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Jim Winsor's Out & About: Wrapping up Pride weekend parties

Another San Diego Pride weekend has come and gone. I hope everyone is recovering well!

There were, by my count, 71 special Pride-themed club and party events last weekend. To get an idea of how successful the weekend was on that score, I asked several of my friends for comments, and here are a few of the thoughts and reflections they had to share:

Jose Oliva: "VIP for [the Friday Pride] block party was WAY worth it. Lines were short, free drinks and food, a gay man's heaven if you ask me. Rich's was EPIC. Not too packed, but perfect. Drinks were stiff! Drama free night. All together AMAZING! ... I forgot to add: VIP block party ran out of mixers and ice, was drinking vodka straight up. Loved it, how often do gays run out of mixers and ice? It was classic."

John Thurston: [Friday Pride] Block Party for its first year had a few organizational issues that people somehow managed to be patient with: Almost 40 minutes in line to wait for first drink, few Porta Potties and long lines, carnies power went out so not much Midway action til generator kicked in, [but] despite the boo boos everyone seemed to love the DJs and HOT ASS Go Go BOYS and GIRLS, open party area, and didn't see one unhappy person all night long! Can't wait for next year!"

Blasius Avi Manullang: "Drunk trannies on the Ferris wheel at the [Friday] block party pride kick off = time of my life."

Peter P Connolly Jr.: "As always, had a blast all weekend! But, if they have another [Pride] block party they need to plan better. I got there at 7:15 and it took me almost 2 hours to get a drink and when I finally ordered, the only mixer they had was OJ and they ran out of ice."

Steve Kliene: "Everyone seemed so happy, which is the main reason I love living here. [Saturday] party at 4th and B, while not perfect, still embodied that feeling. Smiles were everywhere. I have been coming here for the past 11 years for this event.

Paul Davis: "Wow I didn't know anything about 4th and B."

Rob Klaproth: The Zoo Party was amazing. It is the most magical event of PRIDE, there is something about an outdoor party at the Zoo with 4000 of your closest friends that just ends the weekend magically with a bang. The energy was all happy, and everyone had smiles on their faces as DJ Andy Almighty opened up a happy set filled with one tea dance anthem after another, including his mix of the PET SHOP BOYS - Go West. Then Peyton came on stage and showed off his muscles and sang a couple songs. The transition between Andy to Peyton to Wayne G was one of the best I've ever seen at a party, it was almost like the party never stopped. Normally a performer disrupts the flow of the party, but this one flowed very well and Peyton sang his heart out! Of course, when Wayne G came on, in true Zoo Party fashion, he kicked in the harder more driving beats, but it was still happy vocal anthems all around, just most sexy and driving beats. Wayne closed the Zoo party out with some amazing energy, and I've never felt so much positive energy from a crowd before. This could positively be the best Zoo party I've ever experienced!

Ricardo Alvarez: "That doorway at Rich's they open up to the outside is a safety hazard! It doesn't cut it to have that tiny doorway when there's 50 drunk people trying to squeeze in and out at the same time. I saw a girl almost get trampled and people just didn't give a f**k. It was scary. If they want to keep having these big parties they need to make something bigger, more efficient, and less deadly. Imagine if a fire broke out..."

Ryan Michaelsen: "Killer night Rich's on Saturday and DJ Nikno provided a fantastic soundtrack for the night. First time at Zoo Party and am now hooked. Can't for next year!"

And there's still more Pride at Numbers tonight

For those of you out there who can't get enough Pride, well fear not, we have one more event with the word "Pride" in it. Tonight (Thursday) Tagged at Numbers will be hosting a Pride Recovery Party, which I believe will officially make this the last party of Pride 2012. Happy Pride, lets raaage!

Eden is closing

And now for some sad news: Eden is closing.

The funny thing is, I have much the same feelings about this as I did back when Universal closed. It seemed to me in both cases the club wasn't doing all that badly, from what I could see ... I would go to both on a weekend night, and there was always a good crowd there. But I suppose a good crowd wasn't enough for that location; to be profitable, I guess it needed a line around the block every night.

Although, it should be noted that both were saddled with full service restaurants that were clearly not very popular. Eden's was actually closed for months there at the end, meaning they were essentially paying rent for useless square footage. I imagine it would be difficult for any business to turn a profit with that sort of handicap, making me ponder whether the restaurant should be more to blame for the closure than the nightclub.

Like Universal, Eden certainly had its fans and detractors. And like Universal, it certainly needed more fans and less detractors.

And in both cases, I think the clubs suffered from one final element that was a problem of geography and hence not really their fault: they were across the street from Rich's. That proximity led inevitably to some stark comparisons, as Rich's is a shining star in the firmament that amazingly manages to glow brighter and brighter over and over again. For example, you think they'll never outdo their MASSIVE Party ... then along comes Super Beach. Wow, OK, well, they'll never top that, you think ... then along comes WTF. Any dance club across the corner from THAT is going to have difficulty making its mark; sort of like a 100 watt light bulb trying to exist next to the sun.

Anyways, Eden will be open for one final night this Friday, with an "Official Closing Party," featuring music by DJ Dawna Montel, $5 you-call-its and no cover all night.

SDPIX 10-Year Anniversary Celebration: Laser Party at Rich's

Speaking of Rich's, San Diego Pix will be marking its 10-Year Anniversary Celebration on Saturday! And SDPIX will be marking the occasion with a Laser Party ... the first 500 through the door will get a free hand-held laser.

As you all know, SDPIX has grown from just one man taking photos in local bars to become the premier nightlife/entertainment company in San Diego's LGBT community. This could not have happened without you, of course, so our registered SDPIX VIP Members are invited for a complimentary Skyy Vodka bar from 10 to 11 pm.

Additionally, SDPIX VIP Members will receive $5 off cover before 11 pm. Or, customers may text SDPIX to 313131 and show the welcome message to the cashier for the discount.

If you're not currently an SDPIX VIP Member and want to join in the fun and free vodka, no problem! Pre-register here for a free membership, and it will be available for pick-up at Rich's.

Puppy Play at the Eagle

Be sure to check out the Eagle next Thursday, for another monthly installment of Puppy Play. Brandon (Beep) Potter has unleashed Dayton O'Conner as the new host for the night, so it should be interesting! So, come let your dog play in the kennel and remember to B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bowl) to drink from.

Last week's Pride events

For the past 10 years, SDPIX has been the largest repository of photographic history for San Diego Pride weekend, and this year is no exception. Check out all our new 2012 Pride albums here ... Happy viewing!