THE BEGINNING & THE END.
“So let's start at the very begining (a very good place to start...)”
― James St. James, Party Monster: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland // My inspiration from the very beginning, a very good place to start…
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I didn't come to New York City for Wall Street. I didn't come to New York City for Broadway. I didn't come to New York City for Fifth Avenue - yet somehow that's where I ended up.
I came to New York City for Nightlife.
I, like so many of you, reared my gay identity in the gleam of a MacBook screen - studying the who's, what's, and huh-huh-honeys of NYC and LA nightlife. My book report be damned, I needed to stay up-to-date on WeHoConfidential! I don't know what I did in college, so let's just call it all book reports. And if you don't know what WeHo Confidential is, you can Google it like the rest of the kids.
Yes, my days of dreaming for this city were marked primarily by my dives into Ladyfag's Eleven Eleven and Holy Mountain, PrettyUgly at the Diamond Horseshoe, and any after hours I could sniff out. Growing up in Alabama never gave me any of the satisfaction I craved of the people and parties of metropolitan life. I would visit NYC every so often with my dear friend C, plotting out every detail of our social calendar for the raucous, debaucherous weekends we deemed as “business trips.”
Every time I left this city, I would be in tears. The life I was living was not the one I dreamed for myself. But on a trip in October 2015, I stopped myself on the Highline at 14th St. and said to myself, “You will make it here. This is where you belong.”
Six months later, I left my job, packed a suitcase and flew here with my sister J. I didn’t have a place to live, any job prospects or hardly any money. But by perseverance and a fucking lot of luck, I made it bitch. And THAT is all a story for another time.
I got a job working at SCRUFF, started my hustle, and dived deep into everything I came here for - and I wanted it all. With it came a complete happiness I had never known in my life and an immense sense of gratitude for everything that had led me to this point. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was home.
I kept tabs on all the major happenings, and went to everything I could. I didn’t restrict myself to any certain style of soiree. I could be found feeling lost on the circuit dance floors of Hell’s Kitchen, turning up Battle Hymn every fucking Sunday, chatting up Stephanie Stone in Lower East Side (Bless YOU Stephanie for being my nightlife fairy godmother!) or bouncing around Brooklyn trying to figure out my place in this pantheon of partygoers.
And that’s the basis of this blog - it’s my take on NYC nightlife and beyond. It’s about being open to new experiences created by the party people of the world that make our nights more than our days. It’s about recognizing the hard work of those that I see doing it well in an industry that is often under recognized - cause it ain’t easy. It might be all smoke and mirrors, but those are often a heavier burden than they may appear.
And so we bring me back to where I started - The End. This blog marks the end of one chapter, and the beginning of another. Not just for myself, but for NYC nightlife - I hope.
Personally, I’ve just taken the next big leap of faith in my life; leaving my job with nothing next in sight with the deliberate intention to dream bigger and start working toward my biggest goals in life. This blog will document not only my nightlife escapades, but also just how Daisy Does It. Giving you very Paris and Nicole in The Simple Life - without the trust fund, but with all the pink accessories.
For NYC nightlife, I feel, like so many, that the standard of impeccable nightlife for which this city is known is not being met. We’ve reach a sad point where Manhattan has been overrun by the power of the venues and perhaps a certain lack of imagination. Ever since this city has not been able to support a queer nightclub (the closing of Splash in 2013,) the holes and halls where promoters have tried to vie for our affections and pink dollars have been able to call the shots to the point of pushing us out of the scene in exchange for Bottle-Service Becky’s. And who can blame them? Gays don’t make clubs money. Club space rent is soaring. Manhattan has become too expensive for everything that made Manhattan special. The scene is now entirely in Brooklyn, but how long will that stay safe - hence in point the closing of Output? I’m calling it now - LadyFag’s Rave 2020 will be held in Rockaway Park; everyone please board the A Train, hosted by the Madame Tussaud’s wax figure of Amanda Lepore!
Let me take a moment to declare this - SUPPORT AND SPEND MONEY at 3 Dollar Bill and its major weekly event Sutherland, which will require its own post very soon. It is OUR queer space/club and deserves our attendance. That space has absolutely marked the beginning of change in the scene and I applaud the efforts of all involved.
Now let me be clear. I fully admire all those that create these spaces for us to come together! Let me make sure I say it, “THANK YOU!” And let me be clear that I look not at any person, place or thing when I say these things, but rather a system of cause and effect that has led us here. But here’s the good news - this is merely another swing of the pendulum. You think this is the first time anyone has said “Nightlife is dead!” in New York? Honey please, a simple search or ask of any old-guard queen will tell you real quick. This happens time and time again. Nightlife has died here more times than James St. James has been in a K-Hole in Times Square. RuPaul has talked before about a similar sentiment for drag in popular culture. It’s highly disfavored and frowned upon for an era, then the pendulum swings back to everyone and their uncle having a drag number down at the Icon bar in Tuscaloosa, and it continues thus.
So fear not! We’re just at the tip of the arc my dear. And I’m telling you that blade is about to swing back with a vengeance, and it may take a few heads with it. That’s called change, honey.
So here we are - the beginning and the end. I’m here to contribute my voice and opinion on where we go from here. It’s my own journey, shared with all of you. If you don’t like it, leave and get your money back.