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NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded Atlanta article click DailyXtraTravel
At Swinging Richards
For centuries, Atlanta has drawn
from all over and from all
walks of life -- and that definitely
includes the gays. It's a
cosmopolitan city, sure, but this
Southern belle somehow still manages
to move at a slightly slower, more
graceful pace. There's no denying
the city heat ups during the muggy
summers, but the long autumns, mild
winters, and vivid, flower-filled
springs make up for it.
The city's been at the center of
some of the most important
events in US history: the Civil War, the
civil rights movement, and,
lest we forget, the creation of Coca-
Cola as well as CNN.
These days, though, the city may
stand out the most for the
number and quality of performing and
visual arts on offer. The High
Museum of Art, having recently
collaborated with the Louvre, MoMA and
the Republic of China, has cemented its
reputation as one of the
premier museums in the US. A number of
Atlanta neighborhoods, including
the Midtown West and Castleberry Hill,
as well as the more established
Bennett Street and Peachtree Hills
areas, are notable for their arts
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International
Airport is the busiest in the
world. But unlike other big-city
airports, Atlanta's is convenient to
the center of the city (it can take as
little as 15 minutes to drive to
Midtown, and there's a rail link right
at the airport).
Public trains and buses, known as MARTA, are
a convenient option for
many destinations. The city as a whole,
though is spread out, making
driving to many areas mandatory -- plan
ahead, because Atlanta's bad
traffic and long commute times aren't
Midtown: The reigning epicenter
of gay Atlanta remains Midtown, and its
anchor is 10th and Piedmont, the
location of legendary bookstore
Bookstore. The area has seen
explosive growth, which has changed the
former Skid-Row area along Peachtree
Street to a gleaming corridor of
condo high-rises. Still, its leafy,
tranquil and low-swung residential
area of restored bungalows and Victorian
houses remains intact. You can
check it out between Juniper Street and
East Atlanta: In and
around the intersection of Flat Shoals
Glenwood avenues, early-20th-century
buildings contain cool restaurants
and some of the city's best nightlife
and indie music.
Turn-of-the-century gems like the
intersection of Flat Shoals and
Glenwood avenues remain untouched and
ready for a renaissance.
Midtown West: This former
warehouse and railroad district is
turning into a destination. The
neighborhood around of Howell Mill Road
and Marietta Street has a number of
galleries, shops, and adventurous
restaurants. Some of the city's best-
loved and adventurous restaurants,
and West Egg
Cafe, are also here.
Buckhead: Mansions, expensive
restaurants, and upscale hotels
are all here; the most exclusive
shopping areas in the city, Lenox
Square and Phipps Plaza, stand kitty-
corner from each other, on
After the demise of Window Media last year, the assets of Southern Voice and David were acquired this February by the publishers of Gaydar. They promptly rebranded with a re-launch in March of David, and plan to follow up with a new SoVo edition soon.
At the same time former SoVo staff members are already publishing the GA Voice. Competition promises to be sharp. For news on this, and great daily listings of things to do in Atlanta see Project Q Atlanta, a web-blog by two more former staff at the old Southern Voice.
In the Life Atlanta is this city's Black Gay Pride, the country's largest pride celebration of African-American LGBT people. September 1-6, 2010 are the dates this year for the various events. The Lowes Atlanta Hotel (1065 Peachtree Rd. NE) is the official host host hotel.
Pride Festival is one of the
largest in the nation, luring
more than 300,000 revelers from all over the southeast and beyond.
Traditionally, the festival portion
has taken over the historic green space
at the center of the city, at Piedmont
Park. The 2010 festival will again take place here, repeating the changes of last year from the old June schedule, to the later dates of October 9 and 10. This will be their 40th year of celebrations.
Bars and clubs
(502 Amsterdam Ave) Dutch flavor decor
of Queen Beatrice and wooden clogs,
video games and darts, dancing, food,
patio and lots of men.
(2345 Cheshire Bridge) spiffy metal
decor, youthful male go-go dancers in
(227 10th) young, good-looking mixed
crowd video bar on two levels, with very
popular drag shows.
(2675 Johnson) Saturday after hours
dance club from 2am, with seamless music
flow and amazing lights.
(893 Peachtree) popular men's dance bar
with weekend lines to enter, easy black-
white mix, and backyard grill.
(1492-F Piedmont, Ansley Sq Mall) mostly
guys, with burgers and steaks at good
prices, and busy cocktail hours.
(2715 Buford Hwy) popular mixed, Latin,
Caribbean, and Hip-Hop dance club.
(708 Spring) sleek hip-hop music dance
club with mixed genders and
Atlanta (308 Ponce de Leon) a
dark throbbing cruise clubhouse with
bear, leather and underwear nights, huge
Felix's on the
Square (1510-G Piedmont, Ansley
Sq Mall) is the neighborhood bar where
the old Scandals did its thing for so
Ponce (736 Ponce de Leon)
friendly, attractive staff, expansive
outdoors deck, big free Sunday buffet
(2069 Cheshire Bridge) midweek to
weekend, multi-ethnic, stripped-to-skin
Hydrate Thursdays at the W Hotel Midtown (188 14th St NE) weekly gay cocktail party, 9pm to midnight, with special guests and outdoor patio.
(2115 Faulkner) mega dance club, with
Hip Hop/Urban Fridays, 18-plus
Saturdays, and Monday drag shows.
(1492 Piedmont) cocktail bar, Tuesday
movies, weekend DJs and dancing.
Just across the
avenue from Friends, Model T's
(699 Ponce de Leon, Ford Factory Sq) is
open to all for martini specialties,
with Model Teeze Girls shows, and free
(1544 Piedmont) among Atlanta's
originals, has a laid-back older crowd,
and serves strong drinks.
(4431 Hugh Howell, Tucker) a
gaming/lounge bar outside the center,
with drag queen/king shows.
Richards (1400 Northside Dr)
open nightly all-nude male strip, with
three stages and private
Cowboy (931 Monroe Dr NE) has a
mixed crowd coming for their country
music only line-dancing.
(91 Broad SW) located in Underground
Atlanta area with Friday Manhunt and
Black Pride parties.
Columbia Dr, Decatur) big dance club,
popular Saturdays, Black Pride
(1931 Piedmont Circle) cozy unassuming
bar, gaming machines, extended happy
hours 3 -9pm, free Wi-Fi.
Piedmont (2425 Piedmont) sports
bar, full kitchen with blue-plate
specials, subs and pizza, also Lottery
and Keno games.
Saunas and such
Atlanta (2219 Faulkner) big busy
private sexy but relaxed social club
with lots of cruisy nooks, open from
4th) gay men's steam and sauna social
club with rooms, heated and clothing-
optional pool and sun deck, plus
Juniper (1049 Juniper)
traditional American food, extensive
beer list, generous cocktails, mixed
(1879 Cheshire Bridge NE) has fried
chicken, fresh fish and veggies, cooked
and served homemade Southern style.
(1600 Piedmont) has steaks and Southwest
fare, big cocktails, outdoors terrace
and no-hassle parking.
(1077 Juniper) a stylish lounge with
uniquely Southern accented bistro
cuisine, open air dining.
Las Margaritas (1842 Cheshire Bridge
NE) Latin/Mexican restaurant has popular
patio with strong lavender vibe.
Cheshire Bridge) is famous for their
burgers, with gay folk in droves on the
Shopping and Services
Boy Next Door
(1477 Piedmont) unique lines of gay
clothing with plenty of personal
Within Ansley Mall, Brushstrokes
(1510 Piedmont) has a huge
selection of DVDs, CDs, books, gifts,
magazines, t-shirts, rainbow gear,
cards, and gizmos.
Their sister store Capulets
(1510-D Piedmont, Ansley Sq Mall)
stocks candles, incense, soaps, and
other gift items.
Gay men into serious
fitness make their way to the well-
designed Gravity Fitness
(2201 Faulkner) with free-weights
and machines for a good work-out.
At Juniper and 10th you'll find Outwrite
(991 Piedmont) for books, CDs,
mags, DVDs, gifts, new and visiting
superstar guest writers; plus Wi-Fi in
(2175 Cheshire Bridge) has party
and fetish accessories, soap, aromas,
joke items, cards, posters, and movies.
They also carry "Dirty Fuckers"
underwear and True Religion jeans.
(306 Ponce de Leon) downstairs at
The Eagle with all leather necessities.
(1001 St. Charles NE; 404-875-1001)
a 1913-era craftsman house B&B close to
restaurants, shops and theater.
(1865 Windemere Dr; 404-892-8111) a small gay B&B in a wooded residential
neighborhood with Jacuzzi.
For those weary of look-alike chains,
the gay-friendly Hotel Indigo-
(683 Peachtree NE; 800-957-4654) is a tranquil service-oriented alternative
Brand new this year, also gay-friendly, the Lowes Hotel Atlanta
(1065 Peachtree NE; 888-563-9736) has stylishly modern rooms and suites and all the amenities.
W Hotel Atlanta
(188 14th NE; 582-5800) in
Gayborhood central, has Southern comfort and hospitality, and they host the Hydrate gay cocktail parties, Thursdays from 9pm.
Exploring picture-perfect nabes:
Locals are rightly proud of their
well-preserved historic residential
neighborhoods, including Midtown,
Inman Park, Ansley Park, Grant Park,
Candler Park and Buckhead. Keep an
eye open for neighborhood festivals and
home tours, particularly in
spring, when everything's in full
Remembering the fight for rights:
Run by the National Park Service,
Martin Luther King
Jr National Historic Site is a
fitting memorial to
the struggle for civil rights. It's in
the center of the Sweet Auburn
Historic District, known as the "the
richest Negro street in the
world" in the first half of the 20th
Part with your dollar bills: Swinging
Richards has the best strip show
south of Montreal, bar none.
Strolling Centennial Olympic
Park: The lush lawns and dancing
at this 21-acre park downtown help you
beat the Atlanta heat. The
world-class Georgia Aquarium anchors the
northern edge of the park;
nearby is CNN's headquarters and
studios, which you can tour. (Sorry,
Anderson Cooper works out of New
Climb Stone Mountain: This
national park has as its centerpiece an
enormous carving of the head
Confederates Stonewall Jackson, Robert E
Lee, and Jefferson Davis. Begun in 1925
and not finished until 50
years later, it's the largest bas relief in the world.