Thursday, May 24, 2007

Please Pack Up Your Rainbow Flags....

I was away recently for a couple of weeks but when I returned, I immediately asked my sources on the street and perused the South End News to see what I had missed while I was away. It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of what appears to be the very LAST gay-themed business in the South End, The Movie Place. Now the very special residents of Atelier 450 (almost one-half of whom are able to actually pronounce the name of their residence) will no longer be forced to look out (with or without binoculars) over this antithesis to "family values."

The owner, lending an air of credence to this very blog, stated that they were leaving "because the neighborhood has changed..[i]f you go up and down Tremont Street, you'll find very few businesses that are catering to a gay clientele...[t]here's really nothing left except the Eagle." He added that the primary demographic had changed to "suburban transplants" and "young couples with children." Rumors are flying that an interior design firm will be taking over the space (presumably offering "Crate and Barrel looks at Versailles prices").

Alarmingly, he also remarked that he had heard through the grapevine that some neighbors were not pleased with the business. I had witnessed that first-hand one evening, when I saw two suburban couples, sweaters tied around the necks of the men, stop and pause in front of the window of the Movie Place, presumably while they waited for a table at one of the neighborhood's more insipid dining establishments. They shook their heads in disbelief and disgust at the magazine covers bearing photos of shirtless (not pantsless) men. I would imagine that Biff and Muffy had quite alot to discuss on the way back to Wellesley!!

Its just plain sad that some people want this neighborhood to be whitewashed into a homogenous (yet homo-free) image of suburbia, just like where they came from. Having spent a large portion of my life in the New York City area, I remember when people were just happy that their next door neighbor wasn't a methadone clinic or a shooting gallery. People there would have breathed a collective sigh of relief if a gay video rental business had moved in. But not here in the S. of End, of course, where everyone apparently should be straight, white, look exactly the same as their neighbors and drive a Range Rover.

R.I.P. The Movie Place, Mildred's, Rave, We Think the World of You. Metropolitan Health Club, The South End Geoffrey's, etc.