Earlier this week we brought word that Gray’s Papaya would be opening a midtown location at 612 Eighth Avenue, between 39th and 40th Streets, making an uptown Papaya pilgrimage just a little easier for those of us who are still mourning the loss, three years ago, of their Greenwich Village spot. (The chain had dwindled down to its original store at 72nd Street.)
This “roaming screening series” has set up shop in venues across New York City and unofficially dubbed July queer cinema month. The organizers are calling it “a series of queer interventions” in the form of performance art, but mostly cinema inside LGBT cultural landmarks, art institutions, DIY spaces, and even in places where the ghosts of queer past linger, like defunct bathhouses and former meeting spots. Screenings are showcasing not just classics of gay cinema but recent efforts by local up-and-comings.
The Papaya King that opened in the East Village last month is all about St. Marks Place. There’s a dog named after St. Marks resident Jimmy McMillan, who scored the King’s endorsement for mayor; and a sign on the back wall tells us that Lenny Bruce once lived on St. Marks (strangely, there’s no sign giving props to Crif Dogs for being the first place on St. Marks to combine hot dogs and video games).
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