Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Friends of P.

My parents used to let me stay up late when I was 9 to watch “All’s Fair” because of this one, who was equally adorable in “The Jerk.” Happy birthday, Bernadette!

All’s Fair”: 
The Norman Lear sitcom aired one season on CBS (from 1976 to 1977) and starred Richard Crenna as a conservative political columnist and Bernadette Peters as a liberal photographer, showcasing their romantic mismatch because of age and political opinions. About a decade later I was interning in Washington while briefly considering a career on Capitol Hill before coming to my senses during the first Bush administration. 

Tennis Tuesday

I’m as surprised as anyone at how handsome Denis has become. More BELOW.

Sign Language

Given my Spanish I think this is cute more than anything! 

Monday, February 27, 2023

Weekend Tennis Roundup

It was a crazy week with Cam topping Carlos and Barbora sticking it to Iga. Novak’s breaking the all-time record for weeks at No. 1 is mighty big too, almost as impressive as Alcaraz’s candid underwear pic making the rounds, which you can see BELOW.

Postcard From Spain

Damian and I have been in Madrid the past few days, before being joined by three of his four sisters. It’s my first time in Spain and I am enjoying everything about it so far. Today we took a day trip sans one sleepy sister to the Aqueduct of Segovia, a Roman aqueduct built around the first century AD. (Spectacular doesn’t even begin to describe it!) Ditto for the men here, as you can see for yourself in some of the photos below!

Stopped by by Museo Chicote, a wonderful cocktail bar Ernest Hemingway frequented in the 1930s, when it was popular with international journalists.

Love that Debi Mazar stars in joint’s ad campaigns!

Site of my first Negroni

And then there’s the gay nightlife. Would it kill NYC to have hot shirtless bartenders and play decent music? 😎

Tomorrow we head to Granada to see even Moor historical sights, including the Alhambra. Will post more soon! πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Έ

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday Comics


I want to write another memoir and called it "Indoorsy."

Friday, February 24, 2023

'I'd Rather Pay More'


If you haven't read my memoir -- "Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?" -- it's a bit of a love letter to my mother. (Molly's seen here on big date with Fred Shirley in Takoma Park, Md., circa 1958.) My brother Terence found this 1986 Pizza Hut commercial last night and sent it to me. The ad campaign is a plot point in the book, which those who have read it will appreciate!

That sure looks like David Ruprecht, the oddly sexy Libertarian host of "Supermarket Sweep"!

On the Rag, Vol. 748

A weekly look at what's making news in the gay magazines:

Dallas Voice: Live, work, vogue

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Row v. Apartment

I've always admired the glamorous old-world apartment buildings along Central Park West, like the Dakota (John Lennon, Lauren Bacall, almost Carly Simon), San Remo (Mary Tyler Moore, Rita Hayworth, Diane Keaton), El Dorado (Faye Dunaway, Bruce Willis, Michael J. Fox) and Beresford (Jerry Seinfeld, Meryl Streep, Calvin Klein, Tatum O’Neil, Michael Nichols/Diane Sawyer, Diana Ross). 

So it never crossed my mind that a single-family house was an option -- until now. 

Gimme Shelter reports that a 19th-century rowhouse -- a real rarity, featuring nine bedrooms and five baths -- has just hit the market for $7.99 million.

The 20-foot-wide limestone Neo-Renaissance residence, at 354 Central Park West, is 5,000 square feet. Built in 1892, it was designed by G.A. Schellenger and developed by Edward Kilpatrick.

This was also one of five rowhouses built between 95th and 96th streets. Only two of the original remain these days, and just one is for sale. What’s more, listing broker Frances Katzen of Douglas Elliman says this is the only townhouse for sale along Central Park West.

I think I'd still prefer the comfort and security of an apartment, but you can have a look inside and decide for yourself BELOW.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Trey Speegle: I Inadvertently Designed Andy Warhol’s Gravestone

Hard to believe that it's been 36 years since Andy Warhol died -- and that I’m now only about two years younger than he was when he bought the farm. I've written about being at Graffiti's nightclub in Old Town Tempe dancing with my friend Chantal when the news broke in 1987. 

And now I see artist/writer Trey Speegle -- whose photo “Andy in the Limelight” (1986) is from the exhibit Trey Speegle: 80s Polaroids in Merida, Mexico --  has his own, far more memorable, recollection of the Pop art icon's death:

Andy Warhol died [36] years ago today. I told this story in Catherine Johnson’s book 'Thank You Andy Warhol.' Peter McGough lied in his book and said David [McDermott] had designed the poster, he did not. I did. 

When (Andy) died so suddenly it was like a punch in the gut; everybody was shaken up. In ‘86, Peter McGough and David McDermott, great friends of mine [at the time] had just returned from a year’s stay in Italy. They had brought this blank memorial poster back with them. When someone dies in Italy, they make this traditional poster at the printer, and plaster them all over the streets… 

I took a blank memorial poster with PAX (peace) and palm fronds and filled it in with his name and the dates of his birth and death. I replaced the illustration of praying hands in an oval with Andy’s high school yearbook picture, and added a quote from the bible. The type 'ANDY WARHOL' was Xeroxed from the headline of the New York Post that read 'ANDY WARHOL DEAD AT 58.'

I printed the poster and we had them plastered it all over downtown, and several were given to the art critic Diego Cortez. He in turn gave one to Andy’s brother. 

About a year later, I was at the gallery 56 Bleecker and I saw a grave rubbing of Andy’s headstone by my friend Scott Covert. My jaw dropped. 

It turns out Andy’s brother had given the poster to the gravestone maker, who used it as a template for the headstone. It’s black marble, the same size as the poster. The gravestone maker removed Andy’s picture and added back the praying hands. 

So, yes, I inadvertently designed Andy Warhol’s gravestone.

P.S. I finally got around to watching “The Andy Warhol Diaries" on Netflix and loved every minute of it. It made me happy to know there was a real person with feelings behind the fey facade.

Follow Trey on Instagram HERE.

Woman Accused of Burning Pride Flag at SoHo Eatery Charged With Hate Crime

Although the deplorable woman police say lit a pride flag on fire outside a restaurant in SoHo has thankfully been arrested and charged with a hate crime, it's still mind-boggling that in 2023 -- in one of the most progressive cities on earth -- that this could even happen. (The restaurant was damaged but fortunately no people were harmed.)

Damian and I are re-watching Kathy Griffin's "My Life on the D-List" reality show -- remember when Dennis Hensley and Tony Tripoli were her "main gays" before she went psycho on the latter, and she pretended to still be with hubby Matt even though she's already found out about his ATM "usage"?!!!! -- and it feels like a period piece, not the least of which when she loses patience chatting with a military captain while preparing to entertain the troops in Iraq, who said none of the troops had better be stupid enough to admit they're gay or they "deserve to get caught." 

"[Captain] Jesse -- you know it's 2006," she incredulously replied.  

But people are still torching pride flags in 2023. 

How great to see City Council cutie Erik Bottcher on the scene for the raising of a replacement flag.

Confessions of a Screen Queen

Sounds like I need to read -- or at the very least add to the mile-high stack on my nightstand -- legendary World of Wonder co-founder Fenton Bailey's "Screen Age: How TV Shaped Our Reality."

Boy Culture writes:
With the book, Bailey describes how his lifelong interest in all things pop would eventually be distilled into a series of successful and culture-shaping endeavors from the early '80s on, leaving plenty of time to dish on events he helped create/for which he was present, and to gossip, gossip, gossip.

He walks us through the East Village scene of the early '80s -- Madonna, MTV, Andy Warhol, Nina Hagen, the Pyramid -- and the formation of their own little band, the Pop Tarts, their first show (a public-access series called "Flaunt It!") and first success (a public-access series called "Manhattan Cable"), but it was all leading to RuPaul, who announced himself with posters that actually read: RuPAUL IS EVERYTHING. 
It is bizarre to read about their [Fenton and creative partner Randy Barbato] story, the story of queer culture becoming mainstream (right before its current implosion into being public enemy no. 1 again, thanks to the rise of right-wing bitterness over that normalizing), and to realize it is HISTORY. Not even particularly recent history. And thank whatever god you pray to — perhaps Grace Jones? — that Bailey is documenting it, to remind us. So many of the people who lived through this time did not live past it, and aren't able to frame it for us.
More details plus ordering information HERE.

The Fabulous Pop Tarts: Randy (left) and Fenton from British GQ

"Another Grey Day in London": This was the boys' first video that got played on MTV. Lots of great vintage NYC footage, including "Madonna," the Twin Towers and the Pyramid Club ... love the chyron backstory!

And on this segment of Fenton and Barbato's long-ago cable-access show "Manhattan Cable," Laurie Pike interviews Queerdonna, aka Greg Gostanian, the "ultimate" Madonna fan and impersonator, who carried on for the camera before everyone did. RIP.

Fear and Purring in New York City

I was tickled when my pal Matt sent me this photo he'd snapped in Upper Chelsea over the weekend. Kudos to aspiring social-media personality Kafka Is Famous -- who is sort of the feline Angelyne -- for riffing off this 1975 pamphlet from one of New York City's darkest moments in time:
Travelers arriving at New York City’s airports in June 1975 were greeted with possibly the strangest object ever handed out at the portal to a great city: pamphlets with a hooded death’s head on the cover, warning them, “Until things change, stay away from New York City if you possibly can.”

“Welcome to Fear City” read the stark headline on these pamphlets, which were subtitled “A Survival Guide for Visitors to the City of New York”. Inside was a list of nine “guidelines” that might allow you to get out of the city alive, and with your personal property intact.
Keep reading BELOW.

Song of the Day: 'Queen Bee' feat. Taj Mahal, Ben Harper, Rosanne Cash


Something tells me I would have loved every second of this song even if it didn't feature Rosanne Cash singing from New York City's beloved High Line park -- but that sure doesn't hurt!

Playing for Change: Get “rocked to your soul” with the “sweet” sounds of the blues classic “Queen Bee,” by legendary musician Taj Mahal. “Queen Bee” is a soulful single from Taj Mahal’s 1997 studio album, "SeΓ±or Blues," which won a Grammy for best contemporary blues album. This version from the Song Around the World: Playing for Change sessions features Ben Harper, Rosanne Cash, Paula Fuga and over 20 musicians from six countries. 


I'm such a bee queen!

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Red Zone


Either some North Carolinians don't like Arizona bogarting all the (negative) attention, or this guy REALLY wants to see Kamala Harris move up a notch. 

Just in from a friend:
At Charlotte airport, and turns out this person is not an ally..."let's get Biden to quit." 

I don't know what "getting" someone to quit means. But he is welcome to try voting. It may not end in the result he's hoping for, but it's the best system we've got.

Tennis Tuesday

Lorenzo Musetti is what I call sets on a beach. More BELOW.

When Joan Rivers Was a 'Dick' to Some NYC Gender Benders

While I'm sure Joan Rivers wouldn't be receiving any GLAAD Media Awards in 2023 for asking men who perform as women if they still have their penises, I think it's easy to forget how subversive her syndicated daytime(!) talk show was at times back in the day. From 1989 to 1993, Mrs. Rosenberg featured numerous LGBT notables, everyone from Michael Alig, his Club Kid friends and Martina Navratilova to Lily Tomlin, Tab Hunter and the children of Billy Tipton.

Perhaps the finest moment was when she did a show about "Men Who Became Superstars as Women," featuring a fashion show with gender benders Joey Arias, Miss Guy and Paris emceed by Lady Bunny, as well as performances by Lypsinka and RuPaul and a hilarious interview with Holly Woodlawn, there promoting her memoir, "A Low Life in High Heels." 

Although it was a hoot hearing Holly discuss how Madonna wanted to adapt her book into a film -- and play fellow Warhol trans-Superstar Candy Darling -- the high point of it all had to be when Miss Guy (of Toilet Boys fame) responded to Joan's unseemly question by asking her if she has hers. (Michael Musto wrote it up, above.)

Joan was adorable throughout the show and truly seemed to have affection for her guests. But that moment, the genesis of which Miss Guy explains above, was a rare time that even Joan wasn't sure what had just slapped her in the face!