Monday, April 30, 2012

Backstreet Update

     I have pulled the earlier post regarding Backstreet because the comments were getting way out of control. My original intent was just to report what was happening with the bar. Things were being said about the owner Tom, and I felt he should have a forum to respond to what was being said about him. In turn, a lot of mud-slinging ensued. Now it is enough. I would hope that from this point forward both sides would say nothing more about it in public. No name calling, no spreading of rumors,  no more
Facebook posts about each other, settle the matter in court. This will only result in more mud-slinging responses which I think both sides don't want to see and have probably had enough of. I will continue to report what is happening with the bar. So far as I know, it will remain open.

     Please, both sides, do not even mention each other in any public forum from this point on. Surprise! I have disabled the comments section for this post.

P.S. If the stuff starts again, I will restore the previous post including all the comments.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Out on the town Party Pics 04-19-12 - 04-21-12

Menjo's, Necto, Backstreet and The Works.

Menjo's 04-19-12

More Photos! Click "Read more" below. Click on photos to enlarge.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Detroit gay bars with straight nights

     There has been a lot of talk and criticism of gay bars having straight nights. In particular, I'm talking about Menjo's and Backstreet. Certain bars have their busy nights. Thursday at Menjo's has been a busy night for decades. Backstreet has always had Saturdays. Both bars, under various owners have tried to get a second busy gay night without much success. With the internet, Gindr, exodus of gay people from Detroit, the gay bar business is tough.

     I hear people complaining that "Oh my gosh, they have a straight night" on a night when no gay people were going to that bar anyway. People expect these bars to just sit empty six nights a week? You can't pay the bills on one busy night. I love both of these bars and want to continue to go to my fun Thursdays at Menjo's and my fun Saturdays at Backstreet. The simple fact is, neither bar can serve us on our favorite nights without having some other business on nights when we are not there. This will be true no matter who owns or manages them now or in the future.

     If you owned either one of these bars would you let them sit empty six nights a week? Necto has had a mix of gay/straight nights for decades and nobody complains about that. I remember when Temple in Ferndale which was owned by the boys from Pronto had a straight night, some people got all in a tissy and swore they would stop going there. We are not Chicago, we are Detroit, the gay community is just not large enough right now to keep gay bars busy seven nights a week.  I love both of these bars, they hold many fond memories for me and I want to see them both continue and thrive. There has been a lot of drama regarding Backstreet in the last few days, hopefully they can settle their differences in court and not in public.   

     I like a good dance bar, both are good dance bars. If we begrudge either one for having straight nights when we are not there anyway, they both would go out of business and we would have no place to go to.

     People say "Detroit sucks, I'm moving away" or "The scene in Detroit sucks, I'm staying home" You want Detroit to be fun like Chicago? Stop staying home and go out! If people stopped complaining and went out, the bars would be a lot more fun. Turn your damn Grindr off with the fake blurry picture and meet humans in the flesh. As far as the bars go, they need to give us a reason to go, like good dance music which both bars had a long history of. Something that has been lacking at both bars in my humble opinion. You are welcome to disagree with me, comment away....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Backstreet Not Closed!


  UPDATE: Backstreet is not closing! Apparently there was some dispute between Moses and Murray and Moses is taking back control of the bar and is going to continue to run it as Backstreet. According to my source "Backstreet will continue to be open and will be better than ever." It WILL be open this Saturday.

So basically the management is just changing. I'm happy because I love this bar. I'm not taking sides in this, I just want to see a thriving gay nightlife in Detroit. I don't know exactly what the dispute was about, I want to stay out of it. I continue to support Menjo's, I think they are doing a fine job there. Backstreet and Menjo's are two of my favorite bars and I want to see them both continue and thrive in the future. As far as the personalities involved, both have been kind to me and I'm remaining neutral like Switzerland!

Out on the town Party Pics 04-12-12 - 04-18-12

     Tons of pics from Pronto, Backstreet and The Works

Pronto 04-12-12

More Photos! click "Read More" below. Click to enlarge any photo.

The Detroit Opera House

     I went to see at last night. It was my first visit to the opera house. A good friend of mine is an extra in the show. This opera is sung in French. The production was quite good and I enjoyed it. I took pictures of course!

More Photos! click "Read More" below (Click on any picture to enlarge)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Smoke Bros. Florist Building on Fort St, Detroit

     I was down on Fort St. looking at the Distel building which burned this week and I saw this interesting building across the street. The address is 9171 W Fort St. It was the Smoke Bros. florists building for many years. It appears the Smoke Bros. moved to Southgate. The year 1919 is painted below the Smoke bros on the side? Maybe that is the year they started their business, but the building looks to date from the 1800's to me. It looks like such a cool building. It was foreclosed by the Wayne County treasurer and may unfortunately end up being torn down. It breaks my heart to see such cool old buildings not being saved. It may come up in the next tax auction, got some money and serious repair skills? Please, somebody save this building! I took a bunch of photos below.

More Photos! click "Read more" below. (Click on photos to enlarge)

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Works - Detroit

     The Works has been really fun recently for after-hours. I know what you are thinking, it did get really stale and boring for a long time. They now have "boys night out" Thurs-Sat. The crowd is very mixed gay-straight and it is a hell of a lot of fun. The music is refreshingly different from your typical gay bar music, kind of house, techno. I was telling a friend of mine that it reminded me of the old days at Todd's Sway Lounge, an eclectic mix of people, everyone is cool and having fun.

     If you have not been in a long time you should consider checking it out. It is not the same Works after-hours that you remember. I've been saying that Detroit needs more fun stuff and finally I think a lot good stuff is happening. This is one of them. Hopefully, it is going to be a long hot, fun summer. I love a hot summer night on the patio for after-hours. Detroit is rising again, be a part of it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Historic loss on Fort St, Detroit

    A couple of weeks ago I took a couple of photos of a building on Fort St. that looked very old and looked interesting to me. (See photo above, click to enlarge any photos) It turns out that it is/was quite a historic building. It burned last night. It was all boarded up and the new owners were planning on restoring the building. It almost surely was senseless arson. My photo is probably the very last taken of the building before the fire.

     The building was known as the Distel building. It dates from around 1870. Christian Distel bought the land in 1870 and ran it as a saloon. It was know through oral tradition as a stagecoach stop. It was owned by the Distel heirs up until 1979. It was purchased by the Southwest Detroit Historical Society in 1998 to save it from demolition and sold to its current owner in 2001, with the intention of restoration and reuse.

     It is such a shame that such a great part of history had to be burned down for some idiot's entertainment. It was probably the last structure in left in Detroit associated with stagecoaches.

     I made a video below of the aftermath, plus more still photos below that.

More Photos! Click "Read More" below

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Out on the town Party Pics 04-04-12 - 04-07-12

Tons of pics from the week. Pronto, Menjo's, Necto and Backstreet.

Pronto 04-04-12

Wednesdays are Karaoke night at Pronto, which is not usually my thing, but for some reason it is quite fun and busy at Pronto, you should check it out. Click any photo to enlarge.


More Photos! Click "Read More" below

Detroit Gay Bar Music

     I know I'm old and I like Disco, Trance, House, Funk, Techno, etc, but I just can't get the bars playing this rappy crap music. I watch the dance floor and people are not dancing, they are just giggling in place. I remember when gay dance bars were cutting edge, and played the best dance music anywhere. This video is my little rant about my frustration.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Zug Island - Detroit

     I was driving around Zug Island the other day looking for a good vantage point to take some photos. You are not allowed on the island itself. They have signs saying "no photos" I found a spot on a weird public street, called Springwells Ct. Anyway, I was snapping away and got some great video when I hear a voice behind me say "excuse me sir". I turned around and there was what I thought was a cop. He was dressed like some kind of SWAT officer.

     He told me some crap about homeland security and I wasn't allowed to take photos. He asked me for my driver's license and went in his SUV and "ran" me I guess. He told me I had to delete my photos, which I did. It turns out now after talking to someone else, he wasn't a cop at all but a US Steel security guard, impersonating a cop. Now, I'm mad as hell. I was able to recover my photos from my SD card, but not the video.

    I will be going back to the exact spot and re-take my video. If somebody ever asks you for your ID, ask them for theirs first. I was NOT on US Steel property.

     Here are all of the photos I took. Click on any photo to enlarge..

More photos! Click "Read more" below for more photos.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Out on the town Party Pics 03-30-12 and 03-31-12

The Necto, Ann Arbor, 03-30-12

Click any photo to enlarge.

More Photos! Click "Read More" below.