The AP reports that some gay neighborhoods are worried they are losing their identity. We were thinking about this very issue this weekend.
See, we've been under some pressure lately to declare that the East Village is over.
It's a notion that's offensive to our very core, as we have lived in our beloved EV since we moved to New York four years ago. When we arrived, Boysroom was the city's destination for hot raunch. The Cock was the dowager empress of dive. And Starlight, dear Starlight... (moment of silence) ...you were simply better than the rest. It's not that your bathrooms were too small, it's that your dreams were too big.
But now Starlight and the original Cock are gone, and the watered down version of Boysroom on 13th Street seems to be where rainbows go to die. Sure, there's still the Phoenix, Urge, the Cock-in-the-Hole, and Nowhere, but can they possibly compete with Vlada, Posh and The Ritz in Hell's Kitchen, which are newer, sleeker, bigger, and draw younger crowds?
Lately we've been worried about our charming little ghetto, where the dogs wear hoodies and the homeless know only to ask you for cigarettes. We've railed against Hell's Kitchen in the past, but is it really the future of gay in the city? Are we, as a culture, really going to move...uptown?
Then, on Saturday night, we went to Eastern Bloc. It's always been a sentimental place for us, as its predecessor, Wonderbar, was the first gay bar we ever visited, when we were 18. Eastern Bloc had a rocky start, but it's really hit its stride. The music is poppy and fun, the crowd is very similar to Starlight's, the beers are cheap and the atmosphere is unpretentious. As we looked around on Saturday, we saw to our surprise that Eastern Bloc passed the ultimate gay bar test: it was full of boys we'd bone. Lots of them, all over the place.
And it gave us hope. Sure, it may not be as hot as Vlada, or as trendy as The Ritz. But so long as the East Village is still mustering up some viable ass, we will not declare it over. We will NOT cede the young gay ghetto title to any other neighborhood, no matter how many infused vodkas or twinky Loyola graduates they may have. You hear us, Hell's Kitchen? If you want the title, you'll have to wrench it from our tattooed, cigarette-and-DNA-stained hands.