Today’s Effects of Computers URL

Not being a big drinker, I don’t go to pubs much at all (maybe 2-3 times a year). However, this article tells of the decline and closing of gay bars and presents a good analysis of why they are closing, as well as a historical perspective on how they began. A must-read, even for someone like me who doesn’t visit them often.

2 Responses to “Today’s Effects of Computers URL”

  1. vasilatos says:

    My my. I do believe I’ve been in — indeed, hung out in — every single one of the Boston bars mentioned. That was gratifying.

    Also, I think that while the analysis is valid and worthwhile, the author was being willfully resentful, as is often the case with gay analysis. There were some notable skews of the facts to support the argument: no mention of the Castro in the section on major urban gay neighborhoods, despite a claim that San Francisco’s urban gay ‘hoods are dying in comparison with Philly (huh?). No acknowledgment of the fact that all this real estate price inflation is traveling hand in hand with seriously increasing incomes for gay men in particular. Careful selection of which bars to mention, and nothing about the ones left. And one parenthetical, fleeting reference to those danged lesbians, and one sad quotation that parallels “gay people” with “gay men”.

    But I am picking nits; the main point was well taken.

  2. chrishansenhome says:

    Some friends have been complaining about the Castro rents–my rent 15 years ago at 595 Castro Street was $800+ (I’m not sure of the exact sum) for a 1-bedroom apartment. I expect it’s at least double that now if not more. Commercial rents I’m sure are also pretty large now. I would guess that when and if I go back to visit (maybe next year??) I will see few if any of the businesses, bars, and people I knew there then.

    All that being said, the two leather bars he mentions in New York as being the preeminent leather bars there (and closing) weren’t familiar to me; I always thought that the Eagle and Boots and Saddles (aka Bras and Girdles) on Christopher Street were the two big leather bars there.

    Here in London, as far as I’m aware, the gay pubs that were around when I first got here (with the notable exception of the bear bar behind Holborn Street whose name I forget) are still here. Much of the young gay activity is in clubs which I don’t go to but which have persisted and thrived.

    More to the point, gay saunas (bathhouses) are thriving here. The Chariots organisation has opened two or three in the last 2 years, in addition to the three they already had. Lots of activity going on there.

    I think that the shift from bars/clubs/saunas to online meet-ups is going to continue (it’s easier to chat someone up online than going to a bar/pub and trying your luck in person) but where it’s going to end up is anyone’s guess. The rent is lower, anyway!