What problem could arise that a drink special and a Barney's sale couldn't help fix? According to the gays: there isn't one. The New York Observer reported today that those of our ilk are not phased by the deterioration of the U.S.'s economy. In fact, according to Robert Cogan, a 27-year-old recent patron of the brand-new East Village gay bar the Hose, "Gays love a recession!" Thank god for that since it doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
While mom and pop bodegas shut their doors across the city, Chelsea institutions are thriving from a clientele that lives for the happy hour menu and weekend cabaret acts. Armed with a disposable income and a set of priorities akin to the to-do lists of Jennifer Coolidge and Courtney Love, gay men are taking over where the New Jersey crowd left off.
Nightlife prompter Michael Formika Jones has traded bridge and tunnel parties for events more flamboyant in nature. Refusing to sell 15-dollar drinks or demand ridiculous surcharges for improper attire, Jones and other planners are creating a new breed of affordable and yet still slightly illicit nighttime options.
Aside from nightclubs and bars, retail locations featuring gay designers are experiencing steady and reliable clients. "Where the sales go, I go," notes 20-year-old New York based graphic designer William Brennan. Unfortunately, such stories are not the majority. Many have found themselves skipping dinner to afford a 3am shot or recycling boyfriends' t-shirts left in their closet years ago. But at least gay men know how to be in debt in style.