WHERE TO EAT
Esperanto 145 Ave C, 212-505-6559, esperantony.com. This inviting Alphabet City spot kicks brunching up to a whole new level. Prepare to wait in line for scrumptious Latin and South American inspired cuisine. (We sort of regret letting the cat out of the bag!)
Candle 79 154 E 79th St, 212-537-7179, candle79.com. Though a bit pricey, this Upper East Side vegan eatery is worth it. With a profusion of options for seasoned vegans and newbies alike, we heartily recommend the brunch menu.
Prune 54 E 1st St, 212-677-6221, prunerestaurant.com. There’s a reason why Prune the Cookbook is a New York Times bestseller. Here, you’ll enjoy American classics with an epicurean twist. Try the luscious Eggs Benedict and sample the menu of Bloody Marys.
Cheryl’s Global Soul 236 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, 347-529-2855, cherylsglobalsoul.com. We can’t get enough of this Prospect Heights gem. Mouthwatering salmon hash, buttermilk waffles, fresh fruity cocktails and first-rate coffee are just the beginning. After your first visit, it’ll be your go-to brunch spot.
Barraca 81 Greenwich Ave, 212-462-0080, barracanyc.com. A two-hour open sangria bar that includes eight unique and delicious sangrias, each one better than the last? And the food is to die for? Yes, please.
Ngam 99 Third Ave, 212-777-8424, ngamnyc.com. Chef Hong is a boss (she’s appeared on Iron Chef and battled Bobby Flay), and the food reflects that. Try the Pad Kee Mao (Spicy Drunken Noodle) to help fight off any spicy drunken hangover you may acquire during Pride. It can cure anything. It’s that good.
Cowgirl 519 Hudson St, 212-633-1133, cowgirlnyc.com. Cowgirl is a fave of the local lesbian community, so giddy up and ride over to this West Village standby. Cure what ails you with some Southwestern pulled pork nachos (and Frito pie, hello!) while supporting a female-owned business.
Heartland Brewery 127 W 43rd St, 646-366-0235, heartlandbrewery.com. Need a little hair of the dog? We understand. This Theater District spot has you covered, with much more to offer than delicious draft beers. The food, service, location and atmosphere are all splendid, and it’s the perfect place to hang with your Pride peeps.
Peacefood Café 41 E 11th St, 212-979-2288, peacefoodcafe.net. A vegan wonder! Peacefood is located in the Union Square area and serves delicious dishes until 10pm, every day of the week. This place is good for your mind, body and taste buds.
Westville East 173 Ave A, 212-677-2933, westvillenyc.com. With other locations in the West Village, Chelsea and by the Hudson River, we’re partial to the wildly popular East Village branch. The veggie burger is not to be missed.
Pure Food and Wine 54 Irving Pl, 212-477-1010, purefoodandwine.com. This is the ultimate place to detox after Pride. With a menu of superbly healthy entrees, salads, juices and smoothies, cleanse away your indulgences and sit in the outdoor garden.
French Roast 78 W 11th St, 212-533-2233, frenchroastny.com. Oui, s’il vous plait! A 24/7 French bistro is a great place to linger with Pride pals over brunch, lunch or late-night nibbles. Bring a date and smooch while sharing a plate of discotheque frites.
Veselka 144 Second Ave, 212-228-9682 veselka.com. Even if revamped and stylin’, Veselka remains an old-school diner for night owls who crave high-carb sustenance. They may specialize in Ukrainian fare, but their burgers and all-American sammies rock.
Charles Hanson’s 169 Soul Jazz Oyster Bar 169 E Broadway, 212-641-0357, 169barnyc.com/cmsmadesimple. Open ‘til 4am most nights, this is a sexy, edgy, fun spot where you can slurp delicious drinks, fresh oysters, dumplings and more. The kitschy décor and funky ambiance make it truly memorable.
Coppelia 207 W 14th St, 212-858-5001, coppelianyc.com. Conveniently situated on the border between Chelsea and the West Village, Coppelia is your 24/7 Cuban food fix. Pop in anytime, night or day, for mojitos, empanadas, arepas, fried plantains and chicharron.
DTUT 1744 Second Ave, 212-410-6449, dtutcafe.com. This popular UES cafe is well-worth braving the Second Avenue subway construction. Serving typical cafe fare, as well as wine and craft beer, DTUT (Downtown/Uptown) has a fantastically chill vibe brought on by its friendly staff and relaxed decor. Open late on weekends!
Atlas Café 116 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, 718-782-7470, atlas-cafe.com. With its yummy beverages, bagels and paninis, this cafe with a massive map of the world on the wall attracts a youngish crowd of hipstery intellectuals.
Bunna Café 1084 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, 347-295-2227, bunnaethiopia.net. If you love Ethiopian food—or if you haven’t tried it yet—we recommend heading to this Bushwick hot spot for some spicy, delish, vegan vittles. Bring friends and sample the feast for four.
Brooklyn Flipsters 444 9th St, Brooklyn, 718-832-5500, brooklynflipsters.com. Kid-friendly and dog-friendly, this spot is casual comfort food central! Try the vegetarian black bean burger (not mushy!) and shoestring French fries. Sample a beer on tap or a local brew. If you’re here in the daytime, nab an outdoor table and people-watch.
M Wells Dinette MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, 718-784-2084, momaps1.org/about/mwells. Housed inside MoMA PS1, this French-Canadian joint is one of NYC’s best-kept secrets, serving top-notch French onion soup, pate and steak tartare. Oh, and they also offer sandwiches and salads, which are anything but boring!
The Original Crab Shanty Restaurant 361 City Island Ave, Bronx, 718-885-1810, originalcrabshanty.com. If you’re up in the Bronx visiting Pelham Bay Park, then why not cross the bridge into City Island for some scrumptious seafood? Clam chowder (New England and Manhattan) scungilli, calamari, oysters, shrimp and lobster are all just waiting for you.
COFFEE AND DESSERT
ChikaLicious 203 E 10th St, 212-995-9511, chika licious.com. Bring your favorite ChikaLicious chick to this all-dessert, full-dining experience restaurant in the East Village. Satisfy her sweet tooth by filling her up with “Kisses Cupcakes” and other unique treats. Curbing your sugar intake? Check out the wine list.
Pudge Knuckles 184 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, 347-457-5475, pudgeknuckles.com. This cute little café right by the water in Williamsburg is the perfect place to study, sip excellent coffee and strike up a conversation with a pretty lady or handsome boi.
Max Brenner 841 Broadway, 646-467-8803, maxbrenner.com. An entire restaurant dedicated to chocolate! Oh, yes. Go to this place. Drink a chocolate drink. Eat chocolate. You’re welcome.
Big Gay Ice Cream 61 Grove St and 125 E 7th St, biggayicecream.com. With its two locations in two of the gayest areas of the city (West Village and East Village), Big Gay is a must during Pride. It will be hot, and this place serves ice-cold, super-gay ice cream. And it is, honestly, insanely delicious!
Butter Lane Cupcakes 123 E 7th St, 212-677-2880, butterlane.com. Located next to Big Gay Ice Cream in the East Village, it’s only logical to pair the two together. And trust us, these are some of the most luscious, lip-smacking cupcakes in the city.
Joe Coffee 405 W 23rd St and other NYC locations, 212-206-0669, joenewyork.com. Artisanal espresso is in store for you at this bustling boutique coffee chain. Want a little nibble with your drink? Joe also offers yummy donuts, croissants, muffins and sandwiches on crusty baguettes.
WHERE TO SHOP
Warby Parker four NYC locations, warbyparker. com. These glasses are all the rage, and for good reason. They’re incredibly stylish and surprisingly affordable. With four stores throughout the city (161 Ave of the Americas, 121 Greene St, 1209 Lexington Ave and 819 Washington St) they’re easily accessible and an absolute must-have for bespectacled lesbians this Pride season.
Smorgasburg & Brooklyn Flea East River State Park and 50 Kent Ave, brooklynflea.com. Smorgasburg is an outdoor food market that takes place every Saturday throughout the summer, and Brooklyn Flea is a flea market that takes place every Sunday. You can spend the entire day at both and never run out of things to look at or irresponsibly spend your money on!
Kikkerland 493 Sixth Ave, 212-262-5000, kikkerlandnyc.com. If you’re in need of some cool gifts, kitschy kitchenware or whimsical toys (and who isn’t?), drop by this exceptional store. We dare you to come out without knick-knacks you adore.
Citarella Multiple locations including 424 6th Ave, 212-874-0383, citarella.com. Everything you could possibly want for an outdoor picnic! Chocolate-covered strawberries, artisanal breads, deli meats, cheeses, fresh fruit, sparkling mineral waters and fancy-schmancy foods like truffles and caviar.
Fuego 718 249 Grand St, Brooklyn, 718-302-2913, fuego718.com. If you’re spending a lot of time in Williamsburg this Pride, you simply must drop by this beautiful and quirky Mexican boutique of home décor, arts/crafts and antiques. It’s a great place to find a one-of-a-kind gift for yourself or someone you love.
Babeland Multiple locations including 43 Mercer St, 212-966-2120, babeland.com. Hands down one of the best adult toy stores in the city. This store is every lady-loving lady’s dream, as they have everything you need to stock up for some intimate fun. Visit their website to find all NYC locations and details on their events.
Pleasure Chest 1150 2nd Ave (near E 59 St), 212-355-6909, thepleasurechest.com. We love the downtown outpost of the Pleasure Chest—but if you’re uptown, this gay-friendly location is a must for lube, vibes, dildos, provocative kits and other goodies you might want for a sexy night in.
Kiki de Montparnasse 79 Greene St, 212-965-8150, kikidm.com. Another must for Pride, this SoHo lingerie shop has everything you could want to surprise your significant other. They have a beautiful variety of apparel featuring everything from leather to lace.
Agent Provocateur 133 Mercer St, 212-965-0229, agentprovocateur.com. If Victoria’s Secret doesn’t quite cut it for you or your gf, turn to this upscale boutique for the sexy sophisticate. With everything from swimwear to underwear, they’ll have you looking sexy, no matter the setting.
Pink Pussycat Boutique 167 W 4th St, 212-243-3380, pinkpussycatny.com. If you’re in the West Village this Pride—and you likely will be—Pink Pussycat Boutique is the place to find BDSM gear (floggers and whips—oh, my!), fantasy costumes, fetish wear, skimpy lingerie, lube, erotic DVDs and all manner of sex toys.
Macy’s 151 W 34th St, 212-695-4400, macys.com. This is the historic, original Macy’s flagship location that takes up a whole city block. In fact, this is the second largest department store in the entire world! Go for amazing, everyday deals on top-quality designer merch while taking in the swank decor and impressive selection.
Barney’s New York 660 Madison Ave, 212-826-8900, barneys.com. Not for those who are faint of heart (or thin of wallet), this super-elite department store will astonish shopaholics. But if you’re broke, just looking costs zero dollars!
Blue & Cream 1 E 1st St, 212-533-3088, blueandcream.com. This Bowery boutique specializes in high-end casual apparel and accessories. Here, you’ll get hooked up with hot labels at cool prices, from designer suits to denim to sandals.
Behaviour 231 W 19th St, 212-352-8380, behaviournewyork.com. Dapper bois will rejoice in an appealing assortment of trendy menswear from international labels like Ben Mori, wooyoungmi, Paul & Joe, Roberto Collina, Unconditional and Gaspard Yurkievich.
Chisholm Larsson Gallery 145 8th Ave, 212-741-1703, chisholm-poster.com. A gay-owned art shop, this Chelsea mainstay has a unique collection of vintage movie and travel posters as well as historical prints and scientific illustrations.
Mary Meyer and Friends Vintage 56 Bogart St, Brooklyn, 718-386-6279, marymeyerclothing.com. For jewelry, accessories and women’s clothing, Mary Meyer won’t steer you wrong. Everything in this East Williamburg shop is carefully curated and super-cute.
AuH2O 84 E 7th St, 212-466-0844, auh2oshop.com. Bust out the periodic table in your high-school chemistry book for the name of this charming and chic boutique. Then go there. Pop some tags on a ‘goldmine’ (get it?) of used clothing, shoes and accessories from brands like Ralph Lauren, Superdry and American Apparel.
Obscura Antiques 207 Ave A, 212-505-9251, obscuraantiques.com. So you’re a natural history buff or a Goth geek in search of the perfect oddity? No problem. You and Obscura are a match made in heaven. Their collection of taxidermy and other exotic, eclectic items will blow your mind.
BETWEEN THE PAGES
Bluestockings 172 Allen St, 212-777-6028, bluestockings.com. This bookstore on the Lower East Side is 100 percent volunteer-powered and wears many hats as a radical bookstore, café and activist center. Bluestockings keeps the consciousness-raising flame alive with feminist readings, discussions and a selection of lefty tomes—oh, and delicious, fair trade coffee.
Housing Works Bookstore and Café 126 Crosby St, 212-334-3324, housingworks.org/bookstore. This bookstore/café combo has been a NYC institution and tourist destination for the past decade, and for good reason. 100 percent of their proceeds go to Housing Works, a noble nonprofit that combats AIDS and homelessness.
Strand Bookstore 828 Broadway, 212-473-1452, strandbooks.com. This literary treasure trove is a Gotham staple that everyone should visit at least once. The store’s tagline says it all: “18 miles of new, used and rare books”. They’ve got hefty collections of LGBT, women’s studies, poetry, fiction and social science sections—not to mention the best bargain prices in the city. Most paperbacks are 50 percent off the cover price.
McNally Jackson Books 52 Prince St, 212-274-1160, mcnallyjackson.com. Nothing really beats an independent bookstore with a bustling café, does it? This cultural outpost with an incredible staff is all the rage and plays host to some amazing literary events. Plus, you can buy fantastic books and sip great coffee. And you might (just might!) run into Ellen Page. What’s not to love?
Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers 218 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, 718-387-7322, spoonbillbooks.com. This sophisticated, edgy bookshop specializes in used, rare and contemporary books with an emphasis on the arts. The trip out to Williamsburg is worth it for this place alone. You’ll come out smarter, guaranteed, probably carrying a slick art mag or terrific literary finds.
Book-Off 49 W 45th St, 212-685-1410, bookoffusa.com. This enormous used bookstore, not far from the New York Public Library’s main Fifth Avenue building, offers a vast selection of books, graphic novels, comic books, magazines, video games, CDs, DVDs and other media. They’ll also trade or buy your stuff, if they’re interested.
WHERE TO PLAY
Hudson River Park Between Battery Park City and W 49th St, hudsonriverpark.org. Composed multiple parks along the West Side of Manhattan, with great views across the Hudson, it’s a scenic stretch to ride your bike. The River to River Festival features free events all summer long.
Ladies Village Soccer East River Park, E 6th St at FDR Dr, LadiesVillageSoccer@gmail.com. This fun and casual group’s summer season runs from Jun 12 thru Aug 16, and they play every Sunday at 5pm. This is the ideal place to show off your skills, break a sweat and get to know some awesome women!
Tompkins Square Park 500 E 9th St, 212-387-7685, nycgovparks.org/parks/tompkins-square-park. This stretch of green in the middle of the East Village is right at home in its wonderfully eclectic neighborhood. People-watching is never boring here, and opportunities for entertainment are endless with the park’s two dog runs (one for little pups, one for big dogs), two playgrounds, basketball courts, handball court, chess tables and centrally located ping-pong table.
Socrates Sculpture Park 32-01 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, 718-956-1819, socratessculpturepark.org. One of NYC’s best-kept secrets, this waterfront park in Queens has amazing outdoor sculpture installations and special exhibits year-round. On summer weekends, you can also avail yourself of some free tai chi and yoga classes. Art and healthy exercise? Sounds like a plan.
Kayaking on the Hudson River Visit downtownboathouse.org for info. The Downtown Boathouse will get you paddling on the Hudson—free of charge—at three different locations along the riverbank. Borrow one of their sit-on-top kayaks from May to October and see the sights from the water. You’ll get brief instruction and all the essential safety equipment; they also offer changing rooms, lockers for your stuff, locks, bicycle locks, sunscreen and first aid supplies.
Shakespeare in the Park Delacorte Theater in Central Park, 212-539-8500, shakespeareinthepark.org. This is a perennial NYC summer tradition. The Public Theater kicks off its riotously popular season in Central Park with a star-studded production of The Tempest (May 27-Jul 5), followed by Cymbeline (Jul 23-Aug 23).
Sheep Meadow 65th St Transverse, Central Park, 212-310-6600, centralparknyc.org. Holding the title of Central Park’s largest lawn without ball fields, this lush expanse was once home to a flock of sheep and is now home to hundreds of people every nice day of the year. Although it consistently draws a good crowd, it never feels crowded—a perfect place to lay out and chill with your special someone.
Coney Island Near Surf Ave, Brooklyn, coneyisland.com. It’s famous the world over for its historic boardwalk, Nathan’s hot dogs, Mermaid Parade, fireworks and freak shows. NYC’s summer playground by the sea has it all. If you’re up for a stroll, take the boardwalk to Brighton Beach for a vodka cocktail or bowl of chilled borscht.
Bronx Zoo 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, bronxzoo.com. Need a wildlife fix? You’ll see plenty of it here: lions, tigers, giraffes, gorillas, exotic birds, snakes, lizards, zebras, elephants, hippos and much more. Take your digicam or juice up your iPhone for photo ops. And how about those adorable free-roaming peacocks?
Appalachian Mountain Club New York Chapter, amc-ny.org. AMC is a fantastic organization promoting a love of nature and the outdoors. Get your adventure on this summer with one of their many group excursions to the New York wilderness and beyond! Let’s be honest, all good lesbians hike.
McCarren Park 776 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, 718-218-2380 nycgovparks.org/parks/mccarren-park. This park is home to 35 acres of constant activity and extreme diversity. The people-watching is superb, and there is no shortage of athletic activities to enjoy—with everything from a running track to a baseball diamond at your disposal. Or you can hang out and do nothing. That’s fun, too.
Audubon Eco-Cruises Departs from Pier 17 at South Street Seaport, 212-742-1969, nywatertaxi.com/tours/audubon. Don’t let the name fool you. Audubon Eco-Cruises aren’t just for birdwatchers. Grab your binocs and board a boat with the Audubon’s urban naturalists to see uninhabited islands, view wildlife in their natural habitat and get up-close with New York Harbor.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden 900 Washington Ave (at President St), Brooklyn, 718-623-7200, bbg.org. Promenade through these carefully cultivated gardens, and wear comfortable shoes. You don’t want to miss any of it. Plop down in the Cherry Esplanade for a gorgeous, sweet-smelling spot to unwind under the clouds, be in awe of nature and murmur sweet nothings to your gf.
Brooklyn Boulders 575 Degraw St, Brooklyn, 347-834-9066, brooklynboulders.com. Looking to get in shape for Pride but you’re bored of the gym? Head to Brooklyn for some rock-climbing awesomeness. BKB caters to novices and experts alike, offering classes and certifications for first-timers.
Nitehawk Cinema 136 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, 718-384-3980, nitehawkcinema.com. This delightfully old-school cinema shows only the best indie and classic films while offering moviegoers a full bar and food menu to enjoy at their seats. Plus, said seats are super comfortable. Come early; showings sell out quickly!
Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition (BARC) 253 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, 718-486-7489, barcshelter.com. BARC is a not-for-profit, no-kill shelter that has been providing a safe haven to abandoned animals since 1987. You can volunteer to walk the dogs or play with the cats, which is pretty much the best date idea ever.
Subway Sets check website for next location, subwaysets.com. These shows take the best performers from the subway and bring them above ground to showcase their talents in a different setting. The venues are always awesome and unique, and the music never disappoints.
The Center 208 W 13th St, 212-620-7310, gaycenter.org. NYC’s newly renovated Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, or just the Center, for short, is where you should pick up your copy of GO! and peruse the packed calendar of meetings, support groups, classes and LGBT-minded cultural happenings. While you’re at it, take a walk around and enjoy the Center’s amazing new $9.2 million renovations!
Lesbian Herstory Archives 484 14th St, Brooklyn, 718-768-DYKE, lesbianherstoryarchives.org. Support the city’s only repository of lesbian herstory and culture and the world’s largest collection of materials on lesbians and their communities, located in the heart of Brooklyn’s lesbian Mecca, Park Slope. The all-volunteer organization holds open hours, but they change frequently; to find out when they’re open, call or check out the online calendar.
The Leslie–Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art 26 Wooster St, 212-431-2609, leslielohman.org. The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is NYC’s epicenter of LGBTQ art. This amazing museum plays host to social, political and erotic LGBT art, along with providing educational resources, talks and performances!
Whitney Museum of American Art 99 Gansevoort St, 212-570-3600, whitney.org. Come visit this brand new location in the Meatpacking District for rotating selections from an immense American Art collection highlighting 20th and 21st century masters.
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) 80 Hanson Pl, Brooklyn, 718-230-0492, mocada.org. A Brooklyn cultural institution that truly inspires and educates, MoCADA is a must-see on any NYC itinerary. It’s way more than a museum. This summer’s artistic programming includes Field Notes: Extracts and Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion, and Resistance. Check the website for all the latest summer offerings.
Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Ave, 212-505-5181, anthologyfilmarchives.org. Anth-ology’s critically acclaimed programming champions new and obscure filmmakers, out-of-print movies and avant-garde cinema, with occasional screenings of long-lost queer classics. Get discounted tickets and other benefits by becoming a member today!
Brooklyn Academy of Music 651 Fulton St, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100, bam.org. This impressive multimedia arts complex presents progressive programming in the realms of independent cinema, music, dance, opera, theater and literature. Peruse BAM’s website for up-to-the-minute info on the exciting summer schedule of cultural offerings.
Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Ave (at E 82nd St), 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. We can’t think of a better destination for your New York City culture fix. Grab a bite in the cafeteria or a refreshing drink on the Met’s rooftop after visiting the gigantic permanent collections. Make sure you catch Van Gogh: Irises and Roses, on view through Aug 16.
New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, liberty.wnba.com. Are you a WNBA fan? Who isn’t! If you’re visiting NYC or a resident who didn’t nab season tickets for 2015, check out the team’s website, where you’ll find info about individual game tickets, and you can shop for team merch.
Resorts World Casino 110-00 Rockaway Blvd, rwnewyork.com. Feelin’ lucky? Get on the A train and head out to Resorts World Casino. Explore the blackjack tables and video slot machines throughout the two-floor complex. Don’t miss live music shows at the onsite entertainment venue, Central Park. Disco diva Gloria Gaynor is playing there on Jul 11. Win or lose, at least you won’t leave bored.