"City Nights" – Off On the Road to Albany

Ever wonder what it’s like to be outside of the element of your own city? Hard to imagine for some but, New York City was dragging recently so why not get the fuck out of Dodge for a lovely weekend?  Besides, I’ve been planning on touring this column to other cities to see how they measure up to home. Albany (that bastard city upstate that makes a lot of political and economic decisions that we may all not agree with) was the city of choice for Saturday night. Isis Vermouth seems to hold some sort of trance over the gay nightlife up there so it was only fitting to attend her EGO Rocks Party.

I was warned about these events and their unadulterated insanity. Or, as I would call them… shit shows. (I mean that in the most loving way, too.) To start, the venue itself, Rocks, is located on a kind of “homo row” where all of Albany’s gay bars and clubs are situated and is not more than your usual dive bar with a few added bonuses. Kind of like a cheap hooker trying too hard to paint herself after she’s had one too many.

But, I digress. Vermouth pulls one hell of a turn out along with her infamous racist, homophobic, right wing cohort, Shealita Babay. Two drag shows kept the patrons well entertained throughout the night all under the watchful eye of DJ Michael Como. Highlights of the evening included the lovely Milan of RuPaul’s Drag Race doing a number in an overflowing white wedding dress and Babay draping a Confederate flag around a willing participant to all of this madness. The show itself it truly outrageous and is a mix of the glamorous and messy. (Her wig has fallen off but she don’t care, honey!)

Honorable mention must go to our bartenders who do not play games with the alcohol-to-filler ratio. (One drink at Rocks equals about three NYC ones.) There’s also a ‘no bullshit’ attitude shared by everyone that only adds to the open and friendly feeling to it all and it’s not just the alcohol working. One little word of recommendation would be to just cast aside all preconceived notions of Albany nightlife and have a grand old time, queen. There’s something to be said about a city whose residents use the lamp posts for balance… and it’s only 10pm.

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Written by Kevin Novinski

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