"Before the parade passes by,
I'm gonna go and taste Saturday's high life."
- Jerry Herman in "Hello Dolly"
You've still got a few weeks to get in shape for that infamous jaunt down Fifth Avenue known as the Pride March (it's on June 30th), and the best way to keep yourself in prime partying condition until then is by dancing the night away at some of the city's most established lesbian hangouts.
Crazy Nanny's @ 21 Seventh Ave and Leroy St is filled with a diversity of women who happen to be dancing, happen to be cruising, happen to be drinking, happen to be playing pool, and are generally just happening. It's extremely laid back in attitude, but frenetic in energy. The upstairs dance floor is serviced by a disco/funk mix and videos projected on the surrounding walls, and the adjacent lounge provides a perfect view of bouncing bodies, including the occasional Go-Go girl. The downstairs is another world of smoke and intrigue, with a pool table guarded by big women wielding sticks. Yep, just another neighborhood bar . . .
The prerequisite to entering the Clit Club @ 432 W 14th St and Washington St every Friday, aside from being a woman in search of true nightlife, is the willingness to sweat. Even in the dead of winter, the upstairs dance floor conjures up the humidity of an Amazonian rain forest. The house mix + HOT dancers  =  intensity, and it doesn't burn off downstairs, where lesbian porn plays continuously on a TV in front of the pool table. One relief from the heat is the labyrinthine hallways off the main room downstairs, appropriately dark and concealing for this estrogen rave. This is THE place to be on a Friday night, especially in June, because the ladies of the Clit Club have planned a varied and entertaining menu of events for each PRIDE weekend:
- Drop by Dykes After Dark, a slide show on the history of lesbian nightlife in NYC, on the 21st
- Don't miss the incomparable "Party of the Year" on the 28th.
Perhaps the most conventional and reassuring place to be, but one that's far from square, is the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center @ 208 W 13th St just west of Seventh Ave. Aside from the support groups, informative talks, and lesbian film nights - which are a great place to eye a cinematic chic or two - they also throw one hell of a party! The 6th Annual Center Lesbian Pride Dance on June 29th is so huge it's outgrown the center - it'll be nesting at Irving Plaza starting at 9PM (tickets are $15 until June 20th, $20 after; at 17 Irving Place near East 15th St and Union Square). This bash is the biggest and most diverse all year, full of RAVING proud, sunburned women who just finished marching their lesbian/bi selves down Fifth Avenue in the Annual DYKE March, which begins at 5PM on June 29 at Bryant Park, and ends up at Sheridan Square. All this walking and drinking and dancing just limbers us up for the big Gay and Lesbian Pride March the next day at noon!
So grab your Freedom Rings and a comfortable pair of shoes and party down with pride!
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