Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Going to the Dogs

By West Village Bill

Saveur magazine's October issue features a series of essays by 25 writers on their most memorable meal. The one by Rita Mae Brown, which I read on the subway ride home tonight, was so wonderful that I wanted to share a link here. It's about foxhounds, family, and Southern cooking.

The Mystery Of The Red Bees Of Red Hook

The New York Times tells us about hives dripping  red goo in Brooklyn. And I didn't know the owner of Rice was such a "keeper".

(photo by Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times)

"Finding some solution to the maraschino juice bee crisis — to all urban clashes of culture — is part of the project of New York, a wildly creative endeavor in and of itself."

the industrial corners

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Emilia Sings "You're My World"

By West Village Bill

Starting at about one minute and 20 seconds into the trailer for Violet Tendencies that I embedded in my previous post, there are some snippets of a song with the lyrics "Your lips on my lips; your body heat lingers on me" that I was eager to hear more of. It turns out the singer is Emilia Rydberg, or just Emilia for short, and she performed that song, "You're My World," at last year's musical competition that selects Sweden's entry into the Eurovision Song Contest. I think it's lots of fun, with a '60s-girl-group vibe on the chorus.

Here's a more-polished version of the song, without much in the way of visuals:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fred Tomaselli at the Brooklyn Museum

by baad lamb
Prescription pills, marijuana leaves, peyote buttons, mushrooms and other psychotropic plant matter are carefully arranged along with brightly colored magazine and picture book clippings of human body parts, flowers and insects. These form beautiful, super-sized collages of kaleidoscopic shapes emanating from the altered states of human forms or floating out of the heads of intricately and accurately patterned birds, all the while suspended in multiple layers of clear resin, blowtorched to a high-gloss sheen, and delicately accented with hand-painted details of swirling, fiery flourishes.
Last Saturday, I went to the Brooklyn Museum to see the mid-career survey of California native, Brooklyn based painter Fred Tomaselli. I had been eager to see this show since its opening in early October, and I was prepared to like it just based on available reviews and on-line photos. I must stress that nothing on the net can compare to in-person viewing of the multiple levels (literally) in these “paintings”. In fact, they are so much more than paintings, as his x-acto knife, blowtorch and green thumb are all employed in the elaborate productions as often as his paintbrush. His love of birds and music prominently colors this collection, and collection is also literal- so much so that perhaps archive is a better word. Just have a look...
(Lots of pics and Tomaselli's own "how it's done" video after the jump)

Playing By The Rules - By QNY's Justin Crockett Elzie.

By Tony Adams

I started reading QNY blogger Justin Crockett Elzie's new book having already known his story. I worried that this would make it less interesting, less gut-wrenching and less angering. Those fears proved to be unfounded. Playing By The Rules is an exciting and captivating read. Remember the folks sitting on the bench at the bus stop listening to Forrest Gump tell his story? Well that was me, long into the night hours and unwilling to put it aside for sleep.

The sections of Playing By The Rules that describe Justin's years as  a Marine provide, for those of us who have never served, a clear and grim picture of the double living of men and women whose honorable and exemplary service is even more admirable given that they achieve so much while burdened with the millstone of dread that their private lives may be exposed.

The sections of Playing By The Rules that describe Justin's childhood and upbringing constitute an extensive and classic manual for any parents who want to malnourish a gay son from the ground up. Lack of communication, stern and hostile treatment, no gift of self confidence, oppressive religious poisoning and loneliness. In short, all the potent ingredients that can turn a gay boy into a suicide statistic or into an overachiever with a mammoth secret seem to have coalesced in his boyhood home.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

the bridge to hipsterdom

Stuffed or Dressed

Happy Thankgiving.

Anyone watching the new show, "Raising Hope", with the most wonderful Martha Plimpton, will have some insight into my growing up life.  It wasn't fancy.  And most of my "traditions" are centered around going to my grandparents where there was always a hodge-podge of pot-lucked midwestern, lower middle-class fare: green bean casserole, scalloped potatoes, and my beloved mother's mammoth mound of cheese-ball.

But it wasn't until I met my husband and his mishpokhe that I came into some typical turkey and side-dish traditions.  The huz's mum is one of those fabled Jewish mothers who can whip out a meal with only some water, bread, salt, and good motherly guilt.  I've seriously never seen anyone cook as easily or better than Charlotte.

So on this Thanksgiving day, I'm offering up my all-time favorite T-day food: Charlotte's stuffing/dressing recipe.  So simple and good that I dare you not to just eat it out of the pan when it comes out of the oven.  True confession: I make this comfort food throughout the year and eat it out of the pan, over the stove, especially when I'm blue and just totally want to go there with myself.
Recipe after the jump:

Happy Thanksgiving!

By Tony Adams

When I married the Baad Lamb, I married into a family just 13 generations from the Mayflower. They don't do lasagna as a first course on Thanksgiving, but the BL's Nana who is sadly no longer with us made a wonderful Waldorf salad that was anticipated more than the turkey.

In order to provide the BL with the essence of the holiday when he flies into Fort Lauderdale, I have dared to recreate it. I found this recipe which comes with a few dozen helpful comments that suggest or veto various modifications.

The basics are grapes, apples, celery and walnuts dressed in mayo and lemon juice.

The BL's mother and sister were also consulted. They said that Nana always sliced the grapes to get out the seeds. Even though I used seedless grapes, I sliced them anyway to honor the particulars of tradition. The ladies said that Nana used only Delicious apples and only Hellman's mayonnaise. She would sometimes dredge the grapes in egg white and roll them in sugar and place them on the top because some family members wanted to avoid them. Whipped cream was also part of the tradition, but when I tasted the mayo mixture, it was so good that I kept the whipped cream as a topping with the remembered sugared grape and half walnut garnish. If the BL wants to mix in the cream, it is right there on top. I am now officially a DAR!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Two Rivers

This was shot with my phone on November 6th, in Riverbank State Park.  You're looking at New Jersey, the George Washington Bridge, Harlem/Washington Heights, and finally the Westside Highway.  Though you may not know it, you've seen this park, probably several times, if you watch the Law & Order franchise, Damages, or any number of TV shows shot in NYC. 
Riverbank sits atop a sewage treatment plant, and some days the odor is worse than others.  It was pretty strong that day, which might explain why I mostly had the place to myself, despite it being a gorgeous Saturday afternoon.

A Note to New York Archbishop Tim Dolan

By Tony Adams

[Pope Benedict XVI's book Light Of The World, is due for release today. It is a collection of interviews in which the Pope opens the door to condom use in select circumstances, such as male prostitution wherein the prostitute unwraps one out of benevolent concern for his client's health. The following is my open response to our archbishop's comments on the subject in a NY Times interview.] NYT photo by Ruth Fremson.

Dear Archbishop Timothy,
About this subject, you in The New York Times:
"You get the impression that the Holy See or the pope is like Congress and every once in a while says, ‘Oh, let’s change this law,’ ” he said. “We can’t.”
(Did they quote you correctly?)
You will have a tough time selling American Catholics the idea that some key elements of sexual morality such as condom use are beyond change and are not just policies that can be adjusted. Consider our experience: 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Race to Deliver 2010

by baad lamb

A morning walk in the park with coffee and a bagel unexpectedly turns into cheering on runners for the Race to Deliver, the annual fundraiser 4 mile run for God's Love We Deliver, the volunteer charity organization that provides meals to HIV/AIDS patients and others too sick to care for themselves.
Happily, the camera was at the ready...

As I arrived on the scene, between Strawberry Fields and Wagner Cove, the earliest group of finishers had just crossed the finish line about 200 yards from here. 
More video and photos after the jump...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Colin Quinn: Long Story Short

"Colin Quinn: Long Story Short" at the Helen Hayes Theatre, November 15, 2010

Transferring after a relatively successful off-Broadway run earlier this year, Colin Quinn spends a little more than 75 minutes tromping through the history of the world.  Skipping around the globe, his attempt at a sardonic, cynic's view of how we got to where we are boils down to a simple concept.  There are two kinds of people in the world, smart guys and tough guys.  Smart guys best represented by the Greeks, tough guys by the Romans.  The influences of each are omnipresent today, but overall the tough guys generally win.  He summarizes, "We're the descendants of the pricks."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Autumn on the Highline

 This time last year the plantings on the Highline Park were still new enough that Autumn looked a little spindly and bare.  I liked that too; Autumn is supposed to be austere.  But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the lush colorful displays that have taken root in the past year. 
Actually, these photos are already a few weeks old, so things might be looking sparse again now.  But the design and hard work that has gone into this place continues to impress me, and to provide me with occasional relief from my urban claustrophobia. 


New work by artist Robert Richards.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Notes from Underground

"Notes from Underground" presented by Theatre for a New Audience at Jerome Robbins Theatre, November 13, 2010

Adapted from the Dostoevsky novella by actor Bill Camp and director Robert Woodruff, Russian existentialism returns to the New York stage.

In this production, the unnamed Man (Mr. Camp) has withdrawn from society resigning his civil service job after receiving a sizable inheritance.  Torn in a paranoid struggle to accept his mediocrity vs. the noble life for which a man should strive, he confesses his insecurities via webcam alternately whining at his weakness and railing against others.  It starts out like a 19th century Spalding Gray but spins quickly off that track.

Autumn in New York

Our perfect Autumn stroll through Central Park this morning.

Lots more photos (and Ella and Louis!) after the jump.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Financial Firm to Lead Way in Reimbursing LGBT Workers for Benefit Taxes

by Maurice Michaane

Barclays is now the first financial services company in the U.S. to reimburse gay and lesbian employees for federal taxes on health and other benefits provided to domestic partners. Barclays is only covering these costs ($1k+) for same-sex partners, since heterosexual domestic partners have the option to marry, which is recognized at the federal level and thereby waives the federal benefit tax.

Barclays is now one of only three major corporations to be proactive here, the others being Google and Cisco. This is truly a landmark achievement for gay and lesbian employees at Barclays, and I hope the firm's leadership will inspire other corporations to take similar action! I know that this is by no means a substitute in our fight for state and federal recognition of gay marriage, but it does underscore the ways in which corporate allies can foster a fair and inclusive workplace, even when our governments lack the courage or resolve to do so.

Click here for a full story by Bloomberg.

Violet Tendencies

By West Village Bill

Last night, Tony and I caught Violet Tendencies, starring Mindy Cohn as a 40-year-old fruit fly who decides she needs to stop hanging out with her gay BFFs if she's ever going to find a man who loves her pussy too. It's a fun little rom-com that gets some points off for being too predictable. But it offers up a lot of laughs and some hunky eye candy—in particular, Sam Whitten as Riley. And Cohn is delightful as the self-described "oldest living fag hag."

I loved loved loved Cohn as Natalie Green on The Facts of Life growing up, and I kept waiting for one of her gay co-stars to break out with a Mrs. Garrett–like "Girls! Girls!" But that wink to the audience never happened. *sigh* Violet Tendencies has been extended through Nov. 18 at Quad Cinema.

Deficit Commission Co-Chair Report

by Maurice Michaane

How the Deficit Commission Proposal Will Change Your Life

All in all, the proposals by the Co-Chair's would touch almost every facet of American life including, education, home ownership, charitable giving, seniors, and the business world. As it stands, I think this report is DOA (14 of the 18 Deficit Commission Members must approve the report for formal consideration by Congress). Even though the report calls for lowering tax rates and simplifying the code, the third rail issues of American politics are too sacrosanct and will overshadow any good that might be embedded in some of the solutions offered.

One thing is certain (in my opinion), it would be foolish for the lame duck session to tackle any of these issues, as the GOP will sit it out and the Democrats will not get any credit.

For a full description of the report and its proposals visit, click here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Snow Today in Midtown

By West Village Bill

While walking around midtown on the East Side on my lunch break today, I encountered snow. I knew it had to have been placed there for some movie or TV production. It turns out, Twentieth Century Fox was filming Mr. Popper's Penguins, starring Jim Carrey.

My friend and co-worker Joyce asked, Is Jim Carrey going to ruin every children's book I loved? Yes, he is, Joyce. Yes, he is.

I don't think I ever read Mr. Popper's Penguins, so I've got no sentimental attachment to that story, but if Jim Carrey ever gets himself attached to a production of this book, he's going to have to answer to me.

Two Soldiers

 Posted by riot.

When I was a small child, in the elementary school years, I spent a lot of time living at my grandparents' house.  They had a big back yard full of nooks and crannies that I loved to explore.  I'd construct elaborate fantasy stories and act out parts, using the trees, patio, garage, and spaces between shrubbery as my sets.  Of course, as a kid who loved watching G.I Joe, Transformers, Spiderman, and all those types of hero cartoons, many of my stories featured guns.

I remember the first time I brought a toy gun to my grandparents' house, to lend some verisimilitude to my enactments.  I was on the patio, shooting at an imaginary enemy in a tree, when my grandfather Otto came outside and took my gun.  Now grandpa was the quiet sort who didn't seem to care much for kids and their noisy play, it's true, but he generally left me alone to do my thing, getting involved only if I tried to play around his Steinway grand.  This intervention into my back yard stories was unusual enough to bring me quickly out of the realm of fantasy, so my attention was entirely focused on him as he told me that guns were not toys, he never wanted to see me holding one, and they were absolutely not allowed in his house.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review: MIX Fest Opening Night

by riot

Last night I attended the opening event of MIX 23 (mixnyc.org), the annual New York queer experimental film festival.  This year's festival is being held at Theater for the New City, which is a venue that works very well for this event.  After the jump I'll give a brief review of last night's festivities.  I highly recommend checking out some or all of MIX's programs!

Marilyn Monroe's Sutton Place Stuffing

The New York Times is reporting that Marilyn's stuffing recipe, dating from the 1950s when she lived in New York City, at 2 Sutton Place, is surprisingly pretty and delicious.

(NYTimes photo by Andrew Scrivani)


Coby Koehl: Voice
Eric Simone: Guitar
Yan Falmagne: Piano
Leo Santini: Percussion
Frankie Carroll: Electric Bass
Appearing Wednesday, 343 West 46 St. (8 & 9 Ave) November 10th @ 9:30pm. $12 admission, 2 drink minimum. For reservations call 212.757.0788 or log on to http://www.donttellmamanyc.com
Coby is Out, Gay and an Amazing Singer!

QNY's Perry Brass at Cornelia Street Cafe

Perry will be reading his new unpublished poem, A Life Without Money.
Saturday, November 20th, 6PM. Cornelia Street Cafe, at 29 Cornelia Street (a marvelously quirky little street only one block long, running between West 4th & Bleecker in the West Village.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Cher photographed by Norman Jean Roy, with hair by Oribe and makeup by Francesca Tolot.

Living In The Land Of Yes - A QNY Music Review

By Tony Adams

It's one of those Only-In-New-York things, when your Starbucks barista slips you his new CD. That is how I had the privilege of hearing Dave Rudbarg's premiere album, Living in the Land of Yes.

Because it is not too early to recommend music for holiday giving, I suggest you make note of this album for the day when you find yourself wanting to entertain a friend who likes the rough, bluesy, jazzy sound of Joe Cocker or Tom Waits.

Dave Rudbarg has a voice as big as the dozen songs on Living in the Land of Yes. I'm always surprised at the difference between a person's ordinarily calm demeanor and what is unleashed when he is belting a microphone with a lyric backed by friends who are all experienced musicians. When I mentioned this to Dave, he smiled and admitted to harboring an inner diva.

My favorite performance on this album is Dave's sexy cover of a song written by Randy Newman and made famous by Joe Cocker, You Can Leave Your Hat On. This is the kind of vocal that you always hope to hear when you find yourself in a small cafe featuring live music. Therefore, mark your calendars, Dave and friends will be performing on Saturday, January 15th at The Tea Lounge, 837 Union Street, Brooklyn.

(PS: Dave, please cover Tom Waits' Shiver Me Timbers on your next album. I suspect your version will be halfway between Tom's and Bette Midler's. And why can't we have your album in the rotation at the Starbucks on 67th and Columbus?)


Monday, November 8, 2010

After the Revolution

"After the Revolution" at Playwrights Horizons, October 29, 2010

Amy Herzog's tale of a family's struggle between ideal and reality centers around the legacy of the late Joe Joseph, a Communist Party member who stood up to the McCarthy hearings, refusing to name names during one of the darker political periods of our nation's history.  The story explores idealism vs. reality, truth vs. money.

(Spoiler Alert)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Columbus Circle Turf War in a Tutu

Pausing in Columbus Circle on Saturday afternoon, we watch a ballerina perform and pliƩ around the statue, and momentarily clash with skateboarding kids unhappy with her route through "their" space. The sound is not clear due to the distance and the wind, but listen carefully about 1:24 as she tells them what to do.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

By West Village Bill

Lou and I caught the spectacular return of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake at City Center Wednesday night. It's running through Sunday, with tickets still available at many price points, and you owe it to yourself to catch it if you can. Or to get all anxiety-inducing about it—and to quote the London Independent's ringing endorsement of the show that's being used in its marketing materials—"See it or live to regret it."

The dancers are all terrific. The main roles have rotating performers; we saw the smolderingly sexy Jonathan Ollivier as the Swan/Stranger. (That's Richard Winsor in the publicity photo that I took from the City Center website.)

The story, based on Tchaikovsky's ballet, is told movingly through dance. The Prince is smitten with a tacky girlfriend whom the alternately icy and hot-blooded Queen strongly disapproves of. He also falls for a sexy swooping Swan, who has a whiteness of violent cobs in tow. And a handsome Stranger seduces everyone, with tragic consequences.

The main negative of this production is the canned music. After it leaves New York, the company, sans orchestra, is flying off to Milan.

times squared

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Broadway says "It Gets Better"

Over dinner a few weeks ago a dear old friend from high-school, who I've had the greatest  of fortune to reconnect with, was describing her initial pause over what she could do to add to the growing chorus of concern over the recent news of bullying and suicides of gay young adults.

What came out of that her pausing was a reach out to the Broadway elite, gay or not, to add their personal stories of isolation, bullying, sadness, and ultimately their successes to the growing collective voice of a better tomorrow for the bullied, alone, frightened, and questioning youth who are struggling with being different.

Broadway.com's "It Gets Better"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

VOTE on Nov. 2nd 2010

by Maurice Michaane


With a historic election upon us, what is set to be a 3rd wave election in the last decade, PLEASE exercise your constitutional right and patriotic duty to vote in tomorrow's general midterm elections. The choices for all offices may seem stark and the messages from candidates have been extremely negative this season, but it is paramount that WE the PEOPLE have our voices heard through the ballot box.

If you don't know where your polling place is, check this website supported by the League of Women Voters Education Fund. The moment is now, to have your voice heard, to ensure the march of equality continues!

Empire State Pride Agenda Endorsed Candidates - Pro-LGBTQ Candidates for the 2010 NYS elections [click To see a list of NYS Pro-LGBTQ Candidates]