NewNowNext Travel: 7 Parties Changing New York Nightlife This Summer

hey queen 2

Hey Queen

In a city with thousands of options when it comes time to ‘grab a drink’, we often find ourselves tired of the same old watering hole. Desperate to shake things up a bit, we went out in search of fabulous parties that are staking a claim in New York nightlife this summer.

From the West Side Highway to Brooklyn, from hipster gays to scene queens, here are seven parties, you have to see for yourself:

jd sampson

As far west as one can go before hitting the Hudson lies the Rusty Knot, where JD Sampson (above) is throwing the kickass Sunday-afternoon smash Scissor Sundays.

Presumably intended for a dyke crowd, the word has gotten out about this bash and now its been overrun with cute hipster gays (beard alert!) attracted by the open vodka bar from 4-5pm, $2 shots all night and amazing frozen drinks with cute little umbrellas in them. You really can’t ask for much more on a Sunday afternoon!

Scissor Sundays @Rusty Knot 425 West Street, Manhattan


The oldest gay bar in New York, Julius’ still exudes charm, and throws its older clientele a curveball once a month with Mattachine (above), where John Cameron Mitchell brings in a crowd from all ends of the gay and gay-friendly spectrum. Arrive around midnight for strong drinks, a manic dancefloor, old-school tunes, indie-celebrity sightings and a real New York experience.

Mattachine, last Thursday a month @Julius, 59 W 10th Street, Manhattan

witches kelly kai

Photo: Kelly Kai

The antidote for a boring Tuesday night is Brooklyn’s most mysterious party, Witches. A popup coven of sorts that takes place at Tandem Bar on the last Tuesday of every month. These Bushwiccan boys and babes will bewitch even the most godly goodies.

Expect serious sorcery from behind the decks and surprises around every dark corner. Anne A and Christina T keep the party funky and fresh with guest DJs and usually some sort of opportunity to get a ridiculous tattoo.

Witches @Tandem Bar, 236 Troutman St Bushwick, Brooklyn

les garcons
For the edgy queer, Catwalk at Marquee is the Thursday night party to see and be seen at. The Susanne Bartsch-produced bash features the kinds of outrageous queens and mind-boggling performance art we all thought New York had in spades. For the more button down sort, the Les Garcons offshoot party offers boys in bowties.
Catwalk @ Marquee, 289 10th Ave  


Tuesday nights at the Westway offer up Westgay, a twink/Hell’s Kitchen gay hotspot, and probably the best place in the city on a Tuesday night. With strippers, popular DJs, and hot boys, this party shows no signs of slowing down, a rare find in gay nightlife.

Westgay @the Westway, 75 Clarkson St, Manhattan


hey queen

For the gay willing to hoof it to Brooklyn we can’t praise Hey Queen, the monthly magical shindig at Littlefield, enough. Expect changing themes, drag queens, dance-offs, hipster queers and more at this rave-like party emceed by Avory Agony and Sarah Jenny. The icing on the cake: A portion of proceeds benefit different LGBT charities every month.

Hey Queen, one Saturday a month @ Littlefield, 622 Degraw Street, Willamsburg, Brooklyn

SPF at dream

With summer here, no gay week is complete with out a rooftop party: Our vote is for SPF at Ava atop the Dream Hotel. For starters, there is an open bar for the first hour of this party from the boys that brought us Griffin Sundays. But, more importantly, they have spiked snow cones and Sangria popsicles! It’s like a grown up Good Humor truck.

SPF @Dream Hotel, 210 West 55th Street,  Manhattan