Thursday, May 24, 2012

West Hollywood benefits from being its own city (a "gay metropolis"?)


I wanted to note that my own experience in “The Abbey Food and Bar” in West Hollywood is certainly one of the most “overwhelming” – that is, last Saturday night-Sunday around 1 AM.  (The website is here ).

The place was so packed I couldn’t even determine the layout.  I crept through the crowd, negotiating past the “mountain pass” through the dancers (one of whom was doing amazing acrobatics with the upper body strength of one arm) toward the back.   Dancers could lose their tattoos as far as I'm concerned. Things happen (generally "safer").  And there was no cover.

There is a restaurant, in a separate fireplace room, which wasn’t open when I was there.  I didn’t have time to get back for a return midweek visit to see how the food part works.

I did get into the Rage, earlier, and found the entire dance floor elevated as a stage, creating an effect similar to that of the Saloon in Minneapolis (where there are a number of stages around the floor).

Parking in the Library Garage in West Hollywood was no problem, around 10 PM PDT Saturday.  There was plenty of space. You just have to pay (reasonable).  If you park on the street at night in West Hollywood, you get towed. It’s that simple.

West Hollywood, having its own incorporated city, can run a more wide-open environment, and can fine tune the relationship between the businesses (bars and restaurants) and homeowners and renters.  (You do see LA County Sheriff vehicles driving around.)  A bureaucratic city government overseen by Congress in Washington DC doesn’t have quite the same “libertarian” opportunity.
Did I see familiar faces (from the “media”)?  Yes, I did.  As well as at LAX.  No names here.  Gay men play straight characters, and vice versa.

 Earlier, Saturday afternoon, I had made a return visit to Palm Springs, having lunch in what seemed like a gay-owned eatery, and then seeing the video bars down the end of the street.  The one name I remember from a 2002 visit was something like “Hunter”.  Again, it appears that business owners in Palm Springs have a much greater “political” say in how to run things than in larger bureaucratic cities around the country.


By the way, if Ashton Kutcher invites all of his Twitter followers (over a million) to his home for a party when I’m in LA again, I might take him up on it.   My hotel was near his pad.  I remember he had a Twitter mishap like this earlier this year.  He punked himself. 

As a post-trip bonus, Nate Berkus gave us (TV viewers) a tour of a Korean family's eco-friendly "Platinum House" in Santa Monica.  It was like being there.  When I'm in LA, it always seems like spring.  But not so in the desert. 


Video: ON Santa Monica Blvd, a spoof on the movie "Skyline":



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