Sunday, June 27, 2010

"March" Madness at NYC Pride

W Hotels offered some eye-candy
as they floated down the street.
Today was the NYC Pride March, part of Heritage of Pride (HOP). It's pretty amazing what a group of strong willed folks can do when they band together to celebrate freedom of expression.

From Dykes on Bike-Cycles to Flaggots, from Macy's to the Gay Peruvians Of The Americas the NYC Pride March had it all.

Last summer I stood for five hours in the heat, melting and developing a significant sun burn on the back of my neck. We stood at the corner of 6th Avenue and Greenwich and got a great view but there was no shade and the number of people massed around us (thanks to the wide sidewalk) was nearly unbearable. This year we managed to slip down to Christopher Street and Hudson, the last intersection before the parade ends. It was nearly an accident that we got such a great view. We'd strolled down from 14th Street and 9th Avenue (we'd been to the Apple store in the misguided hope that I could replace my busted iPhone). The conversation with their "genius" went something like this:

Me: Excuse me... I'm sure you don't but it's worth asking. Do you have any iPhone 4s in stock?
Genius: Um... (blush and giggle)... no. I don't think we have those.
Me: I figured. More will be available on July 17th right? At least, that's what the website says.
Genius: Um... (another blush and giggle)... I dunno. (She seems flustered.) I mean, maybe. I don't think we know.
Me: Ok. You've been very helpful. Thank you.
End scene. I mean, really... she wasn't even sure when they'd be available. I'm pretty sure that she could check on HER iPhone 4 that was carrying around. But I digress.
Undergear models buying lunch at a
sausage vendor. The humor is not lost.
Anyhow, from the Apple store we spotted the Pride street fair and, being both hungry and curious, we ventured in.

The fair was pretty sweet. Every vendor had something free to give you as you passed and I can't begin to recall how many petitions I signed to revoke this and to repeal that.

Starving, I decided to grab a $6 cannoli... yes, expensive but that's the nature of a street fair. Sadly it was the most horrifying over-doughed, ricotta cheesed filled abomination I'd ever suffered. A quick toss into the nearest waste bin and we were off to find a spot for the March.

Around 12:15pm we headed down Hudson and, although there were dozens of barricades ready to go, very few were put up. The crowds hadn't really gathered yet - except on one long span of Christopher Street which we decided was too painfully full to try to navigate. Instead we crossed the street and found, to our surprise, that the southeast corner of Christopher and Hudson was almost empty and had a great view of the March - and as a bonus it offered seating on the curb and bicycles locked immediately behind us so no one could (or should) cram up against us.

The anti-cramming didn't last but we didn't care. The March was fun, the costumes were hilarious and the sentiment was heartfelt. A good day overall... even if fixing/replacing my phone was a failure... but it's a minor frustration when you consider the struggle and perseverance that has inspired NYC for 40 years.


(Note: More pics are available on Facebook.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pride Run Success + iPhone Failure

Photo courtesy of Front Runners
I ran the New York Road Runners/Front Runners 5M Pride Run today and my official time was 50 minutes and 37 seconds and I came in at 2398 out of 3564.  That's like 67th place out of 100 people if you want to squash the numbers down to something more reasonable.  I wasn't in the front 50% but I did as well as I expected and will try to shave the time by 5 minutes next year.

Somewhere around mile 3.5 I felt a little weak and woozy, but slowed to a quick walk until it passed and then hit the ground again.  I thought I had gone a full mile and decided to slow down again... and was sure that I had at least another full mile to go but looked up, saw the rainbow flags which indicated the finish line.  So everyone at the end saw me slowing down for the end... so I sprinted the last of the race and crossed the finish line after my aforementioned 50 minutes and 37 seconds.  

All in all a good first run.  Not sure if I'll become addicted to it but I had a great time.  

The only downside is that my iPhone (which was already suffering some pixel deterioration because of a fall last week) decided that it no longer wanted to cooperate and repeatedly turned its volume down on me... so no ringing, no hearing (people or music), no nothing.  Plus, the volume graphic has decided that it needs to live on the screen full time and where it lives is the spot where it there is no pixel deterioration. 


iPhone - FAIL!  

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Attack of the Meth Mouth - and finding another awesome blog

My friend Patty sent me the link to with the edict "Read this now, pee your pants from laughing and call me after."  I fell apart reading this post about responsibility and success/failure at being an adult.  It's like the author, Allie, is in my brain.  And then I started browsing other posts and found "The Awkward Situation Survival Guide." In it I came across this picture (Allie's artwork) which made me laugh even harder because of the real-life adventure that Patty and I shared which the artwork so succinctly reflected.

I sent it to Patty with the following caption:
awkward close talker.png
Panel 1: Patty is having fun laughing with Tommy who is off-panel.  Uh oh, a stranger (let's call him Meth Mouth) approaches.
Panel 2: "I want to know your name."
Panel 3: Patty is no longer having fun.  Tommy is still off-panel but is now silenced due to the emotional shock suffered by this full-on assault on Patty's personal bubble by Meth Mouth.

See, here's the deal.  We were on a Gay Harbor Cruise in NYC (don't ask) and were having a pretty good time at our table... mostly mocking the absurdity of the evening and gawking at the ridiculousness of men over 45 wearing cut-off, rolled up jean shorts and body glitter.

We're laughing having the best time on this self-inflicted harbor hostage situation when suddenly this sweaty drug addict shimmies up behind her, licks her face and, in a stage whisper, says "I want to know your name."

Patty freezes... eyes bulging in that "I-swear-to-God-if-you-don't-correct-this-situation-I'm-going-to-throw-you-off-the-port-side" kind of way.  Alas I was frozen - traumatized by the events unfolding.  Patty, gaining no help from me, reacts, "No you don't."  Meth Mouth is distraught and persists but Patty manages to lean just far enough out of his field of vision that, like a dinosaur, he can no longer see her and sets his sites on another unsuspecting victim.

So, this comic strip perfectly summed up what took me 200 words to express. Check out her other posts by visiting

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Really?? Farmville Ice Cream??

In a moment of weakness Sarah and I popped into the new 7-11 across from the office.  We both needed afternoon snackage and it was convenient (if not healthy).  It was a bit overwhelming.  Aisle after aisle of chips, pretzels, candy, gummis, chocolate, donuts... too many choices generally put me into a "picking panic".

Wandering the aisles in search of the perfect snack I spotted this abomination from the bowels of Facebook.


Seriously?  When did the world of social gaming invade my corner store's freezer section??

Keep in mind that this is the same company that is selling gift cards in 7-11 for their "virtual merchandise".  I mean really.  This is what we've evolved into?!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Tony Test

Photo courtesy of The Tony Awards.
So of the 26 awards (not including the special awards for lifetime achievement, regional theatre, etc) I got 17 right... well, 16 but one of those was Adam Cork and I thought he'd win Sound Design for Enron but he won for Red.

The others that I missed are (click below to read more):

Live Blogging the Tony Awards

Here the come! The Tony Awards will air on CBS in just under 2 hours. Right now I'm following the Red Carpet coverage on NY1 (also available online at Don't forget that the Creative Arts Awards are live at 7:00PM at the link above as well. Stay tuned. More to come! NOTE that updates will appear below this paragraph in order of most recent.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Just Don't Get These Shoes

I don't get these shoes.  But I really don't get these shoes when someone is wearing them with their business attire on the way to work.  Seriously?  This guy must work in the most laid back office ever... although that doesn't explain the Dockers and the pressed Oxford shirt.  It's like a living definition for dichotomy.  The Vibram (name brand) website even clearly states: "we recommend wearing FiveFingers for exercise, play, and for fun."  Notice not one mention of "work."  

I get the whole idea that these "stimulate and exercise" the feet in a way that traditional shoes do not... but really?  They just look ridiculous.  I have seen them all over the streets of NYC and have yet to see someone wearing them that doesn't completely out of place.  

If you haven't seen these and want a closer look, here's a peek to your left.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

... but the world goes 'round!

Rue McClanahan
Several tragedies have happened over the last week or two.  Of course, we lost four great entertainers when Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper, Art Linkletter and Rue McClanahan passed away.  Rue was the hardest for me.  I was a diehard Golden Girls fan growing up and will still happily sit in front of the television for hours when I find it on.  I was lucky enough to see her in The Women in 2002 when the revival was on Broadway (and got to meet her at the stage door before she was hurried away by Team Rue).

But back to the Girls, Blanche was the opposite of what women were supposed to be (at least at the time).  She was sultry, sexual and scintillatingly naughty.  While Dorothy had memories of a hard youth in Brooklyn, Sophia had tales of the old country and Rose has her "Back in St. Olaf"stories... Blanche had one tawdry tale after another about her youthful (and not-so-youthful) indiscretions.

Among these devastating losses we also saw the closing of both God of Carnage and A Behanding in Spokane.  Both shows took us on a tour of a delightfully skewed version of reality (and in many moments, dead on reality).  A Behanding was a limited run, so the closing was expected.  And God of Carnage had a good, long run for a play so all thing's considered they did well and were enjoyed by audiences during their time.

Today we found out that Hair will now close on Sunday, June 27th.  The London production had already announced its September closing months early but I was surprised to hear that our production would get a few last weeks in and then come to a close.  Oddly enough, I had never been a huge fan of Hair.  I had always appreciated the ground it broke, making way for a shift in how we think about the American Musical.  But having finally seen the show on stage, I found I really liked Hair.  There was something in the energy, in the tribal belief that these anachronistic hippies were making change... and then to find that they meant it when they took to the streets D.C. to march for equality.  The walked the walk (so to speak).

It's a shame when good shows have to go... but we can at least enjoy the idea that they aren't gone for good and they are making way for new shows for us to enjoy.

Sadly, when entertainers pass we can't assume that newer talents will keep us occupied.  These four celebrities earned their status because of their talents, humor and life's work.  Some were knocked by the media for their difficulties, some were thought to have been baked long ago, some are unknown to the youth who were born wired to the internet and some will still be seen daily by millions of viewers ready to laugh at their dirty little stories.

I suppose that, as Kander and Ebb once said, sometimes you're happy and sometimes you're sad, but the world goes 'round.  And on that note... ladies and gentlemen... Miss Liza Minnelli.

Monday, June 07, 2010

"Hey you guyssss!" Celebrating 25 years of THE GOONIES

1985 was a year full of awesome for a 10 year old kid.  Some of my favorite movies of ALL TIME were released that year (see list below)  Granted, I didn't get to see all of these in their original release.  Thank goodness our family got a VCR around this time (but not one of the cool top loading ones... no no, we stuck to the traditional front loaders).

Exactly 25 years ago today one of the best movies ever made was released and for the last 25 years kids (and adults) everywhere have dreamt of the chance to go on such an incredible adventure.  The Washington Post had a great piece today talking about how The Goonies has impacted the city of Astoria, Oregon (the location of the film) and how thousands have gathered in town this weekend for the 25th Anniversary celebration (er, pilgrimage).  Click the YouTube video at the bottom for an interview with Jeff Cohen (Chunk) and Curt Hanson (Mr. Perkins) regarding the 25th Anniversary.

I remember arguing with my mom later that year, November to be exact, begging her to let me watch the broadcast of the movie (note: we either did not yet have the VCR or the VHS was not out yet).  But North and South was airing the same night and she had a movie star crush on Patrick Swayze... I was not winning this battle.  The movie was so important to me because I was a 10 year old starving for excitement.  The Goonies had the ability, like Back to the Future or Weird Science, to take me to a different world where adventure was the only option and hilarity ruled supreme!

I raise a glass of lemonade to you Goonies!  May your hold on my imagination never wane.

As promised... check out this list of kick-ass movies that came out in 1985.  Now, turn on your Netflix, initiate your iTunes  or bolt on down to your nearest Blockbuster and commence euphoria!
The Black Cauldron
Back to the Future
The Breakfast Club
The Care Bears Movie
Clue: The Movie
National Lampoon's European Vacation
Girls Just Want to Have Fun
King Solomon's Mines
Mad Max 2
Pee Wee's Big Adventure
Police Academy 2
Real Genius
Return to Oz
Santa Claus: The Movie
Teen Wolf
Toxic Avenger
Transylvania 6-5000
Weird Science

Click below to watch "Goonies 25th Anniversary: Interview with Chunk and Mr. Perkins".

Sunday, June 06, 2010

You must take the A Train - Discovering NY Transit History

Today was spent exploring the New York Transit Museum and it was UH-MAZING!  If you've never been just head to downtown Brooklyn and look for the subway entrance that's not a subway entrance (see image).

Climb down these steps and into what was once part of the Court Street subway station.    Below the street is an old fashion token booth where you pay your $5 and receive admission to the museum.  You can also browse the museum gift shop too if you're hankering for an MTA teddy bear, beach towel or mouse pad.

The museum, as its website says "explores the development of the greater New York Metropolitan region through the presentations of exhibitions, tours, educational programs, and workshops dealing with the cultural, social, and technological history of public transportation."

The upper level (at least, the first level below the street) offers an extensive history of the sandhogs who dug the tunnels (many who lost their lives during the construction), an overview of the "cut and cover" technique used to dig out the shallow tunnels, a detailed history of the turnstiles as well as a detailed exhibit on the bridges that connect the boroughs.  (Side note: imagine working  in the museum... you're the last one of the night and you're walking through the museum to close up... you turn the corner and see this guy peering at your through a tunnel lock?  Holy crap!)

Anyhow, after soaking in the history above you go down the steps onto the old platform where you find two tracks with cars from the first hundred years of subway service.  Walking through these cars you feel as if you're frozen in time with the ghosts of passengers past.  In many of them you'll still find old ads posted above the seats, encouraging you to buy everything from Lux for your stockings to laundry soap and men's caps.

In all it is an incredible place where you discover the magnitude of the world beneath our feet.  For instance, did you know NYers (and tourists) spend $9 million a day on the transit system?  Insane, right?  Check it out when you can.  You won't be disappointed.


Friday, June 04, 2010

Vulcans in America - Quinto cast in "Angels" revival

Photo courtesy
Both The New York Times and Playbill are reporting that initial casting for the revival of Tony Kushner's Tony Award-winning play(s) Angels in America includes Zachary Quinto and Billy Porter.  Angels in America won both the 1993 and 1994 Tony Awards for Best Play (Millennium Approaches and Perestroika respectively).

Word is the Quinto will play Louis (originally played by Joe Mantello who was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance). I'm thrilled to have the chance to see Quinto on stage and am sure he'll be superb as Louis but worry that I'll not like Louis here as much as I don't like him when reading the play or seeing the HBO film version.  Louis is prejudiced and scared... that I understand.  But I cannot fathom treating anyone - in particular my partner - the way he does.  I imagine that if I were in this gaggle of gays that I would be the first to name Louis as a DTM (dead-to-me) for his behavior.  Anyway... before I rant further...

The rumor mill is churning too that Christian Borle is in negotiations to play Prior Walter.  I heart Prior.  He's furious with the world for his situation and yet he's ultimately graceful and loving... maybe a little nuts but who wouldn't be when the world (here the mid-1980s) seems to be falling apart around you... and through you.  Borle may be excellent.  I enjoyed his work in Legally Blonde (and his "That's on Ebay" commercial from years ago - see below).

So, while subscription tickets are now sold out there will be single tickets on sale on August 3rd at 10am.  I'm sure more news will come but until then I'll enjoy the thought of seeing these productions on stage for the first time - having misses the original run back in the 90s.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Running with Pride

Image courtesy of Front Runners New York.
So, on June 26th I'll be attempting my first organized run as part of the Front Runners New York Lesbian and Gay Pride Run (5M).  The run, as the name clearly states, is part of Pride this year and I figure it is as good a time as any to try my hand at running and participating in Pride as more than a march spectator.

Keep in mind that this run is only 5 miles and should be cake... but we're talking about me, someone who only runs as a warm up on the treadmill at the gym or if being chased by a machete wielding psycho at camp.

Sarah and Nancy - both amazing, trained runners who do marathons umpteen times a year for the sheer joy of it - have both been incredibly encouraging, giving little suggestions here and there on how to survive my first run.

Tip 1: Add time/distance to runs every morning.  I was able to pull off a 9.5 minute mile without stopping but, until this run became a reality of my future, that was it.  I always jumped off the treadmill at that point thinking, "Well, I've warmed up.  Now on to the weights."  No no... over the week I've increased to two miles at 9.5 minutes per.  It's exhausting, but doable.  Now I just have to add another over the next week and so on.

Tip 2: Run outside! The ground, the real unmoving yet changing ground, is so different from the conveyer belt of a treadmill.  My first attempt at this was horrifying.  Who knew that trying to keep your balance running over uneven terrain would work your core like that!?  OW!

Tip 3: Don't give up.  Five miles in the grand scheme is nothing.  I easily walk at least that much in a given day.  Even if it takes far longer than I hope I just have to get it done.  It's nothing compared to a marathon where people bleed, pass out, etc.  And it's just around Central Park.  I've walked that dozens and dozens of times.  Now I just have to run it.

I'm sure they'll have more advice as the next three weeks go by.  More updates as we get closer.  Hopefully I'll be able to handle 3 miles straight through without collapsing by next Wednesday.

Left: CheerNY, the all-volunteer non-profit adult cheerleading squad by and for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Straight communities, encouraging runners at last year's run.  Photo courtesy of New York Road Runners.

Speaking of Thundercats... they're baaack!

According to the Thundercats are back... well, will be back in 2011 in a new animated series for Cartoon Network.

Warner Bros. Animation released this statement in their official press release:
"In addition to being Warner Bros. Animation's first anime series, ThunderCats marks our most ambitious foray yet into fantasy," said Register. "The realism and dynamic visual style we've achieved are sure to thrill viewers, and the cool weapons, vehicles and technology should help the show appeal to a diverse audience."
I'm hoping for a dark and somewhat sinister approach... more along the lines of an animated "broody" Dark Knight then a "Gene Hackman" Superman.  We'll see next year when this hits our television screens.

Fingers crossed!