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The gays of our lives


GregM
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This is the new face of most old gayborhoods. The same thing is happening to Cedar Springs in Dallas.

 

With equality usually comes some form of homogenization: That's the nature of the beast.

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I have a different view when I see disappointment regarding gentrification.

 

Sure, I get a little sad. Winsome. Nostalgic. Wonder a little about what's lost as neighborhoods evolve. And recognize that money plays a major role in whats happening.

 

But isn't it also evidence of increased societal acceptance? We live in a market economy... if the gay bars were all thriving, they wouldn't get pushed out.

 

My age cohort needed safe places - that often meant separate. If younger gays dont need gay neighborhoods, or bars, or cruises... isn't that a sign of progress? If a young gay guy can go out to a bar with buddies, gay and straight, and he's just as comfortable approaching a guy in the bar as his buddy would be approaching a woman... isnt that reason for hope? If not proof of total success, at least indication things are getting better?

 

Not all assimilation is bad. Its the American story... the ghettos and neighborhoods based on ethnic and religious populations transition, and eventually become more heterogenous. The trick is to prevent all aspects of cultural, or group, identity from disappearing entirely.

 

The closing line of that article states ".....may be becoming a place not meant for the LGBTQ community anymore." Its not all bad if that means LGBTQ folk dont feel a need for a place to congregate, whether to live or play.

I wonder what conclusions will be drawn by 22nd Century anthropologists and social scientists who study early 21st Century social media.

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I live in Boys Town. Overrun with self-aborbed millennials glued to their cellphones. Crappy stores and crappy restaurants. Cookie-cutter condo fill-in buildings. The neighborhood’s only pluses are its proximity to the lake and to downtown. It has no soul. None.

I do agree, most of the restaurants are meh (but Furious Spoon is supper yum!) and the area is becoming meh. You know Rogers Park and to a lesser Edgewater is the new Boystown. Come up north and slum it with us lol We wont bite.

 

Hugs,

Greg

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Even before I left Chicago in 2000, Edgewater and Rogers Park had a burgeoning LGBT community and Lakeview was waning.

 

...The closing line of that article states ".....may be becoming a place not meant for the LGBTQ community anymore." Its not all bad if that means LGBTQ folk dont feel a need for a place to congregate, whether to live or play.

 

@LaffingBear, I'm with you on this. When I think about guys I dated and hooked up with back in the 1990's in Chicago, plenty of them lived in 'hoods like Old Irving Park, St Ben's, Roscoe Village, Printer's Row, and Logan Square and suburbs like Berwyn, Oak Park, Evanston, and Naperville. Yes, Naperville. (Apparently, gays who work in DuPage county like to live close to work. Who knew?) The trend away from "gayborhoods" started a long time ago (at least it did in Chicago) and keeps picking up steam.

 

I live in Boys Town. Overrun with self-absorbed millennials glued to their cellphones. Crappy stores and crappy restaurants. Cookie-cutter condo fill-in buildings. The neighborhood’s only pluses are its proximity to the lake and to downtown. It has no soul. None.

 

@Topseed, Boystown never appealed to me, even when I was recently out. The neighborhood had more character back then, but outside of the gay bars there were better restaurants and shopping to be had elsewhere. It was always the gay version of Lincoln Park. Perhaps it is time to move elsewhere?

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Moved to Chicago in 1990. Lived near Belmont and Lake Shore Drive for almost 18 years. I think I've been to SideTrack maybe 25 times since '90. My goto place was Second Story Bar just off the Mag Mile. Didn't like the S & M (stand & model) vibe of most Boystown establishments. Been in Edgewater since '08 and rarely go down to Boystown/Lake View. Apps like Grindr/Scruff have made going out to the bars to maybe get lucky, really hurt the bar biz (not just gay). In 1990 leaving a 4am bar like Little Jim's at closing time and walking down Halsted 2-and-a-half sheets to the wind, the only trouble you may have run into was a street hustler coming up to you and hugging you and trying to pick your pocket. Now you have SUVs driving up and down the strip looking for easy marks and 2-3 guys jumping out of their vehicle and robbing you of your smartphone and cash at gunpoint. The cwbchicago blog has really brought home how dangerous the neighborhood has become over the last ten years or so. Plus the older I get I realize I'm getting to be in that targeted for a robbery/mugging group.

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When I moved back to Chicago in 1979 (after a brief hiatus for school) I moved to one of the streets just north of Diversey (Broadway and Oakdale). The area was called Boystown and extended to around Belmont. As the years went by, the value of the property kept going up and slowly the gay population moved north of Belmont At that time it seems that there was an odd mixture of the gay population and those straights who populated the same place because of Wrigley Field. Again the value of the property went up and I think the gay population, which by this time was much more visible, moved further north.

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