Garden Party Opens Pride Week

PHOTO ESSAY BY DONNA ACETO | If it’s the Monday prior to the last Sunday in June, that means the LGBT Community Center is hosting its annual Garden Party kick-off to Pride Week.

This year, the open-air tastings fest was held on Pier 84 at West 44th Street at the Hudson River. Though fair skies held for most of the day, the appearance of lightning over the river meant — by Parks Department edict — that the fun had to be cut a bit short. Which was just as well, since by the time the crowd made it over to West Street the Heavens unleashed buckets of rain.

Center executive director Glennda Testone was host to the fun, and VIP appearances were made by City Human Rights Commission Chair Carmelyn P. Malalis as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s out gay counsel Alphonso David, who joined Judith Kasen-Windsor on the stage, just two days before what would have been Judith’s late wife Edie’s 89th birthday. David’s boss declared Wednesday, June 20 “Edie Windsor Day in New York State,” in honor of the pioneering marriage equality litigant.

Longtime activist Shep Wahnon’s colorful shirt reminded everybody that all this fun was brought to them by a group of angry West Village LGBTQ club-goers nearly 49 years ago.