Surviving NYC PrideFest
Written by: Jaclyn Popola
New York City's annual gay pride celebration, held in Greenwich Village from June 17-24, is one of the largest in the nation. Surpassed in numbers only by San Francisco, NYC Pride attracts more than 600,000 patrons over the course of the two day event. But battling the crowds at Pride can quickly turn an enjoyable experience into a nightmare if you're not careful.
PREPARATIONS! If you're coming in from out of town, book your hotel room several months in advance. There aren't many hotels in the Village, so don't be afraid to stay somewhere in Midtown. There are many methods of transportation that you can ride to get to Pride (taxi cab, subway, bus, the PATH train if you're coming from Jersey). Roads all along the parade route will be blocked off, and it's easy to get lost if you're not familiar with the city. Even if you live nearby, you're better off taking public transportation instead of driving.
POINTERS! Wear sneakers, not sandals or flip flops. You're going to be doing a ton of walking and the grime of New York City streets will turn your toes black with all the unseen pollution. Carrying a backpack and traveling light is also a good idea. You can use it to haul around your bottles of water or to store the purchases you make at the Marketplace. Depending on the weather, you may want to bring a sweatshirt in case it gets cool or rain gear if the weather is calling for possible rain. (PrideFest goes on despite inclement weather; it will NOT be rescheduled.) Wear sunscreen, for the love of God, especially on your face and shoulders, and dress appropriately. Wear sunglasses and even a hat. There's virtually no shade in New York City so you're going to be subjecting yourself to constant sunlight.
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