December 18th, 2007

1950s/60s gay bars in DC

Hello and howdy-do!

I'm working on a Cold War pulp thriller-type of story, and one of the key characters is a gay government employee. I'm looking to put a scene in a bar sometime between 1950 and 1965 (even if it was only open for a year or two in there), and ideally this bar would be a gay bar, or at least a bar known to be frequented by "confirmed bachelors". Anywhere in the DC metropolitan area (such as it was 50-60 years ago) is peachy keen. Did such a bar even exist? Names are super-duper, generic locations are even better.

Any information on what the place would look like, what he'd have to do to get inside (I'm assuming they wouldn't just let every cop in DC stumble in--there would be a password or doorman or secret entrance or...?), the etiquette of the club (who can touch who where, whether or not you'd dance on the bar, what sorts of drinks you'd be able to order without getting laughed out of the joint, etc.), and what hours the place would be open would be a huge bonus.

Japanese Birth/Pregnancy gifts, traditions and folklore

*sigh* I think I ask a question at least once a month.

I googled "japanese birth traditions," "Japan birth folklore/superstition," "Japan pregnancy traditions," "Japan pregnancy", "traditional pregnancy gifts japan" and related terms and found a few useful links. I am looking for any information on the following:

1. Do the Japanese have some superstition regarding announcing pregnancy? Is there a specific month where it's OK to say, "I'm pregnant?" 

2. Is it OK to give gifts to the expectant mother? My understanding is that traditionally, gift-giving before the birth is unusual, as most wait until the child is born . If it's OK to give gifts, what gift items would be appropriate? 

3. What are the traditional 'cautions' a pregnant woman has to take -- foods she should eat or avoid, jobs or actions she should or shouldn't do, clothes, etc.? I understand there is some significance attached to the 5th month of pregnancy, although the searches I turned up pointed me to women using "iwata-obi".

Timeline is anywhere from modern to ancient/past tradtions and practices. :)

Thank you so much in advance!