself in the Rich History of Greenwich Village

Curiosities City Secrets Greenwich Village 1900 Wiki Commons

Among New York City’s many fascinating sites, Greenwich Village is arguably the most storied. Come immerse yourself in the rich history of Greenwich Village!

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Greenwich Village’s Sixth Avenue. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

Among New York City’s many fascinating sites, Greenwich Village is arguably the most storied. Albeit usually remembered as a haven for artists, its historic roots actually run deeper. Before it was anything else, Greenwich Village in the 1630’s was a marshland where Dutch settlers fed their livestock. It was initially developed into a village separate from New York City.

Curiosities City Secrets Greenwich Village 1900 Wiki Commons
Greenwich Village, 1900. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

But as the urban sprawl consumed the area, Greenwich Village took on a new identity in 1857 at the founding of the Tenth Street Studio Building. It housed the first architecture school in the US and attracted artists from all over the world.

It was also the place where the so-called “bohemian” movement began, a subculture which was described in an 1858 article on The New York Times as “either an artist or an author, whose special aversion is work, and whose ambition is to excel in some particular walk.” The Village’s affinity to bohemians of all sorts has since defined its identity.

Curiosities City Secrets The Albert Hotel Wiki Commons
The Albert Hotel. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

Decades later, the Hotel Albert opened in 1880 and attracted the best artists and writers of that particular time. A long list of creative people stayed here including Mark Twain, Anais Nin, Walt Whitman, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock.

In addition, the Village also saw the birth of American experimental theater pushed by Eugene O’Neil and Edna St. Vincent Millay, and it was integral in the transition of the global art capital from Paris to New York in the mid-20th century.

Various American art movements including Abstract Expressionism, emerged out of the Village.

Curiosities City Secrets Stonewall Inn NY 2008 Wiki Commons
The Stonewall Inn. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

The Village has significant contributions to music and self-expression, too. It’s the place where the first desegregated nightclub in the country, Cafe Society, was built. The venue dedicated itself to the cutting-edge music of its time, bebop jazz. Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and other jazz giants graced it with their presence during its heyday.

The ferocious sound of bebop also lured the Beat Generation artists to the Village, with writers Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and others gaining the literary spotlight. In the 1960s, the Beats became an inspiration for different forms of counterculture. The progressive ideas of the Beats and the hippies informed the eventual rise of the LGBT movement and other civil rights groups. The LGBT movement found expression in the 1969 Stonewall Riot, which also happened in Greenwich Village.

Curiosities City Secrets Grace Church from the North
Grace Church. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Grace Church

Popular structures such as Grace Church and the Jefferson Market Library tower over the Village as reminders of the place’s creative tradition.

Another structure, The Westbeth, which was a former Bell Telephone Labs office, also became a popular residence for artists. It eventually housed the studios of choreographer Merce Cunningham, musical arranger Gil Evans, Robert De Niro Sr., and Vin Diesel.

Curiosities City Secrets Jefferson Market Library Greenwich Village NY Wiki Commons
Jefferson Market Library. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

While the Greenwich Village of today has none of the rustic and bohemian charm of its past, it remains one of the most renowned places in New York, thanks to the preservation of its iconic buildings.

Greenwich Village’s longevity can be attributed mainly to local laws that help maintain its historic buildings.

In fact, a section of the Village made up of more than 50 blocks has been established as part of a Historic District, thanks to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Development in this area follows very strict rules, such as the requirement to preserve a historic building’s main facade if it is to be renovated.

NYC also implements Local Law 11, which indirectly contributes to the Village’s preservation. Local Law 11 is explained by real estate expert James McGrath in an article on Yoreevo. He states that the law mandates regular facade inspections of buildings higher than six stories to ensure their structural integrity. Although it’s primary purpose is for safety, the law also helps ensure that old buildings in the city are maintained. The excellent condition of most structures in Greenwich Village is a good example of how a bustling metropolis should take care of its historic buildings.

Just knowing the history of Greenwich Village and the people who have called it home are enough reasons to give this neighborhood a visit. To explore other interesting places in the Big Apple, check out our previous post about Astoria, a commercial neighborhood in Queens.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

New York City For Girls That Like Girls

Nightlife Bars New York City For Girls That Like Girls Illustration Freepik

New York is definitely the best city for everyone, regardless of your race, color, sex, religious creed, origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, age, etc! Take a look at what a New York City for girls that like girls looks like!

Nightlife Bars New York City For Girls That Like Girls Couple Freepik

New York is one the best cities in the world to go out, right?

So, we decided to ask the help of our lovely friends Ashley Custer and Kristin Heckler, founder of Uprooted Flower Truck to give us a hand! Oh, we’ve written about them a while back, besides shooting a fantastic YouTube video.

They put together the best list of places in New York for girls that like girls, so check the out below!


#1 Ginger’s Bar

“Ginger’s Bar in Park Slope is the only lesbian bar in Brooklyn. They have Happy Hour every day and such a local, friendly feel. There is also Henrietta Hudson and Cubbyhole in Manhattan.”

Location: 363 5th Avenue

https://www.facebook.com/Gingersbar

#2 Dixon Place

“Dixon Place is a theater space that offers Queer Culture Celebration each July. It’s the longest running, annual LGBTQ festival in the world!”

Location: 161A Chrystie Street

http://dixonplace.org

#3 Misster

“Misster, at The Woods is a Lesbian LGBT dance party every Wednesday.”

Location: 48 South 4th Street

www.thewoodsbk.com

#4 PAT at Union Pool

“This is a monthly queer event in Brooklyn with a very open, fun environment! There are multiple DJs and it’s set in a former pool supply store.”

Location: 484 Union Avenue

www.union-pool.com

#5 Drom

“Hot Rabbit at Drom is a girl party every other Friday.”

Location: 85 Avenue A

www.dromnyc.com

#6 House of Yes

“This venue is recommended by some of our favorite freelancers! We’ve made custom crowns for their epic parties and plan to go for Ashley’s upcoming 30th birthday. We’ve heard SUCH great things about this queer friendly space.” Read more about House of Yes.

Location: 2 Wyckoff Avenue

https://houseofyes.org

Nightlife Bars House of Yes Party Night

#7 Marie’s Crisis

“It’s not exactly a queer space but the percentage is often high! Kristin loves coming here to sing along to her favorite Broadway tunes with live piano players.” Read more about Marie’s Crisis.

Location: 59 Grove Street

https://twitter.com/mariescrisis

#8 La Mama

“One of the classic East Village experimental theaters that’s been around for over 50 years. They often have queer content but their Squirts annual program features all queer performances.”

Location: 66 E 4th Street

http://lamama.org

#9 Bad Habit at Lot 45

“Bad Habit at Lot 45 Bushwick is on Saturdays, once a month. It’s an LGBT Dance Party!”

Location: 411 Troutman Street

www.lot45bushwick.com

#10 NYC Dyke Bar Takeover

“Dyke Bar Takeover hosts countless events all over the city at different days and times. As they explain – a group of artists and activists dedicated to creating and supporting Queer space for self-identified womyn https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Womyn-born_womyn, transgender and non-binary people of all races.”

Facebook

#11 GO Magazine

“GO Magazine is based in NYC and writes about all things lesbian. We love their lez (a.k.a. lesbian) perspective when it comes to everything from health to motherhood to culture. I’m proud to have them represent our community!”

http://gomag.com

#12 Dancing with Her

“Not an NYC business but a new major crush for Uprooted. The magazine focuses on modern lesbian weddings exclusively and we love their Instagram! We are getting married in October and love seeing this representation in the wedding market. Plus, it’s run by a lesbian couple as well.”

https://dancingwithher.com


Thank you Ashley and Kristin for the great tips and we wish you, in advance, all the love in your upcoming marriage!

We will soon post about Boys That Like Boys, so stay tuned!!!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of House of Yes, Heart image created by Freepik, Background vector created by Vectorpocket – Freepik.com

Best Nude Beaches In New York And Around

Day Trips and Travels Nude Beaches in New York Gunnison NJ Dock Area

I had never been to nude beaches in New York before, or anywhere else actually, but I have to say that I was always curious to see what it would be like. I mean, I think many people also have this curiosity but, like me, never really had the guts to go.

Day Trips and Travels Nude Beaches in New York Gunnison NJ

Thankfully I have a great group of friends that planned a special Sunday for us this past weekend! The weather was perfect, the sky was as blue as it could get and I decided to give it a go!

Result: I loved it and can’t wait to explore another nude beach!

So, I decided to write this post to share my experience, tell you about prepping for the day, share some do’s and don’ts, and list you a few places to go in New York and around!

We actually went to a beach called Gunnison Beach, in Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Gunnison is known for being the only legal nude beach in the State, plus it’s a LGBTQ friendly spot too. It’s known as one of the oldest and best nude beaches on the East Coast to go to.

The gay-friendly section of the beach is mostly near the parking lot, but you can see families and straight people enjoying the day too. One of the cool things at the beach is that even though it is encouraged to just go full on naked, it’s optional.

So, if it’s your first time explore nude beaches in New York, like it was mine, you can go at your own pace and comfort. I actually just decided to get in the mood, after 5minutes I was there…

It’s like a cold lake. Better to just jump straight in, instead of putting first your feet to get used to the water. You might never get in…Hahaha!

Every single person at the beach is extremely respectful, no one is making fun, or talking or even stopping to look at other people. They are just enjoying the day, chatting with friends, sunbathing and refreshing in the ocean.

I didn’t see any sign that said “No Cameras”, but I do think it’s implicit that no one should be taking pictures or recording anything, right? My recommendations is to just forget about your phone and enjoy your time there.

The sensation? It’s actually extremely liberating! You just feel free and in peace with yourself and your body. Everyone there is beautiful the way they are and no one is there to judge.

How to get there?

Day Trips and Travels Nude Beaches in New York Gunnison NJ Pier 11I left from Manhattan, so the best way was to head to Pier 11, near Wall Street and get the Seastreak Ferry to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. My recommendation would be to purchase the round-trip ticket, since I didn’t really see where you could buy tickets at Sandy Hook back to Manhattan.

Ticket prices are a bit steep and a round ticket costs $46 per person, but I do recommend the experience. Steeper prices also mean a more controlled crowd.

We left on the 11am ferry and in 30 minutes we were at Sandy Hook. Arriving there you’ll see, by the docking area, some friendly Rangers guiding you to the yellow school buses that will take you to the beaches. We dropped off at the 1st stop, Gunnison Beach, but there is another stop called North Beach.

Arriving at Gunnison, you’ll walk through a nice wooden path that will lead you to the beach. It’s maybe a 10min walk from there, to where you’ll probably settle in.

Oh! Do use the bathroom, before getting to the beach, since it not that close, sand is hot and fluffy, so it’s not that fast to walk through when you’re super tight.

If you go by car from Manhattan, you might take up to 2h, so the ferry is definitely easier. But, if you decide to go by car, if I’m not mistaken, parking it $10 a car/day.

How to Prep?

Day Trips and Travels Nude Beaches in New York Gunnison NJ Dock AreaGunnison doesn’t really have good food options. There is only a small food truck that sells some snacks and refreshments, but to spend a full day, it’s not really a great place to depend on.

We had been to the market the day before and we bought things to prepare a couple of sandwiches for lunch and we also bought fruits, snacks like blue corn tortilla chips, hummus, nuts, a few sweets and some water bottles. It was all inside these thermal carrying bags.

Guys! Do hydrate during the day! Even though there is an amazing constant breeze you might not notice, but you are dehydrating there.

We took 2 big portable sun umbrellas for our group of 7 people and it was just perfect.

Also, no need to say, but yes, take sunscreen and keep reapplying through out the day, plus a hat and some cool shades. You WILL burn…

And lastly, we took towels to lay on, just to be more comfortable.

A few Rules & Etiquette Tips for the 1st Timers:

Day Trips and Travels Nude Beaches in New York Gunnison NJ Path To Beach

So, these are just a few of my own thoughts, ok? Feel free to comment below with more that I might have forgotten!

1. Respect each and every single person around you. They are there to have fun too!

2. Don’t EVER stare. I mean, come on, we’re there to have fun and not to check people out, make fun and point at strangers.

3. A nude beach is NOT a place to pick up dates or hit on people. It’s a beach like every other beach, not an eye candy spot. Stay with your group, unless you’re invited otherwise to join someone else.

4. Don’t EVER film or take pictures. If you do decide to take a quick selfie, be 1000000% sure no one is appearing in the back of your picture. But, as I mentioned, better to just enjoy your time there and forget your phone for once.

5. Be sure to see WHERE you are allowed to strip down! Not every public space at the beach is a spot to go naked. Ex: People are dressed at the restroom area at Gunnison, so put your clothes on to go there. And also, some public spaces might be allowed to go naked, but have a towel with you, so you don’t sit bare-bum, ok? This is for sanitation purposes.

…and still…

6.  If you’re with your loved one, be discrete, please! No one is making out like crazy on the sand, so just act as if you’re at any other public space. Also, don’t sit on laps or touch each other’s private areas, ok?

7. This is for the MEN! Guys, I believe it must hard to controle your friend down there, when you see something attractive. It’s ok if that happens. There is no shame, BUT be sure to be discrete and, as we said, respect everyone there. Keep an extra towel close by, just in case.

8. Should I go with friends or alone? Well, friends are always good since you know them, but you might think it’s weird to see a close friend totally naked… If you decide to go alone, you have to be careful too. Have something to give your attention too – a book, good music, a coloring book, sunbathing, etc. Going alone and just “staring”, might be a bit weird and not welcomed.

9. If your group has music playing, be sure it’s not disturbing your neighbors. Also, DON’T put on a show with your crazy “Dancing Days” moves. Keep that for when you get back into the city, with your clothes on!

10. EMBRACE this moment of freedom and total liberation from anything and anyone. Just have fun in the sun!

A few other nude beaches to explore:

  • Gunnison in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, is where I went.
  • Fire Island, in Long Island, NY, has a few spots to explore like Lighthouse Beach and Cherry Grove
  • The Rockaways is also known of having a few spots and specific areas in Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis Park

Upstate New York has a few options too, if you’re more a mountain-person:

  • Juniper Woods Campground, in the Catskill, says it’s “a clothing optional nudist recreational park and campground”
  • Split Rock Hole inside the Mohonk Preserve, located in New Paltz, is a great natural pond to cool off during summer
  • Empire Haven in Moravia, NY “was founded in 1959 and is a family-oriented nudist park located in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region”
  • Full Tan Sun Club, in Sprakers, NY is a “family nudist campground” and opened over 50 years ago
  • Stony Kill Falls, also in New Paltz, has clean spring water in their Nudist Pool

As I mentioned a few times, be sure to see all the rules of each spot you go explore, ok?

Let me know if there are other places and nude beaches in New York that I should add to this list on the comments below!!! I’d love to know them!!!

For other beaches, not nude this time, you might want to explore a place I love called Sag Harbor! Great escape from our concrete jungle too!

The fantastic House of Yes in Bushwick, is back

Nightlife Bars House of Yes Credit Andre T. Foster

Inside a 2,500 square foot loft in Brooklyn, in the year of 2007, the House of Yes in Bushwick was brought to life! It was a labor of love with the mission of offering a creative place for artists and friends.

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In time, the dream came to life. After a massive transformation of a former ice warehouse into this fantastic space, The House of Yes was finally opened.

Who they had hanging there? The most creative and inspiring groups of musicians, dancers, artists and creatives of all types. The venue was used for dance and dinner parties, yoga for the fitness & health tribe and even movie screenings for the cinephiles.

Less than an year went by and a huge fire tore the place down, but with priceless help and love of the local community, they restarted this project at Grand Street, East Williamsburg, in an even bigger space.

The project grew, the groups of interesting people expanded and the activities offered had now a wide range. Classes of various modalities were given, people rented the space for birthday parties and brands coveted the spot for their fashion shows.

In 2013, with the ferocious raising rents, they had again to move to a new spot. So, they were taken back to where it all started, in Bushwick!

Today, the space continues hosting and showcasing the most unique, intriguing and peculiar performances.

The parties are some of the best in the whole New York area, with top artists and creatives. The mixture of acrobatics, circus acts, fetish-style vibe and music might help you understand what to expect.

They have the craziest nights in town, but they also offer fantastic children performances and family events. If you’re not sure what to expect, take a look at the image gallery and a few pictures we selected!

Plus, take a look at their fantastic performance at the NYC Price 2017 parade.

House of Yes in Bushwick is surely a place that the entire community benefits from and most definitely enjoys! Keep your eyes opened for their next breathtaking event!

While in Bushwick be sure to explore! This is one of the hippest neighborhood and home to some of the most creative talents in New York.

For food,  you can try the famous vegan Champs Diner, Roberta’s Pizza is on the top of the list and Sea Wolf, on the corner of the most famous street with graffiti arts. You can have dessert at the vegan Dunwell Doughnuts – if we hadn’t said vegan, you’d never suspect!

And last, if you’re looking for a super trendy tour to go, try our Bushwick Graffiti, Bites & Drinks Photo Tour.

Hours:
May vary according to event and classes. Check their website.

Location: 2 Wyckoff Avenue

http://houseofyes.org


Credits: Courtesy of House of Yes and Andrew T. Foster
** This post was updated on July 1st, 2017. **

Marie’s Crisis Cafe: Feeling inside a New York musical

Nightlife Bars Marie's Crisis Cafe Façade

Marie’s Crisis Cafe is the place to be if you want to experience a different type of scene in New York City!

Nightlife Bars Marie's Crisis Cafe Façade

Have you ever wanted just just walk into a bar and sing as loud as your lungs can handle? Now, imagine doing that at a cool neighborhood bar in New York, where many other talent voices can sing along!

Located in the West Village, in Manhattan, Marie’s Crisis Cafe attracts a bit of everything. From locals, to artists and the coolest gay crowd, you’ll definitely have a great and interesting time there!

“If you like how people in musicals can go without warning from normal conversation to singing their hearts out, this is the West Village bar for you.

One minute, the barmaid is pulling you a pint of Bass, the next she’s belting out “Me and Bobby McGee.”

At 5:30pm, groups of friends and random folks start gathering around the piano in the basement level. It’s quite an experience.

We have to emphasize that people there are usually Broadway lovers and know all the shows and lyrics!

In general, drinks are cheep, décor has a nostalgic early 1900’s vibe and guests are all pretty “random”. You’ll find young ones, gays, straight, everything in between and older people. But, that isn’t the point! The thing is, they all have one thing in common: they all love musicals!

It’s not a place you need to worry about how you look today. So be free to be yourself, have fun, appreciate everyone around you and…let go!

Do observe the sign that says it’s prohibited to film or take pictures of presentations. This is a place to have fun and enjoy, not to be behind a camera capturing everything. Besides, they do appreciate the privacy of not sharing what happens there. Not everyone likes to be broadcasted on social, right?

Be polite and respectful while there!

Oh! They are a cash only bar, so do be sure to have cash on you!

And believe it or not, Marie’s Crisis Cafe has no mirror or soap in the bathroom, so go prepared or bring your own. No, this is not a joke.

The West Village is one of our favorite neighborhoods in the city, so explore it with love!

Try Wilfie & Nell as another bar option. For food, you can go to the super trendy Via Carota and Buvette restaurants. For sushi, the famous Sushi Nakazawa is fantastic.

For one of the top minimalistic Brazilian fashion brands, go to Uma.

And last, go to Sofar Sounds to see what secret music gig they are hosting in the neighborhood. It’s a fantastic plan for a laid back, bring your own bottle night where upcoming artists singing to a small, private group!

Location: 59 Grove Street (b/w 7th Ave South and Bleecker Street)


Photo Credits: Kennedy N.

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