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Jim Winsor’s Out & About: The 2012 nightlife year in review

Happy New Year everyone!

Now that 2012 is in the books, I thought it might be a good idea to reflect, take a look back and count down the Top 5 most popular Out & About columns from last year, based on the number of Internet “hits” they got. Starting with …

Number 5: “Huge gay guide to Halloween happenings”

My annual comprehensive guide to all Halloween events in Hillcrest published on October 25 came in fifth place this year. In fact, all of my holiday “guide” columns tend to do very well, so, I will definitely continue produce these sorts of useful columns for you all in 2013.

Number 4: “White Party Palm Springs is this weekend!”

The fourth most popular column on the list was my preview of last year’s White Party Weekend in Palm Springs, which appeared on April 5. Happily, SDPIX and SDGLN are once again media sponsors of this event, the largest gay dance music festival in North America, so you can look forward to more coverage of it here from me in coming weeks.

Number 3: “Mr. San Diego Eagle, Presidents Day, Mardi Gras Weekend”

Last year, Presidents Day and Mardi Gras fell on the same week, and that combined with the big Mr. San Diego Eagle leather contest happening as well made for a very eventful and popular column on February 16, which ended up ranking third on this list.

Number 2: “The allure of the Allure”

The second most widely read Out & About column of 2012 was my recap of last year’s big Atlantis Allure Caribbean Cruise, back on February 8. This story actually got a bit of national attention and readership, due to a sad incident in which one of the passengers fell overboard during the cruise and was lost.

Initially, there had been some ill-informed speculation, on certain blogs and elsewhere, that the ship had callously sailed away, and the boys just kept on partying, as if the tragedy never occurred. The reality was quite different. As my column indicated, the ship stopped and made an extensive search, and everyone on board, from passengers to crew, was very shaken by the turn of events. I was very satisfied at being able to correct the record on that score.

Number 1: “CityFest festivities this Sunday”

But far and away my MOST popular column, by a HUGE margin, was my August 9 preview of CityFest. And a few other miscellaneous matters.

Normally, I wouldn’t expect a column featuring CityFest as the lead item to be something all that exciting, but for some reason there was explosive interest in this one. The “hits” on this column easily exceeded those of all the other columns on this Top 5 list combined.

And the funny thing is, most of this flood of traffic happened AFTER CityFest and the other previewed event occurred … perhaps people were drawn solely to the lyric quality of my prose? Well, if that’s the case all I can say is that I’m extremely gratified that people found it so stimulating, and I’ll try and keep up the good work!

Notable victories

2012 was also the year when two major projects supported here came to fruition: 1) The fundraising for and construction of the Hillcrest Pride Flag; and 2) The end of the once-a-year midnight towing nightmare in Hillcrest.

It’s still somewhat surprising, even in hindsight, that both these obviously laudable goals faced attention-seeking opposition from a tiny band of obstructionists within our own community. But not that I’m complaining; in the end, their defeats only made our victories all the more sweeter.

Photography stats for 2012

2012 was another big year for us at SDPIX. I, along with fellow photographers Gabriel Sotomayor, Cali Griebel and Josh Baker, shot (and edited) a grand total of 18,969 photos at 297 events.

Although this sounds like an incredible amount of photos, this is actually down a bit from 2011, in which we took 23,997 photos at 333 events. This is due, I think, to an increased focus on quality over quantity. Speaking for both myself and the rest of the SDPIX team, we look forward to continuing to historically document the community via our photography in 2013.

This week’s events

This being the weekend after New Year’s Eve, we have a bit of a lull ahead of us, event-wise. I'd say your best bets for going out this week would be Shaun Flak’s M.A.N. Party at Bourbon Street this Friday, and BearNight at Numbers this Saturday with DJ Jon Williams and guest DJ Tracy McKenzie from Nashville.

Last week’s events

Be sure to check out SDPIX for all the final albums from last year, including photos from Rich’s, Brass Rail, #1 Fifth Avenue, Flicks and 1202. Happy viewing!