Friday, July 30, 2010

What Makes Steak Frites The Hottest Restaurant In Montreal's Gay Village?

While exploring the summer-long-pedestrian-only stretch of Saint Catherine Street in the "Village Gai" de Montreal, everyone we met had the same eatery at the top of their list of recommendations, Le Steak Frites, 1302 Rue Ste. Catherine Est. How could we not give it a try?

Here's how to enjoy the best dining opportunity of the summer in Montreal's Gay Village. Exit the subway at the Beaudry station where you'll walk across Ste. Catherine Street and into the SAQ, the government owned liquor store where I'd recommend heading for the rack of Argentine wines. We are malbec fans, and SAQ offered us a few robust and inexpensive selections that would pair well with a good steak.

Bring your bottle one block down Ste. Catherine to the restaurant. (Steak Frites is an apporter votre vin restaurant. In other words, they do not sell alcohol but will serve you your wine. No, you can't bring any other type of alcohol.) Steak Frites doesn't take advance reservations, but when you arrive (earlier is preferable), you'll be told how long you'll have to wait for a table outside where you can watch the colorful flow of folks on the street, you'll drop off your bottle, you'll give the host your name and cell number and head down the street to popular SKY Bar for a pitcher of red sangria with the boys until you get your call.

We followed the recommendation of friends that matched our waiter's advice, ordering the steak-for-two ($60) which comes with a variety of sauces, salad and vegetable sides, some heavenly warm bread and all the French fries you can eat.

The chairs are comfortable. The service friendly, fast and efficient. The food superb.  And if you are a Starbuck's addict, you can cross the street after dinner and continue your al fresco crowd watching from their opposing patio deck. Steak Frites well deserves its popularity.

Le Steak Frites St. Paul Village,
1302 Rue Ste. Catherine Est
514 439-1376

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How to vote for Tony Adams

I appreciate the scuttled efforts of those who tried to support my run for's travel guru but had trouble voting. Would you try once more? Here's the step-by-step:
(and remember, the system allows one new registration per email address.)

In the upper right hand corner, click "join now". 
fill out name, email, alias, password, country , agree to terms, and then click "sign up". 
You'll get the confirming email and when you click on the link in that email, you'll see a message that you have activated your registration. 
Now you go to the homepage
login using your email and password. 
Then go to "guru" under "meet new people", hit vote, find my application and click the little blue "vote for tony adams" letters next to my name. 
Be sure to vote the full five points.

That's the complete and "road tested" map! Let me know if it works.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Have you voted yet for Tony Adams?

One more week of this! (See my earlier post for details about this.)

It looks like I'm in second place, but a few dozen 5 point votes would help me zoom forward in the gay travel guru contest.

I'd be deeply appreciative if you would you take a moment. If you have not yet registered on the site, you'll be asked to do so. Then comes the usual email verification that you are not a spambot. Then you log back in. Then you vote. Let me know if you encounter problems.

And if you would consider Facebooking or Tweeting this, I get some points for that too:



PS: Unfortunately, you can vote only once.

like a field of corn moved by an angry wind

Your daily divine Dickens mega-sentence, from Chapter 50 of Oliver Twist. It becomes clear to me that had Dickens painted rather than wrote, we'd have had a second Pieter Bruegel.

The nearest voices took up the cry, and hundreds echoed it. Some called for ladders, some for sledge-hammers; some ran with torches to and fro as if to seek them, and still came back and roared again; some spent their breath in impotent curses and execrations; some pressed forward with the ecstasy of madmen, and thus impeded the progress of those below; some among the boldest attempted to climb up by the water-spout and crevices in the wall; and all waved to and fro, in the darkness beneath, like a field of corn moved by an angry wind: and joined from time to  time in one loud furious roar.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"every repulsive lineament of poverty"

In my role as Chief Living Adulator for Charles Dickens, I bring you this delicious single sentence from Chapter 50 of Oliver Twist:

Crazy wooden galleries common to the backs of half a dozen houses, with holes from which to look upon the slime beneath; windows, broken and patched, with poles thrust out, on which to dry the linen that is never there; rooms so small, so filthy, so confined, that the air would seem too tainted even for the dirt and squalor which they shelter; wooden chambers thrusting themselves out above the mud, and threatening to fall into it--as some have done; dirt-besmeared walls and decaying foundations; every repulsive lineament of poverty, every loathsome indication of filth, rot, and garbage; all these ornament the banks of Folly Ditch.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Guru Contest Update!

Hey folks,
I'm the front runner but the competition is closing in!
If you haven't yet voted, would you take a moment?
Deeply appreciated.
Here's the place.
And here's the link, for Facebooking or twittering:


Monday, July 19, 2010

A Request For Help.

Dear readers,

I'm in the running for a six month gig as the new "Gay Travel Guru" for
I've made it into round two of the competition and now I need your votes. Here's the link. ( ) In tiny blue letters next to my name, you'll see the invitation to vote for me. A "five" is the best rating.

The first video I provided is a compilation of fun moments from recent interviews. Making this vid made me realize how much fun I've had in the past several months. The guru gig is a paying one, an element not overlooked by my less leisurely husband, in which I'll travel and report.

Looks like their are six serious contenders against whom I'll need your boost.

Thanks for your help!


Sea Turtle Hatchlings On The Beach In Fort Lauderdale

I finally saw a nest hatch out. Around 11PM. Nest #71. Stephanie the volunteer was there and one other guy who happened to be walking by. In just a few seconds, what had been smooth sand turned into a squirming heap. And then, as if somebody had given a signal, they all bolted. Stephanie told us what had to be done and she was well in charge of the situation - but in theory only.  There is no way she could have dealt with what was about to happen if she had been alone, and when that became clear, she said something about the "Good Samaritan" clause trumping the usual prohibition keeping untrained people from participating in the process. 

Two things happened simultaneously. All of the hatchlings (and I mean 100% of them) headed southwest rather than east into the sea, drawn by the headlights of the cars going north on A1A, and the lightning storm that had been percolating offshore arrived ferociously. The rain was so dense and wind-driven that it was very difficult to see anything - the other guy ran for shelter - and Stephanie, whose drenched t shirt had been both loose and white, kept saying "I'm supposed to count them! Can you help me count them?" (Not the usual beach script for someone in  a girls-gone-wild outfit.) It became immediately obvious that we were counting some of them two or more times, and some of them not at all. It was very much like that Seinfeld episode in which George plays that old video game Frogger. She gave up and we started putting them into the two buckets. I have the feeling that a large number of them got away from us. 

When the rain stopped five minutes later in true Florida fashion, we took the buckets down to the water and released them in groups of five. The downward slant of the smooth packed sand at the water's edge seemed to shield them from distracting light but some of them still wanted to head toward the traffic. Also, several of them headed back to the buckets, not out of any yearning for their childhood orphanage, but because the buckets are white and attracted their attention. I think the buckets of the volunteers should be painted black. One of hatchlings kept heading to my feet which Stephanie says are very white. We stood silently pondering her words for a few seconds both slightly off balance by the strenuous intimacy of a statement and an adventure shared by two who had before this hour never met. I considered naming him as he knocked his little head into my flip flop. I tried to think of a foot fetishist whose name I knew, and realized that I don't know any by name. I wonder if that fact is more curious than the whiteness of my feet. 

Also, I think we should have dug a trench leading to the water as soon as the hatching began.  Had they been in the bottom of such a trench, they might not have seen the headlights. They are cute little buggers. Some were feisty, lifting their heads up and looking about. Some were slow and plodding and would not be dissuaded from their misdirection (Republicans) until a good strong wave convinced them. Stephanie says that their march to the sea is a necessary exertion and that just dumping the bucket into the waves would cause some of them to drown.

We released exactly fifty from the buckets, and Stephanie predicted a second wave of hatchlings from the same nest perhaps before dawn.  We released them in groups of five and when each group's members had been washed away (and some of them get tossed back onto the sand by smaller waves, necessitating more interventions, like relapsed addicts, the Lindsay Lohans of the brood destined for a hardknock life), Stephanie would draw a line in the sand. She made four parallel lines, and then crossed that set diagonally just the way prisoners mark their duration on the walls of their cells. She completed two sets before the tide took our records away.

We scouted the periphery for strays. We found only one. In the middle of the highway. He had not made it across.

I've had a lifetime of seeing roadkill through a windshield with absolutely no emotional reaction but this one got to me.

On my way back to my bike, I encountered a gigantic female sea turtle digging her nest fifteen feet north of the lifeguard station and I doubled back to let Stephanie know so that she could watch over her and mark the nest.

Stephanie says that the hatchlings will swim for two or three days before they reach an area of underwater vegetation where they will get their first food and find protection. Along the way, some will be eaten by natural predators. This is not upsetting because it is part of the balance. But the one that scurried eagerly toward the oncoming headlights on the highway should not have perished.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Defiant Argentine Priest

There is always one good apple in every Catholic barrel.

While on the other coast...

While you may have been heartened by the previous post about Mark Foley, you'll be distressed by this video about the sea turtles in the gulf.

Update: Here is a very disturbing link about Corexit provided by Mark Foley. It seems that BP has dumped a toxic substance into the Gulf in an unbelievably disgusting effort to correct the damage they have already done.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What Makes Mark Foley The Hottest Guy On The Beach?

(No, not that Mark Foley. This profile of another Mark Foley - an admirable one - will brighten your day. Getting to know him has made me aware of an entire world just below the surface of the sand outside my door. A world that needs our help. A version of this article appears in the current issue of South Florida Gay News.)

Mark Foley's niche in the pantheon of sexy Fort Lauderdale men is prominent. Many are the patrons of the Ramrod, a local leather/levi watering hole, who will head for his bar more for receipt of his shirtless attention than for the beer he hands them. He is also not hard on the eyes in the closely cut green uniform of his day job as a park ranger. While he measures up to both of these standard issue gay porn fantasy types, the sexiest aspect of Mark Foley is to be appreciated only on the beach after midnight where you will find him volunteering his little free time in pursuit of his deepest passions, our environment and the protection of endangered sea turtles. If your goal is to get him in bed, forget it. He does not seem to sleep.

The Irritated Side Of Staten Island

I bring you this report not only because it describes a possible hate crime but because of the fascinating comments it acquired. In addition to the usual gay/straight choosing up of sides, you'll find folks who say "They should have known better and just ignored that gang.", others who criticize the cops, others who are well acquainted with the turf wars that are raging on that side of Staten Island, others who make Lebronalogies, others who criticize the Gothamist reporter, and best of all, an extended and entertaining gripe-and-retort over local dialect and style of communication. This comment string has all the dirty dishes that one would find in a kitchen sink. On Staten Island. It does not, however, have the kitchen sink: better reporting (reposting?) about gay New York. I recently emailed the site owners about this. I have not received a reply. Gothamist claims six million monthly visitors. Unless that number is a vast exaggeration, they're big enough to to do better in their coverage of gay issues.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Also in Oliver Twist

In addition to this, there are these two wonderful sentences in Chapter XLIII of Oliver Twist:

He found himself jostled among a crowd of people, chiefly women, who were huddled together in a dirty frowsy room, at the upper end of which was a raised platform railed off from the rest, with a dock for the prisoners on the left hand against the wall, a box for the witnesses in the middle, and a desk for the magistrates on the right; the awful locality last named, being screened off by a partition which concealed the bench from the common gaze, and left the vulgar to imagine (if they could) the full majesty of justice.

I don't know why I put Dickens and Faulkner on the same shelf in my head, but I do. Maybe it's just that they both use a similar color palette for London and The South (The colors favored by Andrew Wyeth who painted neither.) I hope you are reading the two sentences at a speaking pace because that is the only way to taste them, and it is why no one today writes in this style. Readers sadly can't be bothered to slow down.

The room smelt close and unwholesome; the walls were dirt-discoloured; and the ceiling blackened. There was an old smoky bust over the mantel-shelf, and a dusty clock above the dock--the only thing present, that seemed to go on as it ought; for depravity, or poverty, or an habitual acquaintance with both, had left a taint on all the animate matter, hardly less unpleasant than the thick greasy scum on every inaminate object that frowned upon it.

Friday, July 09, 2010

You'll Never Guess Who Said This

"Over the pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one's own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing totalitarianism."

The author revealed after the break

Thursday, July 08, 2010

"Don't Do Anything Stupid."

When I got married, I changed my name. I had no idea that the promulgation of this adjustment – simple for straight couples – would be so outrageously difficult for me.

In strange Florida, where gay adoption is illegal and a closeted governor likes the rancid orange Kool-Aid of Anita Bryant, I began my odyssey at the Fort Lauderdale driver license office on Powerline Road, a part of town so desolate that its streets are simply named after features that have no choice but to traverse it. Mailtruck, Watermain, Sewerpipe.

On my wedding day, my wise lesbian lawyer had executed a “Certificate of Name Change”, knowing that our marriage certificate would not be recognized as valid in states like Florida. I made fifty copies.

In mid morning and armed with both documents, I approached the failed strip mall that contained this office. A line stretched around the corner of the building. The waiting began on an unshaded sidewalk. In this overheated line, people displayed their most distempered behavior, until we were allowed, six at a time, inside where numbers were issued and there is more waiting. After hours of this, some folks gave up and left with dramatic expressions of rage. When my number rose as the afternoon sun declined through the dirty Venetian blinds, I presented my documents and my request to a grim-faced lady at station 9 who scorned the marriage certificate and ran her fingers over the Certificate of Name Change. Feeling no raised seal, she said “I need more than this. I need a certified copy.”

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

107 Years Ago

In 1903, Cecil Hepworth and Percy Stow, two leaders of early British cinema, made the first film interpretation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. All that remains of this destroyed film are some reassembled and restored fragments, but it is still superior to any subsequent film version of the book. Dreamlike, in ways that producers like Dreamworks could never achieve. What is it about the first attempt at something that usually makes it the enduring best?

Here's some of a 1988 version:

And here's the 2010 Disney/Tim Burton version:

Saturday, July 03, 2010

In the Heat of the Moment

You won't save the Gulf of Mexico, fall in love or find God if you are not drinking enough water. We are reminded that most people walk about in a state of dehydration, depriving their bodies - mostly composed of water - of a basic necessity. The result is irritability, dizziness and muscle cramps.

Unfortunately, people buy water to which refined and colored sugar has been added. This sugar is a bad hitchhiker, like those bedbugs lurking in the shirts you get at Abercrombie and Fitch.

In New York, the tap water tastes great and there is no reason to buy bottled water. The first or second question from a waiter's mouth is usually "Tap or bottled?" Unless you want overpriced bubbles in your glass, you should opt for tap.

In Fort Lauderdale, the tap water has a yellowish tinge and an odd taste by dint of treatment. It is potable but not pleasantly. I used to lug home huge plastic bottles of water from the supermarket. The logistics involved from aisle to register to car to elevator to door to fridge were more irritating than dehydration. I have replaced that business with the purchase of a Brita carafe/water filter. I change the filter once every two months. The result is crystal clear and tasty in a tasteless way. It's also economical and efficient.

All day long, I gaze at the ocean wondering why Florida is not entirely using desalinated water if not for drinking, at least for flushing. We are still a primitive people who in the address of our needs create more problems for ourselves. Another example of this is what I am guessing to be the cause of the universal backache suffered by civilized folks. I recently added some positions to my daily stretching routine that are variations of the basic squat. People do not squat enough. We avoid it because it is an unbecoming position and because our clothes are too tight and ill-designed for its execution. Plus, everyone looks slightly comique in a squat. Our bodies, however, are designed to squat. It is the natural position for defecation. Unfortunately, the design of the ubiquitous toilet bowl means that most people never squat. This is bad for the spine and the back muscles. Toilet bowls should be redesigned so that the rim occurs about a foot above the floor forcing the user into a healthy squat, perhaps with the addition of handles flanking the opening to help steady the wobblers. I suspect this one change in our culture would eliminate billions of dollars in medical treatments and related lost production. Also, if you add the squat to your daily set of exercises, you will derive an almost instantaneous improvement in mobility and strength in your lower back. This can only result in better sex which is an entire other area of popular behavior that has been screwed up by civilization.