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Tear it Down: New York’s LaGuardia Once-Dubbed ‘Third World’ to be Rebuilt Under $4 Billion Plan

July 28th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Port Authority

Image via Port Authority

It was just last year that Vice President Joe Biden called New York’s LaGuardia Airport “Third World,” a description that every traveler who has crossed through the beyond-repair airport has thought. Yesterday, though, Biden and Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the airport will be torn down and rebuilt into a state-of-the-art airport—a transportation hub worthy of the late, great Mayor La Guardia. The $4 billion project will reduce flight delays, add public transportation (including an AirTrain and ferry service), among a slew of other improvements.  “This is what New Yorkers deserve and have deserved for a long time. And now we’re going to get it,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “There is no way to fix this. We need to literally tear it down and rebuild it. It’s not a plan, not a sketch, not a dream, not a vision, it is actually happening. New York had an aggressive, can-do approach to big infrastructure in the past — and today, we’re moving forward with that attitude once again.”

The New York Post has the highlights of what’s to come: 

  •  A new, unified terminal that will be 600 feet closer to the Grand Central Parkway, providing 240 percent more space for runways and flight operations.
  • High-speed ferry service that will have boats docking at the existing Marine Terminal.
  •  Passenger access to their gates via raised pedestrian bridges, high enough for aircraft to taxi underneath.
  • A state-of-the-art, post-9/11 security system that will be three times as large as the current operation, slashing wait times.
  • Nearby roads reconfigured to improve access for passengers and reduce traffic.
  • A new Central Hall with increased space for high-end amenities including retail shops and a 200-room boutique hotel.
  • An increase in passengers from roughly 27 million in 2014 to 35 million when it’s finished.
  • Creation of 8,000 construction jobs and 18,000 permanent jobs both at the airport and in businesses that service the airport. “Middle-class jobs. Jobs you can raise a family on,” Biden said.

 

Celebrate Summer with the Ali Forney Center in New York City

July 9th, 2015 Comments off

Image via Passport

Despite the statistics that there are over 4,000 homeless youth in New York City, of which over 1,000 are LGBT, New York State continues to reduce funding for the organizations that help this segment of the population. The nation’s largest resource for these young men and women is The Ali Forney Center, which has been housing LGBT youth since 2002. This organization has proven itself as the safety net for many who are in desperate need of shelter and care. Support this vital organization at The Ali Forney Center’s 2nd Annual OASIS event on July 20. Join others at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers for cocktails on the pier and bid on an array of auction items. The evening includes an open bar courtesy of Chopin Vodka, a raffle prize of a trip for two to Amsterdam provided by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Wyndham Rewards, music by DJ JonJon Battles, an extensive silent auction, and RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Alaska Thunderfet.

Don’t wait to get tickets. 

New York City’s Stonewall Inn Now Protected Under Landmark Status

June 23rd, 2015 Comments off
Stonewall Inn and Sheraton Square. Image via Facebook

Stonewall Inn and Sheraton Square. Image via Facebook

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate the Stonewall Inn, the location of the world-famous Stonewall riots, as an individual landmark, today. The unanimous vote from the committee is historical as it is the first landmark in the city designated for its place in LGBT history.

The Stonewall Inn is currently located in Greenwich Village Historic District, but with the the vote, the Commission recognizes it as an individual New York City Landmark. [7]

The Out Hotel’s Mati Weiderpass Defends Meeting with Ted Cruz by Calling Gays ‘Extremists’

May 11th, 2015 Comments off
Image via Facebook.

Image via Facebook.

In a new op-ed in the Observer, Mati Weiderpass, one half of the gay duo who own The Out NYC and other properties, once again is trying to clean up after it was revealed that he and his business partner hosted what was initially described as a fundraiser for Sen. Ted Cruz. In the op-ed, Weiderpass says that it wasn’t a fundraiser and that it was just a dialogue, and calls the criticism he has received for hosting the meeting as “attacks from gay extremists…” It shouldn’t take long for a casual reader to feel once again insulted by Weiderpass as he makes this comment in his opening paragraph.

Since hosting a discussion with Texas Senator Ted Cruz in my home, I have been inundated with hateful, biased social media messages, and attacks from gay extremists (do I dare say the word?) who demand inclusion, but do not believe in dialogue. I know in my heart that these attacks do not represent the rich culture and diversity of the gay community. Yet, in our community, as in so many others, the most vocal often dominate the conversation. I hope this op-ed will help heal wounds and continue necessary progress and discussion.

He continues by drawing parallels between his “dialogue” and a dialogue between a Jewish leader and a Muslim.

It is amazing that my businesses are being boycotted by some because I hosted a discussion with an elected official. Not a fundraiser. Not an endorsement. A dialogue. What would we say if the Jewish community organized a boycott of a business leader who hosted a private discussion with an important Muslim politician? We know the answer. I am a longtime leader of my community – and proud of who I am and what I have accomplished.

He continues to try to turn the tables on the community by saying he’s a community leader, he’s the one trying for change, and the LGBT community is “small and intolerant.”

His editorial discusses the importance of reaching across the aisle to Republicans and people of all faiths and nationalities to impact change through freedom of speech—and we understand this valid point. But calling the LGBT community extremists for also using this right that you so treasure, to engage in dialogue with a company that many thought to be at the forefront of LGBT rights in New York City, is an egregious, small-minded way of rebuilding trust.

 

Global Cocktail: Da Claudio’s Red Hot Ruby Punch

January 9th, 2015 Comments off
The Red Hot Ruby Punch

The Red Hot Ruby Punch

We know you have this Sunday marked in your calendar, right? If you don’t, get on that! It’s National Hot Toddy Day. And with these temperatures (colder than Mars), you’re going to want to warm up. But since, you won’t be venturing to far out there this weekend, you may want to spend a couple of hours creating this delectably sweet punch from Jason Cousins of Da Claudio— a recently opened restaurant in NYC’s Financial District.

Directions

Completely peel four oranges, avoiding the white pith. Add orange peels to a mixing bowl with raw sugar and muddle, grinding the sugar into the oils.  (Reserve the orange fruit for juicing.) Let stand for 30 minutes while the sugar pulls the oils from the peels. Stir in 16 oz of boiling water until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove orange peels and add spice bag. Let sit while preparing the remaining ingredients. Add TINCUP, PAMA liqueur, port wine, and orange juice to a 3.5 quart or larger slow cooker. Pour in the orange sugar mixture and keep warm on low heat. Ladle and serve, garnishing with a clove-studded orange disk and a cinnamon stick.

Teddy Award Winner ‘The Circle’ Opens in New York City on Friday

November 20th, 2014 Comments off
Image via The Circle

Image via The Circle

The Teddy Award–winning film ay this year’s Berlin International Film Festival and Switzerlnd’s submission for foreign language film at the 87th Academy Awards, The Circle, tells the story of two gay men who defy convention and fall in love in post-WWII Switzerland. This remarkable film captures the excitement and challenges of Switzerland’s burgeoning gay community and portrays the true story of two of our dear friends in Zurich, Röbi and Ernst.

This film opens tomorrow in New York City at the Quad Cinema with a Q&A featuring Director Stefan Haupt and Actor Stephan Witschi in attendance after the 7:40pm screening. A second Q&A will take place on Saturday, November 22 with Director Stefan Haupt after the 1:00 P.M. show.

You can get tickets for the film by clicking here. 

 

Global Cocktail: Old Fashioned by Jim Kearns at The Happiest Hour, NYC

November 14th, 2014 Comments off
Image via Zandy Mangold

Image via Zandy Mangold

We stumbled upon the opening of an adorable throwback bar/restaurant in New York City’s West village this week. The Happiest Hour, from restaurateur Jon Neidich (Acme) and bartender Jim Kearns from NoMad, is a charmingly retro spot that serves up delicious comfort food (do yourself a favor and order one of their burgers). But, be sure to wash it down with their gorgeous Old Fashioned.

If you can’t make it to The Happiest Hour, we coerced Jim Kearns into giving us his recipe!

Directions

Stir and serve on the rocks with orange and lemon twists.

Taye Diggs, Andrew W.K., Lady Bunny, and Andy Rourke ‘Party Hard’ with Stoli in East Village

October 29th, 2014 Comments off

Photos by Stoli
Photos by Stoli
Photos by Stoli
Photos by Stoli
Photos by Stoli
Photos by Stoli
Photos by Stoli
Photos by Stoli
Photos by Stoli
Photos by Stoli
Photos by Stoli

Last night, the timelessly trendy East Village nightlife hub, The Pyramid Club, played host to a select group of men, women, and everything in between to celebrate the launch of Stoli’s nationwide campaign to pay homage to the pioneering people and places shaping nightlife culture over the past 40 years. Professor of the Party Andrew W.K. greeted guests from the stage, and he even poured me a couple drinks from behind the bar. Lady Bunny, as always, effortlessly twirled to the Smith’s Andy Rourke who was DJing. “Everyone look, there is a drag queen in the room,” the big-haired diva shouted to the crowd. Taye Diggs was the surprise celebrity guest who was looking oh-so-mighty fine. “I’m a lesbian, and I’ve never felt or saw anything so fine in my life,” a lady outside told me. The ScenebyStoli Project chose Pyramid Club and the East Village, not only because of its character, but also because of its history as a venue for punk, rock, and drag performers, artists, and musicians since 1979.

Find out more about the new Stoli campaign by clicking here and check out where other parties will take place.

Move Over Firemen, New York City’s Cab Drivers are Getting in on the Calendar Action

September 30th, 2014 Comments off
Image via NYC Taxi Driver Calendar

Image via NYC Taxi Driver Calendar

The New York City Fire Department has made a charity calendar for over a decade now, but Gotham’s unsung heroes, the taxi drivers, are hoping to get some attention and raise some money with their brand-new 2015 calendar. The more-humorous-than-serious calendar features three men from last year and ten new drivers as they pose doing everything from grabbing a bite to eat to changing a flat. Part of the sales will go to University Settlement, which helps serve more than 30,000 immigrants and working individuals with basic services.

Click here to see more pics and to also purchase your calendar. 

Will Two Gay New York Christians Survive ‘Survior?’

August 29th, 2014 Comments off
Screen Shot via YouTube

Screen Shot via YouTube

One of our guilty pleasures (yes, still) is watching Survivor. It always gives us a little Tribal Council anxiety when CBS introduces the new cast offs. Usually there is one member of the gay or lesbian community (and they usually end up being horrible, thanks Colton!). But this season, we have two gay cast members competing on Survivor: San Juan del Sur. Gay couple Joshua Canfield (32) and Reed Kelly (31)—two self-proclaimed Christians—will be competing. BTW, they are singers/dancers/actors from Broadway.

Meet them after the jump…

Read more…