BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Services

Mazzoni Center HIV-testing hub Washington West Project.

Mazzoni Center HIV-testing hub Washington West Project.

HIV TESTING: Washington West Project
Thanks to a $20,000 grant from Philly AIDS Thrift, Mazzoni Center’s HIV-testing hub recently spruced up its four-story digs to provide a more comfortable, streamlined experience, including rapid HIV testing, state-of-the-art STD screening and free treatment referrals. 1201 Locust St., 215-985-9206, mazzonicenter.org.

Personal trainer and Best Day Spa after the jump »

BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Hero Elicia Gonzales

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HERO: GALAEI Executive Director Elicia Gonzales
As the matriatch of the only organization for Philly (and all of Pennsylvania)’s gay and lesbian Latino community, GALAEI’s executive director has worked this year to spearhead a host of educational campaigns that offer a unique, often provocative perspective on vital sexual issues, while also shining a light on a demographic that’s often overlooked. This year, she revived the 1992 campaign “SEXO,” an exhibit that promoted safe-sex via lusty images of men grabbing their junk with rubber gloves; she kicked of Philly’s first “Masturbate-a-Thon,” encouraging self-pleasure over risky sexual encounters; and an inspiring collection of personal stories in “Positivo” showed Philly’s poz Latino community that it’s okay to embrace your HIV status. She’s the sex-ed teacher we all wish we had (and should have had) in high school. GALAEI, 1207 Chestnut St., 215-851-1822, galaei.org

BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Entertainment

Chancellor Dean (left) and James Ijames in a Mauckingbird Theater Company production.

Chancellor Dean (left) and James Ijames in a Mauckingbird Theater Company production.

THEATER TROUPE: Mauckingbird Theatre Company
There’s a lot of queer theater happening in Philly these days, but no company devotes itself to the art of gayness quite like Mauckingbird. Each production comes with a gay slant, most recently a gender-bending take on Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. In January, the company will take on Douglas Carter Beane’s Tony-nominated The Little Dog Laughed. Mauckingbird.org.

COMEDIAN: Alejandro Morales
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Stan. Stan who? Standup comedian Alejandro Morales is one funny son of a bitch. (Ba-dum-bum.) Catch the “comedian at large” in shows around the Gayborhood and beyond.

Drop everything and find out when Philly drag ditz Maddy Milan is performing next.

Drop everything and find out when Philly drag ditz Maddy Milan is performing next.

NEW DRAG QUEEN: Maddy Milan
Part Kitty Wells, part Joan Collins on too much bubbly, you never know if this ditzy queen is going to dazzle you with a ditty or smack you upside the head with a pair of the lowest hanging titties this side of Shady Pines. If you’re extra lucky, she just might do both.

ANNUAL EVENT: OutFest
As gay Philadelphians, we’re blessed with an array of LGBT goings-on, but only one takes place right in the Gayborhood. This autumn block party continues to grow, this year bringing in more than 20,000 homos to rage in the name of being out and damn fabulous.  Phillypride.org/outfest.

Matt McWilliams, TK and Steve Fala from Temple gay web series One of the Guys.

Matt McWilliams, Jeff Familetti and Stephen Fala from Temple gay web series One of the Guys.

WEB SERIES: One of the Guys
Out of the handful of Philly-based LGBT web series that popped up this year, nothing makes us smile as consistently as Michael Busza’s Emmy-nominated (!) One of the Guys. Shot on Temple’s campus, the show concerns three gay men and their straight roomie, tackling all kinds of millennial-focused shenanigans and doling out LOLs by the minute. The last two episodes of the series will air between now and next spring, with the finale promising to find the guys splashing around in … Rehoboth!

ART GALLERY: Bridgette Mayer
Housed in an airy 1799 Old City brownstone, the contemporary collections never get dull, thanks to the glamorous blonde curator, whose drive to showcase quixotic, under-the-radar artists is both passionate and laser sharp. And she’s the gallerist who truly gives back: A recent show turned over 20 percent of proceeds to BalletX, the city’s edgy ballet company. Now that’s creative inspiration. 709 Walnut St., 215-413-8893, bridgettemayergallery.com

BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Shopping

Our choice for Best Men's Boutique is the new Suitsupply in Rittenhouse.

Our choice for Best Men’s Boutique is the new Suitsupply in Rittenhouse. Photo by Jenna Stamm.

MEN’S BOUTIQUE: Suitsupply
You wouldn’t know it by the jersey-and-sweatpants-wearing slobs who meander among us (straight girls, please do something about your men!), but Philly is becoming a city for the stylish gent. Exhibit A: the opening earlier this year of this temple to male sartorial splendor — a dizzying, two-story repository of off-the-rack suits that look bespoke, elegant accessories, and the nattiest salesmen in town. 1601 Locust St., 215-383-1500, suitsupply.com

More shopping picks after the jump »

BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Bars

U Bar takes our prize for Best Bar.

U Bar takes our prize for Best Bar for its amazingly diverse clientele (and extra-strong drinks.)

BEST BAR: U Bar
A mix of every type of guy, young to old, buff to not-so-buff. A no-’tude vibe. Efficient, friendly bartenders. A horseshoe layout that allows for eye contact everywhere. Is it any surprise this place has become the go-to default on Philly’s gay-bar hit parade? 1220 Locust St., 215-546-6660, ubarphilly.com.

More of our bar picks after the jump »

BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Cafes

A cappuccino and pastry at Shot Tower in Queen Village. Photo courtesy of Ian Watson.

A cappuccino and pastry at Shot Tower in Queen Village. Photo courtesy of Ian Watson.

GREENSTREET
It can sometimes seem like Counter Culture (North Carolina) and Stumptown (Oregon) have a bean-roasting lock on Philly’s new-wave coffee scene. But Tom and Chris Molieri roast their own at GreenStreet, which now boasts a post in the Gayborhood. The tiny space and fickle wireless signal limit its appeal as a workspace, but there’s ample sidewalk seating on both sides of the corner — and more-than-ample coffee options. Think three espresso varieties and a pour-over menu that hooked this Ethiopia lover with a choice between washed- and dry-processed crops from that country. 1101 Spruce St., 610-504-3934, greenstreetcoffee.com

Read more »

BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Restaurants

Marie Turney and Valerie Safran's enchanting Little Nonna's gets our prize for Best New Gayborhood Restaurant.

A table spread at Marie Turney and Valerie Safran’s enchanting Little Nonna’s, which gets our prize for Best New Gayborhood Restaurant. Photo courtesy of Jason Varney.

GAYBORHOOD RESTAURANT: Amis
You don’t have to spend the mortgage at Marc Vetri’s eponymous townhouse to get that delicious Vetri Italian cooking. This exposed-brick, slightly industrial-feeling space has food that will simply knock your socks off, including our fave, the addictive tonnarelli. Sit at the counter, sip some very good wine, and watch the masters do their thing. 412 S. 13th St., 215-732-2647, amisphilly.com.

NEW GAYBORHOOD RESTAURANT: Little Nonna’s
Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s latest is a step back in time to the cozy kitchen of some little Italian granny—one who wants to put some meat on those bones. Loosen your belt and dive head first into the homemade meatballs sopped in “Sunday gravy” and a plate of the fluffiest gnocchi this side of Trastevere. 1234 Locust St., 215-546-2100, littlenonnas.com

Read more »

BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Bartender

Photo courtesy of Jenna Stamm.

Photo courtesy of Jenna Stamm.

BARTENDER: Ashley Coleman, Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar

After slinging drinks for nearly four years at the now-shuttered Sisters, this gorgeous ray of sunshine has found a new home around the corner. You’ll usually find her working the upstairs bar, beaming and pouring her delish signature drink, the Ashley Punch, a fruity vodka-and-rum-based version of the Long Island Iced Tea. 200 S. 12th St., 215-964-9675, tabuphilly.com

BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Hair Salon and Stylist

Our choice for Best Stylist, Brooke Dorothy, stands at her station at American Mortals in Wash West.

Brooke Dorothy poses at her station at American Mortals in Wash West.

HAIR STYLIST: Brooke Dorothy, American Mortals

Having perfected her skills with American Crew, this tatted-up ally can work a men’s haircut like nobody’s business. Her client list is full of gays, so she’ll regale you with Steel Magnolias–worthy salon gab, and grin and bear it when, say, you get the urge to sing Whitney as she snips. (Guilty!) 727 Walnut St., 215-574-1234, americanmortals.com

Best salon after the jump »

BEST OF THE GAYBORHOOD AND BEYOND: Instagram

alexanderjohnphotography
INSTAGRAM: @alexanderjohnphotography

Everyone needs a little beefcake on his Instagram feed, and local photographer Alexander John Ortiz keeps the protein coming, not only with provocative shots of his hunky self, but also with the studs he has over for photo shoots. Pondering what happens when the camera stops clicking is the stuff #instafantasies are made of.

See a slideshow of some of Ortiz’s finest moments after the jump »

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