Thursday, October 30, 2008

T minus five days

With only five days until voters go to the polls to elect the country's next president, it is an arguable safe bet to assume the vast majority of people in this country are more than ready for the longest presidential campaign in American history to come to an end. The idea that Joe the Plumber may have a record deal signed before Nov. 4 is entertaining indeed, but the latest polls indicate John McCain has potentially gained some ground on Barack Obama in contested battleground states.

Quinnipiac University shows 47 percent of Florida voters back Obama in comparison to 45 percent of those who said they back McCain. This statistic compares to the 49 to 44 percent margin on Oct. 23. The same poll shows 51 percent of Ohio voters back Obama over 42 percent who indicate they support McCain. This margin is less than the 13 point spread found on Oct. 23. Obama maintains a 12 point lead in Pennsylvania.

Momentum remains largely at Obama's back with less than a week to go until voters head to the polls. The steady stream of election night parties for which I have received invitations are the latest in a steady stream of obvious reminders this vote is arguably the most anticipated in a generation (or more.) The fact remains, however, more than a few people will rejoice on Nov. 5 at the conclusion of the longest campaign in American history... and only then does the real work truly begin!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A gay ride on the E train

New York remains, above almost all else, an exercise in how the little things can arguably go unnoticed--the corner barber shop in Bushwick, a sidewalk kabob stand or the palm trees in the middle of Times Square in the summer. Add to this mix ads from both the Ali Forney Center and Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Seniors (SAGE) on the E train.

I spotted these ads on an uptown E train last night from West 4th Street to 14th Street. It was a cool and rainy evening, but seeing these ads from two organizations that continue to do extremely important work allowed me to forget for at least a moment the cold downpour that chilled me to the bone. It was yet another one of those New York moments that makes me feel as though I continue to belong here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Back to reality

Nearly a week in a sub-tropical paradise at the literal end of the road can often make a person forget about the outside world. And Key West certainly provided a temporary relief from the continued economic turmoil, the last vestages of the longest presidential campaign in American history and the political debate surrounding the extension of term limits in New York.

The 42 degree weather that awaited me in the city yesterday morning was arguably exactly what I needed to remind me I had returned to the reality that remains my life in New York. I am much more bronzed, perhaps a couple of pounds lighter from snorkeling, riding my bike around the island for nearly a week and engaging in other social activities for which Key West is famous. Karma provided the last laugh at the expense of one reporter on our trip as he departed for the airport on Wednesday morning, but my mind yearns to return to Key West once again so I can bike around the island with "La isla bonita" in my iPOD, enjoy a Cuba libre by the pool or stand on the bow of a catamaran plying the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Enough of my own self-serving reminescences, but attached is a picture from a store along Duval Street that provides an arguably convincing categorization of the next 11days.

P.S. For those of you who would like to contact me directly, please e-mail

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A sudden detour to Miami

The seven inches of rain that inundated Key West this morning and a few hours ago delayed my flight out of Key West tonight, and as a result I missed my connecting flight to Miami. I will return to New York tomorrow morning, but for tonight I am in Miami.

Key West remains one of my favorite places in the world, and the vast majority of this trip simply enhanced my own self-serving bias. I spent a couple of dry hours earlier this afternoon wandering through Old Town before heading to the airport. And yesterday I spent nearly five hours out on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas. Fort Jefferson, a massive structure built to protect the Florida Keys during the civil war, occupies more than 75 percent of the windswept island. It lays 70 miles west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico. And it is certainly the most isolated place I have visited--and a blissful world away from New York's hustle and bustle.

I return to Brooklyn tomorrow, but attached are some pictures from the trip.


Key West Lighthouse

Ballast Key

Approaching Fort Jefferson on Garden Key

Fort Jefferson and it's moat

Inside the fort

Looking out to sea from inside the fort

Inside the fort

My Fantasy Fest mask from Walgreen's

Headdress Ball second runner-up

Key West bipartisanship

White Street in front of the Island House after four inches of rain fell in less than three hours. (My apartment is on the first floor of the building in the foreground)

A flood casualty

Donkey Milk Lane in Old Town

A rooster hanging out near Duval Street

Monday, October 20, 2008

Boy in Bushwick in Key West

My recent trip to the laundry to clean my jacket and sweaters was the stark annual omen that winter is fast approaching in New York, but the balmy 85 degree temperature that greeted me at Key West International Airport on Friday afternoon invigorated me in much the same way the steady stream of Cuba libres has done since landing on the island.

I am on Key West until Wednesday as part of a media trip with six other LGBT journalists. I have been to the island twice before, and each time I have had an amazing time with copious amounts of sun, sand, alcohol and other activities in which one partakes in a sub-tropical paradise at the southern tip of Florida. That said, pictures will be forth coming.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Candidates square off on Long Island

With less than three weeks until American voters head to the polls, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama squared off at Hofstra University on Long Island last night for the last of three presidential debates. McCain immediately came out swinging, but he arguably did not do himself any favors.

His body language, apparent anger and even audible sighs during the 90 minute debate did not serve him well. It also became apparent McCain wanted to use Obama's alleged connection to so-called domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) to deflect attention away from his own potential short-comings on the economic crisis. Obama, who remained cool and collected throughout the exchange, was right to bring attention back to the economy, health care and other "core issues."

McCain's direct assertion he is not President Bush helped his own cause, but his reference to Georgia Congressman John Lewis' controversial comments about his ticket--and his claim Obama refused to repudiate him--came across as little more than partisan whining from a candidate who arguably fails to accept responsibility for his own struggling campaign. It was yet another distraction from the core issues about which my mother who recently lost her job and millions of other Americans care. McCain may have scored points with his Republican base, but he once again failed to score that all important knock-out punch or game changer he desperately needs. And as a result, the election remains Obama's to win.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Madge and Guy split

Say it ain't so! Those persistent rumors signaling the end of Madonna's marriage to British director Guy Ritchie came to roost today with an announcement the A-list couple will divorce. Gasp!

The couple married in Scotland in 2000 after meeting at a dinner party hosted by Sting and his wife. Madonna and Richie have an eight-year-old son Rocco and a three-year-old son they adopted in Malawi. Madonna also has a 12-year-old daughter, Lourdes, with her personal trainer Carlos Leon.

Something has apparently not been right in the house of Madge if the tabloids are to be believed. The Material Girl-turned Esther was quick to deny reports she had an affair with New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez after his soon-to-be-ex-wife Cynthia implicated Madge as the catalyst behind the break-up. How sticky and sweet!

Gaydom will obviously continue to follow the travails of one of its favorite daughters closely. I, for one, will repeatedly shuffle "Like a Prayer" and "Like a Virgin" in my iPod in anticipation of the next revelation from the Material Girl with whom I share a birthday. You go Esther!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A weekend in a battleground state

With 22 days until the election, both John McCain and Barack Obama continue to court potential undecided voters in those all too important battleground states. And New Hampshire is no exception.

I spent the weekend in Manchester, my hometown, and on the Seacoast in Durham and Portsmouth. Politics is definitely in the air. A slew of negative McCain ads greated television viewers across the state. A steady stream of Obama ads countered the Republican rhetoric while a series of back and forth attacks between former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and incumbent U.S. Sen. John Sununu were an addition to this already partisan mix. Freshman Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter squared off against former Congressman Jeb Bradley and Congressman Paul Hodes defended his record against attacks from Jennifer Horn. Just another weekend in the battleground state New Hampshire has become!

The one thing that remains arguably clear is Granite Staters echo their fellow Americans in their call for change. And this caricature featuring President Bush outside a Portsmouth gift shop on Friday afternoon perhaps sums up voters feelings as the campaign enters its final weeks.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

McCain and Obama square off in Nashville

With the ongoing economic crisis as a looming backdrop, John McCain and Barack Obama squared off at Belmont University in Nashville for the second of three presidential debates.

The town hall format arguably reaffirmed differences each candidate has a on a variety of domestic and international policy issues--most notably the economy. But style is so often the unfortunate barometer upon which American voters base their decisions, and one can easily conclude Obama came out on top on that aspect alone.

McCain's slipping poll numbers are a clear indication he needed to change the game last night. He stuck to the standard GOP talking points in much the same way Sarah Palin did last week in St. Louis. He even cited Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan as his heroes. McCain's reference to Obama as "that one" in response to an energy policy question and other charges he made during the debate, however, reaffirmed the idea he is condescending--or worse.

McCain failed to garner the game changer he obviously needed last night. My always faithful mother in New Hampshire summed up the debate this way: "[He] didn't do himself any favors." Is the writing on the wall with less than a month before Nov. 4? You be the judge!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wall Street casualty auctions gay virginity

With the ongoing economic crisis showing no signs of easing anytime soon, one former Wall Street analyst with $28,000 in credit card debt apparently found a unique way to fund his own version of an economic stimulus plan.

The self-confessed "27-year-old straight white male living in New York City" confessed to never having kissed another man or even touched someone's penis as he reaffirmed his heterosexual credentials. He offered to wear the same suit he wore to his job interview at his former firm. The man further expressed a desire to spend "some time having a drink with" a potential suitor in order to break the ice. He further offered to give the "ideal blow job/hand job combination" until the recipient has an orgasm or 30 minutes has passed. The man ruled out anal sex.

Someone who read the posting apparently offered the hetero with financially-induced gay tendencies a job, so his search to pop his cherry did not come to pass. A potentially important lesson to keep in mind during these tough economic times.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Palin exceeds debate expectations

In what was arguably one of the most anticipated vice presidential debates in history, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin exceeded admittedly very low expectations in her showdown against Senator Joseph Biden last night at Washington University in St. Louis.

Palin clearly came out swinging. She clearly had a lot to prove after a less than flattering series of interviews with Katie Couric and Charles Gibson caused many observers and even some prominent socially conservative commentators to question her qualifications. Palin's broad GOP talking points, strategic sound bites and folksy presentation were clearly designed to resonate with Joe Six Pack and hockey and soccer moms across the country who admittedly fail to understand the day-to-day wheeling and dealings inside the Beltway. And her direct challenge to the way she feels the mainstream media has prevented her from speaking to the American people was a page directly from the Republican playbook.

The question remains, however, whether Palin actually provided any specifics. She did come out against marriage for same-sex couples. Palin also appeared to implicitly support a more powerful role for the vice president in response to what her role would be if voters elected the GOP ticket this November. Biden rather correctly implicated Dick Cheney in his response.

"[He] has been the most dangerous vice president we've had in American history," he said.

All in all, Palin easily exceeded the excessively low bar set for her. It remains to be seen, however, whether voters will respond to her performance. But to quote my mother in New Hampshire, Palin did not say much of anything.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New England Blade announces print hiatus

A week after a source contacted Boy in Bushwick with reports suggesting the possible imminent demise of the New England Blade, the troubled Boston-based newspaper announced on its Web site its print edition has gone on hiatus until further notice. The brief statement concludes with an ominous harbinger of what many local observers have concluded will come.

"Thank you for allowing us to be your premier source of GLBT news and entertainment for the past 17 years," it read.

This announcement comes on the heels of a string of resignations, embarrassing revelations, controversies and speculation that has left the once respected weekly reeling since HX Media purchased it in late 2006. The question remains as to whether this announcement marks the beginning of the end of a publication about whose future many in Boston and LGBT media circles have long speculated. Perhaps? This ominous news clearly indicates the New England Blade continues to fight for its very survival.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Obama commands significant lead in new poll

As the U.S. Senate continues debates the economic bailout bill on Capitol Hill, a new poll conducted by CBS News and the New York Times indicates Sen. Barack Obama has a nine point advantage over his Republican rival.

The poll of 1,257 adults conducted Sunday through Tuesday found 49 percent of those surveyed back Obama compared to 40 percent who endorsed Sen. John McCain. 54 percent of respondents said they feel Obama has a plan to address the economic crisis, while 47 percent disapproved of how they feel McCain has dealt with the current turmoil.

The survey further indicated President George W. Bush's approval rating has dropped to a historically low 22 percent. And Congressional support is an abysmal 15 percent.

A surprise? Arguably not since Democrats tend to fair better in the polls during times of economic certainty, but these numbers further confirm the Bush administration's credibility remains largely gone as it enters its twilight. Both candidates continue to point to the change they contend Washington needs. And most Americans appear ready to make it happen on Nov. 4.