Friday, June 27, 2008

Brody Jenner is looking for a "Bromance"

Executive producer Ryan Seacrest and MTV are on the hunt in Boston tomorrow for a man-on-man "Bromance" with "The Hills" hottie Brody Jenner.

Bros selected to participate on MTV's upcoming reality show "Bromance" will be flown to Los Angeles, move into a mansion and live the celeb highlife with Brody and his D-list entourage.

Wanna be Jenner's BFF? MTV is holding an open casting call for guys 21-plus from 10-11:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28 at Ned Devine's, Quincy Market in Faneuil Hall.

Click here for the lowdown.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Povo.com Hotspot :: Boomerangs

I've been busy hashing out Povo's upcoming Top 100 list and I've really worked hard at showcasing the site's new features like its photo gallery and YouTube video embed feature. So far, I probably spent the most time crafting the listing for Boomerangs on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain.

The re-sale store run by the AIDS Action Committee is genuinely my favorite shop in Boston. Why? The money I spend there goes to a good cause, the staff is friendly and I've made out like a bandit finding brand-new clothing at a reasonable price--like a killer wool Brooks Brothers suit for only $50 and a pair of Armani Jeans for $18.

Also, I've lost more than 100 lbs since moving back to Boston more than a year ago. So, Boomerangs has been pivotal in helping me replenish my wardrobe without overwhelming my pocketbook.

Here are tips for the Boomerangs novice:

*To find the truly fabulous deals, you need to scour the racks on a regular basis (at least once a week).

*Boomerangs staffers showcase seasonal goods--ranging from Halloween trinkets to Christmas snow globes--located at a table in the front of the store.

*The die-hard Boomerangs junkie knows that the shop also has brand-new clothing from top-tier shops like Brooks Brothers and Filene's Basement. The only catch? Staffers mark the collar with a black marker to prevent returns to the original location.

*Common brands found at Boomerangs include Banana Republic, Kenneth Cole and even Armani.

*Boomerangs has a strict "no returns" policy. So, don't even try.

*The store offers daily specials on clothing marked with a color-coded tag. So, if a specific shirt you like has a red tag, wait until it's "red tag day" to get additional savings.

*The staff is generally very knowledgeable so if you're looking for a hidden gem buried within the racks of clothing, they're always willing to help out.

*Centre Street regulars have come to expect funny, usually elaborate, window displays (their current "Circus Freaks" sideshow-themed window, for example, is stunning) that creatively uses goods found within the store.

Click here for the complete listing on Povo.com.

Friends of Yakovleff throw scholarship fundraiser

In memory of Daniel Yakovleff, the 20-year-old gay man who was murdered at knifepoint earlier this year, friends of the popular hairstylist will hold a fundraiser Monday, June 30 to spearhead a scholarship fund at Blaine cosmetology school in his honor.

The event will be held at Liquid Hair Studios, the salon where Yakovleff worked as well as Sister Sorel, one of Yakovleff's favorite hangouts.

For a $20 donation, supporters receive a top-notch haircut from the stylists from Liquid or Southie's Shag salon.

Monday, June 30. Liquid Hair Studios, 640 Tremont St. $20. 617-425-4848 or http://www.liquidhairstudios.com/.

Click here for the latest news on the Yakovleff case.

Lauper and Silveira on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'

Lucas Silveira, founder and lead singer of The Cliks will be performing with Cyndi Lauper Thursday, June 26 on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!” The two will be dueting the Lauper hit, “Money Changes Everything” before heading off to repeat the duet at the True Colors shows in Alpine, CA (at Viejas Casino/Concerts in the Park on June 27) and Los Angeles (at The Greek Theater on June 28).

Upon first signing The Cliks to The True Colors Tour in 2007, Lauper (who recently wore a Cliks T-shirt on “Good Morning America,” raved, “Part of my mission with the True Colors tour was to provide a platform for some new and exciting acts. A band like The Cliks is all that and more. They are a force to be reckoned with and I am really excited to be sharing the stage with them.”

Lauper and Silveira recently collaborated in the kick-off "True Colors" show in Boston. Fans should be sure to visit The Cliks MySpace page (myspace.com/thecliks) for tour details and the band’s up-close-and-personal video blogs.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Public sex crackdown in Provincetown

There was an interesting article in the Sunday edition of the UK's Independent here.

Apparently, the Brits are aghast about reports of a "growing number of gay orgies taking place on its famed sand dunes" in the National Seashore preserve around Provincetown and nearby Truro. The article, written by the paper’s Los Angeles-based reporter, claims that 132 men have been prosecuted for lewd behavior on Cape Cod last summer.

Talk about a news flash.

The piece called "Cape Cod no place for Puritans," which describes in detail some of the alleged "hanky-panky," gives anecdotes about innocent families stumbling on these group scenes that reportedly involve up to 30.

From my perspective, the way the writer describes the sex acts rattles off less like an actual news feature and more like soft-core porn.

Jeff Jaran, Provincetown’s new police chief, tells the reporter he’s putting his foot down on the supposed new trend of outdoor public sex acts.

"It's not acceptable, decent, moral behavior," Jaran tells the British paper. "There are places to go and do those types of things."

According to the piece here, Jaran has employed 13 officers to fine offenders and is handing out awareness leaflets to local bar and hotel owners.

Mary Ann Bragg at The Cape Cod Times initially broke the news here in a more objective, less sensational way.

I'm heading to Ptown next weekend to, um, investigate.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

'The Gits' rock doc explores Zapata murder

The mystery behind the Mia Zapata murder has always been one of those stories that has haunted me for years. "The Gits," a documentary delving into the Zapata case, will premiere at Newbury Comics, 332 Newbury St. at 6 p.m. Monday, July 7.

Here's the lowdown.

The film “The Gits” is a celebration of the influential Seattle band of the same name, led by the charismatic Mia Zapata. With an innovative sound that coupled hardcore punk with heartfelt blues, The Gits were poised to break into the mainstream, but they would never achieve the success of contemporaries Nirvana or Pearl Jam because on July 7, 1993 singer Mia Zapata was found murdered--the victim of a rape/homicide.

It was a crime unsolved when director Kerri O’Kane began shooting her debut feature. In the interim however, fans, friends and celebrities like Joan Jett and Nirvana helped raise money to reopen what had become a cold case file. Zapata’s death had reverberated throughout the music community and her killer was brought to justice as the cameras rolled.

Upon the fifteenth anniversary of Zapata's death there will be screenings and tribute events held nationwide in celebration of Mia Zapata's life and the music of The Gits. For more information on “The Gits” documentary please visit http://www.thegitsmovie.com/ or www.myspace.com/thegitsmovie.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Boston Globe hires new Names columnist

Boston Daily reports that Boston Globe freelancer, Paysha Stockton Rhone, will replace long-time gossip wrangler Carol Beggy after the former Globe staffer opted for the much-ballyhooed buyout back in April.

Newbie Rhone will work side-by-side with Mark Shanahan as the daily's Names co-columnist.

For the record, I interviewed for the slot with the Globe's Arts Editor Steve Greenlee a few weeks back. I must admit, after looking at the pay rate and the job listing, I was turned off a bit, especially when they listed "typing" and "to gather facts accurately" as qualifications.

Looking at Rhone's online clips, her bouncy editorial voice fits well with Shanahan's style. Looks like she'll add a refreshing new perspective to a stale column I rarely read with Beggy at the helm.

Rhone will join the Names team as a full-time staff writer on Thursday, June 26.

Click here for the lowdown.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pitch Letter Essentials class this Wednesday

UPDATE: Good news! Mediabistro contacted me today to book an encore "Pitch Letter Essentials" class slotted for October 14, 2008. This will be my third semester as a Mediabistro.com instructor.

For my seminar on Wednesday, June 18, I plan to go into pitch letter strategies for marketing professionals as well as integrating social media to spice up your query.

Meanwhile, click here to sign up for my Pitch Letter Essentials class 7-10 p.m. Wednesday, June 18 at BCA, Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116.

My seminar last October was a huge success. I have a lot more to add this time around--especially material geared toward marketing professionals looking to craft the perfect pitch letter that will generate buzz from editors.

Here's the lowdown:

For a freelance writer, pitches are everything. They're your personal introduction, writing sample, and article outline all in one. They're how you break into a magazine and how you keep the assignments coming in once you do. Write a compelling query and you're on your way to an assignment, or at least an ongoing relationship with the editor; write a lousy one and you'll disappear into the slush pile.

Whether you're pitching a celebrity profile or a travel feature, there are some key techniques and strategies you need to know to come up with a killer query. This seminar will walk you through the most important ones, from researching your target publication to structuring the pitch to selling yourself as the perfect writer for the job.

In this seminar, you will learn:

*How to surprise editors with fresh ideas
*Techniques to come up with salable story ideas
*How to tailor your query letter to the publication you're pitching
*What editors look for in a query and what turns them off
*What makes an effective -- and not-so effective -- query letter
*Online query letters vs. print query
*How to package yourself as the ideal writer for your idea
*How to turn a query into an ongoing editor-writer relationship

Click here to sign up for the class.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Photos from Boston Pride Parade 2008

My colleagues at EDGE Publications did an amazing job chronicling yesterday's Boston Pride parade including the money shot of Gov. Deval Patrick marching with his 18-year-old daughter, Katherine, who last week publicly announced she is a lesbian.

According to estimates from the Boston Pride Committee, the parade boasted the largest turnout ever, with an estimated crowd in the tens of thousands.

Click here for EDGE's photo flipbook.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Random Shot :: Proud To Welcome All

I passed by Trinity Church Boston today in Copley Square and noticed this sign outside. It made me tear up a bit because of my love-hate relationship with organized religion in the past. It takes a lot of balls to take such a strong stance, especially with zealots like Rev. Fred Phelps threatening to boycott any church that embraces the GLBT community. Thanks Trinity for making my day.

Click here for more photos from the "Loaded Gun Random Shots" series.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Povo.com's online Boston Pride Guide

I've helped craft a section dedicated to Boston Pride on Povo.com here. In an attempt not to ruffle any feathers, I'm calling this the "unofficial" mini online Boston Pride 2008 guide.

The site hashes out the Pride parade route using Povo's cool interactive mapping tool.

Speaking of Povo.com, the wiki-based site is now powering the Boston Metro's online neighborhood section here. Organizers plan to officially unveil the Metro/Povo collaboration in July.

Meanwhile, the team at EDGE Publications has assembled a comprehensive "official online guide" for Pride here. The source is chock full of online features including my profile on "Since My Last Confession" author Scott D. Pomfret, an article on "Code of Conduct" headliner Rich Merritt and many photos here.

For my fellow sober friends, I'm happy to announce that promoters of the Stuart Street block party on Sunday, June 15 have orchestrated a "cocktail-free zone" for folks who want to chill with a sizzling summer refreshment without the alcohol.

Happy Pride!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Author confesses in satirical Catholic memoir

Boston-based author Scott D. Pomfret insists he's overcome any lingering issues with Catholic guilt while crafting the satirical gem "Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir."

Well, sort of.

I have generalized Catholic guilt," he jokes from the home he shares with his partner Scott Whittier in the South End. "I feel guilty if I forget to give my mother a card on Mother's Day but I don't feel guilt about being gay. I don't feel shame about sex anymore," he says. "But a lot of people from many different faiths continue to struggle."

Click here for my complete article in EDGE.

Friday, June 06, 2008

GQB takes over Harp at the Garden

We’re here. We’re queer. We want a beer.

The Guerrilla Gay Bar folks are taking over one of the more hetero hangouts in the North End.

Yes, they’re infiltrating Harp at the Garden, 200 Portland Street starting at 9 p.m. Friday, June 6. According to the e-mail blast, organizers Daniel and Josh say the Celtics bar has a dancing and dress code that should be fairly easy to meet (men, they recommend, don't cut off your shirt sleeves).

The guerrilla gay bar idea is a great concept: a group of GLBTs sign up for an e-mail list, the organizer chooses a traditionally straight establishment (like last month's event at the Liquor Store).

Here’s my write-up on my recent experience outside of Harp during a Bruins game.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Boston's Gay Pride guide war

Boston-based Bay Windows is fuming after HX Media's revamped IN Newsweekly--now called the New England Blade--published what they called "the official guide to Boston pride."

Not quite.

It seems that Boston Pride planners didn't give the renegade gay pub the green light to include "official" in their title.

Bay Windows' new editor, Laura Kiritsy, wrote a scathing editorial today slamming the rival paper's move.

"For those of you who care about good business practice and like to support businesses that support the LGBT community, just know that 'official' affiliation with Boston Pride is based on a contractual agreement between the Pride Committee and whoever they’re doing business with, in this case the publishers of Bay Windows, Jeff Coakley and Sue O’Connell," writes Kiritsy.

The editor continues, "Coakley and O’Connell earned 'official' Boston Pride sponsorship status by agreeing to share revenue from advertising sales to the guide with the Committee. And the revenue the committee gets goes to make Boston Pride fun and fabulous for you. Any other guide claiming to be 'official' is basically ripping off the Pride Committee and in effect, ripping you off."

My thoughts? As someone who worked for an alt-weekly that consistently had to compete with the town's Gannett-owned daily, this battle to use "official" is familiar turf for me.

New England Blade could have easily dropped the "official" from their issue title. They knew what they were doing. Once again, the Blade is intentionally trying to ruffle feathers and justifiably deserves the smackdown.

Click here for the lowdown. Also, here's discussion on the issue in the Boston Globe.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hottest club drug? Preparation H

The hottest "drug" to hit the NYC club scene? No, it’s not what you think. Preparation H, the topical medication folks use to treat hemorrhoids, is reportedly burning up the dance floor.

The hush-hush secret among women and, yes, gay men, has been used to reduce puffiness around the eyes for years.

Now, get this, Manhattan-based club doorman, blogger and author Rob "the bouncer" Fitzgerald tells ABCNews.com and Mike & Juliet that men are slathering up their torsos with Preparation H to make themselves look "shredded."

Apparently, the hemorrhoid cream works by constricting the nearby blood vessels that surround the area. The topical solution will shrink other tissues as well and allegedly give a "ripped" look appearance for guys without shirts.

However, dermatologist Dr. Darrell S. Rigel warns that there are side effects including rashes and elevated blood pressure. Click here for the lowdown.
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