BEST 4: SCORING
In a new location, East Village playroom The Cock (29 Second Ave., btwn First & Second Sts.; 212-777-6254) is as down and dirty as ever -- even less coyly so, having done away with the need for a backroom.
The most Westside (read: mainstream) of the East Village bars, The Urge (33 Second Ave., btwn First & Second Sts.; 212-533-5757) is spacious and friendly, with musclebound go-go boys.
Gay/mixed mid-Village dance den Mr. Black (643 Broadway, at Bleecker St.; 212-253-2560) takes the groove very seriously, and itself not so much.
BEST 4: ROUGHING IT
Village daddies don leather at The Dugout (185 Christopher St., btwn Washington & West Sts.; 212-242-9113), but don't let their demeanor daunt.
West Chelsea cruise classic The Eagle (554 W. 28th St., between 10th and 11th Aves.; 646-473-1866) is rather the Cadillac of its ilk, with impossibly beefy (but friendly) bartenders serving the burly (but friendly) crowd.
Big Lug (85 Ave. A, btwn 5th & 6th Sts.) was such a hit as a recurring bear-and-cub party that it now has its very own East Village den.
Rawhide (212 Eighth Ave., at 21st St.; 212-242-9332), an anomaly on Chelsea's Eighth Avenue, has been drawing a mature crowd of semi-leather men, bears, and displaced roadhouse types for years. A known very cruisy spot.
BEST 4: SINGING
Sing along with the gays and their friends at the West Village's Marie's Crisis (59 Grove St., btwn Bleecker St. & Seventh Ave. S.; 212-243-9323) as they follow the bouncing ball to Broadway tunes at the piano bar. A guilty pleasure for a wide swath of New Yorkers.
Leave the crooning to the professionals next door at Rose's Turn (55 Grove St., btwn Seventh Ave. S. & Bleecker St.; 212-366-5438), a raucous piano bar with a singing staff.
Helen's (169 Eighth Ave., at 18th St.; 212-206-0609) cabaret and piano lounge in Chelsea is noted for its quality nightly entertainment.
Ditto The Duplex (61 Christopher St., btwn Seventh Ave. S. & Waverly Pl.; 212-255-5438), a long-time well-visited West Village spot for cabaret, with a very diverse crowd.