Pride in the Big Apple

Posted by Hearsay
June 27, 2008 1:41 PM |
This weekend, New York honors the Stonewall riots that helped usher in the gay rights movement, and with it, Gay Pride. Thirty-nine years later, NYC Pride remains an ultimate celebration of big-city gaydom.

You might be exhausted from just looking at the following list of things to bite this weekend in the Big Apple, but believe Hearsay, it's not an exhaustive list -- there are at least three times as many more bar and club happenings in New York. For once, Hearsay decided to be selective. Though there is some overlap, you could conceivably hit all of these events, if your stamina -- and your wallet -- holds out. You won't know unless you try, right?

Friday night, Hearsay is intrigued by two completely different ways to kick it all off. The first option is the most unusual. Where else in the city can you actually swim during a nighttime party? The Baña Pool Party () starts at midnight at a venue with a giant pool way downtown, in the Financial District, with tickets requiring a dive in the deep end (cheapest tickets are $40). But come on, you might win a medal! This monthly gay event features an open bar all night long, plus guest performances. For this special Pride edition, leather pornstar Mike "All Out Assault" Dreyden will be "helping you into your swim trunks," or whatever you decide to wear in the water.

For a more traditional start to the weekend -- as traditional as clubbing all night can get -- you can't do much better than hearing DJs Peter "Save Me" Rauhofer, Offer "Call M" Nissim and Richie "Beat Me" Santana at Work () at its new Friday night venue Discotheque in Chelsea.

Saturday afternoon, you should hit the Virgin Megastore () at Union Square for its 2nd annual Pridefest celebrating all things gay audio-visual, from musicians to pornstars. DJs Max ''Come Once A Year'' Rodriguez and former Playgirl pinup DeMarko! will spin during the noon to 6 p.m. event, where even drinks will be on tap, and a motley crew of singers will perform, including Brian ''Don't Stop Believin''' Kent, Jason ''My Voice Takes You Higher'' Walker, Joi ''My Joy'' Cardwell and Ari ''Aren't I Special?'' Gold. In addition, DJs will be on deck to sign copies of their latest compilations from 2 to 3 p.m., and Raging Stallion stars will be parading around much of the day signing autographs -- ''Let me hear you squeal like a pig while I'm porking you. XOXO, Jake ''˜The Other White Meat' Deckard.''

Saturday night brings a special blowout Blowoff to the High Line Ballroom. Bob ''Franchise Opportunities Available'' Mould and Rich ''Trademark Pending'' Morel bring the same level of woozy woofiness to this bimonthly New York offshoot of the original D.C. monthly, which is in hibernation until September. You can actually get started hunting muscle bears before Blowoff though, on the annual Sea Tea Muscle Bears Cruise (). DJ Mark ''Disco Inferno'' Cicero will spin on the two and a half hour cruise sailing at 7:30 p.m. in the Hudson River, where you can drink and dine at a free buffet and then have dessert with the frisky furry fellas.

Sunday is the gay lord's day, but don't even think of resting. The 39th Annual Pride Day March () kicks off at noon at Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street and parades around for hours until ending in the Village, where the 15th Annual Pridefest Street Fair () -- back after a year off -- goes until 7 p.m. Starting at 4 p.m. is the ultimate party of the weekend, if you can handle the crowd and the heat -- the 22nd Annual Dance on the Pier (), which benefits the organization putting on the whole weekend shebang, Heritage of Pride. DJs Joe ''Circuit Star'' Gauthreaux and Tracy ''Sticky and Sweet'' Young will spin while Guy ''Razzle Dazzle'' Smith lights the fire until the fireworks end it all at 10:30 p.m. A surprise performer will take the stage right before the fiery climax. Janet, J. Lo, Whitney and hmm, Idina ''Gravity's A Witch'' Menzel, have taken the stage in years past, so you never know.

Finally, get out your last vestiges of your Pride at Pacha, when Saint At Large () will reprise the peak-time music from this year's Black Party experience, bringing back Stephan ''Grind Out'' Grondin and Jonathan ''All This Time'' Peters. But the real draw is the ultimate champion at this Champions party: Junior ''Gimme More'' Vasquez, returning to the former Sound Factory space that helped cement his legendary status decades ago. Vasquez won't even go on until poor 9-to-5ers start getting ready for work, so feel free to arrive late, maybe after a little rest-ee-poo. By the time it's done Monday afternoon, you will be too.

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