Here/Queer: Brooklyn Under the Radar

0. 2/20/2012 – Here/Queer Call for Submissions, by Riese
1. 3/02/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Montreal, Canada, by Sid
2. 3/05/2012 – Playlist: Here/Queer, by Riese
3. 3/05/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Portland, Oregon, by Lesbians in PDX
4. 3/07/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Brighton, United Kingdom, by Sarah Magdalena
5. 3/07/2012 – Oh But To Be A Queer in Sicily, by Jenn
6. 3/08/2012 – City Guide: Seattle, by Marley
7. 3/11/2012 – City Guide: Washington DC, by Keena
8. 3/13/2012 – Here/Queer: Sydney Mardi Gras Is On Your To-Do List, by Crystal
9. 3/14/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Spokane, Washington, by Ana
10. 3/15/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Cleveland, Ohio, by Lora
11. 3/16/2012 – Madison, WI and W4W Entertainment, by Emily
12. 3/16/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Dublin, Ireland, by Una
13. 3/19/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Vancouver, Canada, by Kathryn
14. 3/19/2012 – Things We Wrote That You Loved, by The Team
15. 3/20/2012 – Here/Queer: Boogie Down Bronx, by Gabby
16. 3/21/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Columbus, Ohio, by Dominique, Annie, Kat, Liz & Mila
17. 3/24/2012 – Queer Girl City Guide: Santa Fe, New Mexico, by Sam
18. 3/24/2012 – Here/Queer: Oxford, by Sybil
19. 3/26/2012 – Get Baked: Australian Edition, by Crystal
20. 3/26/2012 – Here/Queer: Brooklyn Under the Radar, by Samken

feature image via allie leepson

So being queer and having been around the block a few times, you’ve undoubtedly made it out to all the local haunts in NYC. Sure, you’ve done Cubby Hole Tuesday $2 margaritas and Choice Cunts every month, but you might find yourself feeling a little blasé from lack of options. You might even frequent the Brooklyn monthlies like HEY QUEEN! and still find yourself craving more queer community and debauchery. Well rest-assured, you’re not alone. For anyone who needs to be pointed in the right direction, I’ve compiled a handy list of queer and queer-friendly parties, places, and neighborhoods that are sure to keep you busy.

MISSTER! via Josefina Ballesta

MISSTER! Wednesdays at The Woods

So, this party is the revamped version of The Woods’ usual Wednesday nights. Think stylized queers that really, like Whitney always said, “just want to dance with somebody.” Despite the slightly inconvenient trek to South Williamsburg, the space is good and the dance floor is the main event. Surprisingly for a Wednesday night, this party fills up late and continues until the wee hours. Get there after midnight and you’ll catch the DJ playing their most danceable set and the crowd having had enough drinks to forget about their Thursday morning obligations. Sure, you could always stick to ye ol’ Metropolitan Wednesday nights, but if you want something a bit more lively, head out to The Woods.


KITTY Thursdays at Wreck Room

KITTY is new and still making its way into the night scene, but as such, they really try to show you a good time. This type of good time is distinctly Bushwick flavored: It’s the party that every punk teen in the suburbs always imagined they’d be at someday. With a constant stream of old-school slow jams, an open dance floor, and a pool table, you’ve got all your needs covered. Not to mention the booths surrounding the space that perfectly complement the low-key kick back vibe. If you’re looking for fun themes, good drinks, and a Thursday night that will ease you into the weekend, KITTY’s got you covered.

GET IT! Every Last Tuesday at Sugarland

Okay, so this party has it all. Except, that is, enough queer people! Have you ever gone to a packed party with gorgeous people and thought, “Wouldn’t this be great if there were better music??” This is just the opposite. The music is AMAZING! Think, Kreayshawn remixes, the new Lana del Ray song, and every other new or old tune that you always wish the DJ would play. Combine that with drink specials and the perk of having an excuse to go out early in the week and voila. When the end of the month finally rolls around and you need to blow off some steam, here you have it.

Crown Heights

So, Crown Heights is pretty much Park Slope’s queer, quirky half-brother. Similar to The Slope, you have rows of beautiful brownstones intermingled with a main drag of shops, eateries, and haunts on Franklin avenue. Unlike its more reserved counterpart, though, instead of married soccer moms, you have eclectic queers. Before you’re ready to settle down and consider a vegetable garden and joining the food coop, Crown Heights is probably where you want to be. Notable spots include Dutch Boy Burgers, where you can get a cheap and delicious meal, your choice of any straight or spiked milkshake or beer float, and friendly service. I opted for the lamb burger and toasted marshmallow shake, and I was not sorry!

Attached to the backside of Dutch Boy is Franklin Park Bar, complete with arcade games (the nostalgia inducing ones like skee ball and that basketball shootout game) and an outdoor patio area. Also on the agenda in this newer queer-friendly nabe is Breukelen Coffee house with its comfortable modern vintage space and Brooklyn-based Stumptown Coffee (by far, the best of the best) and Red Lotus Room, a fancy undergound event space hosting many a queer gathering. Though the most obvious queer association in the Heights vicinity is probably Outpost Café, hike on over to these gems to get a feel for what the rest of the neighborhood has to offer.

Dutch Boy



If you haven’t heard, Bushwick is the new big queer neighborhood. You have grit, you have style, and you have a whole sector of queer amazingness that is still slightly underground. Seeing as Bushwick is a converted industrial zone, many of the establishments are loft spaces – perfect for collaborative living, art galleries, and yoga studios. Bushwick gives us back what the Lower East Side and Chelsea have long since started to dull on: energy, authenticity, and neighborhood spots that you can still call your own. Straddling that fine line between hipstery and artsy, Bushwick is a free-for-all of unrestrained and creative living and loving.

Notable spots include Orwell’s Coffee Shop, where I once in all honesty saw a performance involving someone using dry ice as a musical instrument (and yes, the mic was on the dry ice). If you’re hungry, Northeast Kingdom brings you top-of-the-line refined comfort food such as tater tots with caviar and crème fraiche and peanut butter stuffed French toast, or you can try Momo’s Sushi Shack which does an amazing elevated pork betty and a great vegan gyoza dumpling. Drinks-wise, the Narrows is a hidden enclave with fancy custom cocktails and candlelit ambiance for cheaper than you can hail a cab in Manhattan. Lastly, if you’re feeling nostalgic, Life Café is open late and is the sister restaurant/bar to the recently closed East Village Life Café, that we all remember from Rent.

Momo Sushi Shack

Cafe Orwell


So I couldn’t help putting at least one Williamsburg locale on the list. Though you may be thinking this a supposed to be an under the radar roundup and Williamsburg is anything but, this joint tattoo parlor and hair salon off the Lorimer L is far from trite. Elvis themed in the most tasteful way, Graceland provides you with two queer necessities: a perfectly stylized yet lived-in haircut and a badass tattoo. The convenience factor can’t be beat and you’ll feel right at home in the shop. The majority of the hair stylists are queer so you’ll have a stylist that understands the aesthetic and the tattoo side is equally as open and accommodating. Consider coming in on Sunday Funday, a monthly occurrence where Graceland gives out cheap tattoos that the artists have drawn up under quirky themes like “Things That Are Wet.” You won’t regret it!

So, there you have it, an on-the-ground collection of some of the newest places and spaces on the scene. Being queer isn’t always easy, but with a fresh slew of parties, neighborhoods, and hangouts popping up, it always helps to feel that your people are just around the corner. In addition to all the tried and true places we’ve carved out for ourselves, these new spots are sure to keep everyone feeling right at home, no matter where they are.

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california-born trans kid existing in brooklyn

Sam has written 1 article for us.


  1. What perfect timing! I’m trading in my overpriced cramped Manhattan apartment for a cheap spacious Brooklyn one next month. This article will definitely come in handy. (Although I worry I’m not trendy/cool enough for some of these but oh well, that’s life.)

    • Crown Heights! A very underrated neighborhood, but I kind of hope it stays that way. It is not trendy nor cool compared to, say, the LES or Williamsburgh, and I’m ok with that (and my 500.00 rent).

  2. SAM!

    Great additions to the usual Ms. Thang, Hey Queen, and That’s My Jam.

    I know some folks are trying to get a Sunday party going on at a Mexican restaurant in Crown Heights – called “Low Rider” with food, jams, and whatnot:

    Also, bklyn boihood parties happen infrequently enough so that you don’t get sick of seeing the same too-cool-for-school faces over and over.

    Loved your Own It! feature on dapperQ.

  3. Aww… The timing of this article is unfortunate for me cause I just got back from a trip to Brooklyn on Friday. None the less, this IS a very good article.

  4. which is also to say that im in love with AS giving facetime to the queer nyc i know and love.

    How long has Momo’s Sushi Shack been there?!
    That’s my old neighborhood and I miss it so much.
    I want my subway stop to be my name again!
    An extra plus with The Woods is that even though they have an awesome taco thing going on out back, they’re a ten minute walk to foodswings, the best (slash probably worst for you) vegan food ever and their menu gets better after midnight. There were often cute girls with tattoos (of sprouts, etc) there.

  6. didn’t know of a few things on this list in my neighborhood (c. & p. heights), so thanks! also One Last Shag does queer parties now and then, it’s a cute spot

  7. Let’s hear it for GENTRIFICATION! WOOO!

    But….really, though? Not even a brief mention?

    • You know America does not believe in gentrification, it’s increasing property value at the expense of those who end up on the business “fuck you” end of it.

      Besides it a city guide, no one wants to hear about that, it’s a fun tour not poverty tour!*

      *Those actually exist google that shit. I threw up so bring a barf bag.

  8. “Notable spots include Orwell’s Coffee Shop, where I once in all honesty saw a performance involving someone using dry ice as a musical instrument (and yes, the mic was on the dry ice).”


  9. Add another Bushwick queer lady party to the list! The last Thursday of every month sees Bushlick at King’s County Bar on Siegel and Bogart in Bushwick, right around the corner from the L at Morgan Ave. Hosted by Ladyfingaz, with DJ Lerb Alert on the decks, Bushlick has dancing on the bar and the hottest bunch of Brooklyn babes you’ve ever seen. And you’re in luck! The next Bushlick takes place THIS THURSDAY.

  10. I just booked a shoot in Brooklyn for Friday! Think I may take a look around afterwards. Thanks Sam!

  11. So it’s pretty much decided now that if I move to NYC in 2 years like planned, I’ll be moving to Brooklyn.

  12. there’s also a brooklyn boihood party comin up soon. it’ll be my first one:

    Where can you see @BklynBoihood, @SwitchNPlay and more? #QueersInASpace this Sat March 31 at 9pm! Only at 184 Noll St in #Bushwick.


  13. I live in Bushwick and didn’t know it was the new queer town, I need to get out more -__-.

  14. I used to live on the block you chose to depict Bushwick, right across from Cafe Orwell, until I moved back to Florida a couple of months ago. Goddamn, I miss that neighborhood so much, I can’t stand it. Also, you’re right, it’s ALL about The Narrows.

  15. At the moment I only work in BK but my friend and I are looking to start the apartment hunting process soon so this article couldn’t have come at a better time. We had a round at Wreck Room last night with that in mind…and then stuck around for a few more! Much thanks.

  16. i was stoked to read this article. i just moved to brooklyn in august and live right off the morgan. i love morgantown, it’s really cute, and orwell has easily become my spot. they’re so cute and friendly in there. i’m gonna have to check out crown heights, too. i definitely could get out more.

  17. I live less than a block away from Dutch Boy! Crazy, we should do a Crown Heights meetup.

    The Brooklyn Museum is also a spot I’d mention, they are always putting on great shows, there’s an exhibit on Keith Harring right now, and their First Saturdays are really fun.

  18. Going to NYC by myself and doing it super gay…I don’t know what that means but thanks for the tip!!

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