After coming off my amazing adventure in New York, I had to play catch up at work and just life. I also had two very excited little miniature dachshunds ready to see me, so I basically was a homebody for the beginning of the week. Then the Hurricane-that-wasn’t Barry cast a damper on the weekend. I did manage to venture out for happy hour on Friday at The Phoenix which was just what I needed. It seems four days is my maximum of not going out, because when Friday rolled around, I was ready to go anywhere. The Phoenix has a pretty impressive crowd for their Friday Happy Hour.
The remainder of the weekend was pretty much a bust except for Sunday when some friends and I snuck out to see the new movie Crawl, which is about a hurricane that traps people in a house in Florida. The house becomes surrounded by hordes of hungry (and very angry) alligators who have a penchant for human flesh. I have to say the movie was totes awesome! Maybe people flushed their meth down the toilet and the ‘gators became drug crazed reptiles. I totally see a SyFy Channel movie about that in the future. I mean alligators jumping out, grabbing people and tearing them apart. It was the most exciting thing about Barry. The movie built up the suspense and scares were frequent. After the movie, one of my friends told me that it was unbelievable. This was the same friend who spent forty-five minutes explaining the Marvel Universe and how Spiderman somehow interrupted it with a dead serious face.
On Monday, I attended the first of two theatrical shows I saw this week. Tulane Summer Lyric presented the 1963 musical She Loves Me and it was another hit. On Thursday, I saw Mamma Mia! at Rivertown Repertory Theatre. No matter how many times I see this show (which is numerous), it never gets old. The cast and audience had a really good time and who doesn’t like ABBA?!
On Tuesday, I went to cheer on my friend Matt Dow as he received the New & Notables Award from Biz Magazine. The event was held at Felicity Church and it was quite the fete. Matt received the award because of his impressive work in bringing the City of New Orleans Steamboat to NOLA. He was in good company as 15 other people from throughout our community were also honored. Congratulations Matt on your hard work. I cannot wait to start riding on this fabulous new riverboat!
Wednesday was a hospitality mixer for the National Association of Catering and Events at Nolé. If you haven’t been to the new Copeland’s restaurant concept on St. Charles Avenue where the old Cheesecake Bistro used to be, then you need to add it to your list. The restaurant blends both Latin America and New Orleans cuisine to create an amazing dining experience. One of my favorite dishes on the menu is the Blue Crab Street Corn – just heavenly. They also have an amazing tequila selection. Olé!
Friday was all about the Tales of the Cocktail. It actually turned out to be quite a full night of unique activities. I started my night with the art opening of Bryce Landry at Mimi’s in the Marigny. Bryce is one of my favorite artists, having over a dozen of his pieces at home. He normally paints cutting edge bunnies (I have an Easter fetish). I love bunnies. I ended up buying my favorite piece to date, a Creature from the Black Lagoon cutout bunny. I mean on a scale from 1 to 10, it is a 10 in fabulousness. Now I just have to figure out where to hang it.
Then my friend Laura Tennyson and I stopped for a quick bite at Cru on Franklin Avenue. We were greeted by Chef Marlon and had a few of his delicious appetizers and a few glasses of champagne to continue the festivities before we headed down to the Contemporary Arts Center for the Diageo Tales of the Cocktail Party. The theme was Jazz Fest and they pulled out all the stops to bring it to life. There were food booths of some of the top restaurants in the city and lots of bars representing all their brands. I found my special happiness at the Don Julio Tequila and Ketel One Vodka booths. But the winner of the night was all the great entertainment they had lined up like Irma Thomas, Kermit Ruffins and headliner Boyfriend. So most of our time was spent on the dance floor.
We ended the night with our last stop at the Milagro Tequila party at the Board of Trade. Now that was a late night party, complete with an awesome DJ who had the music pumping. There were lots of mixologists on hand making craft cocktails with the tequila. Also some of the bartenders jumped on the dance floor and subbed as go-go dancers, twirling bottles as they gyrated. A man moving his hips while giving shots out to fellow dancers, that’s what I call sexy. And the perfect way to end a night!
On Saturday, it was time to honor the people, businesses and organizations in the New Orleans LGBT+ community that make an impact on our everyday lives. Ambush Magazine hosted the Gay Appreciation Awards at Oz New Orleans and it was quite the awards ceremony. Guests were greeted on the red carpet by Felicia Philips and Tiffany Alexander (in her boy drag). It was a night of festivity, friendship and most of all community. Both floors were packed with nominees and supporters. I was honored to be asked to present three awards and co-present the Theatre Critics’ Choice Award.
In between the awards, there were performances and some new special touches like the In Memoriam video. There were many new categories and it added new life to the event. Congrats to the entire Ambush staff for not only producing such an awesome event, but keeping it running smoothly and most importantly on time! My favorite part of the evening was Bianca del Rio’s acceptance speech video when she won the Cheridon Comedy Award – pure genius and had the entire audience rolling in the aisles. Still on a high after the event, some friends and I decided to have a nightcap at the 700 Club which was the perfect spot to keep the party going.
Sunday, I went to two totally different gatherings both revolving around pools. The first was the Halloween New Orleans Pool Party hosted at the home of Michael Shlenker and Don Schwenn. This host party that serves as one of the many fundraisers leading up to the big holiday was their annual pool party. And the boys came out in droves to enjoy and fun (and somewhat sun). Mike and Don’s home boats a pool, hot tub, tennis court, lawn games, and a kick-ass home bar affectionately known as Mimiskdo. They also have the coolest Tickle Me Elmo bathroom in the country. There was free-flowing cocktails, nibbles and one of the most enticing strip Connect Four games I have ever witnessed. Milton Bradley needs to market this. If you have not signed up as a host for Halloween New Orleans, now is your time. You get to enjoy these hosts parties leading up to the weekend as part of your package. For more information on how to become a host, go to https://togetherwenola.com/halloween/tickets-passes.
On the way to party number two, I stopped at the 700 Club for the Southern Decadence Poster-signing. I bought my poster and had William Antil and Countess C Alice inscribe a personal message to me for the mere price of $10.00 (what a deal). I am so excited for this year’s parade and weekend festivities. After all, who doesn’t like to toss a good time!
Afterwards, I went to Ronie De Jesus’ birthday party at the lovely home of Adikus Sulpizi and David Chase. Our Brazilian dynamo turned “39” and his party was like Rio de Janeiro meets the Crescent City. This was the most exotic pool party I have ever attended with a plethora of nubile Brazilian boys lounging around in skimpy outfits. In addition to the exceptional eye candy, there was more cocktails, food provided by a wonderful Brazilian caterer and of course, swimming and dancing. Many shots of Cachaca were imbibed. It is the national liquor of Brazil. Ronie, congrats on a fabulous birthday party, I am so glad to count you as one of my friends.
Until next time, here’s hoping that our weather stays cooperative. Keep the positive party vibes flowing.