Sunday, June 15, 2008

DC Capital Pride 2008: no problems with the storms

The annual DC Lesbian and Gay Pride (“Capital Pride”) took place this weekend, despite threatening weather Saturday night. I waited the storms out at home, but it turns out that the Dupont Circle and near NW Washington area was sandwiched between areas of heavier storms (which, this time, weakened as they moved east) and the parade came off. JR’s had its usual parking lot party, with another bachelor auction this time.

Cobalt DC has changed a bit since I was last there. Upstairs, all the seats have been taken out, the disco area has been moved, and there is more room for the dancers. They started getting on the floor about 10 PM, whereas on normal Saturday nights it was taking until after midnight, with the competition from the near Town DC (replacing Velvet Nation) in the nearby Cardozo area. The seats and sofas upstairs have been ripped out, and in some quarters there is a lot more light. It was pretty lively, with a continuous demonstration of a fireman’s carry on the near end of the floor.

Sunday afternoon, the annual street festival on Pennsylvania Avenue, near the Newseum, took place. This year there seemed to be two major themes: corporate America, and the 2008 election. The west entrance of the festival presented the placard for Southwest Airlines, “the symbol of freedom”. Indeed, Southwest seems to be the only major airline (not a “legacy carrier”) that had the sense to negotiate a fuel price deal before the spike. Soon the visitor encountered a booth for Rogaine (Minoxodil), the famous treatment for male pattern baldness (on the pate). The major banks had booths, as did Met Life and realtors.

Log Cabin Republicans were very conspicuous, with a booth advertising John McCain. Barack Obama’s fundraising supporters were farther down, closer to the Capitol, and not as visible. HRC had its usual huge booth and attractive pages. SLDN (Servicemembers Legal Defense Network) and LLDEF (Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, heavily involved in the California gay marriage decision) had adjacent booths, with petitions. LLDEF gave out cloth shopping bags that would have please Oprah.

Capital Pride has been held on Pennsylvania Ave. at Freedom Plaza (near the Naval Memorial and National Archives Metro stop) for a number of years. AIDSWalk also commences there in the fall. The Pride festival used to be held at a park at 22nd and N Streets near "P Street Beach."

In Minneapolis, where I lived 1997-2003, Pride was always held in Loring Park for two days the last weekend of June. In 2002, the temperature reached 102 in the shade on Saturday during the event.

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