Wednesday, April 30, 2008

While I Was Out ...

I am sorry for not posting anything lately, but I am a busy professional.

The DAADS Benefit Preview Party for the Modernism Show was great fun, mostly because I love pretty things. I don't do much shopping typically because what I really love is weird unique shopping and that can be an infrequent option here. But when I get it I rejoice, so obviously a civic center full of cool booths of modern love was exactly what I needed.

Of course the place was gayer than a Key West Christmas, both in terms of vendors and guests. One of the most fabulous booths had about sixteen things in it that cost a small fortune and a mincing Manhattan art dealer looking down his nose at people passing through. Or maybe it was just me. Regardless, his stuff was flawless.

The most wonderful thing about the party was that I ran into so many people I haven't seen in forever, and I mean that in the best way. Suffice to say, it didn't disappoint (except for the fact that everything I loved was a little too expensive).

After the benefit a whole slew of us gays went down to D'Mongo's Speakeasy in Capitol Park.

Now D'Mongo's has been open since last summer, and has been uber cool for a while. I referenced it in
my post about "The Deuce" last fall, and I finally made it in a few months ago. It's only open on Fridays, which makes it a difficult stop for a popular scenester with a full calendar like myself.

I took a bunch of photos once when we were there earlier this year, but I hesitated to post about it because honestly, I didn't want to promote it too much. It's an insanely cool spot, not overly fancy, just really authentic and perfect. And I didn't want it to be overrun with people who just don't get it. So I held off about the posting.

HOWEVER, since then the
Detroit News and Model D have blown the code of silence about D'Mongo's (I expected more from you, Model D, please learn to keep a secret a secret), so I guess it's ok to tell you that I love it.

Check those links above for the history, but it really feels like the old time Detroit place that was mothballed for a decade that it is. Actually it kind of smells like mothballs until the smokers kick in. The crowd skews accessible hipster, the space is just a gas, and the entertainment varies from awesome whoa to awesome wow.

The little photo montage below will give you an idea of one of my early visits this winter ... the cool staff, the girl playing her autoplay Casio keyboard for entertainment (she was brilliant, by the way), the candles that melted over the years but stayed in their candle holders, the ... well, go check it out for yourself. It's really just great. Just don't be one of those douchebags who showed up last week with cigars and
Bayview Yacht Club golf shirts. Thanks again new media.

If I really cared, these photos would align perfectly.

SASS the following night was once again the feel-good gay hipster dance party of the year. I don't what to say that I haven't said before, but I spent half the night just kind of watching it all with a happy glow in my heart. I swear to God you could throw a boutique run by Stirling in there and it's Todd's 1987 all over again (I am remembering that correctly, aren't I?)

Oh and to wrap it all up, Doggy Style has continued to be the fun meeting spot for downtown gays that it was intended to be. I have to say it has exceeded my expectations. My expectations, of course, being me and five friends. But exceeding even exceeded expectations was last Tuesday when, late in the night, the lights were turned down, Nina Simone was turned up, a woman removed her top and we were gifted with the twirling breasts of fire. Doggy Style is on fire.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Guest Blogger: Woodward's Friend

It's time for another guest blog post from our pal, Woodward's Friend. This time around the story isn't specifically gay, but it's a nice downtown slice-of-life story and I think you'll see why I wanted to post it.

Dear Supergay,

I was at the RenCen Marriott for a meeting Friday, and so was the Benny Hinn revival. Benny Hinn (for those of you who don't know) is a faith healer. He's a rock star in the voodoo doll/witch doctor sects of Protestantism.

I'm on the elevator with a couple of true believers and some normal people when one of the Normals asks, "Who is Benny Hinn?" The True Believers - dressed in their finest Branson-chic couture - are shocked that someone is unaware of a man as great and Godly as Benny Hinn. A True Believer responds, "He's a very great man anointed by God."

No one says a word. What can one say to that? Our silence upset the True Believers, apparently, because the woman turns around and adds in a cold and angry voice, "Very anointed."

I doubt you Godless heathens knew that there are degrees of anointedness. I like to think of myself as having transactional anointedness. Glory be...

It's very weird coming face-to-face with the true believers of faith healing. One would think such an experience would humanize these people and create some empathy for them. I had the opposite reaction. These people are third-rate morons who deserve the fleecing they get from hacks like Benny Hinn. I don't wish to rationalize a rank conman like Hinn but Jesus H. Christ people, God gave you a brain and that God-given brain should be telling you that no one, let alone a guy in a tacky suit, can cure your gout with a thump on the forehead.

(To read Woodward's Friend's last entry, click here)

Friday, April 18, 2008

If that's wrong then I don't wanna be right.

The Detroit City Council has been getting a lot of media love lately. It's kind of thrilling.

I don't like to get too worked up about goings-on in the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center because, frankly, it's a bit of a freakshow. It's a shame, really, because a lot of real work does get done there, but you wouldn't know it from the insanity that occasionally ensues.

But I do have to remark about something that is actually kind of sweet that happens once a year in the Council Chambers. On her birthday each year Councilwoman Barbara-Rose Collins wears her birthday tiara to work.

Guess who just walked in wearing the SAME TIARA?

As far as BRC goes, I am not one of her fans. I worked for the U.S. House of Representatives in DC when she was a Congresswoman and thought she was a half-wit then, and I think she's a half-wit now. But people really seem to have latched onto her tiara-wearing as a symptom of the whole city's dysfunction, and I don't think that's fair. As a matter of fact, I don't think I want to live in a city where you can't wear a tiara on your birthday.

So keep it up BRC. You get a pass on the tiara from me. And I'm not even going to comment on the shoulder pads. Happy belated birthday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

An iTunes Editorial

You know how on iTunes there is that option to share your playlists over a network? You probably never gave it much thought. I know I didn’t. Well, until yesterday.

On my home computer I turned on sharing at one point to see how it worked and never bothered to turn it off. Every once in a while a neighbor’s playlist will show up in that left-hand pane, although typically the network connection is not strong enough for me to view the songs on the other computer. This is does not appear to be a problem for my neighbors, however.

Yesterday I was playing some music and saw the name of a shared playlist turn up in my list. Apparently one of my neighbors felt a need to weigh in on how gay he/she thought my music preferences are, because there in that little left-hand pane was a new playlist that seemed quite clearly to be a message to me.

It was named YOU LIKE PENIS.

Well I never.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sass is back!

The best gay hipster dance party in the history of Detroit is back! Hurray for SASS!

If you want to know how great I think it is, read
this post from last summer.

Saturday, April 19. OSLO. 10pm. $10.

You will not be sorry. I promise.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Subtlety Is Everything ... Except on Fabulon

I like to hoard my sources for cool shit and gay amusement. I prefer to keep this website the portal and mete it out in a miserly fashion, giving just enough to keep you checking in from time to time and wondering "where does he find this stuff?"

But today I am in a giving mood, so I am going to share a great gay website that is about three times more fun than this one and about seven times more fabulous. It is FABULON, a site featuring "A Galaxy of Glamour ~ Camp and Kitsch ~ Extreme Fabulosity ~ Divine Decadence ~ Delusions of Grandeur ~ Art and Artifice ~ the Sacred Feminine ~ the Gay Agenda." How can you stay away?

Well the truth is you cannot, because this is a website that contains frequent posts (they got me there) that are brief (and again) and witty (humor me on that one). Mostly just a photo and a quip, sometimes a little video. Recent posts feature Carol Channing and safety gays, the Pizzicato Five, handbags of the fifties and Bea Arthur. I know! Below is one of my fave recent entries. For maximum enjoyment, please pay extra close attention when viewing.

Somewhere on Fabulon ...

A new wig is being enjoyed.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Looking for some hot DAADS?

If you are gay then there is a very good chance you are into classic modern design. Urbane gays in the '80's were some of the earliest revivers of mid-century modern as an aesthetic choice, way before there was a bona fide resurgence. I hesitate to say we spearheaded the revival ... but only for a moment. When people were giving away Heywood-Wakefield dining tables and Bertoia Diamond Chairs and Eames Loungers, gays were taking them in and making them a part of their faboo new decor.

A Donelan cartoon that appeared in the Advocate back in the eighties.

Of course back then it was called "retro" and the aesthetics pretty closely mirrored those of the original period, with maybe a slight emphasis on the camp element of it all. Well we've come a long way, baby. Classic modern (as it is now called) is everywhere, and not only has it been revived, it's been assimilated, reinterpreted, restyled and ripped off. It's now a standard decorating element in any sophisticated decor.

The Detroit area has a few stores that specialize in vintage modern, notably
Vertu in Royal Oak (just a few doors down from Pronto, if you need a landmark) and Xavier's 20th on Michigan Avenue in Corktown (just a little ways down from Slows, if you need a landmark). These places are great, but if you want a bigger, world-class selection of premium, hard-to-find, exclusive modern design then you have to check out the Michigan Modernism Exposition, which is next weekend at the Southfield Civic Center. And there is no better way to do that than at the Friday Night Preview Party, which as it turns out is also a benefit for the Detroit Area Art Deco Society.

Oh the good times I've had at the charity preview! And by good times I actually mean having a few drinks and then undertaking some frenzied scouting and lusting and purchasing of awesome classic modern things. It's been a few years since I've attended, but I used to go every year with one of my best friends who, as it turns out, is also an inveterate shopper.

The thing is, you have to go to the Preview Party to see the best stuff. Judging from our purchasing alone, by Saturday morning some amazing pieces were already removed from the selling floor. One year she bought this unbelievable orange and yellow Higgins Glass three-pendant ceiling fixture that I still pray she leaves to me should, God forbid, anything happen to her. Another year she bought some uber-glam Coppola e Toppo costume jewelry that not only looked great on her, but served me very well one year for a drag Halloween. And I snagged my Bertoia slat bench there (for a song, really) that is coveted by more than one friend.

That's the much-loved Bertoia bench there, underneath the memories.

But it's not just the buying that makes it great. Walking around, a glass of wine in hand, and discovering amazing things you've never seen before is the real treat. And sometimes finding out that cute little antelope sculpture you bought at Treasure Mart in Ann Arbor for $4.80 (discounted 20% because it had been there two months) was actually a Frederick Weinberg piece worth about $200 is exciting too.

Now I get invites to a lot of charity events and I've kind of gotten to the point where "it's for a good cause" really doesn't rope me in anymore. I need it to be fun, or interesting, or compelling in some way. So despite the fact that the charity preview is, in fact, for a good cause (read more about DAADS on
their website), I can whole-heartedly recommend it as time and money well spent. It's Friday, April 18 from 7 to 10pm, $50 if you buy in advance, there are wine and hors d'oeuvres included, and jazzy live entertainment to boot.

Oh and did I forget to mention? It is always swarming with homosexualists.

So instead of just sitting around workin' your hole next Friday night, why don't you get out for a little once-a-year fabulous that could, ultimately, provide you with something to take home for a little year-round fabulous?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A little something good from our City Council

There is so much crappy news coming from the mayor's office in Detroit lately that our City Council is actually starting to look effective. And you KNOW things are grim when that's the case. I'm only half kidding.

In fairness, the foibles of the goings on in the Council Chamber are so often the subject of press coverage and the successes are so often ignored. So I want to congratulate the City Council on a great move they made today - 8 to 1 they voted to pass an ordinance that protects workers, residents and visitors from discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

For the layperson, that means transgendered people are now protected against discrimination in the city of Detroit.

I just want to take a moment and say THANK YOU to the City Council for a moment that not only shocked me in a good way, but makes me feel like I live someplace that is still remotely progressive. In case you didn't know, Detroit was one of the first major cities to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation (back in the 70's if I recall correctly - I'm too tired to google). At least in some instances, it's nice to see we're keeping up.

Well, except for Kwame Kenyatta. But you've seen his hats: it's clear he is completely invested in a different cultural imperative.

You can never have enough hats, gloves and shoes.

Monday, April 7, 2008

It must be spring ...

... because kids are playing outside behind Chrysler Elementary and the guy who plays the bagpipe in Lafayette Plaisance is back.

Thank God.

The beautiful beauty of Lafayette Park in spring.

Don't forget to have fun on Tuesday ...

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