Lady GaGa's Bi-coastal/Gay Hot Spots
Name: Lady GaGa
Birthday: March 28, 1986
City: Lower East Side / West Hollywood
Relationship Status: Single -- I'm married to my work.
How did you get your name?
Well, I started working with producer Rob Fusari when I was 19, and he would always say that I'm very theatrical when I sing and play piano. He started calling me 'GaGa' after the Queen song 'Radio Ga Ga'. And I kept it.
How did you go from an Uptown girl to a Downtown diva?
I didn't transition into the downtown musical scene until I was 18, after high school. I never connected with that community. I really considered myself as more of an observer in high school and then when I had the opportunity to move out and experience New York City on my own, I found the community I did fit in with.
When did the gay friends enter your life?
I was a dancer for so many years, and took acting classes, so I always had a lot of gay friends. They've always been a part of my life.
What are some of the things you love most about New York?
I love the concrete, the coldness of the concrete. I love the buildings and the skyline. I love the pace of the city. It's so urgent. I love that urgency. I love the diversity of the people. I love art in New York. I love it cause it's home. You could go to a million corners, and always feel like you're discovering something new. The galleries, the museums -- and the Lower East Side, where I live, is such a quaint part of the city. I moved down there for a cheap apartment, and it turned out to be the most amazing decision, because it's in walking distance of all the venues I'm playing.
What are some of your least favorite things about New York?
It's gotten better over the years, but the homelessness and poverty on the streets is sad. I think it's so important for municipal government to focus on all people and make sure the homeless have a place to live.
What gym do you like most in New York? Why?
YMCA in Chinatown. It's really close to my apartment and the rates are good. I like the facility. They have a pool, and I like to swim sometimes.
What are some great gay-friendly restaurants in New York?
I only go places that are gay friendly. Anyplace that's not gay friendly, I don't know about. A really delicious Australian fish place called Bonzi Road is on Rivington St. and next door to good dive bars. Pink Pony, which is fabulous on Ludlow St. right across from Urth Matters. This is more chi chi, but I love Budokan, which is expensive and chi chi. For really fabulous Italian, Max's on 4th and B is the best Italian food ever. And this is coming from an Italian girl. Mark my words.
What are some great restaurants for a romantic gay date in New York? What about these restaurants appeals to you?
Max's is really good. It's more of a real romantic date place. Budokan is a more romantic first date, when trying to impress someone. It's also lighter than Max's because I wouldn't want to eat a bunch of meatballs on a first date. Max's is for when you've been dating a couple months. I might take someone on a first date there to test them, because it's a low key Italian place. If they get it, that's really me, not some fantasy.
What are your favorite gay bars and/or dance clubs in New York? What do you like about them?
I like Splash a lot. I like the vibe. It's really big, and when I walk in, I just want to jump right in and swim around right away.
What are your favorite gay parties or events in New York, if any? What is the crowd or scene like at those places?
I really like Kenny Kenny's party, Sebastian, in New York City.
Where is the best public place for a gay person to make out in New York?
I would say anywhere. Be be free. Make out wherever you want and let the world know.
What is the gay community like in New York? Do you consider yourself to be part of any particular "scene"?
Gay guys in New York, it's not very different. It's been a very similar experience everywhere because a lot of my friends are dancers and in fashion. I would say the lesbians in L.A. are more aggressive than in New York...in a good way. I'll go to a club in L.A., and if a girl likes me she'll tell me. In New York, it's more cat and mouse.
Do you have a particular fashion style? Where do you shop for clothes?
Very forward thinking and futuristic. I design all my clothes with the House of GaGa creative team, and then I have them made. Some are pulled from showrooms like Martin Margiella.
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?
For good theatre in New York, I would do my research on up-and-coming shows going on. There are a lot in the 42 St. area. I would also go to NYU and see what community performances are going on, because those people are so talented. For art, I would walk around the Stanton St. area, visit the Moma, and the Metropolitan museum, which is so dreamy.
Visit Lady GaGa's official Web site.
All images courtesy Getty