Recently, I speculated that the city's assault on the gay leather Eagle bar was done to benefit the High Line and the massive luxury condo moving onto W. 28th Street. I regret to report there has already been a casualty. The Eagle is no longer hosting the FootmenNYC party--"for men into men's feet, footwear and related fun."
On their website, the Footmen organizers write: "we must sadly confirm the rumor that after 3 years, effective immediately, the owner of The Eagle does NOT want to continue to be the home of The FootMenNYC Party... The owner of the Eagle is now 'battening down the hatches' in what is likely to be a major fight."
I heard from Footmen co-host Peter who commented, "It is clear that The Eagle is under siege by the Bloombergs, and is in for the fight of its life. It will be interesting to see what happens to The Eagle and the other 'pleasure' businesses on that block."
In an email Peter told me, "The club's owner NEVER indicated that he had a problem with our party until AFTER the raid happened." And "Sadly, anything with a queer 'edge' is going to have a problem in this city, especially if it gets in the way of the continued gentrification."
That "queer edge" means everything that is not vanilla--plain and conventional--which is the direction the entire city is taking. Times Square has gone vanilla. Coney is going vanilla. The East Village, Lower East Side, Greenwich Village have all gone vanilla. Plenty of Brooklyn and more of Queens is going vanilla. What happens to the city when all the flavor has been leeched out?
Luckily, for now, the Footmen have found a new home and will be sniffing, sucking, and tickling on Tuesday nights at The Ritz.
Eagle Under Siege
Folsom Under High Line
Food Fetish Fight
Men in Leather
Safe to Peep