Thursday, December 30, 2010


Started writing at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 28, while on Amtrak train 175 as it passed through Rahway, N.J., en route to Washington, D.C.

Spending the last Tuesday night of 2010 on an Amtrak train is not exactly what I had originally planned, but the blizzard that paralyzed travel in the Northeast over the past weekend quickly dictated otherwise.

The previous year brought me to Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, Rehoboth Beach, Miami and Boston. I managed the Fire Island News for the third consecutive summer, but 2010 can best be described as a transformative year.

I wore a pair of 30” waist pants for the first time I can remember. I found out hours before I met my boyfriend Andrés at the Green Lantern in Washington, D.C., in early July that I would become an uncle for the first time. I turned 29 in August and I enjoyed fresh tomatoes from the garden through October.

I also learned bed bugs are no joke. I became a pescetarian in April. I had the privilege of meeting Myriam Mercado at City Hall in June. I learned why journalists should develop a very tough skin. I interviewed U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D-N.Y.] for the second time. Storms can definitely spawn tornadoes in Brooklyn. The Chilean miners made me cry more than one. I attended my 10 year high school reunion last month in Manchester, N.H. I did not become a witch from Delaware in 2010. And the rent remains too damn high!

I am extremely fortunate for the people with whom I shared a portion of my life in 2010, but I would like to specifically acknowledge two of them in this end-of-the-year reflection. I thank Joe Rizzuto for renting me the apartment that has been my home in for the last six and a half years. And I thank Andrés for continuing to make me feel like the luckiest man in the world.

To a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Snowpocalypse spawns South Station chaos

I truly never thought I would see the day when a woman would threaten to pull a knife on someone at the South Station bus terminal, but this scene played itself out earlier this morning in front of the Fung Wah booth.

I am scheduled to take a 3:20 p.m. Amtrak train to Washington, D.C., this afternoon, but this snowpocalypse that has paralyzed travel along the Northeast coast has certainly worn out its welcome. Here are some parting shots of the storm from Boston yesterday afternoon as it finally began to pull away. And nobody threatened to stab me while I took these pictures and shot this clip!

Columbus Avenue in the South End around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 27.

A sign of the season in downtown Boston.

Approaching Quincy Market.

Boston Harbor near Long Wharf.

Walking away from the Back Bay T station on the Southwest Corridor.

On the Southwest Corridor.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snowpocalypse from the South End

While the South End slowly begins to dig out, the blizzard that has buried Boston under more than a foot of snow continues to rage.

A storm surge flooded several towns along the Massachusetts coast earlier this morning--and a fire continues to rage through an oceanfront neighborhood in Scituate that remains under several feet of water. Paul and I just dug out his car along West Canton Street here in Boston. And we saw at least three people with shovels walking through the neighborhood. It will certainly prove a lucrative day for them!

West Canton Street in Boston's South End.

Slowly digging out...

West Canton Street in Boston's South End.

WCVB's coverage of the storm.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snowpocalypse slams Boston

I will probably remain here in Boston through Tuesday morning, but the blizzard has certainly made its presence known.

Here are some video clips and pictures I shot a few hours ago in the South End and around the Prudential Center.

Snow obscures the Hancock Tower.

Huntington Avenue from a Prudential Center sky walk.

Snow obscures the Prudential Center tower.

No deliveries at Shaw's today.

Another snowpocalypse hits Northeast

The latest snowpocalypse that has already paralyzed travel throughout the Northeast has caused this writer to become something of a snow refugee in Boston's South End.

Meteorologists here in Boston have predicted the storm will dump nearly two feet of snow on the Hub by tomorrow afternoon. Eastern Massachusetts is also expected to experience storm force winds later tonight.

New Englanders are a particularly hardy breed, but the warm Starbucks in which I am currently typing this blog provides the perfect vantage point to capture the storm as it begins to barrel down on Boston. Here is a clip and three videos I shot about 30 minutes ago.

Leaving South Station after Fung Wah canceled their service to New York City.

Hanging out at Starbucks on the corner of Tremont and West Canton Streets in Boston's South End.

A winter wonderland outside Starbucks in the South End.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Politicians, activists blast proposed cuts to NYC’s homeless youth programs

More than half a dozen New York City Councilmembers joined activists and young people on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 21, to blast Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed cuts to programs that support homeless youth in the five boroughs.

City Councilmembers Lew Fidler [D-Brooklyn], Daniel Dromm [D-Queens], Letitia James [D-Brooklyn] and Jimmy Van Bramer [D-Queens] joined Carl Siciliano of the Ali Forney Center, Dirk McCall of the Bronx Community Pride Center and others in lower Manhattan.

“The city knows, the Bloomberg administration knows that every night 3,800 young people are sleeping homeless on our streets—they know this because they released it in their own report,” stressed Siciliano. “The city knows, the Bloomberg administration knows that hundreds of kids have to survive by prostituting every night—they know because they released it in their own report this past June.”

Siciliano, whose organization offers housing and other support services to homeless LGBT youth, said Ali Forney’s clients are disproportionately at-risk for violence, HIV/AIDS and even suicide.

“The Bloomberg administration knows these kids are suffering, and yet they still decided to make these cuts,” he added. “I don’t know to describe this except to say that it shows a reckless indifference to the welfare of children.”

The temperature was in the mid-30s, and the wind chill was in the low-20s during the protest.

City Councilmember Lew Fidler [D-Brooklyn]

City Councilmember Daniel Dromm [D-Queens]

These activists sent Mayor Michael Bloomberg a strong message.

Nathaniel Vanderhorst was among the young people who protested the proposed cuts.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Boy in Bushwick appears on Same Sex Sunday

Boy in Bushwick was among the guests who appeared on "Same Sex Sunday" on Sunday, Dec. 19, to discuss the LGBT-specific issues that garnered headlines in 2010.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Did POTUS impact the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal vote?

President Obama calls members of Congress from the Oval Office ahead of the U.S. Senate's vote to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" on Saturday, Dec. 18. [Photo by Pete Souza]

Was President Obama a decisive factor in the U.S. Senate’s vote to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” on Saturday, Dec. 18?

The White House released a photograph of the commander-in-chief calling members of Congress from the Oval Office ahead of the vote. The Senate voted 65-31 to repeal the Clinton-era policy. And the president plans to sign the bill into law later this week.

"As the president has long said, ending 'don't ask, don't tell,' and allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the military, will strengthen our national security while upholding the basic equality on which this nation was founded,” said the White House in a statement released shortly after the vote. “The president looks forward to signing the bill into law."

Obama had faced growing criticism from LGBT activists over what they perceived as his failure to forcefully lobby for the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Did his last minute lobbying make a difference? Were these efforts enough to placate skeptical progressives who could prove pivotal in a possible 2012 re-election campaign? Perhaps. At the end of the day, however, “don’t ask, don’t tell” will become history once Obama signs the bill into law.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A festive afternoon in the city

Yesterday's bitter cold temperatures did not stop Becky, Gloria and me from enjoying an overly festive afternoon at the Mandarin Oriental and the Time Warner Center in Manhattan. Here are a few pictures and a clip that hopefully capture the season.

Inside the Time Warner Center lobby.

Central Park from the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental.

An obvious sign of the season.

Columbus Circle from the Mandarin Oriental.

Inside the Time Warner Center.

Inside the Time Warner Center.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Light snow coats New York City

A band of light snow that coated the city earlier tonight provided a particularly festive reminder of the season.

The flakes were falling when I left a holiday party on West 35th Street in Manhattan around 8 p.m. Shoppers seemed rather oblivious to the snow as they hurried into Macy's, but a small coating of snow had already accumulated on Jefferson Street when I left the subway around 9:15 p.m.

Here is a clip I shot from my bedroom window around 10:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Boy in Bushwick appears on Same Sex Sunday

It's a stormy night here in Bushwick, but here's a link to the Same Sex Sunday segment on which I appeared alongside Tobias Barrington Wolfe of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, MetroWeekly reporter Chris Geidner, former U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Justin Crockett Elzie and David Hall of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network to discuss "don't ask, don't tell" and California's Proposition 8.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Maggie Gallagher does Georgetown

It is entirely logical to describe Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage as pleasant in personal interactions, but her rhetoric strongly suggests an entirely different reality.

Gallagher and gay blogger Andrew Sullivan sparred last night at Georgetown University. She provided an abundance of sound bites about the need for a mother and a father to raise their child, the necessity to uphold the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage and even LGBT teenager suicides. Gallagher, however, dodged this reporter’s question about how a same-sex couple’s marriage could possibly impact her own relationship with her husband.

“I don’t believe it is about me; it’s about my children,” she said.

If Maggie truly believes marriage equality has absolutely no impact on the relationship she has with her husband, she can surely provide a coherent explanation about why NOM continues to support efforts that seek to enshrine discrimination against loving and committed couples. Gays and lesbians (and everyone else for that matter) are certainly interested in her explanation.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Constitutionally protected activity" cannot justify Proposition 8

Those who continue to defend California's Proposition 8 apparently failed to read the Constitution before they delivered their oral arguments to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday in San Francisco, but former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olsen provided a concise civics lesson.

"How can the fundamental right of marriage in California be taken away because of a constitutionally protected activity," said Olsen, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Lawrence vs. Texas decision that struck down the Lone Star State's sodomy laws.

In other words, homophobia alone cannot and should not justify discrimination against any person who wants to marry the person he or she loves.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

¡Bienvenidos a Miami!

Started to write around 9:25 a.m. as I drank coffee on the terrace of our room at Tempo Miami.

The cold reality of Washington, D.C., awaits Andrés and I this evening, but sitting on the terrace soaking up the strong South Florida is an obviously wonderful way to start this December morning.

It remains somewhat challenging to precisely define Miami’s scene, but the fist-pumping crowd at the Viceroy last night who appeared as though they could have been Snooki’s BFFs provided a fascinating glimpse into how this city’s revelers like to roll. Any vantage point along Ocean Drive, however, provides an instant front row seat to South Beach’s never-ending outdoor catwalk. And lunch al fresco on Lincoln Road simply goes without saying…