NYC Pride is around the corner and you just can’t wait for the floats, the drag queens, the hot guys and the after-parties. And while all those are very important, there’s also the practical side to surviving Pride. The last thing you want is to end up dehydrated on Seventh Avenue wearing the wrong shoes, tipsy and sunburnt, with a dead phone and a full bladder. So take a second to consider our 12 insider tips for surviving Pride in NYC.
1—Pack comfortable shoes
The Pride March route runs two miles so plan to be on your feet all day and pack some comfy kicks.
It’s a good idea to have cash on you as many vendors along the parade route are cash-only—plus, you might want to tip that cute go-go boy or your favorite drag queen! The last thing you want to be doing is scrambling to find an ATM, so plan ahead. If you do forget, we’ve got you covered with a few convenient ATMs located along the route:
- CVS—320 Fifth Avenue at 32nd Street
- Bank of America—186 Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street
- TD Bank—90 Fifth Avenue at 14th Street
- CVS—65 Fifth Avenue at 14th Street
- Bank of America—390 Sixth Avenue at 8th Street
- Citibank—395 Sixth Avenue at 8th Street
- Chase—204 West 4th Street at Seventh Avenue
Between the maps, the apps, the texts, the Instagramming and Facebook Live (and let’s be real, the Grindr-ing), your phone’s going to be working overtime. The last thing you want is to see a low battery warning pop-up in the middle of all the fun. You can buy a portable battery pack for $30, which is the equivalent of two additional charges. Or for a thrifty approach, the new LinkNYC kiosks offer free USB charging ports throughout the City—just be sure to bring your own cable.
Drink a lot of water. You can buy bottles of water at a corner deli, but a refillable water bottle is ideal and more green too; you can refill and re-hydrate at a number of water fountains in nearby Washington Square Park and along the Hudson River Park. New York’s drinking water is considered to be the best in the US and consistently wins annual taste tests, according to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
5—Things’ll be great when you’re downtown
Book a hotel downtown or near the main Pride March route. Having easy access to your room for wardrobe changes and freshening up is very helpful. For a complete list of our favorite hotels that are walkable to all the Pride festivities, click here.
6—Call in gay
Straight people are known for calling in sick the day after the Super Bowl, so damn it, you can, too. (What do you mean you already called in sick the day after the Oscars?) Tell your office that you’re taking Monday off. You’re going to be tired, sunburnt and maybe a little hungover. Sleep it off and come back rejuvenated on Tuesday.
Not to sound like your Mom, but make sure you’ve got sunscreen on. This is especially true at Pride, when you’re outside in the June sun for hours without shade. So put in on at home and bring extra to reapply throughout day. You’ll thank us later.
Pride is a celebration of diversity and the freedom to be yourself, no matter who you are or where you’re from. So be expressive—wear colorful tank tops, brazen short-shorts and embrace the rainbow! Go crazy with your wardrobe and take the heat into consideration. Light, fun, colorful and outrageous is the way to go. Here are some of our favorite places for fab Pride outfits: Nasty Pig, Rainbow Station and Tagg all have clothes and colorful gear; the Twenty Sided Store in Brooklyn has some quirky knick-knacks and games. Whatever you decide to wear, comfort is key.
9—Go with friends
Pride is about connecting with old friends, meeting new people and celebrating those that you love. So get a fun group of your peeps together and cut loose. Sure, you can fly solo if you choose, but we think your chances of staying safe and having fun are improved by buddying up.
10—Scope out the best bathrooms
We’ve all been there: you’re jammed amidst thousands of gays, the police have blocked off the streets and you gotta go. And, of course, the line for the restrooms at Starbucks is down the block. We use this cool resource to tell you where the closest public restrooms are along the march route. And here’s our expert tip: purchase VIP Dance on the Pier tickets. It's worth it for the bathroom and free water access alone.
11—Know your history
On June 28, 1969, the police raided The Stonewall Inn on the West Village, resulting in riots and protests that ultimately led to the first organized gay protest march—a tradition that continues to this day known as the NYC Pride March. While watching the parade pass by, be sure to pay homage to the new Stonewall National Park.