Bailey House is a hospice for people with AIDS. I volunteered there for several years in the early 1990’s. Before modern HIV medications were on the market, the atmosphere at the hospice was that of hopelessness.
The hospice is located at the very end of Christopher Street, and is still run by a ruthless lesbian who stops at nothing to raise funding to keep the place alive, even though residence there no longer drop off like flies trapped between a screen and a window.
Long ago, during the age prior to the Stonewall Riots, the hotel was home to a popular gay disco. According to old queens who managed to survive our community’s little holocaust, the place was quite seedy, even on gay standards. The rooms of the hotel were cheap and were not meant to be rented for entire nights. Neon lights framed the entrance to a small dance floor where Donna Summer was once worshipped. Those green lights were still around the first floor offices inside of Bailey House after the place had been converted to a home for the seriously ill. There was no light switch for those neon lights, and as far as anyone knew, no electrical current serviced them.
When some of the gay men died, apparently those who had gone to heaven, the neon lights glowed on the eve of their passage. Staff searched fruitlessly for many years to find a switch that someone apparently was turning on every time someone died. No such switch was ever found.