Arts & Culture
Sydneyâ€™s Gayest Neighbourhoods
Pride marches are a dime a dozen in Europe and America, but Sydneyâ€™s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras stands alone like a camp and sexy jewel in the global crown of homo festivals. What began as a 1978 protest has grown so big itâ€™s made Sydney arguably the worldâ€™s top gay destination. Accolades aside, Sydney does a pretty good job of being gay all year round, as the glut of inner city suburbs and its residents are proud to display. Hereâ€™s the top list:
Darlinghurst â€“ Indisputably the kingpin of Sydneyâ€™s gay scene, â€œDarloâ€ is the epicentre of teetering drag, screaming handbag and a healthy dose of dimly lit alternaqueer. Oxford Street (where the parade takes place on March 5) caters for all persuasions (and perversions) with stalwarts The Stonewall, The Oxford and The Colombian hogging the velvet rope limelight. For the best proximity to the Parade and the Party, check out the list of Sydney hotels
Surry Hills â€“ Unflappable urbane to Darlinghurstâ€™s loose insouciance, this hipster enclave sports Sydneyâ€™s greatest concentration of modish bars, restaurants and cafes. Androgyny abounds in â€œSlurryâ€, so throw your preconceived ideas about skinny jeans and asymmetrical haircuts out the window.
Potts Point â€“ More West Village NY than Sydney NSW, this is where faux hawks and Fendi blend seamlessly along the canopied streets of boutiques and bistros. Â Organic markets, champagne bars and cool apartment living are on the moneyed menu here.
Newtown â€“ Once a grungy aorta for Sydneyâ€™s music and performing arts scene, Newtown is now a bolt hole for the more alternative side of the cityâ€™s G&L scene. Think vegan cafes, Pride-themed pet accessories and gastro pub conversions with â€œfoundâ€ furniture.
Erskineville â€“ 15 years ago you may have been the only gay in this inner city village, but in 2011 youâ€™d be fighting to get heard. Here itâ€™s cute cafes, footpath dining and the infamous late opening Imperial Hotel where whole chunks of patronsâ€™ nights go missing. Itâ€™s that fun!
Leichardt â€“ While home to the largest number of Italian restaurants in Sydney, this inner west strip is also home to a thriving lesbian community. The tiramisu, gelato and marinara alone are worth the trip across town.
Bondi â€“ At a glance, this beach suburb is surfers and silicone, but certain gay dating apps will reveal the huge amount of non scene homo activity occurring here. Not to mention the far north end of Â Bondi Beach, nicknamed the â€˜Pansy Patchâ€™, which on Sunday hosts the highest density per square metre of Speedo wearing muscle boys.