Actor Alan Cumming Picks New York's Best Gay Bar, Street Performer, and Movie

This week is the Voice's Best of NYC issue, our annual opportunity to bestow arbitrary awards like Easiest Place to Score Free Gay Drinks and Least Embarrassing Place to Belt Out a Show Tune. In turn, we asked a few of our favorite New Yorkers to name their favorite local things.

by Maro Hagopian
Alan Cumming and Heather Graham, hosts of a G-Star Fashion Week show in 2008.

The Scottish-born actor of stage and screen (Spy Kids, anyone?) may only be a part-time New Yorker (he also lives in London), but his only fear about our fair city is having to leave.

Gay bar with the hottest men?

Eastern Bloc on 6th Street between A and B. It's my favorite bar. Gabe, Antoine and Darren who run it are a holy trinity of hotness, and the crowd is a really sexy mix--sexy mostly because they're comfortable and friendly, not neccesarily because of pec implants. Also, it's a bit dirty, and that ups the hotness level for me.

Bar with the hottest women?

Straight men need to get with the program and realize that gay men have hot girlfriends, and so a gay bar is prime territory for hot, horned-up, and game-for-a-laugh straight girls. Loads of my straight boy friends have gotten lucky at Eastern Bloc.

Biggest New York-related phobia?

Having to leave.

Best theatre?

In terms of a theatre building, I think the Box on Chrystie Street is so beautiful, and a triumph considering it was only built a few years ago, and yet it has an aesthetic and personality that lulls you into feeling it has been around for a century. I love being in the audience. I love performing there. It's a little hidden treasure. And of course, it's also a bit dirty, which only adds to its allure.

Best stage performance you've seen here?

I judge this kind of question in terms of how much and how often I gasped. So with this criteria in mind, I think it would have to be Patti LuPone in Gypsy. It was the last week of the run and my friend Eddie said I really ought to see it, so I went and I was so totally blown away that I went back again the next night. I would've gone again if I could've.

Best street performer?

There's a guy who plays the sax in Tompkins Square Park who only ever seems to play "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." He's my favorite.

Best thing you can get in New York, that you can't get in London?

Oh, where do I begin? Places that are open past midnight, available cabs without having to bribe, Mexican food, home without traveling for hours.

Favorite New Yorker?

Carmine Lucariello. We met when I was doing Cabaret and he was my driver and protector and we became fast friends. He is my "bruvva from anuva muvva" and to me Carmine is New York City.

Best New York movie?

Bullets Over Broadway. I worked with Dianne Wiest last year in The Seagull, and every single day I had to hold back from quoting lines to her.

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