Thursday Night at Sisters

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

A month into my very scientific investigatory Thursday Night probe, what have I learned? – That people who go out on Thursday Night are generally in a jovial mood and want to have a good time. Insightful? No. But quite true! Anyhow, this time around I’ve headed to our city’s popular lesbian club, Sisters.

I trot into the place a little after ten, just in time for a house remix of Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth”, which serves as a nice reminder that no matter what our differences, gays and lesbians and everyone else in America can always bond over our shared love of ’80s pop stars. The karaoke hasn’t started, the buffet hasn’t been brought out, and the upstairs isn’t yet open. The drink tickets, however, are valid now and will be for another hour or so.

I’m sorry. I’ve skipped over absolutely everything important. Thursday night at Sisters is a veritable kitchen sink party – it’s all here. On the first floor, the affable Suzi Nash hosts Twisted Kareoke, while a free buffet is laid out for all to partake. It’s not a bad spread, either; while it would be easy to snark over a buffet at a nightclub, I have no objection to mixing food with booze, or with dancing, or with karaoke. Kick out the stops, I say, and let the people get down on some pasta. It’s like George Michael used to sing: Freedom, freedom… freedom.

Upstairs, there’s a second bar and a sizable dance floor lined with mirrored walls. Here, the DJ serves up a nice combination of dance, pop, and R&B for the ladies (and the gents) to work off their buffet plates. There is a cover charge, yes, but if you get to Sisters before 11pm, ten bucks will get you in with eight drink tickets, which is not a bad deal at all. After 11pm it’s a seven-dollar cover with no drink tickets, but hey, food.

Okay. So once around 10:30 rolls around the karaoke is swinging and Suzi is providing tambourine accompaniment to a solid rendition of Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee.” Meanwhile, I’ve met Philadelphia’s one and only women’s football team, the Liberty Belles. Did you know they have the #1 defense on the East Coast?

After chatting with the football team and snapping a photo, I head upstairs, where I talk to Sisters employees John and Mary, who are taking the night off to go to work, but not to work (got that?). This ebullient pair not only works together, not only goes out clubbing together, not only attends school together, but also lives together. I, who can nary tolerate the company of even my closest friends for more than a half-day at a time, am agog.

The warm fuzzies don’t end there, because among the new people I throw conversation at here, most are coupled, and in some cases out with other couples, and in at least one case out with couples with whom they’ve been acquainted since high school. But lest you start abusing tired jokes about popular moving-truck services, let me tell you that on my next trip downstairs I spot a young woman at the buffet sporting a tee-shirt that reads “If You’re Rich, I’m Your Bitch”. It’s good to see that old-fashioned American values are still alive and well, even in this shameful den of apparent loving monogamy.

And speaking of diversity (weren’t we?), there’s a nice mix in this crowd, both within and without the double-application of an X chromosome. I chat up a small group of gay boys who’ve come out with their lady friends. Do they partake of the buffet? I ask. “No.” Do they sing karaoke? “No.” Do they use their drink tickets? “YES!” they respond in unison, and it’s all giggles and gosh, everything is just delightful. My new buddy Kim agrees that “the drink ticket thing is amazing.” If you’ve been following my columns you know I’m not really much for the ol’ sauce, but you know, if you’re gonna (wo)man-handle your liver, you might as well save some money while you’re at it.

Now it’s after midnight, and Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” is playing in the upstairs disco. I take to the dance floor, where I’m joined by an outgoing stranger who keeps me on my toes through Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and then, kicking it down old-school, Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T.” And then, that’s it for me. I introduce myself and take leave of my dance partner Karen, who sends me on my way home with a playful — but firm — smack on the ass.

While I wouldn’t presume to know how women who date women experience Thursdays (or any other night) at Sisters, I’ve always had a good time here. Generally speaking, there’s a little something for everyone. There’s food and drink and singing and dancing, there’s boys and there’s girls… and there’s an over sized print of Rose McGowan’s face from Gregg Araki’s 90’s film “The Doom Generation” hanging above the stairs. I mean, seriously, what else IS there?

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