Monday, May 14, 2007


Oooh it feels so good
When you let go of all the drama in your life
Now you're free from all the pain
Free from all the game
Free from all the stress
So try for happiness

I know every one's waiting for this post. I've been thinking about it all weekend and trying to figure out the correct tone.

This is what I know:

Kudos to the gay Hudson couple for a fabulous cocktail party on Saturday night. They turned the gay boys out and brought 52 confirmed gay reservations to Stray bar.

Amazing! Steal their Rolodex.

Plus, they bought me a fabulous new purse, in the shape of a set of lips. Which I immediately pretended was a vagina.

By the way, if I HAD a vagina, and if it talked, it would of course have the voice of Bea Arthur.

After sex, it would say,

"God will get you for that, Walter..."

I returned the favor by getting my host a LARGE butt plug, hopefully it fits.

The guests asked him "Try it IN"..

The party was fabulous, the hosts gracious, and I met a bunch of gay boys from Albany.

It was an "Albany meets Manhattan" party.

One guy told me that the architect that re-did the capital was gay.

So, I asked, are there now huge marble statues of Olympian naked men? If you're going to re-do a capital, why not make it look like Rome, or Athens? If you're going to re-do it, do it right.

Nope. No such luck.

Oh well.

Lady Bunny was fun. I had a good time. Fart jokes, STD jokes, Kate Bush impersonations, how can you go wrong?

Giovanni was spinning and I liked the 80's music....anyone who plays the Go Gos brings me right back to 1984 nights at the Pyramid in the East Village, so many years ago.....since almost, 1984.

At one point things got weird and a friend of a friend, was dragged out of the bar by the bouncer.

Then the fun ended.

On Sunday morning, I sat in silence at Quaker Meeting and searched for the answer. I didn't find it, but, I think I found the path and the tone for today's blog post.

I could easily make this a gossip blog. I could make it full of he said/she said, can you believe that, bashing so-and-so, blah, blah, blah.

But that's not productive folks. It doesn't solve anything. And this town is too small for any negative energy.

I think the issue is that gay people in Hudson want a space where they can feel comfortable. And we have to keep in mind that it's Hudson, and not Lure in the Meat packing district.

So, where do we go from here?

I like Stray Bar, it's a great space, and other than house parties, I think it could be a fun place for gay boys. If there's an alternative, let me know.

I'm ready to promote a night, or a once a month event, and I have dozens of giveaways and freebies to anyone who comes.

Whatever and whenever it happens, I think that everyone needs to understand everyone's expectations.

I'm planning on being in Hudson for the long haul, so I want to make it work.

I'm open to comments, but seriously folks, keep them constructive!!

No gossip
No bashing
No heresy
No whining/complaining
No negative energy


We don't need to re-hash it, we need to learn and move forward.

We don't need Drama Queens, we need Solution Queens!

I'm open to suggestions.


Tom Swope said...

Don't be so reticent, tell us what happened, what did you see, and how did the fun end so abruptly.
I did hear from the friend of the person kicked out, that he was because he took his shirt off while dancing. Hardly hard core Lure type activity, and apparently there was a guy with a girl dancing without their shirt, and they were left alone. Stray is not our bar, we need as you said a space for us, but Stray has proven over the past year not to be it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with our girl Mary J, no more drama girls; we have enough in our lives!
I do think how ever we need to find a place that is tolerant and supportive to us as a gay community. Stray has talked a good talk but seems to continuously fall down when it comes time to deliver. I thought they where taking steps in the right direction with the hot new gay bartenders, but it seems the gay bartenders may be a little on the homo phob side themselves.
The gay community spends a lot of money in Hudson, we need to start spending it in places that are thankful for our support.
Because lets face it we are spending and tipping far more with or martini orders than the trouble making, gun toting thugs that seem to be the welcomed guest of lately.
Though in Peggy's defense she was not present on Saturday night and was not there to allow her feelings to be known, she was at the mercy of her bouncer who himself is a thug and will support the gangster crowd that destroys property and has not problems abusing others for being different.

Anonymous said...

For starters, "that bar" needs to be renamed. It's name is innacurate, and sets up false expectations for us. Irregardless of Saturday night's incident(s), which I didn't witness but heard about as well, I don't feel welcome there. I would if I was a jackass from Hollowville, I guess. Here's my suggestions for a new name:

The bar for people from Claverac

For the straight and the lame

Any other ideas?

Rich said...

HELLO! Did you not READ my FUCKING blog post? What did I say? What do you think, I'm wasting my time with this shit?



Did anyone of you offer an alternative? No. A solution? No.


I need to start hitting people!

Next time, I'm the fucking bouncer at Stray! Got it!

And anyone who misbehaves, I'm throwing them OVER my knee, pulling down their pants in front of the entire bar, and wacking their ass until it's nice and RED!

That's what SHOULD have happened!

The guy who got thrown out had a GORGEOUS ass! Such a waste.

Next time, I'm the "bouncer".

Bounce your fucking ass on my dick!

Read the post, stop whining, offer a solution, and get back to me.


Now, I'm angry.

Anonymous said...

How about a designated "Light The Town Red" night?
On that night, anyone who is douched, oiled-up and ready to take on all comers leaves a red light burning in their window, with their front door unlatched.

But since this IS Hudson, we have to be careful that it is not confused with an interior design tour.

Rich said...

FINALLY! Someone with a good idea!


I'm in!

Hopefully, I'll be "IN" YOU!

Anonymous said...

Good point about reticence, as change often DOES come from getting riled up. But, as Rich asked for, now what about some CONCRETE SOLUTIONS? Otherwise the current state of affairs will simply go 'round in circles without ANY change.

I think that what Rich was asking for, and what many of us are hoping for, is that with all the bright and talented guys in this town (real estate,finance,design,publicists,former go-go-boys, ... that couples rolodex !!!) that some SERIOUS ideas be put together and we come up with a place where guys can meet/meat; whatever the case may be.

For instance, does any real-estate broker know of any local shack that can be rented cheaply that might become a "social club" and is off the coppers radar? Does anyone have a small space available, a rusting RV in their back yard, ANYTHING that with a quick coat of paint and dim peach lighting could at least serve as a small starter "lounge".

In the meantime, everyone might spread the word to consider staying away from STRAY (clearly, explaining to Peggy seems pointless) - and instead volunteering some actual TIME into putting together or hosting a small alternative space.

Hudson needs to become a gay DESTINATION, not just a Hillbilly Punchline. But it has to start with just 1 small, realistic TANGIBLE step that we can glom onto. I hope that some momentum can start and be sustained from this shared evening at STRAY on Sat.

MikeStrayBar said...

Okay folks, let's set the record straight. (no pun).
Saturday was a great night. We had a packed house and all were having FUN FUN FUN!!! Lady Bunny was a big hit!! Giovanni was outstanding as always.
Unfortunately, The fun stopped with some of you when a certain person needed to be taken out of the bar because of his behavior. Do NOT misunderstand. This was NOT because of his shirt being off.
In the bouncers defense, he was simply looking out for the "house" while Peggy was absent.
On Thursday night we had some "RUFF TRADE" in the bar that caused major damage due to a large brawl. Some people ruin it for everyone else I guess.
But in efforts to try and turn the bar around and have the kind of bar we all want to have here in Hudson, it's going to take time. It CAN NOT happen over night guys.
We need to have patients and allow things unfold and develope with time.
The person who was taken out of the bar flat out refused to pull his pants up when asked by me. I explained to him that having his shirt off was fine, but screaming at me and telling me to leave him the f@ck alone, it's a free country and that he WILL NOT pull his pants up pushed the limits and I certainly was not going to stand for it any further. He was asked to leave and firmly resisted. The rest, is "BAR BUSINESS HISTORY" and sometimes we have to take measures. With both Gay and Straight patrons regardless.
It is truly unfortunate that the evening ended this way for him as well as his friends that left with him. I'm sorry that things unfolded the way that they did, but I stand firm on my decision do do the right thing and know without a doubt that I did just that. End of story.
I hope you all understand that my role here at Stray is one of a Fun, openminded and liberal gay man who is all for "our" community. But I am also here to help encourage people to continue coming back to Stray and do my best to make everyone feel comfortable each time they do. GAY OR STRAIGHT. Thanks for listening and I hope to see all of you soon!! Mike

MATTHEW said...

Hey Rich. I completely agree with the sentiments expressed in your post. did a great job at writing a post that was very diplomatic...glad you had a good time...and it's still in the are some thoughts.

My partner and I have lived here for the past 5 years and until a couple of months ago, I had never been on the receiving end of homophobic comments. Both were from patrons of Stray and occurred when my partner and I were leaving the bar. That does discourage me from attending (and I am sure if it has happened to us, then it has happened to others as well.) I figured that hosting a drag queen event was quite gay and would keep out the riff-raff.

I am sure that we all want the same thing. We want to feel comfortable being ourselves in public establishment where we are spending our money. I have no qualms with going elsewhere if that is where we can find that sense of security.

I don’t know if Alana would be interested, but I wonder if we could start taking over the dining room of the Red Dot. Once all of the diners have left for the evening, we could dim the lights, and play club mix CD’s (we have plenty to get us started.)

Any thoughts?

Rich said...

Hey Matt,

Those homophobic comments - were they:

"Hey Queer, why do you walk like you have a big dildo up your ass?!?"

---because that was me.

Or, how about:

"Yo yo yo Homo, how many cocks did you suck today?"

---because that was me, too.

Anything else, that wasn't me.....

seriously, though, it's a shame....

Rich said...

PS -- Folks, to the other comment, I'm sure that there's a TRAILER in GREENPORT that can be used as a 'lounge'. Our intern Curtis, can help us find one.

A party can always happen at my place, but you'll have to keep your interior design comments to yourself!

If I hear "I can't believe he hasn't replaced this bad linoleum tile, yet..."

You're out!

Just put a dick in your mouth and shut the fuck up.

Lisa said...

rich said: "I like Stray Bar, it's a great space, and other than house parties, I think it could be a fun place for gay boys."

I agree-- StrayBar is a great environment for partying and dancing. It disappoints me to hear the collective consciousness of the gay community deciding they need their own special place for only them.
StrayBar is welcome to everyone (though I'm pretty sure you should be wearing a shirt and pants...).
It would be grossly unfair to oversimplify the events of this weekend into "gay guy gets kicked out- StrayBar inhospitaible to gay community---" headlines. It was a Lady Bunny show for Chrisssake.
Peggy has spent thousands on making the place fabulous and worked for months to find Michael and Leon. She totally supported the idea of "Gay night" and Gay Tea dance. But who stepped up to the plate to organize/promote it/make it positive? Rich promoted it here and I Spun the tunes off my ipod for 5 hours (n/c). I had a blast. It was a good start. But the only feedback Peggy got afterwards was that the gay boys a) danced on the pool table , b) whined because straight people -- regular Sunday evening customers--came in and wanted to play their weekly game of pool, with appropriate lighting for such.
Oh yea --and c) the bartender was a straight girl. Yawn.

Who is being intolerant here?

I feel confident that if you wanted the place for yourselves she would rent it out exclusively to you for a very resonable price-Peggy is a very generous person. Maybe with a little better organization you could customize a fabulous gay evening on a regular basis. I hope it's not too late.
(and please invite me if you do )

strayt lisa

Anonymous said...

Rich as most of our friends know we have a pretty large trailer that we tote around all summer long. Perhaps we need to set is up in 7th street park and claim the park as our Saturday night place to hang out. Put out the awning and hang the disco ball, so Fire Island dance CD's and BAM instant party!
We can call it a party on the GO-GO; changing the location weekly to ensure that we don't wear out our welcome in any one party of the town.
So what do you say... should we schedule our first party on the G0-GO soon?
I for one think it would be very Pricilla Queen of Hudson.
Keep the positive juices flowing....

peter said...

mikes comment to set the record straight has a few lies and inaccurate statements. The bar's cameras can leave no doubt about this. For instance - if he refused to put his pants on when asked, how do you explain that he put his pants on and his pants were on when he was thrown out? He did put his pants back on. Did he yell at you? Hell, yes! Did he object to how he was being treated? Hell yes! And with more than good reason. Don't pretend it wasn't about his shirt being off. That's where it started and why it started. That's why the bouncer started harassing and intimidating and yelling at him. The bouncer's aggressive threatening unnecessary behavior was the root of all of this. David wasn't doing anything harmful or disruptive. When the bouncer started harrassing him he became understandably pissed off. If the staff had treated him civilly or tried to diffuse the situation this never would have happened. If the bouncer hadn't had a problem with his shirt being off none of this ever would have happened. What all the yelling was about - and I am happy to admit I was yelling too at the people who started yelling at us first - was rage that we were being given no explanation for why you were making an issue about the shirt. Especially since another customer who had his shirt off was being left alone. Mike: the staff threatened and mistreated a customer who was doing nothing wrong. That's the story. He got pissed and did some things that taken out of context could look like reason to throw him out. Don't twist this. He told you to leave him alone because that is exactly what you should have done Saturday night. Some people ruin it for everyone else I guess......

Anonymous said...

"Light The Town Red" and "Party On The GO-GO" are great ideas. Here's one more thought on transforming Hudson into "Boys On The Hudson" (not to be confused with a similar organization, "Bottoms On The Hudson") ...


Buy the Armory and transform it into what the space and architecture cry out for ... an all-inclusive complex of a giant dance club,gym,bathouse,dungeon sex pit, and porno studio. (This would also provide jobs for the Dogpatch characters - Curtis as "towel boy",Factchecker as bookeeper,Red as publicist,Tyron as bouncer, ect.,ect.)
Of course, this hair-brained Lucy and Ethel scheme would require a very wealthy investor/s and worldwide advertising.

Then again, Hudson doesn't even have a drycleaner; and the nearest airport is in Albany - and I think they only have 1 flight a day.

O.K., forget THAT idea !!!

Rich said...

OK, folks, L-O-N-G deep breaths here.

INHALE, 2..3..4


EXHALE, 2..3..4

The good/bad part about Hudson is that we all will see each other again at some point.

No one's perfect. Shit happens. Live and learn.

At some point over the next couple of weeks, we'll get together, sit down, plan things out, set expectations, and make good things happen.

There are many options - a night at Stray, roving house parties, trailer parties, sitting under a red light in your living room...

They can all happen.

But people will have to come together and do it.

I think Lady Bunny said it best during Wigstock:

"Peace, Love, and Wigs!"

Lisa said...

are you sure that's bea arthur? it looks like ed norton in drag

peter said...

hey peaceniks - i'm on your side. I moved to hudson because it feels inclusive and tolerant. I for one am not advocating divisiveness or a "gay only" alternative. I agree with almost everything Rich and Lisa said (except the part about shirts - lets not turn into puritans). But deep breaths and understanding can also be a form of censorship. You'll never have a tolerant and inclusive community if you discourage dialog and justifiable anger about intolerant and unacceptable behavior. I'm still upset about how David was treated. I'm not going to act like it didn't happen.

Also just for the record I'm not trying to undermine Stray bar or Peggy in any way. I know she's working very hard to make a go of it and I wish her well. She and I had a very open and respectful conversation yesterday. Basically all of us want the same thing and I hope she is successful.

Anonymous said...

Rich - can you close this blog to comments. I think enough has been said on this subject, if we continue to re-hash the past we can never move forward to a positive and rewarding future.