When your plane lands at either LaGuardia or JFK Airports, you are in the borough of Queens, where the gay and lesbian population has grown so much that they have their own Gay Pride Parade and new Queens Lesbian/Gay Pride Community Center (67-03 Woodside Avenue; 718/429-5309). The borough is easily accessible from Manhattan via both subway and bus lines.
Many people who could not afford the high-priced apartments in Manhattan have moved to Long Island City (LIC) and Astoria -- the closest communities to Manhattan and rich in the arts and culture.
Silvercup Studios (42-22 22nd St, LIC; 718/784-3390) houses the largest independent film and television production in the northeast U.S. and is open to the public by appointment only.
Socrates Sculpture Park (Broadway at Vernon Blvd, LIC; 718/956-1819) is the only public space in the metropolitan area devoted to the exhibition of large-scale outdoor sculptures.
Getting hungry? Antiques and memorabilia adorn the walls of Waterfront Crab House (203 Borden Ave; 718/729-4862; $16-29), where you'll dine on the freshest shellfish in an extremely casual and artsy atmosphere.
Movies are the subject of the American Museum of the Moving Image (35th Ave, at 36th St, Astoria; 718/784-0077), the only museum in the U.S. featuring historical movie exhibits and film screenings.
As a neighborhood, Astoria is considered to be the Greek area of New York. Karyatis Restaurant (35-03 Broadway; 718/204-0666; $14-20) shows off a higher class of Greek cuisine. Many locals eat at Uncle George's Greek Tavern (33-19 Broadway; 718/626-0593; $7-17), totally authentic and easy on the purse. Albatross (36-19 24th Avenue; 718/204-9045) is a comfortable gay and lesbian neighborhood bar. Cabaret stars at piano bar Cabaret at the Cave (31-11 Broadway; 718/274-2227).
Take the #7 subway line and you'll travel from one ethnic neighborhood to another. Woodside has an Irish population and although some protest, they allow the gay community to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Continue on out towards Jackson Heights, where the influence is South American. Jackson Heights is considered to be the gay area of Queens, where the Queens Pride Day (first Sunday of June) event takes place and the bars line the streets along or near Roosevelt Avenue.
The bars are mostly male oriented, but welcome women. Atlantis (76-19 Roosevelt Ave; 718/457-3939) is a popular dance bar. Friends Tavern (78-11 Roosevelt Ave; 718/397-7256) and Music Box (40-08 74th Street; 718/457-5306) are popular and friendly, as well.