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'There Goes the Gayborhood' author heading back to Boystown

Aug. 28, 2014 - , The man behind the work causing a stir in Boystown is headed back to Chicago, this time to talk about his book "There Goes the Gayborhood" during a release party and signing at Unabridged Bookstore.

Amin Ghaziani, a suburban Chicago native and associate professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia, will speak on Friday from 7-8 p.m. at Unabridged Bookstore, located at 3251 N. Broadway St.

"There Goes the Gayborhood" looks at things like census data, public opinion polls and interviews about Boystown from 1970 to 2010. His consensus? Gays are leaving neighborhoods like Boystown and Andersonville, and he plans to talk about it at his book party.

"Existing visible gay neighborhoods like Boystown or The Castro (in San Francisco) are in fact deconcentrating," Ghaziani told the Chicago Tribune in early August. "Fewer same-sex households lived in them in 2010 than in 2000. If we stop the conversation there, we might be tempted to conclude that gayborhoods are in danger of disappearing. If people move out, where do they go next?"

Lakeview officials like Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), Northalsted Business Alliance President Ramesh Ariyanayakam and East Lakeview Chamber of Commerce Director Maureen Martino, however, say the "gayborhood" is here to stay.

All three told ChicagoPride.com that recent advances in LGBT equal rights movements make the neighborhood more inclusive. While the feeling of needing to live in a "gayborhood" is shifting, Boystown is stronger than ever.

"Boystown is welcoming to everyone and we have worked to sustain our neighborhood in terms of LGBT history and identity by creating the new LGBT-friendly senior housing at our former 23rd District Police station and the Center on Halsted, the Midwest's largest LGBT community center," Tunney said. "This year Boystown was voted 'The World's Best Gay Neighborhood' by Out Traveler Magazine, and has continued to solidify its reputation as a world class LGBT entertainment area."

"The LBGT owned businesses, the Center on Halsted, the new LGBT senior development, Pride Parade, Pride Fest, Market Days and more certainly counter the notion of a 'less' gay neighborhood," Ariyanayakam said. "Out Traveler's award naming Boystown the world's best gayborhood, supports the idea the area is still highly relevant and important for the LGBT community at large. The fact that many LGBT businesses and individuals own property that they live and/or conduct business in leaves us in good standing that this is a 'gayborhood' that is here to stay."

The event with Ghaziani at Unabridged Bookstore is open to the public. Those interested in purchasing the book can do so on the Boystown bookstore's website or Amazon.com. 

Related: Boystown officials respond to reports of diminishing 'gayborhood'

Tattoo removal in high demand
Aug. 27, 2014 - , It is estimated that over 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo. How many of those 45 million people regret that decision? About half of them - and contrary to what your parents told you, tattoos do not have to be permanent. In fact, tattoo removal programs and shops are popping up across the nation.

Take Vamoose Tattoo Removal, Chicago's only exclusive tattoo removal shop, which opened their first location in Bucktown, a neighborhood well known for heavily inked bodies. Despite opening their doors only a year ago, the shop's success has led them to open a second location in Lincoln Square.

"We want to thank Chicagoland for making our first year of delivering safe, effective and affordable laser tattoo removal a resounding success," said Howard Bennett MD, co-owner and medical director. "With the grand opening of our second location in the Lincoln Square- North Center neighborhood, we will continue to provide tattoo removal in a comfortable, relaxing, and non-judgmental environment." Dr. Bennett and co-owner, Marc Falleroni MD, opened their shop to give people an affordable option where they don't' feel like they are being judged for their past decisions. "As anesthesiologists, Dr. Bennett and I bring our 'culture of safety' to laser tattoo removal as well as our expertise in pain prevention," said Falleroni.

Even seriously inked tattoo enthusiasts are fans of Chicago's newest addition to the tattoo community. "We are proud that we've been welcomed into Chicago's vibrant tattoo community as we've become the exclusive tattoo removal provider for many of Chicago's top tattoo shops," Bennett said. Using state-of-the-art FDA-approved multi-wavelength Quanta Q+C lasers, Monica Kecki and Patti Gawel, certified laser tattoo removal specialists, are able to completely remove or simply lighten all tattoo ink colors. Vamoose Tattoo Removal works with many clients and their artists to provide tattoo lightening prior to a cover-up. Often, just a few laser sessions enables the tattoo coverup result to be more satisfying for both the client and the tattoo artist.

Both locations offer free consultations prior to any tattoo removal or lightening service. The consultation allows Vamoose's Tattoo Removal experts to review pertinent medical history, evaluate the tattoo, and discuss the tattoo removal process in detail. To celebrate the grand opening of their second location, Vamoose Tattoo Removal is offering 50% off the first tattoo removal session thru July 30 at both locations.

Vamoose Tattoo Removal's newest location, located at 4347 N. Lincoln Ave in Chicago, is open Monday and Fridays 11am-7pm, Tuesdays and Thursday 10am – 5pm, and Saturdays 9am – 5pm. The Bucktown location is located at 1864 Damen Ave and is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10am to 5pm, Thursday 11am to 8 pm, Friday 11am to 7pm, and Saturday 9am to 6 pm. For more information about Vamoose Tattoo Removal, please visit their website at http://gopride.com/Zatp.

Team behind Hydrate and Halsted's takes over Whiskey Trust and Chloe's
Aug. 21, 2014 - , The management team behind the successful Boystown bars Hydrate, Elixir, Replay and Halsted's will assume the operation and management of Whiskey Trust and Chloe's Nightclub, the group told ChicagoPride.com Tuesday.

Located at 3200 N. Halsted, the two new businesses opened just two months ago. The new management team says they could be making changes as early as this week.  

"Our team looks forward to revealing changes to this space in the coming months that will further enhance Halsted Street," said Mark Liberson, President of LKH Management. "I am excited we are making this investment into further solidifying Boystown as the world's best LGBT neighborhood in the world."

Opened on June 19, Whiskey Trust and Chloe's replaced Spin Nightclub after its abrupt closure in late May. Spin was opened over 15 years ago by David Gassman.

"I am incredibly excited to have LKH Management as a partner, providing their experience and knowledge to operate the venues," Whiskey Trust and Chloe's owner Jason Zilberbrand said in a released statement.

The 11,000-square-foot space at the corner of Belmont and Halsted, which was renovated by Zilderbrand in May, is currently divided into a whiskey distillery and eatery on the south side, with a nightclub on the north. The property also includes a 2,000-square-foot outdoor space used as a 150-seat garden.

The team at LKH Management is already working to create the future vision for the space. ChicagoPride.com learned renovations will begin over the next couple weeks with new special events set to start next week.

"This is an iconic space that deserves special consideration. We are planning to build upon its history, incorporate all that Jason has added to the space, and then build upon these elements," said Sean Kotwa, Managing Partner of LKH Management. "We cannot wait to be able to share everything we are planning with the community when we launch the first concept in September. Until then we will be adding elements to provide the community many reasons to come enjoy both the Whiskey Trust and Chloe's space throughout the week."

In addition, guests will soon be able to earn and redeem points in the LKH Management rewards program at all six of their entertainment concepts -- Hydrate Nightclub, Elixir Lounge, Replay Beer & Bourbon, and Halsted's Bar and Grill.  

Liberson opened Hydrate in 2003, with the popular nightclub undergoing a major renovation in January of this year. Halsted's opened in 2007, followed by Elixir in 2011. Liberson's most-recent project was Replay, a craft beer and bourbon bar meets retro arcade, which replaced Buck's Saloon in 2013.  

LKH Management promises additional announcements in the near future as their staff is "working hard to bring even more entertainment options to the vibrant Boystown landscape this year and into the future."

Related: Boystown officials respond to reports of diminishing 'gayborhood'

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