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Old 02-13-2021, 11:45 PM
Status: "And just like that, Covid was gone." (set 13 days ago)
 
8,166 posts, read 7,070,874 times
Reputation: 7399

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian22 View Post
WOW! I was not aware of this Bohemian era of Old Town...which makes sense. What was it like back then?? I reckon I got to see a bit before it started becoming a generic neighborhood with overpriced spots like Plum Market!

Yes, the South/West part of the Loop was actually the "Red Light District" but also the first Chinatown of the city. The area is beautiful because of all the old skyscrapers that were way nicer than the ones today and the entrance to Printer's Row! Chinatown was demolished and the city moved it to its current location and destroyed the Red Light District...which who knows where that is these days? The remnants of Chinatown are a Mexican restaurant that has their signage in a Pagoda style sign but for tacos...my friends call it the "Mexicali Spot" because of the large Chinese community in Mexicali, Mexico. Taylor Street has so much potential I hope they develop it with the Italian community in mind and the homes around the Quebecois church are so beautiful.

Funny enough I lived behind Altavista and not far from Astor Street...which is why I love both The Gold Coast and Buena Park. And how could I forget Pullman?? Love that place! It's so beautiful. Immortalized in The Polar Express with a creepy Tom Hanks animation!

I also don't understand why it had to be changed from Boystown?? There were rumors that a part of Andersonville was going to be referred to as "Girlstown" because of the many establishments catering to the lesbian community there, but like the Sears Tower...I don't think many people will refer this to "Northalsted" or whatever? Berlin is a cool spot, great music off Belmont stop!
Yeah! Old Town of the 1970's when i went out people-watching and going to the stores, ok my memory is not as good as it should be, haha but i remember the black light poster store, they had black light posters, and black lights, so they had the regular lights turned down and everything looked so psychedelic because the black lights lit up the posters in that unique way it does that. so we bought buttons with cool sayings on it. also some jewelry, also they had a Tiffany Lamp Store, the place was full of those!!! then they had a store called Bazaar Bazaar which sold cool stuff, plus we always picked up the underground newspaper called The Seed (you can look for it online). we felt like we were part of the "underground" as if we were special. So we walked down Wells past North Ave, i was barefoot and in jeans all summer so went we started going about 3 blocks south of North Ave, the neighborhood started turning creepy, back then all that expensive real estate was not there like now,, it was kinda seedy - they had a porno theater over there, and we didn't feel like going past there, i forget the name of that, but theres probably a condo on that location now.

so yeah, Andersonville used to be called Girlstown (unoffically) because thats were the lesbians liked to move to. we just had fun! back in 1990 when i discovered Boystown, i was in the neibhorhood visiting someone, and i decided i had some time on my hands, so i found a neighborhood newspaper listing all the bars, and activities.. so one place called The Vortex had on Tuesday a Mexican jumping bean contest. so what happened, you wore one piece of a velcro outfit, and you took a running start, and when you got to the wall where the other half of the velcro was, a strong guy on each side of you flipped you over and you stuck to the wall!!! so i met a bartender there, he invited me to come by on Friday and dance, so that was my first intro to boystown, and i never left! till about 2006 when i moved out, and then i sorta came sometimes, but wow lots of places now closed. had a lot of fun. nothing like that music!
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Old 02-14-2021, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2,531 posts, read 972,912 times
Reputation: 1975
ChicagoMeO, thanks for sharing your story.

Takes us back to a time when life sounded more fun and things didn't have to be taken so serious... That's most ANYTIME prior to the year 2000, I think!

Have a great day.
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Old 02-15-2021, 04:43 PM
 
134 posts, read 43,676 times
Reputation: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by japster28 View Post
Dorian22, Porn and Chicken was held at EvilOlive on Mondays. I am so glad you brought up that dance party. It was equal amounts raucous and ridiculous. Too many blackout moments there. I remember the guy dressed like a chicken would pour shots into your mouth, as the crowds would writhe to bass music, and there was porn on the screens...and waitresses with fried chicken. I miss the ratchetness...

Did you ever go to Trap House Tuesdays at Crocodile? That place was seedy as hell and a freakin bacchanal.


Master Jay, East Lakeview is prime for dancing. Berlin and Smartbar were the highlights. Berlin for its interesting crowd, and Smartbar, particular Sundays, for it's quality house music!

I went many times to Porn and Chicken haha I was late to classes on Tuesdays but it was so worth it! Still passed my courses...somehow! I would be drunk enough to grab some of that dubious fried chicken with porn playing in the background hahaha I would take friends from out of town there when they came to visit me! It was awesome! And YESSSSS Trap House at Crocodile hahahaha oh god! So many memories! Good times! I need to move back to the city ASAP, missing out on whatever is going on these days...well...post pandemic of course! I'm sure the city will rise again! Dude, Berlin always had awesome music and and awesome eclectic crowd that reminded me a lot of NYC!
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Old 02-15-2021, 04:49 PM
 
134 posts, read 43,676 times
Reputation: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoMeO View Post
Yeah! Old Town of the 1970's when i went out people-watching and going to the stores, ok my memory is not as good as it should be, haha but i remember the black light poster store, they had black light posters, and black lights, so they had the regular lights turned down and everything looked so psychedelic because the black lights lit up the posters in that unique way it does that. so we bought buttons with cool sayings on it. also some jewelry, also they had a Tiffany Lamp Store, the place was full of those!!! then they had a store called Bazaar Bazaar which sold cool stuff, plus we always picked up the underground newspaper called The Seed (you can look for it online). we felt like we were part of the "underground" as if we were special. So we walked down Wells past North Ave, i was barefoot and in jeans all summer so went we started going about 3 blocks south of North Ave, the neighborhood started turning creepy, back then all that expensive real estate was not there like now,, it was kinda seedy - they had a porno theater over there, and we didn't feel like going past there, i forget the name of that, but theres probably a condo on that location now.

so yeah, Andersonville used to be called Girlstown (unoffically) because thats were the lesbians liked to move to. we just had fun! back in 1990 when i discovered Boystown, i was in the neibhorhood visiting someone, and i decided i had some time on my hands, so i found a neighborhood newspaper listing all the bars, and activities.. so one place called The Vortex had on Tuesday a Mexican jumping bean contest. so what happened, you wore one piece of a velcro outfit, and you took a running start, and when you got to the wall where the other half of the velcro was, a strong guy on each side of you flipped you over and you stuck to the wall!!! so i met a bartender there, he invited me to come by on Friday and dance, so that was my first intro to boystown, and i never left! till about 2006 when i moved out, and then i sorta came sometimes, but wow lots of places now closed. had a lot of fun. nothing like that music!
That all sounds amazing. Old Town sounds really cool! One time, like maybe 10 years ago or so...a few friends and I walked into this porn theatre haha we didn't go in (they charged a lot) but it was interesting to have this in the middle of Old Town which was already turning into the generic hood it is today. But man, that sounded awesome for back in the day! Wish we still had some spots like this in the city but it's slowly gentrifying and the "artistic"/student types are getting priced out along with ethnic neighbourhooods! I gotta check out this newspaper, The Seed. The places I still visit around there are the Israeli restaurant, Old Town Pub, and a few breakfast spots courtesy of the gentrifiers...also the diner a few blocks over from Wells on North forget the name. This area is bound to grow, as Wells has opened with the demolition of Cabrini Green so they'll expand most likely. Orleans is already getting on this, especially with businesses like Big and Smalls Tacos and a few others.

Someone should write a memoir of those times in Chicago! They honestly sound awesome! hint hint!
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Old Yesterday, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2,531 posts, read 972,912 times
Reputation: 1975
WHOA, you guys and your porn!!!

Those are not the kind of neighborhoods and establishments I'm trying to look out for!

Ok, now I need to get off my high horse!

I'll take the chicken, though!
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Old Yesterday, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH USA / formerly Chicago for 20 years
3,906 posts, read 6,275,354 times
Reputation: 2857
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoMeO View Post
My other fave current neighborhood is East Lakeview, formerly known as Boystown, now they have had to rename it to Northalsted because someone thought that "Boystown" was not inclusive of women and other people - smh! but it was my fave place to go dancing and enjoy the people, and there will never be another place like it was when i enjoyed it.. but now like old Old Town, it is going thru changes like condos, the old bars have moved out, and so its not the same
I haven't lived in Chicago (nor visited) since August 2015. I just did a quick search which revealed that Little Jim's, which was the first gay bar to open in that area in 1975, closed for good last year. Shocked and saddened. I always was more comfortable there than in some of the other bars where you might not quite fit in if you didn't look like a model. The place had a very diverse, eclectic mix of guys (young, old, black, white, goodlooking, homely, in shape, very out of shape) in an atmosphere of pleasant sleaziness (they used to show gay porn videos on the TV sets there). It was a 4 am bar and guys would flood in when the other bars closed at 2 -- making it a great pickup spot!
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Old Yesterday, 01:32 PM
Status: "And just like that, Covid was gone." (set 13 days ago)
 
8,166 posts, read 7,070,874 times
Reputation: 7399
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew61 View Post
I haven't lived in Chicago (nor visited) since August 2015. I just did a quick search which revealed that Little Jim's, which was the first gay bar to open in that area in 1975, closed for good last year. Shocked and saddened. I always was more comfortable there than in some of the other bars where you might not quite fit in if you didn't look like a model. The place had a very diverse, eclectic mix of guys (young, old, black, white, goodlooking, homely, in shape, very out of shape) in an atmosphere of pleasant sleaziness (they used to show gay porn videos on the TV sets there). It was a 4 am bar and guys would flood in when the other bars closed at 2 -- making it a great pickup spot!
My guy friend and me (I'm female) used to go there when we visited all the bars on Saturday night. Not too many women in there, but i thought it was nice. no dancing, but nice place to visit. I'd just get a couple cocktails. But i even went into the Loading Dock and THAT was even more hedonistic but the music was very unique, hard pounding, hard trance music.

we might need another topic on Boystown (remember vortex?) thats how old i am lol
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Old Today, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH USA / formerly Chicago for 20 years
3,906 posts, read 6,275,354 times
Reputation: 2857
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoMeO View Post
we might need another topic on Boystown (remember vortex?) thats how old i am lol
I only went to Vortex one time. It was back in 1994, when a friend and I were visiting Chicago over a long Labor Day weekend, and I ended up moving there the following year.

At some point it became Circuit, IIRC... but I don't recall what year that was.
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Old Today, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2,531 posts, read 972,912 times
Reputation: 1975
There shall be NO THREAD HOGGING on "Master Jay's favorite Chicago neighborhoods" thread!!!!!

Just Kidding!

Actually, a very nice Boystown memory.... I took a student of mine from Tae Kwon Do (female, probably 20 years old, I had her entire family as students) on a bike ride through the city, a couple of years ago.

And I had asked her if she wanted to stop in Boystown. She agreed. And that is where she informed me that she was, in fact, bi-sexual, and that she was not comfortable yet in her life to discuss this with her family.

The fact that being in an area of the city assisted someone in feeling more comfortable to be honest with others, to me, is a very important experience and also deserves recognition.
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