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Nightclubbing | Divine Goes to CBGBs

Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong continue sorting through their archives of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library.

Snapshot 2012-08-01 22-51-35

All punk rockers were not alike. From blue-collar rockers to art school grads, the CBGBs crowd ran the New York gamut: diverse, passionate and extremely opinionated. But there was one thing everyone agreed on. Everybody loved Divine.

Born Harris Glenn Milstead, Divine was dubbed “Drag Queen of the Century” by People magazine after appearing in 10 films by John Waters. Here’s how much downtowners adored Divine: In April, 1978, The Neon Women, a play written by Tom Eyen, opened at Hurrah’s, a nightclub on West 62 Street. Starring Divine as Flash Storm, a retired stripper, it was loosely based on Gypsy Rose Lee’s detective novel, “The G String Murders.” Downtowners actually crossed 14th Street to see it, traveling uptown in droves. Read more…

Video: Friday’s March Was Anything But a Drag

As expected, the Drag March made its way from Tompkins Square Park to the Stonewall Inn on Friday night, and The Local’s cameras were there to capture the color. Lucky Cheng’s may be on its way out, but watch our video and you’ll see drag lives on in the East Village.

Party People | Linda Simpson, Drag Queen

We’ve introduced you to the DJ and the musician. Know who else keeps the East Village popping? Linda Simpson, the self-declared “multimedia drag queen artiste” who with fellow legend Murray Hill hosts Monday Night Bingo at the Bowery Poetry Club. She tells The Local what it was like living in the East Village when it was the epicenter of New York City’s drag scene and clues us into some of her current favorite places to walk on the wild side.

What a Drag: Lucky Cheng’s Will Leave East Village for 52nd Street

chengs.jpogDaniel Maurer Lucky Cheng’s at 24 First Avenue.

The neighborhood’s top drag destination, Lucky Cheng’s, will be moving to a location near Times Square in the next six months, the owner revealed today.

Citing dwindling tourist traffic, Hayne Suthon, who has run the First Avenue cabaret restaurant since 1993, said that the operation would move to a more desirable location on 52nd Street.

“The phone used to ring off the hook, but as Times Square became a magnet for tourists — we just can’t get them down here,” said Ms. Suthon. “We’ve tried back flips, standing on our heads; they want to stay up there now.”

Ms. Suthon would not give an address for the new location because she had yet to sign a lease. But that didn’t keep her from singing the new space’s praises. If all goes as planned, the location will have two tiers of drag performances, an all-you-can-eat buffet, a more high-end menu and seating for around 350 people. (Yesterday, Grub Street reported that the current location was on the market.)

“Walking by the space, and looking at the people, we said, ‘This is our demographic,” Ms. Suthon said, later noting that her clientele is “the kind of customer that wants to go see ‘Jersey Boys,’ and tourists from Missouri.” The bachelorette and birthday partiers will just as easily go to Times Square as the East Village, she added. Read more…