Well, at fourteen years old in 1986 being from the Bronx. Getting ready to hit the town really didn’t take much at all. I mean, since my mother thought I was staying at my best friends mother’s apartment upstairs. There was no reason for me to leave all decked out and seem like I was going somewhere. So, I would bring whatever I was wearing that evening to my best friend’s apartment upstairs the afternoon before while my mother was at work.
For the most part my best friend and I would hit the happening or “it” club at the time. Red Zone on fifty forth street, which is where I met Christine a girlfriend that lasted a year and seven months. She was twenty three years old and lived on the 2nd floor above the original Barney’s New York on seven tenth street. I told her I was nineteen when we 1st met in Redzone.
Mars on the west side highway was another club we practically lived in, DJ Disciple parties which would jump around and never was held in the same place twice (pre raves in New York City). Studio 54 was another club we were always frequent, along with The World, Roseland. The Limelight (on Wednesday during the time when Angel, James St James, Michael Alig, Robert “Freez” Riggs, Richie Rich and Amanda Lepore were going). The Roxy, Club U.S.A., Kilimanjaro, The Tunnel, The Octagon, Twilo, Irving Plaza and a few others.
This weekend was going to be a lot different, I was going to The Spike & The Eagle‘s Nest and have been waiting for this all week! So, I tell my mom. “Ma, I’m heading upstairs to my best friend’s” and gave my little brother the middle finger like I usually did before leaving. At that age I did everything and anything to get my little brother to run after me out the door. “Good Times!”
Continued upstairs and all I kept thinking was. WOW, I can’t believe I’m doing this. Get upstairs, greeted my best friend’s mom with a kiss on the cheek. We play black jack which was the thing we did (amongst other things, we’ll get back to that later) before going out. It gave enough time for my mother to fall asleep and less likely for her to call me upstairs.
After about forty minutes I changed wardrobes and made my way towards the “D” train into the city. Made the connection at fifty third street and seventh avenue to the “E” train to twenty third street and eighth avenue. Only three blocks west from the subway and two blocks south to twenty first street and eleventh avenue. On they way there, I remember seeing a guy on the third floor of a brownstone wearing a pair of underwear peering out of his window feeling himself.
Continued my way to the Eagle’s Nest and walked upon a park across the street from the (former) Empire Diner on twenty second street & tenth avenue where guys were cruising each other. Crossed the street making my way towards eleventh avenue down twenty second street, and see a lot more guys cruising up and down the street by car and on foot. Was amazed how loose everyone was, sexual freedom at its best or was it?
Got to the front of The Eagle’s Nest and got a little stage fright. Decided I wasn’t ready to go in, I knew even at fourteen I could still get in since I had facial hair and alot of it. That’s how I was getting into all those clubs mentioned before and my handy dandy I.D. from the old forty second street. Ended up roaming around the different cruise areas with-in 6 to 8 block radius of the Spike and Eagle till the bars closed at 4:00 am.
Cruising continued till the sun came up and I made my way back into the Bronx. After that evening I was shifting from the club scene every weekend to the gay bar scene every weekend and my best friend noticed it…