Friday, June 24, 2011

Kiehl's Kicks Off NYC Gay Pride in Style

With Nathaniel Rogers and Jon Jensen

Last night I attended a Gay Pride party at the famed Kiehl's shop in the East Village, where the venerable skin experts presented a $5,000 donation to the Ali Forney Center, a great organization that provides housing for homeless LGBT youth. Now that I have to wake up when the first number on my alarm clock is a 4, it's a lot harder for me to get motivated for these events, especially on a school night. But with Dan Savage, Terry Miller and Andy Towle -- who kindly invited me -- as co-hosts, I figured it was worth checking out, even if I was half-expecting it to end up being another routine evening filled with the usual crowd tripping over Real Housewife while annoying music blares in the background.

Big check, bigger fun

Much to my surprise, though, the party was a bit of a hoot -- a great crowd, great food (three kinds of gourmet mac and cheese -- need I say more?) and great music ("Cruel Summer" was on when I walked in -- I accused Andy of arranging it just for me!).

The design team of Jeffrey Costello & Robert Tagliapietra, Terry Miller, Dan Savage, Andy Towle, Chris Salgardo, Mike Ruiz and Marc Swanson

After navigating my way back to the bar -- free SKYY VODKA, thank you very much --I quickly ran into my blogger/Michigan pal Nathaniel Rogers -- of Film Experience Blog fame -- and his handsome pal Jon Jensen, a poet(!), who I dazzled with details of James Franco's biopic about Hart Crane. (OK, maybe I was dazzling myself that I could think of something relevant to say to a poet!) The three of us had a great time mingling with the crowd -- my plus-one, Scooter LaForge, was coming from an art show and told me he'd be an hour late, so I decided to get a head start without him -- where we chatted with a bunch of people, including Michelangelo Signorile and his film-studies professor partner Dave (Mike and I were checking in throughout the night to see if was legal to marry yet!), Andy and partner Dave, a few sweet blog readers and Ally Sheedy (naturally, Nathaniel moved in on that one, lamenting Oscar's snub of "High Art" and making a point of not mentioning "anything too mainstream -- no 'Breakfast Club'").

Dan Savage addresses the crowd

There was a big presentation of the check from Kiehl's President Chris Salgardo to Ali Forney Center Executive Director Carl Siciliano (hubba hubba) -- and Dan Savage said something about matching the $5,000 donation, although I didn't catch what he said exactly (you know about gay men and AHDD).

John Polly and Vinny Lopez

It was great when Scooter arrived -- I'd just seen him Tuesday at his triumphant group show at Theater for the New City -- as he knew a bunch of other guys, including Logo talking head John Polly.

Ali Forney Center Executive Director Carl Siciliano, Ally Sheedy, Kiehl's President Chris Salgardo

At the risk of indicting 100 percent a large percentage of my life, history has shown me that I tend to take fewer pictures at moments when I'm truly having a good time. (OK, that sounded really bad. I am usually having a good time, but some situations are more picture-friendly than others!) Such was the case last night. Luckily, the party was well-documented by the city's largest photo agencies (hence the watermarks) -- as well as by a few friends. We even got Patrick-ed!

So Pride is officially upon us. Next up? Blowoff. I hope you're having a great Pride wherever you are. What's on your agenda?

Scooter LaForge and Bryan Mulry

1 comment:

Frank Anthony Polito said...

Sounds like you had fun... Sorry I couldn't make it :-( Damn that James Franco! I had an idea to write a play about Hart Crane back in like 2001. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but... What IS his fascination with us gays, already?!