Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 24, No. 43, Ed. 1 Friday, March 21, 2008 Page: 104 of 128
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Won't you be my gaybor?
As Oak Cliff is to Oak Lawn, many cities have born satellite gayborhoods
By Andrew Collins Contributing Travel Writer
Over the years, a
number of urban neigh-
borhoods around the
world have developed
decidedly gay follow-
ings. GLBT visitors to
San Francisco have long
made a beeline for the
Castro. Like Cedar
Springs, New York's
Lakeview and San
Diego's Hillcrest are
famous for having sub-
of gay-popular busi-
But as "gay ghettos"
have diversified in
recent years, with
mainstream populations embracing these
neighborhoods, gays and lesbians feel increas-
ingly comfortable shopping, dining, socializing
and living in other parts of town. As a result,
many progressive, artsy neighborhoods have
developed a gay following without necessarily
possessing a core of gay businesses.
Stroll some of these areas and you might not
see dozens of rainbow flags or an especially
high number of same-sex couples milling
around, but it's easy to discern a queer sensibil-
If you're something of an urban adventurer,
or you're simply longing to branch out in your
travels and explore hip, distinctive urban dis-
tricts with great energy, a liberal vibe and a gay-
welcoming attitude, check out some of these
particularly inviting big city neighborhoods.
Brooklyn: Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens
Brooklyn's charming Park Slope neighbor-
hood has long cultivated a lesbian following.
Just across the Gowanus Canal from Park Slope,
there's a pair of similarly diverting, trendy
neighborhoods, Cobble Hill and — due south
— CaiToll Gardens. Essentially an extension of
debonair Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and
CaiToll Gardens are handsome residential dis-
tricts chock-full of 19th Century townhouses.
Both areas have seen a major transformation
in recent years, as hipsters, gays, intellectuals
and fashion plates have invaded en masse. In
fact, nobody living around here in the mid-'90s
could have imagined that Cobble Hill's once-
dowdy commercial thoroughfare, Smith Street,
would today glow with haute eateries, stylish
home furnishing shops and art galleries.
Along Court Street in Carroll Gardens, you'll
still find many of the Italian markets and pizze-
rias that date back to the area's Little Italy hey-
Atlanta: East Atlanta Village
Many visitors to Atlanta focus on the glitzy
downtown and super-gay Midtown area, miss-
ing out on a number of enchanting, offbeat
neighborhoods outside the city core, such as
Inman Park, Little Five Points, Castlebeny Hill
and East Atlanta Village. All of these communi-
ties have a somewhat gay vibe, with East
Atlanta Village perhaps the most interesting at
MIDTOWN'S BABY SISTER: East Atlanta Village boasts many cool cafes and boutiques.
With its wealth of indie coffeehouses,
lounges, music clubs, ethnic restaurants and
boutiques, this neighborhood about five miles
southeast of downtown draws an amazingly
diverse bunch. Walk along Hat Shoals Avenue
to find such intriguing hangouts as Mary's, a
raffish and lovably gay bar; Joe's Coffee, with its
quirky artwork and potent java; and City Life
Apparel, carrying a wide assortment of urban
New Orleans: Faubourg Marigny
The neighborhood immediately downriver
from the French Quarter — across tree-shaded
Esplanade Avenue — is Faubourg Marigny,
which, because of its increasing GLBT follow-
ing, is sometimes referred to affectionately as
Many gays and otherwise progressive-mind-
ed types have bought up this artsy neighbor-
hood's quaint French West Indies-style cottages
and Greek Revival mansions. The neighbor-
hood's greatest attribute, at least for gay visitors,
is its wealth of gay-friendly (and moderately
priced) restaurants and B&Bs — there are even
a few queer bars here, including the Phoenix
and Cowpokes. You'll also find one of the most
gay-popular spots in town for jazz brunch,
Washington, D.C.: Logan Circle
If you walk about six blocks due east of uber-
gay Dupont Circle, you'll come to Logan Circle,
the white-hot D.C. neighborhood that's enjoyed
a massive gentrification in recent years. Along
14th Street, you'll see the greatest evidence of
change — hot new restaurants, the chic gay
lounge Halo, a huge Whole Foods Market and
the stylish Hotel Helix, which is run by
Fans of the neighborhood's handful of fine
theaters hang out at the inviting 1409 Playbill
Cafe, and live music devotees stroll along the U
Street Corridor, which marks the neighbor-
hood's northern boundary and is lined with
great clubs and restaurants.
Even before Logan Circle became so fabu-
lous, gays and lesbians began buying the
Edwardian and Victorian townhouses in this
historic but formerly blighted neighborhood.
For example, gay William Lewis House B&B
has been going strong for well over a decade.
104 I daiiasvoice.com I 03.21.08
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 24, No. 43, Ed. 1 Friday, March 21, 2008, newspaper, March 21, 2008; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239004/m1/104/: accessed June 14, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.