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Volume 5 Issue 23 Nov. 14–27, 2014 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter



Palm Springs Pride Page 18



Duck, duck, surf!


ip Seymour Hoffman o by Iriving Penn); Oscar-winner Phill (l to r) the real Truman Capote (Phot Diversionary’s “Tru” (Photo by Daren Scott)

esley as Capote in as Capote (Photo by Nigel Parry); Todd Blak

Discovering Truman Local thespian brings Capote to stage in Diversionary’s one-man show Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Cheers for Quasimodo


Historical Little Italy



Todd Blakesley has been dabbling in and studying the art of theater his entire life, mostly in San Diego. He’s acted in plays at Moxie, Intrepid Shakespeare, San Diego Repertory Theatre, North County Repertory Theatre, read with dozens of playwrights, and when he’s not acting or reading, he’s worked as a dramaturg developing new projects. In the 1970s, Blakesley even owned his own small theater, the Cr ystal Palace in Mission Beach, where he and colleagues wrote and produced original work for five years. In all those years of artistic stewardship, it never once occurred to Blakesley to take on the role of Truman Capote. After all, at a full 7 inches taller than the 5 foot 3 inch — but larger-than-life — late celebrity novelist, he never really seemed to “fit the bill.” That is until this year, when friend and director Derek Livingston suggested he try out for Diversionary

Theatre’s upcoming one-man show, “Tru.” “In many ways, casting for a one-person show differs little from casting a multi-character show,” Livingston said. “However, I have to make sure that the actor has a natural facility for stor ytelling and a chemistr y that reaches into the audience as opposed to just a chemistr y with another actor or actors. Further, that actor has to have a theatrical presence to hold our attention while also being honest enough that we believe him.” Livingston said he’d worked with Blakesley long enough to know he might have what it takes. “Todd is much larger than Truman, has a deep voice, and has sported facial hair for decades,” Livingston said. “But my casting instinct told me that he had qualities in him that could be Truman.” Capote, an unabashed and very flamboyant public figure who was openly gay before anyone was com-

over 50 percent of our staff has been employed with our company for over 15 years and we now have a twoyear wait for new hires. “This expansion will bring our iconic and flagship concept to the forefront of Hillcrest’s evolution, providing guests with an open and inviting space that

see UrbanMO's, pg 17

see TDOR, pg 16

see Capote, pg 11

A Hillcrest mainstay expands its reach into the community Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Sporting in other states

Index Briefs…………………….6 Opinion………………….6 Weddings. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Calendar....…….....…..14 Classifieds…………….15

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San Diego Community News Network

By George Vernon In solidarity with transgenderserving organizations and activists around the globe, the San Diego LGBT Community Center will participate in the 16th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on Thursday, Nov. 20 with a vigil and program starting at 6 p.m. First held in 1999, TDOR is a somber occasion to remember each and every transgender person who has lost their life to violence because of who they are. Gwendolyn Ann Smith organized that first vigil in remembrance of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence that year and began an impor tant memorial that has become the annual TDOR. “The Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence,” Smith has stated in the past. “I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.” Locally, events are organized by The Center’s Project TRANS, a program that provides services and advocacy for the transgender community. Connor Maddocks, coordinator of Project TRANS, said that he is expecting over 200 people to participate in this year’s event, which will include a candlelight vigil and march leaving from The Center at 6 p.m., followed

Twenty-five more years of adventures and memories Urban MO’s, the center of MO’s Universe — a group of San Diego LGBT-themed restaurant-bars that also includes Baja Betty’s, Gossip Grill and Hillcrest Brewing Company — is currently undergoing an expansion that will add 1,000 square feet to its patio. Though the patio bar has already been closed off to make room for the new space, the restaurant, inside bar and dance floor will remain open throughout construction, which is scheduled to be complete no later than Dec. 26. Once part of the popular Hamburger Mary’s chain, Urban MO’s (short for homos), located at 308 University Ave. in Hillcrest, opened in 2006 with a new name and a new brand that has since expanded to the three other locations. “We are world famous for our drinks, and our hearty burgers are consistently voted amongst the best in San Diego,” stated Chris Shaw, president of MO’s Universe, in a press release. “It’s no wonder

TDOR: Standing up for our brothers and sisters

General Manager Matt Ramon (left) kicks up construction dirt with Erica Flores. (Courtesy MO’s Universe)


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014


Sixth Circuit upholds marriage bans The Keen Files Lisa Keen In a decision that will compel the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of bans against marriage for same-sex couples, a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 6 that it is not unconstitutional for a state to ban marriage licenses to same-sex couples or refuse to recognize marriage licenses such couples obtain from other states. It is the first federal appeals cour t to make such a ruling, reversing six lower cour t rulings in four other states — setting it on a direct path to the U.S. Supreme Cour t.

Susan Sommer, Lambda Legal’s director of constitutional litigation, said her group is “extremely disappointed” and that the decision “highlights the need for the U. S. Supreme Court to right this injustice.” Freedom to Marr y President Evan Wolfson said the decision was “completely out of step with the Supreme Cour t’s clear signal last month” and “out of step with the majority of the American people.” He also said there are at least two rational reasons for limiting marriage to heterosexual couples: One is that government “got into the business of defining marriage … to regulate sex, most especially the intended and unintended effects of malefemale intercourse.” “It is not society’s laws or for

“From the vantage point of 2014, it would now seem, the question is not whether American law will allow gay couples to marry; it is when and how that will happen.” — 6th Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Sutton in his dissent Many cour t obser vers believe they know how the Supreme Cour t will rule: that such bans are unconstitutional. That’s because on Oct. 6, there were not even four justices willing to hear appeals in defense of such bans. And the 40-page 6th Circuit panel decision now creates a conflict among the circuits, essentially compelling the Supreme Cour t to make a definitive ruling on the issue. The 2-to-1 decision from the 6th Circuit was what many had also predicted. The two Republican appointees (both by President George W. Bush) upheld the state bans; the one Democratic appointee (a Clinton appointee) voted in dissent. Writing for the majority, Judge Jeffrey Sutton acknowledged the futility of his ruling in its second sentence: “From the vantage point of 2014, it would now seem, the question is not whether American law will allow gay couples to marr y; it is when and how that will happen.” But, echoing statements he made during oral arguments in August, Sutton said the approval of samesex marriage should be “in the hands of state voters” and that the Supreme Court’s 1972 summar y dismissal of Minnesota gay couple’s appeal [in Baker v. Nelson] still binds lower courts to uphold the bans by other states. “Respect for democratic control over this traditional area of state expertise ensures that ‘a statewide deliberative process that enable[s] its citizens to discuss and weigh arguments for and against same-sex marriage’ can have free and reasonable rein.” As for licenses granted by other states, Sutton said, “States have always decided for themselves when to yield to laws of other states.”

that matter any one religion’s laws, but nature’s laws [that men and women complement each other biologically], that created the policy imperative,” wrote Sutton. “If it is constitutionally irrational to stand by the man-woman definition of marriage, it must be constitutionally irrational to stand by the monogamous definition of marriage,” wrote Sutton later in the decision. The other reason, Sutton said, is “a State might wish to wait and see before changing a norm that our society (like all others) has accepted for centuries.” Noting that Michigan voters approved its ban just one year after samesex marriage became possible in Massachusetts, Sutton said, “A state still assessing how this has worked, whether in 2004 or 2014, is not showing irrationality, just a sense of stability and an interest in seeing how the new definition has worked elsewhere.” While Sutton acknowledged that there are costs to same-sex couples in denying them the right to vote, that harm “demands an answer — but from elected legislators, not life-tenured judges.” He saw no evidence that the bans were born of animus, but rather, were motivated by “fear that the courts would seize con-

trol over an issue that people of good faith care deeply about.” “[T]he institution of marriage arose independently of [the] record of discrimination” against gays, wrote Sutton. Oddly, Sutton’s ruling acknowledged only 19 states and the District of Columbia as having allowed same-sex couples to marr y. He did not mention that another nine states began issuing licenses to same-sex couples after the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear appeals from the 4th, 7th, 9th, and 10th circuits. Sutton said the Supreme Cour t’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, had no impact on the panel majority’s r uling in the 6th Circuit cases. He said Windsor hinged on DOMA’s “unprecedented intr usion into the States’ authority over domestic relations.” Sutton said the Supreme Court’s action in denying review of the seven appeals it refused in October expressed no opinion on the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage. “A decision not to decide is a decision not to decide,” wrote Sutton. In dissent, Judge Martha Daughter y derided the majority opinion, saying it “wholly fails to grapple with the relevant constitutional questions” and instead occupies itself with the question of “who should decide” and exhibiting a “reverence for ‘proceeding with caution’.” “If we in the judiciar y do not have the authority, and indeed the responsibility, to right fundamental wrongs left excused by a majority of the electorate,” wrote Daughter y, “our whole intricate, constitutional system of checks and balances, as well as the oaths to which we swore, prove to be nothing but shams.” The 6th Circuit decision and dissent addressed federal district court rulings in six cases involving state bans: DeBoer v. Snyder (Michigan), Obergefell v. Hodges and Henr y v. Hodges (Ohio), Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear (Kentucky), and Tanco v. Haslam (Tennessee). The ruling represents the marriage equality movement’s second court loss since 2012 when a federal judge in Nevada ruled against same-sex couples in Sevcik v. Sandoval. The first loss was from a federal district court judge in Louisiana in Robicheaux v. Caldwell Sept. 3. The 5th Circuit announced on Oct. 28 that it would hear oral arguments in the Louisiana case and one from Texas on Jan. 5. —Lisa Keen is an award-winning journalist who spent 18 years as editor of the Washington Blade. See more news from Keen and other select veteran gay journalists at

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014


Perfectionism: the endless report card Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel Do you feel like you’re always judging/critiquing/evaluating yourself? Are you afraid to do something you may not be good at? Are you afraid to take risks? Congratulations! You’re probably a perfectionist. The good news: Perfectionists are made, not born. It is a learned set of behaviors and can be unlearned. The bad news: It’s not so easy to unlearn it. In this column, I’ll talk about how we become perfectionists and how we can change. For some of us, our parents set us up. They put a lot of pressure on us to achieve and succeed. We came to believe that if we weren’t “superstars” in everything we did, that we were “nothing.” Some of us had laid-back parents; it was we who made an unconscious choice to be perfect. Maybe we wanted attention and only got it by being a star. We wanted to make mommy and daddy happy. Maybe — since we knew we were LGBT and felt like “there’s something wrong with me” — we felt that we had to try harder and be better than all those hetero kids. Perfectionism is an endless report card. We never really “graduate” and get to a place where we can relax and stop critiquing ourselves. We always have to be the “A” student: at work, with friends, in sports, with hobbies. Getting a “B” is never enough. Our lives become a continual pressure cooker to be better and better … at everything.

No fun or playfulness there, and it’s a set-up for high blood pressure, strokes, anxiety, panic attacks and constant worry. But, fear not, there is a way out. Here are some steps you can take to ease up on your perfectionism: • Be willing to redefine “success” and “failure”: Failure is not the end of the world, it’s merely useful information. Instead of saying, “Oh, I’m such a loser,” when something you do doesn’t go perfectly, you could say, “Hmmm, that strategy didn’t work so well, what can I do differently next time?” See how that approach has a completely different emotional tone? • When you don’t get an “A”, ask yourself: “Do people think less of me? Do they think I’m a loser?” Perfectionists are often insufferable because they have to do everything better than everyone else. They’re not easy to love. It’s easier to love people who make mistakes — just like us. Try telling yourself: “It’s human to not win every time. It actually makes me more lovable. We all get our turn to win; this time wasn’t my turn” (and don’t be surprised when other people start to like you more). • Stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself: “I am lovable exactly as I am” or “I am always good enough no matter what I do.” You could also ask yourself questions like: “How can I be kinder to you today?” and “What would make you feel better right now?” Kindness and compassion are great enemies of perfectionism: Over time, they’ll dissolve it little by little. • Participate in an activity that doesn’t trigger your perfectionism,

like watching a movie or walking along the beach. Notice how much pleasure you get from it and that it’s not a competition. Reading this, you may wonder: “Why should I lower my standards? Perfection leads to high achievements, more money and prestige. I want that.” Fair enough, but consider this: An obsession with perfectionism does not, in the long run, lead to success in life. Success in life isn’t about doing everything right (which is impossible), it’s about what you do when things go wrong (which is inevitable). Perfectionism leaves no room for creativity, passion and perseverance. No one could have created Apple, Facebook or Uber without these three. Pushing yourself to be perfect doesn’t make you powerful or successful, it makes you rigid, narrow-minded and not open to experimentation. Real success in life comes from being resourceful, working hard and being good at problem solving. Lots of money and the corner office may sound good, but if you can’t enjoy them, what’s the point? Being able to relax and enjoy your life, trying new things and seeing what happens, being spontaneous and playful … — this is where the joy of life comes from. You deserve this. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit

Plans for SBP 2015 South Bay Alliance Dae Elliot South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival 2015 will be held Sept. 12. Due to the growth from this year and the expected attendance next year, we are moving the location to the Bayside Park immediately north of its current location. This will allow us to address the parking issues from this year’s unexpectedly higher attendance numbers as well as expand access to the Bay. Bayside Park has a small beach with more potential for water sports and recreational fun. It is also adjacent to the Bayside RV Camping Resort, which will allow for easier access to those that want to spend the weekend. Those who have an RV may want to put your reservations in now since this is one of the more popular RV sites in the area. To facilitate transportation for our local attendees, there will be shuttle service from the H Street trolley station. We will also have multiple local hotels providing overnight packages and shuttles to and from the event. Since South Bay Alliance is an all-volunteer organization, it is our board/committee members and volunteers that make all this happen. We are currently looking for new board/committee members to assist in the planning of next year’s event. If you are interested in serving, please email and indicate your interest, in what capacity you would like to serve, and your relevant experience/background.

South Bay Alliance is always looking for people to be involved and look forward to hearing from our wonderful activists that dedicate their time to improving the world around them. It is important that South Bay Pride (SBP) continues to support and highlight the immense amount of creativity and talent found locally. With that in mind, plans are in place to have a contest for a new logo to be used for next year’s SBP event. The contest will open for entries Dec. 1, 2014 – Jan. 15, 2015. The winner will be given credit in all our promotions, booth space at SBP in order to display their art, as well as $100 prize. We are also looking for someone to orchestrate a much larger art show in next year’s celebration, so if you are interested in helping us expand the art show, send us an email — and for those that are who’d like to enter the contest, start thinking about those designs. Our 2015 goal will be to break 10,000 attendance, as well as raise enough funds to support opening and staffing a small but strategic LGBT Center in the old Chula Vista area in 2016. This Center will be accessible to the South County LGBT community through public transportation and will serve as a meeting place and information center to support both our LGBT youth and South County residents, in their endeavors to create a more LGBT-informed and LGBTfriendly community addressing our diverse local needs. If you can, please donate by visiting We would appreciate your support and know that all of your donations go towards that goal. Give what you can to not only keep 2015 South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival free, but also to work towards our fundraising goals for the South Bay Center. South Bay Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization so your donations are also tax deductible! Keep checking back on our website and Facebook for our next mixer, which will happen either in early December or January. We will be reaching out to all of the local businesses, our supporters and volunteers, to bring them together for networking, fundraising and, of course, fun. — Dae Elliott is a founding executive committee member and the current executive director of South Bay Alliance, a 501(c)3 nonprofit and organizer of the annual South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival. Contact her at


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014


Stand up and be A new crop of leaders ‘RISE’ in San Diego counted at Numbers tank top or flip flops. When in doubt, wear black, because these people really dress up for the club.” Raising the Bar Sabbat stands in stark contrast Jeremy Ogul to other highly popular events at Numbers, such as BearNight San Diego, which hibernates until the first If San Diego’s gay bars were Saturday of every month. people, Numbers would be the one To understand BearNight, conwith multiple personalities. sider these two words: go-go bears. And I mean that in the best Just let that marinate for a minute. way possible. Yes — while San Diego has quite The nightclub on Park Boulevard a few hangouts for the bear crowd, serves as a sort of jack-of-all-trades for BearNight is the place where bears the LGBT community. One night it’s and their friends and admirers go to Karaoke Latino, another night it’s a get down on it. Promoter Chris Vance sports bar, and yet another night it’s even brings in special ‘beartenders’ to an R&B drag show featuring black work the bar on BearNight. kings and queens. The party began in 2007 at BacSome nights, management puts chus House in North Park and moved up a partition and hosts two events to Numbers after Bacchus House at once. That was the case on a closed four years ago. At Numbers, recent Friday, when one side of the ability to have two dance floors the club hosted a new event called with different DJs has helped attract a “Sin” — featuring go-go dancers broader audience, but the overall size with devil horns and a of the venue — smaller belly dancer performthan Rich’s — helps maining with a live serpent tain an intimate buzz, even — while the other on slower nights. side hosted a concert Vance, who moved by Ana Victoria, a to San Diego from the famous Latina singer. South nine years ago, The club’s flexibiltakes pride in the friendly, ity is perfect for niche grassroots feel of Beargroups that want to Night. He also points out create their own space that cover is always $5 away from more mainbefore 10 p.m., and you’re stream venues. But it rewarded with $6 double The author at “Sin.” also means you better Svedkas and other shot check the calendar specials all night. before popping in. In addition to club nights, NumOne of the most successful events bers also hosts daytime events for at Numbers is the twice-monthly groups like the Imperial Court de San Club Sabbat, a gothic industrial party Diego and the Sisters of Perpetual that has been bringing out the dark Indulgence. masses for more than 16 years. Numbers is essentially a blank “It’s packed to the max by canvas, perfect for splashing with midnight,” said Sabbat promoter and the rainbow of San Diego’s diverse organizer Linda Estep. “There’s nothcommunity. Check their calendar at ing like it in San Diego.” Unlike most club events, this one thrives on its underground status. —“Raising the Bar” focuses on a That means no Facebook page, no different LGBT-oriented bar in San website, no ads featuring shirtless Diego every month. Do you have a male muscle. And the music? story to tell? Write to Jeremy Ogul at “Absolutely no hip-hop,” Estep said. Instead, you’ll hear dark wave, industrial EDM and songs from artists such as Susie and the Banshees, Depeche Mode, Skinny Puppy and the like. Sabbat is not targeted specifically to gay men, but to people of all orientations. “It’s kind of pansexual,” Estep said. “Everyone comes — straight, gay, bi, whatever. We welcome everybody. But just don’t wear jeans. Or a

Profiles in Advocacy Ian Morton

“Just like moons and like suns, with the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, still I’ll rise … Leaving behind nights of terror and fear, I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear, I rise” —Maya Angelou So often, we are forced to wonder, “What could happen if our community leaders left their ‘siloed’ efforts, and actually worked together toward the greater good?” Former City Councilmember Tony Young and Dwayne Crenshaw — former political rivals — have made a commitment to this effort, and no longer constrained by the needs of political campaigns, have found the intersection of their goals for a better San Diego. Both residents of San Diego’s 4th Council District, which includes much of what would be considered “urban San Diego,” these two men chose to focus on their common ground, and unify for a cause. RISE San Diego began, as so many initiatives do, as a series of conversations over coffee at the Starbucks on Euclid and Market Street in Southeastern San Diego. Crenshaw and Young took an opportunity to cut through the rhetoric and catch phrases that defined “urban development,” and began discussing ways to create

changes in urban San Diego, not just for the people, but by the people. Inspired by the poem Still I Rise, by Maya Angelou, RISE San Diego was born. I had an opportunity to catch up with Crenshaw to discuss the development and concept of RISE a few days after their first monthly community breakfast. He walked me through both the overarching concepts, the mission and the plan to achieve their goals. “Civil engagement” is the first pillar of RISE San Diego. Their new Urban Breakfast Club is a monthly call to discourse for those living in urban communities throughout San Diego County, to discuss the challenges they face and begin creating common agendas and unified goals. Crenshaw stressed that this was a break from the usual paradigm of outside parties, however well intentioned, coming into urban communities and explaining to the residents “what they need.” Hosted at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center, the topic of the inaugural event Oct. 17 was “What is Community Leadership: A PostFerguson San Diego Dialogue.” With remarks by Council President Todd Gloria and a panel of community leaders from advocacy, houses of faith, academia and non-profit backgrounds, the event brought together over 200 San Diego residents to begin the dialogue. Crenshaw sees these conversations as a way to “release the tension slowly” in regard to inequalities often experienced in underserved communities, before they reach a fever pitch like the

city of Ferguson. As issues are identified, so must leaders from the affected communities and neighborhoods. This leads to the second primary tenet of RISE San Diego: leadership development. In a unique collaboration with University of San Diego’s (USD) School of Leadership and Education Sciences, RISE will engage and nurture rising leaders through the RISE Urban Leadership Fellows Program. This competitive initiative will identify individuals from urban communities who demonstrate a passion and talent to create change, and equip them with the tools to best focus and refine their skill sets toward their goals. We took a moment to project how this picture would look, and Crenshaw is optimistic that their effort will create a more integrated and diverse generation of community leaders who can achieve commonality. RISE intends to overcome lines of partisanship, gender identity, culture and sexuality, by stressing that a community’s challenge is everyone’s challenge, and a leader who has the skill and strength to find ways to overcome is an asset to that community, no matter who they are. The term “urban” has historically meant “African-American,” or at best, “communities of color,” but RISE evaluates an individual’s character, leadership potential and commitment to bettering their community. The third primary goal of RISE is to support existing urban community non-profit organizations.

see RISE, pg 8



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014


National Report

The ‘state of LGBT equality’ in 55 California cities San Diego and five others receive perfect scores By the Human Rights Campaign Many municipalities extend vital protections to their LGBT citizens and The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released its third annual report assessing LGBT equality in 353 cities across the nation — including 55 in California — on Nov. 12. The 2014 Municipal Equality Index (MEI), the only nationwide rating system of LGBT inclusion in municipal law and policy, shows that cities across the country, including in California, continue to take the lead in supporting LGBT people and workers, even when states and the federal government have not. The MEI rates cities based on 47 criteria falling under six broad categories: Non-discrimination laws; relationship recognition; municipality’s employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage; contracting non-discrimination requirements, and other policies relating to equal treatment of LGBT city employees; inclusiveness of city services; law enforcement and municipal leadership on matters of equality. The average score for the cities rated in California is 73 out of 100 points, which falls above the national average of 59. Anaheim: 67, Bakersfield: 54, Berkeley: 95, Brisbane: 51, Cathedral City: 90, Chula Vista: 61, Concord: 62, Corona: 63, Elk Grove: 76, Escondido: 60, Fontana: 59, Fort Collins: 62, Fremont: 84, Fresno: 67, Fullerton: 58, Garden Grove: 59, Glendale: 61, Guerneville: 74, Hayward: 58, Huntington Beach: 72, Irvine: 68, Lancaster: 88, Long Beach:

100, Los Angeles: 100, Modesto: 63, Moreno Valley: 64, Oakland: 93, Oceanside: 57, Ontario: 65, Orange: 68, Oxnard: 61, Palm Springs: 100, Palmdale: 66, Pasadena: 76, Pomona: 76, Rancho Cucamonga: 59, Rancho Mirage: 93, Richmond: 80, Riverside: 75, Sacramento: 87, Salinas: 59, San Bernardino: 67, San Diego: 100, San Francisco: 100, San Jose: 88, Santa Ana: 59, Santa Clarita: 69, Santa Rosa: 81, Signal Hill: 93, Stockton: 79, Sunnyvale: 69, Thousand Oaks: 64, Torrance: 63, Vallejo: 74, Visalia: 48, West Hollywood: 100. “From Mississippi to Idaho, mid-size cities and small towns have become the single greatest engine of progress for LGBT equality — changing countless lives for the better,” said HRC President Chad Griffin in a press release. “In just three years, the number of municipalities earning top marks for their treatment of LGBT citizens has more than tripled. Simply put, in this country there is an ongoing race to the top to treat all people, including LGBT people, fairly under the law, and it’s time our state and federal laws caught up.” Key findings contained in the MEI, issued in partnership with the Equality Federation, provide a revealing snapshot of LGBT equality in 353 municipalities of varying sizes, and from every state in the nation. “In many municipalities, local leaders are taking important steps to provide LGBT people with the protections and security not available at the state or federal level,” said Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of Equality Federation. “And because of this leadership, many cities and counties are emerging as welcoming communities where LGBT people are treated with the dignity and

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960


CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Hutton Marshall, x102 Jeremy Ogul, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlene Baldridge Dae Elliott Lisa Keen Michael Kimmel Ian Morton Jeff Praught Frank Sabatini Jr. George Vernon

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respect they’ve always deserved. Municipal victories are fueling the movement for equality in states across this nation. The Municipal Equality Index is a terrific tool to help spur those victories along and celebrate the cities who have worked so hard to get us to this point.” “The Municipal Equality Index reveals a ‘tale of two Californias,’” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California in the release. “Most of our larger cities and more progressive municipalities like Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Francisco have perfect or near-perfect scores, while many other cities —particularly in the Central Valley, Orange County and more rural areas — fall far short of the mark. “Even in California there’s still much work to be done, and Equality California will continue to lead the way with important education campaigns in the Central Valley and other rural parts of the state,” Zbur said. The cities researched for the 2014 MEI include the 50 state capitals, the 200 most populous cities in the country, the four largest cities in every state, the city home to each state’s largest public university, and an equal mix of 75 of the nation’s large, mid-size and small municipalities with the highest proportion of same-sex couples. Thirty-eight cities earned perfect 100-point scores nationally, up from 25 in 2013 and 11 in 2012, the first year of the MEI. In California, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, San Francisco and West Hollywood all earned 100-point scores, helping to set a standard of LGBT inclusiveness with exemplary policies ranging from non-discrimination laws and equal employee benefits, to cutting edge city services. Andrew Bagley, x106 Karen Davis, x105 Lisa Hamel, x107 Nicole Perez, x116 Yana Shayne, x113

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962

Other nationwide findings contained in the 2014 MEI: Cities in all regions of the country earned excellent scores, demonstrating that commitment to LGBT equality is not confined to parts of the country many people assume are most LGBT friendly. 38 cities received perfect scores, even with this year’s more demanding criteria; that’s up from 11 in 2012, and 25 in 2013. Cities continue to excel even without depending on state law: Of cities that scored a perfect 100, 15 are in states that don’t have comprehensive relationship recognition or a statewide non-discrimination law; that’s up from eight cities last year, and just two in 2012. 32 million people now live in cities that have more comprehensive, transgender inclusive non-discrimination laws than their state or the federal government. The average city score was 59 points, with half of the cities researched scoring over 61 points. Eleven percent scored 100 points; 25 percent scored over 80 points; 25 percent scored under 44 points; and four percent scored fewer than 10 points. Cities with a higher proportion of same-sex couples tended, not surprisingly, to score better, and the presence of openly-LGBT city officials and LGBT police liaisons also were correlated with higher scores. The full report, including detailed scorecards for every city, as well as a searchable database, is available online at —The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community. t

PSA CRASH OF 1978 IS FOCUS OF TWO BOOK EVENTS Local writer and North Park resident Bonnie ZoBell recently published “What Happened Here,” a collection of fictional short stories all tied to the PSA Flight 182 plane crash in the middle of North Park, September of 1978. The characters in her book all live along the same streets that were impacted by the crash, as does ZoBell today. The book was released in May to rave reviews and on Nov. 12 at 6:30p.m., ZoBell read from and discussed the book at the North Park Library, located at 3795 31st St. She also showed the mini-documentary she co-produced with Melanie Peters, another local resident, called “North Park Eclectic.” Peters, principal of Melanie Peters Productions and a member of the GSDBA, interviewed a number of current North Park residents who have been personally affected by the crash on camera and produced the 15-minute film from the footage. On Nov. 20, ZoBell will be on hand at the San Diego Central Library, located at 330 Park Blvd., Downtown, to moderate the discussion after a viewing of the full length documentary, “Return to Dwight & Nile: The Crash of PSA Flight 182.” The screening is part of the library’s “Where Were You” series. ZoBell, who also teaches at San Diego Mesa College, will have her books available for signing and purchase. For more information, visit and click on events. ‘TREE OF LIFE’ TO FOCUS ON AIDS-FREE GENERATION In recognition of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, Mama’s Kitchen will be holding their 23rd annual Tree of Life World AIDS Day candlelight vigil, to honor those affected by AIDS and “the ongoing leadership efforts made to end the worldwide epidemic.” Sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, this year’s event, themed “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation,” will be held at its traditional Village Hillcrest location, 3955 Fifth Ave., at 6 p.m. The free vigil is open to the public and will include complimentar y refreshments and feature STAR 94.1 radio co-host Delana Bennett as well as holiday tunes from the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus. A Red Ribbon Wall, sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, will offer attendees the chance to hang red ribbons and take photographs. Once lighted, the commemorative Tree of Life

see Briefs, pg 7

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BRIEFS will be on display throughout the holidays and decorated with ornaments to honor those affected by HIV/AIDS. Ornaments can be purchased that evening or prior to the event online, one for $15 or two for $25. All proceeds benefit Mama’s Kitchen and its free, countywide meal deliver y program that supports men, women and children affected by AIDS or cancer. “Year after year, [The Tree of Life Ceremony is] an eyeopening event for the community but the best part is that it gives us a place to gather and support those dealing with the daily challenges this disease brings,” said Alberto Cortés, executive director, Mama’s Kitchen. World AIDS Day is a reminder to all that HIV/ AIDS is still an active epidemic and there is still much to be done to conquer it. More than 200 people are expected this year. For more information or to buy an ornament, visit

WOMAN IN MIRROR RETURNS Devra Gregor y, native San Diegan and life-long dancer and performer, is bringing her award-winning one-woman show “Woman in the Mirror, a Dancer’s Journey,” back to San Diego for an extended run. With previous successful shorter runs at L yceum Theatre and the Tenth Avenue Arts Center, Gregor y will be taking the stage at Horton Grand Theatre, located at 444 Fourth Ave., Downtown, from Dec. 4 – 21. Performed by Gregor y who also co-wrote the piece with director Jessica Bird, “Woman in the Mirror” is autobiographical. It tells the stor y of Gregor y’s journey from a childhood wrapped up in ballet to her time in burlesque and then as a professional dancer, Michael Jackson impersonator, and Wiccan priestess — all through dance and illustrious costume changes. Her challenges, spiritual evolution and empowerment will also be explored. For more information or tickets, visit RAY STREET SAYS FAREWELL TO ‘RAY STREET ARTISTS’ More than 30 artists who have flourished under the guidance of the San Diego Art Department (SDAD) on Ray Street for the last five years, have said goodbye to the colony and are branching off on their own. On Nov. 7, a “farewell” reception was held at The Studio Door, located at 4434 30th St. in North Park, to not only celebrate the artists and their art but also their humble beginnings at the SDAD. Ari Kate Ashton, a longtime instructor at SDAD, developed the group using her “art to market” formula and the Ray Street Artists not only published a collection of their work in 2014, but have also appeared in shows at SDAD, the Lyceum Theatre, Mission Federal ArtWalk, ArtWalk NTC and other exhibitions. The reception and the corresponding art exhibit, which will remain on display throughout November, marked their final exhibition under the “Ray Street Artists” banner and was also an introduction to their new gallery, The Studio Door, a passion project of Ashton and Patric Stillman, another Ray Street Artist. The Studio Door, currently open during limited gallery hours, will have a grand opening after the first of the year. For more information, visit


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014




So often in grassroots efforts, an individual with vision is tasked with the creation of effective programs and projects while also maintaining the business and infrastructure efforts necessary to keep the doors open. RISE recognizes that this simultaneous effort can be detrimental to the success of a well-conceived and needed program. To this end, they look to leverage targeted technical assistance to these nonprofits, relieving some of the burden and allowing visionaries to focus on the mission.

Plumbing issues that delayed The Whole Hog from opening in late summer have been resolved, and its owners are now ready to launch the Hillcrest sandwich shop on Nov. 20. Chef-partner Graham Fleming will roll out an initial menu featuring about 10 different sandwiches that capture various smoked meats, such as Carolinastyle pulled pork sourced from a Julian farm and Texas-inspired brisket. The lineup will also include Cubanos and salmon BLTs. 3749 Park Blvd., 619-929-6962.

The partnership of Young and Crenshaw may have seemed unlikely, but the plan is solid and RISE San Diego is off to a strong start with their successful October Urban Breakfast Club event and the application process for the first RISE Urban Leadership Fellows Program opening in November. The next Urban Breakfast Club event is Nov. 21. For more information about RISE San Diego, look for them at —Ian D. Morton is s freelance grant writer and the producer of Y.E.S. San Diego, an LGBTQ youth empowerment conference. To nominate an individual or nonprofit for this column, please email the information to

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Pacific Nissan 4333 Mission Bay Dr. San Diego, CA 92109 858-281-5323 | Pacific Nissan, located at Interstate 5 and Mission Bay Drive, is the leading Nissan dealership in the San Diego area. Recently acquired by our family-owned dealer group we are looking to serve the community by offering a truly exceptional sales experience and the most competent service and parts department in San Diego. Whether you’re looking for a new, used, or certified pre-owned vehicle, we have options to make sure you drive away with the car of your dreams. We carry the entire lineup of new Nissan vehicles, from the popular Nissan Altima, Sentra and Maxima sedans to versatile SUVs and crossovers like the Nissan Rogue, Murano, Pathfinder and Armada. If you’re looking for a fully electric car, check out the all-electric Nissan LEAF or the fun-todrive Nissan JUKE and Cube. We offer competitive financing options and solutions for any situation. Pacific also carries an extensive inventory of parts and accessories. Do not miss out on our service and vehicle specials and check the website frequently for our great deals or to schedule an appointment. We hope to see you soon whether in our sales, finance, service or parts department. Stop by Pacific Nissan today, located in Pacific Beach on Mission Bay Drive, call for more information, or check us out online.t

Eggs and ratatouille at The Royal Café (Photo by Jim Bonner) The Royal Café in Bankers Hill has switched from an exclusive coffee house to a wine-centric restaurant specializing in farm-to-table breakfasts and evening noshes. Co-owner Markus Ferraro, a former manager at Wine Steals in Hillcrest, describes the new interior design as “Art Deco New York meets European café.” With ingredients sourced locally, the menu includes pancakes made with quark cheese, a French scramble served with ratatouille and a European-style breakfast sandwich constructed with eggs, sage cheddar and a choice of meats. A focused beer selection is also in the offing, along with a wine program built around new selections introduced every Thursday. In addition, custom mimosas based on five different juices are available, along with coffee drinks. 3401 First Ave., 619-501-4715. A major expansion is underway at Urban MO’s Bar & Grill, which is slated for completion by late December. The property will remain open for business during the remodel as private cabanas, additional restrooms and second-floor offices are created. With 1,000 square feet being added to the patio, it will feature both non-smoking and smoking sections, a wrap-around rectangular bar plus new artwork and lighting. Owned by MO’s Universe, which also operates Gossip Grill, Baja Betty’s and Hillcrest Brewing Company, Urban Mo’s already holds the honor from as being one of the “top three LGBT patio bars in the world.” 308 University Ave., 619-491-0400. Much to our surprise and bewilderment, Taste of Italy in Hillcrest has gone poof. Ditto for its Torrey Hills location. The spaces are dark, the phone numbers no longer exist and the web site has disappeared. Taste of Italy in Rancho San Diego, however, remains open although it operates under different ownership. The once-tiny kitchen at Plumeria Vegetarian in University Heights has moved next door into a significantly larger kitchen used by the former American Voodoo restaurant. The adjoining space was taken over entirely by Plumeria, resulting in much-needed additional seating as well. 4661 Park Blvd., 619-269-9989.

Plumeria Vegetarian has expanded (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

The popular family-operated wine bar, Jake’s on 6th, will permanently close on Nov. 15. “We gave it our all in the last six years and my parents are getting ready to retire,” said Jennifer Totah, who helped run the Hillcrest operation with two siblings. “It was a hard decision to close and we’ll definitely miss seeing a lot of familiar faces.” No word yet on who will take over the space. 3755 Sixth Ave

Nancy Daniele of Nunzi’s is moving her café (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) Famous for its house-made Italian entrees and decadent desserts, Nunzi’s in Hillcrest has moved Downtown on Third Avenue, a stone’s throw away from the San Diego Civic Theatre. In doing so, owner Nancy Daniele partnered with her mother within a café she operated for the past 11 years. The new, combined venture has been named Nunzi’s @ Al Teatro Panini Grill. “I moved my baking equipment and I’ll be bringing the flavors of Hillcrest to the new location,” said Daniele, adding that she’ll oversee dinners and Sunday brunch while her mom cooks the meals for breakfast and lunch. 1254 Third Ave. 619-230-1485. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014


(left) “Jamaican Me Crazy” yellow bloody Mary; (above) burger and duck-fat fries with dipping sauces (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

No wet suit


Dining Review Frank Sabatini Jr.


e encountered some rarities during a recent Sunday brunch at Duck Dive in Pacific Beach. There was a bouncer perched at the entrance by 9 a.m., card-checking a festive patronage filtering in as through it was Friday night. Unconventional yellow bloody marys in Mason jars were flying. And the kitchen was cranking out egg skillets containing duck breast and spicy meatloaf instead of the usual ham or bacon. Behind the familiarity of surf décor and sports games blaring from multiple flat screens, Duck Dive defies the tacos-and-Corona archetype of Pacific Beach with gustatory pleasures of a higher order. Named after the surfing maneuver of pointing your board downward to cut through oncoming waves, the establishment features a large central bar, ample seating and retractable windows that suck in the nearby ocean air. A pair of bloody marys made with pureed yellow heirloom tomatoes became our morning kickstart. The novel concoction, called “Jamaican Me Crazy,” recently debuted after Duck Dive’s General Manager Rob McShea grabbed second-place honors for it in a national Food Network competition held at this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival. Thick and pulpy, the recipe sings with the additions of Absolut Citron, agave nectar, Jamaican jerk seasonings and squeezed lemon. In the competition, it was garnished with two jerk-rubbed prawns. Ours came with only one each, perhaps due to their jumbo size or the fact that the drink is priced unpretentiously at $7. Duck Dive’s breakfast-brunch menus are available simultaneously from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on weekends. They offer a mix of snazzy egg dishes, hotcakes, sandwiches and seafood. You’ll also find skinny french fries cooked in duck fat, which didn’t taste much different than those fried in vegetable oil but rather derived their thrills from a trio of dipping sauces that included

Duck Dive

4650 Mission Blvd. (Pacific Beach)

excellent roasted tomato aioli. The buttermilk “monkey cakes” is a three-stack of fluffy bliss topped with fried bananas and draped in a glaze of brown sugar and honey butter. Even if you’re a sugar hound, you won’t need a drop of syrup to advance their sweetness. My companion chose “duck, duck eggs!” from the breakfast menu, terming it as the best skillet breakfast he ever had. “You can taste each individual component opposed to everything meshing together,” he said, referring to the big chunks of seared duck breast enriched by poached eggs, soft goat cheese, pine nuts and hollandaise sauce. The mélange also captured white and sweet potatoes sporting dark, caramelized exteriors. I unleashed my love of burgers on the half-pounder from the brunch list. Though not something I’d normally order in the morning while still bleary-eyed, I was swayed by the inclusion of pimento cheese, tomato relish and garlic aioli. Despite the lack of detectable seasoning in the ground Angus, the burger could potentially fetch Duck Dive another national award if entered into competition. It tasted originally sweet and tangy but without trying too hard. Other morning fare includes veggie omelets, pork belly or meatloaf hash, apple-Gouda sausage wrapped in pancakes and Asianstyle wings fried in duck fat. If you’re rolling in for lunch or dinner, the menu extends to duck-blueberry risotto, Duroc pork loin, Provencal-style roast chicken and more. As with all food and drink establishments in Pacific Beach, the LGBT element is visibly missing — no pride flags, no gay bars — at least not since The Matador and

858-273-3825 Prices: Breakfast and brunch plates, $8 to $14; lunch and dinner items, $8 to $18

Is happy to welcome ACE California Cider Company From Sonoma County

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The Grand operated in the area during the 1980s. But places like Duck Dive, which takes its culinary offerings seriously and provides friendly, knowledgeable wait service, shouldn’t be overlooked for hooting it up over brunch, lunch or dinner. We observed a reasonably diverse crowd, young and laid-back and with a taste for good eats. And perhaps somewhere in the mix, you’ll stumble upon members from the recently formed San Diego Gay Surfers club. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at fsabatini@san.

(above) Monkey cakes; (left) eggs and duck breast skillet (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

2121 Adams Ave., 92116 | 619-269-9152 Reservations at



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014

Michael Arden clangs the cathedral bells as Quasimodo in La Jolla Playhouse’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Photo by Kevin Berne)

Upsetting the status quo Star-studded ‘Hunchback’ premieres in La Jolla

Theater Review Charlene Baldridge Opening night arrived (Nov. 9) with many assurances that the critic — making her way through a pre-curtain crush of revelry, press packet in hand — would love the show. These assurances and the ensuing vociferous response to every

musical number might as well have been accompaniment to football attended by well-dressed fans intent on proving they know the game. The game — the U.S. premiere of a musical based on Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” continuing at La Jolla Playhouse through Dec. 14 — was wellconceived and splendid to watch, ever so much more grand than the pre-game chalk talk led us to believe. However, no matter how

well coached, the players seemed exhausted and at the end of their rope, so to speak. Pun intended. “Hunchback” is produced by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Group in association with Paper Mill Playhouse. The creative roster is rife with big names — composer Alan Menken, who wrote the through-composed score (no spoken dialogue) for both the stage musical and the 1996 Disney film; Stephen Schwartz, lyricist then and now; and Peter Parnell, who provided a new, more adult book, sans the cutesy Gargoyles that plagued the film. Parnell also restores the villainous Frollo (Patrick Page) to his liturgical frock and shocking licentiousness. A 12-member singing/acting ensemble embodies the cathedral flock called Congregants, the gypsies and Parisian citizens. In addition, the work is scored for a chorale — here, the magnificent Sacra/Profana — seated/standing in recessed, elevated stalls at the back of the cathedral. Locally based, they number 32 for each performance. Other musical forces include a fine 14-member orchestra, conducted by Brent-Alan Huffman. Michael Starobin is the orchestrator. Frollo has raised his dead brother’s hunchback child, Quasimodo, whom he terms a monster. Quasimodo (Michael Arden) is locked away from other humans, ensconced for his own safety in

(top) Ciara Reneé as the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda; (bottom) Patrick Page as the evil Frollo (Photos by Kevin Berne) the cathedral tower with the bells that he rings and a cadre of stone friends who listen to and advise him. Frollo visits Quasimodo once a day, bringing communion, fruit and stern admonitions.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Mandell Weiss Theatre La Jolla Playhouse 2910 La Jolla Village Dr. Tuesday-Sunday through Dec. 14 Tickets circa $15-$117 or 858-550-1010 The status quo is forever upset when the boy, on the brink of manhood, leaves the tower and descends to the street where the annual Feast of Fools is under way. Guileless, he is chosen King of Fools and is rescued from his cruel tormentors by a beautiful gypsy named Esmeralda (Ciara Renée). In addition to Quasimodo and Frollo, Esmeralda enchants Phoebus (Andrew Samonsky), the cathedral captain of the guard, setting up a love quadrangle that ends in tragedy. Spurned by Esmeralda, Frollo imprisons her and Phoebus, persecutes the gypsies, and orders their extermination. Archetypal in the extreme,

Frollo epitomizes villainy and lust; Phoebus, gallantry; and Quasimodo, a certain purity and innocence. All worship beauty and goodness as represented by Esmeralda. To a certain extent, so does Clopin (excellent Erik Liberman), King of the Gypsies. Director Scott Schwartz does what he can to make the characters human, and unsurprisingly the audience favorite is Quasimodo. Overall the singing is often nasal, lacking in the rich, more operatic quality that would better suit the music. Dare I point out that quality is possessed by William Michals, who portrays Father Dupin and understudies Frollo? With Stephen Schwartz’s finely turned out lyrics, Menken’s songs, many of them from the film, include “The Bells of Notre Dame,” “Out There,” Sanctuary,” “Hellfire,” “The Court of Miracles,” “Someday,” and “Made of Stone.” The new Entr’acte written for the choir is much admired. The U.S. premiere of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at La Jolla Playhouse runs through Dec. 14, with book by Peter Parnell, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and directed by Scott Schwartz. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979, and has had her features, critiques, surveys and interviews included in various publications ever since. Her book “San Diego, Jewel of the California Coast” (Northland Publishing) is currently available in bookstores. She can be reached at


CAPOTE fortable with it, lived his life out loud and mostly in people’s faces. In a television biography about him, the narrator said, “He wrote some of the best known books of the 20th century, but in the end, he was his own greatest creation. A self-styled celebrity who loved the spotlight.” “It was interesting to have somebody that you can actually study and read about and get in on his thinking, listen to him talk and see his mannerisms,” Blakesley said. “But all I really try to do up there is approximate those and be consistent about it, because what’s really the struggle is to get inside — what’s the heart of the man? What’s driving him? That’s what the real task is.” “Tru,” written by Jay Presson Allen, was originally performed on stage by acclaimed theater, film and television actor Robert Morse in 1989, just five years after Capote’s untimely death at the age of 59. Allen has said she based the script for “Tru” on “the words and works of Truman Capote.” Blakesley said that while studying Capote, he found that Allen clearly sourced Liz Smith columns, interviews Capote did for “In Cold Blood” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” excerpts from his unfinished “Answered Prayers” novel, and from a biography of Capote published two years after he died. “Part of the challenge was understanding the patchwork of ideas and stories that are linked together to make this play,” Blakesley said. “Why did she pull that? Where did that come from?

It’s not always so clear until you get into his life.” The play is set in Capote’s New York City apar tment, located in the United Nations Plaza, on the days leading up to Christmas. It is just months after a chapter from his unfinished novel, “Answered Prayers” ran in Esquire magazine and caused a firestorm in the press and among social circles. The excerpt was rife with fiction based directly on gossip he overheard at “La Cote Basque,” a NYC lunch and dining spot that attracted the elite. The backlash was immediate. “It’s one thing to spread gossip and tell stories,” Blakesley said. “It’s another to put it in print for the entire nation to see.” Morse played Capote to rave reviews on stage. Toby Jones played him in the independent film, “Infamous.” Philip Seymour Hoffman received an Academy Award for his performance in “Capote.” But Blakesley won’t be comparing himself to any of those performances when he takes the Diversionary stage this month. “It’s not about doing an impersonation, it’s not about getting it absolutely exact, because that’s not the issue,” Blakesley said. “The issue is what’s happening to this man at this time in his life? “This is nine years after ‘In Cold Blood,’ three months after the of fending chapter of ‘Answered Prayers’ was published in Esquire, and it’s Christmas, which is a time that has a lot of significance for him,” Blakesley continued. “He’s been kind of shunned by, not all, but a great many of his friends that he would always hang out with, so he’s somewhat alone and

GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014

Todd Blakesley captures the essence of Truman Capote in Diversionary’s “Tru” (Photo by Daren Scott) abandoned. It makes for a really interesting soup for conflict.” Blakesley said the conflicts are all within Capote himself, which are displayed on stage through phone conversations and Capote’s

own bantering with himself, all the while telling anecdotes and funny stories of his life. “That’s what makes it exciting,” he said. Livingston, who is also an ac-


tor, said he is the type of director that he, as an actor, appreciates; one that will seek and value artistic input from his actors, but remains firm with his vision. “I hope the audience walks away feeling that after two days with Truman — Act One takes place on Dec. 23 and Act Two takes place on Dec. 24 — they have a sense of his whole life, and that they feel a great deal of empathy for this titan of American literature, but not as a titan, as a human being. “I also hope they walk away admiring Todd’s ability to create a multi-dimensional character and hold their attention for 90 minutes.” After spending his own life championing LGBT causes, Livingston said he recognizes that Capote was anything but an activist, but feels his stor y is still impor tant. “His open life and his public notoriety [were] part of paving the way for the better life all of us have now,” he said. “When I was 20 and refusing to date men who wouldn’t hold my hand in public, it was because I believed that our cowering was part of what was standing in the way of our achieving rights. Truman, as he says in the play, was ‘always right out there.’ This play gives us a chance to see someone who, despite his flaws, is worthy of examining because in some ways, he was one of our pioneers.” “Tru” begins previews Nov. 20, opens Nov. 29, and runs through Dec. 21. Diversionary Theatre is located at 4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights. For tickets visit or call 619-220-0097. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014

Wedding Guide



GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014 teurs operating multiple ventures — namely Joe Busalacchi, Roberto Vigilucci and Giuseppe Ciuffa. In many cases, the restaurant owners share anecdotes and inspirations pertaining to their businesses while revealing where they came from and when they learned to cook.

(l to r) The author; seafood fettuccine; restaurants, food and history are featured in the book (Photos courtesy Maria Desiderata Montana)

For the love of pasta Little Italy’s culinary history explored on the page By Frank Sabatini Jr.

The time was riper than a midsummer tomato to chronicle the recent explosion of Italian restaurants in San Diego and to frame the history of the long-established ones that still thrive. Locally based author and food blogger Maria Desiderata Montana has done exactly that (and more) in her latest book, “San Diego Italian Food: A Culinary History of Little Italy and Beyond,” published by The History Press. As a first-generation Italian who was born and raised in Spokane, WA, she approached the eightmonth project armed with a family background steeped in enviable culinary traditions. Weekends meant rolling out batches of ravioli with her mother, whom she refers to as “the quintessential Italian wife,” while summers signaled the arrival of fresh vegetables that her father cultivated in their large backyard. She goes on to describe snacking on home-cured meats that were hang drying from the rafters of her uncle’s basement. Her passion for cooking, she recalls, began at 7 years old when helping her mother prepare Christmas Eve dinner at the crack of dawn — hence a collection of favorite recipes from her own kitchen that are included in the book. Desiderata Montana moved to San Diego in 1994 after marrying and attending college in Seattle. She quickly discovered Mona Lisa Italian Foods and Filippi’s Pizza Grotto in Little Italy for buying salted cod, meats and cheeses for holiday meals. “The neighborhood was nowhere near as busy as it is today,”

she said in a recent inter view with San Diego Downtown News, citing that the biggest wave of Italian restaurants opening in Little Italy occurred in the past 10 years, since gentrification to the area began in 1996. A chapter at the beginning of the book is devoted entirely to Little Italy’s fascinating evolution, replete with historical photographs. Readers are taken through periods when the neighborhood became

the center of the tuna industry nearly 100 years ago and to when it disappeared. It progresses to modern day, decades after more than a third of the area was “erased” by the construction of Interstate 5 in the 1970s. As a restaurant guide, the book provides a comprehensive roundup of San Diego’s Italian kitchens, both old and new. It includes everything from revered mom-and-pop places found off the beaten track, such as Antica Trattoria in La Mesa and Andiamo Ristorante Italiano & Bar in the Tierresanta Gateway Mall, to those fueled by reputable restaura-

“I knew going into this [book] that Italians want to laugh, have fun and feed you, and that they don’t necessarily like to be interviewed,” she said. “I think the fact that I’m a first-generation Italian-


American helped the restaurateurs and chefs feel comfortable in speaking to me.” Desiderata Montana expectedly avoided naming her favorite restaurants in the book, but revealed to us some of the standout dishes she encountered along the way. “La Villa in is one of the few Italian restaurants in Little Italy serving farm-to-table cuisine. I love their grilled octopus salad with spicy Calabrese dressing. My parents are from Calabria, so I like spicy Italian food.” She’s also fond of the veal chop Milanese at The Godfather in Clairemont, which opened in 1974 as one of San Diego’s first upscale Italian restaurants. “They offer this amazing dish of veal chop seasoned with Italian bread crumbs, pan-fried and fin finished with besciamella sauce.” As the wellspring of Italian restaurants continues growing in both Little Italy and other San Diego communities, Desider Desiderate Montana takes comfor t in today’s steadfast appreciation of Italian cuisine. “Italian or not, people adore Italian food and culture. More and more restaurants are popping up and people are still waiting in line for over an hour to get a taste of the delicious pizza and pasta dishes at Filippi’s.” —Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at

mo14 c.ds-yaGAY g SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014


Expressive Ar t Workshop: Ever y second Friday of each month, star ting today, this workshop invites all to explore expression through writing, singing, painting, etc. 12:30 – 2 p.m. The Nor th County LGBTQ Resource Center, 510 Nor th Coast Hwy., Oceanside. Visit Live Comedy: Cameron Esposito, seen on “Maron,” “Chelsea Lately,” and more, is touring in support of her comedy album, “Same Sex Symbol.” Appearing for two nights, 9:30 and 11 p.m. $15 in advance/$20 day of show. Legends Comedy Club inside Oaks Bar and Grill at Carlton Oaks Countr y Club, 9200 Inwood Dr., Santee. Visit


Arts and Craft Expo: The San Diego Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and MJ’s Cyclery present this local arts and crafts sale with raffles and more to raise money for the Sisters’ AIDS/Lifecycle team. 7 – 10 p.m. MJ’s Cyclery, 3841 Park Blvd., Hillcrest. Search for the event on Facebook or visit


A Merry Friggin’ Christmas: One of Robin Williams’ last films, this black comedy also features Joel McHale and Candice Bergen. 3:15 p.m. $11. Digital Gym, 2921 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit She She Single’s Soiree: Event for women over 40 to meet and connect. The evening will include interactive games and dancing. 4 – 8 p.m. $50 includes dinner and drinks. Address to private residence in Tierrasanta given after tickets purchased. Visit Live Music: Flamboyant young “rock star” of the classical organ, Cameron Carpenter will make a special appearance for one night only. 7:30 p.m. $25+. Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., Downtown. Visit


Transgender Coming Out Group: Welcoming transgender people in all stages of exploring their gender identity, and their friends, family and loved ones. 7 – 8:30 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit


“Grab a Mic”: Open mic night hosted by singer/actor Sasha Weiss on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Sign ups at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit A Night in Baja: Annual fundraiser to raise money for Corazon de Vida Foundation and help orphans in Baja. $75 in advance/$90 at the door. 6:30 – 9: 30 p.m. Ortega’s: A Mexican Bistro, 141 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit bajanov18. Lesbians Considering Parenting Workshop: Held every third Tuesday of the month, addresses parenting issues and options and is facilitated by Suzann Gage, OB/GYN nurse practitioner, licensed acupuncturist, and nutritionist. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Lesbian Health Clinic at Progressive Health Services, 2141 El Cajon Blvd., University Heights. Visit


Film: The documentary “David Bowie Is” is screening in select theaters around the country. 7 p.m. $15. Landmark Hillcrest, 3965 Fifth Ave., #200, Hillcrest. Visit davidbowieisfilm. FilmOut Screening: “Longtime Companion” — the 25th anniversary of the film, chronicling the emergence and devastation of the AIDS epidemic. 7 p.m., Landmark Cinemas, 3965 Fifth Ave., #200, Hillcrest. $10. Visit LGBT Military Family Support Group: Fourth Tuesday of every month, this support/education group for LGBT active duty service members and their families meets. Open for couples with or without children. 6 – 7:30 p.m. For more information contact Caroline Bender at 619-222-5586 or caroline.bender. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit 


GSDBA Advocacy Committee Meeting: This committee publicly advocates for public policies consistent with GSDBA’s mission and core values. Priorities of premier concern are attaining full business equality for GSDBA members and full equality for LGBT persons. 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. GSDBA Conference Room, 3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 201, Hillcrest. Visit

Art & Wellness Series – A Healing Journey:  Monthly workshop facilitated by Dr. Linda Greischel. This edition’s topic: “Art & Writing as a Pathway of Healing.” 6 p.m. Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd, Barracks 16, Liberty Station. Visit Transgender Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil: Remembering those lost to anti-transgender violence. A vigil march will be followed by a program at The Center. March at 6 p.m., program at 7 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit  Trans* Day of Remembrance: In memory of our transgender brothers and sister that have lost their life due to violence and abuse. Speeches, music and refreshments will be part of this event. 6 – 7:30 p.m. Parking lot of The North County LGBTQ Resource Center, 510 North Coast Hwy., Oceanside. Visit or find the event on Facebook. Film: The documentary “David Bowie Is” is screening in select theaters around the country. 7 p.m. Carmel Mountain 12, 11620 Carmel Mt. Rd., Carmel Mountain and Town Square 14, 4665 Clairemont Dr., Clairemont. Visit davidbowie. com/davidbowieisfilm Live Music: Chantal in “21st Century Edith Piaf” will perform signature songs including “La Vie en Rose.” Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Tickets visit


Movie Night: Children vote on movie selection with snacks and drinks provided at no charge. Attendees are invited to bring comfortable seating and bedding for a casual family movie night. 6 – 8:30 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit 


Live Music: Jazz vocalist Jonathan Karrant performs in the Plaza Bar many Saturday nights. 8 – 11 p.m. Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Ave., Downtown. Visit


Sunday Bust in North County: Ever y Sunday, Hill St. Café turns into a safe space for all LGBT and allies to

gather. Food is vegan-friendly, and they ser ve beer, wine and sake. Fifteen percent of proceeds go to the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. 3 – 9 p.m. at Hill St. Café, 524 S. Coast Hwy, Oceanside. Visit


Open Mondays: One Monday each month Diversionary Theatre hosts unique, free performances. This month brings “Backyard Fruit” written by Andy Corren and directed by Andrew Oswald. Doors at 7 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Visit


16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence: “Exposing Scars: Giving Abused Women a Voice” commemorates International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd, Barracks 16, Liberty Station. Visit


Bitchy Bingo: Hosted by Kiki and Ophelia every Wednesday. Play for goodies and prizes. No cover, food minimum: $15. 7 – 10 p.m. Lips, 3036 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit

THURSDAY, NOV. 27 THANKSGIVING The Princess Bride: Cinema Under the Stars presents the cult favorite fantasy starring Robin Wright and Cary Elwes. 8 p.m. $15. 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. Movie shows all weekend long. For more info visit or call 619-295-4221.  

GOBBLE UP THANKSGIVING DINNER OPTIONS Bertrand at Mister A’s 2550 Fifth Ave., Twelfth Floor, Bankers Hill 12 p.m. – close | $59.50 Known for its wonderful views, Bertrand at Mister A’s is also a hotspot for holiday dining throughout the year. Their Thanksgiving menu comes with choice of appetizer, main course and dessert for a complete lunch or dinner. Reser vations 619-2391377 or online at

Hob Nob Hill 2271 First Ave., Bankers Hill 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. | $22 – 24 The holiday menu at Hob Nob starts with soup or salad and continues with a choice of entrée, which includes a beverage and dessert. You can go with an old-fashioned favorite like roasted turkey paired with dressing and gravy or tr y non-traditional fare like French fried East Coast scallops. Reser vations 619-239-8176, details online at Hotel del Coronado 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. | $110 Buffet dinner in the Del’s oceanfront ballroom will be accompanied by live music. The hotel’s restaurants 1500 OCEAN, Sheerwater, and ENO will also offer seasonal menus on Thanksgiving Day. Reservations 619-5228490 or online at The Prado 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park 1 – 7 p.m. | $54.95 The three course options at The Prado include dishes inspired by the season, plus a special children’s menu. Several of the Cohn Restaurant Group’s other restaurants also have special Thanksgiving dinners including Island Prime/C Level on Harbor Island for the same price. Reservations 619-557-9441. Details The US Grant 326 Broadway, Downtown 12:15 – 4:15 p.m. | $87 The Grant’s buffet will include live entertainment and complimentary valet parking. The Grant Grill will also serve a holiday dinner with roasted turkey entrée from 4 – 9 p.m. Reservations 619-744-2039. Details The Westgate Hotel 1055 Second Ave., Downtown 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. | $62 / $69 This posh hotel has two dining options for Thanksgiving. The Westgate Room will be serving a gourmet four-course dinner, while for a few more dollars you can get the traditional all-day buffet in Le Fontainebleau Room. Consider booking a room for when the tryptophan kicks in. Reservations 619-238-1818 or online at —Email calendar items to Morgan@sdcnn.comt


AN APPLE FOR ADAM AND STEVE Across 1 Use your lips unfaithfully 5 Endora portrayer 10 Biters of Marc Antony’s girlfriend 14 “I” of Socrates 15 Belief summary 16 One way to cook fruit 17 Crude dude 18 Bitch and moan 19 Mandlikova of tennis 20 With 22-Across, statement by 56-Across 22 See 20-Across 24 Recesses for Rev. Piazza 26 Skye on screens 27 54-Across counts his orientation to be among these (with 45-Across and 51-Across) 31 St. Louis clock setting 34 “Holy smoke!” at Beth Simchat Torah 35 Baseball’s Babe 36 Paddle

37 Hairy copiers 38 Voyeurs, e.g. 40 Home, to Glenn Burke 41 Essen article 42 Where to look, in “Misty” 43 Anne of “Volcano” 44 Big initials in fashion 45 See 27-Across 48 Like the 13 Amer. colonies 50 Rimbaud’s room 51 See 27-Across 54 Apple CEO who just came out 58 Garfield’s partner 59 Flat singer of the Chipmunks 61 Brick oven 62 Fruit cover 63 Perineum, in slang 64 Foundation for Humanity name 65 Quiche ingredients 66 Gather up 67 Unit of force

solution on page 16 Down 1 Netanyahu, from the land of the cut 2 Weaving machine 3 Lying on 4 Shooting off in the artillery corps 5 Point a finger at 6 First-class 7 St. of Liberace Museum 8 Cut 9 Stars of the Gay Men’s Chorus 10 Washed-out 11 Western wagon 12 Elizabeth of “Transamerica” 13 Go to and fro 21 “Aida,” to Gomer? 23 Threesome answer to “Which one?” 25 “The ___ of San Francisco” (’70s TV show) 27 Sycophant 28 Plugs, plugs, plugs 29 “Are you out of your ___ mind?” 30 Where to find It. 32 Younger daughter of Michelle

33 Family diagrams 38 Some palm markings 39 Band that recorded “Unbelievable” 40 Adorned 42 Gomer’s “anti” 43 Celeste of “All About Eve” 46 Bedding fabrics 47 Tiny flashes 49 Actor Robert and family 51 “Myra Breckinridge” writer Vidal 52 Ginsberg’s “Gotcha” 53 Jack of old Westerns 55 Like some lubes 56 “Brothers & Sisters” producer Ken 57 You may go down on one 60 Caesar’s way

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Studio Europa, a San Diego-based European cabinetry and custom woodworking business, recently opened their new LEICHT showroom in the heart of Little Italy’s design district. The new showroom features several kitchen displays showcasing LEICHT’s latest European-inspired offerings. Product samples are also available to help clients see the endless design possibilities for the entire home. LEICHT is known around the globe for its modern design sensibility, exceptional quality cabinetry, and cutting-edge technology. With a range of 51 styles, over 2,000 colors, and nine price points, LEICHT offers design flexibility to fit any floor plan, layout and style. Stop by the LEICHT showroom and see why LEICHT is the leading premium kitchen brand in Germany and Switzerland today, and is the fastest growing premium kitchen brand in the US. Showroom hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday by appointment. Learn more about LEICHT at their website.

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(800) 217-3942 A Place for Mom is the nation’s largest senior living referral information service. We do not own, operate, endorse or recommend any senior living community. We are paid by partner communities, so our services are completely free to families.

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3487 Kurtz St. 3610 Barnett Ave. 1155 Garnet Ave. 3203 Hancock St. 1018 Rosecrans 2820 Lytton St. 3606 Midway Dr. 4876 Santa Monica Ave. 4765 Voltaire Ave. 5400 Remington Rd. 6321 University Ave. 4531 59th St. 5987 El Cajon Blvd. 2633 Denver St. 414 N. Coast Hwy. 101 128 W. E St. 434 N. Coast Hwy. 101 510 N. Coast Hwy. 101 333 S. Twin Oaks. 510 N. Coast Hwy. 524 S.Coast Hwy. 510 N. Coast Hwy. 7520 Mesa College 8993 Mira Mesa Blvd. 1157 Sweetwater Rd.





GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014



by a program back at The Center at 7 p.m. Maddocks invites the entire community to join in the event, and to come hear from the speakers, who will discuss what the day means to them. They will also read the names of those whose lives have been lost since last year’s memorial. Even after 16 years, Maddocks said the event is still crucial to the transgender community. “I have been part of this event for 10 years now and ever y year I hope against hope that the next year we will see fewer names on the list, but ever y year it seems to grow bigger,” he said. “There are over 168 names now on the list, [that’s 168 nationwide] transgender people who have been killed in just the last 12 months. “We are fortunate here in San Diego that this has not been a place of horrible violence for my community, but I feel frustrated and deeply saddened that we don’t have an answer to how to stop it happening in other cities around the world,” Maddocks said. Indeed, violence against the transgender community contin-

ues to happen on a daily basis around the globe. In a recent interview with LogoTV, transgender actress Laverne Cox mentioned how a fear of violence can warp young transgender people’s development and sense of self. “Many times during my transition I would wake up and be in fear of leaving my apartment,” Cox said. “I would ask myself, is this the day someone is going to have a problem with me and I’m going to lose my life?” Maddocks agreed and said the event is always an emotional experience for him. “When I hear about each person lost to anti-transgender violence it makes me realize how much work we need to continue to do to raise awareness about my community,” Maddocks said. “We need to share who we really are and wipe out the stereotypes and misinformation about transgender people in general. There is so much sadness at this event, for the wonderful people we lost, for those who have lost a brother, sister, daughter, son, or friend. And it is all due to senseless violence against people who only want to live their true, authentic lives.” The annual Transgender Day of Remembrance event, which Maddocks said is held to raise

awareness of the violence that is still happening all over the world, also helps people outside of the transgender community understand the needs of trans people and become allies. With that, Maddocks encourages ever yone, transgender or not, to attend the event, to remember, reflect, and learn. “Until we all stop being passive bystanders and instead become people who will stand up and help stop the senseless murder of any innocent person, we cannot change the world,” Maddocks said. Community members are invited to gather at The Center, 3909 Centre St. in Hillcrest, at 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20 for the march and vigil which will take place around the streets of Hillcrest. The marchers will then meet back at The Center for a 7 p.m. program. The transgender flag will also fly on the Hillcrest Pride Flag pole that day. For more information, search for the Facebook the Transgender Day of Remembrance event page or contact Maddocks at 619-6922077 ext. 109, or email trans@ —George Vernon is a local freelance writer. He can be reached at t

(from top) Signs from the TDOR on display at The Center; Connor Maddocks, organizer of the event, lights candles (Courtesy San Diego LGBT Center)




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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014



URBANMOS guests can look out from — much different from the 1990s when we first opened,” Shaw said. In 2011, the restaurant undertook its first renovation since the name change, ushering in new flooring, street-side seating with sliding garage-door style windows along University Avenue, a floor-to-ceiling door to separate the patio from the restaurant, and new tables and other furnishings, as well as new sidewalks and landscaping. Current construction has already knocked down the eastern walls of the patio and demolished the existing patio bar. What were formerly five parking spaces on the MO’s side of the alley adjacent to Peet’s Coffee and Tea have also been torn up, and four will soon be part of the property’s expansion. A larger, rectangular bar will grace the new patio area, becoming the focal point and offering patrons seating on every side. Additional outdoor seating and cabanas will also be installed, as well as a urinal-only men’s bathroom to service the space. Patio guests have always had to trek to the other side of the restaurant to use “the facilities” or opt for seasonal “porta potties” installed by staff during the winter months. A separate smoking area on the alley side of the patio will also be established, allowing non-smokers to eat comfortably and enjoy the new patio in a smoke-free environment, while still offering tables and space for smokers, too. In addition to the expanded patio, the property’s main building will be outfitted with a partial second story, which will house new office spaces and act as the company’s headquarters. Parking issues have always been on the forefront of Shaw’s mind, considering the shrinking options with ongoing development in the area and shifting changes to Uptown’s bike and parking plans over recent years. Shaw said by next spring, the lot next to MO’s, which runs from the alley to Third Avenue, where a residence and offices spaces currently reside, will be leveled and paved with 15 pay parking spots. Those added to the eight recently installed there when a garage was removed will bring the total number to 23. Hillcrest Partners LLC will manage the lot. “It was important to make parking a priority due to the potential loss of 51 parking spaces on the east end under the SANDAG Bike Plan,” Shaw said. “A group of business owners including myself met with the Mayor’s office, SANDAG, and [Council President] Todd Gloria’s staff to express our 100 percent support behind the Transforming Hillcrest plan, as it currently stands, including the oneway zone which may impact my business, Urban MO’s. “I understand there may be some changes after engineers take a solid look at the pro-

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The expansion will add 1,000 square feet to Urban MO's patio; the original patio bar shown mid-demolished. (Courtesy MO’s Universe) posal, which reduces the loss to 15 spaces in east Hillcrest,” Shaw continued. “However, the potential loss of up to 91 parking spaces is ver y unacceptable. No community can sustain a loss of that magnitude. I’m confident that our expansion, which includes 23 new parking spaces in addition to the spaces the Frost Plan has saved is win-win for ever yone.”

Crews prep patio bar for demo (Courtesy MO’s Universe)

Shaw also recently announced he’d signed a new 25-year lease on the property, and stated that the expansion “marks an investment” in the company. The lease had previously been reported as 20 years, but Shaw said with the construction for both expansion and the additional parking, he opted for five more years. Gossip Grill, another “planet” in MO’s Universe, also expanded earlier this year. The popular women’s restaurant and bar nearly tripled its footprint

after moving from its previous location of nearly five years at the corner of Normal Street and University Avenue to a new space a few blocks west, near the corner of University and Vermont avenues. The move has already proved to be a great success for the company. Matt Ramon, who started working for Shaw as a host at Hamburger Mary’s 23 years ago, worked his way up to bar back and bartender, and has been Urban MO’s general manager and coowner for five years. “It’s really great to be creating a space that will offer another 25 more years of adventures and memories for the LGBT community,” Ramon said during a phone interview. Ramon gave a few glimpses into what patrons can expect from the new patio, explaining how open the new space will be from all sides. He said plans call for a new wooden ceiling with a roof structure sturdy enough to protect from rain, but high enough to allow any seat at the new bar a view to the streets of Hillcrest from any angle. He said the open-air aspect of the new dining and drinking area will not only create a better atmosphere and allow more interaction with the outside community, it will give the space more of a “true patio feeling.” “We are signaling the broader foundational changes the brand is making to evolve the guest experience for our local community, while also planning for the future,” stated Eddie Reynoso, the company’s marketing and public relations director, in the press release. Some other recent changes

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Reynoso said that have taken place in recent years include a new, simplified food menu that puts more focus on quality significant upgrades to the sound and lighting systems, new approaches to ser vice, and even a new web redesign. The new website, recently unveiled at, is offering

updates of the construction process, so the community can follow along and feel involved. Reynoso said they encourage patrons to come take their own photos and share updates on social media using the hashtag, #MOsExpansion. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at










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GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014



Festival and Parade highlights Nov. 7 – 9, 2014 (Photos by


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014

Sporting ‘gifts’ on birthday and holidays Dugout Chatter Jeff Praught Football weekend in New Orleans I had the pleasure of spending my recent birthday in New Orleans, where I joined 11 friends for a crazy three-day weekend that included attending the 49ers-Saints game at the Superdome. I wanted to give the city and its fans major props for the way they welcome guests into their town. Everyone is friendly to visitors donning enemy jerseys. Walking down the wild French Quarter on Bourbon Street, we were clad in our red and gold 49er gear — many of my friends are Chargers fans who wore the team colors just to be supportive — and locals high-fived us in welcoming us to their city. After the 49ers won a heartstopping 27-24 game in overtime (a great birthday gift indeed), Saints fans were very respectful leaving the stadium, something that is not usually true at other venues. We were repeatedly congratulated for a hardfought victory. Wearing our jerseys to the bars after the game proved to be a great conversation starter. 49ers fans traveled well, as both the city and the stadium saw scores of San Francisco fans in town. Two years ago, much of the same group traveled to New Orleans for the Chargers game, and the atmosphere was the same. It will always be a special feeling to support the city that was knocked to its knees by the devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and seeing how it bounced back in recovery is remarkable. The Chargers likely will not visit The Big Easy until 2020, but if you get a chance to take a trip there for a football game, we highly recommend doing so. Fireballs to invade Florida I will be enjoying the pleasure of taking the Flicks Fireballs, the team I coach in the D Division of America’s Finest City Softball League (AFCSL), to Ft. Lauderdale over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The city will be hosting its annual Hurricane Showdown, one of the most popular travel tournaments in the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association (NAGAAA) circuit every year. What makes this trip stand out is the tournament rarely gets teams from west of the Mississippi River to make the trek, due to the holiday and the expense. But our boys are set to fly out on Thanksgiving Day, enjoy the tournament parties and compete over that weekend. Win or lose, everyone is sure to know who the Flicks Fireballs are by the end of the Hurricane Showdown. To help raise money for the travel expenses, the team is hosting two fundraisers this weekend (Nov. 15 and 16). There will be a Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament beginning at 12:30 p.m. at Flicks (1017 University Ave. in Hillcrest) on Saturday, with great prizes available. The team is also selling jello shots at The Hole (2820 Lytton St. in Pt. Loma) on Sunday afternoon. Changes in softball player ratings This spring, the Open Division of AFCSL will join LGBT leagues across the country in a major transformation of the 2015 season. Traditionally, members of the mostly-male division have been assigned individual ratings that de-

Jeffrey "Grandma" Lyman (Courtesy Flicks Fireballs)

team, allowing the division to expand from three to four teams. I joined this division when it had eight teams, and it is always more fun to have a more diverse schedule. The scrambling to replace

49er fan Praught captured among a sea of Saints fans termine the level of competition each one is permitted to play. This means beginners or lower skill levels (D Division) may play in any division with a team that will have them on its roster. Conversely, advanced players (B or A) are not allowed to play “down” in the C (intermediate) or D divisions, for both competitive and safety reasons; nobody wants a hard-hitting slugger smashing balls at beginners who have not learned how to defend themselves yet. The rating system is not new, but the individual rating thresholds for what constitutes each level for a player have changed. Last winter, delegates from the NAGAAA voted to lower the D cap to a rating of 10, down from 11. They also lowered the B cap from 22 to 19, a dramatic and controversial change taken to spur growth of the disappearing A division. C was left unchanged,

(Photo by Courtney Ray)

until this year’s summer meeting at the NAGAAA World Series in Dallas, where C’s cap was lowered by one point to 14. What this means is that all players who were once 11s or 15s — seemingly the best of their respective divisions — are now forced to find new teams in a higher division. A few dozen players are affected by the rule changes, but the C division has been rocked the hardest here in San Diego. The Flicks Lawmen, who have won the division three years in a row, lost three of their best players. The Hillcrest Brewing Company Outlaws, arguably San Diego’s most successful tournament team over the years, lost enough players that it elected to break up. The C Division race surely will be strange without the annual Lawmen-Outlaws battle. Hopefully the changes, controversial though they may be, will result in the formation of another B


“bumped up” players has already begun among teams hoping to capture a World Series berth in 2015. New players are always welcome in to the league, and are required to attend a player clinic once the calendar turns to January. But with teams competing for pick-up players already, new players may want to make themselves known to the league now. The spring season begins in mid-March and runs into June, with at least 20 games on each team’s schedule. To get added to the league e-mail list, visit and create an account. —Jeff Praught is actively involved in the LGBT sports community, having participated in softball, basketball, football and pool as a player, serving on AFCSL’s board, and currently serving as the commissioner of SD Hoops. He can be reached at dugoutchatter@


GAY SAN DIEGO Nov. 14–27, 2014

Gay San Diego - November 14, 2014  
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