Friday, July 31, 2015

Guide to the Concrete Jungle -- GAYographer's first published article!

Check out my first published article at the San Francisco Bay Area Reporter!

Fall Offerings Abound in the Big Apple

by Ashton Giese

It's been a cool California summer in New York, which means perhaps the heat might hit us now. Come enjoy smoldering late nights at some of the best parties on the planet, but only after your soul is warmed by the toppest of top-notch theater and your appetite satisfied by your choice of any cuisine from around the globe. Whether or not you're visiting in August, September or later this fall, if the concrete jungle doesn't keep you warm the people, events, and excitement will keep you on fire.

Where to disco nap and store your bag

Don't yet have close friends willing to host you? It's certainly always more fun to stay with a friend, but if you're traveling with the beau or your friends, Hotel Tonight could be an easy last-minute option to find a solid room at slightly less than outrageous prices. Of course, now there's Airbnb – and Mister Airbnb, if you want a gay host. But let me help you choose from NYC's endless locales.
You'll certainly get a good rate up in Harlem or Washington Heights; near the A-C-E or 1-2-3 subway lines you can zip down to "gay central" Hells Kitchen in 20 minutes (or get lazy and meet Colombia students at dive-bar Suite). Also you can crash across town in Astoria, Queens – always a thriving neighborhood – yet there's only one real gay bar, Icon. On the far-east side in Brooklyn, Bushwick will also be inexpensive if you enjoy the hipster experience. Or if you'd rather see strollers than skateboards, stay with the lesbians in Park Slope (on Brooklyn's south side) and go out to Ginger's.
From Brooklyn, at least you can reach New York's newest "Times Square": Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. Weekends here are jam-packed and the subway stop is filled with buskers. Enjoy good eats at Schmorgasburg () on Saturdays and any night of the week you will love the scruffy, hot hipster crowd at gay bar/club Metropolitan. Of course, if you truly want to live like a local, East Village is the best 'hood that feels like a neighborhood and where you'll even find vegan pet food. Eat some of the most different food in the world – from Ukrainian Veselka ("Rainbow") to fancy celebrity-favorite Japanese at Robataya.
Even more, from here, you can walk over to the West Village – arguably the world's best place to wander. Stand in line for famous baker Dominique Ansel's original cronut shop (usually sold out by 9:30 a.m.), browse at uber-designer boutiques and chill out in Washington Square Park as theater troupes, and piano and jazz musicians entertain you. In addition, if you walk south, you're in the heart of all the big stores of Soho. Get those designer tees at Uniqlo and Top Shop and dive into the New York dark, gray style at All Saints.
But of course the most popular location – with still OK rates – is the Times Square area (especially for those short weekend trips). This gives you access to the popular Hells Kitchen area as well as one last critical element of your New York adventure: Broadway.

What's on Broadway this fall

The now on-Broadway production of LGBT musical, Fun Home , is the current Tony Award holder for best musical, and also won awards for best actor, director, original score and best book. Not only is this a must-see for LGBT audiences, but also its intimate – though low-key – presentation will make you cry and laugh. It's not a big number or big production show, but it's special, cute and extremely well arranged for the Circle In The Square Theatre (where every seat is practically on stage).

... Read the rest at the Bay Area Reporter

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