With a huge turnout of people, wonderful signs, loud drummers, banners, fliers and information about the action the Parade Without A Permit Rally was a tremendous success (and a helluva lot of fun!) People gathered at the fountain in the center of Washington Square Park, amidst a growing police presence, and began handing out stickers and fliers to everyone. The drummers took their stance behind the banners at the front of the mass and began walking out of Washington Square, through the West Village and up to Chelsea in boisterous chants and drum beats. The crowd, well over 200 people caused a stir in the West Village causing people to come out of their apartments or current restaurants and watch the parade. The spectators were immediately given a flier and quickly brought up to date on the issue. The police were tremendously cooperative. They kindly listened to the organizers about what route the parade was headed next and they would run up ahead and stop on-coming traffic for us to continue rallying safely. Thank you.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Ahh, yes, it's here again! Happy Friday!
Here's is what's going down this weekend: Despite the possibility of some showers this evening the rest of the weekend should be clear and bright with temperatures in the 70's.
Friday: Rich King and Gustavo's always fun, friendly, foxxxy, furry SNAXX Party in the basement of the West Side Tavern. (23rd between 8th/9th.)Saturday: check out:
The last party of RainDanceNYC a DJ dance party hosted down at the South Street Sea Port right under the Brooklyn Bridge. Check out the website for details and DJ line up.
Also on Saturday, journey over to Washington Square Park at 7PM for the Parade Without A Permit Rally, a protest organized to fight the city's latest crackdown on civil liberties by demanding cop-approved permits for any general assembly of over 50 people in NYC.
Head over to Brooklyn for the 33rd annual Atlantic Antic festival which features 10 blocks of food, festivities, through the heart of Brownstone Brooklyn. 10Am-6PM.
If you haven't had enough beer at Atlantic Antic (and you're pissed you didn't make it to Folsom St. Fair this year) head over to The Eagle for their Sunday weekly beer blast for cheap drinks and even cheaper men. (I tried really hard to not make this sound like a Next Magazine ad, yipes!)
Thursday, September 27, 2007
"A Jihad for Love is the first-ever feature-length documentary to explore the complex global intersections of Islam and homosexuality. With unprecedented access and depth, the film brings to light the hidden lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Muslims and goes where the silence has been loudest, to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt and Bangladesh, as well as to Turkey, France, India, South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom."
Also, with Yom Kippur just around last week's corner, take a look at this video below, which is featured on the Trembling Before G-D website. NYC based Openly Gay Rabbi Steve Greenberg gives a heartfelt personal account of how he's managed to overcome certain texts of the Torah and offer new perspective.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
...During the days when I was fresh out of college and thinking I could make money by making only activist media I helped Associate Produce a hereTV! documentary on the history and meaning of Gay Pride events. I was able to locate the intro of the doc. If you watch closely you might even notice yours truly speaking a few quotes! Click here to watch
My wonderfully creative and talented friend David Daigle was hired to create the intro for the 15th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Even though this was two years ago and some of the media dated, it still remains, after viewing it hundreds of times, one of the most important pieces celebrating gay representation in media I've seen and continually brings a tear to my eye. Click here to watch it and be sure to click on GLAAD.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Finally we now have someone who actually deserves to get tasered. Suspended Falcon's Quarterback Michael Vick has been charged on two accounts of 1) torturing and killing dogs and 2) promoting dogfights. Now he'll learn the real meaning of a dog fight after he gets dropped in his prison cell. Have fun!
Here's an interesting article on how Earth-born germs mutate upon being in orbit. A recent space crew brought the germ Salmonella ("ella- ella- a-a") with them into space and found that mice who were given the "space germ" were three times more likely to develop illness and die. Scientists aren't completely sure why this happens but remain optimistic that this might lead to new techniques and discoveries in fighting infectious diseases.
Watch this three minute video of Larry Kramer speaking at the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association convention in San Diego on Sept. 1, 2007. He touches on points of community passivity, our ass-kissing approach to presidential candidates, the black-hole of Gay representation in modern education, and finally the similarities between Jewish and Gay oppression. This is dedicated to all my friends who roll their eyes at me and tell me I'm beating a dead horse.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Meet Ashley Qualls, at 17 she created Whateverlife.com, a user-free website that designs Myspace Page layouts. Visited now by thousands of other teenagers a day, Ashley is now a 17 year old Millionare with advertisers paying up to $70,000 bucks a month! In July, Quantcast ranked Whateverlife.com a staggering No. 349 out of more than 20 million sites. She's million sites -- ahead of cbsnews.com, brittanica.com, americanidol.com and even oprah.com. She has turned down 1.5milion dollar deals and car bribes to sell her site because, "I want it to sound like a normal teenager, not business people who are after your money." And what would she need a car for? She, like, doesn't even have a license, anyway! What-ever.
Right on Ashley.
...I along with many other Jews won't be enjoying the weekend as much as everyone else because as of sundown tonight until sundown tomorrow we'll be going to temple and fasting in honor of the Jewish High Holy day Yom Kippur. For all you goys out there that don't "get it" click the Yom Kippur link.
Yup, that's right it's FRIDAY!
The weather this weekend is supposed to be gorgeous hitting highs at the 80 degree mark. As fall quickly approaches I highly recommend getting outside and enjoying the last of the good weather.
Take that much procrastinated trip to Central Park or the even more put-off trip all the way up the A Train to 207 St. in Washington Heights, Northern Manhattan. I hear it's beautiful up there!
Amidst CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's veto to ban Marriage Equality Legislation for his state San Diego Republican Mayor, Jerry Sanders, put aside his beliefs in civil-unions and came out in support of same-sex marriage. In his heartfelt speech posted below Jerry Sanders simply states,
"I just could not bring myself to tell an entire group of people in our community that they were less important, less worthy and less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage -- than anyone else -- simply because of their sexual orientation." "Two years ago, I believed that civil unions were a fair alternative. Those beliefs, in my case, have since changed. The concept of a "separate but equal" institution is not something that I can support."
This speech comes as an interesting reminder of something that happened to me just a few weeks ago. A friend and I were having a discussion about current politics when the issue of gay marriage popped up. He firmly stated that he supports civil unions. As I tried to understand why he supports that and not marriage he said, "well, you know, it's like the same thing." I reminded him that it is not the same thing and seldom do we see 'separate but equal' work in this country. Then, I asked him to look me directly in the eye and tell me that I wasn't as deserving of the same rights as he is. He couldn't do it. Instead, he fumbled with an answer, diverted all eye contact, played with his fingers and while looking down at the ground said in a sheepish remorse, "I guess I haven't really explored the issue enough within myself." I thanked him and we continued our chat.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Last night Eyal, Brendan and I went to see Joan Rivers at The Cutting Room in Chelsea for some classic stand up. This was my second time seeing Joan after winning tickets last year at Lesbian Bingo at Mo Pitkins.
Joan was a bawdy, lewd and crass with her below the belt humor and humorously shallow views on life. She joked on everything from NYC tourists, to Jews, to Gays, to 9/11, to celebrities, and even including a snippet about her "awfully stupid Grandson." She told some of her jokes from last year but remodeled under a new format. She told my favorite joke though: The one where she admits to believing Anne Frank would have sold more books if she acted like any other Jewish Girl and gotten a nose Job. heh. heh.
The tickets were about $25 bucks a pop and the show just under an hour but it was well worth it considering her age and comedic legacy.
My good friend Ron and I headed down to Mulberry St. and Houston the other night to attend Little Italy's annual Feast of San Gennaro, a carnival like smorgesboard of Sausage and Peppers, Pasta, Sea food, games and true Italian-American spirit.
Sausage and Peppers is definitely the specialty here and there are more booths selling them than you could count. And of course, every booth sells a better sausage than any booth next to him. Lucy's is a New York favorite so Ron and I had to stop there but we also heard Chichino's was good too so, yes, we ate there too.
It certainly is a feast! I alone had:
2 Sausage and Peppers
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Finding Political corruption/sicko stories like these are better than getting a second dessert in your lunch bag!
John David R. Atchison, a Republican Assistant US Attorney working under Alberto Gonzales during his "keep our children safe" reign just got busted for trying to have sex with a 5 year old. Oopsies! Read the article above for horrific evidence and stomach turning quotes.
(this topic was found on Andrew Sullivan's blog)
Duh, of course! There are four policemen there. They couldn't just carry the obnoxious loudmouth out, they had to taser him too? It's almost as if cops are like, "Well, we have these taser things we might as well use 'em! Oink."
Notice how they tase him AFTER he's already pinned, then trying to immediately rationalize their stupid on-camera behavior tell him he was inciting a riot. What a joke!
Monday, September 17, 2007
I am a huge fan of Bravo reality TV. Highly respecting their "coastal-minded," 25-45 year old, demographics, I believe Bravo has set the bar for all shows focused on design, food, fashion and comedy. Much of their hits, Project Runway, Top Chef, and the oh so steamy, Workout embody a sense of urban hot-pop and features a broad spectrum of both straight and queer cast members. Project Runway was the first hit reality show that actually used its cast members to utilize their talents in order to create a real product.
In last night's Emmy Award show both Project Runway and Top Chef lost out to ABC's The Amazing Race. Working in Reality TV I know and respect the tremendous feat it is to successfully execute a global scale reality production. But in it's 11th season Amazing Race is something we have all seen before and the cast members aren't expected to design or create, rather they just run around in foreign countries acting out the American stereotype by frantically screaming at each other, yelling at non-English speaking cabbies to "hurry! hurry! hurry!" or "follow that cab!" and complete outrageously absurd tasks like the novelty-thinning bug eating.
The award should go to shows which employ innovation and cast produced creativity not the been-there-done-that cast produced stupidity.
All I have to say is: Bravo, Bravo!
Needless to say, The Holy Sheet Party that a few of my East Village friends and I threw, was a smash(ed) success. DJ Josh Sparber (whose blog I'm stealing these pics from) spun an outrageous party complete with Jewish/Israeli music and of course, The Hora. Everybody was made to wear a kippah or what I often heard "those little hat things" upon entering and for much the night I was in the corner pouring shots of maneschwitz wishing La' Shana Tovah ("for a good year") to everyone.
(top) My Israel traveler friend Danielle and I (wearing my I love Fairfax shirt from my days in LA)
(bottom) Two dogs getting into the Jew spirit.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Well, it's Friday afternoon, around 2:30 and nobody has responded to either my action or participating in my action. Whether it's disinterest or my blog not being popular enough I haven't had any responses. Therefore, I'm going to do something on my own. I'll figure it out but I don't know yet.
An ACT UP friend of mine discovered that sex education is not being taught in NYC public schools. This leads to more public funding and thus, abstinence-only education programs. Knowing in my heart of hearts that teens are going to have sex regardless my friend and I may do something as simple as condom teach-ins. I'll let you know what develops.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I've been a huge fan of Chris Crocker ever since my friend played some videos of his for me a few months ago. (Thanks, Brendan.)
Comedian, gender-bender, and activist Chris Crocker celebrates over 3million hits since his latest, "Leave Britney Alone" vlog. It's not my favorite of his videos. But I recommend checking out his youtube page. I find him utterly hysterical and talented. I posted an article a few weeks back celebrating Chris and his potential TV development deals.
here's his latest: Responding to Fox News Media attention
and a classic
Openly gay ex "Top Chef" contestant, Josie Smith-Malave, was leaving a Sea Cliff, NY bar with friends when she was apparently chased down by thugs screaming anti-gay slurs and eventually spit and beat on her. Click here to read the small (go figs) article.
You may remember Smith-Malave for her fierce hair and if you're a Brooklyn diner she used to work as a sous-chef at Brooklyn's Marlow and Sons restaurant.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
JoeMyGod's recent post about the increase of HIV rates amongst gay and young gay men has ignited a firestorm on his comment page. I immediately got the sense that people do actually care and are very angry. It's like a ninth grade high-school dance where everyone stands on the sidelines waiting for the first person to dance but until then nobody makes a move. I hope it doesn't sound too frivolous but I'd like to action about this:
Weather depending I'm sure the Christopher St. pier is still packed with those soaking up the last few days of great sun. We take a few friends, make a few signs , lean against the railing and just hold them up. signs saying, "33% increase in HIV/AIDS" "DOUBLE increase in 13-19 year olds" "HIV/AIDS is still an issue" "What are you doing for YOUR community?" and one maybe in the midst of it all stating, "Go ahead, roll your eyes."
I know, sounds a little stale- I'm open to suggestions but I just feel this latest report needs to be validated by something other than just online comments...We can make the signs on the pier day of (sat or sun this weekend), enjoy the sun and make a day of it. If I can get enough people to join me (minimum 5) I'll confirm by Friday Afternooon 9/14 if it's going to happen, where, and when. Any takers?
Email me: EricLeven1@aol.com
Check out this article here: Got to love American sportsmanship! It almost starts off like a familiar joke: A guy walks in to an Oklahoma Bar wearing a Texas Longhorns t-shirt... upon paying his tab he's attacked and nearly castrated by a rival football fan. Any surprise that the attacker, who went for the victim's nuts is a 53-year-old church deacon, federal auditor and former Army combat veteran? Well, that's ok. I'm sure Jesus hates the Longhorns too.
That's right! After 50 some-odd days off I've finally landed my next hot and spicy gig back in the world of bubblelicious pop-reality TV. Now that I'm into my first week of working I already regret spending my two months of free time moping around being all, "woe is me" and shit. Dammit! I should have taken those P-Town trip offers opposed to staying in town and telling myself to put priorities first. What a moron. Youth truly is wasted on the young. I am ecstatic to be back at work though and to regain a sense of purpose. I was adrift for too long!