By Guest Writer Chiffon Dior
So you’ve been inspired to take a holiday trip to New York City by all the great Christmas films that take place there: Miracle on 34th Street, Elf, or Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Bravo! You’ve made an excellent choice. There is no better time to see the Big Apple than during the holiday season.
The tidings of joy make even the most stone-hearted New Yorker … well, slightly less surly, but once you’ve seen the tree, ice skated in Rockefeller Plaza, and had some sketchy street meat from a vendor of indeterminate origin, just what else is there for you to do in “The City That Never Sleeps”? Good question, and one I am here to answer.
If you want to go the touristy route, there is no shortage of shows to see, particularly the famous Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes; or you can catch one of the hot shows on Broadway such as the 2015 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Fun Home, or other favorites – Kinky Boots, Wicked, or Chicago. For my money, I would go check out the wonderful new show, Dames At Sea, at the Helen Hayes Theatre.
If you’re looking to still have a fun night of live entertainment without having to pay Broadway prices, the Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe on West 42nd Street offers fabulous shows in a more intimate setting. To really get into the holiday spirit, don’t miss the amazing Paige Turner’s Christmas show, Hurry Down My Chimney!, on Dec. 4 and 5; or Holly Dae’s wonderful ensemble holiday show, Distorted Kristmess on the Dec. 15.
Of course, you know there are almost limitless dining options in New York, at least so I hear. As a drag queen, I haven’t had solid food since the Clinton Administration.
I will say though – for the love of Cher, I beg of you – PLEASE don’t be one of those tourists who eat in chain restaurants! You can get some jalapeno poppers from TGI Fridays back home.
For starters, let me suggest a trip to celebrity chef Mario Batali’s Eataly on Fifth Avenue, which features several restaurants and market shopping with an Italian flare all under one colossal roof. Just bring along a large appetite!
In order to walk off those calories you’ll pick up while there, I would highly recommend taking a trip down to Big Gay Ice Cream Shop with locations on East Seventh Street and on Grove Street to indulge in a “Salty Pimp” or a “Bea Arthur.” Your love handles may regret it, but you definitely won’t.
If you want to inflict some shopping damage on your bank account AND see some amazing holiday decorations, head on over to the Macy’s Herald Square flagship store. Then check out some other big, fabulously decorated department stores like Barney’s New York and Bloomingdales. If that’s too commercial for you, head on over to Bryant Park and check out over a hundred open air holiday artisan and craft shops, as well as some seasonal treats.
Of course, the nightlife in New York City is without peer, featuring a host of different gay bars catering to all different tastes. You’ll definitely want to visit the legendary Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the gay rights movement. If you’re in the mood for a party with an incredible view, Penthaus Fridays in Hell’s Kitchen is the only gay rooftop event in the city.
But if you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated and laid back, you can’t go wrong with a trip to The Townhouse Bar of New York to enjoy some cocktails in New York’s premiere gay piano lounge.
Whatever you ultimately decide you do and see in New York, you can’t go wrong. The holiday season truly is the most wonderful time of the year in the Big Apple, and you’re certain to have an amazing time here in our city. Bon voyage and happy holidays everybody!
Chiffon Dior is the Head Diva in Charge of WERRRK.com, a website focusing on the best in drag, nightlife, entertainment and pop culture. She was recently nominated for Best Nightlife Writer/Blogger at the 17th Annual Glam Awards. Follow her on Twitter (@chiffondior) and let her know about your Big Apple getaway!