Picture it: Thirst Bar, Hell’s Kitchen, May 2022. It seems like a light crowd for a Saturday when I stumbled in tipsy after some event I was coming from, but quickly as I chat up owner Franco DiLuzio and manager Kareem McJagger, the sexy new spot fills up tightly. Eventually the unmistakable Manila Luzon appears out of drag–unmistakable cuz bitch with her flawless skin hasn’t aged a day since her first time on Drag Race. She was there with her business husband / partner to shill her brand of SERV vodka (they’ve been making the rounds across the city). Manila was as pleasant and fun as you’d expect her to be, but of course it was just a matter of time before I did a little shilling of my own — “want an exclusive interview with a local nightlife blog?” — and then she started planning her escape.
I found myself drunkenly explaining to someone I believed was in her entourage where in Hell’s Kitchen they should try to take SERV next, only to realize that he wasn’t traveling with the Manila crew. But then this now-random guy told me “wow, you’re Thotyssey? I grew up with you!” I laughed and told him he was thinking of Odyssey Magazine, the beloved “gay RAGazine” that I thought hilarious at the time to poke of with my own site’s name (until Odyssey folded almost immediately afterwards and the “Thotyssey” name was suddenly less relevant). But then he said, “No, I mean Thotyssey.” Well… I guess I’ve been around since 2016, so this was bound to happen at some point. So I’m here to report that when a stranger tells you he “grew up with you,” it’s a testament to your relevance but also your grotesque, horrifying oldness.
It was a joy returning to the judges’ table for Vincent Cooper‘s “Lady Liberty” competition at The Q hosted by Brita Filter this past week. Being head judge for this huge competition is fun but also serious business, and I took pride that I snatched up some great fellow guest judges this week: the gorgeous Digna, sexy burlesque star Chris Harder, Impulse Group’s Robyn Banks and the immortal Shequida. We saw an all-star group of past competitors return for a huge cash prize and a chance to join up for a Pride edition this summer which will be even larger in scale and prize money. Everything went smoothly (guest co-host Nicky Doll sang a number, which was delightful, and all the competing queens brought their own versions of their A-Game)… until Brita announced at the end of the night that this will be our last Lady Liberty at the Q. Kids, I don’t have the T… yet. But NYC nightlife wouldn’t be NYC nightlife if it were stable and predictable, would it? I’ll see y’all in the next place!