Posts Tagged ‘tattoos’

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.

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Treat Me For Who I Am and Not How I Look

December 6, 2009

Looks can be deceiving and you can’t judge a person by their looks. For example, who’s more threatening: a blue haired mohawked, tattoo studded jacket wearing punk rocker or a person wearing nondescript clothing and generic hair? I would say the person who’s wearing the nondescript clothing and generic hair is a greater threat than the blue haired mohawked, tattooed studded jacket wearing punk. Why? Think about it: If the blue mohawked person robbed you – they would be easy to spot and find as they are unique looking and standing out from the crowd. They might look like a threat being so loud but in reality they are harmless because if you are up to no good – you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. The generic hair and nondescript clothing person could rob you and if you tried to describe them to the cops – they just look like everyone else. There are a few exceptions when people who are loud are also violent and crazy but *usually* they are as law abiding as anyone. They dress differently to make a statement and express individuality. The punk rocker might appear to be a threat but they are really not to you as an individual.

People treat me funny because I am tattooed, pierced, and mohawked. All it is really is their fear of the unknown showing. Think about it: if I was really a danger I wouldn’t go around advertising the fact. There are a few exceptions to the rules but most of the time when someone advertises being a radical, they aren’t up to anything illegal. They might have different ideas than the mainstream and philosophies and be a threat to the status quo but they aren’t breaking any laws.

Laws are there to give people the illusion they are “safe”. Think about it: if there was a law to enforce identification cards (like they are planning in the UK) only the law abiding citizens will do it. The criminals don’t care about the law and won’t follow it or get fake IDs. It’s to give the masses, the sheep, the appearance of order in the chaos we exist in. The criminals will be criminals and do illegal things while the masses fall into line. The ID card is a stupid idea and very 1984ish because it only applies to who will follow the law to begin with.

More laws equal less freedom. Sure, common courtesy laws like not stealing or killing are nice to have to protect me from your average idiot. I am an anarchist and sometimes I am grateful for the police to protect me from stupid people. For instance, the police helped me out when I was punched in the face for being a “homosexual.” In an ideal, anarchical society, the person would behave like an anarchist and respect his fellow human beings – however, the assaulter was moronic, angry and fucked up so I need the police to protect me from people like that.

However, I am against police brutality and abuse of power. There is a difference in keeping people safe from the idiots of the world and harassing someone because they have a studded vest. One time, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time eating pizza on the steps of Search and Destroy in NYC and the police treated me like I was a criminal when all I was doing was eating pizza. It was pretty scary – they patted me down and violated my rights all because they have nothing else to do. There’s also the cops who give out traffic tickets for being a few miles over the speed limit to make their quota. Things like that are an abuse of power – laws are there to keep you safe from other human’s stupidity not be a money making tool.

That is not the case in our capitalistic society. The law system and prison system are money making tools. It’s really messed up.

The question is: How will this change?  The answer: Is with you.  If the people were to stop profiling and treat people for who they are and not what they look like we would have a stronger, happier society.