When I first moved to NYC, I used to spend many a Saturday night at the Roxy with my friends Dan, Mikey and Jimmy. We always had a hell of a good time when we would go and dance until the weeeeee hours of the morning. Even the cab rides home, when the sun was just creeping up and the car was flying uptown, seems so distant yet amazing. There was something so awesome about staying up all night while the rest of the city slept, getting to hear the most incredible music that your ears had ever witnessed. I miss those days. I don't get out dancing half as often as I should. Many times they would have special guests perform, which were out of this world (Madonna!), and sometimes there were performers that we had never really heard of. Kevin Aviancewas one of those performers. I had never heard of him but his stage show was fierce. He seemed like a giant, even though in actuality he was only 6 feet 2 inches tall. However, add 5 inches of heels and you get the picture. His shows were beyond energetic and I loved every minute. I was so pleased to read an article about him this past week in the Village Voice. Many non-Gay New Yorkers would likely not be familiar with Aviance before 2006. However, after the evening of June 10th, 2006, that would all change. He would now be in the spotlight for an awful physical attack and not for his incredible music or stage show.
Kevin was beaten and left for dead in the East Village by four teens in an unprovoked attack. Kevin said the guys were "kicking me in my head over and over again. They were wearing [Nike] Air Force sneakers. I can still hear their feet in my head." Witnesses on the street did nothing. Kevin lay in the middle of the street until an unknown person pulled him from where he lay and escorted him to Beth Israel Hospital where he received treatment. The weeks and months that followed were dark for Kevin. He sunk low into depression and drug use to escape the pain and difficulty he was facing. His life had been turned upside down. With the help of a friend, he was able to seek deeper within himself and escape from the depths of Crystal Meth addiction - recovery and realizations followed. The story is amazing and I'm so happy to hear that he has been able to rise above the attack that nearly took his life and the horrible addiction that followed. I'm only skimming the surface in regards to the detail of what he faced. You can read the entire article HERE. With a new women’s shoe line just recently released, there are exciting things ahead for the talented performer and to my surprise, fellow native Virginian. Born Eric Snead, Mr. Aviancewas raised in Richmond, Virginia, where I am from. Here’s to much more success and fierceness to such a brave artist. Kevin's blog can be found here at kevinavianceworld.blogspot.com. xox.
As a departure from the serious and sometimes elegant ‘adult’ drinks described on Midweek Libations, this week we address the kid in everyone with a whimsical cocktail. What is the most absurd kind of martini you could think of (aside from a Fish & Chips martini)? The Peanut Butter and Jelly Martini- a wacky yet delicious addition to your casual cocktail party. It is futile to try to document the cultural or sociological history of the PB&J martini… it has none! No need to explore how or when it was first created, just enjoy it for what it is (and keep the kids away). After all, who doesn’t love a good PB&J?
In a cocktail shaker combine 2 measures of good vodka(Absolut or Stoli will do), 1 measure of Crème de Cassis(a Blackcurrant Liqueur), 1 measure of Frangelico(a Hazelnut Liqueur), and 1 measure of strawberry puree or coulis. Strawberry puree can be bought in some good supermarkets or made at home by putting a few cleaned and hulled strawberries in a blender or food processor with a little sugar or simple syrup. Shake the ingredientsvigorously with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a whole strawberry or a big purple grape.
Thank you Mr.RJH for hooking us up so sweetly again! See all the past Midweek Libations HERE - S.
At the very beginning of Madonna's song What it feels like for a girl, you hear a young English woman, Charlotte Gainsbourg, speaking. The song was featured on Madonna's 2000 Music album and was released on April 21 2001.
In the song, Charlotte says... Girls can wear jeans And cut their hair short Wear shirts and boots cause its ok to be a boy But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading cause you think that being a girl is degrading But secretly you'd love to know what its like...Wouldn't you? What it feels like for a girl.
The quote above is from a 1994 film entitled the The Cement Garden. It's unknown exactly how Madonna came across the movie but it's obvious that it's influence was strong. Watch the scene from the movie that features the quote above to get a quick understanding of the source. It looks amazing.
Madonna's video for the song was directed by her husband Guy Ritchie. The video features Madonna as an ex-con who goes on a crime spree with her grandmother. She pulls up to the Ol Kuntz Guest Home to free her grandmother and off they go wreaking havoc. A bit of Dashus trivia - the cop featured in the video is the uncle of the first girl I ever dated (Shhh...yes, I dated girls. No Really! And they were cute, y'all!) Anyway, his name is Price Carson. He's a been a working actor for many many years who appeared in...Oh, who cares - he was in a Madonna Video! I swear, that is all I would have on my resume! That is super hot! The video is below and it caused a ton of controversy. The video features quite a bit of violence (nothing new to Mr. Ritchie) which showed Madonna tasering a man withdrawing cash from an ATM, shooting a fake gun at two police officers and blowing up a gas station before finally crashing her car at full speed into a telephone pole. Death and destruction never looked so good. Enjoy. xox.
It's Gay Pride in New York this weekend. The BF and I are donning our finest leather chaps and will be proudly streaming down 5th Avenue in all our glory! OK OK - thats not true. We may stop by the parade, and surely drinks at a friends place is bound to happen, but that's about it. Pride has never been a big deal for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud. I also think that celebrating the many strides taken by gay men and women for acceptance and understanding that we are still striving for is fully commendable. For me, Pride is less about a parade and a pier dance and more about the way I've been raised and live my life. I'm glad that I was surrounded by friends and family who, when I came out, were 100% supportive of me - not because I was Gay but because I was able to just be me. There were some tears from my mother and some from me when I told her I was gay. She was crying for the fear of what I'd have to face. She was scared that I'd have to endure ridicule and societal loathing as a result of being gay. I cried because I was sad to see her cry. I guess I was somewhat nervous too but for me that fear turned in to strength. This realization that you are not what everyone had expected you to be automatically creates a thicker skin on you. I had to, from that moment onward, never look back and second guess the person that I was. If I failed a test, it wasn't for any other reason than I didn't study hard enough. If I got in an argument with anyone, it was because I hadn't listened to the other person well enough (or to myself). If I missed a line in a performance, it was because my mind wasn't in the moment. If I hated myself because of what others thought of me, I had lost my pride. I made sure these little failures happened less and less. I was raised to be a good Southern Boy. I was raised to always honor and respect my parents. I grew up adoring my brother. I grew up having friends so close that I'd consider them family. I grew up wanting to fall in love and never look back and I've done all these things. I grew up living to my fullest and my best because there was nothing less. I grew up with this pride not because I was gay but because I was loved. -S.
One of my best friends in the world is celebrating his 30th birthday today! Last year we celebrated my 30th birthday together by getting matching tattoos. We both got the roman numerals for the number 23 (XXIII) His tattoo is on the back of his neck and mine is on my inner upper arm. It was truly a great moment - one of many in a life long friendship. I wish he was in The States now so we could celebrate like we did last year but he's off touring the world making girls (and guys) swoon. I love you, J.My excitement holds true for all that you/we are and all that you'll/we'll become. See you in SD or NYC sooner rather than later, brother. xoxo.
I was lucky enough to share in quite the weekend away from New York when I visited Rosarita, Mexico with my boyfriend. We went there for the wedding of my dear friends Ash and Les and it was a tremendous time. Ash and Les were married last Saturday June 16th. I cried from the moment the ceremony started until after it had ended. I was quite touched by the vows that each prepared as well as the overwhelming sense of family that these two lovely ladies have created between their friends and loved ones. No one came away from this weekend untouched and uninspired. Ash and Les have shown me more about perseverance and strength than anyone I know. They truly are a perfect match. Many have joked me because I had no actual pictures of the brides from their big day. I left that photo takin' to other folks. I was dryin' my tears, y'all. I'm only half joking. RJH took some amazing photos of the weekend however his shots are generally devoted to places and not people. I'll share some wedding snaps at a later date once I get them from my buddies. (and if the lovely duo doesn't mind!) For now, you get a few treats from RJH. These are some photos he caught as we made our way through our scenic weekend. They are, as always, worth 1,000 words and memories. Thanks RJH, Ash and Les and the sky above for such beautiful light. It has never shined so bright. xoxo.
Hugs and love to Chuck and Meredith, too. Thanks for beingRJHand my amigos through and through. xox.
Just in time for the winding down of another work week (although, honestly, RJH and I only had three days of work to deal with!) comes another hot cocktail to wet your whistle. Mmm Mmm Good. xox. See all the past Midweek Libations HERE. - S.
Continuing from last week’s exploration into the world of champagne-based cocktails, this week we have another enticing sparkling cocktail that makes use of the season’s wonderful fresh berries, The Rossini. The Rossini, a variant of the classic Bellini, is a mixture of muddled strawberries, crème de fraise, and crisp champagne. Of course any berry can be used for this drink, but somehow strawberries are a natural companion to champagne.
I first had the pleasure of experiencing a Rossini (or two) at ‘Windows’ bar atop the Park Lane Hilton in London. The name pays homage to the Italian composer Gioachino Rossini, though is probably named for its rosy red hue, rather than any connection to classical music.
Wash and hull several fresh ripe strawberriesvery well. Place them in the bottom of a cocktail shaker with one measure of crème de fraise, a strawberry flavored liquor. Now muddle the ingredientstogether to form a paste. An alternative to muddling is to purée the fruit in a blender or food processor until smooth, then pass it through a sieve to create a velvety smooth coulis. Pour the strawberry purée mixture into a champagne flute to fill one third of the glass. Now top up the glass with a crisp chilled dry champagne. A good quality chilled sparkling wine or Prosecco is also acceptable. For an extra special touch, use a rose champagne! Garnish by impaling a whole strawberryon the lip of the glass. Enjoy!
In 1991, MTV celebrated it's 10 Year Anniversary. Who better to wish MTV well than it's video darling, Madonna. The following video was shot by Madonna's friend and Truth or Dare director Alek Keshishian and was part of the MTV anniversary special that featured performances and appearances by folks like Michael Jackson, George Michael and Cher. The premise of the video is supposed to be a love letter from Madonna to MTV. It's quite tongue in cheek. In typical Madonna style, she takes jabs at Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, Axl Rosebut more importantly - herself. This is the Madonna that I love. It's Madonna - the commediane. I have always thought that Madonna's best roles have been ones where she has gotten to be funny. Many will think I'm crazy but Who's that Girlis still one of my favorite movies - ever. She so rocks in that film. Here she shines, too. Happy Madonna Monday, y'all. xoxo.
Today, one of my best and most dear friends is getting married. She, among friends and family from all over the map, will be joining her and partner in an oceanside ceremony today. With all my heart and soul, I wish them both all of the sexiness, love, joy and happiness that has been a staple of their life together so far. Their love is what many strive for and never find. Thanks ladies, for letting us share in your day. AD+LM. xoxox. (Thanks Amy for the photo!)