Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Once Onup A Time ...

Doggy Style has been going great! Thanks everyone for coming out.  And for attending Doggy Style!

This vid was a hit last night, and I bet you can't watch it just once.  Celebrity 70s German transsexual Romy Haag! See you next Tuesday!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Fall Forecast

The return of Doggy Style brings up an excellent opportunity to take a look at what's going on with the alternative gay scene downtown, because there have been some changes.  I'll start with the bad news.

First off, Detroit's Guerrilla Queer Bar, the long-running traveling gay bar that roamed Detroit for seven years, finally bit the dust this summer when the organizer, "Eddie Edwards," up and moved to Chicago.  Guerrilla Queer Bar ran hot and cold, but when it was hot it was very very hot, and it was kind of the original alternative to the old gay bar scene in the city.  "Eddie" was all of what, 22?, when he started this, and hats off to him for creating something so enjoyable and enduring in a city where the gay community just seems to become more and more disconnected all the time. 

Secondly, Scott and Darren from Atlas Global Bistro have moved on to greener, western pastures as well, and with the primary proponents gone the Wednesday gay night scene there has undergone an expected shift.  The later evening now involves a kind of electro-goth-dance music scene that is, while certainly not free of the gays, not the martini/wine bar scene you might be expecting.  The music is actually quite good, although in my visits there a bit too loud, and most of the time you may find yourself alone at the bar since all the young'uns are outside smoking.  If you are going to Atlas on a Wednesday to enjoy sophisticated libations with a mellow, conversational vibe, this is about the complete opposite of that.  And I'll be honest, I have no idea what they are thinking - great concept, weird venue - but if this is your thing you will like it.  Go early and you will get the Atlas bar you have come to know and love, with the caveat that gay levels there are about the same as any other night (come to think of it, not bad).

And thirdly, not that I've been a big fan, but the Detroit Eagle has closed. (EDIT: the following is hearsay, and I've heard conflicting stories) One story I've heard is that it has possibly been sold to Henry Ford Health Systems, who have some kind of master plan for the area south of the main hospital campus.  It primarily seems to involve demolishing the old buildings and clearing the entire area for development yet to be revealed, Ilitch-style.  The other story I've heard is that the bar is still for sale, but that one denies me the corporate overlord narrative and is less exciting.  Anyway, if you want to get a last look at a bar that may or may not have delivered you some good times, now would be the time.

Until we meet again ... Adios, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen.

And let me be clear - there is no schadenfreude here.  I had some great times there over the years, and I went with friends more often than I have let on.  Even though each time in recent years brought new disappointments, the potential for something good remained and this fate is a crime. The last remaining full-time gay bar in the downtown area is The Woodward, which frankly isn't quite my scene, but I feel like I need to go just to make sure it doesn't become a total wasteland down here.

On to the good news.  First of all, have I mentioned Doggy Style is back?  OK, yes I did. Go to that on Tuesdays!

Secondly, my friend Todd has taken up the mantle of the Detroit Guerrilla Queer Bar with the new Metro Detroit Guerrilla Queer Bar.  As he puts it, "Same idea, just expanded!"  So I suppose that means more forays into Oakland County, and you know I'm never excited to drive in that county.  But the first meet-up went well at Centaur last month so check out their page on Facebook and let's see how it goes!

Next, word has it that Fierce Hot Mess has been off the hook lately.  I haven't been since I got back into town, but the buzz is things start late and burn brightly.  It is now on Saturdays, and the next one is this weekend!  I would probably describe the scene there in a few words: young, queer, hipster and rambunctious, but honestly I wouldn't be doing it justice.  There are all types there, including middle-aged award-winning bloggers wearing Polo shirts, and if you like a dance party you will have a great time.  Go and be pleasantly surprised. Get there after 11!  Maybe even after 12!

Macho City had a busy summer running semi-monthly and has taken a month off, but it's back at the end of November at the R&R Saloon.  Get back to where you once belonged. After a couple Macho City deejay appearances outside of their regular venue in the past month or so, I have to say I'm pretty excited to get down with them for an extended evening of sweaty fun.

And finally, I suppose I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Friday nights at D'Mongo's are getting a pretty nice mix including plenty of the downtown gays most weeks.  I am a little reluctant to even bring it up, because in general it seems that the more people who know about that place the more annoying it gets (case in point: the disastrous level of suburban hipsters who showed up for a couple weeks after Larry's appearance in the Palladium boots documentary). But you guys are ok, right?  God, I hope so.

Well that's it!  If anything else comes up, you can count on me to let you know!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Return of an Elusive Favorite!

No, I am not talking about the McRib sandwich!  I'm talking about Tuesday Nights Doggy Style at the Park Bar!

The bitch is back.

If there's one thing I never get tired of hearing it's the gentle whining of people asking me to do Doggy Style again this year. I mean, where were all of you last year, fo' real?  I suppose the one sure-fire way to generate interest in something is to take it away - it works for the misshapen lump of pork that is McRib and it looks like it's working for Doggy Style too.

Which is, of course, great news.  Because Doggy Style is super fun.  If you are unfamiliar, Doggy Style was 21st century downtown's first weekly gathering of local homosexualists and their friends in a 21st century setting.  Credit where credit is due, it was the brainchild of the wonderful Liz Blondy of Canine to Five, who got tired of my gentle whining that there was no gay scene downtown and that the scene in the suburbs was not for me.  She coordinated it, I created the content and voila, an ersatz phenomenon was born.

I like to think of Doggy Style as "Detroit's Best Gay-er Night," because attendees are gay and straight and anything in-between (including a few outliers to keep things spicy). It is a night of music and videos, and I work hard to make sure the sensibility is a lot more lavender than the usual Park Bar fare.  But straight or gay, there aren't a lot of people who visit and who don't dig it. It's fun, it's educational (in a gay cultural way), it's occasionally a little outrĂ©, and it's constantly changing.

But most importantly, it's a great way for downtown gays - and that's a state of mind as much as it is a state of being - to meet up with a different crowd, and to do a bit of community-building.  Lord knows we need a little of that!

So bring your friends and let me entertain you, starting next Tuesday evening and continuing until Tiger's Opening Day next April!
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