I had only modest expectations for it, but the city has disappointed even those.\
The gay area is pretty small compared to Chicago''s. It, and the entire city, have a very sterile feel. It''s beautifully manicured but feels lifeless. \
The shops that made it cool and gave it character are disappearing. Soolip is gone, and so is the sweet cafe across from it. Not only did Elixir have to close, but they had to knock down the gorgeous building that housed it. Now Bodhi Tree is closing. Unless you''re a chain store, a depressingly expensive niche boutique, or a fad business destined for eventual abandonment (Millions of Milkshakes will soon go the way of Pinkberry), you won''t make it.\
The Abbey is OK under its new management, and there are some good restaurants, but I do not get a feeling of community in WeHo. It just feels like an extension of Beverly Hills with some gay bars, or any generic, affluent LA city. What am I missing?
You''re witnessing the end of gay culture, OP. It''s progress, but it is a little sad.
The Abbey is now mostly straight people. And Fat Fish closed!
Hold me, David: I''m scared.
I thought the Russians took over Weho with their families?
It''s called gentrification.
Gambling Gabe Green of "Intervention" fame frequents The Abbey.
WeHo''s been going down the drain at the speed of light for almost a decade now. There was a time when the people were actually friendly and nice to eachother, but now everyone''s bitchy, thoughtless, and nobody cares about making friends unless it''s someone who can help them out in someway.%0D\
I''m from Chicago as well OP and after living in LA for several years, I came back to Chicago and I''m so happy to be back here. I learned the grass isn''t always greener on the other side.
Gai bois can only blame themselves -- they had a perfectly nice neighborhood around the Sunset Junction and then abandoned it for West Hollywood.
Karma Karma Karma
All the gay ghettos are fading away -- WeHo, the Castro, the Village, Chelsea. It will happen in Chicago too. It''s already begun, OP, you just haven''t noticed.
Is the French Quarter still in Weho? Lots of pinky rings and bouffants on display there.
R12 I visited NYC for the first time last year and I couldn''t find any neighborhood that was "mostly gay". I also thought the gay bars/clubs were lame. I did research online before I went but the places that were recommended ended up being disappointing.%0D\
r16,Why are they fading away? Is it because most of them are now married with their partners and raising kids?
R16 It''s sad that the gay neighborhoods are fading away and I don''t understand why. Just because straights may accept us better than they did in the past doesn''t mean they we still shouldn''t have some clubs, bars, restaurants, neighborhoods, etc, that we can call ours.
R19 You''re comment doesn''t even make any sense. So there''s only one generation of gays and now they''re all old and there are no new younger gays? %0D\
The ghettos existed because gay people didn''t feel safe except among our own kind. As gay people have gained acceptance in society, the need to flee to the ghetto has diminished. We''re now living wherever we want.\
The last ghettos to go will be in the red states. Gay kids in rural Alabama will still probably flee to Atlanta for the foreseeable future.
R10, no it''s not just Weho. I live in the West Village, and it''s definitely more straight than it use to be.
The key is to not have any expectations.%0D\
I can''t seem to wrap my head around that one, though.
A lot of these places have become too expensive for gays to live. Upper middle class straights are the only ones who can afford it.
(R15) just doesn''t get it. (R16) is right for the most part. You can thank that money/power-hungry asshole John Heilman and Abby Land (soulless, IMO) for the seemingly overnight gentrification. The Russians are not the cause, it''s now too overpriced. I am sick to death of all the straight couples who "tolerate" us with their way-too-many, battering ram strollers on our streets. I never thought I''d see so many women on our streets at night (they feel safer because us fags won''t bother them) and so many fucking children. Ugh. Really sad. Goodbye, gay ghetto.
Why is the Bodhi Tree closing and when? \
I loved that place. One of the few things in LA that kept me sane while going to USC in the 80s.
r27 Bodhi Tree owners are in their 70s. They want to retire. They''ve sold the property and are trying to sell the business. \
Whoever buys the business would have to find a new space to house the bookstore or negotiate a lease with the new property owner for the current space. \
So far, no one has come forward to buy the store. \
Unless a miracle happens between now and November, the center of New Age life in LA will be gone.
The Bodhi Tree closing? Something I''d never thought I''d see in this lifetime. Or the next. Or the one after that.
There will always be The Pines during the season. And below 23rd St. is still gay enough. NYC has everybody, but I see gay men constantly. There would be no Manhattan without us.
OP, does it still depress you?
[quote]I thought the Russians took over Weho with their families?
No, the Russians have been there for about as long as the gays (if not longer?), except they're mainly on the Eastside of Weho which is where I grew up.
I'm in WeHo east of Fairfax and it's painfully straight and Russian. Not sure when all those bars on Santa Monica around the Tomkat turned straight but it has definitely brought out obnoxious hetero club kids.
Gay neighborhoods are disappearing for several reasons:
1) There's more acceptance, so gays can live all sorts of places without fear. In NYC, for example, gays have decamped to Brooklyn, Astoria, all over the place. Even in Chicago, which is about 10 years behind the coasts, the gays have spread out all around the North Side, whereas they used to segregate themselves in Lakeview or Andersonville.
2) The gayborhoods have become so freaking expensive that you can't live there unless you're rich. Assuming young gays even wanted to live in Chelsea these days, they could never afford to.
3) The Internet (how has nobody said this yet?) People don't need to go to bars anymore to hook up; they can just use Grindr or whatever website they're into. Even among straight people, younger people don't meet each other in bars anymore - they go online.
It's just the way it is. Gays are now pretty much in the mainstream, at least in most cosmopolitan cities. The need for a concentrated gay neighborhood is pretty much gone.
Yea unfortunately there is no sense of community in WEHO. For some reason, the gays are really catty and snotty and not very approachable like they used to be. There are some cool bars but everyone hangs out with their little clicks and don't really mingle and make friends.
What you're looking for, OP, is in Silver Lake. Weho is boring and always has been boring.
Everything [R34] said is why gay life died in Laguna Beach.
"The ghettos existed because gay people didn't feel safe except among our own kind. "
I'm not scared of straights, I'm bored by them.
I want to live in the gay ghetto because gays are more exciting than straight people.
Chicago's center of gay population is already a few miles north of Boystown in Andersonville.
[quote]You can thank that money/power-hungry asshole John Heilman and Abby Land (soulless, IMO) for the seemingly overnight gentrification.
I think you're right. They seem to have created a feifdom, beginning the moment West Hollywood became a city. That was in the 80s, but the WeHo city council have been pro-development, pro-corporate, anti-individualism, rabidly PC from the start. They've managed to wipe out nearly all that gave WeHo its identity. Other than its still famous place-names such as Sunset Blvd. and the fame it retains thanks to the entertainment business, West Hollywood could almost be Anywhere USA.
R36, Silver Lake these days is straight douchebag hipster central. Has been for awhile now. The gays who live there now have money and like in houses in the hills.
And Silver Lake is becoming too pricey for even the average hipster douchebag looking to rent. They're taking over Echo Park and moving the Hispanics father east.
The WeHo city council played a large part in the ruination of the city. They are horrendous.
To me, it really started with the bookstores and the bars. Once Borders/Barnes & Nobles/etc started with their gay and lesbian sections (as sparse as they might've been compared to a LGBT bookstore), it started with the closing of lots of those 'specialty' stores. And the bars .... well you could be gay and open and hanging out at a regular bar .... and lots of straight (girls primarily) hang out now at the 'gay' bars. So we asked for 'integration' and we've gotten it and that's the end of 'gay culture'.
All these people championing this young generation of faux postgayness (having no need for gay clubs, gay space, etc) . . . that is all such BS. I'm a 24 y/o gay man in LA, and while me, my friends and acquaintances (other young 20something gay men) CAN choose to blend into "mixed" gay/straight space, most of the time we usually elect not to mingle in boring heterospace. (Straight clubs suck btw). We prefer and choose gay bars, where we can flirt and dance with cute guys, and enjoy a non-douche/skank ambiance (Sunset strip).
There will ALWAYS be a need for gay male only places. That will never die . . . no matter how hard some people try to champion this post-gay BS.
r44 yes there probably will always be gay bars, just like there are Irish bars and Italian bars, but gay ghettos are disappearing because they have served their purpose in most major cities. Different issue.
WEHO question. Is the Mexican food Restaurant on a triangle corner of Santa Monica still there? South side of the street a few blocks from Larranbee.
I would eat there daily when I worked at the Post Office. I miss the WEHO of the 70s.
[quote]All the gay ghettos are fading away -- WeHo, the Castro, the Village, Chelsea. It will happen in Chicago too. It's already begun, OP, you just haven't noticed.
Isn't Lakeview/Boystown much less gay than a decade ago, at least in terms of gay residents? Not as many gays live there, but aren't the majority of clubs and bars still there, meaning more commuting to go out?
I was in D.C recently, for the first time, and was completely disappointed by what passes as the 'gay neighborhood', Dupont Circle. Bad bars, bad restaurants, unattractive people (all pale, in plaid shorts, no socks, and top-siders. Ugh.) Maybe should have hit some bars in Georgetown, but by that time, had given up on the whole scene in D.C. I'll stay L.A.
R45, as long as LA continues to be one of the gay meccas for smalltown gay boys flooding in from every podunk Middle American town, I think WeHo can continue to survive. I think the issue is less that young gay men don't want or need a place like WeHo, but more an issue that they cannot afford to live there (same as in SF).
Young upstart gays are priced out of gay neighborhoods that were once upon a time affordable (but that is another issue).
It's happening in Sydney too. It's funny in a twisted way - I used to endlessly diss the ghetto-clones (I fancied myself a bit more alternative as a young'un) but what I wouldn't give to be surrounded by them again.
Here's a fun idea.
Let's take a state with no LGBT anti-discrimination laws (Yes, I'm looking at you, Kansas).
Lesbians and Gays buy property and refuse to rent or sell to straights. Perfectly legal there.
That'll keep the neighborhood Gay.
WeHo used to be called "Boys Town." It did not have the commerce that it has now. Every neighborhood at one time or another gets a facelift. It was WeHo's time eventually.
This being LA, gays are everywhere here.
WeHo reminds me of the starf*ckers from GLAAD.
It seems more like a place to network if your gay and in the industry.
WeHo has always been home to the superficial LA gay, while Silver Lake is home to the 'east village' type LA gay. I cannot stand WeHo and have never been able to stand it. The gay guys who frequent those bars and clubs are exactly the types that make me cringe: all about looks, money, what car they drive, how tan their skin is, what cruise they just went on, what designer jacket they're wearing. Not my scene. If that's what you like, WeHo is still there in all its glory.
I don't hate WeHo, but R53 has a point that Eastside LA gay bars are really much more relaxed, less cookie cutter and superficial than the Santa Monica strip. Bars like MJ's, Akbar, Faultline and Eagle are much sexier and packed with more 'real' men, without all of the ridiculous faghags/fraus. Definitely more of a bluecollar "man" atmosphere.
Many of the more down to earth gay men have flocked to the Eastside bars as an escape from the onslaught of breeders making WeHo less cool. No way could the fraus who've invaded the Abbey hang for a minute at a place like the Faultline, ha.
Why do fraus go to gay bars?
Cause we're fat, unattractive, and you gays/guys make us feel special
The most fabulous period of our life, 1976-2000, was spent in LA, but we almost always lived in Santa Monica, Venice, or the Marina Peninsula. (Except for a brief married period in 1984 when we lived in WeHo near Tower Records)
We always regarded those who lived in WeHo as a bit of trash and we seldom journeyed there except for 'bu$iness'.
I don't know what possesses straight people to actively seek out gay male space and make it all about themselves, R55? 95% of everything is run by heteros, for heteros, yet they can't help but colonize the few good gay places there are and ruin them. That's why man-bars like the Faultline are a blessing - allowing overt, unapologetic displays of gay male affection/sexuality are the only surefire way to keep a place 100% gay, free from squeamish fraus and intimidated/outnumbered straight boys.
The only way to do what you request, Miss r58, is to make the venue 100% UN-friendly to fish!
For example overt displays of man/man love, with graphic sizemeat, will keep those nasty stinkers out!
(Sounds like you know how to do that)
We never really had a gay ghetto in London.
There's one street, Old Compton Street, but it's just commercial, bars and a few shops.
Even in the 80s Old Compton Street wasn't officially gay yet and was much better for it. There just seemed to be a lot of gays around there.
There are a few districts where you notice a gay presence...like Camden Town.
Maybe AIDS is what ended the gay ghetto thing in the USA. They became so sad and depressing.
Back in the late 70s I visited places like The Castro & Christopher Street and they were so intense then and the clone look en masse was creepy...even not en masse, it was creepy.
[quote]Maybe AIDS is what ended the gay ghetto thing in the USA. They became so sad and depressing.
I agree -- many of the gay businesses in LA were suddenly in the hands of straight relatives of the owners who had died of AIDS.
Gay ghettos have outlived their purpose. They may have been a good thing at one point, but now they are all full of the worst stereotypes. Going to a gay ghettos is like walking onto the set of a Mean Girls movie. A bunch of self-absorbed materialistic, vapid queens that only go to gay restaurants, gay clubs, gay bars, gay destinations, gay beaches, all while complaning about how close-minded people are towards gays like them.
"And Silver Lake is becoming too pricey for even the average hipster douchebag looking to rent"
Um. Silver Lake has rent control.
It's also the trend of urbanization. Gays made many of these cities safe and now it's cool to live in cities again. I live in a condo enclave in DC, in the Logan/U St. area and am clutching my pearls at the number of toddlers running around. It is pretty incredible.
Try being a lezzie living in a straight community and having a married,, Chinese frau obsessed with you, possibly due to attraction/disgust or both.
This woman is hot and sour with me, just like the soup, and cackles in Mandarin right in front of my apartment at 5am.
Sends me the shifty eyes one day and then leers at me, without blinking, doed-eyed the next.
Hubby is a weak schlub who possibly cannot satisfy her... OH HELLL... I miss the gay neighborhoods!
But who needs to go to Circus of Books anymore? I used to rent a couple of X videos every week. Now I get them all through the internet. Is Video West still in business?
I guess you can still cruise there but there's little reason to go to a newstand/bookstore/video store.
Those were fun times, but they're over.
I don't necessarily need "gay neighborhoods" anymore, but I DO miss gay bars/clubs. There are so few of them now. It was nice knowing when you would go to a gay bar/club that you could flirt with anyone and possibly have a chance with them; you can't do that at "straight" or mixed-crowd clubs. Also, I don't care what any of you say - you can't be as affectionate in a straight bar or you run the risk of people giving you dirty looks.
Old gay ghettos will fade and new gay ghettos will emerge, because the demand for them will always be there thanks to homophobes, conservatives, and their supporters.
I bet a gated gay community would thrive immediately when started with affordable housing for the young and expensive ones for the rich with proper infrastructure, businesses and nightlife.
Fame whores wanted to live in *********HOLLYWOOD******** and let nice Sunset Junction die.
Is the "gay area" of Studio City still around? There were gay clubs on Ventura Blvd. The piano bar was a great place to end the night if you didn't whore up with anyone.
Wasn't there a place on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City named Tin Can (Something or other)?
All the gay bars (Queen Mary, Apache, The Oasis) except for Oil Can Harrys have closed in Studio City.
At least one of the North Hollywood bars have closed (Jox)- but most of them are still there, some with new names.
"Um. Silver Lake has rent control."
the same rent control as the city of LA, which is barely rent control at all. your landlord can ask you to leave, basically for any reason at anytime, and raise the rent on a unit to market value. if you are given notice, the landlord has to pay you a relocation fee of a couple thousand dollars which won't even cover first and last on a new place. oh, and apartments built after 1978 are completely exempt from this barely there form of rent control.
Whatever happened to WeHo is the same thing that happened to Times Square is the same thing that happens to all good things. They get bigger. They get more money. They get slick.
Plus the internet is where you can shop, hook up with other gay men, get your gay porn, etc. You simply don't need those small mom and pop shops to cater to all those needs.
WeHo now has a first class library, the park is being renovated, the Strip is clean and full of great restaurants and music venues and hotels, there's the best farmer's market in all of los angeles on Melrose Place (sundays), fabulous public transportation (especially for the elderly), rent control, pro-renter rights, a public pool, and the most progressive, pro-gay laws in the entire nation. The sherrifs department is fucking great, too. They respond to your call and will be at your place in 5 minutes flat no matter why you are calling.
It's a safe, pro-gay city with world class amenities and weather. Sorry that it's no longer the romantic, ghetto, cesspool that some of you so fondly remember. After the internet, no urban enclave will ever remain the same.
IMO - Abbe Land is wonderful, accessible and has done more things right for West Hollywood than almost any other resident. Her name should be in the gay history books.
the young gays in LA now live in downtown where the rents are relatively cheap for the amount of space you get. there are no real gay bars downtown, but there are a number of gay nights at various bars.
[quote]Plus the internet is where you can shop, hook up with other gay men, get your gay porn, etc. You simply don't need those small mom and pop shops to cater to all those needs.
Yes, those mom-and-pop porn shops were the best! Nobody could drill a gloryhole like good ol' Dad! And every couple of hours, Mom would come around and mop the cum up off the floor.
I agree that the despicable West Hollywood City Council owns much of the blame for the gentrification and sterilization of the city. And yet, year after year, the same fucking people get re-elected.
All of New York seems gay to me from the Upper West Side to Williamsburg. It's all splattered with loads of queens old and young.
I'm sure Los Angeles feels this way also. Not so much a concentration of gays but a smattering of them across all neighborhoods.
You know what depresses me? North Hollywood.
[quote]I do not get a feeling of community in WeHo
Honest question, where do you get that sense of community? Which gay neighborhood have given you that sense of community?
I'm not being cunty, I just have never sensed that in any traditionally gay neighborhood.
I know a lot of gay neighborhoods are changing, but don't lump the Castro in there -- it's still very gay -- shops, bars, residents, it is holding its own quite well. But even the Castro, as fun as it is, with all of its historical significance, it doesn't feel like a community, I think mostly because people come and go with such frequency, there isn't time to build strong roots. Plus, it's SO expensive, you generally have one class of people there and that's it.
Hell's Kitchen has become more of a gay ghetto in the last 5 years or so. A lot of gay bars are open now, there used to be just two or three, one opened up across the street from my building, I haven't been yet.
[quote]You know what depresses me? North Hollywood.
True -- very sad. Like a stillbirth.
North Hollywood is getting better with redevelopment and the moniker NoHo.
[quote]the moniker NoHo.
That's the real reason LA began to decay -- the intrusion of braying New Yorkers, who won't be happy until the city teems, is filled with rats and over priced apartments, and the anchor babies are all playing stickball in the alleys before sidling up to the counter at their local deli, demanding eggcreams.
FYI, R48, Dupont Circle is not even the gay neighborhood in DC anymore (and hasn't been in years.) All those douchebags you saw wearing plaid shorts and topsiders were straight (and their wives/girlfriends have multiplied, taking over the sidewalks with baby strollers and large Ann Taylor LOFT shopping bags.) Dupont and 17th Street used to be ultra-gay, but the gays have fled to Logan Circle, U Street/Shaw and H Street even though the strollers and toddlers are out full force there, too (as R64 mentioned.) As others have mentioned, young gays who once would've flocked to Dupont Circle when they got to the city have now been effectively priced out. I live on 14th Street and a gay bar just opened up right across the street and is actively courting residents of my condo building (nickname "the Gay Dorms"). The gay nexus just seems less localized in one specific neighborhood now than it was before.
You would've been even more disappointed by the scene in Georgetown which, on a Friday or Saturday night, is pretty much straight douchebag central with the added bonus of homophobia. Last time I was on M Street, my date and I got called fags openly to our faces by a guy AND his blonde bitch girlfriend who both looked about 23. It was very dispiriting especially since my grandparents both went to high school in Georgetown and I've been coming there for years.
r89 -- it won't get better until gays bash back.
Pepper spray now comes in little cans that can be attached to keychains.
All you need to say is they threatened you and it was two to one.
The gay community is only as strong as its gay members. Don't wait for others to be nice to you first, go out with an open mind and make yourself approachable. If you have a wait-and-see attitude, nothing will ever happen but more of this alienation. Be gay. Be loud. Be Proud.
The gays renovated the South End in Boston in the '70s and '80s. It was very gay, urban and beautiful. It's still somewhat gay, but the straights have infiltrated big time. There are young hetero couples and baby strollers everywhere. And the brownstone and brick townhouses have become unaffordable.
Many gays have moved out of the core downtown city neighborhood of the South End and to the more affordable Boston neighborhods of Dorchester and Jamiaca Plain.
"The only way to do what you request, Miss [R58], is to make the venue 100% UN-friendly to fish!
For example overt displays of man/man love, with graphic sizemeat, will keep those nasty stinkers out!"
Then stop the self-centered queens from bringing their hags. But you DUMMIES MUST have someone paying attention to you at ALL TIMES, especially if they men no longer do!
Video West is still open but it is so slow.
There are two types of reactions when people arrive in LA for the first time -- "Yuck" or "Niiice."
I was in the Yuck crowd when I moved out there from Manhattan. This was in the Paleozoic era, 1975, NYC was a fucking mess.
The friend who convinced me to come out west lived in the Hollywood Hills. We arrived at night and I thought it was beautiful. Then he took us on a tour of Hollywood and I was slightly horrified.
I'm back in New York now and rarely go to LA.
[quote]Last time I was on M Street, my date and I got called fags openly to our faces by a guy AND his blonde bitch girlfriend who both looked about 23.
This is why I laugh at gays who think that we are so accepted now by mainstream society now - anyone who believes that is fooling themselves. Just look at all the stories of homophobia, like the one you just told.
I miss gay neighborhoods. Do I want to be confined to one? No. But they were nice to visit when I wanted to be around people who were all like myself.
Does WeHo still bring you down?
It depends. The prairie girls living in between LA and NY decide to migrate east or west based on certain criteria. How fierce are you?
If you don't drive, first of all, you don't move to LA.
If you're a cute little chorus boy type who sings and dances, head to NY and Broadway.
If you're a knockout with acting chops and you put out, head to LA.
If you're a fierce drag queen, you'll probably move to NYC.
If you can get up in the hills in WeHo, all the better.
WeHo is the LA version of the West Village in NYC.
What about Soho in London. Gay ghetto?
Does anyone know the guy who works out at 24 hour fitness with a large square back tattoo, around 40, tall, a bit muscular, latin, and apparently has a dick almost down to his knee?
anyone got any coke?
Weho is a gateway. There are gays allover LA.
Maybe if the slutty queens would get off Grindr and start meeting people the old fashioned way it wouldn't be dead and full of straight people.
It's a nice idea, R105. But it will never happen.
Technology has made a tremendous impact in the way people relate, and gays and lesbians were in the vanguard.
It's a mixed bag. I roll my eyes when I go out to a gay bar with a friend and it's filled with single boys all texting, surfing the internet, or on Grindr. I hate it, in fact.
But then I think about how much better it is for young gay kids in the hinterlands who can connect with online communities and not feel like freaks.
Gayborhoods don't exist the same way because we don't need them anymore.