Whoa, what an ego it takes to host your b'day party on the singular
best weather day New York has all year. A day so perfect, the air so
clear, the sky so blue, the calm of the city palpable -- and you
chuck it all to duck into a pitch-black club. Maybe this is one
definition of circuit addiction.
We got to Roxy around noon, and climbed the stairs, holding onto
each other, and the boys in front of us, all of us blinded from the
sudden shift from day to night, like a total eclipse. Security was
similar to what one finds at airports these days, complete with
plastic containers for the contents of one's pockets. There was a
huge sign overhead which said something about apologizing to Roxy's
patrons and that the searches were for the clubgoers' own security.
At noon, the club was not crowded. Junior had commandeered the far
end of the floor, as is his wont when at the Roxy, but he hadn't yet
completed smudging his Grand Poobah booth with sage and candles and
incense (though a print of his head, swollen to Lincoln
Memorial-size proportions, covered the back wall). So, while Junior
decorated his suite, Billy Carroll was at the helm, in the usual
deejay booth, the one reserved for those not celebrating birthdays.
We went upstairs, to what was once called the Crystal Room, and out
onto that little lounge which overlooks the bar and the floor
beyond. And that's where we were seated when the curtain went up,
when the Wizard stepped behind the tables. It was actually rather
thrilling, to hear the applause as Billy Carroll stopped playing.
You knew what was coming next. And it was appropriately dramatic.
And I had the sudden sense that what we were doing was analogous to
sitting in a B'way theatre for a Sunday matinee of a musical, the
overture about to commence. Junior brought in this very dramatic
music which was perfectly balanced by the lights which had the
effect of a sheer scrim whirling outward like a spinning top. A
scrim which reached all the way out to the corners of the dance
floor as it swirled -- and it was pretty impressive, and the go-go
boys were on the boxes, two of them working perfectly in sync -- and
truth be told, it was exactly the opening number you wanted for a
party which was keeping you from experiencing the best weather day
of the New York year.
The crowd got bigger as the hours passed. At two p.m., there was
Inda Matrix (which is surely her given name) who sang BodyFly, and
she worked it, and the boys cheered, and her producers/managers were
ecstatic (we were standing next to them) shouting, "They loved her.
They loved her."
More boys, more shirtless boys, so that now the crowd was tipping
away from Junior's heterogeneous mix into more of a circuit crowd.
Earlier, we'd been talking about how Junior's crowd is so diverse --
which, to us, means that it must be about the music, for what else
would cause this eclectic group to gather (and give up the best
weather day New York had to offer all year -- did I mention this
The music worked for us; it kept us moving. Maybe because we haven't
been out since Pride, we didn't recognize a lot of the music. Which
is best for us. Neither of us enjoy moving to stuff we moved to last
year in Montreal (and, in fact, when Dark Beat came on, we both had
to suddenly pee).
Then RKM, and probably someone else, but we missed it because we
were slurping orange slices over by the back bar and getting busy,
and suddenly, there was an explosion, and by the time we got back
around to the stage, whoever blew up was already vapors.
Then it was four, and the floor was packed, in a good way. "It's not
as good as Pride," we heard someone complaining. Well, of course
not: it's Junior's b'day, not the birthday of an entire community,
It was a good party, and when we left after four, we were
comfortable leaving, even though we both had the sense that the best
part of the party was still to come. Probably the optimum hours for
this party would've been between two p.m. and seven p.m.
Junior's b'day party used to be one of the two markers in this town
for the end of the season. His b'day used to feel to us like the end
of Summer Camp: NYC, for those who had stayed in Gotham for the
sweltering season, and there was a kind of celebration about making
it together. This year, because Junior didn't play in town all
summer, the party's energy felt a little more disparate. We hadn't
spent a summer making memories together.
Interestingly, the other end-of-summer marker used to be Wigstock,
held during Labor Day weekend, and which ended in 2001, but this
year returned to Tompkins Square Park in an abbreviated two-hour
version. It was this past Saturday, and the usual suspects trotted
and stalked and cantered across the stage (Lypsinka who got the
loudest cheer, and Kevin Aviance who worked his new number, and
Flotilla and Murray Hill and Sweetie and Bob, and of course, Lady
Bunny, who hosted (with her usual rapier wit). But the stand-out,
for us, was a performer we'd never seen before, from Escuelita, the
incredibly energized Sugarpie Cocoa. This girl -- and she's no wispy
thing -- was a revelation of dance and fierceness and energy, as she
unleashed a veritable electrical storm onstage. What a face, what a
body, and what stage presence. She had us hysterical with laughter
-- and pride. She was, for us, the spirit of Wigstock, and on a
larger scale, the spirit of the gay community: GET UP AND DO WHAT
YOU DO, NO APOLOGIES NECESSARY.
It seemed the motto of the weekend, and hopefully the summer, and we