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by Joseph V. Amodio
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Whatever your style, from romantic to raunchy, the city’s got you covered when it comes to gay nightlife options. After a day of sightseeing, start off the night with a cocktail or espresso at Dacksy, a friendly lounge with sugar cube seats in the back and neon blue lighting for a sleek, mod look. Punto BCN is another popular hangout that gets jam-packed on weekends, while the Bacon Bear Bar holds fun theme nights. Or mingle with the diverse crowd (white collar to wild boyz) at Café Dietrich. They host drag strip shows, and on some nights you’ll score a free pass to Metro when you buy a drink.

Metro, a popular gay disco, offers two dance floors and a back room. The crowd skews slightly older, and you might even catch male couples dancing the traditional Sevillana. Bikini, a straight club, hosts “Tuesday is Tuesgay” underwear parties (Snap up party-ready underwear—plus swimwear, denim, and slick tees bedazzled with Swarovski crystals—at ES4U, a shop in Eixample).

You’ll find a mixed crowd drinking and dancing (and lots of young heteros sucking face) at Otto & Zutz, which boasts two levels and three dance floors for the masses, plus a third-floor private room for VIPs and the elderly (that is, anyone over age 25).

Options for lesbians are fewer but no less festive. The Arena folks have several clubs across the city, including Aire/Sala Diana, a mainstay on the lesbian scene for years. Women of all ages mix and mingle round the spacious dance floor and friendly bar. Kiut Disco is open Thursday through Sunday nights, and the new club, Whip, offers electro/house on one dance floor, Spanish charts and oldies on another.

Barcelona’s party-all-night mantra is a blast, though it takes getting used to even for a night owl like myself. On a Saturday night I squeeze in dinner, then drinks at two bars before rushing over to arguably the city’s hottest dance scene, Salvation. The doormen here are gruff and selective, but the buff bartenders pour a nice drink. Both dance floors are packed, one throbbing with house music, the other with disco and chochi (Spanish trashpop). The crowd is young, trendy, and going till dawn.

At 5 A.M., or so, I’m back on the street, lost again in the Gothic. I follow a trickle of college students who seem to know where they’re going. Sure enough, I’m soon back on Las Ramblas, and from here I know the way.

It’s been said that the famed, gay, Spanish writer Federico García Lorca, who was killed by pro-Franco militants in 1936, was a fan of this boulevard, calling it “the only street in the world I wish would never end.” It’s easy to see why. Even at night the strip seems to glow. The boulevard is broken up into sections: La Rambla de Santa Monica, La Rambla de Sant Josep (where you’ll spot a Joan Miró mosaic on the pavement), and so on. At the top, near the Casanova, it’s called La Rambla de Canaletas, named for the old Canaletas fountain located in the plaza. Legend has it that those who drink from the fountain will always return to Barcelona.

Hmmm, I think to myself, as I turn toward my hotel. Then stop. Then double back. After all, it couldn’t hurt to take a sip.

[Published: August, 2008]

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