Friday, August 1, 2008

Vancouver Pride 2008: Davie Street party, full bars, cool weather

The Davie Street Party, also billed as Koodos Big Night Out, is in full swing until 12am, along Davie Street between Burrard and Bute. Admission is free, but if you want to leave and re-enter the event it will cost you $5 for a re-entry bracelet.

All the bars are starting to fill, including Pumpjack, Score, The Majestic, and Fountainhead Pub. Dance clubs like Celebrities and Odyssey will get going around 11pm or midnight. I'm on the guest list for the Celebrities bash tonight featuring Kristine W, however I'm leaving my options open as there are lots of things to do and see here this w'end.

The weather is a bit chilly right now, an oddity for the first weekend of August. I'm told that it may clear up on Sunday for the Pride Parade, but pack a sweater or a coat just in case it doesn't. The parade starts at noon, on the corner of Robson and Thurlow.

A great place to watch the parade is at a pub club named The Calling, right on the corner of Davie and Denman. For $20, you get a prime spot inside a cool pub and not have to stand out on the street. I'll blog more on The Calling tomorrow.

If you're headed to Vancouver tomorrow, travel safely. My list of suggested hotels are Opus, Metropolitan, Pacific Palisades, Moda, Blue Horizon, Sandman Suites, Marriott Pinnacle, Sheraton Wall Centre, and Westin Grand.

Restaurants you gotta try are Cactus Club Cafe (Burrard and Dunmuir location), The Italian Kitchen, The Elbow Room (gay-owned), The Calling, Beyond at Century Plaza, Davie Village Cafe (gay-owned, part of the Davie Village Central), Ho-Ho's, and Raincity Grill. If on a tight budget, there are plenty of fast food choices available, including many great felafel and donnair counters, burger stands, crepe shops, and cafes.

Lastly, I'm staying at the Metropolitan Hotel in downtown Vancouver. As my friend (a fellow journalist from Austin) and I returned from dinner we saw a gay couple checking in at the front counter, and I noticed a very hot gay couple in the 3rd level pool earlier. This hotel has a lap pool, Jacuzzi-hot tub, squash court, fitness room, business center, complimentary morning newspaper, in-room tea and coffee service, and evening turn-down service. The best thing about the Metropolitan Hotel is that the main floor restaurant-lounge is called Diva. Plus, if available you can to be driven to your dinner or entertainment appointment in the hotel's own navy blue Jaguar. It's a wonderful hotel, and close to everything.

More on Vancouver Pride 2008 on the way.

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