Friday
July 29, 2005

SGN.org
Volume 33
Issue 30

 
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Northern Gay Exposure: A guide to partying, parade watching, & boy gazing at Vancouver Gay Pride 2005
Northern Gay Exposure: A guide to partying, parade watching, & boy gazing at Vancouver Gay Pride 2005
by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Staying in town this weekend? Have fun. But if you find the bars a little empty and the Pike-Pine corridor less crowded, know that Vancouver is only a few hours away.

That's where you'll find hundreds of Seattle area party hunters, as they head up north for Vancouver Gay Pride 2005. It promises to be fun, wild and memorable. Last-minute deciders, there is limited space in the SGN/Capitol Hill Travel-sponsored bus that departs Sunday morning and returns later that night. Cost is $32 round-trip. Visit www.capitolhilltravel.com or call (206) 726-8996 for reservations and information. Amtrak can also get you there and back on Sunday, for double the price. Visit www.amtrak.com or call 1-800-872-7245 for reservations and information. If you decide to stay overnight, check out hotel recommendations in the July 8 issue of the Seattle Gay News online at www.sgn.org (on the Arts & Entertainment front page).

Here are suggestions for eating, cocktailing and shaking your groove thing in Vancouver. Plus, I've included a short list of activities surrounding Gay Pride weekend. Have an amazing time!

PARTYING

(Prices in Canadian currency)

The busiest Gay bars in Vancouver are Odyssey (think Neighbours), Numbers (think R Place or Changes in Wallingford), Sugar Daddy's (think Madison Pub), The Oasis Pub (think Thumpers), Pumpjack (think The Cuff or The Eagle, with hints of The Crescent), The Fountainhead Pub (think CC's veranda) and Celebrities (think Neighbours, Manray and Timberline mixed together).

Grab a copy of Vancouver's Xtra West when you get into town for specific addresses to the bars. Canadian beers reign supreme, so expect to drink lots of Labatts. And if you like to blend with a mixed crowd or hunt down "curious" or straight boys, I recommend the Atlantic Trap & Gill, The Morrisey Pub and Freehouse Pub.

On Saturday, July 30

"Popular Pride" at Celebrities

1022 Davie St.

Go-go boys all night long, a performance by the "All You Can Eat" dance troupe and a midnight appearance by locally known drag diva Trixie are on Saturday night's agenda. DJ Dicky Doo and hostess Cotton will get things rolling at 9:00 pm. Re-opened for over a year now, Celebrities shines with the best dance music and a trend setting clientele. Really cute boys can move to the front of the line. Boys with really cute arm candy might have a shot too.

Rapture SIX at The Commodore Ballroom

868 Granville St.

You gotta have serious bucks to get into this gig, but the crowd promises to be on the tip of cool. DJ Escape from New York will be spinning, with performances by Chicago's Circuit Mom. The admission is $76.75. For that price, one would hope for a nipple wax on the way in.



On Sunday, July 31

"Pride Day Brunch" at Sugar Daddy's

1262 Davie St.

For an early mimosa or bloody mary, to go with a fabulous breakfast, stop by Sugar Daddy's. The staff gets into Pride spirit by coming to work dressed in their pajamas. Hmm..what about the bartenders and servers who sleep in the buff? What will they wear? Not sure. But what I do know is that the food is affordable, as if you were going to The Broadway Grill or Glo's here in Seattle, and the atmosphere caters to the Gay jock.



"Post-Parade T-Dance" / "Blue Ball" at Celebrities

1022 Davie St.

It's free and it begins immediately when the last float comes to a screeching halt. DJ Marc Tattoo spins all afternoon. Later that night, put on your tightest "blue" outfit for a huge soiree the color of&you figure it out. Gay DJ Mat Ste-Marie from Montreal is scheduled to spin. Hot ass dancers will shake it loose til' they got nothing left to shake. Cost is $10 if you wear blue, $15 if not.



Chicas @ The Mansion / Hershe Bar @ The Red Room

1523 Davie St. / 398 Richards St.

For the ladies in the house, a wild shindig is planned at The Mansion right after the parade that is expected to attract 800 women. You make 801. Superstar DJ Alyson Calagna from Miami's Winter Party, DJ Tracey D and DJ Lush will be spinning things in all directions. Later that night, the girls move to The Red Room for more music, sexy dancers and a strong lineup of DJs.

Parade & boy gazing

The Vancouver Gay Pride Parade begins at Barclay Street and ends at Pacific Street, running along Beach Avenue. Anywhere along the parade route is fine to catch the action. But Gay boys not wanting a long walk to and from the bars will likely set up camp near the finish line. This year's Gay Pride theme is "No Turning Back."

Here are a few places to boy-gaze, besides the parade and bars.

Stanley Park

Healthy bodies can be found everywhere at Vancouver's scenic attraction, Stanley Park. It's a fifteen to twenty minute walk from the Gay bars and major downtown hotels, and it's worth saving a couple of hours of down time for. Take a book, rent a bike or a pair of running sneakers and enjoy the view of the water, trees and beefcake slices inside the park. Boys can be seen jogging, cycling, roller blading, working out and even surfing at Stanley Park.

Starbucks at Robson & Thurlow

Starbucks coffee shops are as visible in Vancouver as they are here. The Seattle beverage giant has two stores situated diagonally across from each other at Robson & Thurlow. This is a terrific spot to watch the boys strut their stuff before, after or during their shopping journeys. One shop has outdoor seating, the other doesn't. But great views are offered inside and outside of both locales. If they're full, try the Starbucks on Davie Street across the street from The Oasis Pub.

Canada Place

Cruise ships dock here. Ferryboats depart nearby. The IMAX Theatre and business conventions are on the premises. Need I say more? Of course, you're bound to bump into picture-taking tourists. But male vacationers and city wanderers enjoy the views from this exhibition center. I'm not promising any action, but summertime is peak season for nice tail spotting.

EATING

(Prices in Canadian currency)

Bin 941

941 Davie St.

What do Will & Grace's Erik McCormack, Hollywood actresses Molly Shannon, Heather Graham and Bridget Moynahan, and Vancouver Gay boys have in common? They all love Bin 941, just blocks away from the busiest Gay bars. The popular, hip restaurant is small but top-notch in food and ambience. Mentioned in Planet Out, Bin 941 features a wide array of "tapatizers" and one of the best wine selections in the city.

Highly recommended are the melt-in-your-mouth Beef Wellington and the succulent, on the mark Wentzel Duck Breast ($14 each). A great side for both dishes is the grilled asparagus ($6), drizzled with Parmesan oil and served with pink grapefruit wedges. Steak, pork, halibut, tuna and locally raised elk are other choices, aside from vegetarian entrees, offered at Bin 941. Two worth-trying smaller plates are the Navajo fry bread ($8), plattered with a tangy goat cheese salsa, and the piled-high pomme frites ($5), a mountain of slivered spuds spritzed with balsamic vinegar.

Edward Perrow, General Manager of Bin 941, also manages the bar and carries a fantastic assortment of domestic and international wines. If I had to drink a red wine every day for the rest of my life, I'd be quite content with the Chateau Val Joanis ($8 glass, $40 bottle). It had a bold, fruity flavor, but felt ever so smooth going down. The Liberty School ($12 glass, $60 bottle) is tasty and delightful. It had a lighter complexion and was more on the nutty side. Perrow, who enhances the atmosphere of his bar with devilishly cute looks, is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about his wines. Just sit down, tell him what mood you're in and let him do the pouring. And he'll keep pouring, and smiling, until you ask him to stop.

The restaurant's d├ęcor is sophisticated and colorful. The local clientele, as mentioned, is well inside the "in crowd", though late-night restaurant workers and wandering out-of-towners find this place to be a marvelous hangout too. The restaurant's cousin, Bin 942 (1521 West Broadway), recently played host to rock band Weezer. It's on the other side of town, and lead singer Rivers Cuomo ate there back-to-back evenings. Bin 941 is literally footsteps to the Gay village.
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