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A Perfect Day: New York

A Perfect Day: New York

A Perfect Day: New York

From the hottest bar to the airiest park, this guide is everything you'll need to experience NYC.

By R. Kurt Osenlund

Whether you're touring a park, indulging in a sweet, or sipping a Corona at America's most famous gay bar, your well-rounded, queer-slanted taste of New York begins with this hand-picked itinerary.

Ten years young, Freemans was co-founded by restaurateurs Taavo Somer and William Tigertt, whose covert location—the modest endpoint of an intimate alley between the Bowery and Chrystie Street—gives their rustic hotspot a chic exclusivity. You likely won't stumble upon Freemans—you need to be among those who know it's there, and have soaked in the dimly lit, hunting-lodge atmosphere while enjoying favored appetizers like hot artichoke dip or pork belly hush puppies. If you haven't made a reservation, and don't want to suffer the typically lengthy wait times, look for a seat at the bar and grab a Belle Wattling, which mixes bourbon and dry vermouth with strawberry, agave, and lemon. (191 Chrystie Street, East Village,

Tu-Lu's Gluten Free Bakery
If you're among the many who've gone gluten-free by choice or necessity (or, sometimes more importantly, are the partner of someone who has), say goodbye to baked indulgences that taste like dry runners-up to the real thing. Diagnosed with gluten intolerance in 2008, Dallas-based, Le Cordon Bleu-trained Tully Collins became determined to whip up snacks and desserts that not only refused to compromise flavor, but rivaled some of your glutenous favorites. Some of the best things on her menu are the snickerdoodles, the mini cupcakes, and the rich chocolate brownies, which of course pair great with a big cup of coffee. Try bringing a friend who's unaware of the gluten-free mission. Odds are she won't know the difference. (338 East 11th Street, East Village,

Bethesda Fountain
She's one of the most iconic statues in New York, and she's a stunner in both the winter and summer months, towering as a working fountain in the middle of a pool that sits at the base of two sweeping staircases. In addition to countless weddings and sunlit selfies, Bethesda has been the setting for many popular films, like Ransom and HBO's take on Tony Kushner's Angels in America. Its other queer connections include the sculptor herself, Emma Stebbins, who in 1868 modeled the form of Bethesda after her girlfriend, and who, ironically enough, is buried in Green-Wood. (Terrace Drive, Central Park,

Image via Wikipedia

Named for its world-renowned, Hong Kong-bred chef, Philippe Chow, this celebrated Chinese restaurant may forever spoil your taste for takeout. With accolades under its belt like Zagat's “Best in Chinese” and the New York Observer's “Best Peking Duck” (which is carved table side like whole fish), Philippe has a knack for making each dish feel like an event. The chicken satay comes tossed in a peanut sauce that suggests sweet drawn butter, and the hand-pulled Mr. Cheng's Noodles have, on their own, made the restaurant a must-visit for many. (33 East 60th Street, Midtown,

Crosby Bar at the Crosby Street Hotel
Like the upscale, yet unassuming hotel to which its attached, the Crosby Bar somehow manages to be at once utterly trendy and unfailingly classic. The décor of the indoor-outdoor space, which offers self-seating on its terrace in the warmer months, is booming with color and borderline catalog-y knickknacks, yet always retains a sure air of sophistication. Some can't-miss menu items include the Brussels sprouts with bacon and apple and the Korean BBQ short rib sliders, and one drink to try is the Peppers and Peach, a mix of Partida Reposado, lime juice, peach nectar, and red chillies. (79 Crosby Street, SoHo,

The Stonewall Inn
Even if it's hardly the most happening gay haunt in New York City, Stonewall is a must if only for the palpable ghosts of its rich past. Home, of course, to the 1969 Stonewall riots, this is rightfully regarded as the birth place of the gay rights movement, and you haven't really done gay New York until you've taken a seat at its modest, yet epic-feeling bar. Order a Corona or a shot (or both!) amid its warm lighting, and soak in some history with your pre-gaming before you head to your next stop. (53 Christopher Street, West Village,

Image via Getty Images

The Monster
Can't party enough? The Monster is open until 4 a.m. every night of the week, and gays have been hitting it up for kikis since 1970. With additional locations in Fire Island and Key West, The Monster has been celebrated for its margaritas, and Time Out New York has voted it the best-priced happy-hour bar. Boasting a sexy tea dance every Sunday after brunch, The Monster also welcomes the great Lady Bunny on the first and third Sunday of each month, along with a tasty handful of go-go boys. Wanna get in free? You can if you know the password. (80 Grove Street, West Village,

Voted New York's best gay bar by New York magazine, the Village Voice, and the Glam Awards, Industry, as the name suggests, is a destination with an industrial-chic vibe, and its constantly pumping dance tracks are accompanied by the regular appearance of drag legend Sherry Vine. Special events include Drag Thursdays and RuPaul's Drag Race viewing parties on Mondays, and on Wednesday, May 13, Industry welcomes Jackie Beat, whose performance with Sherry Vine will be her only New York appearance until Labor Day. Don't miss it. (355 West 52nd Street, Hell's Kitchen,

Diamond Horseshoe
The most decadent club space in New York, the Diamond Horseshoe oozes ornate elegance even when the chiseled hottie squeezing past you spills his G&T on your shoulder, or when the who's-who with top-shelf bottle service find themselves dancing on the crushed velvet wrap-around benches. Art-directed to within an inch of its life, and doubling as the home base of both Queen of the Night and queer parties like Pretty Ugly, this historic space, renovated in 2013, never fails to elevate the tone of a night out. Located beneath the Paramount Hotel, and decked in detailing that snakes its way up its Titanic-like staircase, the Diamond Horseshoe has a way of making you feel like nobility—even if your friends are dragging you out at 4 a.m. (235 West 46th Street, Midtown,

Image via Diamond Horseshoe

About R. Kurt Osenlund 

Kurt the managing editor of Out Magazine. He previously worked as managing editor of The House Next Door, the official blog of Slant Magazine, and he still contributes to Slant and Details, among other outlets. An editor, critic, and entertainment journalist for nearly a decade, Kurt has interviewed everyone from Oprah to Allison Janney, Tony Kushner to Ellen Page, and he hugged most of them. He loves coffee, dancing, peanut butter, and Instagram, but not all at once. He lives in Brooklyn. (Twitter: @AddisonDeTwittInstagram: @rkurtosenlund)

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