10 Insider Tips and Tricks to Make the Most of NYC Pride
- Don’t call NYC Pride a parade. It’s a march, as GMHC staffer and onetime grand marshal Krisha Stone explains. “Other committees call their events parades, but NYC calls it a march, to send out the message our work is not done in achieving full equality for LGBT people. It will be called a march until those rights are fully realized.”
- Don’t assume you have to camp out from early morning to secure a great viewing perch—by mid-afternoon, there’ll likely still be space to join the celebrations in select areas. Try 5th Avenue in Flatiron, or the end of the route at 23rd Street and 7th Avenue.
- Remember, too, that this year’s supersized march will end much later than in previous years. Organizers estimate the final float will cross the finishing line around 9:30 PM, almost four hours later than in the past. Pace yourself accordingly.
- Try to avoid taking cars or taxis around lower Manhattan that day; the streets will be gridlocked. GRID. LOCKED. If you hop on the subway, get out at Union Square, where the station will be considerably less crowded than either Christopher Street or 8th Avenue. Better yet, walk. Or if you're feeling brave and have a long way to go, take a Citibike.
- Look for the new LinkNYC terminals that dot the city’s sidewalks. These ad-funded phone booth replacements offer free, fast wifi and USB ports to recharge phones. Just remember to bring your own cable.
- Carry cash. Street vendors will mostly be cash-only, and you might want to tip an impressively costumed marcher or two (¯\_(ツ)_/¯). ATMs will be busy. Plan ahead. Get plenty of small bills before you head to the festivities.
- Watch for the WorldPride Mural Project on the march route at 7th Avenue and West 22nd Street, and elsewhere around town. These are specially commissioned public art projects celebrating Pride in all its forms by 50 artists from around the world, including D*Face and Mac C, among other Very Big Deals.
- Bring a reusable water bottle, so you don’t end up spending too much on bottled water in the sun (reusable's more eco-savvy, too). Refill at the water fountains in Washington Square Park, close to the march route.
- Don’t hang back. It's officially too late to join marchers on floats, but if you’re inspired, head to intersections along the route, where police will periodically pause the march to let pedestrians cross. Smile nicely, and the officers might just let you slip into throngs of marchers rather than exit at the other side.
- Don’t do just one march. Manhattan’s Pride is the biggest in the city—and the world. But there are individual Pride celebrations in all five boroughs. Our pick? Harlem Pride, which culminates with a 10th anniversary celebration day on June 29: two stages, free admission, and Dominique Jackson as your host.
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