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MAKE NEW YORK PRIDE THE CELEBRATION OF A LIFETIME

Contributor: Heather Cassell Author: Contributor: Heather Cassell
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Last updated: 7 June 2019

It’s Pride Month and that means the Big Apple is being painted rainbows from the epicentre of the modern day LGBTQI movement – from the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village to Queens. YOTEL New York is an official WorldPride hotel partner and a great base from which to celebrate all that is happening for NYC Pride, WorldPride and Stonewall 50.

So much is happening in New York, it’s going to be impossible to do everything (not that you can do everything normally in the city that never sleeps). To get the most out of celebrating the biggest Pride celebration in the world, we’ve created a hit list of the best of the best of what to do to make the most out of celebrating the grandest of grand Pride events ever!

VISIT THE STONEWALL INN

You can’t go to NYC Pride without stopping in at the Stonewall Inn. This is why you are here, today, in New York. It is where the LGBTQI movement was ignited and continues to inspire LGBTQI communities around the world to march for their rights and celebrate Pride. In 2016, former President Barack Obama designated the Stonewall Inn and the Stonewall National Monument, across the street, as the first-ever LGBT United States National Historic Landmark.

A DAY OF PRIDE: NYC / WORLDPRIDE PARADE, PRIDEFEST, AND WORLDPRIDE CLOSING CEREMONY

When: 30 June 2019, noon until the Parade ends and Melissa Etheridge rocks Times Square until 10pm for these free events

Where: The parade starts at 26th Street and 5th Avenue at Madison Square Park and winds its way through New York past significant landmarks in New York’s LGBTQI movement ending at 23rd Street and 7th Avenue

When the Dykes on Bikes rev up their engines and roar down 5th avenue they will kick-off the largest Pride event in the history of the world with the NYC / WorldPride Parade. There will be more than 550 contingents and more than 100 floats marching through the streets of New York. This parade will truly scream, “We are here. We are queer. Get used to it!” with rainbows and glitter for all the world to see.

You won’t want to miss this. To get the best seat along the parade route, stake your claim on a spot along the route several hours before the parade begins.

Attend PrideFest following the parade from 11am to 6pm at 4th Avenue between Union Square and Astor Place before heading to Times Square for the big blow out WorldPride Closing Ceremony with Grammy award-winning rocker Melissa Etheridge starting at 7 to 10pm.

We suggest getting in line for WorldPride Closing Ceremony around 3pm for when the gates open at 5pm to stake your claim on a spot near the stage. Other performances at the closing ceremonies are comedian Margaret Cho, Jake Shears and MNEK, Broadway hit “The Prom,” Deborah Cox, and more.

PARTY LIKE NEVER BEFORE

Become a queen of the night as the sun goes down at one of these amazing parties:

Boy Parties

The mean streets of New York can sometimes be a drag, Queen of the Ride SHEQUIDA is taking guests on a ride and show of a lifetime aboard a luxury bus cruising through Manhattan in a 1-hour drag show. The show includes a complimentary drink before and after the ride at the Ritz Bar & Lounge. Shows are 21 and 28 June at 8pm and 9:30pm, with a special ride on 27 June at 8pm and 9:30pm with special guest hosts Mr Gay America Judas Elliott and Miss Gay America Andora. Tickets $69 - $79.

DiscoVogue gets Pride Weekend started with upbeats from DJs Lina, MikeQ, Valissa Yoe, William Francis, and Justin Dawson spinning the club and house beats with a live performance by Escort fronted by Nicki B’s disco anthems at Damrosch Park / Lincoln Center on 27 June, starting early in the evening until 10pm when the beats continue with silent disco until 11:30pm. Tickets $18 - $26.

Sweat and grind with the hunkiest men at the VIP Rooftop Party with DJs Grind, Toy Armada, Ben Baker, and Kitty Glitter at The Park on 29 June, 2–10pm. Tickets $100.

New York’s mega party for WorldPride Masterbeat boasts being the biggest Pride party of them all with the hottest dancers and international performers - beats spun by global superstar DJs Chus + Ceballos and Oscar Velazquez. Tickets $30 - $10,000.

 

Girl Parties

Join 2,000 of your new best friends dancing to the sounds spun by DJs Whitney Day, Tatiana, and M.O. with a live performance by Moby frontwoman Mindy Jones at Henrietta Hudson’s biggest girl party, Siren, on the Hudson River at Watermark Bar on 29 June, 9pm to 4am. Tickets $45 - $575.

The girls will take over Hudson Street for the Occupy Hudson Street party during Pride. It will be the go-to spot for queer girls ready to celebrate Pride dancing to DJs Tikka Masala, Culi, BK Storm, and Christie on Sunday, 30 June, 12noon to 4am on Monday 1 July.

The hottest girls in the city will dance into the night at Femme Fatal the all-girl rooftop party with DJs Kittens, Mary Mac, Bonnie Beats, Nikki Lions, and Lena spinning the beats from 4pm to midnight atop The Park on 30 June. Tickets $35 - $65.

 

Queer Parties

New York’s five best queer parties come together with Tease, a party for all bodied people, at The DL on 29 June, 5pm to midnight. Tickets $40 - $80.

Party aboard a two-hour cruise sailing on the Hudson River around New York’s famous sites aboard the SeaTea Cruise on 29 and 30 June, 6 – 10pm. The cruise sets sail from Pier 40. Tickets $30 - $50.

Get your queer groove on at Ladyland, a two-day long concert featuring more than 20 queer artists led by Gossip and Honey Dijon at Brooklyn Mirage on 28-29 June from 5pm to 4:30am. Tickets $55 - $140.

THE LGBTQI MOVEMENT - YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW

Take a moment to reflect on the LGBTQI movement at these exhibits, performances, and historical tours.

Retrospective

Go uptown to the 10th annual Harlem Pride and learn about the Harlem Renaissance during the African American artistic revolution’s centennial celebrations on 29 June, noon to 6pm at 12th Avenue and West 135th Street.

Look back in time with two retrospective interactive multimedia experiences at CNN and the New York Main Library.

Queer City: A CNN Experience takes audiences on a journey from New York’s LGBTQI community starting in the 1940s through today on the city’s queer evolution, 27 June, 11am-4pm at CNN, 500 West 36th Street.

New York’s Public Library commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with a curated look at the revolutionary uprising through LGBTQI activism today with its retrospective, Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50.

Both exhibits are open to the public.

 

Art & Culture

It is worth the day trip to The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut to learn about the eight gay men who shaped 20th-century art culture in the exhibit “Gay Gatherings: Philip Johnson, David Whitney and the Modern Arts.” Looking at the works and lives of architect Philip Johnson and his longtime partner, curator/collector David Whitney; composer John Cage and his life partner choreographer Merce Cunningham; ballet impresario Lincoln Kirstein; and artists Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol. The exhibit examines the nature of The Glass House as a creative salon during a period of time when the gay eye was prevalent and recognized in mainstream culture, which was revolutionary. The exhibit is open now through 19 August at The Glass House, 199 Elm Street, New Canaan, Connecticut. Tickets $25 weekdays, $60 weekends.

MTA trains depart Harlem 125th Street station to New Canaan, with a change required at Stamford, CT.

Presenting queer plays from around the world, the Criminal Queerness Festival, highlights the struggles and the fight for equality for LGBTQI people in the Global South. The plays run from 13 June to 6 July with performances on Thursday through Sunday at 8pm and a matinee show on Saturdays at 2pm at IRT Theater on Christopher Street. Tickets $20.

Get ready to laugh and sing as queer women comedians, including Gloria Bigelow, Ana Febrega, Sydnee Washington, Emma Willmann, and Gina Yashere give their take on life and politics today at Levity & Justice for All benefiting LPAC. Beth Malone will give a special musical performance. 25 June, 7:30-9:30pm. Tickets $50.

 

Tours

Learn about the LGBTQI movement starting in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn through present day gay NYC through the streets of Greenwich Village on one of three tours:

Beyond Stonewall: LGBT History a two-hour tour (Tickets $29), Tour & Toasts For Stonewall 50 a one-and-a-half hour tour ($50), or Pride Tours NYC’s Walking a one-hour tour ($30).

EAT, DRINK, AND BE PRIDEFUL

Queer chefs will display their talents at a number of culinary events throughout Pride Week. Dig into these delicious events.

Salivate with the culinary creations presented by a collection of chefs and restauranteurs who will serve up yummy bites as DJs spin music at The Garden Party on 24 June, 6-10pm, at Pier 97 at Hudson River Park (tickets $85 and up) and queer chefs Renee Blackman, Julia Turshen, and other masters of the kitchen present Savor Pride on 28 June 28, 6-10pm at God’s Love We Deliver (tickets $70 - $125).

What would Pride be without brunch? Pride-goers should prepare to be seen at the dressy Pride Luminaries Brunch that honours the Big Apple’s business leaders who have made an impact on the LGBTQI community: 23 June, 11am-3pm, Magic Hour Rooftop, Times Square. Tickets $85.

Burger and Lobster Drag Brunch on 30 June at the burger and seafood joint’s Flatiron location (only a few blocks from the end of the NYC Pride March) will have you fueled up on drag humour and a good breakfast to get you through Pride.

Visit for more NYC Pride / WorldPride / Stonewall 50 events  

 

Heather Cassell is publisher and editor of Girls That Roam, an online women’s travel magazine and an independent travel consultant, and regular contributor to the Bay Area Reporter. She has been globetrotting as a travel writer for the past decade and covering international news. She has covered LGBTQI and women’s issues for more than 20 years. Her work has been seen in numerous publications and she’s participated in a number of panels at travel conferences and tradeshows. Cassell lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner when she’s not travelling.