Thursday, June 12, 2014

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Pride Parades Then & Now

Leading up to Pride weekend, CWB will step out of our normal role a couple of times to share photos and movie stills from past Gay Pride parades side-by-side with the same locations as they appear today.

We found it interesting to see how much the neighborhood has changed and, in some cases, how little it has changed.  Our sources for all historical images are shown with links to more of the artists' work.

3153 N. Broadway, Gay Pride Parade 1985 and Spring 2014

Source: Alan Light on Flickr





Halsted At Buckingham, Gay Pride Parade 1996 and Spring 2014

Source: Screen grab from Halsted Street USA



Broadway at Wellington, Gay Pride Parade 1976 and Spring 2014

Source: Diane Alexander White Photography



Halsted and Briar, Gay Pride Parade 1976 and Spring 2014

Screen grab from "Gay For A Day" by Tom Palazzolo 

Broadway At Oakdale, Gay Pride Parade 1985 and Spring 2014



Broadway & Surf, Gay Pride Parade 1988 and Spring 2014


...And a little closer to our usual fare:

Diversey Harbor, Gay Pride 1985 and Spring 2014

Source: Alan Light on Flickr

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29 comments:

  1. Royal Entertainment. Somehow, you will outlast us all.

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    1. That's exactly what stood out the most for me as well. Amazing in this age of Amazon and 'show-rooming'.

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    2. I work there. The reason we're still around is because we do custom home theater installations, we sell items online (including on Amazon) and we're better at what we do than most other companies that do it, and we've been in business since 1971. We love when we hear people walk by saying, "How does this place stay in business?". Oh, and we own the entire building from the alley to Oakdale. TheMoreYouKnow.gif etc etc. This picture from `85 is awesome by the way; thanks.

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    3. They must be doing something right if they've been in business for this long.

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  2. Pride weekend has morphed in to commercialized drunk fest. Last year, it was near riot conditions for hours afterwards. Our police district was overwhelmed with calls. Out of control.

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  3. Back in 1985 it wasn't the "Pride Parade." It was the "Gay Pride Parade." Now that it's been renamed to cast a wider more inclusive net, the parade has lost its meaning. Now it's just an excuse for straight suburban kids and thugs to flood in to get drunk, puke all over the place and trash the neighborhood into the wee hours of the morning. The parade once was a weirdly wonderful event...not anymore.

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    1. I thoroughly enjoy the drunken revelry. Unfortunately, I couldn't take Monday off of work this year...

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    2. It's nothing but patronization now. Everyone trying to sell you something and those Google soldiers following me around got an ear full. I wouldn't be surprised if Donald Trump or Kraft Foods has a float this year

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    3. Now, it is literally scarey (especially towards the end of the parade, never mind later on). I used to make a point of being home so I could go. It was fun!
      Now, I make it a point not to have to go to work that day. I don't want to be outside at all anywhere near the mayhem. Sad.

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  4. The parades in the 80s were so easy...just walked out a few minutes before and stood on the sidewalk...some weren't even an hour....nice time to be young and in Boystown.

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  5. I was in the parade last year, shortly after we got our float put back up I took the long walk to Belmont Red Line, it was already pretty sketchy around there with thugs as the sun was going down.
    This year, like Alice in Chains sang on "Jar of Flies" "I stay away".

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  6. I'm really dreading Pride this year. With 800,000 people (or whatever the obnoxious number is) and no cops, the neighborhood is in for a rough ride. It'll be out of control. And since this is now primarily a business event for the bars, I'd like to see some pressure put on them to help with the situation. The photos are a nice touch, but how about using your clout to call on the bars to take some responsibility.

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  7. All of this brings a tear to my eye. As a Chicago native, I really remember Boystown in its glorious 80's heyday. Going to Club Victoria, the WIndy City Bar and Grille and Showcase One (where Milio's second floor salon is now at the corner of Belmont and Sheffied) were my favorites. I specifically remember Showcase One being divided up into three sections: a piano lounge, a dancefloor and a bar area featuring exotic male dancers. I recall they had one handsome, muscular blond dancer who was deaf and danced beautifully by feeing the vibrations in the floor. Never had a fear of walking down the streets past midnight. Gosh, I truly miss those glory days. At least we will always have our memories. Anyone our there remember any of these places and want to reminisce?

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    1. I'll name a few of the old places...Carols, the Ozone, the Bistro, Broadway Limited, Paradise, the Gold Coast. And remember when Little Jim's and the Bushes were the only things on an all but vacant Halsted Street? The Showcase One location had also been Tuts. I saw Iggy Pop there with David Bowie playing keyboards in his band and Blondie as the opening act. That was a very cool brief period of time. I used to say "This is our Berlin before the war years."

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    2. I also remember Cheri's, The Annex, Cheeks, Trianon The Loading Dock and Loading Zone, And my favorite The Snake Pit. Sidetracks opened as a storefront sized bar. Clark and Diversey was the gay area. I thought Little Jims was too far north--little did I know. Good times and great bars and safer streets. Walked at night with a whistle because of gay bashing though.

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  8. Anonymous @Thursday, 12 June, 2014 said:

    "And since this is now primarily a business event for the bars"

    My response is the bars are primarily dead at night on Pride nights.

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    1. No they are not. I work at a bar and let me tell you, at night the party is still going on. Last year was the worse I have ever seen it. People were just every where and the clubs were packed. A few years ago bars were dead at night; now, thats not the case.

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  9. Every year, I hope for a rainy day on the Pride Parade to dampen the turnout. Before you call me a homophobe or whatever, I have the same wish for St Patrick's Day (and I am Irish.) The people that can't hold their liquor, who come into our neighborhood and treat it like a garbage dump, well....they piss me off.

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  10. I just can't do parades because of the sheer amount of drunken idiots. The Pride Parade is something I support, but don't want to be anywhere near. I feel bad for you residents.

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    1. Two years ago as I was innocently walking down the street during the Parade, a young, drunk (seemingly gay) male said something to me (a female) that was so vile I never told anyone. Basically, he said he would do something "for" me for $50. Gross! It made me mad and sick. It still disturbs me to this day.

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  11. Those bars are extremely busy on pride nights. Why were they all so disappointed when shut down early last year because of possible "rioting conditions"? They argued that they make the most money of the night during their last hour. I think the cops made the right decision. Hopefully the cops exercise their good judgement this year too.

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  12. I work in one of the clubs in boys town and let me tell you. My friend and I are not looking forward to pride. Last year when we worked pride the club was closed down around 2am by the fire marshal; not only that when we looked out side we saw the police in full riot gear. Mind you we close at 4am and we instantly had to get over a hundred plus people out of the club on short notice. I will not be working on pride, i will not even look towards the northside on pride. I have never been one for the celebration but I know for a fact things have got worse through the years. I have had some of the riff raff that hangs out in front of the club brag to me about how they love pride because they made over 600 dollars off of phones and merchandise that just happen to bestow itself upon them. I would suggest to those of you in the area to go shopping two-three days before pride because people will start celebrating as early as Thursday. Make sure you get all the provisions you need. If you think you will be able to order food to be delivered that day. FORGET ABOUT IT. Just prepare yourself and stay safe.

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    1. isn't it sad that we have to shelter in place in our own neighborhood? like we're preparing for a hurricane or something. well, we kinda are.

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  13. Love the "Club Victoria" photo!!! Notice the sign to the right saying, "You've seen us on AM Chicago and Donahue." Oprah was a fresh face back in '85. Amazing!!!

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  14. In the Diversey Harbor photo from 1985 I swear you can see Blago jogging behind a white dog...

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  15. I was there! I had just moved into my first apartment, a dumpy studio in a four-plus-one on Briar. It felt very small town--like maybe there were five bar floats, a regata of leathermen on motorcycles and any drag queen who could get up at that ungodly hour. I remember some little street urchins (still a lot of low-income housing in "Newtown" back then) watching the parade, and it slowly dawning on them that the "ladies" were men. Good memories.

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  16. There is more to a gay area than drinking until 3am. I do not like bars (unless they have eye-candy strippers), " drinking", loud music as in Roscoe's, nor staying up late.

    I do miss browsing in stores like "We're Everywhere" and "Bad Boys", and in an area to relax when out of the closet without fear of retribution. The gay Hollywood Beach is about all that's left of any use, and even then the walk down Bryn Mawr and the "L" station is not too safe either.

    As for wworrying about being beaten to a pulp and robbed of everything in broad daylight, forget it. Chicago's loss of my 14.5% Hotel tax this year will instead go to Montreal's Harmonized Sales Tax. Thee only thing I have to watch out for there is a Jay-walking ticket, while East St Catherine Street's "Village" is swarming with cops and has traffic banned in the summer.

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  17. I'd say the last time Pride was truly enjoyable was around the early 00s. I was excited to tell friends that I'd been to every parade since 1997, but after the awful things I witnessed during Pride 2012 I skipped it altogether last year. Even though I live in the heart of Wrigleyville, I'll probably avoid it again this year.

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