18 #GayPhilly Instagrams You Need to See This Week: No “T” But a Whole Lotta Shades

 

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Boys of Summer, The Story of Love and Equality, BlackStar Film Festival and More

Marriage Equality remains a controversial topic for folks on both sides of the issue. Because the battle is so heated, people rarely take time to actually hear arguments from the other side. Filmmaker Becca Roth set out, along with her girlfriend, to open a dialogue between both parties in this political and social war. The result? One: A Story of Love and Equality.

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Johnny Weir Shot Secret Gay Film at Sochi Winter Olympics

Apparently Olympic skater—and Wynnewood, Pennsylvania native—Johnny Weir was doing more than moderating for NBC (and Instagramming his outlandish outfits) at this year’s Sochi Winter Olympics. Amid all the flack he took for being there in the first place, Weir was covertly working with a film crew to document what it was like being gay at the games.

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DJ Carl Michaels Presents: 10 Contenders for Song of Summer 2014

song of summer 2014

“Where’s the song of the summer?!”

That is what I keep hearing from people lately, people who say there just isn’t that one song that’s defining summer 2014.

While I’ll admit the season hasn’t been quite as rife with the arsenal of catchy hits we had last year, there are probably about 30 new “song of summer 2014″ contenders I could rattle off for you. I have managed to keep dancefloors full with a variety of under- and above-ground tracks that have become my summer anthems.

I’ve taken a few minutes to list both the pop anthems and some more off-kilter choices that have been moving me. Now take this list and run to the beach, the pool, the nightclub—anywhere you plan to enjoy the rest of your summer. Now you’ve got some great tunes to close out the season.

You can find the playlist on Spotify, or enjoy each track in the videos and playlist after the jump. I’m interested to hear your picks for song of summer 2014. Leave some suggestions in the comment section below. 

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LONG WEEKEND: What Happens in Gay Vegas, Stays in Gay Vegas

The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

This was my fourth trip to Las Vegas, and for the first time, I saw something rather cool: Two guys were holding hands in walking down the Strip—in broad daylight.

I’ve always felt that Vegas was very gay, so to speak (I mean, where else in the world are there Louis Vuitton stores on every corner?)  However, during my recent vacations there, I found myself clearly surrounded by more and more LGBTQ folks in the open, playing slots, eating at some of the best restaurants around, shopping, splashing in pools.

Are there distinct gay bars in Vegas?  Yes.  But, they are all off the Strip, and, best put by a self-described “former circuit queen” who once cut my hair, they are “far too seedy.”  I mean, many things in Vegas are seedy, especially when you stray off the main drag of Las Vegas Boulevard; plus, there is no real reason to look outside the fabulous places to drink, party, and eat right at your doorstep.

It is totally doable to do a “quickie” (three days, two nights) Vegas trip from Philly—flights are relatively affordable, and if you catch a morning non-stop flight, you’ll end up having almost the entire first day to explore (Vegas is three hours behind us.) If you’re feeling lucky, here are some of my suggestions to enjoy a fun, fast, and furious Vegas weekend.

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Philly’s Independence Business Alliance Wins Chamber of the Year

independence business allianceGreater Philadelphia’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Independence Business Alliance (IBA), got some big news today. Only moments ago, at the Business & Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) awarded it the coveted 2014 Chamber of the Year Award. 

Reps from NGLCC say they chose IBA as this year’s recipient because it “is developing innovative ways to engage with their community … the dedicated board and staff truly embody the spirit of national-local partnership. Their work partnering with major corporations, their extensive educational and outreach programming, and their engagement with the local business community is consistent and impressive.”

IBA does a lot of work in the city and region to provide resources and encourage economic development for local LGBT-owned business. Among other things, every year, it hands out a $5,000 grant to a Philly-area LGBT entrepreneur, money that is used to promote innovative ideas, and expand business. Some prior benefactors include Metro Men’s Clothing, and, most recently, West Philly’s Gold Standard. They’ve also recently kicked off a monthly networking mixer, ConnX, that encourages local business folks to mingle and exchange ideas. (The next one is coming up on August 19th at Tavern On Camac.)

“The IBA is excited to share this honor with the local LGBT and allied business community we serve,” IBA Executive Administrator Tom Cavanaugh said after receiving the award. “It is an honor to be recognized for our hard work, and we hope to inspire Philadelphia for years to come.”

Many congrats.

Martha Graham Cracker Heads to Poland

Martha Graham Cracker’s world domination tour continues. It all started last year in New York, where she got rave reviews (and multiple invite-backs) performing at Joe’s Pub. This spring she turned the honky tonks on their heads in Austin, Texas. And now she’s making her biggest leap yet—across the proverbial pond and then some to sing in Lublin, Poland’s experimental arts festival “Confrontations” in October.

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Woman Crush Wednesday: The Attic Youth Center’s Alyssa Mutryn

Every hump day, a Philly woman shares her local picks for Woman Crush Wednesday. Today, The Attic Youth Center Director of Development Alyssa Mutryn.



Our Last Five Woman Crush Wednesdays:

Local Designers Named Finalists in Martha Stewart Design Competition

eric and christopher pillows

You’ve probably seen Eric Fausnacht and Christopher Kline around town at a street fair or weekend arts market. The duo have made a business—called Eric & Christopher—out of hand-screen-printing images of animals residing on Bucks County farms onto everything from pillows to totes. Their wares have popped up in newspapers and magazines like The Washington Post and HGTV Gardens, and most recently they got a thumbs up from Martha Stewart herself.

The arts-and-craft goddess chose the pair as finalists in her 2014 American Made Awards. The 20-year-old contest “spotlights the next generation of great American makers: entrepreneurs, artisans, and small-business owners who are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries; improving local communities; and changing the way we eat, shop, work, and live.”

Eric and Christopher are nominated in the “Design” category. If they win, they’ll score, among other things, $10,000 to grow their business, and a spotlight on marthastewart.com. Sounds like a life-changing opportunity for a pair of local home-good designers, huh?

Winners will be picked based on reader vote. Polls open September 8th, so set your calendar to show them some local support. You can find the voting page here. If you want to congratulate the guys in person, they’ll be  hosting a pillow-signing at gay-owned Glenside boutique Kelly-Cataldi Home this Friday, August 1st. Call the store for time details.



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