Sunday, June 29, 2008

The NYC Pride in Trouble?


My friend told me about how New York City is slipping when it comes to the gay life. Several venues were closed and this Pride weekend was filled with cops and raids. Less than 7 years ago, I was at Pride. In fact, I've marched in the parade, representing Cornell University and Proud, Black, Gay men. My best friend and I marched proudly with our signs for 40 blocks. I never felt so happy and proud in my life.

So, I went online to find more about the mess of the weekend and apparently it was worst than I thought.

According to edgenewyork.com:
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The City of New York, which has been cracking down hard on gay sex venues, moved in with a vengeance on nightclubs. Splash was reportedly overrun by police, although no one from the city or the club returned calls for comment. The club has, however, remained open.

The other club was shut down. Pacha, the megaclub on the western edge of Hell’s Kitchen, was scheduled to hold two major dance parties for Gay Pride: Victor Calderone’s Pride Evolve on Saturday; and the Saint at Large’s Champions on Sunday night.


Champions has been moved to Capitale, a large space on the border of the Lower East Side and Chinatown where Saint at Large has held parties in the past. Mike Peyton, of the Saint at Large, said that anyone with a ticket for Pacha party should simply show up at Capitale, which is the Bowery a few blocks above Canal Street, and the ticket will be honored.


Moving the party has cost the Saint at Large probably much, if not most, of the proceeds, which were to go to Heritage of Pride, the organization that runs the march down Fifth Avenue.

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With all of these changes, raids, and shutdowns, I have to wonder what's really going on in NYC. It's like a smog-like message being sent all through gay New York saying "enough". Has the lavish, unabashed, decadence caught up with them? Is this a bigger issue with Bloomberg? Or could this be the dark plan of the Gay Mafia?

Anything is possible, but something is going on. I was just there during Christmas and I noticed how Chelsea and Christopher St. has changed. A lot of businesses were closed and certain bars were gone. What will it take to get it back on track? Is there anything that can be done? I just hope this don't ruin everyone weekend in NYC. Pride there, is the best celebration New York has to offer.

1 comment:

Son of Baldwin said...

Actually, I think this is what happens when a particular culture or community increasingly becomes a part of the mainstream. The "fringe" culture is subsumed by the larger culture, and the larger culture is, itself, transformed by devouring the fringe.

So gay bars and clubs will start to disappear and what will appear in their place are bard and clubs that are "open to everyone."

It's a form of gentrification that has both positive and negative consequences.