This website uses cookies

We use cookies to ensure you have an easy, quick and reliable experience whilst using the Virgin Holidays website. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more details, see our cookie policy.

Skip to main content Virgin holidays logo
  • Mon to Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday 10:00am - 6:00pm

WorldPride: 50 years of Pride in NYC

WorldPride - 50 years of Pride in NYC

With WorldPride in NYC just around the corner and our Pride Flight taking off this month, we wanted to get a bit of insider knowledge on what to expect and where to go before the party gets started in the Big Apple. We spoke to Eric J Gordon at Beyond Times Square to get the scoop.

 

Hi Eric. Thanks for talking to us. Can you tell us a little about yourself to get us started?

Well, I’m Eric J Gordon, founder of Beyond Times Square — the first in luxury experiences in New York City. I was born in Queens and now I’m living in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. I’ve been in or around NYC my entire life. My father was a Broadway buff and he took me to see shows as soon as I was able. My best memories are Torch Song Trilogy with Harvey Fierstein, Dustin Hoffman in A Death of a Salesman, and Annie The Musical. My sister loved the show and we probably saw it five times. 

I grew up in the travel business, so hospitality is nothing new to me. When I decided to start Beyond Times Square to offer private experience to discerning travellers, I had the background to deliver this. To this day I love exploring NYC and cities in general. I love going to places you’ve read about and seen on TV, but then there are the “holes in the wall” and the little places that you don’t find on Instagram yet. Those are the real finds.  That’s my true love.

 

During NYC Pride, where is the best place to be for history and why? 

50 years ago it was illegal to be gay in NYC. You could not express it and you couldn’t be the person you wanted to be. There were places like the Stonewall Inn where the LGBT+ community would gather, but it was all still illegal. One night in June 1969 changed everything, when police came to raid the Stonewall Inn. It was then that the patrons said, “We are not going to take this anymore”. 



 

Three days of riots ensued and the Pride Movement was born. Today the site of the Stonewall Inn is a National Landmark. This is one of the main historical sites for LGBT+ rights, and is a great spot to visit. You’ve also got the LGBT Community Centre in the West Village, which offers health and community services. There’s also Christopher Street Pier (actually a group of piers) on the Hudson River over on the West Side of Manhattan. The piers have been an LGBT+ gathering place for the last century, and still draws a crowd today. You can also visit Transy House in Brooklyn, which was a shelter for transgender people from 1995 to 2009.


 

What are the best hotspots for fun and parties during NYC Pride?

The days and nights leading up to Pride are gonna be the bomb. There’ll be party after party after party, so make sure you don’t miss out! Always keep your eyes open for happy hours and late night specials to keep the fun going in general, but there are a few places I’d check out:

 

  • Midsummer Night Swing, Pride Edition: Grab a partner and get ready to dance. If you’re in town for several nights, swing by the Lincoln Center for their Midsummer Night Swing Festival. There’s plenty of opportunity to dance the night away, but June 27th is the Pride Edition. You can’t miss this one. Find it between West 62nd Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. 
  • Pride Island: This is the year of Pride, so the annual party to celebrate Pride Weekend and WorldPride’s 50th Anniversary is going to be epic! Two days of DJs, dazzling performances, dancing and… Grace Jones! 
  • Queen of the Ride: Some might say that they’re never getting on a bus tour… but this ain’t your grandma’s bus tour. Cruise around NYC in a state-of-the-art arena seating coach with a drag tour guide. They’ll show you around and point out spontaneous drag street performances. You’ll start and end at the Ritz Bar & Lounge. 

 

Where can people find cultural attractions relevant to Pride during the celebrations? Are there any unmissable exhibits or shows to see? 

As I said, 2019 in the year of Pride, so there are some unmissable art exhibits around town. There’s so many to choose from, but I’ve got my top three:

  • Art After Stonewall: this exhibit, the first to examine the impact of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement on the art world, will be presented in two parts at the Leslie Lohman Museum and NYU's Grey Art Gallery. The exhibit covers multiple themes, from Coming Out to Gender and Body, and highlights the work of artists such as Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol. It also looks at Diane Arbus' and Jean-Michel Basquiat's engagement with the emerging queer subculture.  
  • Camp: Notes on Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: based on Susan Sontag's 1964 essay “Notes on 'Camp’”. With more than 250 pieces being exhibited from the 17th century through to present day, this exhibit examines how irony, humour, parody, pastiche, theatricality and exaggeration are expressed in fashion. 
  • On the (Queer) Waterfront: in the 1800s, there was an LGBTQ+ community living and working on Brooklyn's waterfront. This is the first exhibition of its kind to take a broad look at the queer history of Brooklyn, with a focus on the individuals who challenged the norms of identity and sexuality for more than 150 years. You can find this exhibition at the Brooklyn Historical Society. 


 

Can you suggest some places to grab a great bite to eat during Pride? Any Drag Queen Brunches or anywhere with something you simply must try?

The route of the parade runs south along 5th Avenue, west through Greenwich Village and then up 7th Avenue. That’s a lot of places. The parade begins at noon starting at the Flatiron. I’d say a few key places to check out are:
 

  • The Nomad Hotel at 1170 Broadway (American)
  • Black Barn at 19 E. 26th Street (American)
  • L’Amico at 849 6th Avenue (Italian and Pizza)
     

Or at the terminus in Chelsea, perhaps try:

  • Motel Morris 132 7th Ave (American)
  • Momoya 185 7th Ave (Japanese)
  • El Quinto Pino 401 West 24th St (Mexican)



 

So there we have it — a few nuggets of NYC-gold during WorldPride in New York this year. And it's not just about the Pride March over the weekend. There are events taking place all through the month of June, so there's plenty of time to check out anything or everything in the city. 

Tagged in:

  • Travel tips
  • Through the eyes of a local
  • USA
  • LGBT
  • City and shopping breaks
  • New York
10 Jun 2019 | Virgin Holidays

Whatsapp

There has been an error

Please try again

Text Message

There has been an error

Please try again

Telephone

Thanks, we'll be in touch soon

How can we help?

Let’s get started. Please choose an option below.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9499.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 30 September 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 31 December 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking you can call our team on 0344 472 9646.

For the latest information on Covid-19 you can check our FAQs here.

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're holiday is going ahead as planned


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. You can call our team on 0344 472 9499 who can look at options for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

Need help?

Talk to an expert

Call us directly

Feel free to call us directly on
01234 567784
Our travel experts are on hand to help you book your next holiday.

Send us an email

Feel free to email us directly on
XXXX@virginholidays.com
We will try to respond to your email within 24 hours.