Gay & Lesbian New York

 

The Pride of NYC

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Week is welcomed by thousands of New Yorkers ever summer. While this popular event stands out as a major highlight for this community, New York is a great destination for all visitors to show their true colors year-round. In fact, New York City received top honors in the 2006 PlanetOut Travel Awards as the most popular destination in the United States for gay and lesbian travelers.

Sleeping in Style

Chelsea Pines Inn, a gay-owned and operated urban bed & breakfast, is located on the border of Manhattan's hottest neighborhoods - Chelsea, Greenwich Village and the historic Meatpacking District - and is central to all New York has to offer. All rooms and common areas in this 26-room townhouse are decorated with original film posters from the Golden Age of Hollywood (the common areas and deluxe rooms were renovated in spring of 2007). Room rates range from $275 to $175; mention "NYC & Company" when making your reservation to receive a complimentary fruit plate and bottle of sparkling water. Additionally, for reservations from January 1-March 15, 2008, receive a $50 nightly discount off the room rate. (317 West 14th Street, 212-929-1023, www.chelseapinesinn.com)

Delicious Dining

A popular spot for eating out year-round is the Thai fusion eatery Kittichai. Sample the chocolate baby back ribs with Thai spices or simply marvel at the reflecting pool in the center of the restaurant. (60 Thompson Street, 212-219-2000, www.kittichairestaurant.com)

Be sure to check out the scene at Spice Market, the Meatpacking district's Asian-inspired eatery du jour. Sandwiched between the gay enclaves of Chelsea and the West Village, the vibe is sleek and trendy, and the food exotic and exquisite. (403 West 13th Street, 212-675-2322, www.jean-georges.com)

Vegetarian paradise awaits you at Gobo, where health nuts go gaga for the delicious menu and refreshing smoothie selection. A few blocks from Christopher Street, New Yorkers and visitors flock to this down-to-earth eatery for out-of-this world dishes. (401 Sixth Avenue, 212-255-3902,www.goborestaurant.com)

Out All Year

Take a step back into history with the Before Stonewall: A Gay and Lesbian History Tour offered by Big Onion Walking Tours. Stroll the streets of Greenwich Village and visit the dwellings of gay civil-rights activist Bayard Rustin, lesbian writer Willa Cather and some of New York's famous cross-dressing politicians (starts at northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Washington Square North, 212-439-1090, www.bigonion.com). Tired of dinner and a movie? Then consider a breathtaking view of Manhattan with Out on the Water, the newest boating experience by Bateaux New York, designed exclusively for the LGBT community. Aboard a glass-enclosed boat, you'll set sail from Chelsea Piers to the sounds of a jazz ensemble, with dinner and dancing to follow. (September 10 and October 8 and 22, 7 to 10pm, boarding at 6pm, 866-399-8439, www.bateauxnewyork.com)

In Queens, screen independent cinema year-round at Cinemarosa, the only gay film series in the borough. Located at the Queens Museum of Art, Cinemarosa takes place the third Sunday of every month. Check their website for the latest screenings. (Flushing Meadows Corona Park, New York City Building, 718-592-9700, www.cinemarosa.org)

Through November 6, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art presents the exhibition She Draws Comics: 100 Years of America's Women Cartoonists, which includes original artwork from Alison Bechdel's popular syndicated comic strip and other works from gay or gay-friendly creators. (594 Broadway, Suite 401, 212-254-3511, www.societyillustrators.org/mocca.aspx?id=8560)

At Stonewall Place, near Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village, a plaque commemorates the riots that gave birth to the modern gay civil rights movement. Just east on Christopher Street is the Oscar Wilde Bookshop, the world's first gay and lesbian bookstore. Inside you can pick up free copies of the four community publications, also available at street-corner newsboxes, with current news and listings: LGNY, NY Blade News, HX and Next.

In the early 1990s Chelsea, just north of the West Village, became a center for New York's gay men. A weekend visit here might include the neighborhood's art galleries, dinner at one of the dozens of restaurants lining Eighth Avenue and club-hopping.

Resources

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Switchboard of New York 212-989-0999. Free and anonymous information, referrals, and peer counseling.

Columbia FunMaps produces maps and guides for gay and lesbian travelers, featuring shopping venues, accommodations, bars and restaurants.

Time Out New York, available at newsstands or online, includes gay/lesbian picks and bar listings.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center 208 West 13th Street, 212-620-7310. Social, political and support groups; resources, events and information. Building houses senior and youth organizations, archives, library, gallery and meeting rooms.

Events

Heritage of Pride Inc 212-807-7433. Organization sponsors and presents annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride March, Rally, Pridefest, and Dance on the Pier.

The NewFest 212-571-2170. Commonly known as the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Film Festival, this annual multi-venue event runs in early summer.

MIX: New York Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film Festivalk 212-742-8880. Annual November event.

Meetings

Congregation Beth Simchat Torah and Congregation B'nai Jeshurun Services and social events for gay and lesbian Jews.

Dignity New York Saturday and Sunday services for LGBT Catholics.

Gay AA Meetings especially welcoming to gay men, lesbians, and visitors.

Metropolitan Community Church of New York 446 West 36th Street, 212-629-7440. Christian worship and fellowship for the LGBT community.

Commitment Ceremonies

A New York Place to Say I Do
212-818-0689; paulaposman@sprintmail.com
Nondenominational, civil and spiritual marriages including traditional, nontraditional,large and formal, small and intimate, same faith or same-sex, officiated by an interfaith minister. Counseling also available. Days or evenings by appointment.

Sherrie Villano, Interfaith Minister
212-807-8323; vsvillanoseven@aol.com
Offers a special service focusing on the joining of two hearts with a commitment to growing and sharing together as a couple. Ms. Villano is delighted to customize according to beliefs and create a beautiful beginning for your life together.

 

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