It was one of those weekends you want to do exactly the same again.
All your worries about the weather and bombs and searches and snafus
out the door. It was exactly as it was supposed to be, just what you
Friday at midnight, Fred and Wilma come up from Bal'meer, park
themselves in a PR suite at the W, Times Square. Perfect base camp
for the parties. Also conveniently around the corner from the Gaiety
-- which they've never been to. And hey, neither have we -- so we
go. Naked boys with big dicks, very big, engorged -- thanks to rings
of leather and hair twists for their heads. Who knew? We're there
longer than we were thinking -- how to break away from that
seemingly endless parade of flesh. Then over to therapy for last
Saturday, it's all about the entrance tee. Must find just the right
one at Whitall and Shon or Body Body. Everyone else tossing shirts
left and right. Lunch at Cafeteria, the sun and cells are out,
chatter chatter. Anticipation. Everyone's smiling. Then sunbath on
the Christopher Street Pier. The Gay Central Park. Boys with
cockatiels and puppies and snakes. The endless parade, the boardwalk
We're there at one, after a pre-party at W Base Camp. The floor is
crowded, but not yet peaked out. The room is darker than previous
years, and bare of those misspelled MASTERBATION words from last
year. There's a huge disco ball which lowers down above the crowd --
is this new? Or was I blind last year? The top mezzanine, the one
with seating above the ballroom, is closed. The lower mezzanine, and
lounge, are open, and soon packed with people dancing above the
crowd. On the stage is a tilted scrim with images from Africa or
Hollywood's version of Africa. Black and white footage of tribal
dancers. Amazing dancers: you think about your own place in the
scheme of dance. The crowd that Victor attracts is all over the
place. Not like Junior's exactly, but more varied than the Alegria
parties. More women, for example, and more women in heels, and more
diversity in dress, even for the men. At one point, there are six or
eight drag queens, but the skinniest dq's in the world, on boxes in
the center of the crowd, and they are fierce. Working. Stripping,
kinda. Moving seriously.
Then there's the percussion band show. The scrim tilts and Victor
brings it down to a low roar and then the percussion people pick it
up and it is wild and ongoing and then there are these tribal
dancers, about twenty of them, who come out and dance in front of
the percussion section, and it's amazing how fast everything is
going. There's such tremendous energy pouring off the stage -- and
it kind of picks up the whole crowd, which is not to say that the
crowd has been slouching in any way. Just that the energy notches
Then later it's Kevin, joined by two other dancers, and these two
others are making Missy A. work harder than it seems she's worked
before, and they are all three incredible, dipping into the crowd
and then back up onto the stage, and Miss A has a kind of Donna
Summer black wig on with bangs and this blue Esther Williams
swimsuit which keeps slipping because she's working so fast.
Meanwhile, up on the balcony, Fred and Wilma are witnessing some
kind of dreadful drama. Their first fall-out encounter. One boy
surrounded by his friends, he's obviously in trouble, and his
friends are patting him and fanning him, but after thirty minutes,
Wilma has seen enough and goes for security who comes and then it's
the paramedics and the boy's friends are crying, and the boyfriend
nearly hysterical and the fall-out is carried out in a wheelchair
like thingie, all plugged into tubes and air -- and it totally
freaks Fred and Wilma out.
The downside of the life we choose.
Throughout the night, Victor's music, to me, seems exactly as it
should be, and as someone else said, better than he was in Miami for
New Year's. This party is his, and almost his alone, and it best
reflects who he is each year. It seems to me the rough equivalent of
Junior's B'day party, given that it's about Victor and what's
happened to him, and his music, over the past year. And it's
wonderful to be a part of a deejay's evolution.
We bought his CD on the way out the door at six a.m. and took some
grapes and walked out into the sunlight of Gay Pride Sunday.
23rd and Fifth at one-thirty. Just in time for all the corporate
floats: Starbucks and Delta. We've come a long way, baby. Everyone
wants the gay buck now -- now that we're nearly full citizens. Or at
least no longer illegal. That's the subtext to the parade/march.
Lambda Legal gets a huge roar of applause. Kevin and Hedda are
waving from atop a car. Cheer New York does a routine, tossing one
member twenty feet into the air. Gay Square Dancers -- doesy-doeing
to "It's Raining Men." There's as much to watch along Fifth Avenue's
sidewalks as walking down the lavender line. The sun is splendid,
and so is the breeze. So much noise. So much happiness. Smiles.
Everyone's friendly. Boys holding hands, and girls holding hands. No
one's worried. Public affection everywhere. And guess what -- the
world doesn't end.
We make it down to Hudson, eat and cocktail at Shag. Then over to
the Pier at Christopher Street where everyone is wandering and dazed
and giddy. So much beauty on display, so much humanity. Such
diversity. What a rainbow indeed. We are so many people.
ALEGRIA: SPECTACULAR SPECTACULAR.
Never has the title of an Alegria party seemed so apt -- for us.
From the moment we arrived at Sound Factory at two a.m., it was
clear to us that Abel was working at the peak of his abilities. He
set down a rhythm which seemed so contagious, so magnetic, so
consistent, that it was virtually impossible for any of the
thousands of people packed inside not to move, regardless of whether
they were upstairs in the VIP or downstairs in the basement lounge.
Every floor, every level, of this club was dancing to Abel's
incredible music. What was it? How to categorize it? Latina steroid?
Just enough aggression and just enough soul, a combination of the X
and Y chromosomes, mixed together in the most sexual way, so that
everyone felt sexual and looked sexual, dancing and moving and
bouncing. No matter where you were: along the balconies or in line
for the bathrooms or in the middle of the floor or on the mezzanine
overlooking the crowd, the music grabbed your booty and made you
shake it. The joy of these parties is the total lack of restraint,
the lack of self-consciousness. Something about the absence of
shirts, maybe, or the fact that it's so damn hot and therefore, why
pretend that any of us looks our best. Abel knows this place and the
boys there know him and it is a combination that seems unbeatable,
or so it seemed to us on Sunday night and all morning Monday. Nurse
was drenched, of course, her arm pumping wildly in the air, and then
later, from Abel's booth, where she was like a kid in a candy store,
overlooking all the boys. And we saw our favorite It Boy, and
watched him work the crowd. There's such a sense of community to
this party, because Ric Sena's boys seems to support him almost
unequivocally, and why not? Ric was there, overlooking the crowd,
very hands-on, and watching to insure that the shows went on as
planned. There were beautiful dick dancers, one in particular, and
we all know who I mean here, and he kept it happening, and hard. And
sure, maybe the shows aren't the most polished, in certain ways, but
for God's sake, these people are working on a stage the size of my
desk, and you're putting twelve people on that stage, so hey, I
think it's a miracle they move at all. And they did move. And all
that RED. Those red velvet curtains and red velvet swags and the
sign over the bar: THE GREATEST THING YOU'LL EVER LEARN IS TO LOVE
AND BE LOVED IN RETURN (from a song called "NatureBoy" once sung by
Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and a thousand others) and the big
heart on the stage curtain and the ALEGRIA LOVE around the lights
over the dance floor. All that red and all the subliminal references
to LOVE set the perfect tone for this party, and as someone else
said, when you go to an Alegria party, you just accept the fact that
it's going to be a sauna, and you deal -- (although, I must say, the
VIP room does provide much-needed solace when the need arises to
vacate the hysteria).
For us, this Alegria party was the best Alegria party we've been to,
and it was also the perfect embodiment of what we felt the entire
Gay Pride Weekend, and month of June, to be about: LOVE. Abel made
us so happy to be able to move and dance and Ric Sena's production
values made it a luscious place to celebrate community.
And now it's Tuesday, and it could be a terrible Tuesday, save for
the fact that when a weekend is as beautiful as this one has been
here in New York, for so many of us, then it's hard to feel anything