Our Chat With Metro Columnist Who Wrote That Gayborhood Bars Are Racist

Ernest Owens

Ernest Owens

When Ernest Owens wrote “Black Not Fetch Enough for Woody’s” in last week’s Metro, he was hoping to start a discussion. Well, he succeeded: As of this publication, his commentary is the No. 1 “most read” piece on the Metro website, and chances are, if you’re involved with LGBTQ culture in Philly and you’re on social media, you’ve seen the piece posted on your newsfeed. Yet, I felt that there were a ton of misconceptions floating around about the message that Owens presented in his piece, plus there were a lot of unanswered questions that started to surface about race, class, and culture in Philly’s LGBTQ community. Lucky enough, I was able to chat with Mr. Owens about his piece to get more insight on his discussion of inclusion and micro-aggressions.

When your first piece first came out, I was joking that it broke the Internet. Did you have any idea that it would cause so many people to start a conversation? I hoped it would. This discussion was a long time coming, and when I first pitched it to the editor at Metro Philly we were both stunned to see that there really wasn’t any recent pieces that directly spoke on it. Social media and many of my queer mentors for years had water-cooler debates about their experiences, but no one really took it further than that. I was fortunate to have the opportunity and platform to get this published as we prepare for Pride next month. It’s high time we start thinking about inclusion in a different way. Read more »

John C. Anderson Apartments Wins National Architecture Award

John C. Anderson Apartments during its grand-opening celebration last winter. | Photo by HughE Dillon

John C. Anderson Apartments during its grand-opening celebration last winter. | Photo by HughE Dillon

Philadelphia’s only senior LGBT housing center, the John C. Anderson Apartments, was just named one of 10 winners of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2015 Housing Awards. The awards recognize the best in housing design across the nation. More on the awards and their criteria from a release I received this afternoon:

Now in its 15th year, the Housing Awards program promotes the importance of good housing as a necessity of life. The winning projects are located across the country—from New England to the West Coast. The jury recognized projects in four award categories: One/Two Family Custom Housing, One/Two Family Production Housing (none selected this year), Multifamily Housing and Special Housing. Importantly, several of this year’s honorees are affordable housing developments, like the John C. Anderson Apartments.

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Jaw Dropper of the Week: Huge Loft in Midtown Village Will Be Next to East Market

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rittenhouse Hotel.

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rittenhouse Hotel.

We gave you a background snippet on the White Building last we reported on one of its available units: how the built circa 1867 structure basically helped along the whole Midtown Village/Gayborhood revival after undergoing a condo conversion in 2008 thanks to one Tony Goldman of Goldman Properties.

Now, we’re going to leave you with a hint as to where it’s going, as we’ve just noticed how unbelievably close it is to that East Market mega project that’s currently in the works. As most of you know, East Market is slated to be a game changer in the neighborhood, set to offer things like a MOM’s Organic Market, new restaurants and coffee shops, a promenade called Chestnut Walk, new retail, and additional residential units. Once completed, we have a feeling it’s going to be one of the city’s newest go-to spots. *Fingers crossed*

All of that, of course, is good news for anyone living in this loft condo. Because in addition to being situated right behind Philly’s latest upcoming mini village, the unit is a spacious double-bedroom offering over 1,600 square feet of space, 23-foot vaulted brick ceilings, hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, and six huge double-hung arched windows that usher in an abundance of light. According to the listing, the windows also have “superb sound attenuation.”

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Dining Out for Life Food Truck Round Up Returns to the Gayborhood

Vernalicious will be among the food trucks parked at 13th and Locust for Dining Out for Life on April 24th.

Vernalicious will be among the food trucks parked at 13th and Locust for Dining Out for Life on April 30th.

For the second year in a row Dining Out for Life organizers will host a food truck round up in the Gayborhood, at 13th and Locust streets. The lunchtime event will take place from 11 am to 2:30 pm on April 30th, giving you an opportunity to dine out for life at lunch and dinner.

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Sorry, But the IHOP in the Gayborhood is Closed for Remodeling

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

Sorry, kids, but you’ll have to take your late-night cravings for a Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity elsewhere: IHOP at 1320 Walnut Street is currently shuttered for a remodel.

The restaurant’s windows are covered in brown paper, and a sign says, “Restaurant Closed For New Decor Package.” The sign also claims they will re-open on Friday, March 27, just in time for weekend shenanigans.

I, for one, feel bad for the contractors who had to gut the furniture to find thousands of old pancake crumbs underneath tables and chairs (and God knows what else…ewww). We’ll stop in after the remodel to see what the “new decor package” looks like, so stay tuned.

5 Great Happy Hour Places in the Philly Gayborhood that Aren’t Gay Bars

One of the coolest things about the Philly Gayborhood is the fact that it is infused with so many other “straight” businesses, so to speak. Sure, we have a ton of gay bars, but there are also great eateries that cater to anyone who wants a fantastic cocktail and a delicious bite to eat. We rounded up our picks of five great places in the Gayborhood to grab happy hour that aren’t gay bars, but given their proximity in the ‘hood, you’ll be joined by plenty of great company as you wash down some tasty nibbles with a cocktail or two.



WATCH: Martha Graham Cracker Does Patti LaBelle Doing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

Martha Graham Cracker whipped out a wow-worthy debut performance at Franky Bradley’s on Saturday night. The stint, shockingly, was also her first performance in the Gayborhood.

The set, which took place in the space formerly known as Sisters, comprised a whole range of well-known pop tunes—from a couple Beatles numbers to Prince’s “Darling Nikki.” The real showstoppers, though, were ambitious renditions of Aretha Fraklin’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” She nailed ‘em both. Her voice was in perfect form that night—soulful, strong and unwavering, even after two-and-a-half hours of hard singing. Her diva status continues to rise.

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Rent State Rep. Brian Sims’ Former Apartment in Wash West

Anyone who follows State Representative Brian Sims on Facebook is sure to have gotten occasional peeks into his Washington Square West abode, a second-floor apartment that’s now in store for a new tenant as Sims recently decided to leave in favor of “a place with no stairs for my dog.” (Awwww!)

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Top Gay Bars in Philadelphia

beagle tavern norristown

The Beagle Tavern in Norristown

Beagle Tavern

1003 East Main Street, Norristown
610-272-3133, www.mybeagletavern.com
Norristown’s unassuming, beagle-loving gay bar (it was named after the owner’s pooch Timmy) has great drink specials for happy hour and, on Wednesday nights, drag queens Thunder Showers and Summer Clearance stop by to give out blush-worthy prizes at their Kinky Quizzo event. The cozy atmosphere and cheap beer are always a welcome bonus. Best for: Kinky Quizzo, karaoke on Friday nights, and a decent lesbian scene outside Philly.

Bob and Barbara’s

1509 South Street
215-545-4511, www.bobandbarbaras.com
One of the more fun, worn-in bars that houses our rowdy little community. Plenty of our favorite performers—drag and burlesque alike—have done shows here, and it houses regular performances by queer-centric performance art troupe the Dumpsta Players. Best for: Cheap drinks (go for the Citywide Special), live jazz, and raunchy shows.

Boxers PHL | Photo by Patrick Hagerty

Boxers PHL | Photo by Patrick Hagerty

Boxers PHL

1330 Walnut Street
215-735-2977, www.facebook.com/boxersphl
The Gayborhood’s newest addition to the gay-bar scene, this New York City chain stands apart by having its bartenders slinging drinks in nothing but red mesh shorts (Inside tip: it’s rumored that most of them don’t wear undies.) There are pool tables upstairs, and a twice-weekly poker night for those looking for a little game-play in the hood. Best for: Great happy hour prices, unpretentious feel, bartenders in mesh shorts (duh).

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