Live, from New York! It’s Mayhem in Midtown with Queen of the Ride

Written by | Entertainment

What happens when a bus full of rowdy revelers promenade through the heart of Manhattan with a sassy drag queen as their tour guide? It’s a giddy night that passersby will never forget, and you’ll struggle to remember.

Queen of the Ride

For starters, visitors board a mobile auditorium filled from front to back with seats on risers, all facing a panoramic window on the driver’s side running the length of a colossal touring bus. Hostess Shequida, in a sparkling emerald jumpsuit, called the tour, dubbed Queen of the Ride, to something resembling order as the bus pulled away from Hardware, a cozy little dance bar on the edge of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Tipplers were provided tumblers full of vodka/soda, and as the bus rolled through town, Lady Shequida began a lively game of translating hook-up site acronymns (BDSM was one) from the original intended meaning into something a little more family-friendly. Example: WTF might become (as it did on Modern Family) “Why The Face?”

Queen of the Ride

One of the celebrants, known to us all only as “Karen” was singled out to be torchbearer — which meant that anytime Shequida demanded it, she was to take the powerful flashlight she’d been give and use it as a follow-spot on people and performers who appeared outside the bus. The entire excursion runs just over an hour, and stops every few blocks to find a drag performer just about to lip-sync for your love. Last Saturday’s cast of queens included a live vocal from Carla Bordonada, while Brita Filter coyly snuck into view as a panhandler on 8th Avenue. Miss Cracker gave her all performing “Milk Money” in Times Square, and there was borderline blasphemy and a parody of Sister Act outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, courtesy of Pattaya Hart.

Whether you’re a tourist or know these midtown streets as well as a native New Yorker, you’re sure to have a blast. True, the “open bar” was the aforementioned vodka tonic followed by shots of Fireball, but better to have fewer choices of (quite strong) drink and a delightful time than a boring show with great drinks. The bus was warm on a cold night, cozy but not cramped, and there seemed to be a strict “No Prudes” code enforced at the door. Even the one person who wasn’t drinking couldn’t resist clapping along, and when a rolling party is so much fun that even people on the street stop to participate, you know you’re in the right place at the right time.

Queen of the Ride runs most Saturdays, and tickets can be found at

Last modified: June 4, 2018