Proud Mary

Saturday was Pride Day in Boston so a bunch of us got together and went to the parade and City Hall Plaza festivities. I’ve become so jaded when it comes to this event. I’ve attended pride in various cities (San Francisco, Minneapolis, Paris, London) and Boston’s probably a dozen times. Yeah, it all becomes the same after a while…but I do enjoy the camaraderie it brings. I just wish Boston could take some pointers from the other cities:

Paris and San Francisco’s parades provided more fun debauchery. The floats were more fun (and risque) and people seemed to celebrate more. However, San Francisco’s is just too damn long. And they stop the parade to let traffic through various intersections, causing large gaps and longer delays.

Minneapolis was probably the best. The parade was just all right, but they really know how to do the other festivities. Concerts, fire works, and a better organized vendor section (more spread out, more vendors).

I’d love to try Amsterdam’s parade some day since instead of doing it down the streets, they do it on boats along the canal. Kind of redifines the meaning of a “float”, doesn’t it?

Anyway, after the parade and festivities we had a BBQ at our place. About 18 people showed up (one of our biggest yet). And the weather cooperated! Not too hot/humid, not “too” cold (though, we loaned out nearly all of our sweaters and spring jackets to guests).

On Friday, I also got together with my friend, Pete, for dinner and a walk around my old ‘hood: the North End. Ah, I miss that place. I rode my scooter home from Harvard Square at 10:30 at night (the first time I’d ridden it at night).

I lived.

4 Comments

  1. Comment by JC on June 16, 2008 2:33 pm

    I agree. I think the parade was about the right length, but it seemed somewhat subdued this year. I certainly remember some of the older Prides being way more raucous. Perhaps the need for this kind of demonstration is ebbing as we become more integrated into society? It seems that the year of the gay marriage ruling was the last year that seemed truly celebratory.

    And btw, thanks for the invite to the BBQ, bitch.

  2. Comment by Will on June 17, 2008 9:44 am

    I’ve only been to Pride parades in New York City and Boston. NY’s –seen from lower 5th Avenue, gateway to Greenwich Village–was fierce, funny, way over the top and great fun.

    The best year in Boston was when Fritz and I got to carry the big banner leading Theater Offensive’s contingent. We didn’t get to see much of the parade but friends running out of the crowd to kiss us, and pretending that all the applause and cheering was for us rather than the bare-breasted dykes on Vespas right behind us, was a real kick.

  3. Comment by jeff on June 17, 2008 3:45 pm

    I think I mentioned this to you Karl, but for your readers…

    My take on pride is that it has become a business. There’s too many churches, politicians and it’s waaaaaay too commercial with all the glitzy alcohol ads. Like gays need encouragement to drink!!

    I’m a member of a gay motorcycle club, and we decided that riding in the parade was too expensive with a registration fee of well over $200. I can’t remember the exact amount, but that’s why I don’t ride in the parade, or even bother to see it.

    The corporate, super-PC, non-risque aura ruins it for me.

  4. Comment by snarl on June 17, 2008 3:50 pm

    Hey, Jeff. I hear where you’re coming from. I read somewhere that Boston’s parade gets no funding from the city or state (whereas Pride festivities in many other major cities get some financial assistance from the city). I suppose that’s part of the reason the entrance fee to participate is so high.

    Considering how much money Pride brings to the city (restaurants, night clubs, street vendors, block parties, taxes, hotels) you’d think we’d get some help.

    But I agree with you that the parade does get rather boring when more than half of the parade “floats” are religious groups, schools, or politicians running for office.

    Then again, isn’t it a good sign that such groups are welcoming to the gays?

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