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Lesbian Social Diary: What Happens When A Seasoned Manhattan Lez Does Brooklyn?

September 7, 2017

She brings her passport, for sure.

I have a confession to make: I. Never. Go. To.


Okay, not never, but rarely do I venture over the bridge and into the bliss. The Brooklyn Bliss.

It’s not that I don’t like Brooklyn, I happen to love Brooklyn. Brooklyn is stunningly gorgeous. Impossibly-hip. The home to the young and the beautiful and the hyper-creative entities of the sparkly 5-borough city that is New York.

It’s where heavily tattooed lesbians in distressed, skinny-black-denim casually slouch against graffiti-adorned pre-war buildings, cigarettes recklessly hanging out of their forever pouting plum-colored lips, their smoky eyes cast downward into the cement pavement, posing vacantly as their chic photographer girlfriends snap pictures of them and upload them on to Instagram for their 30,000+ followers to enjoy.

They don’t even use captions or hashtags in Brooklyn. They’re that cool. 

I even had a brief stint of living in Williamsburg, one hundred years ago, before Williamsburg had a SoulCycle and a Whole Foods and approximately 10,000 pregnant supermodels sauntering down Bedford Ave draped in athleisure.

For a year I shacked up with a hair stylist, a carpenter and a school teacher in a raw warehouse space on South 4th Street. We shared one bathroom and smoked indoors with the windows slammed shut and brought lots of questionable strangers home and listened to each other have drunken sex through the paper thin walls that divided us.

I lived in Chelsea after that. Then the Upper East Side. Now The West Village.

I swear to Lana Del Rey.

A post shared by Zara Barrie (@zarabarrie) on

Oh, the West Village!

By day it’s where posh elderly gay men plant flowers on the tree-lined side-streets and the straight female fashion editors who worship them, swarm the restaurants in dramatic outfits; oxblood colored capes and $5,000 sweatpants and black boots with toes such sharply pointed toes they stab street rats right through the heart.

By night, it’s classic gay New York. Drag Queens teetering down Seventh Avenue in sky-high-heels, underage queer streets cats fighting with bouncers who won’t let them into the party because they don’t have identification, lesbian couples passionately making out in the center of the street, all of us holding up traffic, wreaking collective gay havoc.

A post shared by Zara Barrie (@zarabarrie) on

The historic, Stonewall Inn with its sweet familiar lights and rainbow flags holds court on Christopher Street.

Boots N’ Saddles always has a sassy drag queen with long tangled Mermaid hair there to greet you at the front door.

Monster is dimly lit and sinful and I always forget my jacket in the tucked away coat-check.

Pieces is always teeming with boys and cocktails.

I can hear the magical sounds of a retired Broadway star expertly pounding on a Piano inside of Duplex, seven nights per week.

I know that no matter what, if I walk by the Cubbyhole between the hours of 5pm to 11pm I’ll see my dear friend Stacy Lentz smoking right out front, her blonde curly hair whimsically blowing in the west-side winds.

Have I mentioned how much I love The West Village in all of its fabulously flawed glory?

However, a girl needs a change from time to time. I’ve found myself bored to tears, not just with The West Village, but with Manhattan. I longed for new sights, sounds, smells and styles to gawk at!

“Can we go to Brooklyn tonight, pleaseee?” I asked my girlfriend two Saturdays ago, as I gazed into the mirror primping for a night out.

“Aw, babe! I would love to it’s just SO FAR.” She moaned as if I was asking her to go somewhere really far, like Mars or Staten Island.

“I’ll pay for the Uber. I want to go the Bad Habit, Hot Rabbit’s party in Bushwick.” I smeared some Urban Decay green shadow across my eyelids. It sparkled and looked like a million diamonds were scattered across my face. All that glitter only fueled my desire to party.

“BUSHWICK, THAT’S LIKE SO FAR!” Meghan bellowed.

“IT’S NOT THAT FAR!” I bellowed back.


“THANK YOU, BABE.” We were still bellowing, not because we were angry with each, but because sometimes it feels good to bellow.

A few hours later I found myself sipping on a can of pink Champagne in the backseat of a very expensive taxi ride to Brooklyn.

Meghan sat next to me, taking smalls sips of her civilized bottle of water, as she dutifully answered emails on her phone. I fished into my purse and reapplied an extra coat of Two-Faced “Better Than Sex mascara” to my cloggy-looking eyelashes, as I’m wont to do when nervous.

Why was I nervous?

Social Anxiety, baby. The social anxiety is bad, not even the prescription dose of Zoloft is powerful enough to quell it. Never-the-less, I force myself into socialization.

We spilled out of the taxi right in front of Lot 45, the epic space that is home to Hot Rabbit’s Bad Habit party.

(For the record, I’ve been to Bad Habit, but not for at least two years. I remember the energy being ultra divine, but I don’t remember the details because, I was in a very dark place in my life and don’t remember much from that time, in general).

We met my friend Char (otherwise known as CB Glasser) at the door (She is a partner at Hot Rabbit, and she throws stellar LGBTQ, ultra-inclusive parties in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Los Angeles).

We caught up for a bit, and off into the night my girlfriend and I went.

We drank tequila and soda-water and within minutes found ourselves on the big, open dance floor. We’re used to being cramped indoors in Manhattan and were overwhelmed (in a good way!) by all the space.

It was fabulous!

Amazing contortionist dancers twisted their strong bodies on the elevated stage.

Photo by Shea Carmen Swan

A beautiful drag-queen entertained the masses.

Photo by Shea Carmen Swan

Char was the best host ever, always walking around ensuring that everyone was having the time of their lives.

Photo by Shea Carmen Swan

The night had both the vibe of a Vaudeville style show. Eccentricity was embraced! Fabulously weird costumes were celebrated!

There wasn’t a trace of the ole’ Manhattanite snobbery I’ve grown oh-so accustomed to.

If you don’t get it, then forget it. 💋✂️ Captured by my ❤️ @megwhites

A post shared by Zara Barrie (@zarabarrie) on

At around 1am I sat in the screened-in outdoor area, curled into the comfortable sofa and wondered why I was having so much fun.

And it struck me right in the center of my tequila buzzed brain: There was a young, excitable vibe to the Bad Habit party. You could feel that there were people in attendance who were newer to New York and fucking ecstatic to be immersed in the magical queer NYC energy.

Photo by Shea Carmen Swan

There wasn’t the Manhattan bitterness that I know (and love) so well. In Manhattan, we’re more seasoned lesbians. We’re what my girlfriend calls “established” (and not in a successful way necessarily, but in the “stuck in our ways” kind of way).

We’ve been around the block and we’re wholly spoiled by having tons of gay bars in walking distance of our apartments. We all know each other. And by the end of the summer, we’re tired. Drunk and tired and weary.

The energy was light and bright and enthusiastic at Bad Habit. It reminded me of my carefree early 20s when I lived in California and only cared about kissing girls and going to parties and having fun.

At around 2am when we were on our way back to Manhattan I slurred to Meghan “Maybe we should move to Brooklyn?”

“Babe. Don’t get carried away.” She sounded alarmed.

“I’m not getting carried away. Seriously. Let’s move to Brooklyn!” Suddenly I imagined an apartment that had space, space big enough for a dog and two kittens and all of my platform shoes.

“I love it too, but I need to be able to walk to work for my mental health, and so do you. We’ve discussed this. We are Manhattan people.”

“Fiiineee. Can we at least promise to go more?” I asked her, playing up the Bambi eyes.

“Yes. I promise.” She nodded her head, confidently.

And we will. Because how can you call yourself a “New Yorker” if you spend all of your time in one neighborhood?

I mean isn’t the reason we all put with New York and its outrageous rent, so we have this amazing city with all kinds of amazing parties and people and cultures and boroughs, at our fingertips?

So. Where are you guys going in the next few week? Email me at Zara@Gomag.com. Lesbian Social Diary is every week and I want to go everywhere. House Parties. Botox Parties. Art Shows. Sex Cults. Whatever.


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