June 9, 2018

Christopher Street, New York City. July, 2011

Oh, my. Who would ever have thought, back in the days when Nick and I used to go there, that the fetid Stonewall Inn would ever have become historic and respectable? Years before the “Stonewall riots” during the summer of 1969, we’d timidly enter this obviously mob-run place, clearing the front-door inspection and bouncer. (There was no picture window back then.) Once inside, it was a little creepy. Tin foil covering the ceilings of the two rooms, people hanging around, music. (The Supremes were big.) Every once in awhile there would be a police raid. The overhead lights would suddenly come on. The bartenders would quickly take the cash drawers out of the registers and disappear through a back door. And the patrons would slowly leave the establishment through the front door, police cars idling outside. The few times this happened when we were there, we just walked out without any hassle. Not so in late June, 1969. And, as a result of those well-documented few days and their aftermath, things have changed mightily. So while it’s nice to see that the place is still there, I have no desire to step inside now. Seems more like a museum piece or a theme park now than an edgy bar. Happy Pride Day to all my Boston friends today.

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