Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I am a secret eater

It may provide fodder to my detractors to confess that I am a secret eater, but it's true. Any objective observer will have to admit, however, that in the true Supergay spirit, I do it with panache.

My dual occupation of man-about-town/man-of-leisure opens the door to many interesting opportunities, and one such opportunity arose recently when the following message arrived in my inbox:

This message is to inform you that you have been chosen to join a select group of aesthetes in an uncommon event - an undergound dining experience in an extraordinary locale. Join us for an experimental feast.

Fancy! Exclusive! I'm in.

So earlier this week we headed to the secret meeting point, got directions to the locale and zipped over to the empty Detroit landmark building that was home of "ClandesDine."

Setting the scene.

It was a secret dinner that was, frankly, brilliant. The guests filed into a space that was neither quite fully abandoned nor close to finished, but had that great Detroit "in between" feel. The fare for the evening was an elegant six-course meal with wine pairings presented by Chef Marc Djozlija of the Wolfgang Puck Grill at the MGM.

And whom did I not know at this dinner? Well, some people, but it was a real collection of Detroit movers and everyone was quite excited to partake in this foodie experiment. From where I was seated all I could see were people cooler than I am, and I had to wonder how I was going to have time to kiss up to all of them in a single dinner! Thank God people were amenable to switching spots.

Not to be purposefully vague, but I'm not sure how much I am supposed to talk about the details of the evening. So instead of a detailed play-by-play of amazing food and wine, presented by some of the most notorious foodies in our community, it might be easier to say that par for Detroit, it was borne of a desire to create something fantastic and altruistic, not something overtly commercial. The creative energy and room for experimentation in Detroit that people love to talk about was on full display, both in the presenters and the attendees. Too bad TIME magazine couldn't be around to witness this Detroit..

Here's your detailed play-by-play.

Our Chef, and our New York Times spokesmodel.

I don't always have the time or the drive to blog on here about how Detroit still revs my motor, but rest assured it does. And I'm not the only one. One dear Detroit friend who can be as critical as I am about the city's shortcomings was celebrating her birthday this night, and days later was still saying, "It's like the birthday party I've always wanted."

But didn't even know existed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Supergay Week Continues ...

Thanks so much to all you swell guys and gals who were able to make it to Macho City on Saturday night! I had so much fun being the special guest DJ, I actually lost my bad attitude for a while! Thank you thank you Mike Trombley and Scott Zacharias for inviting me to play my shiny gay disco!

There were a few requests that I post the playlist from Saturday, so for the curious or stalkerly, here it is:

Set 1
I Was Born This Way - Carl Bean
No One Gets the Prize - Diana Ross
Lucky - Donna Summer
Take Me Home - Cher
(thus ends the gay diva sequence)
Fly Me on the Wings of Love - Celi Bee
Shangri-La - La Pregunta
Don't Cry for Me Argentina - Festival
(believe it or not, the producers of Evita commissioned an entire Disco Evita album when the musical debuted, which often was played in its entirety at discos! This track is so much better than the Madonna dance version)
I'm a Cruiser - Village People
(another Village People song about cruising for sex, slapped on the album that also featured YMCA. Hello Middle America!)
So Many Men So Little Time - Miquel Brown
(from 1983, is there a more historically unfortunate lyric than "So many men, so little time ... how can I lose?")
My Knight in Black Leather -Bette Midler
(camp and pathos like only Bette Midler could do it. Until she jumped the shark with "From a Distance")

Set 2
This Is My Life - Shirley Bassey
(an over-the-top disco version of an already over-the-top song)
That's the Meaning - Beautiful Bend
Forbidden Love - Madleen Kane
I Need a Man - Amanda Lear
(no she was not really a transsexual, it was just a rumor)
Stars - Sylvester
(the best of the many wonderful songs in the Sylvester oeuvre.)
Come On and Do It - Poussez
(the only song I've ever seen with a "moaning" credit)
Tahiti, Tahiti - Voyage
Don't Leave Me This Way - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
(the original version, and the best by far, with a young Teddy Pendergrass on vocals!)

OK so now you can recreate your own Supergay Macho City right there at home! Good luck tracking some of those down though.

I've zipped away to Saugatuck for a night to regroup and will be back for tomorrow night when a new season of Doggy Style starts at the Park Bar! It's the special Halloween edition, to celebrate the biggest gay holiday of the year!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Scene

In my time in Detroit I have gone down many interesting paths, but I think the most unexpected has been my role in what I like to call the alternative downtown gay scene.

It's not really a new phenomenon, the way that dance parties and "gay nights" pop up outside the standard gay bar scene, but what is a little different here is that it's actually become a series of recurring events and a scene completely detatched from the regular gay bars. With downtown rather underserved in the gay bar department, it's turned out to be a terrific way for locals to get together and socialize, in a geographically-specific kind of way.

To put it a different way: it's really nice to not have to explain what Lafayette Park is to a homo who just told you all about the Barcelona chairs in his living room.

On a monthly basis you can experience the hipster joys of Fierce Hot Mess, which is held the first Friday of each month at Oslo (except in November when it is Saturday the 7th!). You can read how I have enjoyed FHM here, and while I sometimes feel a little old when I go, I do get over it pretty quickly. And the youngsters love it.

The underground disco celebration Macho City, held on the fourth Saturday of every month at the R&R Saloon, is a bit more my speed - partly because I am squarely in the middle on the age scale, and partly because the "old songs" being played weren't popular when I was in high school. I recently wrote about my love for Macho City here, and I am pretty sure that (and a few carefully chosen disco titles dropped casually into conversation with organizer Mike Trombley) landed me a spot as the guest DJ this month!

That's me!

I honestly have to say this is one of the most exciting things to happen to me in my adult life. If you are not a control freak like me then you can't imagine how many times I've fantasized about being the DJ. Well this Saturday night, you (and I) can find out how that goes! I will be playing two sets, and let's just say I am probably gonna pull the "macho" right out of Macho City. I love a big gay disco song.

Dreams can come true, I'm living proof!

On a weekly basis Latitude, the Wednesday night at Atlas Global Bistro, has been pretty bustling this summer! It's a sophisticated setting that usually keeps things classy, and you can have your lovely pinot noir or top-shelf martini, or you can have the weekly "$3 Bill" gay drink special!

My own little contribution to this, Tuesday Nights Doggy Style at the Park Bar, has been a much bigger hit than I ever expected. I hesitate to use the word "sensation" but you know, only slightly. Doggy Style enters its third season this coming Tuesday with a special Halloween Edition!

Doggy Style is really more of a "gay-er" night by design - we didn't want to take over the Park Bar, just switch the perspective. Every week there is a fun video compilation and lots of great downtown residents (gay and straight) come and hang out.

I do have to tip my hat to the Guerrilla Queer Bar, which (along with the now-defunct Sass dance party) was my first exposure to an alternative gay scene with a downtown sensibility. GQB still happens from time to time, like this Friday at the Midnight MASSacre party! Sign up to be on their e-mail list!

So that's what we've got going on, for everyone who doesn't already know, for people desperately looking for someplace suitable to send out-of-town guests, and for new residents still searching for signs of intelligent gay life. Come and hang out sometime.

[And for you Washtenaw County-based folks, be sure to check out Elbow Deep in Ypsi! It's the fourth Tuesday of the month (or is it the last Tuesday? Sometimes it's not the same) at the Elbow Room. The guys in charge are some pop-culturally-enhanced faggots so you know it'll be a fucked up good time!]

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Return of the Detroit Massacre!

Fall is here and that means one thing: Halloween is approaching! And as expected, the gay good times are starting to line up.

Last year's Halloween was one of the best I've had in many years, and one of the highlights was the Massacre at the Mansion Party, a big gay benefit for the Ruth Ellis Center. Here is how the evening went:

So obviously I was pretty jazzed to hear that this year there will be another Detroit Massacre! This one is called Midnight MASSacre and it will be held at the Spirit of Hope Church, right at the corner of Martin Luther King and Trumbull (that weird intersection where West Grand River cuts through too, on the edge of Woodbridge).

This was a great party last year and you should put it on your calendar immediately or sooner. You will love it! Come in costume though, or else there is mocking and other forms of gay non-sexual punishment.

The party is next Friday, October 23, and it starts at 9pm. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door and proceeds benefit the very worthy Ruth Ellis Center. You can get more info and entertain yourself on the fabulous Detroit Massacre website.

The Midnight MASSacre is only the beginnig to a fabulous gay holiday season, because Saturday night is Macho City, starring special guest DJ moi, and after that is the return of Doggy Style! More on all that soon, in the meantime get to steppin' on that costume!
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