N.Y. Scene August 2011: Original Sin: Atlantic City Women’s Weekend, Star Wars vs. Star Trek Burlesque, and the World Exploded


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.

For most of August, Mercury was in retrograde, and an earthquake and a hurricane said hello to New York City. Communication breakdowns! Thunder! Lightning! Drama! Chaos! Pandemonium! Just another month in the life of a New York lesbian.

August 5-7, 2011 – Original Sin: Atlantic City Women’s Weekend

On August 2, Mercury went into retrograde. According to prevailing wisdom and the more paranoid segment of your circle of friends – but mostly the latter, traveling while Mercury is in retrograde is ill advised. I refused to believe in such silliness, so I boarded a bus to Atlantic City on August 5th for Original Sin: Atlantic City Women’s Weekend.

Departing Manhattan went smoothly, and traffic was brisk. A nice Korean grandmother by the name of Ms. Kim sat down next to me. When it became apparent that I couldn’t speak Korean, she motioned to me that she was going to Atlantic City to play the slot machines. I motioned to her that I was going to Atlantic City to take photographs. The only sign I could think of to tell her that I was going to take photos of a lesbian event was sticking my tongue between a V made from my index and middle fingers, but I felt that doing so would be inappropriate, so I decided to omit that detail. I tried to think of an alternate photographic subject matter that would be plausible in Atlantic City, but I couldn’t think of a sign for the ocean, seagulls, strippers or homeless people either, so I just pointed to my camera again and pumped my fist.

About an hour after leaving Manhattan, the wheels on the bus stopped going round and round. The bus broke down somewhere between Newark and nowhere, and some of the classier passengers who must have been sipping gin and juice out of flasks, because they smelled like the floor of a frat house on a Sunday morning, started to get rowdy. It was special.

In addition to being stuck on a renegade Rikers Island bus, I was starving. At this precise moment, Ms. Kim pulled a tupperware container filled with papaya and kiwi slices out of her Louis Vuitton bag. She put it in my lap and said, “Eat!” I had no idea why she gave me her food, because I never said anything about being hungry, but I was thankful, and I started eating. Plus, when an old Asian lady tells you to eat, you don’t ask any questions. You just eat. No one has ever found out what happens when you disobey an Asian grandmother’s order to eat, and I wasn’t about to go down in history as the cautionary tale. She also went into a convenience store and bought me a Snickers bar, even though I protested and demanded to pay, but she was louder and won. Asian grandmothers are awesome.

An hour later, another bus rolled up, and all of us filed out like disheveled lemmings and boarded the new bus, which somehow avoided Mercury’s shenanigans and made it to Atlantic City. Before Ms. Kim and I parted ways, I asked some friends via text message how to say “thank you” in Korean. So if you are ever in close quarters with drunken hooligans, and an old Korean lady saves you from starvation, this is what you say: kamsahamnida. You’re welcome.

I saved the Snickers bar. Maybe I was just paranoid, but I kept it for good luck and for the next emergency. Perhaps there would be a time in the future where I would be required to stockpile food. Asian grandmothers don’t just fly out of locust swarms or failed power grids you know. 

In any event, I was two hours late to Envy, the opening dance party at Showboat, and it was already in full swing.

It’s Romi from The Real L Word!

And here’s Romi grabbing Claire’s boob. That’s sugar free Red Bull, which won’t erode your enamel, but it still gives you wings. Fly, Romi, fly! And your teeth are so pretty! 

Why are these ladies so shocked and awed?

Maybe it is this. Go get ’em tiger!

Shhh. These ladies are having a moment. On AfterEllen!

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