AHL INSIDER

Bushwick with Madame Vivien V

Drag Icon of New York City on wild stories and all the reasons she loves it here

Bushwick with Madame Vivien V

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MADAME VIVIEN V
Drag Icon of New York City. Find her at @madamevivienv on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

How did you get to Brooklyn?

A 2000 Ford Focus Wagon and a yearning for my own Bohemia brought me to New York from Milwaukee through the night just over ten years ago. I was 21, and I wanted to feel free. Craigslist led me to 18 different rooms all over the city, but a loft in Bushwick with walls made out of palettes and vintage dresses took my heart. 

What’s the best thing about Bushwick?
1) The melting pot of cultures. You can attend an Ethiopian coffee ceremony at Bunna Café, then walk across the street and have the best-spiced nopales of your life at Taqueria La Iguana.
2) Bushwick is where the party’s at! If you wanna get lost on a dancefloor, you come here.

Wildest Brooklyn story?
There are so many stories, but one that stamps “Bushwick” for me is the day I discovered House of Yes. In 2012 during Bushwick Open Studios, a neighborhood-wide celebration in September where weird art parties are brought to the streets and hundreds of artists literally open their doors to share their work with everyone who passes by, my friend and I read that House of Yes was having a variety show. It spiraled into a party from an acid trip — dinosaurs flying through the air, a brass band marching through the crowd, and a sword swallowing clown claiming to be the Prince of Darkness breathing fire over our heads as everyone danced like our lives depended on it, knowing at any moment the cops could shut us down. It was a thrill!

My Brooklyn…
Sounds like a busy intersection
Tastes like the world
Feels like adventure

The best time of year to visit: Summer, baby! Get wet in a busted fire hydrant and listen to everyone share their music! 

Here are my top spots:
3 Dollar Bill and House of Yes for drag and dancing
Champs Diner for vegan comfort food
L Train Vintage for shopping
Company XIV for something sexy

Click here for our more Brooklyn guides by local insiders and, of course, our favorite Brooklyn Hotels

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You're always in sexy company at Company XIV
You're always in sexy company at Company XIV
Comfort vegan food? Now, why would you not?
Comfort vegan food? Now, why would you not?
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