Wednesday, July 30, 2008

GQB hits South Shore beach

Beach blanket bingo? You bet.

The organizers of Guerrilla Queer Bar (the group that takes over a traditionally straight bar the first Friday of every month) have partnered with the Hull Word, Nantasket Beach’s LGBT Social Group for the first of its kind, Queer Beach Takeover.

With attendance expected to reach in excess of 300 attendees, this will be the first of its kind for Boston's GLBT community. According to Hull Word, they partnered with the Guerrilla Queer Bar group because of the success of their social experiment that borders on old-school gay activism and their willingness to make their mark on uber-straight venues in Boston. The fun begins 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 3.

Click here for the lowdown.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mediabistro.com All-Media Bash at the Silvertone

The Mediabistro.com event tonight at the Silvertone Bar & Grill, in the heart of Boston's Downtown Crossing area, was a hit. The venue, festooned with '50s-style radios, vintage family snapshots and retro liquor posters. held a crew of about 75 media professionals.

Above is a shot of my blogger-in-training Noelle Sevoian from ConsumerUnited.com and freelance writer and former star pupil from my "Pitch Letter Essentials" class Susan Johnston signing in guests at the Boston All-Media bash.

Additional photos from the party will be posted on Mediabistro.com.

The British are coming ... again!

The organizers of Boston Freedom Trail are staging a re-enactment of the British encampment of the Boston Common kicking off Friday, Aug. 15 until Sunday, Aug. 17.

Here's the lowdown:

Over 20 companies of 18th century British army re-enactors set up a replica of the original camp on Boston Common. The training field becomes a living history site where children and families can participate in the daily life of a British soldier.

Activities and demonstrations are scheduled throughout the weekend which include drills, cooking, making clothes and shoes, repairing equipment, medicine tents, musket firings, a small skirmish with colonists, music and meet and greets with the re-enactor soliders.

Click here for the lowdown. And check out the Freedom Trail subsite on Povo.com here.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Eric Hutchinson hits Wilbur Theatre

He's sincere. He's cute. He's complicated.

Eric Hutchinson, who was catapulted out of obscurity by celeb blogger Perez Hilton, returns to his Boston roots (he's an Emerson grad) on Tuesday, July 29.

The hottie 20-something has already toured with Blind Melon, OneRepublic and Jack's Mannequin and has been hailed as "undeniably charismatic" in concert by The Washington Post.

"I'm interested in the gray area of life and relationships," says Hutchinson. "I think that's the universality to my songs. I try to make a break-up song that's [like], 'I love you and you love me, but you slept with my brother.' I think people relate to those details."

8 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, Wilbur Theatre in Boston and 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 30 at The Hi Hat in Providence. Click here for the interview in EDGE.

Photo Credit: Autumn DeWilde

Friday, July 25, 2008

'The Surrogates' second unit crew films Seaport

A second unit team for the Disney sci-fi flick, "The Surrogates," is filming pick-up shots in the Seaport District area on Necco Street.

Second unit footage generally includes scenery shots, close-ups of buildings and B-roll footage needed for the film's final cut.

Click here for my previous posts on "The Surrogates."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Boston DJ found guilty, promises to appeal verdict

After meeting both Barry and his partner Bryan Richardson, I’m deeply shocked and saddened by the following news:

What started off as a celebratory evening of music at a backyard birthday party in Provincetown has transformed into an ongoing hell for DJ Barry Scott.

In an oddly quick deliberation, the Orleans District Court found the openly gay radio personality guilty on three charges today. Scott’s lawyer Will Korman, who alerted me earlier this week about the final ruling, promises to fight the verdict.

The popular Boston-based radio DJ was found guilty of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace after he was left bloodied and bruised by a crew of summer cops hired by the Provincetown Police Department a little more than one year ago on July 14, 2007.

"The police assaulted me within one minute of meeting me the first time that night, while complying immediately with their demand to shut the party down," he revealed to me in an exclusive statement.

According to reports, Scott’s lawyer Korman promises to fight the verdict. Here's my initial story on Scott in EDGE.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another film shoot on South Street

"Four Single Fathers" Update: After doing some research, it looks like the movie is "Four Single Fathers," an indie film by director Paolo Monico. The feature-length movie follows four Italian single fathers trying to deal with their American ex-wives. The film is set in NYC and Rome (the yellow cab on the street would back up the Manhattan storyline).

I'm a sucker for foreign indie flicks, so any negative NIMBY thoughts I had earlier today is water under the bridge.

Morning Rant: There's another film shoot today on the corner of Kneeland and South Street in the Leather District. After last week's problematic run-in with the crew of the sci-fi Disney flick “The Surrogates” starring Bruce Willis, I thought the drama was over.

Not exactly.

This morning, a crew is set up in a similarly inconvenient spot on South Street. Because of the recent reports surrounding the currently-in-production Mel Gibson film “Edge of Darkness,” I automatically expected the belligerent Aussie to poke his head out of the NYC-style yellow taxi cab propped on the corner.

Unfortunately, no Gibson today.

The yellow filming placard reads “SF” and I quickly learned that the shoot is for an Italian film that will air on TV.

Cinema paradiso? Not quite.

Similar to “The Surrogates” production assistants, this crew is equally abrasive and I had an unsavory run-in with one of their wannabe PAs. Words of advice to location scouts: If you want a closed set without pedestrians moving in and out of frame, try shooting on the weekends when this street is literally a ghost town.

My question: Are there any limitations to the 25 percent film tax credit rebate that's luring all of these filmmakers to Massachusetts?

Should we expect film crews from all over the world literally taking over the streets to benefit from Gov. Deval Patrick's momentary lapse of reason when he removed the $7 million limit on the tax and increased the credit from 20 percent to 25 percent?

Based on today's shoot, absolutely.

UPDATE: As of 12:45 p.m., the crew is in full production mode. There's a female actress, dressed in only black lingerie (Victoria Secret-style bra and panties), running in and out of the entrance to 210 South Street.

UPDATE 2: I just received an e-mail from an anonymous reader in Quincy. "PAs get enough greif (sic) on-set, without wannabe bloggers trying to get in on the action."

For the record, I didn't want to "get in on the action." The action parked itself right in front of my office and prohibited me from getting back to my job. Just because a film crew hires a PA for one day and gives them a walkie-talkie doesn't give them the right to set up a velvet rope in the middle of the street.

Trust me, I know all about the grief PAs experience on set.

Thanks for your comment!

Povo.com Hotspot :: Wild Greens

Chopped designer salads? You bet. This Financial Street gem is a hidden hotspot for herbivores looking to satisfy their salad-as-a-meal fix. Hidden behind a grand glass facade at 100 Federal Street, Boston's Wild Greens boasts Wolfgang Puck goodies ranging from robustly prepared soups to vegan-approved salads.

Wild Greens also has daily specials--like an awe-inspiring fajita bar on Thursdays and a daily breakfast menu where the chef prepares a larger-than-usual meal as you wait. While a bit on the pricey side, Wild Greens doesn't hold back with its portions (be prepared to walk back to your office with a doggie bag).

And, to top off an above-average lunch experience, Wild Greens boasts outdoor seating next to a sculpture garden. Score!

Click here for the lowdown on Povo.com.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dark side of Hollywood in the Hub?

It's the day after the week-long shoot for "The Surrogates" and South Street--the epicenter of Hollywood East which served as the location for a slew of in-production movies including the Kate Hudson flick "Bride Wars"--looks like a post-apocalyptic war zone.

No, I'm not referring to the futuristic set for the sci-fi thriller starring Bruce Willis. Instead, the aftermath of "The Surrogates" shoot looks like all hell broke loose overnight.

Trash litters the streets. Thousands of cigarette butts were flicked on the sidewalks. One parent, obviously annoyed by the commotion during the filming on Tuesday, July 15 taped up signs on her child's window that read: "Please Do Not Lean/Touch Window! Baby Sleeping!"

My question: Is it worth it?

Sure, it's exciting and all and the economic stimulus it brings to the area sounds good on paper. And, to set the record straight, a cleaning crew spent all day picking up the mess on South Street. But, as someone who had to work in the center of all of the madness, the shoot became a daily ritual of being confronted by the set's production assistants who would stop me in my path as I tried to leave my office for lunch. Other people who live and work on South Street had similar horror stories when members of the film crew literally blocked them from getting to their car to leave for the day.

When reports surfaced that a Roslindale man expressed disdain over the filming of Mel Gibson's next movie, "Edge of Darkness," near his home on Bradfield Street, I nodded my head in silent agreement.

More movie shoots in Boston? I think I'll wait until they come out on DVD.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bruce Wills on the set of 'The Surrogates'

Bruce Willis is on set, wearing a brown shirt and chatting on his cellphone on the corner of South Street, as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 15.

Click here for more info on "The Surrogates" shooting on South Street including the lowdown on the "Artiface" set.

07.16.08 UPDATE: Filming on South Street is over and the production crew is cleaning up the set today. One South Street resident who lives in a basement apartment has up signage remaining from yesterday's shoot begging "The Surrogates" crew not to lean against the ground-level windows because of a "baby sleeping" inside. Last call to check out the "Artiface" set before it's dismantled.

(Photo by Sam Baltusis, "The Surrogates" robot hair salon called "Artiface")

Monday, July 14, 2008

Latest twist in Yakovleff murder investigation

Reports surfaced yesterday that the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office has given a subpoena to a private investigator--identified as Robert Diaz--hired by Steven Odegard to testify before the grand jury in the case involving the murder of Daniel Yakovleff.

In the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 17, police discovered the body of Yakovleff with a fatal stab wound to the chest. Sources say Yakovleff was last seen leaving the Eagle bar in the South End on Wednesday, Jan. 16 and was found by authorities around 6:10 a.m. the following day.

According to sources familiar with the investigation, the third-floor tenant of the apartment, Odegard, told police he had picked up two men at the Eagle and brought them back to his apartment. When he woke up the following morning, Odegard called police after finding one of them had been stabbed.

Odegard has been publicly identified as a person of interest by Boston Police in the murder of Yakovleff. The Herald reports that Odegard’s attorney, John Swomley, hired a private investigator, Robert Diaz, to help investigate and build the case for Odegard’s defense.

The piece confirms that lawyer Swomley and Diaz toured gay bars and spoke to witnesses who saw Yakovleff in his final hours. Swomley was appointed to be Odegard’s public defender on Jan. 17.

In an article that ran in EDGE here, there were unsubstantiated rumors that Odegard's attorney and Diaz were investigating at the Eagle before reports of Yakovleff's murder--and Odegard's association to the victim--were made public.

In a June 12 motion filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Swomley contends that Diaz’s investigative work falls under “attorney-client privelege” and that Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Dennis Collins did not have permission from the judiciary to subpoena the private investigator.

UPDATE: Steven Odegard has been indicted in the murder of Daniel Yakovleff. Click here for the latest.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Povo.com Hotspot :: Oishii Boston

I had an amazing lunch at Oishii Boston earlier this week. Here's my Povo.com write up:

Oishii Boston is located in the South End SOWA district and its contemporary decor and ambience reflects the artistic side of this up-and-coming Boston neighborhood.

Awarded a stellar 28 (their highest rating) by Zagats for its food, this upscale sushi restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Ting San who is dedicated in crafting his creations with the freshest ingredients and literally treats each plate as a work of art.

While this hidden gem is perfect for a romantic evening out, locals frequent Oishii for lunch to sample prix fixe Japanese cuisine at its best.

Click here for the Povo.com listing.

Mediabistro.com All-Media Party on July 29

Join me 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 29 at Silvertone, 69 Bromfield St. in the heart of Boston's Downtown Crossing for an all-media networking event promoted by Mediabistro.com based in NYC.

It's a great way for Boston's media community to come together while enjoying conversation and drinks.

Click on the link below to RSVP. Based on the buzz already, the after-work event is going to be fab!

Forward this link to media professionals only.

Friday, July 11, 2008

'The Surrogates' day spa for robots?

The scene outside of the set of the currently-in-production Disney sci-fi thriller called "The Surrogates" intensified on South Street in the Leather District today. The flick, starring Bruce Willis as a cop on the hunt for killers, is set in the near future where humans interact with one another through surrogate robots.

As I mentioned yesterday, there's an interesting set being built at the Human Scale office located on 179 South Street. From the outside, it looks like a futuristic salon called "Artiface" where surrogates can get a makeover ... or better yet, a tune up (the shelves are stocked with beauty products and what looks like WD-40 style oil treatments).

The photo above is an exterior shot of "Artiface," or what I like to call a day spa for robots, with huge cranes going up for the shoot. Also, to the right of the surrogate salon is a closed set with thick curtains blocking the interior of the office-space-turned-movie set.

Click here for more information.

UPDATE 07.14.08: A crew of blonde femmebots--including Moscow-bred hottie Anya Monzikova--stormed the "Artiface" set today on South Street. There were also a few surrogate extras with bizarre metallic hats (turns out the metal foils are used for robot highlights).

UPDATE 07.15.08: Bruce Willis is on set, chatting on his cellphone on the corner of South Street, as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 15.

Dani Campbell takes a 'Shot' in P'town

When MTV debuted "A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila" in early October, 16 men and women were initially cast as suitors, including 29-year-old Dani Campbell from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

While she ultimately didn’t win Tequila’s heart, the self-described "futch" made it all the way to the finals. Meanwhile, the nation’s LGBT community is smitten with the laid-back firefighter.

And next weekend, she’s heading to Provincetown. Hang with the MTV sweetie during Girls Splash dance party at the Paramount. 9:30 p.m. Sunday, July 20. Paramout @ The Crown & Anchor, 247 Commercial St. Provincetown. 508-487-1430 or here for more information.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

GQB takes over The Kells in Allston

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 Allston.

Yes, they’re infiltrating The Kells, 161 Brighton Avenue starting at 9 p.m. Friday, July 11.

One of Boston's livelier Irish bars, the Kells is also one of Boston's best places to go for dancing without the sleaze factor or cover of the dance club scene.

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 Harp in the North End).

Click here for more info on The Kells.

Bruce Willis flick 'The Surrogates' on South Street

The film crew for the Disney sci-fi thriller "The Surrogates" is shooting on South Street in the Leather District this week. The film, set in the near future where humans interact with one another through surrogate robots, stars Bruce Willis as a cop who tracks down murderers.

There's an interesting set being built at the Human Scale office located on 179 South Street. From the outside, it looks like a futuristic salon called "Artiface" where surrogates can get a makeover ... or better yet, a tune up (the shelves are stocked with beauty products and what looks like WD-40 style oil treatments).

From the street, "Artiface" appears to be a day spa for robots.

Paparazzi and curious pedestrians seem to be indiscretely stalking the location (perhaps, the Surrogates Productions/The Walt Disney Productions crew truck from Woburn, MA sitting outside of the film location is an obvious tip-off).

Who knew that Willis is still able to generate this much attention?

Click here for more info on "The Surrogates."
Photo by Sam Baltrusis

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Random Shot :: Lonesome Lake Trail

I spent the Fourth of July weekend camping at the Lafayette Campground in the beautiful Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire. After getting an impromptu mud bath during a hike up the Lonesome Lake Trail, the breathtaking views were well worth the trek. In fact, the weekend restored my passion for camping.

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

Photo by Sam Baltrusis

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

GLAAD slams use of 'homo' in 'Hancock'

Damon Romine, a blogger for GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and the group's entertainment media director, is miffed that the Fourth of July flick's main character in “Hancock,” played by Will Smith, slings some anti-gay rhetoric.

Romine notes, “GLAAD understands that sometimes anti-gay language shows up in dramatic narrative to reveal a character’s true colors, or to convey a message. But there’s a big difference between using it to highlight a character’s anti-gay attitudes and making a cheap, unfunny shot at gay people.”

The context?

When Jason Bateman’s idealistic public-relations character (responsible for rehabilitating the protagonist's tarnished image) shows the anti-social boozer Hancock a bunch of comics featuring superheroes, Hancock’s response to each one is “homo.” Not cool.

The GLAAD blogger continues, “No one would have missed the line if it wasn’t there, but an unfortunate choice was made to go for the cheap gay joke. In that moment, young gay people in the movie’s audience are put in the position of being ridiculed by a character they are expected to regard as a hero.”

Click here for GLAAD's remarks.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Somerville's Toast Lounge is now Precinct Bar

One more sign that gay bars are slowly becoming extinct, the former lesbian hangout Toast Lounge in Union Square has opened its doors to Somerville's metrosexual, sports-loving crowd.

Here's my Povo.com listing:

As of May 2008, Toast Lounge is now Precinct, an equally hip Somerville hangout in the basement of the old Union Square police station. The joint's menu includes a killer array of appetizers including a tasty spinach dip (sans mayo) and fried mozzarella cheese bites. The spot is a unique basement-venue that features an outdoor beer garden/patio, live music every night, food served late and sporting events.

Click here for more information.

Provincetown's Not-So-Puritanical Sex Smackdown

As promised, here's EDGE's take on the Provincetown public sex sting by writer Scott Kearnan:

But if you’re planning to head down to Provincetown’s famous sand dunes to add another notch in your belt, you may want to consider buckling up; otherwise, you might wind up nailed--and not in the way you intended.

Cape authorities are cracking down on public sex acts, following a massive leap in citations issued for such activity in 2007. Last year, 132 citations were issued in the northern district (Provincetown and Truro) of the Cape Cod National Seashore, according to Seashore statistics reported by Cape Cod Times. That’s compared to an average of 70 such citations annually from 2003 to 2006 and a comparatively puritanical average of just 40 in even earlier years.

Click here for the complete article in EDGE.

UPDATE (e-mail from a reader):

I was in Provincetown this past 4th of July weekend and while I was walking on the dunes in Herring Cove (the gay beach) a female undercover state trooper saw three men fooling arouind naked on top of the dunes. She yelled and ran up to the guys who all received a fine. I took on the mission of a whistle blower and walked ahead of her path to alert my fellow guys a trooper was approaching and it was best to put their swim pants on.

One older gentleman told me that the prior week, three other guys had been arrested and brought with a 4W vehicle from the beach into Ptown! So, I decided go get my cellphone with a camera and tried to get a shot of the undercover troopers--there were two of them, a man and a woman.
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