Dear GPS: AlbuQUEERque
Photo: Courtesy New Mexico Tourism
Story by Josh Ivey
We love receiving insider tips from our readers, so don't hesitate to send us yours. Here’s one from Josh Ivey about the unfortunate demise of Albuquerque's gay nightlife:
"The rise and fall of gay nightlife in the Duke City
It was the fall of 2005. As reward for an entire month of avoiding alcohol -- no easy task in my then-home of Milwaukee, dubbed by Forbes Magazine as the drunkest city in America -- I took myself on vacation to Albuquerque, a city whose beauty and culture had always intrigued me. Mere hours after stepping off of the plane, I found myself lasciviously sandwiched in between two shirtless boys on the dance floor of Pulse, a thriving gay club downtown. I was later invited to an afterparty by a group of friendly strangers, and left the scene of the crime quietly the next morning, wondering to myself where my own shirt had disappeared to as the cab took me back to my hotel
Fast forward three years. Yes, three years exactly. The clock had run out for me in Milwaukee -- another frozen, torturous, Midwest winter approached, and I was not about to wait around for its blustery arrival. Bags packed, I headed into the sun, both figuratively and literally, to start anew in Phoenix. The 2,000 mile trip required me to choose stopping points that were at least tolerable and, with luck, maybe even enjoyable. Needless to say, my previous experience in Albuquerque made its appearance on the list an absolute must.
Arriving on a Saturday night, I was ready to dance. I was ready to drink. I was ready to get out of the damn car after an eight hour ride through the heartland. As had been my practice throughout the five day road trip, I flipped on my laptop and signed onto Gay.com while I unpacked, certain that the city’s residents could point me in the right direction. My hotel was close to where Pulse was located, but, you know, in three years, things change.
They certainly do.