I fully admit and own that my columns are lighthearted and frivolous fun. But 2017 was a very tough year and we lost some valuable members and allies of our gay community. I thought before we start 2018 off, we take a moment to recognize the memories and contributions of those who have made our city and gay community a better place. (Please note if I have missed someone my apologies).
• Kevin Donahugh – aka Cathy Foxx, Sister Cathi Terr of the Big Easy Sisters
• Kathy Wightkin
• Sister Marcy Romine
• Ian Michael Gasunas
• Joseph Kizziah
• Cleve Guillot
• Eva Las Vegas
• Jane Pyle
• Jon Penton Robicheaux
• Richard Thompson
• Harry Greenberg
• Steven Guercio
• Christopher Brent
• John Huth
• Rip Naquin
• Heath Theaux
• Errol Rizzuto
• Micah West
• Keith Harris
• Ronnie Kennemer – aka Georgeanna Belle
• Andre de La Barre
• Larry Mercier
• Marsha Delain-Naquin
Christmas has passed but the party is still going as NOLA makes it way to 2018! My year end was filled with parties, pageantry and a White Christmas. The parties were non-stop as we neared Christmas beginning with the Meeting Professionals International Gulf States Chapter’s holiday party at the Royal Sonesta on Tuesday, December 12. The fete had owing libations, great food and an awesome silent auction where I picked up a few weekend stays in Biloxi and Baton Rouge. One of my resolutions for the new year is to visit more places in Louisiana and the other Gulf States that are easily driveable. The same night after the MPI event, I went to the New Orleans Magazine December Hobknobbers holiday party at Curio. One of my new favorite restaurants located at the corner of Bienville and Royal Streets. With a wrap around balcony, this new restaurant from Creole Cuisine Concepts is making quite a splash with locals and visitors alike. The party that night had lots of wine and champagne along with craft cocktails and delicious passed appetizers. If you have not had the opportunity, check this place out.
Wednesday was all about the Land of Dance as Oz held their annual Christmas Party and Show. There crowd was lively as they enjoyed food and open bar from 8 – 10 p.m. Guests brought children’s toys for under their tree which they donate every year to Toys for Tots. The show this year was rollicking fun and moved quickly. It was tight, concise and entertaining. The cast was a mixture of the Boylesque and Drag shows and blended nicely to create a social holiday show. Thank you and congratulations again to Oz for another year of being a great partner to the gay community.
On Thursday, it was another hospitality party hosted by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Hotel/Motel and the Louisiana Restaurant Associations. The event was held at Masquerade inside Harrah’s. December is such a busy month for everyone, it is good to get together with your industry peers and wish each other good tidings over food and drink of course. Later that night, I was asked to be a celebrity judge at the Cruisin in the Oaks Pageant for Charity at the Happyland Theatre. It was put on by New Orleans Roundup helping fight addiction in the LGBT community. There were four contestants representing the neighborhoods Marigny, Bywater, French Quarter and Garden District. This tongue in cheek send up to pageants was hysterical. They still had the talent, questions and evening gown portions that we judged on but with a fun twist. This had to be the funniest send up to pageant queens I have ever seen, but still managed to convey an amazing message about community and fellowship in the gay community.
The next day, Ambush Editor French Pizzolato hosted a holiday party in his lovely home. The staff of the magazine was able to mix and mingle with advertisers and special guests in a warm and inviting holiday setting.
This was the year of the house parties, on Saturday I attended Bon Vivant Cheryl Lemoine’s Christmas party at her home in Mid City. The theme was Ugly Sweater and there were so many creative adornments such as stripper Barbie and Jingle Balls sweaters. Cheryl’s house is decorated in retro chic for the holidays with a sixties style aluminum tree with colorful Radio ornaments. There was great cuisine and always top notch wine as guests enjoyed the night.
I started off the next week full blast on Monday with my company holiday party at the fabulous Bombay Club best martinis ever, followed by the Ambush relaunch party at GrandPre’s. They had quite crowd of supporters who came out to meet the new owners of the magazine Tomy Acosta and Frank Pizzolato. It is great to be a part of the continuing saga of one of the oldest LGBT publications in the United States.
On Tuesday, I attended the New Orleans premier of White Christmas at the Saenger Theatre. It was a sold out crowd of people celebrated the holidays with the Broadway Touring Production of this holiday classic. I had not seen the show before outside local theatre and to see this spectacular on a large stage was a treat.
On Thursday I hosted a little gathering at my house. I have decided to start a new holiday tradition with this party. It is a great way to gather friends who you have not had a chance to connect with over this busy to time of the year. I also want to bring back my hunky Santa bartender who made holiday magic in his mixology.
On Friday, it was all about the day drinking. For the second Friday in a row, I did Arnaud’s festive holiday lunch. It is like a total scene to be a part of this event and on both occasions, my table got chosen to sing one of the choruses of the 12 Days of Christmas (six geese a laying, thank you very much both times). If you have never done the Friday holiday lunches at one of the classic historic restaurants in the French Quarter, then make your reservations for next year, because it is a memorable blast. Afterwards, I did the Moet party at Patrick’s Bar Vin, where the guests were sipping champagne directly from the splits. After copious amounts of champagne at both stops, some friends and I meandered to the gay section for a few more rounds before calling it a night. I love day drinking because I am home and in bed by nine for a full night’s sleep.
Saturday and Sunday were more house parties. On Saturday, I stopped at Barbara Ella’s gorgeous home in the Parish and on Sunday, Christmas Eve, I attended Rj Buras and Rodney Thoulion’s soiree at their home on the West Bank. Each event gave name the chance to sit down and visit with my friends making both very special evenings. On Christmas it was all about family and friends. I spent the day at my mom’s house with both my family and some friends opening gifts and cooking with my family. We cut up, drank, played games, watched television and just enjoyed being a family. That night, I went to my friends Laura Tennyson and her husbands Gary’s house for a delectable home cooked meal with friends. Once again this was a peaceful gathering filled with food, love and music.
That concludes my two weeks, I hope everyone had a lovely holiday. As always thanks for supporting Ambush Magazine and let’s come together to ring in 2018 and make it a fabulous year!