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Boston's South End

Boston's South End

Boston can be the city at its most charming and beautiful.

Story and photos by Joseph Alexiou

A wintry Boston can be the city at its most charming and beautiful. While some bemoan the cold, Bostonians are used to getting a couple more inches than some other East Coast cities. Besides, with crystalline, powder-white snow covering every surface, one experiences Amercia's premier college town in its natural state and drinks lots of hot chocolate.

Beantown's gay enclave is the South End, just below the schmancy
neighborhood of Back Bay. Like many a chic gayborhood, the Victorian rowhouses of the South End didn't always house denziens of a boutique wonderland of fine dining and good shopping,
but it has evolved over the last ten years. The main drag is Tremont St., although Washington Ave. is starting to emerge as the newest epicenter, while trip to its southernmost edge (Harrison Ave.) reveals locations that are already gentrified, or will very soon.

Since the Boston metro area contains over 40 colleges and universities, it's safe to say that this playground of liberal arts is no stranger to queer individuals of all and every kind.


After a blustery day of picture taking, I wandered into Sunday brunch at Tremont647, where all of the waiters wear pajamas until 4 p.m. Recognizing the signs of a gay brunch spot — well-dressed boys perched at the bar between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., sizing up newcomers and sipping colorful drinks), I was happy that my senses led me to where one goes in the "Walking City" (over 14% of Bostonians commute to work on foot, the highest percentage in the country) for all the ins and outs of gay life.

IMG_3164If you plan to stay a few days, a great tip for very reasonable prices right outside of Boston Proper is 
Coolidge Circle, in Brookline, which is host to a pair gay-owned sister B&B's the Bertram Inn, and the Samuel Sewell Inn. Totally pet-friendly, these two inns are decorated in Victorian and Tudor style, have great brunch menus and attentive service. In the immediate South End area is Hotel Nine Zero, a classic luxury hotel on Tremont St. with all of the bells, whistles, and accommodations one expects at premium prices.

For east, aside from the delicious breakfast burger (grade-A beef, fried egg, bacon, cheese, avocada, and secret sauce) you can get at Tremont647, other gay-popular South End restaurants include Aquitaine Bar à Vin, Union Bar and Grille, and the Metropolis Café.

For area shopping, check out men's boutique Uniform — featuring scruffy cute staff, they sell trendy clothing by Penguin, Ben Sherman, underwear by C-In2, shoes by Gola, and organic men's skincare by Neal's Yard Remedies. Other boutiques owned and patronized by our aesthetically inclined brothers and sisters include Vessel which features great sustainable furniture, travel accessories, houseware and gifts.

For drinks and dancing at night, popular options include the staple videobar Club Café, and the Roxy's Saturday night party Epic is one of the biggest in New England. Ladies dance all night at Pure's Pearl Fridays, and Jacques Cabaret still does drag shows and karaoke every night of the week.

However, if you're looking to meet someone and not looking to go on the usual bar schlep in search of the perfect spot, think about Guerilla Queer Bar. Parties like these exist all over the country: "On the first Friday of every month we're descending upon an unsuspecting straight bar and turning it into a gay bar for the night." A great way to meet queer locals looking for something new, you can experience the Boston bar scene in all its glory without leaving your comfort zone.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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