Tiaras, Rain, Violinist Drag Queens: The Miss G Train Pageant


Just when we thought that we had become jaded New Yorkers and seen all the city had to offer, it threw us a giant bedazzled curve ball in the form of The Miss G Train Pageant. Held at the City Reliquary Museum in Brooklyn, the first-annual beauty pageant pays homage to one of the most temperamental subway lines in New York City. Running through the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn, the G train is infamous for its countless delays, sketchy platforms and its ability to attract, ahem, colorful characters.

“At the City Reliquary, we’ve always felt like an underdog compared to some of the bigger museums,” museum president/pageant host Dave Herman said. “So we felt it was appropriate to celebrate the G Train, the most under-appreciated struggling subway line.”

To apply, hopeful contestants had to write a short essay explaining what it meant to be Miss G train. After submissions were narrowed down, the semi-finalists’ essays were then posted on the City Reliquary website, where people could vote for their personal favorite.

Old or young, man or woman, the pageant did not discriminate in selecting its finalists. “I’m not the youngest gal on the block, not the newest model, like the G train but everyday I get up, I do my thing just like the G,” finalist Sara Bonisteel explained. “When I found out they were doing this, I figured I’d give it a shot.”

Last night a mass of G train enthusiasts (aka Brooklyn hipsters) congregated in the backyard of the City Reliquary museum, trying to shield themselves from the ongoing rain. After the ten semi-finalists were introduced, three judges (a beauty pageant coach, a NYC transit expert and a photographer) narrowed it down to six finalists who would go on to compete in the talent portion of the competition.

And what a talented bunch of aspiring Miss G trains we had! Shane Thor, the sole drag queen of the bunch and a classically trained violinist, played us a somber tune on her violin.

Gina Rosa wowed us with her ability to hula-hoop and do twenty push-ups in spite of the weather.

Sara Bonisteel taught us how to make the perfect Gimlet cocktail.

Marleah Martin sang an original love song about the G train.

And Elizabeth Kuchta played a hilarious homemade video that illustrated her many diverse talents.

But, as well all know, a true beauty pageant winner needs to have more than just talent and a good walk. They also need to have brains…sort of. After completing their talents, contestants were quizzed by the judges with various G train trivia. They were then asked how they would single-handedly repair the G train’s lackluster reputation. Finalist Kelly J. Fox promised to dispel the smell of urine and vomit by riding the G train exclusively with her homemade cupcakes. Elizabeth Kuchta alluded to wearing nothing but a G-string bikini whilst riding the train. How this would improve the G train, we’re not entirely sure but her can-do attitude sure won her some fans.

After each finalist had shared a piece of her mind, the judges deliberated.

After a few minutes of anticipation, they announced the second runner-up, a first runner-up and the winner of the Miss G train pageant. Check the video below for the results!

Elizabeth Kuchta: Our very first embodiment of the G train.

What do you guys think of this beauty pageant on acid? Do you think its a much-needed makeover on an antiquated tradition?

All images courtesy of Nikol Burgos.