Sunday, November 23, 2008


When you think of rough and tumble bars, gay bars don't often come to mind. But, police sources are telling me Manhattan's most troublesome bar is a gay club called
Escuelita (translated that means small school.)

Escuelita is a sprawling gay club on West 39th Street catering to primarily Latin and Black men.(homothugs, as they call themselves) According to it's website, the club features drag queen shows and shirtless Latin dancers.

Most of the trouble, police say, is outside the bar where club goers congregate ---often when the club closes at 4 in the morning. Midtown South cops say most of the trouble occurs on the weekend and that it can range from fights, stabbings, robberies, public drinking and general rowdiness.

The cop sources say the patrons consider themselves on the down low or DL for short. That means in their neighborhoods they're identified as perfectly straight and macho, but on the down low, they're gay. So, in essence, they grew up on the tough streets of New York, but just happen to be gay.

The club is such a problem, the cops I spoke to really couldn't name any other bar that they would consider a problem in Manhattan. The city is renowned for padlocking trouble spots, but for years (and perhaps beginning with the legendary police confrontation at Stonewall in 1969, the event that started the gay rights movement) there's been somewhat of a hands off attitude toward gay clubs.

The city, it seems, doesn't want it to appear as if they're picking on the gay community. That's the theory, at least, of some police officers.

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