It's increasingly fashionable for young people to be cynical about Pride - it's too corporate, too straight, too circuit and too white. Maybe it's time we got over that. Pride is the biggest party most of us will ever experience, the sexual energy is thick in the air, and it's free. Sure, there are ad banners here and there, but someone's got to pay for it. Yes, there are a lot of straight couples, but we're looking at sexuality in more fluid terms these days - hell, I've been to more Prides while I've been in hetero relationships, but I still feel the right to claim my space there.
As for complaints about Pride's lack of diversity, to me the streets looked reflective of Toronto this year.
As usual, I slept through the parade and wandered down to Church Street mid-afternoon. The beer gardens and patios were packed, most with long lineups in front. Squeezed through the crowd to the Activate stage to catch a bit of Dr Trance (aka Don Berns ) rocking the crowd with a very electro-rock-inspired party set. Maybe he'll need to find a new pseudonym soon.
Walked across Wellesley to the Blockorama stage, which looked like it could use a bit more space next year. DJ Blackcat was throwing down a tight urban set that had the packed dance floor sweating under the sun. Just up the street I saw a bit of the Samba Squad banging out thundering Brazilian beats for the hippy queers.
The whole event demonstrates the thrilling friction between a family-oriented street festival and a full-on hedonistic hoedown. The fact that Pride no longer seems dangerous is probably its best feature. With every passing year it becomes more and more ingrained in the greater culture, reflecting the growing inclusiveness we want to embrace.
Checked out the opening of a swank new club in an unconventional neighbourhood Saturday. Project is just south of Queen on Sherbourne, an area known more for crack deals than for upscale lounges. But the owners may be onto something - there's a new batch of condos in the 'hood, and those people have to go somewhere. The bar has a tight door policy, so try to get on the guest list in advance.
The place looks nice, a good balance between raw warehouse space and slick Modernist design. There's a small patio in the back with a good view of the moon, and plenty of seating inside. There are no plans to market Project by bringing in big-name DJs, but they've invested in sound.
If you're in the neighbourhood and you like fancy cocktails, look for the door with letter P.
Hive Magazine is a little more art- and music-focused than most, and while some of the content seems a bit too inside, the Hive guys sure know how to throw a good party. Last Saturday at 99 Sudbury I caught a performance by the Uncut , who have progressed since their days as a electronic rock duo. They gave a great show, although I don't know why people won't dance to rock bands. DJs DMT and Tyler Clarke Burke got the feet moving with fun hiphop sets. The best part was Instant Coffee 's infamous Disco Trailer, set up as a lounge in the back of the space.