Tuesday, October 06, 2009


if anyone knows where i can get some white lightning this far up north in yankeelandia, please contact me via this blog. that's right. i'm steady on the look out for real, honest-to-goodness moonshine, and i'm really not all that interested in making it myself -- even though technically, that's what i'm supposed to do for kwanzaa.

yep. it's time to start thinking seriously about those special presents and i'm not crafts-y enough to throw it all together at the last minute like everybody else. to tell you the truth, i came up with this idea in july but i didn't do anything about it because i didn't think i could. before i discard it completely, i thought i'd ask.

there's got to be someone out there who knows where there's homemade hooch up here. can't you get anything in new york city?

Monday, October 05, 2009

ah, the best laid plans...

Yeah, so -- I honestly meant to glide through this weekend and blog all about it but I was having way too much fun to bother. Such is life in the big titty.

It ended on Sunday with an impromptu cocktail party at Dutch Kills with Abraham of course – he’s the one all my friends like – and a slew of my beautiful pals showing up on the early side, just because. And why not? Do I really need a reason to throw a shin-dig? Making it through the week should be enough, these days. There was Sara Jane and then Brian whom we saw at Governor’s Island for the Jazz Age Lawn Party, then Rosa C. who bumped into us on the train on the way there and Susan who was already there when we showed up, and out of nowhere Rosa A. and James appeared, then another James showed up to see Sara Jane. Ralph showed up, so fresh and so clean-clean! And Ryan and Desiree came at the very end, after everyone folded. I had to leave them there, in good hands of course. Randy had a class. Sinclair had tech rehearsal, but he called. We’re going to have ginger tea and a long chat sometime this week. He and I have a severe amount of catching up to do. And once I got home, of course I thought of all these other black folk that I should have invited. Oh, well. We’ll have to do it again on another Sunday evening, when I know that Abraham will be there. We really can’t throw an impromptu cocktail party without him.

Renee was MIA, for real. I think the birthday party/makeshift speakeasy at Grounded after The Bootlegger’s Ball on Saturday night did her in.

Why do I prefer Dutch Kills on a Sunday night? Because if I tip through there at the just right hour with my friends, it’s relatively empty and shockingly devoid of hipsters – and eventually, it ends up turning itself into our little party, of sorts. So fun. That feels way more like a speakeasy than most of what’s going around in the city these days. The last time I tried to get in there on a Saturday night, I had to give someone at the door my cell number, so they could call me when there was space available. Not that there was anything wrong with that, but the crowd looked like something out of The Hills, or at least a frat house mixer. And yeah, that creeped me out.

There are so many friends and loved ones to catch up with, and they’re all over the place, doing everything – because that’s what you do when you live in New York City. And yes, we always say that we want to see each other and hang out and catch up – and yet, we hardly ever do. I learned a long time ago that nothing happens in this town unless you plan it out and make it so. So I’m going to do it, as often as the mood strikes me. Which will probably be a lot, especially when it gets cold.

Besides, it’s all Abraham’s fault, really. He has completely ruined me with an excellent soundtrack to our goings on, libations that I didn’t know I liked until he served them up, and what can only be described as good, kind treatment – something I needed a great deal of this summer.

It all started on Thursday when my paramour came from the airport straight to my gig with JC at Rodeo Bar. Here’s a few pictures to make up for my latent absence.

This is JC Hopkins and me. Nice portrait, I think. (All photos below by the ever-brilliant Tanya Braganti.)

This is Vito, brazenly toying with a bison's affections. (Or something...)

This is Hilliard on bass, JC on keys and me, singing and singing and singing. Yep, this was a fun gig...

Friday, October 02, 2009

...and what are YOU doing this weekend?

yeah, i got big plans.

i'm singing at the bootlegger's ball at the infamous burden mansion on e. 91st street in manhattan. it's some real turn-of-the-century, robberbaron type stuff -- which i totally love, architecturally. i'm dressing all the way up, because jc says he'll take my picture if i get there early enough. nothing like looking like i stepped out of another place and time to make me feel so absolutely unswervingly in touch with the now.

it's a black tie event, so i'm pulling out all the stops -- first of all, with excellent arm candy in the form of my friend renee monique brown, who can really work the look of this particular decade especially well. maybe it's because she did the first national tour of thoroughly modern millie. she's got a 1920's body, though -- she looks great in those clothes. i, on the other hand, look a little on the lumpy side. (heh.) i don't think a body like mine should feature clothes that happened before 1935, but that's just me. i'm starting to sing more stuff from the 1920s, though, so i really have to make every effort to dress that way.

nothing trumps everything in the room and shocks the show like showing up with someone that looks way more amazing than you do -- especially when you totally look amazing your bad self. i have complete and utter confidence that renee is going to work that skirt.

after this shindig, we're going to a 1920s themed birthday party some friend of hers is throwing. (yay!)

on sunday, there's the jazz age lawn party on governor's island that always features michael arenella and his dreamland orchestra. here's a snapshot of a happy couple from a few summers back, having a dance lesson.

the dance lesson/20's swing picnic on governor's island

the dance lesson is key because it sets the tone for your entire visit. you must take the dance lesson, you just have to. you can practice your new moves for the rest of the afternoon and meet a ton of people that way.

i really feel the need to put in an appearance -- in period dress, of course. not sure how i'll pull it off yet. and of course, renee is down. here's a picture below of me on that lovely boatride over to the island, looking an awful lot like miss celie (that's the infamous sara jane on the left and janet nash on the right). the dress is circa mid 30s, i think. unbelievable but true: the hat is now, baby. it is so right now.

think about it: catering by cercle rouge, cocktails by st. germain, charleston dance lessons by roddy caravella, 1920's motorcar exhibition, rumble seat rides all over the island, pie contests, tug of war contests, a parade of hats, vintage clothing dealers and milliners galore -- and that's just the tip of the iceberg. frankly, i've never attended one of these events and NOT had a ball. we'll go early and leave early and unwind somewhere, and then probably end the weekend by eventually making it over to my (favorite!) speakeasy, dutch kills.

...and a good time will be had by all. lots more pictures -- coming soon.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


i'm going to do nablopomo this month. the theme is HAUNTED. to kick things off the right way, here's a creepy home video some stooge made of what happened at his cousin's house in florida after playing with a ouija board one night -- amongst other things. i suppose anything can be faked, but this stuff looks pretty real to me.

i have an extremely difficult time believing that there's absolutely nothing out there except us, on this planet, flying through the cosmos, when there is so much proof to the contrary. and no, i don't mean aliens.