As the city with the largest gay population in the country, gay life is everywhere in New York. Especially in Manhattan and some parts of Brooklyn. To connect to Gay NYC, read below and take your pick from the city’s gay neighborhoods. It would be a good option for a perfect day to combine a walk around one of those areas with a good Broadway show. Enjoy!
The West Village
The West Village is the city’s original gay neighborhood. Home of the original Stonewall Bar and the Stonewall Riots that marked the beginning of the modern gay rights movement. While a lot of gay NYC life has since moved to Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, the West Village retains its gay character, despite an invasion by celebrities. With bars such as Monster and Marie’s Crisis, the West Village gay scene caters mostly to the older part of the community, such as men in their fifties and sixties.
In the 90’s gay men began to move from the West Village up to Chelsea. With luxurious townhouses and relatively inexpensive apartments, the neighborhood became a “gay ghetto” fairly quickly. Known as “Chelsea Boys”, gym-toned young professionals encouraged the opening of numerous bars, restaurants, clubs and gyms over the next two decades, the majority concentrating around 8th Avenue. G Lounge and Splash are the most celebrated nightlife options in Chelsea, popular among gay men in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. However, the neighborhood is generally made up of residents in the older set.
Hell’s Kitchen: the center of Gay NYC today.
Because of its proximity to Broadway, lower rents and convenient transportation to the other gay ghettos, Hell’s Kitchen has become Gay NYC’s new epicenter over the past several years. With an enormous number of restaurants, gay bars and even some dance clubs, Hell’s Kitchen may be the best neighborhood for a gay NYC visitor to start with. While not much happens in Hell’s Kitchen during the day, bars like Vlada and Therapy, and clubs like The Ritz and XL make it a popular neighborhood to visit and stay in. Hell’s Kitchen is frequented by men of all ages, generally in their twenties, thirties and forties.
The East Village
The East Village has several gay bars and a large gay population, but no real gay center like the West Village, Chelsea or Hell’s Kitchen. With bars like Phoenix, Eastern Block and Boiler Room, the East Village is largely a scene of guys in their twenties and thirties, as most East Village residents are either college students or young professionals.
Park Slope is the epicenter of gay life in Brooklyn, and while the city’s other gay neighborhoods are dominated by gay men, Park Slope is more popular among women. Lesbians of all ages flock to Park Slope, though the neighborhood is very diverse demographically. While the community is less organized than those in Manhattan, there is no shortage of ways to socialize. Popular bars include the dance-friendly Cattyshack and the more relaxed Ginger’s.