FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What’s Your Favorite Local Hangout?

Hello, vegan frittata servings! Welcome to the Friday Open Thread, a safe space in which we declare our greatest wishes and fears. That, and a space for sharing pics of your pets girlfriends and updates on your job, thesis, and/or general existences. It’s gonna be so great! We’re gonna have so much fun!

Louis Wain: The Bachelor Party

Louis Wain: The Bachelor Party

I’ve just moved to a new city (duh) and I’m super excited to GET OUT THERE with Autostraddle and Lez Backpack and see the fuck out of it. I’ve got so much exploring to do! Of course I need to find a coffee shop that fits me and a queer space that sees me and a park I can escape to when I experience seizing panic. How else could this place ever really be home?

This new series also has me thinking about how much I didn’t realize I’d really grown to fit into Washington — how I knew neighborhoods by heart and could rattle off a list of good restaurants in an instant. I seriously took that stuff for granted, and now I’m wandering around like a chicken without a head looking for them! I took for granted that I knew how to get to all my favorite bars by bus and train, by heart. I took for granted that they were starting to get to know me at my favorite brunch spots. And now, I’m really stressed out because in order to figure out my day I have to use fucking Yelp instead of my head and my heart. I don’t wanna feel like a tourist! I don’t wanna be super uncool and have no recommendations for my friends when they come to town!

It’s stressful, to say the least. But it’s got me wondering what everyone’s favorite spots are, and how they found them. Where are the places in your city that feel the most like home? What bars or coffee shops or vegan joints do you report to on the regular to get your fix, or flirt with a cute barista? Who do you know by name at the dog park? When did you finally figure out your neighborhood, and what are your favorite spots there?

But please do feel free to come in here and hang out with me even if you don’t feel passionately about where you are, or if you’re not participating in the miniseries. I still love you! Plus, if you don’t have any recs in your city we’re probably on the same level right now, anyway. So tell me about your life instead: your trials, your tribulations, your doubts, your frustrations, your violence, your turbulence, your fear, your confessions, your anguish, your pain, your joy, your sorrow, the promise of another tomorrow, and also whether or not you got that Michael Jackson reference. OH! And please show me photos of your dogs, as per ushe. PLEASE.

Okay, adventurers and explorers! Spill!

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

1. Find a photo! This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…

2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code, and use a DIRECT LINK to the image. Your image link should end in .JPG or .GIF or .PNG or .CallMeWhateverYouWant even. I don’t care, but it should be an image suffix! KINDA LIKE THIS:

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more about posting photos, check out Ali’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640 px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.

2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. Oh man, I know what you mean about not knowing where the good places are at first. That was me when I’d just turned 18 and could finally go to bars and stuff. However, the list of great places: Drink! (Wine bar and restaurant, very cute waitress who my friends and I all suspect is queer), The Big Black Box (entertainment venue, one of the only alternative nights out, owned by queermos so really friendly, my organisation hosted our Pride party there this year), Ariapita Avenue (home of all the great street food vendors).

  2. I am from a fairly small town in Sonoma County, so there aren’t that many places to find, but Screamin’ Mimi’s ice cream parlor takes the cake. It’s right downtown, it’s open until at least 11 pm most nights, making it one of the only local late-night hangout spots that doesn’t serve alcohol, and all of the ice creams and sorbets are made on site using local ingredients. It’s where I go with friends, it’s a good spot for dates, and they have ice cream flavors ranging from lavender to olive oil to Gravenstein caramel apple crisp.

    Second favorite spot is Copperfield’s Books. I once randomly met and made friends with another trans person by just hanging out near to comics section and striking up a conversation about indie titles that ended with us sharing Tumblr urls and promising to chat more about art.

  3. I don’t have a local hangout that really feels like home. BUT: I am going to Sac to see Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito this weekend! So flipping excited!

      • I KNOW!

        I went last year and it was so good I died.

        And also there was this old straight dude in the audience who hated it and his face got purpler and purpler and his date was scared to laugh and it was the first time since I had come out where I was like THIS IS A SPACE IN WHICH I AM COMFORTABLE AND YOU ARE NOT and it was a really powerful experience.

  4. I am of an age where my haunts mostly include school, the library so I can study for school, and other school and/or youth focused events. I would like to expand my horizons, though, although today I had to give up on my dream of getting the Starbucks baristas to know my name because they told me that they can’t confirm any of their drinks are gluten free and now my intestines are probably going to explode. I thought their got chocolate was fine you guys. It isn’t fine.

    Other than that, though, the place I probably frequent the most is the train. Nobody knows my name or anything but I do have some interesting conversations. One time, this kid started talking to me about Buddhism, and then another time I was complaining about calculus and got into a conversation with this man who moved to the U.S. from Mexico when he was younger and he talked about how math is taught differently here and how there’s gender standards within math because women are often told they aren’t supposed to be good at it or like it. And then a couple days ago I had a conversation with a random kid sitting across the aisle about our mutual adoration of sci-fi.

    And then sometimes there’s negative things, like last week a girl was getting harassed to the point where she had to leave the train because the patriarchy has some insidious devilspawn

    • Your train adventures sound really cool! I think trains are my favorite mode of transportation, even though I don’t ride them very often.

  5. I’m in the same boat, since I also just moved to my new city. It was so hot in Arizona when I got here that I didn’t really get out much, but now that it’s cooling off I’d really like to find a nice place in Tempe that’s not constantly blasting loud music where I can sit outside and enjoy the weather.

    • ok we really are in the same exact boat because i also went into hibernation due to the ungodly heat wave but like, it makes no sense, because the heat wave was the worst in my room with one window and a ceiling fan and no air conditioner. but leaving was just so hard! SO HARD! and now i’m trying desperately to figure out what the fuck to do and feel like all i wanna do is throw on my hoodie and see some stuff. godspeed to you and i both in this endeavor.

  6. I’ve lived in Seattle most of my life and so my stomping grounds have migrated around with me, and I am def a homebody these days bc saving money, but we do kick around this place with like 500 beers and rotating food trucks in our neighborhood on the semi-regular, girlfriend likes to go there on Sundays when the biscuit truck is there. Mostly we try to go there on nights when there is no sportsball and get cheap IPA brats and beers, it is the sort of noisy dumpy place where there are always people playing Magic the Gathering and yelling at the TV and babies and dogs and god knows what else. Which is to say that it is a little loud for eavesdropping on other peoples conversations, but otherwise it’s a pretty cheap date night, and we have a beer and sometimes are like UGH SPORTSBALL WHY. otherwise, sometimes we bring a picnic and have a date night on the patio of our community garden, which is exactly as adorable as you think it sounds.

  7. I live near a Co-op grocer (part of the NCG), and it’s a magical wonderland of ideas, people, and products that match my own beliefs and goals. Plus, it does seem to be the epicenter of all things LGBT in my small community.

  8. My favorite hangouts are city parks and beaches. Especially Point defiance!!! It’s a huge, 700+ acre park on the Tacoma peninsula, filled with trails and old growth evergreens and pacific madrone a overhanging beach cliffs. And beautiful gardens in the summer too. And at low tide, you can walk fully around the peninsula and look at tide pools and seals and big clay cliffs. I love it so much, it’s the crown jewel of my city.

    Also there’s a smaller local park just a few blocks from my apartment, which has a conservatory and is also an arboretum. It’s filled with all sorts of different labeled trees, mostly deciduous, and they’re at their peak right now (see photo below).
    Look how pretty autumn is in my city!

    Wright Park arboretum:

    Two important things this week.

    1- I got my ballot! And I’m really proud of my city. One of the initiatives is for raising the minimum wage to $15 (with annual adjustments for inflation), an issue I feel particularly passionate about. Fingers crossed for Tacoma! Let’s follow Seattle’s lead and vote in a living wage!!

    2- I made a decision. I want to try grad school again.

    I’ve been feeling restless, aimless, purposeless these past few months. Not depressed, just directionless. I love learning about the natural world, and I’ve wanted to pursue graduate school ever since I started studying as an undergraduate. But I tried a PhD program a few years ago, and quickly dropped out, as a result of (1) being recently out of residential treatment for mental health issues, (2) being waaay too confident and unaware of my vulnerabilities, and (3) joining a a lab that was a poor fit. But mostly the first two. I mean, I could’ve switched labs if that were the only problem.

    But time has passed. Things have stabilized. I know my vulnerabilities better. I know what relapse is like and how to deal with it better. I found an SSRI that seems to work. And I’m restless. My brain is hungry. I’m consuming loads of science-y nonfiction because my brain is hungry. I want academia again.

    So after rolling the idea over and over again in my brain I decided to try it again. I want to try for a masters instead this time. And in a somewhat different field. I’ve been considering this since the beginning of the summer, but last week, I started my application for a few programs I was looking into. It’s official. The wish is now a concrete goal. I still don’t know what the future holds, but now at least I have a concrete goal and plan.

    In other news, I took a very rainy hike to Twin Falls by Snoqualmie Pass and the leaves were yellow everywhere. :D

    • good luck on grad school, congrats on voting, and also! thank you for these super beautiful images. i have been thinking about taking a long drive out to the middle of nature at some point, but now i can look at some right here!

      • Yes definitely take a drive into nature!! (Though, I’d imagine you’re probably tired of driving after your long road trip/move.)

    • Good on you for making plans about grad school. Since you’ve identified what derailed you once before, but are still lusting after that intellectual challenge, it might be worth finding a Masters program that suits you, but keep in mind the option of switching up to the PhD if all goes well. In other words, for sure start a Masters, but do it so you can easily alter it and do the extra work the doctorate requires.

      • That’s a good idea. It seems to depend on the program- some are masters only, some are stepping stones to PhDs. I am definitely not ruling out ever pursuing my doctorate- I just don’t want to get in over my head. Thanks for the advice.

  9. Carmen, you’re in luck! I live in Los Angeles, so my favorite spots are partially applicable to you! (depending on where you live in LA, of course, because Santa Monica is NOT CLOSE to Eagle Rock, and this is just one example). In Echo Park, I’m a huge fan of Sage Organic Vegan Bistro (I think there’s one in Culver City and Pasadena also). Get the mac n’ cheese ball– you will not regret it.

    Another vegan place to go is Cafe Gratitude. Both of the places I just named tend to have mostly queer or alt (or both) people working there, and they are so cool and so nice, it’s like, insta-friends who bring you vegan mozzarella sticks.

    In Eagle Rock/Highland Park, Cindy’s Diner and Auntie Em’s have the best breakfast you’ll ever have in your life. Cindy’s fried egg sandwich made me die and come back to life. Auntie Em’s deep fried french toast will likely lead to my actually death but it’s worth it. These are also places with alt and queer people working who I’ve had lovely conversation with.

    Also in Eagle Rock/Highland Park: Four Cafe, which is seasonally based so the menu constantly changes and it’s always f*cking delicious. To give you some idea of what it’s like there, they put pictures on their tip jars and which jar gets the most that person/character is the winner. Most recently it was tip competition between Buffy characters (Buffy won). Also! Town Pizza (delicious thin crust slices) and Donut Friend are right next to each other on York Blvd. Donut Friend will blow your mind, lots of vegan things– create your own, designer donuts. Every girl I’ve ever taken there has gone all heart-eyes-emoji.

    Also Block Party in Highland Park just opened. It has this big ass red wood deck, and the beer is VERY satisfying. Northeast LA doesn’t *look* very fancy in most spots, but the food and the fun are the best I’ve experienced.

    Lastly, Upright Citizens Brigade is a super famous comedy/improv club in various places DTLA. It’s like $15 to get in for a night show and it’s a RIOT. I think Amy Poehler or someone got her start there. My fave is to engage in some high femme and head to UCB. Highly recommend.

    It’s so funny, a year ago I felt the same way you did. I moved to LA and I just felt like everything was a struggle, and I didn’t know anyone or anything and it was so lonely. A year later, I could rattle off 10 more restaurants and bars easily in addition to what I just listed. LA is so big, it’s impossible to know everything, but I at least feel like I live here now and I have places to go. You’ll get there. This is such an amazing city, it’ll suck you in and soon enough you’ll know more things to do on a Friday night than you could ever afford to do. Sending positive vibes your way.

    • @amlm: THANK YOU SO MUCH! also, do you by chance live in highland park. BECAUSE I LIVE IN HIGHLAND PARK AND THUS THIS LIST OF PLACES IS A PERFECT FIT. i am so excited to try out all of these spots! also, i am so grateful for your guidance. basically, your existence is a gift to me and i am reveling in it.

      • @carmenrios THAT IS AWESOME. SO APPLICABLE. I live in Eagle Rock, but my campus boarders Highland Park. If you ever need more recommendations etc. I’m totally here for you and anyone living in LA!


    • Thanks for the suggestions! I’m on the eastside and have been meaning to explore Highland Park more. Adding these to my list!

      Also in that area is Debs Park. So great for hiking/actually seeing a real lake full of real water in the middle of LA. (morning hike+Highland Park brunch is a highly recommended combo)

      Also also, if you’re looking for other east side hikes, the 210 is laden with them. Pretty much every exit has a hike on the mountain side. My latest favorite is Fish Canyon– really varied terrain, not too long, and ends in a quadruple ribbon fall (when we’ve had rain).

  10. My favourite hangout is the seafront. There’s a long promenade that goes along all the beaches and that’s where I take my walks :)

    • Yes yes yes. Beaches are the best kind of hangouts. I love everything about beach walks: scavenging colorful sea glass, looking for jellyfish, breathing in the pungent air.
      Beach photos? :D

  11. Although I still live in the same small city I studied in (Cambridge UK), I didn’t really find out where the really awesome places were until the end of my degree. I love the Indigo café: it does quite cheap food and is tiny! Nothing matches, but it’s so friendly and I rarely go in there without seeing anyone I know. Round the corner there’s an awesome independent bookshop called David’s which does second hand and cheap new books and is really lovely. Aromi the Sicilian sandwich shop is great too, as is the Italian restaurant in the market. It’s underground, so it’s really cosy!

    • I’m from Cambridge, and Indigo is really lovely.

      I’d also recommend Rainbow Vegan Cafe (opposite Kings) which is also underground. The Maypole near Jesus Green, the Brewhouse on King Street, and The Vaults on Trinity (though this is not the place for a “cheap night”).

  12. I haven’t posted in awhile but boy this article popped up at a convenient time. I’ve slowly been working on an updated Queer Girl City Guide for Seattle. I could gush for hours on my favorite haunts, but I’ll cover my favorite categories: Coffee and cocktails.

    Coffee: I consume a near ugly amount of coffee. My main suppliers/hangouts are Neptune Coffee, Milstead and Co., and Kaladi Brothers Coffee.
    + Neptune is close to my house and serves up specialty coffee. They regularly serve Kuma Coffee, but rotate roasters like Heart, George Howell, Sweet Bloom, and more. They’re owned by two delightfully sweet Midwesterners and are staffed by adorably hip baristas. Dog friendly. Accessible, but moving through the length of the building can be difficult on busy days!
    + Milstead is right by where I work and operate along similar lines as Neptune. Specialty coffee, kind baristas, and have a ton of space for people working or studying. Dog friendly. Accessible.
    + Kaladi Brothers is the ~*~queer~*~ coffeehouse. I wish I could go more, but often times it is too far for me. More super nice baristas and ample space. It is also connected to Gay City and the Gay City library! Always a lot of queers around. Dog friendly. Accessible.

    Cocktails: I am the kind of person who likes to end the day with a little somethin’.
    + The Angry Beaver is right across the street from Neptune, so it is my go-to happy hour bar. Besides having a fantastic name, it has fairly reasonable drinks, conversational bartenders, and a desert item called the Beaver Tail. (It is essentially an elephant ear served with ice cream.) It’s actually a Canadian-owned hockey bar, but I like to pretend it is my neighborhood gay bar. Accessible.
    + There is a bar called Montana on Capitol Hill and it is hands down my favorite bar. It’s divey, comfortable, and dark. My girlfriend loves their picklebacks and I spend too much money on their Moscow Mules. I started my last birthday there and the bartenders were so sweet. There is always a fair amount of queers and I never feel unsafe/out of place. Home to the graffiti masterpieces that is Manifest Destiny’s Child.

    BONUS! Vegan stuff list!
    + Wayward Vegan Cafe – Tasty tasty brunch.
    + Araya’s Place – Vegan thai and bomb ass cocktails.
    + Flying Apron Bakery – All your favorite baked goods made vegan.
    + Vegan Haven – Nonprofit vegan grocery.
    + Pizza Pi – Vegan pizza. Recently saved from closing.
    + Flowers Bar and Restaurant – All you can eat vegan lunch.

    Like I said, I could go on for hours. Unfortunately I’m on lunch break at work and sort of need to fulfill basic human needs. Come visit Seattle and gorge yourself.

    • oh man! i am hoping to drive to seattle at some point and totally have to put this entire comment in my pocket / heart when i do. so awesome!

    • Reading all these comments is only strengthening my belief that Seattle is actually queer paradise. I mean seriously, queer coffeehouse, connected to gay library, with dogs, AND it’s accessible?! Who does that?? And the vegan food. It looks so good. And there’s a nonprofit grocery!! I can’t eat meat or dairy because of disabilities and I would never have to live on cereal and soy milk again!

      I have to get out of small-town Texas and move there asap, guys.

      • it costs a bazillion dollars to live here though but yeah it doesn’t even rain that much anymore.

    • I live by the Angry Beaver! We are neighbors-ish! But I have never been there, I wander to the Yard across the street which has not-great service but pretty good tacos, and I love the secondhand craft store and space odyssey store.

  13. My BFF came to visit me in Chicago for the first time this week, and it felt so nice to show her around my sweet little neighborhood. I love sharing little bits of my life like that.

    • where did you go! also, tres jeal, because my bff is in town and i keep googling places to take her, so.

      • Well I wanted to take her to my favorite hippie cafe where you sit on cushions on the floor but she is 60 years old which is apparently too old to sit on the floor, so whatevs. But we did go to a sweet brunch place and the nonprofit pie cafe and the feminist bookstore, so overall it was THE BEST.

  14. There aren’t really any bars or coffee shops orrr stores of any kind where I’ve been for most of the year. Hangout spots are folks’ cabins or boats, or of course: nature.

    One of my favorite hangout spots was this place called Agate Beach; I think the locals named it. I don’t even remember what island it was on (somewhere in Southeast AK), but I’m determined to go back and find it next summer.

    Anyway, THE ENTIRE HALF MILE BEACH IS ALL AGATE. Agate of every color. And it’s been tumbled/smoothed by the ocean. You can bury yourself in agate, like sand..except beautiful warm stones instead of crystal grit that lingers in your nooks & crannies.

    The 8 of us spent all day there, only leaving when we ran out of food/water. Souvenirs were abound, and Abby even snatched a bucket of the tinier stones near the water, which now serve as our sustainable cat litter. It’s the prettiest cat litter I’ve ever seen.

    (So I don’t know if that counts, but that’s what this thread made me think of.)

    • this sounds so wonderful. of course it counts! thank you for telling me about it in case i’m ever in the area and want to cover myself in agate, which is likely. the agate part, at least.

  15. How do queer day people socialize? Atlanta’s queer bookstore in midtown closed a few years ago. Where do queer parents plan play dates? Where do power dykes do lunch? If you are a day person who has a time and place to go out for queer friendly fun, I need to know. Every where I go, I see cute elderly couples and soccer moms.

  16. I mostly hang out in nature or on my couch, so.

    However, I do have a life update: recent circumstances (in the form of a completely unexpected, not entirely welcome, but definitively libidinous crush on a dude-person) have finally confirmed that I am, in fact, bisexual – even though I still don’t think I’d ever want to date a man again, and it’s been more than 8 years since the last time I felt any serious attraction to one. Hopefully it will pass soon.

    • I read this as you saying you hang out in nature ON your couch and I was like, nature couch: YES. Now I’m shipping nature and couches. Like, let’s go camping and bring a couch.

      I may have had too much coffee today.

      • We had an armchair that randomly cropped up at our local bonfire/putin/camping spot a few weeks ago. We are all sketched out by it.

        Also we use that spot to hang out much less now that it’s cold and friends moved in literally 2 miles down the road and are 100% down for dirty boaters to traipse in pretty much whenever and like bonfires. (But we may go back to more hanging out there because the friends are building a house next summer and I’m sure their place will be a HUGE MESS of construction stuff most of the summer and not easily amenable to hanging out at)

    • good luck on crush!

      have you ever hung out on a porch-couch? they can be yuck but in college were really incredible.

      • Thanks, but it’s really just a swoon-from-afar type of deal.

        I have actually lived in a couple of houses with big decks and multiple couches upon them. Porch couch + cat + book + sunny day = heavenly.

  17. My personal favorite spot is Ralph’s Rock Diner in Worcester, MA. It’s a silly little dive tucked in a back pocket near downtown. Particularly, I go there for the Dirty Gerund on Monday nights. I love to listen to the open mic, and they bring in some great featured performers (typically a musician or poet). It’s a really open community that’ll make you feel like a true regular when you come back.

    Complete with mildly-surly bartenders and an aesthetic 99 Restaurants wish they had, this place is home away from home.

  18. Well I am in SoCal so my favorite spots are really any local, family owned Mexican restaurant. Like there are soo many around here that are very good it’s hard to say. But, right now I am a bit partial to Lucy’s(not sure if it’s family owned as it’s a small chain in town), but it’s close to me(not walking close, but still close), open 24 hours, has a drive through and makes quality burritos. There also Venice, but that’s more of a whole area, than a spot. I am partial to the Firehouse(a restaurant) there, as one summer, my buddy and I would go eat there after the gym. They had a menus specific to the Gold’s Gym crowd, like a low carb, low fat meal. I was partially to the buffalo steak with a side of vegies, avocado, and egg whites. I’m vegan now, but I they did have a quality vegetable bowl, and of course quality avocados.

    I’ve also said this before, but the Jim Morrison cave/trail out in Malibu is lovely. It’s a good spot to just relax, consume some cannabis, and snacks with friends.

    How’s everyone’s day? I’m at work with a partially cold. I was suppose to only go for 2 hours, but my employee decides today is a good day not to show up. No dice, and on top of that my computer was MIA for a while, but thankfully for phones I was able to get it recovered.
    So, last week I mentioned this lady I was chatting with, pretty much said I am too queer(odd cause she’s queer too). I thought maybe she didn’t want to talk to me. Turns out she lost her phone or something. I asked if she wants to maybe hang, but she avoided answering that question. :-/ So, I am not sure what the deal is, cause she mention stuff like it be nice to cuddle, but avoids answering questions about hanging. I am too queer for this. lol

    I saw the flower in the back yard and really liked the colors, considering we are in a drought right now.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend.

  19. uh well uniqlo opens in chicago today so i will be hanging out there until i own the complete collection of every flannel shirt ellen page wears in freeheld.

  20. Unfortunately the one spot I got to on the regular where every body knows my name is my local home services office. I had surgery a couple weeks ago, so my days consist of Netflix and going and getting my dressing changed. Before surgery I enjoyed going to the ihop in my neighborhood early on Saturday mornings cause the waiteress is the best. She once told a rude customer to leave after and she refused to sell him beer at 7am.

    • Hope you heal quickly! Binge-watching the Big Bang Theory is something that helped get me through long evenings a couple years ago. Not sure what genre of stuff you like to watch.

      • Thanks! I was hoping to be back at work next week but I wasn’t so lucky. I like pretty much everything, I have gone through a lot of tv series so I’ve moved on to documerties about random things.

  21. I’ve been homesick for three years, I don’t belong on this thread!

    That said, I had a moment driving alone earlier today when I was like, “Alright. Okay. You’re pretty. Right now, like this, you’re very, very pretty, and you’re safe, and it almost feels good.” I didn’t want to overthink it or look away too soon, because it just doesn’t happen here.

    Home is the Best Coast, and it’s always much too far away.

    • Oh man, I made the mistake of watching the local news of my previous city and I got so homesick that I started looking for jobs so I could move back even though my current job is really great and I would be stupid to give it up.

    • aja probably every once in a while we should switch places, right. i predict i will get very homesick very soon because of a lack of snow, which is ironic because i came here to escape soon.

    • Let’s go back to California! I’m moving back West next year, I think. I’ve been away from home long enough.

  22. I also just moved out of the DC area! I am now in Paris, which is awesome, but for the first few weeks it was super overwhelming getting around, finding things to do, and of course making friends, since I literally didn’t know anybody. But I am slowly getting the hang of it. And earlier tonight, I went to my first meeting for queer women at Paris’ LGBT center, and it was just… magical. A mix of French people and foreigners like me, and I’m pretty sure I heard at least 5 languages being spoken. Queer women coming from all over to talk, laugh and build community is a pretty fabulous thing.

    It’s still weird not being in DC (there are so many places and people I miss!) but I have a pretty good feeling about this city too. And if there’s anyone reading this who lives in the Paris area, I am always looking for people to scout out new bookstores with, or find the best croissants. :)

    • Actually, do you have any suggestions for cool coffee shops / hangouts / groups / bars / brunch places in DC? I’m starting to get to know the place but I’d love to get recommendations from other people in the queer community. Thanks!

  23. I’m of the favorite-rock-under-the-pines in the nook of the arboretum sort. I’ve a bench I like, too, that overlooks some water, but I don’t so much have places where I go to meet people when it’s raining. And since I acquired a less sociable dog (somewhat anti dog, not enthused about men), I don’t tend to meet as many humans outdoors.

    “Can I pet your dog?”
    If child, woman, or elderly,
    If man,
    If unleashed dog,
    “Recall your dog!!! Not friendly!”

    I’ve been doing too much of the last recently as the humans ineffectively yell at their dogs while they gallop over and shove a muzzle between my legs. Seriously– I get the urge to have an off lead dog, but these are areas close to traffic with lots of wildlife and they clearly have an insufficient recall. As well as areas with leash laws. Y’know. Laws. Rules. Made up for safety. Also, skunks.

    • ^clarifying

      Shoving my dog’s muzzle between my legs 1) sort of immobilizes her; 2) limits her ability to make aggressive eye contact and START THINGS; 3) is just plain distracting and kind of like a game. Muzzle play works well with her. With dogs on leashes that walk by, she can hold a sit and we can play touch games as they walk up and as they leave but coming closer is so potentially dangerous when the other human has no control.

  24. I may actually be moving TO the D.C. area for next summer! A couple weekends ago my university hosted the 11th national OUT for Work conference. I was apprehensive about going since I’m extremely closeted due to family issues, and I assumed you had to be out to go to Out for Work, but the school career counselor assured me that wasn’t the case.

    So I went, and it was amazing. There were So. Many. Science. Queers. (This was kind of a problem for my liberal arts friends; one of the main complaints was that there were very few opportunities for non-STEM fields. Hopefully they can get a broader selection of employers in the future.) But this worked out well for me, since I’m a math/statistics and public health major and I want to go into data analysis and epidemiology. And there was a company there that has an ENTIRE DEPARTMENT devoted to epidemiology (which, for context, is an incredibly specific and niche field), and they hired me for an internship this summer in D.C!! I still have around two years left until I graduate but they also said they often hire their summer interns straight out of college and pay for higher education. So I’m very excited!

  25. Heyyyyyy reporting from Las Vegas!!! Kinda buzzed but I look extremely dapper. LA is great. Stuff in DTLA is really great. I know a sushi place in weho I really love especially shoei their sushi chef and one in Woodlands Hills.

  26. I’m not a hangout place person and it’s one of those things I wonder if it would have been true no matter what or something from the years of well fuck it abuse and ostracism from my peers growing up.
    Not all days are bad days of course, but on bad days I’m hyper-vigilant beyond what seems healthy to me among people like a bar or something where people are socialising in group.

    Some one laughs? Must be they’re laughing at which sometimes it makes me want to get in their face, be stupid and ask shit that character in Goodfellas.
    I think someone is staring at me? Goodfellas again or worse the creeping feeling they mean me harm. I once had room full of people throw things at me, it was mostly paper, plastic, small school supplies but there was a rock. More curious about where the damn hell someone got that rock from than haunted about it.
    So it makes sense that creeping feeling happening.

    On really bad days all that makes me feel broken and not just annoyed with myself.
    I know I’m not broken, but one can feel that way.

    It is a bit of shame I’m not hangout place person because there’s lots of great places to hangout at here.
    But there’s this bar I that has a place in my heart with these good old fashion style NOLA burgers. Thick juicy with flavour in the meat and not depending on a condiment to provide the flavour, served with the bun open and the toppings on the side like.
    They play rock music on the speakers and never anything of the top of the pops.
    I can just sit in a booth or at a table with group, eat my burger, nurse a margarita, maybe eat the group serving size of steak fries by self without having to interact with anyone or even see them depending on seating.
    It’s peaceful, I like it.

  27. I just moved to Los Angeles and can relate to a lot of the posts here – the homesick/overwhelmed ones as well as the confidence/exploration feelings. This is a well-timed thread because I’m also looking for places to “feel like home.” I spent the last two years in VT (first doing trailwork all over the state, then based out of Burlington as a social worker) and got so used to “my” comic shop, “my” local pub, “my” etc. Obviously L.A. is very different. I have friends here whom I adore, but everything feels so macro. While that’s part of the reason I came (self-growth… stop being so egocentric you tiny little fish etc.) it can be hard. I haven’t found a queer community. My work schedule and social ineptitude makes that difficult. However, some places that are starting to feel like home are:

    Topanga Stage Park: It’s close to where I live, and if I get down in the canyon far enough it’s easy to forget there are 10,000,000 people here… for just a moment.

    Kulak’s Woodshed, North Hollywood (music venue): I’m a musician and this is a venue that hosts open mics for the common folk. There’s a really supportive crowd, kitschy decorative… vibe, feels like a Midwest coffee shop, minus the coffee – and the only open mic where I’ve seen anyone over the age of 40.

    The Snug, Burbank (pub): Feels “could be anywhere” and dive barrish, they don’t allow babies and this was very surprising to some patrons I encountered recently (and, I presume, to their baby). My best friend Zach and I go here a lot. The staff are friendly and the pretzels are stale.

    Need to get out into the rest of the city more, but I work a lot, and usually over weekends. I played a show at Room 5 Lounge the other day, that was a cool place. I want to find a queer bookstore or coffeeshop, something other than a gay bar, basically, but haven’t had much luck so far.

  28. No Portlanders in this thread? Gotta fix that! My home-away-from-home is Anna Bannanas Café in the St. Johns neighborhood; it’s a laid-back place that has a queer vibe without the pretentiousness of places like Mississippi Avenue.

  29. I’ve got 2 places I really like. One is a local coffee shop that I used to go to all the time in highschool and the other is a cute hipster bar called the owl though I’ve only been to it a couple times so far.

    On a completely unrelated note I have my second ever date on Tuesday and I’m super excited and also nervous. I have no idea what to wear and no friends to ask but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

  30. After a long, drawn-out breakup with my hometown of Sacramento, I just moved back to the Pacific Northwest. Portland, specifically. I love it here. The rent in Downtown or close-in is getting higher, leaving me perfectly happy in a treehouse vibey apartment in the SW hills.

    The only drawback to that is the extra distance I have to go to find neighborhood spots. But there are a few! Sasquatch Brewing Company has a rad selection of ciders. Like seven. On tap. Yes. Salvador Molly’s is just up the road, and their dinner menu is excellent. The thirsty crowd can and should get an Amazombie fishbowl.

    Also, the lady who works at the convenience store by my workplace in the Lloyd District makes fun of me for how many taquitos I buy. But yesterday, we high-fived because it was Friday.

  31. K Fetisch in Neukolln, Berlin is my favourite hangout bar. It isn’t exactly queer but it’s on the good side of hipster. Very political space with movie screenings, protest plannings, refugee involvement, etc.
    On a good day, you can show up with your laptop and hang out on the very comfy couches to work and or smile at girls but after 8pm, no more laptops allowed. Reasonably priced drinks, friendly service, plus they have a huge selection of books and games at the non smoking area which makes all the interesting queers in town stop by every so often

  32. If anyone is from Northeast Ohio, my two favorite hangouts are Angel Falls coffee shop in Akron and Loganberry Books on Larchmere in Cleveland.

    Seriously, that bookstore is the stuff dreams are made of. Anytime I have a bad day, I spend a couple hours there, and it’s the only place I want to go on my birthday.

  33. Probably in the saddest way, the cafe where I work. I dream of one day being the cute barista people flirt with :P Alternatively I am always in one of the bookshops in the tiny town I live in.

  34. I’ve enjoyed reading your article. Your point of views and writing skills are excellent. Thank you for those useful information. Keep up the good work!

  35. This is a great example of writing skills. Excellent article with lots of information. I’m glad that I’ve found this one. Please keep up the good work!

Comments are closed.