Last night I attended an annual fundraiser for NLGJA and had a lot of fun. I'm usually not very much into those kinds of events, but I knew so many people, and met so many other interesting people, it was very cool.
The thing I came away from the evening with was how gay people are all, at the end of the day, in the same boat. We may criticize each other and bite at each other sometimes, but at the end of the day most of us are just trying, in our own way, to make the world a better place for ourselves, our friends, and the young gay kids who have yet to feel homophobia. It's something I will have to keep reminding myself.
After dinner on Saturday night Dan and I headed to the Roxy to see if there was any chance a line had not yet formed (we live a whopping five-minute walk from there). We got there at 10:05; no such luck. It was the gay dance club's last night, and the gays had come out in droves. the line ran the length of 18th Street, sometimes five people deep, rounded the corner, and headed up West Side Highway. We stayed for 15 minutes and left our friends in the drizzle, having advanced a whopping one foot per minute.
I'm glad we didn't go, after reading this article in the New York Times. I've been to the Roxy before, and I figured it would just be more of the same. It sounds like it was. It's fun to be sure, and we would have stayed if the wait wasn't going to be 90 minutes to pay $40 to get in. It just wasn't worth that investment to me.
This isn't remotely why we didn't go, but I was particularly disheartened (though not surprised) to read promoter John Blair's comments on how they invite people to the Roxy, and what they charge people:
Mr. Blair, who had owned gay health clubs, explained the coding
system that he and his business partners devised for the Roxy’s loyalty
cards and mailing lists. “We rated everybody on a scale from 1 to 4
based on how they looked,” he said. They kept the rankings in a
database, so that for certain events they could direct their
invitations to a specific mix of loyal customers and trophy guests.
“We gave out very few 1s — that’s the worst-looking, or for straight
people,” he said. “Then, most people got 2s; if they’re pretty, they
got a 3. Four is for people we have to let in free — either they’re
really hot or they’re a friend of mine or somehow important in the club
If that's the attitude that ran the club, I'm glad it's gone.
I love hot chocolate. Heck, I love chocolate; But hot chocolate brings with it so many wonderful feelings and memories of sledding on a snow day and getting out from the cold at my parents' cabin in Maine. As a kid, we always had pretty crappy hot chocolate made from a powdery sugary mix from Swiss Miss. In the last year, however, I have discovered hot chocolate made in a way that has renewed my love affair with it.
It came last winter when I was watching Martha Stewart make hot chocolate with real chocolate (recipe). I tried it out on our trip to Aspen last January and it was divine. I haven't made it yet this year, but I rediscovered The City Bakery's hot chocolate (above) that, at $5 (with an extra marshmallow), is the best I've ever had from a store. And I just discovered that in February of last year, The City Bakery had a hot chocolate festival, with a different flavor every day (pray it returns this year!).
A side note: Avoid Starbucks' hot chocolate. While their coffee is strong in flavor, their hot chocolate is little more than a chocolate syrup warmed up with hot milk.
New York magazine did a review of the city's best hot chocolate, which you can find here.
For the first time while living in New York, I missed the wonderful Toys For Tots party. But it was with good reason. My team in the New York Gay Football League made it to the quarterfinals. In our conference, we are the 2-seed, and we played the 3-seed, whom we had beaten by two touchdowns just two weeks ago. This game was very different, but we managed to pull out a 2-point win, 32-30.
I threw four TD passes and ran for one more. But I also threw the worst interception I've thrown all season. I throw with receivers gloves (sounds crazy, but I make it work, and I'm glad I do in this cold weather). Every once in a while the ball gets "stuck" in the glove. Well, the ball came out about 1/10th of a second after it was supposed to - and went right into the waiting hands of the cornerback.
I heard the party was a great success. It always is. My bf said it started a little slow (doesn't every party), but it picked up.
Last night was a better-than-I-expected discussion on the 2006
election at the New School. It was, predictably, incredibly slanted, but there were some very
smart people on that stage, and I enjoyed the discussion and the conversations that
spilled out into the post-talk reception.
One of the discouraging things to me about events like this
is the constant referral to Democrats as "we." When I saw that the
title of the program was "Victory 2006," despite the fact that seven
states passed Constitutional Amendments banning same-sex marriage, I knew I was
going to get another ear load of it. There is this callous misunderstanding
among so many gay Democrats that every gay person bleeds as blue as they do. Of course, these are the same people who insist that we refer to our
"community" as "Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning,
intersex," making sure that everyone feels represented. But I don't feel
represented by all of these gay political leaders who insist on pretending that
gay Republicans are rare people who have simply lost their way.
Unfortunately, I may not be able to attend this year, as my football league's second round of playoffs are at the same time as the party. And whether I'm playing or reffing, I'm sure I wouldn't be welcome with open arms in a football jersey covered in mud. I'll be sending along a football for the kids nonetheless. Afterall, that's what it's about, right? Right?
The Log Cabin Republicans of New York are having a holiday party on Wednesday, Dec. 6, to celebrate the end of what many Republicans might call a brutal year. There will be an open bar, some hot guys, and no speeches!
In reality, LCR should be one of the groups of Republicans to look at 2006 as a positive turning point. The electorate sent some of LCR's most conservative opponents packing, and many Republicans are now looking at an even more inclusive, more centrist front for the GOP in the coming months and years.
I designed this invitation, and I'm actually quite proud of it. LCR, along with most Republicans, suffer from a stodgy image. That image doesn't help with young people, and it doesn't help with gay men. I like this invitation because it's a little sexy without being sexual; And being sexy is simply not a bad thing.
Whether you're a Republican, a Democrat, or none of the above, come out to Opus 22 (22nd & 12th) on Wednesday, Dec. 6. It's open bar from 8-10pm. No speeches, no solicitation - just a good time to celebrate this wonderful time of year. You can RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, but it's not necessary.
Last Sunday I skipped the NFL's afternoon games to head to VIP Club, New York's newest strip club. On Sundays, they kick the chicks and the straight guys out and it's all Mens Mens Mens!
It's Manhattan's return of male strippers since the Gaiety closed down last year.
I love me some hot naked men, as much as any gay man. But it's only been the strip club I went to in D.C. two years ago that really got me going. They had several men stripping at various spots in the bar, you could interact with them (though I think touching was out of the question), and best of all, it was like a bar. People were talking to one another, standing around watching what was going on. It was the perfect titillating strip-club experience. Unfortunately, the unofficial gay redlight district is all but extinct.
I'm not a big fan of the strip clubs in Montreal (though Brandon from Stock, left, could get my $20 for a lapdance). I've been a few times now, and I just don't like the format. One guy comes out at a time and dances for five minutes while everyone else sits in their chair, maybe chatting with a friend but interacting with other people very little. The entire focus is what's happening on stage; and if the guy isn't particularly hot or dances like Whitney Houston, you're kind of bored for five minutes.
That's the way VIP Club is - with a stage and one guy coming out at a time. But, it was better. The chairs are all pressed up against the stage, and people were interacting a lot. The strippers really worked the crowd, singling people out. And there was a bar area where people were congregating and talking. Plus, and this is a big bonus over Montreal, the strippers who weren't on stage were all walking amongst the patrons in their underwear or speedos. Very hot.
The big problem with any strip club in Manhattan is that strippers can't take their underwear off if there's alcohol being served. Lame, lame, lame. This city turns its back on drug abuse and public sex, but a stripper on a stage can't show us his goods.
It's the little day-to-day things in life that really get to me. Strangers being kind to one another really makes me smile and feel good. Today, while I was shopping at Nader Food Market at 28th & Fifth, the shop manager kept offering me things to try. I thought it was just a ploy to get me to buy stuff, but he kept doing it as I was leaving and after I'd said I wasn't going to buy anything else. As I was walking out the door, it hit me that he was just being nice to me; and it was the jaded part of me that was assuming he was just trying to sell me more.
Every morning, I take a 20-minute walk to work. Along the way, somehow my mood changes depending on what I encounter. Walking past a heated exchange in the flower district can put me in a bad mood for the rest of the morning; watching a little French bulldog run alongside its owner with a toy in its mouth can make me smile for the rest of the day.
I think a lot of people are like me: They're moved by the little things in life, by stopping to smell the roses. And that's an encouraging thought.