Tag Archives: combat zone

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 […]

THE SMELL OF MOONSHINE by Peter Nolan Smith

Back in the late 50s my Irish grandmother took my older brother and me for a monthly visit to downtown Boston. We left her house in Jamaica Plains and rode the trolley into Boylston Street. The El from Forest Hills to Washington Street was quicker, but Nana preferred the trolley. My late grandfather had driven […]

THE TASTE OF SOUR GRAPES by Peter Nolan Smith

Thailand is about twenty-one hours away from the United States. Most Americans only have two weeks annual holiday and few of my friends or family traveled to the Orient, but in the summer of 2001 my dear cousin Bish was eager to visit the Last Babylon and I took the bus up to meet Bish. […]