Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Straight fan of gay bar

Thanks for all the feedback on "Last Call," my Boston Globe piece on the decline of the gay bar. Erik Lindgren, from the group Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, sent the letter below. I agree with him about coffeehouses serving some of the functions of third spaces (I defended Starbucks here), but their early closing hours limit their usefulness, as do the seat-fillers he mentions in the last sentence:

I found your article in the Globe fascinating and very insightful. Being a straight male, I was fortunate to have a gay friend take me as a guest to the Napoleon Club in the early '90s and it was a wonderful eye-opening experience. My pal especially wanted me to hear the two pianists (I am a classical pianist and composer) who had completely different technique and repertoire, and I really enjoyed the cozy atmosphere and warm sense of camaraderie. I was saddened to hear of it's demise (late '90s?) and didn't realize that it was part of a general downsizing trend which you cite. However, one aspect of socialization that you don't mention is the rampant growth of the "coffee house" phenomenon which has really taken off throughout the country during this past decade. Cafes like Cambridge's two 1369 locations, Davis Square's lesbian-friendly Diesel, Newbury Street's Trident Bookstore (which is more of a restaurant), L'Aroma, plus Tealuxe's multiple locations aren't necessarily catering to a gay crowd but are blind to sexual/gender preference, as with their corporate counterparts including the Starbucks, Peets, Caribou, and Au Bon Pain chains. Unfortunately many of those who frequent those establishments feel more comfortable speaking to their laptops rather than their table mates but that is a byproduct of our recent cyber culture. Caffeine for thought.

Cheers, Erik Lindgren



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved your article "Last Call" Do you know if any of the gay bars in Boston were controlled by organized crime? In NYC many were: http://www.bitterqueen.typepad.com/

1/07/2008 02:38:00 AM  
Blogger Robert David Sullivan said...

The above looks like an informative site, but it keeps crashing my Mac. I think there's too much to load on the opening page.

1/15/2008 05:02:00 PM  

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