Once upon a time, I was preparing to write a paper I ran across something interesting—but I didn’t write it down. Later, when I realized I needed it, I was complaining about having to go back to the library to find the book, find the quote, and record the information that I should have recorded the first time around.

The professor, after listening to me whine, told me, “There’s a reason it’s called research and not search.”

So with that in mind, I’ve been doing some (re)search the past couple of weeks in preparation for my visit to Pittsburgh.

I’ve been (re)watching Queer As Folk.

Over the last year or so I’ve picked up seasons 1, 2, and 3, of the American version while living in Germany. (And for those thinking Christmas, please don’t buy seasons 4 or 5 for me—I specifically want to buy them in Germany so that I can get the translated German edition; copies for sale in the US will lack this, and copies in other European countries may not have German included.) Watching QAF is a trip down memory lane—and oddly, I really only saw the first three seasons, I never got more than an episode or two into the fourth season, while completely missing the fifth.

Supposedly the show is set in Pittsburgh, which is why I am watching it. This Pittsburgh has bars with multiple bathhouses, backrooms (dark backrooms), and the Liberty Avenue Diner. As far as I can tell, there’s one bathhouse (Club Pittsburgh—free locker this Tuesday—November 4th—if you show your voter’s stub), the backrooms are … well, in the words of a Wikipedia writer:

The lack of the realism of the setting has also been criticized, since the program depicts the gay scene in Pittsburgh as much more urbane and arguably sophisticated than it actually is, resembling a scene more likely found in more cosmopolitan cities like Chicago, Miami, Montreal, or San Francisco.

Can you say “Ouch”?!

Now one thing that is real is Liberty Avenue: it exists—although the one in Pittsburgh never actually appeared in the show. The Liberty Avenue Diner—it doesn’t exist at all.

Maybe this trip is to the wrong city—maybe I should be visiting Toronto.

5 comments to (Re)search

  • IUMike

    A few years ago I was in Pittsburgh and a friendly guy I met there took me to some of the bars. It’s nothing like the TV show (which is actually Toronto), but it has a reasonably active gay scene for its size.

  • I love QAF since I had this huge crush on this guy playing Michael. He is absolutely adorable.

  • @Charles – Gee, you’d love me. I was often told I look a lot like Michael. 😉

    @TQE – Enjoy your trip to Torpittsontoburgh.

  • jen

    i’m embarassed to say i’ve never seen QAF. i love hal sparks, so i should probably netflix it.

    have you ever been to the warhol museum in pburg? it’s a must see.

  • @IUMIke: I might get out and see the city, but the nights I am there are not typical clubbing nights, and the first night or two I will be jet lagged.

    @Charles: I never thought that Hal Sparks was anything but adorable… but I never had a crush on him.

    @CQ: Really?! Michael?! / Thanks!

    @Jen: It’s ok–not great by any stretch. Thanks for the warhol tip. I’ve never actually been in Pittsburgh before!