As cliché as it sounds, there really is no place like New York in the wintertime -- or year-round for that matter. While Times Square and the Statue of Liberty will be there any time of year, there’s no getting around the holiday magic of the Big Apple.
New York is a gay mecca, and has been since even before it cemented its place during Stonewall. Over the years, as LGBT culture expanded, so have the offerings of bars, nightclubs and major gay events that call New York home.
Where should you start your gayest of winter wonderland outings?
If you are of the hirsute persuasion and forgoing hibernation, then feast your eyes on the glistening body hair, muscle, bellies and more inside spots like Rockbar, Gym Sportsbar, and The Eagle. Rockbar is one of the best-known bear bars in the world, and hosts some fantastic events including Jockstrap or “Rockstrap,” and many more. Gym Sportsbar is more of a laid back spot where several televisions air live sports while the burly set cheer on their favorite teams. The venerable Eagle, which has several locations across the country, is your leather fantasy turned to life. Three floors showcase different activities. The first floor is a basic bar setup, the second floor has that as well, but also provides some great space to enjoy another person’s company, and the third is an outdoor space that gets very, very busy during the summertime.
For a more fantastic slice of The Big Apple, head uptown to Hell’s Kitchen the best spot to find dancing with world renown DJs. Rise to Therapy to Atlas Social Club play some fantastic dance music that will keep your heartrate going as you enjoy the weekend. If you are looking for more of an M4M experience with some “Magic Mike” type strippers, then definitely head to Adonis Lounge which hosts multiple shows during the week with some of the hottest men in the Tri-State area for your viewing pleasure.
Of course, all this dancing will make you hungry, so what are the best spots to chow down at while you are in Manhattan? Beyond the numerous culinary celebrities that call this city home, food Halls are becoming incredibly popular providing even the pickiest of eaters with multiple food options to try. Places like Pennsy Hall (outside Penn Station) and City Kitchen (outside Times Square) showcase a variety of foodie finds that include everything from Vegan to Burgers to Sushi and so much more. Simply delicious!
If you are looking for something on the sweeter side, look no further than these three spots: Huascar & Co. Bakeshop, Magnolia Bakery and Schmackary’s. Huascar & Co. Bakeshop is run by Huascar Aquino, who rightfully won an episode of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars a few years back. His Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcake is devilishly delicious. Magnolia Bakery, of Sex and the Cityfame may be best known for its pretty pink cupcakes, but should definitely try their Banana Pudding, it’s insanely good. Schmackary’s is known for their amazing cookies and is located right in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. Your best bet would be to beeline for their Maple Bacon Cookie.
Since this is New York, a Broadway show would be a shame to miss out on, you’ll be surprised at how lucky you could get at one the TKTS booths throughout the city. If the museum is more your speed, the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) and The American Museum of Natural History are some of the most awe-inspiring places to spend an afternoon.
If you are looking to get into the holiday spirit while, Bryant Park’s Winter Village is an ideal place to visit. You can skate the day away while sipping on some tasty hot chocolate and enjoying the local vendors.
New York is always a good idea, and the holiday season ever more so. See the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, do some shopping