How Was Your Gay Pride?

Yesterday was the 43rd annual Gay Pride Parade in New York City, with celebrities like Cyndi Lauper and politicans like Governor Andrew Cuomo and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn joining thousands of celebratory LGBT community members and their allies. Plenty of floats played Lady Gaga as they rolled down Christopher Street in the West Village (although the most popular parade float soundtrack hit was "Call Me Maybe," natch). But of course, the most important sights were those off the beaten path.

Upon my immediate arrival in the West Village, I was not surprised to see hundreds of proud onlookers trying, like confused hamsters, to navigate the barricaded sidewalks on Sixth Avenue. I made my own way through the maze, finally managing to cross the street so that I could walk over to the nexus of homosexuality: the corner of Christopher and Gay Streets (the gayest intersection on Earth, really). Before I made it through the throngs of tank-topped gays on Waverly, I spotted a skinny blonde girl squatting on the sidewalk, beads hanging from her wrists as she cried into her iPhone. "Happy Pride!" I thought.

Rather than watching the parade, I immediately headed into Pieces to meet my friends. There was a seven-dollar cover which included a free "entry shot," a novelty I by-passed for several full-priced gin and tonics. I suppose the real reason to pay a cover to get into a gay bar on Pride is to be able to use the bathroom, which I guess is worth the money as I am an adult and don’t really like peeing in streets. Also noteworthy: the two times I entered the bathroom, I saw a woman gleefully squatting backward onto a urinal, as there were no toilets in the facility. I’ve seen a lot of crazy shit in the bathrooms of gay bars, but that was probably my favorite sight.

After leaving Pieces and walking back out into the bright daylight, I caught a total of five minutes of the parade. I saw a group holding up signs saying, in all caps, "QUEERS FOR PALESTINE," and then a high-school step team. "I’ve seen everything I wanted!" I thought, as I tipsily wandered back toward Sixth Avenue, where I knew I could find some pizza and avoid being pelted with condoms and tiny rainbow flags. 

After scarfing down a pepperoni slice, I headed over to the Thompson LES, which was hosting a party thrown by the hipster gays Gumbo, the bi-weekly dance party that alternates between Brooklyn and Manhattan locations. They had required an RSVP for the event, and then emailed all RSVPers that such an RSVP did not guarantee admission, which makes me wonder why, exactly, parties such as this one request one in the first place. Never has the idea of waiting in line for an over-crowded bar filled with gay guys enticed me to head out at night. Having said that: we were already out, and figured we’d give it a shot.

We stood on Allen Street outside the entrance behind some silently confused twinks in tank tops and shorts, and finally we asked if they were actually waiting in line to get in. "I guessss?" one of them slurred. In response, two of the braver guys in our party just walked in, and then texted me, "Just say you’re going to the bathroom on the second floor and then you can just take the elevator to the third where the pool is." Seemed easy enough! We did just that, smirking as we walked by the party doorman who had floppy hair and a sleeveless denim jacket. (They run a tight ship over there!) Of course, the party was not as fun as the typical Gumbo event; rather, it was just a gathering of random strangers sitting on the sofas around the Andy Warhol filmstrip pool. In the pool were two people: a beefy dude in short blue trunks, and a very giddy topless woman. So proud! We did not stay long.

There was a time when the pride parade was a good excuse to drink all day in the heat and stay out all night. While I did imbibe quite a bit and stayed out until around midnight, it was still a tame affair compared to my years in Chicago, which always seems much more of a debaucherous parade than in New York. (The cops there turned a blind eye to our red solo cups filled with more whiskey than ginger ale, where as I watched as New York’s finest yelled up at parade watchers and instructed them not to stand on their fire escapes.) The New York parade is also soooo long, with most floats and marching organizations sponsored by corporate entities or political groups. It seems like every year there is a debate about the oversexual nature of the parade, and each year sees fewer assless chaps up on those truck beds. 

Is the parade getting too soft, too corporate, too family-friendly and lazily political? Are we missing out on the activist spirit behind the origins of the event, which was more of a march and less of a parade of the svelte, the muscular, and the beautiful? Have the years of treating the notion of "gay pride" as a party resulted in the blasé attitude that most (including myself) have of the weekend, which is now just an excuse for an entire community to collectively day-drink and shed layers of clothing? It’s an issue I struggle with at the end of every June, and will likely be reminded of next year. There are no immediate answers, obviously, and what I think most of us are pleased with today are the ability to celebrate so openly—and that our hangovers aren’t completely preventing us from accomplishing anything today.

Your Daily Guide To Trending Topics

Every day there are some topics that are trending. Since many of them don’t make sense, we provide easy contextualization. Also, this way, you won’t actually have to know anything about anything.

MLB Draft

Google users are feeling real sporty today as they’ve made as last night’s Major League Baseball’s First Year Players Draft the trendiest topic on the site. Indeed sports fans are curious to find out which high schoolers are about to become local millionaire celebrities before suffering debilitating injuries or being traded away a few years down the line. The New York Yankee, for example, drafted 18-year-old Oklahoman Ty Hensley, who has already planned to attend Ole Miss, but he said he’ll happily drop that plan to play ball. Good for him.

Bath Salts

Another hot topic on Google (and everywhere else, it seems) is bath salts. No, not the crappy gift you buy for mom when you forgot her birthday, the drug that turns you into a face-eating killer. People want to know what they are, why they do what they do and, really, where to get them. According to Forbes, the psychoactive stimulant "may find [a user] feeling extremely paranoid and panicky, but he’s unlikely to believe that a giant lizard wearing a tuxedo is about to eat his cat.” And if that doesn’t sound scary enough for you, an entire page of testimonials from bath salts users is enough to convince us that high on life is the way to go.

Kathryn Joosten Dies

Yahoo! users are a few days late on the death of Desperate Housewives actress Kathryn Joosten, who recenty died of lung cancer. Still, they’re searching up a storm about the passing of the the 72-year old actress. In a statement, Joosten’s family said, “The family of Kathryn Joosten, two-time Emmy winner, long-time Governor of The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, lung cancer advocate, and so much more, regrets to announce that Kathryn succumbed to her 11-year battle with lung cancer today, June 2, 2012, surrounded by love and humor til the end. Thanks to everyone for their love and support. We are laughing through our tears.”

Cuomo Marijuana

Perhaps to overcome their Joosten-related sadness, Yahoo!ers are really curious about New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s new take on the state’s dealings with weed. Monday the governor announced a plan to cut the penalty for public possession of a small amount of pot, saying “There’s a blatant inconsistency. If you possess marijuana privately, it’s a violation. If you show it in public, it’s a crime.” While carrying will come with less of a penalty, it’ll still be a misdemeanor to actually smoke in public. "I believe the society does want to discourage the use of marijuana in public, on the street,” said Cuomo. “Smoking a joint, I think, is a different level of activity than just being in possession of it."  


Forget everyone else, this morning Twitter is feeling really self-obsessed. The hashtag #RandomFactAboutMe, in which users—wait for it—share a random fact about themselves is trending, making important information like the posts below available to the masses.

Random Fact 5

Random Fact 4

Random Fact 2




Giuseppe Cipriani & Socialista’s Extended Holiday

imageA new generation of young professionals are making their way up the club ranks and will — in the not so distant future — be running things. Jonathan Schwartz comes to mind over at Strategic Group, as well as today’s girl on the spot Ms. Lindsay Luv. For a very long time, creative types were locked out of nightlife as the business boys broke down fun into pie charts and spreadsheets. For many, it was indeed the fun that broke down. Lindsay Luv is upwardly mobile, and as my good friend Voula would sometimes say: unstoppable. But before we get to Lindsay, I’d like to comment on a very big story that’s percolating around town — the “continuing closing” of Socialista.

On the surface, it seems like a minor violation from the Health Department, which would normally be handled quite routinely so people could be spilling Grey Goose on their Christian Louboutins in a matter of days. But it’s not happening, and that little not happening says a lot.

Now, I don’t pretend to know all that’s going on, but there are people hinting that there is a lot more to it, involving the Andrew Cuomo investigation on Giuseppe Cipriani and how he managed to get his liquor license despite the fact that he’s no longer qualified to have one. The cover story floated that it would put all these people out of work, and nobody wants that, etc. etc. But with Caroline Kennedy’s Senate bid floundering in a sea of “you knows,” Andrew Cuomo, the next guy in line, is dying for a headline. But Socialista can’t open, according to a pal who quoted the great Armin, “because Giuseppe can’t come back into the country, so the problem can’t be cleared up with the violation, and the club will remain closed.”

My source says that it’s not the government that Mr. Cipriani has the problem with, because he “played ball” with them. My guy says the people that were mentioned in these conversations between Cipriani and the government are not happy, and they very much want to “discuss” this matter with Cipriani in private — so he’s opted to stay far away. Now, people whisper things in my ear all the time, and often it just doesn’t make sense — but damned if this doesn’t sound real. It could be a cool movie depending on who writes the ending. Anyway, to Lindsay.

What do you do, Lindsay Luv? I’ve worked in marketing and the music business for about seven years since I moved to New York from Boston. My parents were both teachers, and I decided I wanted to go to New York and be a big music industry hustler and DJ and do all this crazy stuff, and they were like … “OK, just pay your bills.” So I came out here, and I originally wanted to do comedy writing on the side, so I worked on Chapelle’s Show the first season.

As a writer? No, I was in PR. I was doing my first internship at Comedy Central, and then I randomly got hooked up with the Raveonettes and their producers and so forth.

Tell me who the Raveonettes are. The Raveonettes are a big rock band. They were on Columbia for a number of years, and they’ve put out five or six albums now. They’re an amazing band — they’ve toured with Depeche Mode, they kind of sound like the White Stripes, and at the time they weren’t as big as they were. They’re playing at Webster Hall on Friday. I met their producer — who was the old producer from Blondie and the GoGo’s, Richard Gottehrer — and he kind of became my mentor. He was the reason I worked in music … he was this old school music producer, and he wrote the songs “I Want Candy” and “My Boyfriend’s Back.” He kind of took me under his wing, and we started working on the Raveonettes. I was helping with the management team for a while. That’s how I started off in the music business, and since then I’ve worked for a number of lifestyle and marketing agencies, throwing big events in New York with top talent like Chromeo, Justice and the Raveonettes. Castles was my last big show with this agency I just worked with. So the Raveonettes kind of started me off, and then I started working for marketing agencies as a business development events-planning kind of guru … booking big talent at venues all across New York for a different brand.

So now you do Tuesday nights over at Ella, one of my favorite places — designed by Carlton Varney, an old school guy, who did the green room at the Oscars last year. And I guess he’s famous because he did Joan Crawford’s house. I’m kind of doing two halves of all these clubs. On one side I’m a resident DJ at some of these places — for example, we just got hired to be the resident DJ at Cain on Wednesdays. I’m going to be doing Saturdays at Webster Hall in the Studio, and then Tuesdays at Ella, and then a lot of other gigs are falling in between. So I’m throwing two hats — one side of it is I’m DJing these parties, and I’m promoting and hosting and all that, and the other side is that I’m actually being hired by a lot of these venues to do marketing consultation, promotional things, booking of the talents. So not only DJing the nights, but also helping them run the nights, hire the talent, and really do the whole campaign.

And what has attracted you to club business — are you in it for the money, the boys, the combination of these? I think a little bit of both. I think I just really like the hustle. I love hustling, I love just moving quickly, I love the speed of the nightlife business. I’m definitely not a daytime person, I sleep until 11 o’ clock every day. But I really like the hustle and I like the idea of traveling. Nightclubs, they’re all over the world.

So where are you going with nightclubs? Where can you go? Are you going to be an owner one day? Or PR, is that something you would do? I don’t really like PR. I hate girls in PR — PR girls are just way too girly and intense, especially the fashion PR girls. They all sit around and just squawk all day. I can’t deal with that. I think I’d like to be a nightlife entrepreneur, just opening lots of nightclubs and running the show. More on the marketing and promotional side than anything else would be my ultimate goal.

And the music industry? I would want to work with venues that are really involved in music, not venues that are just there … not that this is a bad club, but like Tenjune is a little more just about selling bottles. I like the clubs that are really focused on music. I’d really want to be booking great talent, that’s why I like it at Webster Hall.

I was surprised when I first became aware of you, which about six or seven months ago. I hit it off with you, I liked your energy, and when I started talking to people about you, trying to do my research, I found out that everybody knows who you are. You’re this girl about town, and you’re branding yourself — is that something you’re very conscious of? Very very conscious. I think that perception is reality, meaning it’s important for me to just keep my face out there. Sometimes people think I’m way more fabulous than I am; they’ll call me and ask, “Can you get me Madonna tickets?”. And it’s funny to me because a lot of it is perception, and I’m OK with that, as long as it keeps moving me in the right direction. A lot of it is reality too. I have worked with some great artists and done amazing things, and some of it is me just throwing myself out there and getting my picture up all the time, and calling people like you and just hustling hard. I’m up every day taking meetings, doing interviews, scheduling photo shoots, whatever it is I have to do to keep getting to the top.

An example of this is this interview — you were non-stop. I told you that today I’m completely booked, and then I had about 15 minutes between 2:30 and 3 p.m., and you said, “Let’s do it!” No matter what, you’re unstoppable. Yea, I remember I watched Alicia Keys’ True Hollywood Story, and I don’t want to be famous like that. It’s more that I just see the people that are really driven make it the best. I’ve had at least ten really top-trained DJs saying, “Lindsay, can you manage me? How are you getting all these gigs? You’re not as good of a DJ as me.” And I said it’s because I’m up every day, I’m hustling my shit, I know people, I work my contacts. All these people, they sit around waiting for stuff to happen, and I don’t think you can wait for anything to happen. You have to really keep on people and keep yourself out there without being obnoxious and annoying. You have to be likeable, but you have to work hard.

You’re unstoppable. I have a lot of energy. I don’t sleep. I’m probably like you — I sit up all night downloading music, listening to tunes, and making music and doing weird shit. It’s like you can’t stop for a minute in this business, or you get walked right over and somebody else is taking your spot.
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