N.Y. Scene is a monthly column that chronicles events of interest for lesbian and bi women in New York. Grace Chu has come out of lesbian scene retirement to navigate the vast and ever-evolving New York City scene, so you don’t have to. Follow her on Twitter.
It was a good month for New York sports fans. First, the New York Giants won the Superbowl. For non-American readers, Superbowl Sunday is the most important holiday in the United States. Two teams throw a pigskin ball around, people eat more hot wings and drink more beer than is reasonable or necessary, and everyone cheers for the expensive advertisements and even more expensive halftime show performers. Superbowl Sunday is more important than Christmas, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day, and even Talk Like A Pirate Day. It narrowly edges out Black Friday as the holiday Americans consider to be most sacred and holy.
The team members of the winning side are treated like heroes. The Giants ticker tape parade route literally took place through the Canyon of Heroes in Lower Manhattan. Nearly one million fans showed up, and they needed to be entertained. It takes a DJ with a heart and stomach of steel to spin in front of a million rowdy football fans, and that DJ was DJ Whitney Day, a familiar face in the queer nightclub scene. Whitney Day entertained the crowd at City Hall alongside Mayor Bloomberg. Fabulous, right? Now if only Bloomberg would hold a parade down the same route for Afghanistan/Iraq War veterans and hire Whitney Day to reprise her role, that would be even more fabulous. How ’bout it, mayor?
If you are a Knicks fan, know any Asian-Americans, went to Harvard, live in the Tri State area, live in the Bay Area, know anyone who follows basketball, own a television or a radio, have a smart phone, have internet service, left the house and passed a magazine stand in the month of February, socialize with other human beings or have a pulse, you have heard about Linsanity, the other great sports story to come out of New York City this past month. If you haven’t, give me your number. I’d like to know your secret for being so oblivious. Living in a vacuum may actually be kind of therapeutic.
Linsanity is the story about how an underdog emerged from obscurity to capture the hearts and minds of millions around the world. But most importantly, a sleepy little town discovered it had a basketball team called the Knicks. The Knicks have actually been around for 66 years, but no one knew they existed except Spike Lee. Then one day an underappreciated and underused point guard named Jeremy Lin, the undrafted second year from Harvard, overlooked and about to be cut from the roster, was tossed into a game against the New Jersey Nets by a desperate coach who was himself on the way to being awarded a pink slip. The Knicks, whose name was never mentioned because doing so would result in bad luck, then went on a tear and destroyed every opponent for the next six games, and the world lost its marbles.
Google news feed, ESPN, Twitter, Facebook, CNN, Saturday Night Live and your inbox became the Jeremy Lin show. New York politicians, including Governor Cuomo and our favorite out councilwoman Christine Quinn jumped into the fray to press squabbling Time Warner and the MSG Channel to put Knicks games back on the air. A-Rod offered his apartment to Lin, who had been crashing on his brother’s couch. Then President Obama claimed he found out about Jeremy Lin first. You can’t even make this sh-t up.
A friend and I headed to Madison Square Garden to see the Knicks host the Atlanta Hawks on February 22. She hadn’t been to MSG since a New York Liberty game, and I hadn’t set foot in the venue since Lady Gaga‘s Monster’s Ball Tour. We were both excited to see that Jean-Georgeshad a booth selling organic hot dogs topped with kimchi and spicy mustard. My friend and I looked to our left and saw a lesbian couple wearing Knicks jerseys, so we invited them to accompany us to Maggie C‘s Creme de la Femme after the game. The Knicks clobbered the Hawks, we yelled and jumped up and down a lot, and off we went to Creme. Guess who was spinning at Creme that night? DJ Whitney Day, who obviously doesn’t sleep.
And yoo hoo! Someone created a Jeremy Lin fan page, acknowledging his hearthrobbiness. All right, that person was me. After seeing grown women – and guys – write shrieky and barely comprehensible status updates on Facebook that looked like they were ghost written by Justin Bieber fans every time Jeremy Lin made a basket, did the nerd handshake with Landry Fields or took a sip of water, it was time for Hey Girl, It’s Jeremy Lin.
It was also an attempt to take down Ryan Gosling, king of the Hey Girl Tumblr meme, during a period of immobility caused by a knee injury. You’ve seen a variation of this with the Rachel Maddow Hey Girl site – I hope you have at least, because it’s pretty awesome. I figured a Tumblr site filled with corny Jeremy Lin pick up lines would be funny to show to a couple of friends. A few days later, much to my confusion, the site had hit the Daily News, Los Angeles Times, among others, and suddenly I was being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. It was a piece about how the ladies love Lin. Although I came out as a big homo and said I wrote for AfterEllen.com, that part was cut, but hey, I ain’t gonna lie – we were all swept up by Linsanity. Check it out.
While Linsanity has since died down and everyone in New York has stopped walking around the city looking like a crack fiend, the high point was when Time Magazine declared Ryan Gosling dethroned: “Remember Ryan Gosling? He’s so yesterday.” Tango down. Mission accomplished.