As far as I know, the only gay thing about Commercial Road now is the Beat Bookshop, formerly located in Greville Street.
Well, there is a bit of the gay still in Izett Street, off Commercial Road. 'Mummy, why is that man touching the other man's bottom?' 'He likes him in a very special way.'
Onesie? I have heard of these things. In fact I have seen people wear them in public. Is that a web address? It is unlike any I have seen.
They are appalling and make track suit pants with tee shirts look like haute couture.
T'was the Blue Elephant, then Red Orange, now Carpe Diem. Will the day be seized? I doubt it. In the early or mid nineties I met up with friends for lunch before going to Midsumma Carnival. R would not come. I had just bought my first mobile phone. I asked R to call me while I was at lunch. He did and my phone rang. People looked on in with great interest as I took the call.
Once Freskys and lastly Mojitos, now closed. It was something else before Freskys. Ten points if you know. We've been waiting for almost a year to find out what New Taste is and when it will open. An extra ten points if you know the name of the Chilean born guy with the initials of CR who worked there in its first guise and sometimes performed a number on a table top.
NBHD Neandertahl? Well, I never. It was Priscillas, a bar, and next to it on the left was Cafe 151 where we breakfasted often, in a later incarnation Rae's Basement, then associated with Heaven Now, now a Chinese restaurant.
The Market Hotel, The Market, Checkpoint Charlies, Three Faces....this gay venue has had many names. It has been gutted and only the façade kept. It is no longer gay and has been re-purposed. An acquaintance had too many 'light beers' there and thought he could fly. He jumped from the gallery to the dance floor and fortunately did not land on anyone, but not so fortunate for him, he broke his leg. A Filipino friend in the nineties, who could not speak English very well, won the karaoke competition with his perfect rendition of My Way. He was just brilliant and deserved the win. I can never forget Miss Candy's tribute to Lindy Chamberlain with her number, A Dingo's Got My Baby. The Emerson seems to have opened. Watch it go broke and then sold on to another sucker. Further along the street was The Exchange, another gay hotel. We may have been there once or twice. One may have even attended the venue in drag after a ball at the Carlton Crest Hotel in Queens Road. I fell off my heels and dropped my drink. R kindly helped me up with a brutal yank on my arm and then said to friends, 'time to take this drunken slag home'. The Exchange became D&M but I recently noticed the name D&M has been removed.
Small ugly shops were demolished to become this. Well, I am not sure what this is yet. Commercial Road is becoming a canyon of tall buildings. A little to the right is Porter Street, but we won't go there with reminisces.
I remember when Market Plaza was under construction. I rather wish it had not been constructed. Some buildings in the background built many decades before have stood the test of time.
I am surprised Moot closed. I supported them for years by buying sunglasses there, until they changed to only designer sunglasses made in China and in glass display cases. Maybe not a good business decision.
Oh, the Asian grocer has closed. Where will I buy the lap cheong for my fried rice? Right, the supermarket now. It was cheaper at the Asian grocer. Maybe that it why it has closed.
Bang, in Cato Street. No, not gunshots. It was the name of a gay clothing shop. I think the owner was called Dean White. He was a stunner. He moved to Sydney and left the shop under local management. It quickly failed once he left.
Lastly, as named. I may well have been pierced in places at this place when I was younger and adventurous. Counting up, four. But my ears were pierced at a chemist.
I suppose it is no surprise that The Piercing Urge does body piercing.
The next two photos exhibit a perfect business model. I have two tattoos, on my upper arms. I rather like them. No intention of having them removed. My tatts are nice. Covering your body or worse face and neck with tattoos is not nice.
The photo shop in the background is very good and has nice owners. I used to use the gay friendly chemist also in the background. Once while getting a couple of prescriptions filled, one went missing. The staff woman accused me of taking it. Why I would steal my own medication, I do not know. She eventually found it down among the jelly beans and other rubbish they push at you laid out on a bench below the counter. I was furious and immediately changed from being a customer to a non customer of Commercial Road Pharmacy. This was several years ago and it may have changed hands and that Greek heritage cow is no longer there.
Oh, while our original inhabitants in Australia practised it, it is a bit much for me. I was not sure what the display would show next. I shut down the camera and peered up the street for a tram or bus to take me home.