Friday, April 24, 2009

Do it in denim.

Well in keeping with the theme of leather & levis for the weekend, there is one more event I want to give you a heads-up about! It is Design for Life: Denim, a benefit for the Michigan AIDS Coalition Saturday night at MoCAD.

"Design for Life: Denim, what's that about?" I can hear you asking. Well, the Michigan AIDS Coalition has put together an event that is a fashion and art experience. 100 creative individuals (designers, chefs, artists, architects, musicians ... you get the idea) were given Carhartt denim jackets as raw material and instructed to make custom designs with them. It could be fashion. It could be art. It could be fashionable art. It could be artistic fashion.

It might just be easier to post some images that will give you an idea of the evening. It looks actually tremendously fabulous!

Your emcee: Ongina from RuPaul's Drag Race!

Aural ambience provided by DethLab.

Detroit Flyhouse might drop in.

Jacket design by David McNight of Emerald City Designs.

Jacket design by graffiti artiste Tony "Shades" Agee.

Weathered red denim bag by Barrett Streu.

Popart Monkey Pillow by Megan Oxley.

FIERCE ART #1: Rusty Bird Cage with Wings, by Bill Bowen of Octane Design.

FIERCE ART #2: Reliquary of C. Hartt. It contains the ashes of the jacket. Awesome.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 25, 2009 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MoCAD). Hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar are involved. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by contacting Robert Thomas, 248-545-1435, ext. 105 or Still waiting to hear if they can be purchased at the door, although I can't imagine you'd be turned away!

When the party's over ...

This hectic week almost made me forget something vitally important! After the Modernism Preview Party don't forget to head out to the R&R Saloon for Macho City!

Let me
put on some music to get me in the mood for this post, I need to go back in time - to four weeks ago.

I was
keenly excited about the premier of Macho City last month, and I am happy to report it did not disappoint. It was the perfect old gay meets new gay (and I don't mean age-wise). The R&R is a real leather bar, like with people in it and everything. There were regulars there (and I daresay a nice offering of good-looking guys over 30) plus an onslaught of obvious first-timers. The ages ranged from 21 to who knows. The music was GREAT and not just for dancing - hanging out by the pool table was possibly the best spot in the bar for much of the night due to the constant flow of people and the really good sound system there.

Without going into further excrutiating detail, the dancefloor was almost always packed, the bar was full and fun, the crazy owner kept yelling drink specials randomly over the music, there was possibly some depravity downstairs ... it all came off like a really great regular night at the leather bar (when you imagine how you wish regular nights would always be). I didn't even care that I left the bar reeking of smoke - and that's really saying something.

So don't forget - go to Macho City tonight! It's the right combination of everything wrong. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Macho City, a monthly disco party
It's on a Friday this month! Friday, April 24
R & R Saloon,
7330 Michigan Avenue, Detroit (bet Livernois & Wyoming
$2 cover, includes one drink!

Celebrate Modernity

Regular readers know I am a fan of modern design - I live in Lafayette Park, I stalked Hawkins Ferry in death, I love Detroit's modern shops. And I regularly attend the Preview Party for the Michigan Modernism Show! Which is tonight!

The Preview Party is a benefit for the
Detroit Area Art Deco Society. It is held every year the Friday night before the opening of Michigan Modernism and is - basically - a private shopping event for people who love vintage modern design. In an atmosphere unsullied by the teeming masses you get first dibs at some of the most fantastic vintage modern items (while enjoying a glass of wine! I mean, if you get into stuff like that).

This year there is an added attraction - DAADS partnered with the Oakland Community College photography department and captured some great Deco structures in the city for display - and silent auction - at the event. Additionally awesome photographer (and super cool chick)
Cybelle Codish has donated three photographs to the auction.

Cybelle Codish is an awesome photographer.

I always love the Preview Party because - first of all - I'm a giver. And I'm a seeker - I love to find cool stuff I've never seen before. And sometimes, I'm a shopper.

One thing I really enjoy about being a homosexual raised in the latter days of the 20th century is that an appreciation for good design is basically my birthright. A gay man not taking the time to become an aesthete is like Prince Charles not taking the time to knock off Queen Elizabeth and ascend to the throne. A squandered opportunity.

I'm a shopper. Sometimes.

I know for the young ones these days it's all about sports and picket fences and suburbia and blending in, but I prefer a more genteel and rarefied gay sensibility. You know, the one that got you beat up on the playground as a kid. It sucked then, but it made you a REALLY cool adult.

So be a good gay and celebrate your birthright at the Michigan Modernism Preview tonight! Trust me, you won't be the only one.

[The Preview Party is from 7 to 10pm tonight, April 24, at the Southfield Civic Center. Tickets are $50 in advance and $65 at the door. More details here. Go!]

Friday, April 17, 2009

Get Patti LuPWNed

Did you have any idea that Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin are in town puttin' on a show? Neither did I! But when I found out on Wednesday evening (at a particularly zesty "Latitude," the gay night at Atlas Global Bistro) I made damn sure I was going to get to that show!

I'm not exactly a theater maven but I do enjoy the theatahhhhh, and I REALLY enjoy showtune queens and their esoteric knowledge of variations in productions of The Music Man and bootleg soundtracks to Carrie: The Musical. I also like to be present for important pop culture moments, especially if they are the slightest bit highbrow. So An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin was right up my alley.

La LuPone and Mr. Patinkin are in town as recipients of the Seventh Annual Apple Award, an award presented by the Wayne State University College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts and the Nederlander Company. They had a public Q&A and taught a master class at WSU campus this week, and then apparently decided to bring their self-produced show along with them. I'm pretty sure the big incentive to come to Detroit involves cash as well as the prestige of winning an Apple Award, but I say who cares what got them here?

[Oh, as a great aside, apparently the posters for the Q&A at Wayne State spelled Patti LuPone's name wrong, and she went around all afternoon correcting the spelling with a Sharpie she had in her purse. Awesome.]

The show was fabulous, of course, and the more you know about showtunes the more you're going to love it. In particular Sondheim and Rodgers & Hammerstein. Which, maybe, I wasn't as up-to-speed on as I could have been. But you didn't have to know the context for every song to appreciate the way everything is woven together - in particular a powerful sequence of numbers in the second act from Carousel.

There are the showstoppers you want too, of course, and I think at this point you would weep if you didn't get some Evita or Mama Rose from LuPone (although here's a theater-going tip: if you want to avoid withering glares from a group of queens, don't be morbidly obese and open cellophane candy wrappers during a Patti LuPone performance of "Everything's Coming Up Roses." I hate to be a total dick but SERIOUSLY, there is a time and a place, and that ain't it.)

All in all a wonderful evening, seeing two theater legends at the over-the-top fabulously Valley-of-the-Dolls Fisher Theater (it's a Lincoln Center-esque 1960's glamorous time warp, if you haven't been.) Upgrade your gay credentials and go!

Of course, if you go please remember the debacle from Gypsy earlier this year and do NOT take any photographs! They did announce this about five times during the performance, and watch the video below to see why!

She kept her promise, but I still kept my distance.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I'm not the only one trying to carve out an oasis in the gay desert. Doggy Styler Ed emailed to show that there are Supergays everywhere!

Carroll Gardens - A Gay Bar Scene Is Born.

We don't have go-go dancers at Doggy Style, but who really wants that anyway? OK shut up.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Play Time

It may seem that I'm the kind of guy who goes out all the time, hob-nobbing with the hardly-rich and barely-famous, but I am actually kind of a family man at heart.

OK, not exactly, but any well-rounded homosexual in his late 30s is going to have friends or siblings with kids, and I am no exception. And while I was originally put off by this next generation cutting into my friends' social availability, I have come to really enjoy "family time" with my friends.

I am also a doting uncle, in the sense that I love my nieces and nephews but don't get around to seeing them as much as I should. So when my brother called to invite me to my niece's school play - he said she was participating in a Eurythmics number (awesome!) - I knew attending would be quality time well-spent with the family.

It was also super convenient because my brother's kids go to the Detroit Waldorf School, so I didn't have to drive far. I'm practical that way.

Pics by "mehughes" on Flickr - thanks in advance!

Detroit Waldorf School is in a gorgeous building designed by Albert Kahn and is located in Historic Indian Village. If you aren't familiar with the Waldorf educational philosophy you can read about it here. It's kind of arty hippy dippy but in an intellectual way - basically stepping into the school is like going back to my Ann Arbor days, so of course I love it. Even with all the women wearing jumpers. The student body is culturally diverse, and the parents tend to be socially progressive, involved in their communities and members of their local NPR station.

And while it is total parody, I always think of this scene when discussing Waldorf:

Grades 2-8 were in the show. One of the teachers came on stage to make the introduction and talk a bit about some of the cool recent accomplishments of Waldorf students (they were myriad: winning against high school challengers at a UM competition, winning the regional spelling bee) and to describe the plot of the show. Which was so perfectly Waldorf it was almost cliche.

See, the Super Ninjas lose their ninja powers because they make poor lifestyle choices - watching tv and playing video games all the time - and have poor dietary habits. They have to travel through the Enchanted Forest to get to the Institute of Becoming a Human Being (or something like that) so they can re-learn good lifestyle habits and get their powers back. Awesome!

It started with some of the older girls climbing up into the large swags of fabric hanging from the stage rafters and spinning around on them - Detroit Waldorf has the only Aerial program in the state of Michigan (it wasn't quite this, but you get the idea). Then all the students filed in down the aisles along with some kids riding unicycles! And it only got better from there.

I don't need to go into a narrative of the production, but even though it was definitely a grade school show the amount and variety of talent on display was astounding. Oh sure, aerialists, and unicyclists. And fight choreography with tumbling. And eurhythmics (oh yeah, it wasn't a Eurythmics number, it was the music/movement philosophy they named themselves after). And a rendition of "Send in the Clowns" (!). And students playing along on violins in every song. And juggling, double-dutch jump roping, dancing, yoga, a remarkable hula hoop performance ("we have to do it all day long," my niece reported). And a German skit performed in perfect German.

As the play neared the end I was just sitting there, blown away by these kids. And then they started singing that Coldplay song "Viva La Vida," - one of the dads played the guitar and students played the violin, all accompanied by a single drumbeat. Kids from all grades lined the auditorium walls, surrounding the audience with their voices. And on stage so many of the talents demonstrated that evening were on display again - the aerialists, the juggling, the dancing. It was, honestly, a bit overwhelming, in that way where you can be someplace and everything is so right for a moment. When I stop to run through it again in my mind I actually tear up a bit, it was all so perfect. It was like a scene from a Wes Anderson film.

What does this all have to do with anything? Well, with so much bad news about Detroit everywhere, it felt really great to be a witness to something so wonderful happening right here, in Detroit, close to home. I saw a diverse crowd (racially of course, but Waldorf is no stranger to kids with two mommies or daddies) coming together for something other than the political.

It reminded me that some of that great vibe I loved in Ann Arbor does exist where I live now, in its own Detroit way. It gave me hope that an excellent, if alternate-track, education happens in the city and that these kids (if the other people I know who've been through a Waldorf education are any indication) are going to be well-rounded, intellectually-curious, talented adults.

And it reminded me once again how unique Detroit-based (whether they live in the city proper or not) families are. It's a special, and kind of unheralded, population.

If you are feeling a little blue about the way the adults in the city are acting lately, I highly recommend a look at what the children are up to. May it lift your heart like it lifted mine.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Two Years

Hey here's something remarkable: this past week marks the two-year anniversary of Supergay Detroit. Two years, how about that? In the immortal words of Melissa Sue Anderson, Happy Birthday to Me.

If there is one thing I love it's a milestone. It gives you an excuse to stop to reflect and, essentially, think about yourself. And since I quit going to therapy I'm always looking for an excuse.

As a result of this reflecting I recently realized that I've become one of those gay people in Detroit I couldn't find when I moved here. I mean aside from having a gay blog and throwing a gay weekly thing, I'm no longer actively seeking a gay community in Detroit proper. I guess I just ran out of steam on that.

I am now one of those gay people in the city who goes out to all the regular places and meets up with gay friends as occasionally as he meets up with straight friends. I am now one of those gay people I used to see out at Union Street and wonder, "how can I connect with these people?"

The original goal of this blog was to find the gay community in Detroit, and provide a resource for other people out there who were having a hard time finding it too. Now I just don't think about it that much anymore. Apparently, I've been assimilated.

My problem is that I don't know if that's something to be happy about or not.

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