Kevin Allison's Big Apple
Name: Kevin Allison
City: New York
Relationship Status: Married
What is the best date you ever had in this town? Why?
My husband and I went to a cute little Indonesian restaurant in the East Village for our first date. It's gone now, but we're married! We still joke about the fact that, since we had only met each other walking down Park Avenue the day before, on our way to the restaurant, I was deliberately trailing just a few steps behind him so I could check out his butt.
What are some of the things you love most about your city/town?
I love the mix of races, cultures and such. It's the variety of people living right next to each other that makes New York magic-and damn sexy! When you're a whiter than white boy from Ohio, the different races here get your blood flowing. I also love that I can talk to myself walking down the street and no one thinks I'm any crazier than the next guy.
What are some of your least favorite things about it?
I have all sorts of conspiracy theories about why the subway service on my line is so crappy.
What gym do you like most? Why?
Bickram Yoga. That's the one you do in sauna-like temperatures. I'm still terrified I'll barf, faint and die, but it's the best.
What are some great restaurants for a night out with gay friends there?
A bazillion, but the ones that come to mind are Pure Food & Wine, Chumleys, Indian Taj, East of Eighth, The Jazz Standard, Joe's Pub.
What are some great restaurants for a romantic gay date? What about these restaurants appeals to you?
The Jazz Standard is hot because it's not an arm and a leg, the ribs are awesome, the atmosphere is that classic jazz club sort of feel and the music is amazing. Joe's Pub is the same way.
Is there a particular best place to "people watch" that most people not familiar with your town would find helpful?
Anywhere you're not in someone's way. Especially the parks or some café on Bedford Street in Williamsburg.
Are there any famous people from your town?
Are you kidding? They're like the pod people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
What are your favorite gay bars and/or dance clubs? What do you like about them?
Barracuda, g Lounge, Boiler Room, The Cock, Phoenix, The Web. I'm actually not much of a dancing man, so I like a place with lots of loungey space. And half-naked Asian or Latino boys in their 20s, of course.
What are your favorite gay parties or events, if any? What is the crowd or scene like at those places?
Er... em, I think I'd better refrain from answering this one!
Where is the best public place for a gay person to make out?
Probably Splash. It's like the crossroads of the world for gays. It's always been a cheesy place, but here's to cheese! You're guaranteed to find someone to get busy with.
What is the gay community like in your city? Do you consider yourself to be part of any particular "scene"?
The gay community is varied. The part you see the most is the Chelsea party scene. But to find the most interesting people in the community, you have to meet folks outside that scene.
Do gay men and lesbians hang out in the same places in your town, or is that just a ridiculous notion?!
You find a lot of convivial mixing at piano bars. The Broadway geeks.
Are you involved with any LGBT community organizations there? Which ones? What do you like about those groups?
The Human Rights Campaign. The folks on the front lines are wonderful people.
Does your town have a LGBT pride celebration? Do you usually attend? What are the highlights for you? What do you like least about it?
Oh of course. The first time I saw the Pride parade here when I was 18, I was blown away. You get a lump in your throat over Gay Friendly Grandmas and a second later you've got a lump in your pants over some dude dressed as Aladdin dropping his parachute pants. What I like least about Pride Day is that once the parade is over, you see a lot of people milling around strung out on meth or whatever.
Do you have a particular fashion style? Where do you shop for clothes?
I lack the queer eye. My husband helps. We do a lot of shopping at Banana Republic.
Where do you go for other forms of entertainment -- live theater, concerts, movies, art exhibits? Are there any local gay performance groups, bands, or artists that you're a fan of?
Kiki and Herb are phenomenal. Everyone in New York should see as much off-Broadway theater, concerts and gallery shows as possible. There's always great stuff all over.
If you had gay friends visiting from out of town for the first time, what are some "musts" that you'd recommend they see or do?
The top of the Empire State Building is wonderful. A lazy afternoon in Central Park is lovely. MOMA and the Guggenheim are terrific. The Metropolitan Opera is a treat.
What city (or cities) in America would you most like to visit next, and why? Are there any specific spots there (theaters, nightclubs, historic sites, etc.) that you'd really like to see?
Oh I'd love to get all over. I've never been to Austin, New Orleans, Atlanta, San Diego. I've always love San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago. I'd love to visit Maine sometime. And the Grand Canyon, Big Sur and Yosemite. I'd love to see more of everything and everyone!
Kevin's weekly live show RISK! starts in August at Arlene's Grocery on the Lower East Side every Thursday at 7:00. RISK! Is where creative folk tell true stories about taking risks, stories about risky stuff, or stories told in risky ways. It will also be a podcast on iTunes and Breakthru Radio. Guests this fall will include Janeane Garofalo, Marc Maron, Jessi Klein, Rob Huebel, Anthony King, Desiree Burch, Tom Shillue, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and many more.