Three+ years into it, Blow Pony is still the standard to beat — barely. What started out as an outlaw night at an outlaw bar has turned into a huge monthly dance party in a warehouse space that attracts practically every homo in the region, and some heteros, too. This means it’s crowded, and the mood swings wildly from hour to hour, depending on which group is ascendent —
- 10-11 p.m. — Older gay men who don’t stay up late. Come out to get some dancing in before their joints stiffen.
- 11-12 a.m — 100 below-30 lesbian hipsters, who think the dance floor is the best place from which to text. Very sharp elbows, too.
- Midnight — A usually pretty dreadful live performance. Lip synching in Blade Runner drag sums it up, pretty much.
- After midnight — Younger gay men, often in packs and very drunk.
Straights are sprinkled throughout, and Blow Pony organizer Airick loathes them, as he will make clear over the sound system, calling them out and driving them out when he spots them on the dance floor.
Airick plays a lot of ’80s music before 11 (which helps explains the older gay men), and the other DJs span the dial from house to Britney to Kanye.
Blow Pony is still fun, but it’s increasingly a mess, and not in a good way…
Every 4th Saturday (may change during Pride month)
320 SE Second Ave.
Crush is lovely. It attracts the restless homos of SE Portland who don’t feel like travelin’ crost river, or braving the enclosed tomb of Starky’s. At Crush, the air is light and the drinks refreshing. Lots of fun event nights, though some are more successful than others. Highlights are the cute crowd and the cool bathrooms.
It can seem cavernous if there are fewer than 20 people, and the food, though not awful, is forgettable. But you don’t go for the food. You go for the mood–low key hip.
1400 SE Morrison
This place got a complete remodel (read “hosing down”) a few years ago when the state’s no smoking law passed. By the time they got they nicotine off the walls, an entire other room was discovered…But no matter the sharp power tools used, they couldn’t dislodge the drunks.
This is the place to go if you don’t care who sees you fall off your barstool or vomit on yourself and the person next to you. The place to go if you are eager for a DUI. Charles Bukowski wouldn’t last 5 minutes here…In other words, the drinks are strong, and the tacit acceptance of alcoholism is evident.
The bartenders are friendly, though, particularly for Portland. Just be prepared to have someone fall on you. People fall a lot in this place…
217 NW 2nd Avenue
Summer arrived late this year in the Northwest, and even later at the wonderful Rooster Rock. What makes it wonderful, you ask? We answer–
- Rooster Rock is a state park with a clothing optional beach taking up most half of its shoreline.
- Having sex here is as natural, and as common, as going for a swim.
- The scenery is stunning.
- When the river level is low, the water warms up.
- Oh, and it’s named for the monolithic rock towering over its west end that much more resembles a massive erection than a male chicken.
The problem this year is the water level. The late winter and heavy snows have kept the water high, which limits the amount of beach space and prevents the water from warming. Plus, the paths through the woods from the parking lot are mucky, muddy muddles. To avoid them, you must walk half an hour and double back to the beach or content yourself with a place on the shaded, grassy bluff (the grass being up to 7 feet tall…).
There’s always the option of carnal pleasures among the shrubs, though maybe not with the person you had in mind. The river and the sun, though, have a way of making the men at Rooster Rock quite randy. Go with that in mind and cock in hand.
Here are directions to Rooster Rock.
Follow up on the basic Sauvie Island report — Visited Saturday, June 29th. Record setting temperature of 100 degrees that day.
Which made the gay nude beach crowded, which means the same scene as usual, only thick with bodies. Big, drunk lesbians at the south end, a mix of middle-aged and twinks at the north end.
Dialog — “Hey, do you have any juice or something? This vodka is harsh.”
“I’ve got Gatorade.”
Definitely a scene. Since it is also considered the “gay beach” in addition to the “nude gay beach,” lots of guys stayed in their bathing suits or underwear. At Rooster Rock, no one does bothers with such lame, and vain, formalities.
But, with all the late rain this year, and the snow runoff, reports say Rooster Rock is a swampy mess enveloped in mosquitoes. Give it another two weeks before venturing there. The mosquitoes are bad at Collins Beach on Sauvie Island, also, but only as you make your way through the woods between the parking lot and the sand. Voracious, but not as bad as Rooster Rock.
Nothing excites people in Portland like the sun…and nothing arouses the gay men more than the prospect of baring it all at one of the local nude beaches. As soon as warmer weather arrives (which occurred very late this year), you overhear men asking, “Have you been to Sauvie yet?” The localism is often “Sauvies” but the same destination is meant–the gay nude beach on Sauvie Island. Continue reading
Allow us to say that the Portland restaurant scene is overrated, overpriced and over-hyped. Thankfully, some of the hot air is beginning to come out of the bloated Portland dining scene. The efficient capitalist marketplace we’re all supposed to worship is weeding out the precious, the absurd and the awful.
Here at Portland Gay Scene, we like to focus on the positive–or haven’t you noticed? So, we’ll rave about the places we love, mention the places we like, and provide brief lists of the dumps you should avoid.
And for those of you who wonder what restaurants have to do with the Portland’s gay scene–a man cannot live on sex alone. Believe us…we’ve tried!
The Eagle North Portland is typical of gay bars in Portland in many ways–no windows, dismal decor and a pack of regulars, each one on his third or fourth liver.
The main differences between this dive on Lombard and the other bars are that smoking is prohibited, the music is (currently) good and sex on the premises is welcome.
Not only is smoking considered a right in Oregon, you’re looked at with suspicion if you don’t smoke. Of course, studies show the more educated a population is, the less likely it is to smoke…you draw the conclusion. Continue reading
Steam Portland is the only bathhouse still standing. It’s a very nice bathhouse, with a modern design — sliding doors on each room, an open shower area, a cold shower in the sauna, porn showing on the wall above the jacuzzi, and a big deck on the roof for sunny days and warm nights. Very European.
If only the same could be said of the customers. Too often, it’s a collection of retirement home refugees who can’t get it up but expect you to for them. The constant shuffling of feet down the hallways is anything but arousing. And the bottomless looks of desperate hunger…shudder. Continue reading