December 30, 2010

JCM's Mattachine Party Goes Mainstream

There was a nice little write-up of one of downtown's semi-best kept secrets in the Times yesterday; John Cameron' Mitchell's MATTACHINE party at Julius.  For more than 40 years, Julius has been a mainstay of the West Village scene.  It was in fact the scene of one of the first gay rights protests when patrons there a few years before the Stonewall Riots demanded to be served when it was illegal to serve "homosexuals".

Anyway, JCM has spurred a revival of the joint with his monthly Thursday night party which attracts a very mixed crowd of artsy downtown types of all ages.  The wonderful thing about this party which didn't get mentioned is how it's a place where people actually have conversations, unlike most night spots where the music is too blaring to be heard.  Also, I've found that people at this party are very open and friendly, as opposed to the uptightness and stares often encountered at many NYC gay bars/nightclubs.

A friend of mine and Mattachine regular Tim Murphy, a New York magazine writer, put this piece together and it's a really lovely portrait of an unusual night out on the town and one that has been the saving grace of nightlife for me.  Like John, who's been in the 'hood 18 years, I too am an artistic survivor, living in the now-super fancy wilds of the West Village.  I've been in my apartment for just as long and, at a Christmas party this year and, as I told someone where I lived, they said "wow--you must be rich."  No...just lucky.  And older than I may seem :)