Tuesday, February 28, 2006

On The Phone With Joe And Dan

Joe: So, how was your trip to Philly?

Dan: Oh, we had a blast. We were really close to Independence Hall and everything.

Joe: Cool! Did you guys get out to any of the bars?

Dan: Yeah. We checked out that place...Bike Stop...that you told me about. Pretty cool. Nice crowd.

Joe: Yeah, I like-

Dan: Oh, but wait! You are NOT gonna believe who the first person I ran into there when I walked in the door?

Joe: Who?

Dan: It was the doctor that gave me my colostomy back in Florida last month, I mean can you believe the coinci-

Joe: (panicked) WHAT?

Dan: Yeah, of all the places to run into-

Joe: (heart sinking) Dan! What are you talking about? Colostomy? You had a colostomy? You have colon cancer? When did this start? Why didn't you-

Dan: Oh, wait. Not colostomy. What do I mean? You know the thing with the camera...I got it during my annual physical.

Joe: You dumbshit. That's a COLONOSCOPY, Dan. Colonoscopy.

Dan: There's a difference?

Joe: Well, since I'm assuming that your asshole isn't sewn shut right now, yeah there's a difference!

Dan: Oh, whatever. So anyway, we saw the Liberty--

Joe: I hate you.

.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Open Mic / Cock=Career

Making the internet sizzle last week was the fantastically unshocking, not-news-to-anybody Dutch survey which says that gay men link their self-esteem to their penis size. Really? Somebody was paid to figure this out? And does anybody think that straight men are not similarly afflicted?

A few of the ladies in my office and I had a chat about this, and interestingly they share the opinion that not only does penis size affect mens' personal self-esteem, it drives men into certain professions. For example, they think that a lot of cops have small cocks, giving them control issues and they then enter the police force to satisfy a lust for domination that their wee wees cannot give them. Similarly, they think that professions that require a lot of self-confidence, like rock musicians, tend to attract the cockasauruses out there.

I'm kind of fascinated by this concept of cock=career. What do you think about this? How would you rank the following professions in terms of likely hungtacity?

  • Bartender
  • Pilot
  • Computer Tech
  • Rock Star
  • Lawyer
  • Actor
  • Politician
  • Cop
Is there another profession that you feel is heavily skewed in one way or the other?

Blowoff Blew Up The House

Rich Morel and Bob Mould put together another fantastic event Saturday night. Blowoff at Washington DC's 9:30 Club was a complete mob scene of bears, bloggers, beefcake and beefcakey bear bloggers. Rich and Bob took turns DJ-ing throughout the evening and at the peak of the party, picked up their guitars and turned in a blistering four song set from their upcoming collaboration, also to be called Blowoff.

Early in the evening, Bob told me he had a surprise for me, which turned out to be his brand new smokin' Loudbomb remix of the Skatt Brothers' Walk The Night, a song that I wrote a post about last year. Bob, you blew me away! Not to be outdone, Rich Morel played his upcoming collaboration with legendary chanteuse Ute Lemper , then at the end of the night, he socked it to us with his killer Pink Noise remix of The Killers' All These Things I've Done, which had the entire room jumping up and down with their hands in the air, including yours truly. Above: Bob Mould rocks the house.
Below: Superstar DJ Daddy Rich Morel plants a wet one on me.
As someone at the party said, Blowoff is the most fun you can have with your pants up. True dat! Check out The Sean Show for another Blowoff recap. Big thanks to Boo's beau Jeff, who blogs at Cynically Optimistic, for providing me with these photos. Thanks to Carl for hanging out with me and showing me his sexy eight inches. And very big thanks to all the great guys that introduced themselves to me and said kind things and bought me beers. I left Blowoff very happy and d-r-unkity-unk.

UPDATE: Saturday's set list has been added to the Blowoff site. Look kids, there really is gay club life outside of wailing divas and pots and pans. P.S. - I love wailing divas and pots and pans.

We, Like Eric

Start your week with a giggle.
.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Look At Them Beans!

Last night, Aaron and I scored a couple of free tickets to Ring Of Fire, the Johnny Cash musical presently in previews at Broadway's elegant Ethel Barrymore Theatre. We started the evening with cocktails at Therapy, followed by dinner at Vynl, then the show. End to end it was a completely homosexual evening. Oh, except for the part where we attended a musical review of 50 years of country music with a largely septuagenarian crowd.

Aaron didn't think the crowd seemed all that old and I guess the elderly do make up a large chunk of the Broadway audience these days, what with all these "greatest hits of yesteryear" musicals all over the place. We were particularly entertained by the old lady in front of us with an enormous jet-black B-52, equally enormous diamond earrings, and a very hot young Latino "walker". They were cute together. How do you get those walker jobs, anyhow? Hanging out at bingo?

I've been a huge fan of Johnny Cash for several decades, and the show opened very promisingly, with a stark stage and a gorgeously foreboding rendition of Cash's final hit, his tortured cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt", the video for which has never failed to bring tears to my eyes. But after that, the cheese began to fly. There is no orchestra pit, the band is part of the show and playing musicians are almost always on stage. That's because there's no book for Ring Of Fire, no plot whatsoever. There's no set either. This show is just a big concert review of Cash's hits, staged around a very, very cool set of rear projection screens that variously depict the farmhouses, farmland, prisons, train stations, and honky tonks that are the Cash oeuvre.

The reviews of this show have pretty much been universally poor, and while I'll agree that the corniness of a lot of material (you have to live through a number called "Look At Them Beans!" to know what I mean) made the show feel more like a Branson, MO review than Broadway show, I thought the cast was terrific and delivered the material without a hint of the winking, hipster, "Aren't we being ironic?" mindset you might expect. What do I know from Broadway, anyway? Still, Ring Of Fire may leave you reminded of the following: Up With People, Kids Of The Kingdom, The Six Flags Players.

I noticed a few members of the audience fleeing during the first act, and the row behind us cleared out at intermission, but overall the audience seemed to have a great time. I enjoyed myself too, but remember, I got in free. If I had paid $101.25, I might have a different opinion. I guess the question is whether the Broadway audience will mind paying that much for a show with no stiltwalkers, no stars, no flying monkeys, just great classic country music performed by a sterling group of musicians and singers. I have my doubts. Ring Of Fire officially opens March 12.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Please Hold, Your Police State Will Arrive Shortly

Over the last 24 hours, I've received about a dozen incredulous emails, contesting my story about nearly being arrested for photographing the Citigroup Building. Let's top that story. Here's a picture of the cop who threatened me with arrest last year for taking a picture of the UNITED STATES Mission to the United Nations. I was standing on the sidewalk in front of the UN. On a public street. In New York City.

When I protested, saying that it was a public street and that surely the building could easily be photographed by the thousands of foreigners in their offices across the street, I was told something to the effect of "Keep yapping and it'll be Monday before you see daylight." (Actually, I can't recall his exact words, but I do remember them being very New York-y.)



That was a year ago and I'd bet that if I mouthed off like that today, I'd wind up in handcuffs. Also, I don't think that today I would be so bold as march directly across the street and take a picture from the other side, in full view of the cop, which is what I did.

Saturday Night In DC

Oh, Jeebus. Do I ever need this! I haven't had a great night out dancing since the last time I attended Blowoff, way back in June of last year. To anybody that I may run into, run over, spill beer on, tell bad Cheney/shotgun jokes to, or otherwise paw and annoy, I'd like to issue a blanket apology in advance. Lurlene, put the kids to bed early, Daddy's comin' home loaded.

Bush: Number One Worst

Alert JMG reader Tater hipped me to this litany of Bush's failures from Pulizter nominated author Stephen Rizzo. Highlights: Deficit: doubled to over $8 trillion. War costs: almost $400 billion. Social programs: cut by $40 billion. Trade deficit: almost $1 trillion. Human rights: secret prisons, torture, wiretapping. Go read the entire list.

Worst president of the ten* in my lifetime? Easily and by far.

Worst president in the history of the country? I'm accepting challengers.

*Eisenhower, Johnson, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II.

.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Lenten Chat With Joe And James

JOE: So you doing anything this weekend? Going out?

JAMES: Oh, hellz yeah! It's my last weekend before Lent.

JOE: And what, pray tell, are you giving up for Lent?

JAMES: Booze and ciggies. I do it every year.

JOE: Oh, riiiiight. No booze or cigs for forty days? You?

JAMES: Seriously. It's personally very important to me, believe it or not.

JOE: Hmmm. But you'll still be out there taking it up the ass, I assume.

JAMES: Oh, fuck yeah. I mean, I love Jesus but I'm not in love with him.

.

I'm Watching You

Yesterday I was watching the commuters stream past all the soldiers in Grand Central. We no longer notice their machine guns. We don't even see that their hands are always near the triggers. I knew better than take their pictures, even in a crowded public place like a train station. Hell, I nearly got arrested standing on 3rd Avenue taking a picture of the Citigroup Building, which is still heavily guarded after last year's (faked by Bush) terrorist scare. How quickly we've become accustomed to this almost-police state, where we're continually encouraged to be ready to drop a dime on "suspicious activity". How soon before we're encouraged to form "neighborhood committees"? We definitely need to be more vigilant, but another form of that word is "vigilante". It's all so fucking depressing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Busted

Thursday, 7pm, the corner of Vanderbilt & 42nd......

I'm leaving work, heading down to the subway under Grand Central. The two cops (one male, one female) that usually stand on the far corner, the corner in front of the Vanderbilt entrance to Grand Central, are tonight standing on the close corner. That means that I cannot cruise the male cop, a ritual that I amuse myself with on most nights. I don't have a particular thing for cops or uniforms, it's just that this cop is extraordinarily handsome, with dark features and the palest green eyes I've ever seen. Often I'll catch his gaze as I'm in the middle of the street and we'll nod at each other as I pass. It's the closest thing to dating that I've got going.

But tonight, there'll be no gaze dating, no eye fucking. The cops are on the close corner and that means they've got their backs to me. I pull up with the crowd and wait for the light to change. Then I notice the male cop's ass and time stands still. I can't move. Birds fall from the sky. How the fuck have I never noticed his ass? How the fuck have I walked past this man over and over again and never seen this incredible, insane, high, round, perfect ass? This ass should be on a pedestal. This ass should be in a book. If aliens came down to Earth to do some ass harvesting, THIS is the ass that would be on their dashboard all the way home.

The light changes and the crowd surges into the street. But not me. No, I'm still having an ass attack. I'm still lost in assphoria. Then from the corner of my eye, I realize that I'm being watched. Somebody has followed the red lasers shooting from my eyes and totally busted me. It's the female cop. I snap out of my ass reverie and lurch forward. As I pass, the female cop leans her head to the side, puts her hand on her hip and murmurs, "Dream on, pal."

Oh, I will honey. Just as soon as I get home.

.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Sticker Shock (Overheard At Gym Bar)


Greasy Sleazy Easy

Three day weekends are odd things for me. My natural rhythms are thrown off and I usually end up spending the extra day lying on the couch, eyes and mind glazed over at the numbing dreck of daytime television. Did you know that there are now 29 knock-offs of Judge Judy out there? Did you know that paternity tests are apparently the subject of every episode of Maury Povich? Did you know that TNT plays Law & Order ALL DAY LONG, cunningly beginning each episode at five minutes before the hour, to stymie the natural impulse to channel surf at the top of each hour?

I had a houseguest this weekend, my friend from Central Jersey. He's only an occasional reader of this blog, so I amused him by showing him my most recent Google referrals, always good for a yuk or two. Aside from the usual top three searches, "I want to fuck my mother", "I want to fuck my aunt", "I want to fuck my sister" (and seriously people, STOP THAT), I was delighted to see the reappearance of an old favorite, "greasy sleazy easy mama anal cream pie". My houseguest thought that the cadence of that phrase sounded sorta cheerleader-y. "Ready...OK! Greasy Sleazy Easy Mama Anal Cream Pie! Woooooo!!!!" (High kicking, hands on hips).

Houseguest and I ventured out to the Eagle on Saturday night, a place he hadn't visited in two years. We immediately ran into a blogger from my blogroll, who was playing pool and being sexy under the fluorescent pool table light. Houseguest turned to me, "You know that guy? Why isn't he over here kissing me?" Introductions were made, Blogger...Houseguest, Houseguest...Blogger. And then began the usual Eagle tongue orgy, but only a two-way tongue orgy this time. An hour later I walked by them, tongue orgy still in progress, which was the last time I saw Houseguest for the rest of the weekend. The next night I ran into Blogger at the Dugout, but I resisted asking him if Houseguest was now buried under his back porch. That would have been rude.

Do Not Rock The Citicorp Building

I detoured a little bit this morning to take these shots of the Citicorp Tower in Midtown East. Finished in 1978, the 59-story (formerly Citibank, now Citicorp) tower is mostly notable for its supporting columns, which are not at the corners of the structure, but in the middle of each side. It was built that way to accomodate tiny St. Peter's Lutheran Church, which remains nestled on a corner of the property.

Only after the tower was completed did an architecture student calculate that the tower was not properly supported by its unusual column placings, and that hurricane force winds might actually topple the structure. While engineers puzzled how to stabilize the building, the Office Of Emergency Management drafted a plan to evacuate the entire neighborhood should a hurricane approach Manhattan. Eventually a 400-ton "tuned mass dampener", was installed in the building's iconic wedge top, a place meant be used for premium apartments. The dampener slides back and forth on the building's top, countering the effect of wind and keeping the building from swaying too much. The mass dampener apparently works perfectly and I know that the technology has been used in other very tall buildings, still, I don't think I'd enjoy being officed in the Citicorp Building.

Monday, February 20, 2006

February 20th, 2005

This is my favorite of the 300 pictures I took of Cristo's "The Gates" on a snowy morning one year ago today. Overall, I was underwhelmed with the installation, but it did look pretty in the snow.

Another Hot Shot From Oppedisano

The Saint-At-Large just sent out this year's invitation for the Black Party, their famously infamous bacchanal at the Roseland Ballroom. The Black Party invitation posters are notoriously provocative and are hotly collected. Breaking a recent run of rather tepid (in my opinion) posters, this year's poster is HOT HOT HOT and was shot by famed NYC photographer Joe Oppedisano, whose work I raved about back in December. I would love to show you this year's poster, which features transexual porn star Buck Angel, but I know most of you folks read JMG at work, I don't want y'all gettin' fired and stuff.

UPDATE: The Saint-At-Large has added the poster to their site, although the image is rather small and doesn't enlarge. Go here, then click on "Current Season". NSFW!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Rodeo Redux

"Jack! It's me, Ennis! Over here in the Dolce & Gabbana section! Ooh, girl! Those seersucker chaps are to DIE for! And the spurs on those Prada boots? Fierce!" I hope this ad doesn't mean we're going to start seeing urban cowqueens working the Gaza Strip, AKA Eighth Avenue. One round of faux ranch hands is enough for anybody's lifetime, right? Oh wait, I think that's Debra Winger on the other line.

Hello? Anybody Home?

This place is just a few blocks from my house and even though the building has long been dark and deserted, I'm always tempted to ring the bell, just to see if any oil executives answer the door.

Well That Explains Everything

Friday morning, the 6 train....

Woman: Oh no! Not at all! I mean, I can see how people think that, but she's not lesbian. Actually, she's from Canada.
.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

We Only *Wish* This Were Porn

A reader just sent me this picture and at first I thought it was meant to be a continuation of last week's discussion on the prevalence of rape scenes in gay porn. I only wish it were so. Unfortunately, this picture comes via Salon, as further pictorial evidence of how American forces have treated Iraqi prisoners. Can an American out there please cure a disease or invent something fantastic today? I need to feel proud about us again.

Time-Warner Center

The Time-Warner Center, formerly the AOL Time-Warner Center, looms as darkly and ominously over the southwest corner of Central Park as my picture (taken last weekend) seems to indicate. The double (not "twin") towers are 69 stories each, and the north tower also contains the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. There's a rather average shopping mall on the street level, with some posh restaurants in its atrium and a huge Whole Foods in its basement.

Every time I go through Columbus Circle, the TW Center brings to mind a dystopian sci-fi movie, and I can easily imagine this glass monstrosity as the evil headquarters of the Orwellian government, spying into the homes of Americans through their televisions. Oh...wait.

WYSIWYG Ankles P.S.122

Tuesday night I attended the final performance of WYSIWYG, the monthly writer's showcase, at their venerable P.S. 122 home in the East Village. And what a show it was! I've been to plenty of great Wizzy's, even performed in a couple of them myself, but Chris, Andy, and Dan really closed out their run at P.S.122 with a bang. Check out the WYSYWYG home page here, and follow the links to the performers stories from Tuesday's hilarious third annual pean to Valentine's Day, "Worst.Sex.Ever." Next month WYSIWYG relocates to their new home across the street from CBGB's at the Bowery Poetry Club.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Usual

Even though I've lived on the Upper East Side for the last year and a half, I've been continuing to go all the way down to the West Village every other Saturday to get my hair cut. It's not convenient at all. I have to take three trains, and end to end, it takes me about three hours. But I like the convivial atmosphere at the gay barbershop, even though I don't have a particular barber that I regularly patronize there. I usually try to justify the journey by wandering around the shops on Christopher Street or having lunch downtown.

Last Saturday, running out of time to get ready for our bar hop, I decided to make a quick visit to the barbershop that is less than a block from my apartment, a place that I walk past twice a day yet have never patronized. I was the only customer, there was only one barber on duty. The place was dead quiet. As I sat there in the chair in the window, watching the snow pelt down, I realized what a different experience I was having. There was no disco music playing, no mirror-to-mirror cruising of other patrons. I was having a quick, quiet, skillful haircut from a barber who didn't needle me with endless chit-chat about dance parties or music. And I ...liked that. How odd. I had been thinking that it was for those things that I liked to go down to the Village.

I examined the barber's certificate on the wall. His first name was 17 letters long and contained no vowels. He was apparently from one of those former Soviet central Asian republics where everybody's name sounds like a book hitting the floor. Then I stared into the angled overhead mirror and, with a start, I noticed my barber's hair. He had one of the worst haircuts I've ever seen. His part started about halfway behind his left ear, and from there his stringy black hair embarked on a long, winding journey, leaving thin tracks in concentric circles around his skull before finally collapsing, exhausted, in an aggrieved pile on his crown. It had a sort of car-wreck fascination to it and my eyes were repeatedly drawn to the mirror for another drive-by.

I began to wonder, what other skilled job is out there where you could ignore the personal failings of the professional you had hired, yet still expect them to provide you with good service? Would you hire a flabby personal trainer? A mechanic whose car belched black smoke? Would you visit a dentist with missing teeth? I've had bald barbers in my life, and I suppose they could have had bad hair, back when they had hair, but this was the first time I could recall being in this situation.

My barber continued with his quiet, skillful haircut. He asked questions twice, maybe three times, reconfirming my desires. And I'd have to say, I was impressed. Part of the reason I'd always visited gay barbershops, is that gay barbers are familiar with my preferred hairstyle, something I call "disco boot camp", which is not quite a "high-n-tight", as straight barbers would give, which often leaves me looking more like an aged punk with a thinning mohawk. This Upper East Side barber grokked my style, totally. He didn't even try to shave my beard, unlike the Village barbers.

I stood up and waited by the register while he rang me up. I checked myself in the mirror and thought, "This is a great haircut. I don't have to go all the way downtown anymore. I don't have to make nonsense small talk with gabby barbers. This guy hardly speaks English. He followed instructions, he did a great job, he shut up and he didn't hit on me. I'm gonna use him from now on." I paid the man, gave him a good tip, walked to the coatrack and started putting on my hat and gloves.

Then the barber walked over, and casting a sly eye towards the front door, asked me for my phone number.

.

Snow / Don't Snow


The Daily Blague

Last Saturday, the Farmboyz and I had brunch with the heretofore (and still) mysterious R.J. of The Daily Blague. We dined at the lovely Demarchelier on the Upper East Side, where our server had such a thick French accent that I momentarily took to my Inspector Clouseau impression.

I had to confess to R.J. that when I read his book reviews, I usually do it with both a dictionary and Wikipedia at the ready. R.J. was great company, with fascinating stories and I think the Farmboyz and I came away from brunch even more intrigued with our host.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Kid Knows His Bears

Overheard near the Metropolitan Museum.......

Dad: And do you know who the sculptor was?

Kid pulling sled: Dad! Everybody knows that's a Paul Manship! Jeez! Let's go already!

Spinning Through The Slush At Top Speed

It's worth noting that within 12 hours of the "greatest snowstorm in NYC history", the streets were plowed, the trains were running and the entire city went to work yesterday morning with only the slightest hiccups in our routines. Even with mountains of snow piled on the corners, this town still spins like a Swiss watch. Is there any other big city in the world that could have pulled that off?

To my mind, this feat goes largely to the credit of Mayor Bloomberg, who continues to defy the expectations of many, even those who put him in office (including myself). I suppose the man did not become a self-made gajillionaire by being slow on the ball.

St.Etienne At Irving Plaza

Last night I attended pop-disco trio St.Etienne's sold out show at Irving Plaza and let me tell you my tender kittens, the queens love them some St. Etienne. I haven't been to such a lopsidedly gay-attended concert since I saw Erasure in the same room last year. Interestingly, St.Etienne seems to have a similar fan base as Erasure: gay males, Asians, and gay Asian males.

Like most, I first came across St.Etienne back in 1990 when their haunting dance cover of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" hit the clubs. Their 1994 release "Tiger Bay" is probably in my personal top ten list for the 90's. However, since then I'll admit that I've only paid passing interest to their releases.

Touring as a seven-piece, St. Etienne launched into a rollicking (if short) set, covering some of their biggest hits ("Sylvie", "Who Do You Think You Are", "People Get Real") and a handful of tunes from their current release "Tales From Turnpike House", which came out in the UK eight months ago but only found U.S. distribution last month. Tiny lead singer Sarah Cracknell was in great voice, all smiles and bouncy. My favorite moment was during "Nothing Can Stop Us" when then two guys next to me almost exploded from the giddy joy of acting the song out to each other.

Disappointing me, the band left all my favorites ("Filthy", "He's On The Phone", "Hug My Soul") untouched. Not surprising was their not performing their first hit, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart", because lead vocals on that track were performed by a previous vocalist. Otherwise, it was a fine show and I'm glad I finally got to see St. Etienne in person.

It's worth noting that we were quite taken by opening act Mosquitos, a local trio performing at Irving Plaza as a quintet. Mosquitos are a sort of odd bossa-nova, jazz lounge-y, hipster rock-y kind of act, quite difficult to categorize. Picture a little bit of Pizzacato Five, a little bit of Missing Persons and a quite a lot of early Blondie. The lead singer is a native of Brazil and a number of the songs were in Portuguese. Mosquitos were charming and had none of that numb-struck, "let's get this over with" sort of mood that opening acts so often have. I found them captivating.

.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Blarg Hop Photo Recap

UPDATE: Blarg hop reviews here, here, here, here , here, here , here. Blather & Bosh's audio blog: here.

Made all the more memorable by what turned out to be the greatest snowstorm in the history of New York City, about 40 queer and queerish bloggers (and some friends!) set off down Christopher Street with the goal of drinking in every queer bar on the street. This Duplex barmaid's reaction to our arrival was typical: first surprise, then panic, then laughter.

Overall, I think just about everybody had a great time, especially judging by how few usable pictures I came out with. This hottie on the left was the bartender at Pieces, which I found to be a lot bigger and more fun than I had expected. By 1030PM, we had 40+ folks in attendance and we set off, losing and gaining others along the way.
Left: Chi-Chiz was the last place we hit, and good grief we were a jolly crew when we rolled in. Again, instead of photos of sloppy, messy bloggers, wouldn't you much rather look at their handsome, if confused bartender? I thought you would.

Left: One of the two sexy bartenders at Ty's, where I think our crew had their most fun. Ty's already had a good crowd when we rolled in, so by the time the last of our group got served at the bar, it was time to head across the street to the Hangar. I think we must have left hundreds of half-drunk drinks on the bars during the night. Or is that half-drink drunks?
Richard arrived to report that a group of "younger, cuter" bloggers had preempted our blarg hop on the previous night, blarg hopping the "younger, cuter bars", presumably in Chelsea. Whatever, kids! Us'n old bloggers had a wonderful time and easily put the few young'ns under the table.
Left: That's SuperDaddy's BF Tim, throwin' down with his bad ole' self in the basement disco at Monster. About half of our crew stayed upstairs at Monster and the rest of us did the disco. If you have never visited the Monster, I must insist that you do. Some of the patrons have been there as long as the decor.
Left: James, our winter snow fairy. James was one of the non-bloggers who was with us from beginning to end. James loves the snow. By the time we were heading for our fourth bar, the wind had begun to blow the snow sideways. But did the furious blizzard stop our hearty group from seeking out its next Pink Squirrel? Hellz no!
Left: Captain Steve, who brought his husband Brian and their friend Kevin, both of whom managed to have their eyes closed in every picture, hence their absence. Sorry!




Below: First failed attempt at a group shot, taken at Ty's. Nice face, Glenn.




Below: Barcelona bound, one day. Eric Likes Sheep and his DP.
Below: Neil and his BF Bryce. They used to live in New Jersey, but they still don't live in New York.
Below: These three fellows started at Pieces. Only James (in red) made it to the end.
Below: Second attempt at a group shot at Ty's. Nice face, Glenn.
Below: SuperDaddy Mark guards the jukebox no matter where he is. Unfortunately, swifter hands beat him to the Boots & Saddles jukebox and we were treated to 30 minutes of vintage Madonna, probably hastening our departure.
Below: Third attempt at a group shot. This time at least 10 people looked at the camera. Nice face, Glenn.

I'm having trouble with Blogger at the moment, I'll try and tweak this post a few times to add more pictures and line up the text.


Blizzard 2006

Above: My street. Overheard: "Honey, do you remember where we parked?" One week ago: a record high of 64 degrees was recorded in Central Park. Today: a record snowfall of 27 inches was recorded in Central Park. It just gets weirder and weirder.

Below: Central Park, near the Met. I noticed the adults were taking at least as many turns on the sleds as their kids got. Related: When did sleds morph into upside-down trash can lids?

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Prayer From A Heathen

Dear Jeebus/Allah/Buddha/Krishna/Satan/Oprah,

Please turn Clay Aiken straight. I mean, I know he's gay...I just don't want him to be.

Peace out!

Joe

P.S. I know I've already asked you for the same favor regarding Richard Simmons, but could you come through for me on this one?

Miscellany

I am looking forward to seeing everybody at the Blarg Hop tomorrow. I'll admit I'm a little concerned by how the size of our group has ballooned past 50 people. Hopefully, none of the bars will be too overwhelmed by our arrival. We're expected a pretty good snowstorm, I hope none of you are put off by a few flakes. Or the snow either. A-ha! Also, it would be nice if this nasty cold goes away by tomorrow. Maybe I'll have to drink through the sniffles.

****
One year ago today, I mentioned having hit 100,000 visitors to JMG. Sometime this weekend, this here website thingy will hit 1 million page views, and from what I can guesstimate, my one millionth visit will happen sometime after my second blogiversary. It might be fun to have some sort of contest for that occasion. Now what would the prize be?

****

And finally, I want to thank everybody that links back to JMG. Even when you are talking smack about me, and a few of you do, I appreciate the referrals. There's no such thing as bad publicity, right? A couple of months ago, I began linking back to your criticism/praise within the post you are referring to, if that post was still actively generating discussion. I'll try to do that more often.

Dil-E-Punjab

How do you become a successful retailer in Manhattan? Diversification! On sale at the Dil-E-Punjab: Tandori chicken sandwiches, cell phones, fax machines, rolling papers and poppers.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Two Changes

Sunday Morning, 3AM, 28th Street, Chelsea

I am walking next to two black women. They are very, very tall, WNBA tall. And they are amazing looking. Elaborate hairdos, swept up, with some kind of blingy looking pins. Stylish glittery dresses under faux-fur coats. With all that glamour, all that height, here on 28th Street at 3AM, I decide that they are definitely trannies, probably leaving some event at Crobar where they likely were door hostesses.

And then I hear their voices. Their voices are high, delicate, feminine. One makes a joke and when they both laugh I am reminded of the tinkling of fine stemware.

And so I change my mind about these two.

All three of us arrive at the corner of 10th Avenue together, where there is the usual late-night polyglot of limos, town cars and taxis, but all spoken for at the moment. We wait for a change of the traffic light to bring another wave of taxis. But before that happens, a toothless homeless man with an uncontrolled spray of pigtails launches himself out of the doorway of the corner bodega and runs up to the two women, who are standing next to me in the street.

With his hands in the pockets of his filthy coat, the man does a deranged dance around the women, shouting over and over again, "I lub yo' weeb! I lub yo' weeb!" I am just deciphering that into "I love your weave!" when one of the women whirls around on the man.

Now her voice is gravel-filled, it's rough, it's five octaves lower, and she bellows, "You better STEP yo' rank, smelly, ODB teethin', Coolio-hairin', garbage can wearin', skanky ass the FUCK back from me, nigga!"

And so I change my mind about these two.

.

My Old Lady Loves Neck Face

As seen in Chelsea. And no, I have no idea.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Good Morning Australia

All you jillions of Ozzies being sent here by the Sydney Morning Herald, the post your columnist is referring to is here. While your correspondent quoted my very short post almost in its entirety, you may wish to review the commentary from my very smart readers, many of whom disagreed with me.

Cybersocket

Speaking of Jockohomo, he and I have both been interviewed for the upcoming issue of Cybersocket Magazine, which I must confess I have never seen. How out of it does that make me? I'll provide a link to the story if it goes up on their site, which looks exhaustingly comprehensive. Um, I'll be back....later.

Jockohomo Steps Up

Gentle readers, we've got some smart, smart people on this here website thingy. I only do an "opinion" piece every few weeks, but I am consistently floored by the thoughtful, challenging, and better-than-I-could-have-said-it responses. More times that I'd like to admit, I come away with an altered opinion. As a case in point, I have pulled the below comment out of the comments box so that more of you will read Jockohomo's take on our gay porn discussion. I thank Jim for his permission to do this.

Thanks for the link to this excellent post, very thought provoking! It's worth noting that the homo/hetero dichotomy dates from only a century ago, when doctors invented both terms, thereby recasting as a duality what had previously been regarded as a wide variety of sexual attitudes and appetites. We all know that sexuality and sexual preferences operate on a kind of complex spectrum, every individual has a unique sexuality that's different from those of their peers.

1. Most males really enjoy being male, having a penis is awesome! We all have certain physical features in common with other males. Depending on the individual, this pride of masculinity may cause a varying degree of arousal when a guy looks at another male. Even though we may have no desire for actual romantic or intimate contact with another male, it can still be an erotic image. We may wonder how a fellow male masturbates or how he has sex, because we find these things enjoyable when we do them ourselves. We may think about masturbating while looking at another guy who is doing it at the same time. However, basic admiration or 'looking at another guy' doesn't mean we want them. As all porn is voyeuristic in nature, I hope we could agree as gay men that there is more to being a homosexual than just the physical. Homosexuality is not the inverse of heterosexuality. Gay sexual acts that mirror heterosexual act, are dull, boring, predictable. If allegedly straight males are the holy grail in gay eroticism, that's a damn shame, and too rigid for me. Of course, when considering sexual preference one has to take into account the balance of desire for physical intimacy with the desire for emotional intimacy.

2. Rape is and always will be a form of violence and control no matter how one might glorify, sanitize, and aestheticize sexual violence. It's interesting to consider that what we see in gay porn might not be the modern definition of rape, as we rarely see the serious consequences of such rape. I often think that what we might be seeing in films is the more erotic raptus as defined by the ancient Romans i.e. the carrying off by force. During the Renaissance, a time when artists looked to ancient Greco-Roman civilization for enlightened inspiration sexual relations were portrayed like the hunt; that sex and rape were equal, that when seduction fails, violence may be employed, that aggression against an unwilling partner enhances eroticism, that in the end the rape victim will be happy with the assailant. It's frightening to examine the rape concept, yes, but interesting to consider. I have no answers as to why, 'rape scenes' appear so often in porn, they are demeaning and feed the myth of the gay man as sexually insatiable and a predator.

3. As gay men, we grow up holding the secret, holding the shadow side. It's interesting not having definitive role models, the ego has an enormous capacity not to know itself. Society forces us to hold down those so called unpleasant or unacceptable qualities, but inside those so called unpleasant or unacceptable qualities are a great deal of normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, and creative impulses. We grow knowing what to show and or not to show in order to survive in a male dominated society. In other words, the fear of being perceived as gay holds straight guys together. This is why boys in a playground police each other for signs of being a sissy, why male adolescents conjure up elaborate codes in which wearing a certain color on a certain day labels the unwitting offender as a fairy or homo. Sadly, the obsession with homosexual signs and the people who embody them is the key to an order that ranks men by their invulnerability to same-sex desire. The irony is that this heterosexual code of conduct has nothing to do with loving women, but it has everything to do with fear of femininity.

Fear of a queer new world? What would the world look like without homophobia and internalized homophobia at that! Why is it that ordinary masculinity depends not just on heterosexuality but on male-dominant heterosexuality? What would happen if all men would embrace passivity, receptivity, and vulnerability as part of their larger repertoire of emotions?


-Jockohomo

The Helmsley Building

From my walk to work this morning, here's a couple of shots of the Helmsley Building, one of the three buildings parked squat in the middle of Park Avenue. (The other two: The Pan Am /Met Life Building and Grand Central Terminal. These two tunnels (below) re-emerge on the other side of the Helmsley as an elevated platform that wraps around both sides of the Met Life Building and rejoin in front of Grand Central. The city is presently building a bomb barrier all along the portion of Park Avenue that borders the terminal. The jackhammering has been almost nonstop for several months and us'ns up on the high floors are getting mighty tired of it. I can't imagine how bad it must be for the folks closer to street level.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

GayProf Nails It Again

Please go visit the GayProf at Center Of Gravitas. He has just produced a brilliant dissection of the relationship between internalized homophobia and the eroticizing and fetishization of straight men, as evidenced by a huge percentage of gay porn.

I'm not saying gay men should stop patronizing places like SeanCody.com and AmateurStraightGuys.com. I'm just saying we can all be healthier people once we examine and understand our carnal motivations, once we own our desires.

.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Blarg Hop

Have any of you guys been to ALL of the bars on Christopher Street, the most famous street in all of the homoverse? Not just the bear bars. Not just the leather bars. Not just the showtune/cabaret places. All of them? Well, me neither. And apparently, not any of my blogger friends either. But that will all change this weekend when we, a loose confederation of loose bloggers, make our first big group blarg hop down Christopher Street, where we will visit every homo hangout on the entire street.

Event: Blarg Hop (blog + bar hop = blarg hop)

Date: Saturday, February 11th

Place: Christopher Street

Time: 10PM (22:00 hrs if you are Eric)

What: An old school bar crawl down Christopher Street

Who: A veritable cavalcade of gay bloggers and friends, including: Blather And Bosh, CircleInASquare, Diary Of A Dandy, Fox In The City, Glennalicious, Ham & Cheese On Wry, Joe.My.God., My Secretive Life, Perge Modo, Plastic Music, PogueGO, Proceed At Your Own Risk, Robocub, Someone In A Tree, The Ninth Circle Of Helen, Tin Man, The Mark Of Kane, VelleityNYC, We Like Sheep and doubtlessly some others. Bloggers interested in joining us, email me to add your name here.

Itinerary: (We start at Pieces at 10pm. The bars will be visited in the following order, at least one cocktail per bar, but we allocate no specific duration to any venue in case they like, suck and stuff.)

1. Pieces - 8 Christopher Street
2. Stonewall - 53 Christopher Street
3. Duplex - 61 Christopher Street
4. The Monster - 80 Grove Street*
5. Boots & Saddles - 76 Christopher Street
6. Ty's - 114 Christopher Street
7. The Hangar - 115 Christopher Street
8. Chi-Chiz - 135 Christopher Street
9. Dugout - 185 Christopher Street

Feel free to join us. Mike P of Blather & Bosh will be audioblogging the event for his podcast, and there will be copious photographic records made of the entire, sure to be sordid, affair. And of course, we will all post hungover recaps on Sunday. But probably not too early.

* Yes, we know that The Monster is not on Christopher, but it's close enough and too legendary to ignore. Marie's Crisis gets no such dispensation.


On The Line

Wednesday afternoon, the uptown 6 train....

Having forgotten to "dress nice" for work today, I am standing on the platform in Grand Central Station, waiting for an uptown 6 train to rush me home for a quick change before meeting a new client at the end of the day. We'll likely be taking him out for dinner, and my Old Navy t-shirt won't exactly exude professionalism from across the table at the tony Union Square Cafe.

The usual hodge-podge of midday train riders are on the platform with me. Tourists, students, the unemployed. I can't help noticing the very handsome Latino man standing close to me. He's short and thick and his Popeye forearms are criss-crossed with prison-quality tattoos. He's the sort of rough trade that you can find on the covers of a certain genre of gay porn, stuff with titles like "Prison Papi Chulos" and "Blatino Thug Party". Or so I'm guessing.

I lean over the tracks and peer down the tunnel. I hate when I do this, it doesn't make the train come any faster. A minute later, I do it again. This time, the handsome Latin man has moved down the platform so that when I peer down the tracks, I'm looking right into his face. An almost imperceptible look flashes across his face. Is he cruising me? Or sizing me up for a mugging? I'm reminded of when my friend Ken was lusting for a similarly rough looking character and I told him, "Wow, I can't tell if he wants to fuck you or punch you!" Ken murmured, "Either one, baby, either one."

I step back away from the edge of the platform and lean against one of the tile-covered columns. My cruiser/mugger walks over and stands next to me. I'm not too worried, I've got plenty of potential witnesses. I notice his hands. They are toughened, scarred. Whatever this guy does, he does it with his hands.

By the time the train arrives, there is quite a crowd on the platform. As I push onto the train, I think I can feel the man behind me. Is that his hand, resting just above my belt, guiding me, more than pushing me? I move to the center of the car and hold onto the pole with my right hand. I feel the man move behind me, his shoulder brushing across my back. Then he's next to me, holding onto the same pole, his thick fist scarcely an inch below mine. He looks up at me and for the first time, I notice his eyes, emerald green with flecks of gold. He nods at me and I nod back. This is getting....interesting.

The train lurches into motion and for once I'm glad to have the person next to me slam against me. I pretend to read the ads over the seats but can't resist looking down at this man again. He smiles and nods, again. I nod back, again. After 51st Street, the train thins out considerably and it looks a bit odd for us to be so scrunched together, so I sit down. He sits down next to me.

Worryingly, he says to me, "I know where you are going." His accent is thick, Brazilian, I think. His "you" sounds like "Jew".

"You do? Where am I going?" I say.

"You are going to 68th Street."

How does he know this?

"Good guess." I say.

"No guess. I know. Me and you....we have talked....on the line." With "on the line", he makes a keyboard typing gesture with both hands.

Ah. There it is.

"We have? Wow, I would think I'd remember somebody like you. I'm sorry."

He shrugs. "We talk to lots of people on the line. Some you remember, some you don't want to, yes?"

Yes.

"And I told you where I lived? I don't think I usually do that."

"Well, we were going to hook up, " he offers.

"But we didn't."

"No, you had company."

"Oh, OK. Sorry."

He nods, "It's cool."

The 59th Street stop is announced. He gets up. "I get off here. I go to Queens to work on a house. I write to you again sometime? OK? On the line?"

I nod, perhaps too vigorously. "Yeah, cool."

The doors open and as he moves past me, he grabs the back of my neck and rubs my head, thrilling me just a little bit. I watch his butt jump as he bounds down the platform towards the E train. He catches me watching him as the train slides by and gives me a sly smile. I get out at 68th Street, thinking about all the missed connections I seem to have lately. Ten minutes later, I'm in my apartment giving a white dress shirt the ironing of its life.

.

Overheard During The Super Bowl


Friday, February 03, 2006

Overheard In Chelsea


The Top Of The Rock

I've been meaning to post these photos I took back in November when the new viewing deck, Top Of The Rock, on the 70th floor roof of Rockefeller Center, finally reopened after 19 years. Tickets are $14.00, and after the exceedingly perky staffers quide you through several rope mazes and an opportunity to have your photo taken in front of a giant picture of The Rock ($14.95), you are ushered into a room featuring this rather impressive model.

Above: The model, facing from the 5th Avenue perspective. Note the attention to detail, including the tiny statue of Prometheus, who stands guard above the skating rink.
Above: After viewing the model and several large displays about the history of Rockefeller Center, you are prodded into a screening room, where you view a 13 minute film about the depression-era life of Rockefeller and the construction of the main tower.

Above: After the movie, you get into an elevator with a glass top. The entire shaft is illuminated and if you don't get vertigo staring up as 70 stories rush past you in 45 seconds, you have a stronger gut than I do. Special added branding: NBC sitcom ads are projected onto the glass as you stare up through it. How's that for annoying? (GE/NBC owns Rockefeller Center.) Above: Looking north, one of the best views of Central Park in the city.
Above: Looking northwest, midtown, Hudson River, George Washington Bridge, New Jersey.
Above: The view down towards Times Square.
Above: The viewing decks are on three levels. This lowest level looks towards Queens.
Above: On the top viewing deck, this military-esque looking dome probably is some kind of radar device.
Above: This deck looks south, towards downtown. That's the East River.
Above: Looking southwest, across the Hudson towards Jersey City. The building with the antenna is 4 Times Square.
Above: From the Empire State Building you can't SEE the Empire State Building, making the Top Of The Rock the best view in town, according to some.

Left: Hello Squinty McSquinton! It was early in the morning and I think I was trying to get myself into the shot with the ESB. Not such a good idea. Next time I visit the Top Of The Rock, I'm going to go at night.
Above: As at Disney World, all rides end in the gift shop. I did not purchase any TOTR memorabilia. Aside from the usual shot glasses and sweatshirts, there was also a $75 TOTR Christmas ornament being offered. Um, no thanks.