Tag Archives: boston

SHADOWS OF THE COMBAT ZONE by Peter Nolan Smith

In the late 60s lower Washington Street was anointed Boston’s Combat Zone for sex and sin. Working-class drinking dives became go-go bars named the Naked I and Two O’Clock Lounge. Gay clubs like Jacques and The Other End flourished freely in the alleys. Porno theaters openly screened XXX-rated to enthralled men and the cops ceased […]

Closing The Go Go Bars

I liked old go-go bars. My first was the 2 O’Clock Lounge in Boston’s Combat Zone. 1971. Drums, bass organ, sax, stripper. Paradise. I hate gentlemen clubs. They have no class, but class went dead in the beginning of the 21st Century, except for those who never gave up the dead.

Combat Zone Amnesia

In the 60s urban social scientists suggested to Boston officials that the city create an adult entertainment area between the bus station on Boylston Street and Chinatown to contain the wickedness of mankind. The experiment green-lighted prostitution, drag queens, piano bars, go-go bars, rent boys, and pornography along Washington Street and the adjacent blocks. The […]

El Phoenix Bar – Boston

My friend Jorge posted this photo and I thought ‘pink elephant’. Only one place had one and it was in Brighton, Mass. In college I drank in Concannon and Sennetts’, a Commonwealth Avenue establishment with a mural of a naked woman riding a pink elephant over the bar. The dive offered draft ‘ganseets at 25 […]

The That That Was

I left my native Boston for New York at the age of 24. Much of my life has been spent overseas in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. When I returned to the States in 2008, friends asked, “Don’t you miss anything about the United States?” “I miss Warmuth’s Restaurant and Hi-Hat Lounge in Boston, the […]