A couple of days ago Ash and I went to a sort of meeting after work. The who or why of the meeting isn't very important but the where I found intriguing. We had dinner at this little lesbian bar that is only a couple blocks from the gallery. I had passed it many times before but had never stepped inside because it looks like a dive from the outside and I had no idea what to expect. Now I have to be honest here and say that yes i have been in lesbian bars before, maybe more than once, but never one like this.
(Suddenly I feel as if every male reader I have just left the room.)
It was just so different than any i have been in before. You enter the bar up a steep flight of steps that is just long enough to keep nosy NYU students from checking in. Once you are inside you find everything is a deep yet bright red in a style that reminds you of a bad movie version of the late Soviet empire. The walls, the leather bar chairs, even the matchbooks on the bar are red. So part of what makes it so different is the style.
But more than the style it was the people in the bar that gave it such an intriguing feel. Maybe having a theatre above it explained some of that but I'm not sure. The best way to explain it is this. The people in the bar totally reminded me of the corner bar I go to to watch sports with a major difference. Everybody inside was a lesbian, or pretending to be one for the night, and I never experienced that in this type of bar before.
As I sat chatting I started to compare the clientele here with other small bars and every role was here. The boyfriend, the girlfriend, the protector, the whore, the lawyer, and the working class person all in a mix of the glamorous, the sexy, the tomboy, and the butch. Honestly I never saw anything quite like it and for some reason it made me feel proud. The world may be changing but it was nice to see this little piece of it carved out of it for us. I may never set foot in the place again but it's nice to know it's there.
One thing I didn't find out till later was that the building is supposedly one of the most haunted spots in New York. Maybe that was where my strange feeling was coming from all along.