About a year and a half ago, I moved to the Boystown area
and immediately fell in hot, sweaty love–the boys, the bars, and, well, the
boys. Sure, there are some confusing things about the neighborhood. (Like does
it extend to N. Broadway? And does it end at Belmont or Wellington to the south
and Addison or Grace to the north?) But that’s a minor quibble. Overall, I love
Boystown and its homo-horndog vibe. It’s like the whole neighborhood is
wearing tight pants, and you can see its boner. Boystown is the best place that
I’ve ever lived, and here are some reasons why:
I’ve lived in a lot of gay-borhoods in my day–Washington
D.C.’s Dupont Circle and New York City’s Chelsea, to name a couple. But none of
the others have had the actual word “boy” in the name. It’s not like it was
Boy-pont Circle or Boyslea. Even San Francisco’s Castro has a less gay name.
And unless San Franciscans suddenly decide to rechristen the neighborhood in
tribute to the Jetson’s dog, Astro, the name pales in gayness to Boystown.
THE GOLDEN, RAINBOW RINGED, POINTY-PENIS THINGYS (see above)
The abundant presence of these gilded phalli make the area
so homo-friendly that even “GAYS CROSSING” signs couldn’t make the streets more welcoming.
En Vogue (2009)
Sure, Gay Pride Day is important in a “we shall
fabulously overcome” kind of way. But I love Market Days, the annual weekend street
festival in August, because you can check any pretense of seriousness and get
mind-blurringly drunk, as you admire the resilience of musical acts that have
been touring since the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. If you really have a good time,
you should feel a tinge of pride’s bad-boy bro, shame.
WEDNESDAY DOLLAR DRINK NIGHT AT SPIN
(From the video, “Gay $1 Drink Nite“)
No party offers more cheap fun and draws a more diverse crowd–male,
female, and trans; young and less-young; gay, straight, bi, and “let’s talk
after you’ve had a few more dollar drinks.”
Nothing makes you work up an appetite like drinking and
chasing dudes. The Chicago Diner features some of the best veggie sandwiches
that I’ve ever tasted. (The Dagwood sandwich, with faux “roast beef,” “corned
beef” and “bacon” on a hoagie, will totally make you want to gay-marry it.)
But, if you’re still addicted to eating things with feet (or date/hook-up with
people who are), you can check out the 44th Ward Dinner Party. It
has great veggie options, but also sandwiches like the 90/94: roast beef and
portabella mushrooms served between two grilled cheese sandwiches with a side
of bleu cheese dressing.
Every neighborhood should have a gay strip joint, but so few
do. That’s why I cherish Boystown’s own Lucky Horseshoe.
THE THRIFT SHOP SELLS PORN
Who says porn should only be for the rich and wired? In a corner
of the Brown Elephant–whose proceeds benefit the Howard Brown Health Center–is a cordoned-off cornucopia of erotic books and magazines, leather goods,
DVDs, and videos in VHS and Beta. Seriously, Beta.
THE GENERAL MESSINESS
On any given night, roughly around the corner of Halsted and
Roscoe, you can find someone, who looks a complete drunken mess, but seems like
they’re having the time of their life. Often, you’re staring at your own
* all photos & video stills by Craig Seymour (www.craigseymour.com)
This is a RedEye community blog. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author and not those of RedEye or Tribune Company.