Gay Bar / Cabaret Bar / Dance Clubs / Video Stores / Coffee Shops / Restaurants - Are Any in Decline? In Dallas - YES. Where's the Community?

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    Mar 09, 2013 3:08 PM GMT
    I never was big into drinking. You couldn't even call me a beer drinker.

    Cruising has gone online. So, in comparison to '70s, '80s, early '90s (and before), bars today probably get less cruising traffic. I would like to say definitely get less cruising traffic, but someone probably can provide evidence otherwise.

    I've been in the Dallas area since February 2009. Now, mind you, when I was in NYC, I would think nothing of enjoying a walking from Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, through Chelsea to Greenwich Village (maybe walking past Barneys, maybe picking up a catalog of events at the Center on 13th Street--and let's not forget the Quad Cinema on the same block with SVA, School of Visual Arts, or one of the schools of that discipline).

    In Dallas there is pretty much just a four block strip on Cedar Springs. There is a one floor Center about six blocks south of Cedar Spring on Regan. (I read that a major donation was given to the Center but I haven't happen to see an architectural model of a larger facility.) It's not really a pedestrian destination on one's fun walk on Cedar Springs.

    There have been times when the Cedar Springs strip is quite empty. The yellow, blinking, pedestrian crossing caution lights sets the stage for hundreds of pedestrians while there are only three or four.

    The first place to close was the Bronx, a restaurant. Then I think the Drama Room closed. On the north side of Cedar, there was a coffee shop. About three weeks ago, it looked closed on a Friday at 6:00 p.m. So, if you can see the picture, the four block strip is now a 3-1/2 block strip due to less people socializing around and inside brick and mortar with a rainbow flag at erection.

    Man, I miss walking from Barnes & Noble, 8th Ave. & 23rd Street to Bed Bath & Beyond to Splash to Union Square (and vice versa because there were two mega Barnes & Nobles practically at the northern edge of Union Square).

    (Pedestrians and public transportation citizens like books more than car-city-dwellers. I say that because I remember the three story Barnes & Noble at 17th Street being packed; and, the one at Lincoln Center with people sitting cross-legged on the floor enjoying books. Traffic density in bookstores isn't like that here.)

    Here in Dallas, you can't walk from JRs (two story gay bar with a balcony, next door to S4, mega gay dance club) to Knox Henderson where an Apple Store and a Crate and Barrel store are. Those under 45 probably could enjoy walking from Cedar Spring's cowboy themed Round-up Saloon to CityPlace to BJ's NXS in Uptown.

    No, Dallas is not a pedestrian capital.

    Are your strips getting shorter?

    Are you happy with smartphone apps that let you know where your community members are? Even after you are found, where do you go?

    Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Half-Priced Books?

    I guess, if this were the 1940s, after the war, I would be at an outdoor cafe in Greenwich Village, Paris, Italy, Prague, Austria. Computers have brought the world inside--and it's less of a walk to a pub than from the bedroom to the study.


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    Mar 09, 2013 7:10 PM GMT
    StephenOABC saidI guess, if this were the 1940s, after the war, I would be at an outdoor cafe in Greenwich Village, Paris, Italy, Prague, Austria. Computers have brought the world inside--and it's less of a walk to a pub than from the bedroom to the study.




    Actually, I think its a direct result of excessive automobile space in the public environment. People aren't willing to walk much more than a mile to a local destination like groceries or work. However if there is a known environment full of people like a walking street in the European cities you mention, that also exist in the US, people are more likely to go out of their way to enjoy them. Sure the computer has replaced some people outside, but I think its more the car. The car has removed people from the urban streets removing a natural attraction of the streets: other people.
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    Mar 09, 2013 7:39 PM GMT
    In Toronto, the old "Village" is being gentrified with chain stores and condos. While that's happening, gay pockets are popping up in other areas of the city that are less expensive and trendy.

    When one gay business closes in The Village, another one pops up in Parkdale or Leslieville. We're getting dispersed, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. We don't need to cluster in one area of the city like we did before.

    Despite the fact that more people are connecting online, the sheer number of people moving into downtown ensures that there's still a lively street scene. Downtown is far busier than it was 15 years ago.