Michael Musto, Out. N YC is a gay-friendly town with a variety of neighbourhoods offering pockets of queer culture and nightlife, each with its own fruity flavour. The West Village — the hub of the modern gay movement, thanks to the rebellion at the Stonewall Inn — still bristles with gay bars and drag clubs, mostly unaffected hangouts such as the appealing Pieces , and The Monster , a two-floor nightlife emporium with piano bar on top and disco down below. Chelsea the gay mecca in the 90s was beset by a mass exodus as it became gentrified, though the long-running Barracuda Lounge still provides booze and schmooze, and G Lounge never goes away, thanks to its ambient mini-areas in which to hang with your clique. On last count, there were 14 gay bars in the area, without a cap off in sight.
The Limelight was a chain of nightclubs owned and operated by Peter Gatien. Peter Gatien opened the first Limelight nightclub in Hallandale, Florida, in the s. Following a devastating fire in the late s, Gatien chose Atlanta for his next incarnation of the club. The Atlanta Limelight opened in February It was housed in a strip mall at the former site of the Harlequin Dinner Theatre. The Limelight in Atlanta was a high-profile Euro-style night club that hosted many notables and celebrities over the years.
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They have come to Paddles, an after-hours sex club in Chelsea, not yet ready to end their evening. They prowl the long cinder-block hallway, exchanging knowing glances. A husky, bearded man in his 40s lounges on a corrugated black rubber bench, admiring a chorus line of smooth-chested somethings, their flesh glowing under a pink neon sign and black lights.
Located on an unassuming block in Brooklyn, one of the last black-owned gay nightclubs in the city has closed. Endangered Spaces is celebrating beloved neighborhood institutions that are fighting to stay open in an era of relentless change. Tell us a space we should feature, and send us your memories, at endangeredspaces nytimes. Illustrations by Julia Wertz. By Jamal Jordan.
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