I’ve lived in Silver Lake for close to thirty years. The gay scene in Silver Lake (which was Silverlake back then, incidentally) was devastated by AIDS. It never recovered. Silver Lake’s gay scene was very leather, and that scene was hit particularly hard. The survivors began moving out, selling their homes, leaving town. Too many sad memories. Straights filled the void.
Silver Lake had the most wonderful estate sales back then. You’d pick through the stuff, get great deals, and head back out to your cars feeling vaguely guilty. Weird time.
When AIDS first hit Silver Lake it was scary. The dying were everywhere, the dead not there at all. Lost a lot of friends. Soon it seemed we had no gay friends left. They’d all vanished…moved, died, or just stopped going out.
I miss those days. I miss the gay bars, the ones we could go in, the ones we couldn’t. I miss the gay hamburger joint and gay coffee shops and gay steak houses. I miss the gay newspapers. I miss the leather guys in their chaps buying crisco at the corner markets. Good times. Even for a soooo straight couple.
Btw, in the sixties Silver Lake was a hippie haven. By the punk rock 80′s when we moved in there were a few of them left. They’d go one about the old days and wonder where everybody went.
Now us old punk rockers wonder the same thing.
Cities change. All you can do is watch and remember.