as i became an adult in chicago, i used to hang out in the lakeview area as did so many of the gay guys of my generation. it seems so long ago and so foggy somehow now. on the north side, we did not have the same experiences as our counterparts on the south side. the urban decay was much more prevalent in that part of the city. we were part of a much bigger gentrification.
i used to hang at a club called "smart bar" for a few years. at first it was on the upper floors of the "metro" building over by wrigley field. it was set up in several different rooms and was very much like going to someone's apartment for a house party. but then it moved to the basement of the building. i remember there was black astroturf on some of the walls and hurricane fencing separating the dance floor from the rest of the club.
it was reprezenting its own flavor of urban decay. but it also heralded the beginnings of culture crossing in the north side bars and new growth for our city. some of the club dj's were playing hip hop and that particular crowd would come on those nights. the art crowd and the alternative crowd came on different nights. then the marriages of zones three, four, and five began to occur.