Old Compton Street At Night

Late at night in London’s gay heart, Old Compton Street, I have a change of heart about the place.

So, I have just told you how having an American in London with me has made me see London in a new light. Once again, I love it. Last night we went to dinner again (with some other people this time) on Old Compton Street. Sometimes, I have a problem with Old Compton Street and I am not sure why. As a gay man I should be able to celebrate the area for the visibility and safety that it brings London’s gay community. My problem is that I find I am not a scene-loving gay man and so I am, generally, made to feel alienated by the people there. I also feel slightly wary of taking straight friends to Old Compton Street in case they feel I am either trying to make some kind of point or that I am, somehow, testing their acceptance of me. All of the above is, of course, personal paranoia and my own insecurities which a therapist, of some sorts, would take lots of money off me to talk about. Instead, I blog it.

Anyway, back to the point. We were on Old Compton Street. It was late-ish (for me, not for Old Compton Street) and the place was alive. It being a Tuesday night I suspect that the worst aspects of the weekend drinking crowd were not to be seen which made it a pleasant, friendly place to be. It was a wonderful feeling to walk out of a restaurant into a heaving mass of happy people. It was cool, but not cold, and (as OCS Queens will) people were sitting at tables outside. Maybe I should be less judgemental about Old Compton Street. The mood was relaxed and fun; people were smiling and chatting and even the music drifting onto the street seemed appropriate and not excessive.

I seem to be painting a picture of a pack of hysterical, laughing people. Of course, it was not like that. It was just that the mood was great, people seemed relaxed and it made me feel positive about life when so much of this city has been making me feel depressed of late. Isn’t life sweet?