New York, what have you done to me? You took my little heart and swirled it all around. Damn, I had a freaking fabulous time – the kind of time where you want to curse to emphasise how fucking brilliant it was. So NYC and I have a bit of an odd relationship. First time when I was passing through when I was 18 I thought I would love it, last year I was more or less indifferent with a hint of disappointment and this year I came to the conclusion “nope, I really do love it”.
Over my IG I met the fantastic Anita, who is the Editor in Chief of DapperQ. If you are like me and appreciate the dapper and masculine presenting people – DapperQ Is the blog that will give you life, and hope, and something to think about during those lonely nights. My appreciation for what DapperQ is doing has no boundaries, and belongs definitely to one of my all time favourite blogs. So I knew from Anita that she was planning to do another of her legendary DapperQ Fashion Shows and it was clear that I need to do anything to move my sweet self down to NYC for that. First day I had a lunch date with Anita and Debbie – coming to a new city and jumping into power femme loveliness is the best way to travel. I spent most of the day with Anita, chatting about style, femmevisibility and solidarity. Hyped up from such a great start I followed an invite despite jet-lag and sore feet (yeahy for wearing new heals all day while running through the city) – to Hot Rabbits’ Bad Habit where the folks from Lot45 and of course the amazing host Char took fantastic care of me. Hot Rabbit/Bad Habit seems to be one of THE queer parties to go to in NYC – I loved the venue in Bushwick and music, plus visual art was on point. The people there were a friendly and approachable bunch, which I is so important for a lone traveller like me.
Sunday I met up with the by now familiar faces at Henrietta Hudson for another gay night out and to meet the designer fam. Ok, so with Henrietta Hudson, I think if I would stay longer in NYC it would awoke the same feelings in me as SHE in London does: It’s one of those places were you end up eventually and NYC people complain cause it is their go to lesbian bar – and what would life be like if you can’t complain about your lesbian hotspot. Now for me, as a passer-by I loved it! They played everything from topten to salsa, sprinkled a bit of bachata in there, it was crowded but manageable, drinks kept on coming, so yea, I was pretty smitten by it. Plus the people in NYC are so friendly, maybe I was lucky, but people were chatty, approachable and very caring. For the flirt culture, I felt there was a bit of an old school vibe lingering around, which, as you probably can guess, I more than appreciated. The next couple of days was filled with family time, going to the carnival, meeting people, including a second brunch with the amazing femme blogger Debbie and one of my all time favourite dapper dandizettes and dapper chick Sara.
The grande finale was definitely on Thursday the DapperQ fashion show (you can read here all about that). With prime seating, I was able to fully enjoy this deliciousness of empowered subversive fashion and visual polite resistance. It is hard to express how special this event was, but when you entered Brooklyn Museum that evening you felt a whole lot of love and understanding. We know what we go through, we know that we need love and care and be celebrated. We need safe spaces or at least safer spaces, spaces that defy sexism, transphobia, racism, ableism, lookism and all sorts of oppressive mechanisms in such a beautiful way that you want to watch it over and over again.
After the show I headed down to the after show party also presented by Hot Rabbit, despite being tempted after a very generous drink, what was called Tequila with Pineapple juice (you know the type were you wonder if they might have forgotten the latter ingredient) to dance the night away, I had to be good because in the morning it was time for me to say goodbye. My farewell was sweetened by one last brunch and then I hopped on to the plane off to San Franisco.
What can I say, it was everything… NYC, I will be back soon.