Surest spots to find gay culture
BAAD!, as it is also known, was created by dancer and choreographer Arthur Aviles with the Point Community Development Corporation (it is the base of Arthur Aviles Typical Theatre). The artist studios house painters, sculptors, designers and visual artists. The warehouse space is located in the legendary American Banknote Building. The space houses a 70-seat performance and workshop space.
- 841 Barretto St, (between Garrison and Lafayette Aves)
More than 22 years after it started hosting experimental performances in a loft on the Bowery, this plucky organization has finally opened its gorgeous new space a few blocks away on the Lower East Side. A lounge, mainstage theater and studio all support the work of emerging artists. The roster of summer events includes the annual HOT! festival of lesbian and gay arts.
- 161A Chrystie St, (between Delancey and Rivington Sts)
The world's largest collection of items collected by and about lesbians, founded in 1975, resides in this grand Park Slope townhouse, where you are welcome to come and browse the fascinating stacks of books, photos, videos, periodicals, special collections, and ephemera, from clothing and political buttons to sex toys. Watch for open houses and special events (like readings, screenings and discussions), and know that the staffers here are willing to help you find what you're looking for.
- 484 14th St, (between Eighth Ave and Prospect Park West)
Probably the city’s premier small spot for sit-down audiences, Joe’s Pub (named for Joseph Papp, the founder of its parent, the Public Theater) brings in impeccable talent of all genres and origins. While some well-established names play here (Gilberto Gil, Ute Lemper), Joe’s also lends its stage to up-and-comers (Christina Courtin, a new-to-America Amy Winehouse). A small but solid menu and deep bar selections seal the deal—just keep an eye on the drink prices.
- 425 Lafayette St, (between Astor Pl and E 4th St)
This 90-seat rental and production space is a standout, with its stunning wood-and-concrete construction (oozing with green technologies), sweet art gallery and (when do you rhapsodize about this downtown?) a wonderful bathroom. Already in its short history, it has hosted some notable works like the musical 33 to Nothing.
- 195 E 3rd St, (between Aves A and B)
The name of this colorful joint on the Bowery reveals its poetry-slam roots, but it’s also the truest current iteration of the East Village’s legendary arts scene: All kinds of jazz, folk, hip-hop and improv theater acts can be found here routinely. If you have a taste for the avant-garde and don’t offend easily, keep your eyes peeled for any show from the Jollyship to the Whiz-Bang musical-puppet crew. The BPC offers a range of sandwiches and hot and cold drinks—and there are generally seats available to rest one’s weary feet.
- 308 Bowery, (between Bleecker and E Houston Sts)