Posts Tagged ‘nyc’

Copenhagen was a bust.

December 19, 2009

Okay, so I try to ignore the news. Rather, I try not to pay attention to what I can’t do much about to change. I like to act locally and think globally. But some things I can’t really ignore. Like the current state of our world and the impending doom of the human race. It bothers me. There’s a plaque at the Natural History Museum in New York City on the ground right before the room with the giant big blue whale. It has a list of the different extinction periods and their probable cause. It reads that we are currently in the middle of the 6th mass extinction that our planet has seen – all caused by humans. It’s because of the world myth we believe: Man rules the Earth. That this beautiful planet is being turned into a cesspool.

I am in the middle of reading Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. So far, it’s been a really good book. It’s laying out the facts as things are which people are in denial of hearing. Like last night, I read about how increase in food supply leads to increase in population. I know this isn’t a huge revelation – but we keep sending food aid to countries. By sending food aid, they reproduce, and create more mouths to feed. The end result is a never ending cycle of producing more food, to feed the new hungry mouths, while there’s an increase destruction of our planet. The end result if things keep going this way is that we’ll destroy ourselves. We’ll homogenize the planet to only be human food and what feeds it and the diversity of life will be eliminated but we’ll never keep up with the demands. I don’t know what to do about this. False aid to create more hungry and poverty is not the way to go. We should focus on sending birth control and work on population control to keep the cycle from repeating.

Another human myth is that humans are except from the forces of nature. We too, are vulnerable to famine, which it’s a fake famine to begin with because we produce enough food for everyone to eat. It is all economics. We need to dismantle the whole oppressive system we have in place in order to feed the people of the world. It should be about people, not cash. We need to revamp our entire economy so it won’t crash if we give people bread. We should feed the people we have and let food be a right – not a privilege and focus on population control. We can put an end to this with birth control and reforming our economy.

Right now, with the way we are heading and how many species are becoming extinct – we are heading for our own extinction because we are defying a fundamental laws of nature – who humans like to believe doesn’t apply to them but it does. The laws are: The world was not made for any one species. The world needs competition and diversity to survive. It was not meant to be homogenized. Take what you need but leave the rest for the other species. Man has decided that everything is his and when we act like lord and master of the planet – look at the destruction it caused. We need to change how we relate to the world in order for our own survival.

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Punk Rock 101: A Vegetarian Queer Punk’s Guide to New York City

December 11, 2009

There aren’t many queer punks in NYC. I was one of maybe 10. The days of Meow Mix and riot grrrl are long gone. Most of NYC’s lesbian scene is lipstick lesbians modeling their life after the L-Word or hipsters who talk a lot and drink PBR but don’t do much. There’s a lot of segregation in the queer scene in NYC – depending on the color of your skin and economic class determines which parties you’d go to. I didn’t like that. I wish all the queers would unite and work together to fight against being oppressed. I tried to change it by putting on a couple of concerts trying to invite everyone to come but it didn’t really work.

Anyways, NYC is really big and corporate. That’s why I left but there are a handful of places that are DIY (do-it-yourself) or worth checking out.

First place on my guide is Abc No Rio. Abc No Rio is in the Lower East Side at 156 Rivington Street.  It has a mix of everyone.  There are punk shows every Saturday at 3pm.  There’s also a zine library, a dark room, a silkscreen studio, and a computer lab all open to the public (hours of opening vary – check out their website for details).

A couple of blocks away at 152 Ludlow Street is the Cake Shop which has live music, sells vegan, and non-vegan treats. The Cake Shop is also home of the ONLY Queer Punk Party QxBXRx which happens once a month hosted by one of the boys from Limp Wrist. It’s usually mostly boys with a handful of girls but it’s a good scene – good social scene not a cruising scene. There’s usually a few queer bands that play and it’s a fun time.

Around the corner from the Cake Shop is Bluestockings Bookstore. It is located at 172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington. It’s an activist center, a fair trade cafe (not much food – more drinks), and bookstore. There’s all sorts of books there from activism, anarchy, queer theory, queer literature, women’s studies, and anything else alternative you can think of. They also host events almost every night, so check out their calendar.

About 8 blocks away and an avenue or two over from Bluestockings is St. Mark’s Place (2nd – 3rd Avenue on 8th street is the main strip) which was home to all things radical in the past. It’s has a few cool stores like Trash and Vaudeville which has anything punk you can dream of. There’s also Search and Destroy which has lots of military surplus clothing. There’s also lots of little stores on the street selling all sorts of things – it’s a cool place to check out. While you there, stop by Mamouns Falafel at 22 St. Mark’s Place for really good and cheap eats. If pizza is more your thing, 2 Bros Pizza is just a few doors down and has dollar pizza.

If you head on over to the West Village, the best punk record store in the city is Generation Records located at 210 Thompson Street. They have all the punk you could want and then some. There’s also a couple of cool chess shops on the street which might be worth checking out.

That’s about it for punk places to visit. However, there’s a handful of other neat places that I think is worth mentioning. In the West Village, there’s Red Bamboo and VP2 which are amazing vegetarian restaurants owned by the same people. You should definitely save room for the vegan cakes made by Vegan Treats which are driven into the City every Tuesday. Atlas Cafe in the East Village also has cakes by Vegan Treats but for some reason they never taste as good as Red Bamboo’s. Atlas Cafe has some great faux meat sandwiches. I also recommend Quantum Leap which has two locations – one in the West Village and one in the East. They have the best veggie burgers I’d ever had.

Bonus: Where to get Tattoo’ed/Pierced in NYC

If you want awesome tattoos, your going to have to pay for them but it’s worth it. It’s a lifetime investment. I got my ink done at NY Adorned. My artist has since moved to Austin or I would recommend her. I get compliments on my tattoos all the time – and they are some of the best I have seen. However, the guy who worked the front at NY Adorned was really rude but all the artists are amazing so pay no attention to him. If you want to get pierced, I’d go to Daredevil Tattoo which is also home of LeRoi Jewelry which specializes in all things piercings. Daredevil also does some amazing tattoos so I would check them out. I’ve also been told Invisible does awesome tattoos. There’s a couple of other good places that I can’t remember their names, but that should be enough to get you started.

Update: Bars

I don’t really like bars or hang out at them due to being straightedge – but there’s a few bars where you might run into some punks or queers or if you are really lucky queer punks.

Manitoba’s – Owned by a lead singer of a punk band. I went here once and it was very hetero and normal so I wasn’t impressed but maybe you just need to caught it on the right night. It’s located at 99 Avenue B between 6th and 7th street.

Double Down Saloon – I’ve been here a few times and hung out with some punks. Not very queer but I did run into a queer girl. Awesome jukebox with lots of punk. It’s located at 14 Avenue A.

Mars Bar – Located at 25 E 1st St – it’s totally a punk rock dive bar. I’ve never been inside – I stopped out front of it while some of my friends talked to some punks inside. I heard from the reviews that it’s really dirty, but a little dirt never scared off a punk, right?

I never ran into any punks here except for myself but my favorite lesbian bar in New York City is The Cubby Hole located at 281 West 12th Street. It’s really tiny and it gets really crowded but the crowd is usually pretty diverse – boys and girls. Everyone was really friendly when I went.

Bar Bonus: Brooklyn

I sometimes would venture out to Brooklyn and go to The Metropolitan which on Wednesday Nights is full of hipster dykes. It wasn’t really punk rock but the age crowd is 20-30’s usually when sometimes the Cubby Hole is 30-beyond. Also, a party worth mentioning is Choice Cunts ran by the Gaysha which is a monthly “raw party for rare queers”. Sometimes it only has like 20-30 people at the party other times it can have 300 – it’s a real hit or miss but it’s worth checking out if you’re around. It’s mostly girls but there’s sometimes a handful of gay boys. It’s about as alternative as the queer scene gets in Brooklyn.

Butch seeks Butch: Why is it so Taboo? (Repost from Deleted Blog)

December 11, 2009

I was googling butch seeks butch and boi seeks boi out of curiosity and there wasn’t much to be found.  Sometimes I feel like the only genderqueer butch boi who wants another butch.  I mean there is plenty of butch seeks femme but just none for the bois.  I feel like I have a nonexistent dating pool.  I’ve been single for 26 years and I’ll probably be single for life.  I would like a girlfriend that I am attracted to both physically and mentally but finding someone like that is really problematic.  First off, there’s not that many lesbians to begin with.  I don’t know why there are so many gay males maybe because we live in a patriarchal society and it promotes men so it makes sense for men to love men.  It goes against everything that society tries to condition us to be a women who loves women.  But there aren’t that many lesbians and most lesbians tend to go femme.  I have nothing against femme – I know all about femme visibility and I am an ally to the cause but it’s harder being out all the time and visible queer.  I’ve been punched in the face before for being gay which sucked more than anything.  In NYC of all places in 2009 – how ridiculous is that?  I thought the world would be beyond such nonsense.  Anyways, finding smart people is hard.  We all know that.  The world is full of dummies.  And if you are already dealing with a small dating pool to begin with – it becomes even smaller looking for someone smart.  Plus, add looking for someone vegetarian and a boi – that’s near impossible.

Anyways, I don’t know why Butch seeks Butch is so taboo.  For gay men, since there are plenty of them, there’s a whole bear community for masculine men who like other masculine men.  They even have their own flag for their community.  There’s nothing like that for the lesbian counterpart.  It might just be there’s not enough of us but why is it okay for men and not for women?  Double standards again?  I remember being sad when reading Stone Butch Blues when they specifically said in the book butch on butch is taboo.  It’s the mentality now.  I get such a hard time when I hit on other butches.  I get treated like an alien and ignored.  It happens all the time when the rare occasion I find a butch.  It’s a real blow to one’s self confidence to be treated so poorly.  It should be taken as a compliment being hit on – by anyone.  It’s nice to know you are attractive.  If you don’t like the person who’s hitting on you, don’t be mean to them.  Say “Thank you, not interested.”  Then again, I learn that if they are a jerk to me, they weren’t worth my original attempt and are just a pretty face with an ugly inside.

I am a sweet kid who looks like a bad ass and I get lots of shit for that because everyone thinks a million and one things about me that aren’t true.  It’s also hard being genderqueer.  At least with being ftm or mtf – you have a gender identity – you might be the wrong gender but there’s a gender for you.  For me, there is no gender.  I am just genderfucked.  Not male and not female and just stuck being something I am not without any options.  I feel so out of place in a world with males and females and not much room for a this or that.

Essay: Genderqueer

December 2, 2009

Are you a boy or a girl?” A perplexed waitress at a Dunkin’ Donut in the heart of New York City asked of me when I entered the shop.  “I just wanted a muffin; I don’t think my gender matters.”  I said but she didn’t seem to understand, she was rather too interested on what was in my pants. “Are you a boy or a girl?”  I sighed.  I don’t identify as either being genderqueer but I don’t like having to explain myself all the time to everyone.  Mostly because people can only wrap their head around the gender binary and not think outside the box.  It got me thinking though, why do perfect strangers care too much about what’s in my pants?  It doesn’t matter to anyone unless they wanted to sleep with me.  But, for some reasons, this lady’s whole identity was formed around a world of boys and girls.  I bite the bullet since I really wanted my muffin, “I’m a girl.”  She let out a relieved sigh and then got my muffin.  Again, I was forced into the oppressive gender binary to comply with the needs of an oppressive society.  It isn’t just the males that oppress; it is also other women who’ve been conditioned to think as such.

In an ideal society, I would have been able to get my muffin without being hassled about what’s in my pants.  However, this is America – home of the free if you are rich and fix into neat boxes.  Most people can’t wrap their head around genderqueer – which is outside of the gender binary.  I am something else – not just another gender but I am beyond gender.  People can at least understand transsexual, but when it comes to genderqueer, people just don’t get it.  They want to box you in.  I am sometimes envious of my transsexual allies because they have a gender identity to claim – even if they are handicapped by being born into the wrong body.  I, however, have no place to go.  No identity.  I suck it up and usually go with lesbian because I am female bodied and like women but that doesn’t describe me.  I’m queer but queer is considered to be such a dirty word by polite society.

The LGlittleBinvisibleT community has no love for anyone who’s not a Stepford Gay.  If you don’t fit the mold of what a “safe” gay is – being gay but assimilating, the community turns their back on you.  It is a threat to society, the mainstream, the social constructed order, to be an individual and think for yourself.  We live in a society based on group think with team sports, entertainment and job rhetoric paving the way for the classless individual who functions as a cog in the well oiled machine of greed and anonymity.  I – for one, am not going to be part of any machine.  I’m not going to wear the clothes they tell me to wear, I’m not going to watch their programming (it’s called programming for a reason), and not going to take part in their world of a giant rat race.

I am going to fight the system with knowledge and education, compassion and understanding.   As Crass said, “You can’t change the system by bombing number ten, the people will go into hiding but they’ll be back again.”  The only way to change the system is to change the people.  The only way to change the people is with education.

Sometimes, it’s really hard, trying to change things.  I struggle with trying to get people to understand what “genderqueer” means.  Sometimes, it’s dangerous just being who you are.  Every third day, a transperson is murdered.  I’ve been assaulted before at a punk show which was supposed to be about peace and equality for being a “homosexual. “  I just want a world where I can go to punk shows without getting punched and get a muffin without being hassled about what’s in my pants.  I can’t do it alone.  Will you help me?