Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Crazy Nanny's

Crazy Nanny's

Location: 32 7th Avenue South, New York, New York, USA

Opened: 1990s?

Closed: Ceased to be lesbian bar around 2004
The former Crazy Nanny's

From Club Planet:

Crazy Nanny's - Like no other Lesbian bar in New York, is the reason it is always jam-packed. Friendly and lively, as well as casual and fashionable. Crazy Nanny's is a diverse place to enjoy a game of pool downstairs and dancing upstairs. It is like a lesbian fun park, trivia night, karaoke nights, and drag queen performances and of course DJ's.

City Tips says the following:

Lesbian hangout
Flannel-shirt wearing lesbians of all ages and shapes mix it up with pretty young women at this West Village bar and dance club, recognizable by its pink exterior. Inside it resembles most other neighborhood bars, but with a definite edge. The great DJs, strong drinks and homey atmosphere make it an ideal place to shoot pool and wait for the women of your dreams. Drinks are cheap and there is no cover charge.

A June 2004 article in The Villager reported that Crazy Nanny's had "recently" gone "hetero," and at any rate, all other gay bar sites report that it is closed--though as usual, no date is given.

As to when Crazy Nanny's opened, this June 1998 article in the Observer mentions Crazy Nanny's in passing, so it was obviously around then.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Hideaway

The Hideaway
The Hideaway

Location: 1756 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Opened/Closed: Mid 1990s -2014

Notice how all the same lame excuses are trotted out regarding the loss of womyn's space. Basically that all you girls should be happy with a nomadic party scene that pops up now and then. Who needs dedicated space? Who needs community you can actually find when you need it? Just be content with basically being homeless, stateless, with a "community" that's chaotic and incoherent. It's the cool thing now! (At least for lesbians. Nobody else would accept this deal as cool.)

From Watermark Online:

Overheard in Tampa Bay: Oldest lesbian bar in Florida shuts down

By : Anonymous

The oldest lesbian bar in the state shuttered its doors on Jan. 13, ending an era of more than 20 years on St. Petersburg’s Fourth Street. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the bar is done. The Hideaway, and it’s neighboring boy bar, Haymarket Pub, went out with big bashes and announced that while the land and buildings may have been sold, the spirit of the bars could keep the party alive at a different location. That location, however, has yet to be announced. Facebook pages for both of the hot spots hint at a resurrection in the future, and the faithful seem to be ready to support the renaissance whenever and wherever it may appear.

The Flame

The Flame

Location: 3780 Park Boulevard, San Diego, California, USA

Opened/Closed: 1984-2015

Yet another lost lesbian space we somehow missed from last year.

From San Diego Uptown News:

Park Boulevard nightclub The Flame is sold
Posted: October 9th, 2015
By Ken Williams | Editor

The Flame — a landmark lesbian bar that opened in 1984, and then changed hands 20 years later — was sold this week to a Hillcrest developer.

James Nicholas of Clownfish Partners, who bought the vacant property at 3780 Park Blvd. from seller Donny Duenas for $1.9 million, told San Diego Uptown News that he will be turning the single-story structure into a multi-use project by adding six apartments and a central courtyard.

Nicholas said he plans to “restore the fa├žade” of the vintage building and keep the iconic sign. “It will stay on the building and get restored to its former glory,” he vowed.

Members of the LGBT community have been worried about saving buildings that have historical significance. Nicholas said The Flame building has never been designated as historical. “There is currently a study being done to see if it is, in fact, historic,” he said. “If it is designated as historic, I would love to have it acknowledged on the building.”

The “Hillcrest History Timeline” published on HillQuest’s website offers this tidbit about the old nightclub:
1984 — The Flame, an old supper club on Park Blvd (named after a fire destroyed the first restaurant, The Garden of Allah), reopens as a lesbian bar. It changes ownership twenty years later, after being purchased by the owners of Numbers, a watering hole across the street. The Flame changed ownership again in 2010.”

The seller’s brokerage firm, Location Matters of Del Mar, stated in a news release that Duenas had operated The Flame since 2008. Mike Spilky of Location Matters handled the sale and Paul Ahern of Location Matters will oversee the leasing of the cocktail lounge.

The developer said the 6,098-square-foot lot is already zoned for multi-use, so the addition of six apartments won’t require rezoning. Nicholas explained where the apartments will be built in relationship to the existing building, which has 7,800 square feet and a basement.

“They will be within the existing structure above the new cocktail lounge that will be reduced in size to 2,000 square feet and behind the new cocktail lounge and will go up a total of three stories, two more than the ground floor,” Nicholas said.

Until a tenant is signed for the cocktail lounge, there is no telling whether the bar will remain LGBT oriented. The developer said he has no preference.

News of the sale of the vacant property quickly drew praise from several community leaders in Hillcrest.

“I am happy to hear that there is movement on this property. New residential is always a good thing in Hillcrest,” said Ben Nicholls, executive director of Hillcrest Business Association.

“I am enthusiastic to have the property continue as a nightlife and entertainment destination. I do hope that the new owners seek out a creative entertainment concept that fits with the new hip feel of Park Boulevard,” he said.

“The days of the Flame being a ‘hole in the wall’ are over. Whatever happens, I am confident that the iconic signage and LGBT cultural influence will feature prominently at that location.”

Luke Terpstra, chair of the Hillcrest Town Council, welcomed the property’s sale.

“This part of Hillcrest has really been improving over the last couple of years and this is good news when a business can reopen and breathe neighborhood life again,” Terpstra said. “It does not need to be a gay business, just a successful business that serves the community at large.”

This stretch of Park Boulevard, south of University Avenue, is part of the city’s Egyptian Quarter. The Flame, however, does not reflect that style of architecture. But the area is seeing a mini building boom with the construction of the Mr. Robinson loft building at the corner of Park Boulevard and Robinson Avenue. Executive chef Brad Wise will be opening TRUST restaurant in the new building.

Ken Williams is editor of Uptown News and Mission Valley News and can be reached at or at 619-961-1952. Follow him on Twitter at @KenSanDiego, Instagram at @KenSD or Facebook at KenWilliamsSanDiego.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Heraean Games

An artist's interpretation of ancient Olympia. [Photo: Public Domain]
Heraean Games

Location: Olympia, Greece

Opened/Closed: 776 BC-?

Selection from Atlas Obscura:

When Ancient Greece Banned Women From Olympics, They Started Their Own
Sadly, historians lack good documentation on the badass Heraean Games.

Much like their modern counterpart, the Olympic Games in ancient Greece wasn't exactly a level playing field for women. It's true that women of all ages were allowed to enjoy the festivities and exhilarating athletic events in cities throughout the Peloponnese states, including Delos and Athens. But the Games in Olympia in the land of Elis—the city where the Olympics originated—retained its traditional, sacred ban of women. Elis decreed that if a married woman (unmarried women could watch) was caught present at the Olympic Games she would be cast down from Mount Typaeum and into the river flowing below, according to Greek geographer and travel writer Pausanias.

During these ancient times, women lived much shorter lives, were excluded from political decision-making and religious rites, were forced into early marriages, and then gave birth to several children. Despite the societal inequalities and oppression, women in Greece wanted to play—so they started their own Olympics called the Heraean Games.

“Every fourth year,” Pausanias wrote in 175 A.D., “there is woven for Hera a robe by the Sixteen women, and the same also hold games called Heraea.”

The Heraean Games, a separate festival honoring the Greek goddess Hera, demonstrated the athleticism of young, unmarried women. The athletes, with their hair hanging freely and dressed in special tunics that cut just above the knee and bared their right shoulder and breast, competed in footraces. The track shortened to about one-sixth the length of the men’s was made up in the Olympic Stadium. While women were not allowed to watch the men’s Olympics, it’s uncertain if men were barred from these all-female races.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Women-Only Beaches in Morrocco

Not a lost space, but a proposed womyn-only space. Not clear to me why wanting a beach away from "the eyes of leering men" automatically makes one conservative. Guess us liberal gals are just supposed to enjoy sexual harassment? Really, all this is just a useful way for men to play divide-and-conquer. Instead of trying to buttonhole various actions as liberal or conservative, why don't we just ask if they are good for women and go from there?

From The New Arab:

No men allowed? Conservative Moroccan women demand ladies-only beaches
In Morocco, attitudes towards women's bodies are conservative
Date of publication: 22 July 2016
Women in Morocco have demanded that authorities set up a women-only public beach so that they can enjoy the sweltering summer heat away from the eyes of leering men.                 
Women in Morocco have demanded authorities set up a women-only public beach so that they can enjoy the sweltering summer heat away from the eyes of "leering men".
An activist group is campaigning to have their own stretch of public land where they can swim in accordance with their religious beliefs without the fear of being sexually harassed.
"If we take into consideration freedom and human rights then women clearly have the right enjoy the beach as they wish and according to their religious principles," women's rights campaigner, Fouzia al-Salhi, told The New Arab.
"The beaches are justified because there are women who refrain from undressing in front of men to swim because Islam commands that women conceal themselves and show modesty. We must respect their beliefs and protect their honour."
But the move has sparked controversy in the kingdom.
Activist Noureddine Mohammadi claimed women-only beaches would only further encourage intolerance and gender segregation.
"The calls for these female beaches happen every summer and come from Islamist groups that follow ideological convictions that women's bodies are disgraceful," Mohammadi said.
Conservative-leaning women want to enjoy the beach in privacy away from prying eyes, but opponents say it's a slippery slope for more gender segregation
     Private women's beaches are common in the Middle East [Getty]
He also said that the ladies beaches could lead to other public spaces being gender segregated such as parks.
In Morocco, attitudes towards women's bodies are conservative, which can put women who are deemed to be scantily dressed at risk of harassment.
Last year, two women who walked through a market wearing dresses faced charges of "gross indecency" - they were eventually cleared of the charges.
Local media reported this week that police were investigating a Facebook group posting images of women in bikinis in a bid to make them "turn to God".
"Watch out, young Moroccan women, we have eyes that are filming you on the beaches and we will show your photos to prevent the deterioration of the country," the group said.
Private beaches with areas allocated for women are common around the Middle East; however, they are usually expensive, making them inaccessible to the majority of the population.
In February, the United Arab Emirates dedicated a stretch of the coastline for women to sunbathe and enjoy the beach in privacy.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Union Women's Lounge, Michigan State?

Union Women's Lounge (2015)

Union Women's Lounge

Location: University of Michigan, Flint, Michigan, USA

Opened: 1925

Closed: Not yet, but endangered

With the explosion in campus rapes, assaults, etc., you'd think a male faculty member might have other serious matters to worry about. What could be more benign than a quiet little ol' study space? But you would be wrong. Ending womyn's space of any kind is a very important priority for the MRAs.

Should Michigan State have a women-only study lounge?

University of Michigan-Flint prof challenging space in student union

Should Michigan State have a designated space in its student union for only women to study?
Mark Perry, an economic professor at the University of Michigan-Flint, is challenging the designation, according to a story in The Daily Caller. Perry says the space "blatantly discriminates against men." He filed a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
While Perry isn't optimistic about the complaint, The Daily Caller reports MSU plans to renovate the Women's Lounge in the union into a lactation space and study space for men and women.
The Union Women's Lounge opened in 1925, according to the State News. It's been repeatedly challenged in recent years. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ladies Restroom?

Great post on the history of the increasingly endangered ladies restroom by Jan Whittaker at her blog, Restaurant-ing through History.

Ladies’ restrooms

by victualling
ladiesroomsignPublic restrooms have been in the news lately because of conflict over transgender rights, but I have been wondering about them for quite a while as part of my project to understand how restaurants developed.
We assume that restaurants will have restrooms for their customers today, but when did they become commonplace? And when did restaurants make an effort to specifically accommodate women with separate toilets? I am still not 100% sure about the answers.
Researching the history of sanitary facilities in restaurants has proved to be very difficult, starting with what terms to search for. Even today both “bathroom” and “restroom” are somehow inadequate. Yet restroom is better to capture the historical fact that those restaurants that had facilities for women usually were outfitted with more than toilets and sinks. They also had space – and many still do – where women could take care of little chores such as repairing their hairdos, or simply rest. [restroom shown below, ca. 1920s]
Prior to the 1860s, most public toilets were outdoors, behind saloons and restaurants, and the same was true of private dwellings. Flush toilets were quite rare in the United States until the 1880s, according to Suellen Hoy’s 1995 book Chasing Dirt: The American Pursuit of Cleanliness. Outhouses were commonplace  throughout the 19th century and well into the 1930s in homes in rural areas and poor neighborhoods.
The earliest ladies’ restroom I’ve found in a restaurant was in an elegant Chicago hotel. It’s likely that other hotels were similarly equipped, even though hotel bedrooms with private bathrooms were rare.  According to a story in 1864, the Chicago restaurant welcomed women diners and invited them to simply “call in for a rest, without intrusion, or being thought an intruder.” “Every provision has been made for the convenience of ladies,” the story said, “and a toilet-room specially apportioned to their use.” This would have been welcome news to women at a time when public accommodations for them were sorely lacking.
The restaurants that had toilets and restrooms for women seem to have been the more substantial ones that enjoyed prominence in their communities, as was often true of restaurants in leading hotels. So it was surprising to discover that an inexpensive lunch room, Cincinnati’s Alderney Dairy, had a toilet room for women in 1878.
Though still rare, the number of ladies’ rooms in restaurants grew in the 1880s with the spread of indoor plumbing and city sewers. According to a story from 1889, restrooms in fashionable restaurants were “sumptuously furnished” with velvet couches, floor to ceiling mirrors, and marble basins. Perfumes, face powders, rouges, lotions, ivory brushes and combs, as well as hat pins were supplied.
Yet, to put the lavish restroom described above into context, the supply of ladies’ rooms in restaurants and offices was still inadequate in the 1890s. In 1891 a restaurant in Portland ME felt justified to advertise that it had “the finest Ladies’ room east of Boston,” a considerable area. Often tall office buildings were constructed with ladies’ rooms only on the top floor. Even though women were increasingly taking jobs as clerical workers in offices, developers did not want to give up income-earning space to facilities for women on each floor. (Men, on the other hand, were supplied with small closets with a urinal-sink on each floor.)
Although the 1890s is often cited as the decade in which indoor plumbing took huge leaps, it is notable that restaurants continued to advertise ladies’ rest rooms throughout the 1920s [above advertisement, 1930], indicating that it had not yet become something that could be taken for granted despite the increase in women going to restaurants.