Each year, New York City celebrates Pride Month with a large procession down 5th Avenue, passing by the Stonewall Inn, the site of a police raid in 1969 that launched the gay liberation movement.

The event, which marks the important political, social, and historic impact of the gay liberation movement, also has a significant physical and spatial impact on the city. We wanted to find the post-pride parade hotspots to assess the effect the parade on local businesses and transit. (And also it’s just kind of cool data).

We took yellow NYC taxi pick-up and drop-off data from Sunday, June 26th, 2016 (NYC only releases taxi data monthly, so we’ll update this once we have 2017 data!), and compared it with data from the previous Sunday (June 19th) to get a somewhat like-for-like comparison.

We plotted taxi drop-off locations where:

  • the origin of the taxi ride was the pride parade area
  • the trip occurred between 4pm and 8pm (when the parade is typically winding down).

We then clustered these points using a commonly used spatial clustering algorithm called DBSCAN, which looks at the density of points within a specified region and groups points if they are sufficiently densely packed.

Because we are interested in finding the specific locations where people go, we set our search radius for the algorithm to be fairly small (10 meters or around 32 feet).

From here, we looked at where these clusters are and what is in the area. Our seasoned team of expert LGBTQ socialites handpicked some of the larger (and thus, more likely) events, businesses, and public venues where we see clusters and used CARTO’s walkshed function to calculate 1-min and 2-min walksheds around these areas to see if the clusters fall in these regions.

We can see:

  • People are primarily going to commercial regions (rather than residential ones).
  • There is a pretty large concentration around 14th street, at the very west of the city, where Pridefest was, a day-long street fair also part of the Pride festivities, in addition to being a prominent entrance to the Highline and places to go out, such as Le Bain at the Standard.
  • There are also large concentrations of drop-offs at several prominent gay bars including the Eagle, Phoenix, and Barracuda.
  • Concentrations of drop-offs near different hotels across the city, such as the W Hotel and the Continental. This makes sense, as many taxi-riders are likely to be visitors in the city.
  • There are also drop-offs near major transit hubs at Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal, the Best Bus Pick-up and the airport.
  • Lastly, the large cluster around the Jacob Javitts convention center is from a specialty foods convention that was happening at the center that weekend.

Where did people go in 2017? Check back in a few weeks to see what the data tells us. Happy Pride!