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Burbank

Rawhide ~ Sunday Line Dancing ~ North Hollywood

11:22 AM PDT on August 31, 2006

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10937 Burbank Blvd. @ Craner Ave. ~ North Hollywood, CA 91601 ~ (818) 760-9798 (TACO Map)

Rather than hit up a movie for more than twice the price, I recommend visiting Rawhide on a lazy Sunday afternoon in North Hollywood. At 3:30PM every Sunday there are country line dance lessons offered. Yes, even on the Sunday when Sunset Junction was going down over in Silver Lake. In addition to dance lessons, with a $5 cover you are given two tickets for free drinks or the option of opening a beer or soda “bust” with said tickets. This means that with an additional $4, you get the unlimited beer or soda of your choice.

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The Texas-twanged bartender then says 'Here ya’ go' and hands you a black Sharpie with a nifty little plastic cup for refills. There are also small green buckets filled with fresh popcorn stationed on top of barrels throughout the bar. These become hot spots for bumping hands with cute boys in farmhand outfits. As for other meeting points, the outdoor patio is a good place for Marlboro Men-type cowboy smokers as well as Marlboro Men fans, too...

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Rawhide, a gay Honky-tonk at Burbank, one block east of Vineland, attracts men in a large age range--late 20s all the way to granddaddies--from anyplace between Pasadena and WeHo. The environment is low key, warm n’ friendly, and gone very West, young men, finally putting the steers and queers in one place. Major emphasis on the boy in cowboy. There were two women in the joint, me included.

Sunday's event provides a comfortable venue in which the fast fucky fucky factor runs low but the eye candy and conversation cruises high. While weekend nightclubs sometime provide a flavor of the x-rated gay life, this Sunday afternoon country line dancing event is the kind of place in which, if the legal drinking age disappeared, you could take preschoolers to, so long as they promised to wash their hands before digging into the popcorn bucket.

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As for the dancing, I confess I could not keep up with the complicated redneck footwork, especially when alternating directions were suddenly thrown my way. Watching was certainly easier and no less fun. I like to watch...

The people who survived the step instructions, along with the more broken-in line dancers, were permitted to perform for the rest of us. The instructor, who also acted as DJ, played American country, Mexican regional, hip-hop, salsa, and pop mixes so the dancers could work their brown boots and wave around those summer straw hats.

The strongest talents were most visible during couples dances when the fellas twirled one another around the center post of the bar and varied two-steps in speed and rhythm. As far as I could tell, the only problem was deciding who would lead. Problem solved? Giddeeup & ride.

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