RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 contestant Miz Cracker shares her five favorite places to see drag in NYC.
Drag queen and former RuPaul’s Drag Race star Miz Cracker has seen drag and performed all over creation—but when asked, in conversation on travel and performance for Here issue 11, where she believes the best in the business come out to play, she didn’t hesitate for a moment.
“It’s not even a question: New York is objectively the best city for drag,” says Miz Cracker. “It is where drag as a culture was born. The Harlem Renaissance and the Oyster Club gave birth to drag queens and drag kings that would be photographed by James Flanders and other photographers, and those images would filter out throughout the world and create the idea of drag. This is where it was born, and so, of course, the pulse is thriving here.”
“We have pageant queens; we have comedy queens; we have edgy queens, trans queens, fire queens, drag kings. We have every single type of drag under the sun in one place competing heavily,” she continues. “We do not have wonderful air quality or a wonderful transportation system, but we do have a great drag there. Come to New York: It smells like trash and you can’t get anywhere, but Goddammit, we’ve got great drag!”
Below, the supernova shares her five favorite New York City bars and clubs for the world’s most killer drag.
1. Barracuda Lounge, Chelsea
“A founding mother of drag in New York City, this bar was one of the first queer NYC venues to feature a drag show every night of the week, not just on weekends. It has been home to drag legends like Jackie Beat, Sherry Vine, and Candice Cayne, and features amazing ladies like Tina Burner today.”
2. Industry, Hell’s Kitchen
“Everyone who’s anyone goes to see Queen on Thursdays at this giant lounge. The wildest queens in the, well, industry perform numbers on a theme for some of the poshest gays in Hell’s Kitchen, and everyone has a blast. This bar features fabulous queens every night, each with their own radically different style.”
3. Therapy, Hell’s Kitchen
“Across the street from Industry—but alike in dignity—this slick two-level bar features my favorite show in the five boroughs: The Help with Kizha Carr and Pixie Aventura. It’s a high voltage, no-holds-barred explosion of choreo and brutal comedy. It has reigned supreme since it was founded by Bob the Drag Queen and Pixie years ago.”
4. Suite Bar, Upper West Side
“Make a friend at Suite, and they’ll stay with you for life. This tiny neighborhood bar features the talented girls from Hell’s Kitchen after they finish their demanding downtown gigs, so there’s an air of joy and intimacy you won’t find anywhere else. The drinks are strong, the queens are stronger, and the revelers come from every walk of life. Make sure to see Pattaya Hart and Brenda Dharling on Fridays.”
5. Laurie Beechman, Hell’s Kitchen
“This underground (literally) theater features both globe-trotting RuPaul’s Drag Race stars and beloved NYC gals with shows that offer a little more production value than the typical venue. Expect live singing, video, choreography, group numbers, and more. And it’s all in an intimate dinner theater setting with candles. Fancy!”