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May 2009 Email this to a friend


By Michael LaBelle

Crocker, Houston

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NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded Houston article click DailyXtraTravel

Text below is an edit of May 2009

Hipper by far than you might expect, Houston is a welcoming place where it's virtually impossible to remain a stranger for long. The small-town feeling contrasts with a soaring skyline, world-class arts, and cuisine as sophisticated as that found anywhere.
Houston's gay community is located largely in the Montrose area. Here you'll find many shopping, dining and cruising opportunities. The Galleria on the West Side, minutes from Montrose is a great place for one-of-a-kind items.

Getting around
A car is a must for getting around Houston's sprawl. But if driving, observe the posted speed limits. Police here are vigilant.

Modern B&B (4003 Hazard St; 832-279-6367) artwork, exercise, shady veranda, panoramic views, healthy breakfast.
Lovett Inn (501 Lovett Blvd; 800-779-5224) Montrose Museum District location, near gay attractions, pool, hot tub.
Sycamore Heights B&B (245 W 18th; 713-861-4117) Houston Heights neighborhood, five miles from downtown.

Bars and clubs
611 Club (611 Hyde Park Bl) great conversation, pool games, buffets, garden patio.
Blur (710 Pacific, at Crocker) nightly 18+ dance parties, hip-hop to reggaeton music, amateur dance contests.
Brazos River Bottom (2400 Brazos St) longtime favorite country-western bar with dancing, uniquely Houston crowd.
Cousins (817 Fairview St) small club with drag shows.
Crocker Bar (2312 Crocker) new Montrose sports hangout, amateur strip and talent contests, free wi- fi.
Decades (1205 Richmond Av) small neighborhood bar, devoted regulars, pool tournaments, friendly guys.
Ej's (2517 Ralph St, at Westheimer) local favorite, amateur strippers, four bars, huge patio, dancing, and pool games.
George (617 Fairview) sports bar, pool tables, drink specials, down-home feel.
Guava Lamp (570 Waugh) video bar/martini lounge, young and hip crowd, enthusiastic karaoke.
JR's Bar and Grill (808 Pacific St) movies, martinis, male dancers, amateur strip contests, hot crowd.
Mary's (1022 Westheimer) cozy men's watering hole, festive patio bar with dark nooks.
Meteor (2306-08 Genesee) young and attractive mixed crowd, high-energy video lounge.
Michael's Outpost (1419 Richmond) sing-along piano bar.
Montrose Mining Company (805 Pacific) bears, leathermen and friends, stripper cowboys, patio, pool games.
Ripcord (715 Fairview) famous Levi/leather/uniform events, cruisy crowd lingers weekend after- hours.
South Beach (810 Pacific) glamorous two-level dance club, Latin nights, drag shows, after hours to 5am.
Tony's Corner Pocket (817 West Dallas) downtown patio bar with view, known for weekend amateur strip shows.

Anita's Bar & Grille (2409 Grant St) late hours, drag-queen brunch, great burgers, weekend shows, nice patio.
Baba Yega (2607 Grant St) burgers to seafood to veggie fare, Sunday brunch, Montrose location.
Baby Barnaby's Cafe (602 Fairview St) lunch, dinner and big hearty breakfasts in Montrose.
Hollywood Vietnamese Restaurant (2409 Montrose Blvd) Asian cuisine, American favorites, take-out.
Mockingbird (1985 Welch St) delicious gourmet Texas- Provence cuisine, award-winning chef, casual setting.

Black Hawk Leather (711 Fairview Av) leather and rubber clothing and accessories, another location inside Ripcord.
Hollywood Super Center (2409 Grant St) gay superstore, gifts, books, posters, media, DVDs, underwear.

Midtowne Spa (3100 Fannin St) cruising pleasures, patio, steamy caverns, dry sauna, indoor pool, workout facility.
Club Houston (2205 Fannin St) gym with free weights, machines, personal trainers, full bathhouse facilities.

Museum District encompasses 18 museums, art centers and galleries. A $34 City Pass gives you nine days to check them out at half price.
Alley Theatre (615 Texas Ave) hosts the latest plays.
Hobby Center (800 Bagby St) presents uniquely Houston performing arts productions.
Houston Grand Opera (510 Preston St) is the place for hitting high Cs.

Gay media
Check out Houston Voice, abOUT Magazine and Outsmart Magazine. Queer Voices, on 90.1 FM Mondays from 8 to 10pm, is all-gay radio.

Getting here
Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport has Metro Airport Direct shuttle buses every half hour for $15 to the Downtown Transit Center. From there the Red Line Metro light rail trains carry you to 15 stations within the city center. For more, see Ridemetro.org.

Pride is June
The Pride Houston Festival Day, held on June 27 in the Montrose neighborhood, has plenty of food and music. There's a night parade on Westheimer Road. For more, see Pridehouston.org.

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