Jury Duty Is Hell

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“It’s my third frigging time,” the man says to the court clerk; his bald head was turning red. “My neighbor hasn’t been called once, not once.” He slams his jury summons on the counter.

“I’m sorry, sir,” the clerk replies. “It is a totally random selection …”

“My neighbor hasn’t been called, either,” says the woman next to him. She’s wearing a Charlie Brown Christmas sweatshirt. It is August.

These interactions made me feel somewhat at home in Room 101 of the Criminal Justice Center on the recent Monday morning of my own jury summons. I was up most of the night with horrible anxiety, as usually is the case before I go perform my civic duty. The silver lining? No one in the room wanted to be there. Jury duty is like a miserable family reunion, with only one difference: We are supposed to be deciding people’s fates here. And we all want out. Badly.

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Wedding Wednesday: Anthony Lower and Nick Scott

Anthony Lower and Nick Scott with Mayor Nutter.

Anthony Lower and Nick Scott with Mayor Michael Nutter.

Every Wednesday, we feature a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle in their own special way. Today, we feature Anthony Lower and Nick Scott from Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.

Names Anthony Lower and Nick Scott

How long have you been together as a couple before you got married? 18 years

When did you get married? May 24, 2014

Describe the experience of your wedding. Where did you get married? Who was there? What was the most memorable part?

Anthony Lower and Nick Scott

Anthony Lower and Nick Scott

We got our license on day two, missing the license office closing by two minutes on the first day. We walked out with the license not knowing what to do next. We wanted a big wedding, but hadnt saved for one. That Friday, City Hall called to ask if we wanted to be married on Saturday by Mayor Nutter. It turned out there were 20 couples being married. My brother and his wife came and cried the entire time. Our ceremony, vows provided by the judge who married us, was lovely. We both cried as well—though the video doesn’t show it. People on the streets were knew we were newly married. We got lots of “Congratulations” yelled out of cars and across the street as we walked to lunch from City Hall. Then there was the decrepit, sweet-looking little old man who asked me where my bride was and then called us “f*ggots”! Nick, my brother, his wife, Nick’s best friend, and I laughed our asses off.

Were there any local businesses that were helpful when you prepared your wedding?

  • The folks at Farrell’s Florist in Drexel Hill were awesome. As soon as they heard “gay wedding,” they were very excited that we’d be their first one and treated us so well.
  • The folks at Macy’s helped us find the perfect suits; like we were family members.
  • We did spend the honeymoon weekend in The Windsor Suites Hotel and even though they were booked due to some event in the city, they upgraded us to a really nice room on check-in when they realized we’d just been married. The entire front desk team was clapping.

Want to be featured in a future Wedding Wednesday? If you’re a gay or lesbian couple married in Pennsylvania, we want to hear from you. Take our brief survey!

Why is There a Union Rat Outside Boxers?

A union rat outside of the future Boxers on Walnut Street.

A union rat outside of the future Boxers on Walnut Street.

It’s not the iconic mutt you’d expect to see outside Philly’s newest gay bar, Boxers, but a giant, inflated Union rat that’s inhabited the sidewalk on Walnut Street over the last two days. Members of Local 19, the Sheet Metal Workers’ Union, have picketed the home of the future bar, claiming that the owners have used non-union contractors on the construction of the site.

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A Preview of Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai

A scene from VAREKAI.

A scene from ‘Varekai.’

Here’s my confession: I finally broke my Cirque du Soleil virginity.

Yes, it is true: I had never seen any of the high-flying trapeze shows before my recent trip to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City to see Varekai, one of the franchise’s arena shows, before it has an engagement at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center in September. (Side note: Varekai translates to “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies). I’ve never seen anything so strange, so sexy, so sensual, so bizarre; there were times my hands went numb from the amazing feats performed by the 50 artists that comprise the production. Read more »

DATE NIGHT: Wine Classes and Cruises at Old City’s Pinot Boutique

Pinot Boutique in Old City.

Pinot Boutique in Old City.

“When the founding fathers weren’t planning the American Revolution, they were drinking,” says Dan Soskin, owner of Pinot Boutique in Old City. As a matter of fact, he continues, it was safer to drink liquor than water at that time. I was treated to this and a host of other wine and spirit-centric anecdotes when I met Soskin at Pinot, where offers a plethora of wine tastings, wine classes, and even wine cruises (!)—all of which would make for a perfect date night with your sweetie.

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Wedding Wednesday: Adria and Stephanie Bartash

Stephanie and Adria Bartash

Stephanie and Adria Bartash

Every Wednesday, we are featuring a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle in their own special way. Today, we kick off the column with a pair of lovely ladies, Adria and Stephanie Bartash, from Newtown, Pennsylvania.

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Curtis Institute Graduate Amanda Majeski To Make Early Metropolitan Opera Debut

Amanda Majeski.  Photo by Dario Acosta

Amanda Majeski. Photo by Dario Acosta

The esteemed Curtis Institute of Music has yet another reason to celebrate: one of their graduates, soprano Amanda Majeski, will be making her Metropolitan Opera debut a little early this September as the Countess in the company’s new production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

It was announced today that Majeski, initially scheduled to sing the role in December, will be performing the Countess for all performances of the opera, replacing Marina Poplavskaya, who has withdrawn from the production due to illness. This marks not only Majeski’s Met Opera debut, but also her Met Opera Opening Night debut, a major milestone for a young performer.

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The Book of Mormon Breaks Forrest Theatre Record

The Book of Mormon

All the craze surrounding the Philadelphia engagement of Broadway’s The Book of Mormon, the oh-so-wrong musical by the creators of South Park, is clearly for a reason: It was announced today that the show has broken box office records at the Forrest Theatre.

According to the show’s management, “The Book of Mormon […] has broken the house record in Philadelphia, PA for the week ending August 10 at the Forrest Theatre, grossing $1,678,495.00 for a standard 8-performance week. This tops the previous record, held by Jersey Boys in 2012 of $1,617,700.00.” Read more »

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