Categories
Events Nightlife Timeline

Devil’s Playground: Bloody Valentine 2022

DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND:

BLOODY VALENTINE

WEBSTER HALL, NY

NIGHTLIFE

02-11-22

Moments from Ty Sunderland‘s Valentine’s Day party with Aquaria, Slayyyter, Gigi Goode, Symone, Linux, Cameron Hughes, Xunami Muse and more.

* {
box-sizing: border-box;
}

.row2 {
display: -ms-flexbox; /* IE10 */
display: flex;
-ms-flex-wrap: wrap; /* IE10 */
flex-wrap: wrap;
padding: 0 4px;
}

/* Create four equal columns that sits next to each other */
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%; /* IE10 */
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
padding: 0 4px;
}

.column2 img {
margin-top: 8px;
vertical-align: middle;
width: 100%;
}

/* Responsive layout – makes a two column-layout instead of four columns */
@media screen and (max-width: 800px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%;
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
}
}

/* Responsive layout – makes the two columns stack on top of each other instead of next to each other */
@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 100%;
flex: 100%;
max-width: 100%;
}
}

Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Events Nightlife Timeline

Glam Awards 2022

GLAM AWARDS

SONY HALL, NY

NIGHTLIFE

01-30-22

The Glam Awards celebrate NYC Nightlife for the 23rd time. Sidewalkkilla is nominated for two categories: Best Nightlife Photographer and Best Blogger/Writer. The Rosé and Brita Filter host. Guests and nominees include Aquaria, Virginia Thicc, Novaczar, Boy Radio, The Dragon Sisters, Rify Royalty, Michael Musto, Tina Twirler and much more!

* {
box-sizing: border-box;
}

.row2 {
display: -ms-flexbox; /* IE10 */
display: flex;
-ms-flex-wrap: wrap; /* IE10 */
flex-wrap: wrap;
padding: 0 4px;
}

/* Create four equal columns that sits next to each other */
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%; /* IE10 */
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
padding: 0 4px;
}

.column2 img {
margin-top: 8px;
vertical-align: middle;
width: 100%;
}

/* Responsive layout – makes a two column-layout instead of four columns */
@media screen and (max-width: 800px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%;
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
}
}

/* Responsive layout – makes the two columns stack on top of each other instead of next to each other */
@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 100%;
flex: 100%;
max-width: 100%;
}
}

Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Events Nightlife Timeline

Detox and Love Will Save the Day

Love Will Save the Day (LWSD)

THE SEVILLE

NIGHTLIFE

09-08-21

LWSD is a New York Fashion Week party produced by Deryck Todd and Evan Kline in association with LDV Hospitality was “a love letter to the rebirth of New York, written on the dance floor.”

Co-hosted by ladygunn magazine, the event took place at The Seville. Timo Weiland and Malik Lindo DJayed the night away, while drag superstar Detox performed for the fashionable crowd.

Other notable guests included Margie Plus, Quenlin Blackwell, CT Hedden, Barton Cowperthwaite, Phil Gomez, Ethan D’Spain, Ryan Clark, Alexander Hankin, Jeff Perla, Ryan Thomas Roth, and more.

* {
box-sizing: border-box;
}

.row2 {
display: -ms-flexbox; /* IE10 */
display: flex;
-ms-flex-wrap: wrap; /* IE10 */
flex-wrap: wrap;
padding: 0 4px;
}

/* Create four equal columns that sits next to each other */
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%; /* IE10 */
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
padding: 0 4px;
}

.column2 img {
margin-top: 8px;
vertical-align: middle;
width: 100%;
}

/* Responsive layout – makes a two column-layout instead of four columns */
@media screen and (max-width: 800px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%;
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
}
}

/* Responsive layout – makes the two columns stack on top of each other instead of next to each other */
@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 100%;
flex: 100%;
max-width: 100%;
}
}

Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Nightlife Timeline

Welcome to Garden of Love

NIGHTLIFE

Welcome To Garden Of Love

Garden of Love Gitano hosts a bougie post-apocalyptic NYC drag brunch every Sunday.

SUMMER 2020

“I had to wake up

at 7 AM this morning

to get ready.”

Says NYC nightlife legend Amanda Lepore while sipping on a margarita during the weekly Gitano Garden of Love Sunday brunch party that she hosts with her drag daughter CT Hedden. “I’ve been invited to drag brunches before and I always said no, but right now there is nothing else to do.”

It’s not often that NYC nightlife creatures make it outside during the day dressed in their latest garb. But of course that’s not the craziest thing coronavirus has changed. “This is the only chic spot to be right now since Indochine is closed,” says nightlife persona and Amanda Lepore’s bestie CT Hedden, “so I told Amanda let’s do this party together.” CT doubles as a bartender in drag and is not a stranger to conceiving and hosting events in pre-COVID New York. It’s hard to call Garden of Love at Gitano a party though; it’s more of a brunch soirée, where you are only allowed to table-hop if the table’s host allows you to join them. Everyone has to wear a mask once you stand up from your chair. It’s strictly reservations only, where the doorman takes his job very seriously, “Six feet apart please, get in line!” Before entering the premises you are prompted to scan a QR code with your smartphone where you are asked a series of questions about your recent travels and if you were recently in contact with someone exposed to COVID-19. Once your temperature is taken and you’ve shown the filled-out waiver to the host, you are welcome into the Garden of Love. “Next they are going to start taking our DNA and blood samples,” one of the brunchers quipped while smoking outside. 

CT Hedden and Misty Copeland

Gitano’s sitting area transports you into Tulum, the original outpost of the company. “It doesn’t even feel like you are in the city during a pandemic,” says one of the first-time guests at CT’s table. Gitano is planning on staying open until late October and CT is hoping to continue Garden of Love as long as possible. Notable attendees include rincipal dancer with American Ballet Theater Misty Copeland, DJ Tommie Sunshine, Aquaria, LaQuan Smith, Raisa Flowers, Sharon Needles, Ryan Jamaal Swain and more.

NOTE: The photos below are a compilation from the events that took place on August 16, 24 and 30.

* {
box-sizing: border-box;
}

.row2 {
display: -ms-flexbox; /* IE10 */
display: flex;
-ms-flex-wrap: wrap; /* IE10 */
flex-wrap: wrap;
padding: 0 4px;
}

/* Create four equal columns that sits next to each other */
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%; /* IE10 */
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
padding: 0 4px;
}

.column2 img {
margin-top: 8px;
vertical-align: middle;
width: 100%;
}

/* Responsive layout – makes a two column-layout instead of four columns */
@media screen and (max-width: 800px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%;
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
}
}

/* Responsive layout – makes the two columns stack on top of each other instead of next to each other */
@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 100%;
flex: 100%;
max-width: 100%;
}
}

Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Events Nightlife The Mixer Timeline

Susanne Bartsch Is Back On Top (Virtually)

THE MIXER | NIGHTLIFE

Susanne Bartsch

Is Back On Top (Virtually)

A notorious NYC party producer has taken to the internet to keep the rhythm going despite the coronavirus pandemic

It has been roughly two months now since the unthinkable happened: the city that never sleeps found itself in a veritable coma amid mass shutdowns aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As people fled New York City and countless lives that once thrived on the crowded rituals of urban life were upended by the pandemic, America’s most populous and vibrant metropolis was drastically and perhaps permanently altered. The MTA emptied out, the bright lights of Times Square danced for no one, and the throngs of nocturnal creatures that propelled the working hours of the city around the clock were robbed of their sanctuaries.

It was almost inconceivable in January that the virus that had thrown China into a state of utter panic would ever overwhelm New York City. For many, the alarming early coverage of COVID-19 was simply another online spectacle depicting a catastrophe an ocean away. Six months ago, New York was alive as ever on New Year’s Eve with its usual flurry of raucous parties packed with people hopeful for a new year and a new decade. No one could have known what was coming.

One hundred years ago, America and the rest of the world were gripped by a different pandemic, the Spanish Flu, a virulent influenza virus estimated to have infected approximately 500 million people, a third of the world’s population at the time. From April of 1918 until December of 1920, the virus killed as many as 100 million people, with more people dead in 24 weeks than HIV/AIDS killed in 24 years. The virus came in three waves and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, created the most severe pandemic in history. After the postwar economic boom delivered Americans into a more prosperous era, the virus became a distant memory – until now.

Aquaria, April 23

Top health officials have predicted that COVID-19, much like the Spanish Flu, will come in waves, leaving Americans mired in perpetual uncertainty. For industries such as nightlife that thrive on crowds of people, the ultimatum is clear: adapt or die out. With the virus spreading rapidly worldwide, the internet is the last redoubt. Enter Susanne Bartsch. As downtown queer nightlife’s perennial maven and one of New York City’s most notorious party producers, Bartsch has taken to the internet to keep the rhythm going. This year’s season of On Top, Bartsch’s much-anticipated summer/fall party that usually takes place at the Standard Hotel in Chelsea, was relocated to Zoom, an online video conference platform where club kids and drag artists from all over the world have begun to use their aesthetic tastes to create an extradimensional cyber party under the auspices of Bartschland.

“People at The Standard don’t even know when they’re opening, and it’s already about to be June,”

Bartsch said.

“It’s devastating. It’s very uncertain, very, very uncertain.”

But party producers aren’t the only ones hurting in nightlife. By keeping the party online, DJs, hosts, and entertainers are given another opportunity to make money. Bartsch said her 2020 calendar has been completely wiped clean, an indicator of what so many others in the industry are probably facing as well.

“From Las Vegas to Vienna, I’ve lost every job there is,”

she said.

“Other than bringing together the community and supporting this nightlife community, it’s also to help and pay people so they’re able to buy food for the week.”

This week marks the online party’s seventh Thursday installment after its launch on April 16, and each week brings with it a different set of competitive look themes and a rotating cast of hosts, guest hosts, and entertainers. In addition to the usual staples such as glamour superstar Amanda Lepore, makeup mastermind Ryan Burke, downtown it girl Linux, performance art genius Thee Suburbia, burlesque bombshell Lola Von Rox, and a cast of other provocative personalities (Gottmik, CT Hedden, Jeffrey Scott, Kiss, Candy Warhol, Muffy, Chlamydia, Mateo Palacio, Adventure Dave, and Bob Bottle to name a few), Bartsch also books special guest talent that has already included RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Aquaria, Crystal Methyd, Detox, Nicky Doll née Karlize, Brooke Lynn Hytes, and LA trans idols Gigi Gorgeous and Love Bailey, among others. DJs have included crowd favorites such as Vito Fun, Mazurbate, Tom Peters, Ty Sunderland, Aquaria, Amber Valentine, Tommie Sunshine, and London party impresario Jodie Harsh. This week, Bartsch is adding Trinity the Tuck to the roster, which promises to make for an interesting evening.

Fashion photographer Steven Klein celebrating his Birthday, April 30

Though we are separated by distance together, the remote platform has given artists the opportunity to customize their virtual surroundings in a way that augments their sartorial and cosmetic looks. Bartsch’s parties have always served as a gallery space for artists to showcase work on their bodies, and now that space extends to their virtual presentation as well. Whether it be libertine displays of communal nudity or watching renowned fashion photographer Steven Klein blow out the candles on his birthday cake, each week has brought something fresh in what is quickly becoming a new global age of New York nightlife. There are still online after-parties. People still get high. DJ sets still guide the sonic tempo of the night. The events bring all the trappings of a regular party with none of the crowded congestion one might experience in the Le Bain bathroom (God bless it) during mid-May.

This may be the first online party of its kind – one that took an existing weekly party that became impossible in the face of the pandemic and preserved it in cyberspace, where for the first time anyone with an internet connection can attend from anywhere in the world. Queer nightlife is something special that needs to be preserved during these times of blinding uncertainty. In New York City, which became the pandemic’s epicenter in a meteoric contamination, nightlife will probably be facing a depression for some time to come, especially if the virus moves in unpredictable waves and makes event planning and coordination impossible.

Still we press on. Even though the NYC Pride Parade was cancelled this year, along with the gauntlet of regular Pride events, mark your calendars for June 28. Bartsch is planning an international online Pride party on Zoom titled “On Top of the World: Pride,” featuring a bevy of headliners such as Allie X and talent from cities all over the world, including New York, LA, London, Tokyo, Paris, and Berlin.

“I never even did a FaceTime call before all this,”

Bartsch said.

“I’m going all the way.”

These times are historic, and so the ways that we choose to party and continue to celebrate life will take on a historic significance as well. The relationship between party and partygoer will be more symbiotic than ever. The parties offer respite to those taking quarantine seriously and give glamorous people everywhere a continuing opportunity to show up and show out. In exchange, we have to keep logging in and supporting these endeavors. As we now know well, nothing is promised. But we can still fight for the right to party. 

* {
box-sizing: border-box;
}

.row2 {
display: -ms-flexbox; /* IE10 */
display: flex;
-ms-flex-wrap: wrap; /* IE10 */
flex-wrap: wrap;
padding: 0 4px;
}

/* Create four equal columns that sits next to each other */
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%; /* IE10 */
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
padding: 0 4px;
}

.column2 img {
margin-top: 8px;
vertical-align: middle;
width: 100%;
}

/* Responsive layout – makes a two column-layout instead of four columns */
@media screen and (max-width: 800px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%;
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
}
}

/* Responsive layout – makes the two columns stack on top of each other instead of next to each other */
@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 100%;
flex: 100%;
max-width: 100%;
}
}

Categories
Videos

CT Hedden’s “QuarantQueen” Ball At The Met

CT Hedden’s “QuarantQueen”

Ball at The Met

06-14-20

Even though The Met Gala has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, an NYC drag nightlife persona CT Hedden came up with an idea to throw his own version of the Gala, inspired by social distancing. Meet all the queens that attended “QuarantQueen” Ball. Attendees: Nikki Exotika, Glow Job, Jasmine Rice LaBeija, Thee Suburbia & Digna.

Alexey Kim

Founder

Felix Santos

Co-Founder


If you enjoy our work, plese consider donating:


Categories
EDITORIAL Timeline

CT Hedden’s “QuarantQueen” Ball At The Met

EDITORIAL

CT Hedden’s “QuarantQueen”

Ball at The Met

Met Gala is postponed, but some NYC queens held their own social distancing inspired ball at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of the most-anticipated fashion events of the year, the Met Gala helmed by Anna Wintour, has been postponed. Leave it up to the NYC drag queens to take matters into their own hands and keep the fantasy alive.

CT Hedden, one of New York City’s prominent drag nightlife personas, came up with an idea to throw his own version of the Gala, inspired by social distancing. 

“I feel like as an entertainer, it’s our job to entertain even in tough times,”

says CT on the idea of throwing an apocalyptic homage to the actual Gala,

“people look to us to lift their spirits. I’ve been doing live shows and I had this woman talk about how she was going to have elective surgery for cancer, and she’s been watching my shows and laughing about it. It’s about expressing art and just making people smile.”

During the 5-hour shoot on the steps of The Met, countless numbers of people stopped by to say hello to the queens dressed in their best “QuarantQueen” looks and thank them for brightening up their day.

Since the end of April, at least 21 US states started partially reopening, just a month and a half after the nation’s implementation of stay-at-home orders. Meanwhile, New York remains the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, with the quarantine still going strong. 

After the government’s orders to shut down all non-essential businesses back in the middle of March, a lot of freelance workers found themselves stuck at home with nothing but time. All over social media people are talking about ways to stay sane during the quarantine, and one thing everyone swears by is “staying creative.” Many artists have dug deeper into exploring their passions and have found ways to acclimate to the new reality quickly.

“It’s just adapting – that’s what we do as human beings, and if anyone knows how to adapt, it’s drag queens. We are constantly adapting, we don’t fit in a social norm – I don’t care how big a television show gets. We are still ridiculed, we are still a minority, but it never stops us. That’s the thing – we are resilient people,”

says CT.

In 2019, the first people to attend the Met Gala in drag were Violet Chachki and Aquaria, both winners of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Just a few years ago that would have been an unimaginable feat for any drag queen (possibly besides RuPaul himself) to be invited to the world’s most elite fashion event like the Met Gala. Instead of waiting for his turn to be invited, CT decided to involve some of New York’s most notable trans and drag personalities to create their own version of the event.

“I think we are really creating a moment this morning and that’s really what it’s about,”

says CT on his way to the steps of the Metropolitan Museum.

“It’s so important,”

he goes on,

“when you see a garment on someone, it touches you. Fashion is an emotion, whether it’s good or bad. And this is about having that inner happiness. You gotta know that life is still happening.”

See all of the attending queens’ quarantine couture below and find out how they “stay creative.”

NOTE: All of the queens were scheduled for separate shoot times, were advised to wear a mask during the shooting, and keep appropriate social distance.

Meet The QuarantQueens

Glow Job

Drag Burlesque Clown

Jasmine Rice

Drag Artist

Nikki Exotika

Pop Singer/Actor

Digna

Drag Personality

Thee Suburbia

Drag Personality

Drag Burlesque Clown 

What inspired your “QuarantQueen” Ball look?

The theme for the Met Gala this year was supposed to be “About Time: Fashion and Duration” and I was kind of playing off that, thinking about different ways that I could reflect different time periods. There’s a bit of Victorian in my outfit, a bit of futuristic, post-apocalyptic. The feather in the cap kind of represents victory – getting through and surviving this whole ordeal.

How do you stay creative during these times?

I stay creative by listening to myself and my spirit. Honestly, in the first 4 weeks of this, I wasn’t being creative, I wasn’t feeling my creative juices and it actually kind of terrified me. Then last week I took a deep breath, allowed myself to sleep, wasn’t being so hard on myself, and things just kind of started coming back to me.

Why did you accept the invitation to the “QuarantQueen” Ball?

I accepted the invitation because I needed to do something. Being invited to today’s Ball was a big inspiration, it got me to feel creative again, artistic again, alive again.

What inspired your “QuarantQueen” Ball look?

The inspiration for my garment came from hanbok, which is a traditional Korean women’s garment, and I just wanted to pay tribute to Korea, because they are doing such an amazing job with COVID-19.

How do you stay creative during these times?

I try staying creative during these times just by having fun with life. Not taking anything so serious even though what’s going on in the world right now is so serious, you have to find joy, love, and happiness.

Why did you accept the invitation to the “QuarantQueen” Ball?

I did this to bring back hope. I feel like people are losing hope especially in New York City and in the US, because of what our current government is doing and how they are handling this situation. So I came out to spread some joy, some love and light, and that’s what LaBeija is all about – spreading la sunshine. We need more hope in our lives today, so that’s why I came out with my sisters.

Pop Singer/Actor

Cash App $TrueLifeDoll

What inspired your “QuarantQueen” Ball look?

I’ve always had a fascination with Maleficent, I feel like this outfit is very inspired by the movie. Plus I’m into domination, S&M, and BDSM, so this is the perfect outfit for it.

How do you stay creative during these times?

I’m the queen of Halloween. I create everything. I can be in my house and just make amazing outfits, I bling things out, work on my YouTube, social media, record music, I’m always busy.

Why did you accept the invitation to the “QuarantQueen” Ball?

I think it’s for a good cause. A lot of people have been stuck quarantined in their house for so long, that they are about to lose their minds and I needed to leave the house.

Drag Persona

VENMO @dignanyc

What inspired your “QuarantQueen” Ball look?

Today I am feeling a little pretty, very fluffy. The Met Gala is always so extravagant, I want to show the simplicity of my style. I am a minimalist, for me this is actually a lot. Normally I am in the bodysuit, but today I wanted to do something pretty, something cute. Also I haven’t been out, so why not show off?

How do you stay creative during these times?

I found that doing a lot more makeup has been my creative outlet during the quarantine. It’s pushed my limits to the next level in terms of what I’m capable of doing with makeup.

Why did you accept the invitation to the “QuarantQueen” Ball?

I was supposed to be doing makeup this Monday for a client of mine that goes to the Met Gala and obviously it’s not going to happen, so I decided to put makeup on myself and attend the Ball myself.

Drag Persona

What inspired your “QuarantQueen” Ball look?

Well, I had an old roommate, their name is Mint Fuel, you can find them online. They are Acid Betty’s drag son – they make all this stuff out of insulated foam. I lived with them long enough to be put in hell with insulated foam. To the point that I started making things with insulated foam. I kind of wanted to make something out of hair. All of this is made with hair, the insulated foam was just a structure. Then I surrounded it with the hair from this supplier called RastAfri, it’s called mood braid hair and it changes color in the sun. It goes from blue to purple and now we are getting a purple moment. 

How do you stay creative during these times?

Every day I wake up and I pick something new to create, whether it’s hair or an outfit or a number. I’m a drag queen, so I do a lot of those. Yesterday I curled out a long mane and this morning I revived this look a little bit, so that and the virtual shows is what keeps me going.

Why did you accept the invitation to the “QuarantQueen” Ball?

What made me accept the invitation to the Ball today were all these people that wanted to get a vision and I had a vision to give. I really wanted to get out of the house and I know everyone else wants to get out of the house, so I figured hey let’s all have a water hair fantasy moment together.

Alexey Kim

Founder

Felix Santos

Co-Founder


If you enjoy our work, plese consider donating:


Categories
EDITORIAL Timeline

The New Normal, Or How Creatives Stay Creative

EDITORIAL

The New Normal,

or How Creatives Stay Creative

Coronavirus kills, but life streams.

03-30-22

According to a March 24 article in The Guardian, around 20% of the world’s population is currently under some form of a lockdown due to COVID-19, or coronavirus. With the disease quickly spreading and affecting the entire world, as of March 25, 2020, around 2.6 billion people (about one-third of the world’s population) are under government-mandated lockdowns and quarantines, with half of those people being in India, according to data provided by Statista. Some countries are implementing stricter lockdown laws than others: Jordan’s residents are not allowed to take walks or even grocery shop – anyone caught outside could face a jail term of up to one year; while in Italy, which quickly became the epicenter of the pandemic after China and currently has the highest death toll from the virus, people are still allowed outside for a limited time and only when necessary; Puerto Rico, one of the unincorporated US territories, implemented a mandatory curfew until April 12, from 9 PM–5 AM – certain professionals are excluded from the curfew, and others can only leave their home during that time for emergency purposes only; anyone who breaks the curfew and doesn’t meet the mandated criteria will face a fine of $5,000.

While the US was ranked #1 in Global Pandemic Preparedness, according to a pre-COVID-19 report, the 2019 Global Health Security Index, the Trump administration’s dismantling of the team in charge of pandemic responses in early 2018, and downplaying the coronavirus threat from the very beginning, didn’t do us any favors. WHO’s morbid prediction on March 24 about the United States possibly becoming the next coronavirus hot spot has now in a matter of days become the reality – as of today (March 31), the number of COVID-19 infections in the United States has surpassed China and Italy, with over 171,684 confirmed cases (live numbers here) and counting, with the death toll quickly approaching ,4000.

With over 172 million people currently under an at least partly enforced lockdown within the US, and with the virus that is well on its way to 1 million officially confirmed infections all over the world, Trump’s initial plan to get back to usual business by Easter was very ambitious, if not laughable. On Sunday, March 29, Trump announced extension of federal guidance on social distancing through April, with the peak death toll still two weeks away. In their turn, infectious-disease researchers recommend that the public continue to practice social distancing until some genius invents a vaccine, which could take 18 months.

A large number of people who have been laid off or simply not allowed to go to work due to closures of all non-essential businesses have found themselves wondering how the fuck they can afford to live another day. The recently approved unprecedented $2 trillion relief package aimed to help affected individuals with a one-time payment of $1,200 at most (based on a sliding scale) will also be used to expand unemployment benefits and help small businesses stay afloat. Even though the stimulus package can greatly help a certain chunk of the population (good luck getting through the unemployment call center), many freelancers and artists who depend on odd jobs are left in the dark about their own future. For many creatives, $1,200 can only go so far (forget about seeing this money if you are an immigrant without a social security number); with many businesses closed indefinitely and with the US stock market almost failing every other day, there is no telling when freelancers will get any commissioned jobs even when we are past the days of quarantine.

But leave it up to the artistic community to make the best out of a shitty situation, keep themselves busy and, hopefully, paid. Livestreamed shows have become as ubiquitous as the absence of toilet paper in supermarkets. These days it’s impossible to turn on your Instagram and not see at least half a dozen livestreams happening at the same moment. After only a matter of a few days into quarantine, people figured out that they could use the very available livestreaming services that a myriad of platforms offer for free to share their art with digital fans and, in some cases, earn a coin.

Amongst the first few live shows that we were able to catch were Charlene Incarnate and Tyler Ashleys Baby Tea Brunch that was livestreamed from a rooftop in Brooklyn instead of from its usual site, lesbian-owned farm-to-table Superfine restaurant; Miami’s Counter Corner party that was hosted by the Ultimate Miami Drag Queen 2019 Karla Croqueta from the comfort of her home; and The Rosemont’s Oops! that was livestreamed right from the living rooms of the party’s creators, Juku and West Dakota.

Just before Juku’s and West Dakota’s first number, the pair expressed how this was already their biggest Oops! showing, with around 300 people tuning in to what the girls had in store for the night. The girls, known for their sharp wit and out-of-the-box creative performances, kept the viewers captivated, and the performance garnered a write-up in Vice magazine.

Biqtch Puddiń, the winner of Dragula Season 2, came up with the very first Digital Drag show, livestreamed on Twitch, the world’s leading platform for gamers. During the streaming of the show’s first installment, at some point during the night the viewership went up as high as 10,000 people watching the stream at the same time. During the broadcast Biqtch Puddiń confessed that she didn’t expect her Digital Drag show to gain such momentum on social media.

During these digital drag shows, a performer’s preferred payment information is displayed and the viewers are free to tip if they wish to support. It seems that for many drag performers, this has become their livelihood now that no more bar and club appearances are being booked. Biqtch Puddiń stated that the reason she wanted to do the Digital Drag show was to help out performers in trouble. All of the tips donated to the general account were promised to be distributed evenly between the performers, but everyone was encouraged to tip their favorites personally as well.

Within the first week of the closure of all non-essential businesses, Sidewalkkilla started a fundraiser on its Instagram page, inspired by queer writer and speaker Fran Tirado’s tweet. After receiving a few donations, we decided to split the total donated amount into $50 payments to people who have provided their payment info in the comments under our Instagram post. To our surprise, one of the randomly chosen benefactors, Laurel Charleston, passed up the donation in favor of another trans performer. She expressed that she received a good amount of donations from performing on Biqtch Puddiń’s first airing of the Digital Drag show, which helped her get out of a “fucked” situation. In turn, Laurel was inspired to give back to the community herself and is hosting her own first livestream drag brunch show on Sunday, March 29.

MTHR TRSAs Hole Pics made its digital debut on Saturday, March 21, with an almost half-hour long opening performance that involved a lot of weed, drama, and clever camera work.

“What happens when we get back to actual clubs, like it’s gonna be live, but not on our phones, it’s gonna be so weird,”

MTHR TRSA, also known as New York-based artist Dylan Thomas, exclaimed at the end of the 2-hour livestream.

Not all creatives use livestreaming for drag shows. There are makeup tutorials, gossip, DJing, games, Q&As, yoga, workouts, and meditation – you name it, you will find it.

One of NYC’s drag staples CT Hedden started a live show called Makeup Hour, inviting all the high-profile people he knows for a quick beat and tea-spilling. His guests so far have been supermodel Winnie Harlow, actress-turned-activist Rose McGowan, American Ballet Theater prima ballerina Misty Copeland, and an indie pop star Allie X.

CT Hedden with Rose McGowan during Makeup Hour

“I think it’s gonna last a lot longer than people think,”

said Rose McGowan during her Makeup Hour with CT.

At the time of the stream Rose was quarantined at her friend’s place in Atlanta, saying that she would be leaving soon to wait out the pandemic in Mexico.

“A couple of days ago DOJ was seeking to suspend constitutional rights. I’m not staying in this country during a military coup,”

Rose went on,

“this is like a cultural reset, a lot more people will understand what refugees go through.”

Miley Cyrus during Bright Minded IG show with Alicia Keys

MTHR TRSA drowning in weed during

Hole Pics

Juku as a top and West Dakota as a bottom during Oops!

Just a couple of days before LA ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses and mandated social distancing by the public, Miley Cyrus started a talk show named Bright Minded with the help of her own Instagram account. From Monday to Friday, Miley hosts special (all of them obviously famous) guests to talk about “staying LIT in dark times.”

In the latest episode, Miley had a question for her special guest Alicia Keys:

“How do we come out of this? We don’t want to come back to the pre-COVID-19 world, we want to go back to a better world, one that’s more connected, one that’s more compassionate. Right now everyone is stopping everything that they got going on just to protect the vulnerable and we don’t always do that, that’s not a part of our everyday routine. So we actually might be becoming better people through the virus. Or actually even saying, ‘Hey what we got going on in our life isn’t actually worth jeopardizing someone else’s health’ and we don’t always do that – we drive in big cars and pollute the environment. . . What positive effect would you like to come out of this experience and what world do you wanna step back into?”

This was a deep question, throwing Alicia off for a minute, but undoubtedly making everyone watching contemplate on it as well.

In the current climate it seems that everything is pointing towards people spending more time inside their homes in the near future, whether because Netflix just dropped all 10 seasons of your favorite show, you are afraid of being blown up to bits at a crowded place, or simply because you are living in the current reality of World War III with the invisible and, at least for now, invincible enemy that is COVID-19.

Without a lie, this stay-at-home directive was sort of fun in the beginning, it was almost like someone let you play hookie and relieved you of all adult responsibilities, well, like going to work for example. Queef Latina, the creator and director of South Florida’s biggest queer performance festival Wigwood, expressed that she was happy to sleep and relax.

When we suggested that maybe, nowhere to spend = no need to earn, she retorted,

“Very true, except we still need to eat.”

Damn, forgot about that one…

Paris-based fashion photographer Michele Yong shared,

“I stay in so often that there is not much difference to me. We need a document to go outside just in case of police checks, but I haven’t been checked yet, because I mostly go out to walk my dog. It’s nowhere as strict as China. People are still allowed to be outside an hour a day or exercise.”

Even if we do turn into couch potatoes in the near future and have robots serving us freshly baked pizza out of their ass, most people are eager to be freed from this lockdown, if not for the love of socializing, then at least for the sake of earning money to pay the rent and buy canned tuna for their cat.

Nightlife photographer Mark Minton losing it, after moving to Tennessee and narrowly escaping the virus in NYC.

One of the questions that begs the answer is, will the livestream shows continue its momentum after the coronavirus is a thing of the past?

Dynasty, an eclectic Asian drag queen and writer for The Cut and New York Magazine, doesn’t think so:

“I don’t think streaming will continue after quarantine because they’ve sprung up out of necessity. Drag relies so much on a live audience and being with the community in real life. So I think everyone will be super excited to get back into real-life shows and being able to experience that together again.”

Dynasty’s close friend that shared the stage with her many a time, West Dakota, seems to be in the middle,

“I think that quarantine is forcing us to explore how we are connecting with our audiences and is going to open up new avenues for us to do so. Our weekly show that we’ve taken digital since the quarantine is reaching a lot more people than our physical space can accommodate. That being said I think that sharing space, intimacy, and touch are all irreplaceable parts of performing. I don’t think things will ever return to ‘normal’ but we’ll have new understandings of what it means to connect.”

“Having an audience is always nice to feed off the energy of the room. I think after quarantine the girls, myself included, will definitely consider more online shows, but I will be so excited to be back in a bar,”

says MTHR TRSA.

Even though most people are adapting to “the new normal” or the current reality, some performers seem to have a hard time imagining digital communication as humanity’s future fate.

Brooklyn-based trans self-appointed “post-drag priestess” Charlene Incarnate shared in one of her Facebook posts, just after Baby Tea’s rooftop livestream performance,

“I’m seeing the narrative being woven of the resilience and adaptability of drag queens to take their shows online, that video and streaming is ‘the future’ etc. and that happy hour with your friends on Zoom isn’t so bad. BUT I have to say that it’s a completely untenable and unsustainable practice – for my art and for me personally. I can deal with change, I have my whole life. I can deal with stock markets crashing, an impending ‘next great depression,’ the end of the world as we know it – hell, I’ve been turning nothing into something for a decade. But a world without live gathering is truly, truly not one I care to be a part of.”

Whichever way this is headed, only time will tell, but for now it looks like we will have to assimilate into the new reality and stay in contact mostly through the digital medium. As nightlife photographer and Sidewalkkilla contributor Mark Minton, who moved to Tennessee right before the shit hit the fan, simply put it,

“I just want to work without killing my parents.”

Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Events Nightlife Timeline

Devil’s Playground With Crystal Waters and Milk

Devil’s Playground

NIGHTLIFE

VALENTINE’S DAY

Ty Sunderland throws another edition of Devil’s Playground party at the Webster Hall, this time to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Crystal Waters and Milk from Drag Race perform.

* {
box-sizing: border-box;
}

.row2 {
display: -ms-flexbox; /* IE10 */
display: flex;
-ms-flex-wrap: wrap; /* IE10 */
flex-wrap: wrap;
padding: 0 4px;
}

/* Create four equal columns that sits next to each other */
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%; /* IE10 */
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
padding: 0 4px;
}

.column2 img {
margin-top: 8px;
vertical-align: middle;
width: 100%;
}

/* Responsive layout – makes a two column-layout instead of four columns */
@media screen and (max-width: 800px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%;
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
}
}

/* Responsive layout – makes the two columns stack on top of each other instead of next to each other */
@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 100%;
flex: 100%;
max-width: 100%;
}
}

Alexey Kim

Founder

Categories
Nightlife The Mixer

Susanne Bartsch’s “Valley Of The Dolls” Halloween

THE MIXER | NIGHTLIFE


Plastic Fantastic At Susanne Bartsch’s “Valley Of The Dolls” Halloween Party At MoMA PS1

Susanne Bartsch’s Valley of the Dolls Halloween party at MoMA PS1 delivered the full plastic fantasy once again with a menagerie of nightlife’s most extravagant muses, set to various dioramic displays arranged almost like rooms in a dollhouse.

Every year Barstch throws a Halloween party at MoMA PS1, which, as one of the largest and most premier national institutions dedicated to contemporary art, serves as the perfect setting for Bartschland’s menagerie of some of New York’s best visual artists, socialites, and nightlife muses: people who dress up almost every week, not just on Halloween. 

For me, attending the party with backstage access and having a rapport with so many of the artists I have respected for so long was a moment of ascendancy and a reminder of how far I’ve come. The long list of hosts and attendees included – just to name a few – icons such as Ryan Burke, Linux, Pissy Pussy, Muffy, Brandon Olson, J Rosa, Angel Rivers, Jessica Relinda, Princess of Chinatown, Jeffrey Scott, Bob Bottle, Vile Sanchez, Cami Montoya, CT Hedden, Kyle Farmery, Lola Von Rox, and Blaire Jirousek.

With such a heavily attended event full of people in looks for the Halloween festivities, I couldn’t possibly list everyone that made the party so memorable. It’s like when you know what people are capable of in their visual artistry, and then they all simultaneously show you exactly what they can do. As a photographer, it was optical overload. I was racing from place to place just trying to capture everyone I could before the end of the night, while finding time to enjoy myself and drink enough alcohol to really get the creative juices flowing.

I dressed as Andy Warhol, who more or less originated the propagation of the idea that anyone can win fifteen minutes of fame in a media landscape that thrives on promotability. He called his muses “superstars,” and in a way that’s exactly how I see so many of the people on the New York scene. Regardless of online following or social clout, Bartsch has a way of assembling parties full of people who know how to make life feel more exciting through their artistry and who create a sense of fantasy in everything they do.

Between the party at MoMA PS1 and the afterparty at Elsewhere in Brooklyn, the night’s festivities went on for a solid eight hours or more. It was a night of clowns eating goldfish on top of postal trucks, dolls in their boxes drinking beer, and a celebration of ourselves as works of art at the highest social level.

* {
box-sizing: border-box;
}

.row2 {
display: -ms-flexbox; /* IE10 */
display: flex;
-ms-flex-wrap: wrap; /* IE10 */
flex-wrap: wrap;
padding: 0 4px;
}

/* Create four equal columns that sits next to each other */
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%; /* IE10 */
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
padding: 0 4px;
}

.column2 img {
margin-top: 8px;
vertical-align: middle;
width: 100%;
}

/* Responsive layout – makes a two column-layout instead of four columns */
@media screen and (max-width: 800px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 50%;
flex: 50%;
max-width: 50%;
}
}

/* Responsive layout – makes the two columns stack on top of each other instead of next to each other */
@media screen and (max-width: 600px) {
.column2 {
-ms-flex: 100%;
flex: 100%;
max-width: 100%;
}
}

Mark Minton
Mark Minton

Journalist