Nothing like a little controversy, every now and then, in the letter to keep things interesting. You may have read about what went down with chocolatiers, The Mast Brothers recently, or maybe you didn’t. Here’s a refresh. Basically they got accused in the media of using someone else’s chocolate in their recipes when they first started. The fact is they admitted to this way back when they were doing it, but it stirred up some drama from the chocolate community (who apparently are all a bunch of bitches) about the overall quality of the Mast Brother’s chocolate. A lot of experts were saying that the brand’s chocolate is not that great and their success is more about style (they have beautiful labels) over substance. On Friday, February 12, we offer you the chance to taste the chocolate for yourself and decide whether you think they’re worth $10 a bar. The Strand Bookstore on Broadway are hosting the brothers for a chocolate tasting. “Experts from our friends at Mast Brothers will be on our store’s main floor to pass out samples, talk about their different varieties, and answer any questions you may have about the chocolate.” Hold your judgement until you try it. But once you have head to our FB page and let us know what you think. Keep it real bitch!
Abi and I used to love eating at Jin Sushi, this crazy cheap “Asian” restaurant on Broome St. when we didn’t know any better. They had this happy hour where every dish was $3 and drinks were $4. It was heaven for winos like us. Sadly Jin moved down the street (to a smaller space) but what has opened in its place has us just as excited. Called The Lucky Bee, it’s a Thai restaurant with a focus on farm to table food. The head chef Matty Bennett was recently at Fat Radish which is known for it’s high quality veggie dishes. He’s running the restaurant with his husband, Rupert Noffs, who also happens to be Australian (like me!). The space has been transformed from the Jin Sushi days, there’s splashes of bright color across the walls, hanging plants everywhere and all kinds of south-east Asian produce piled attractively across the bar. Rupert was kind enough to offer us two of their signature cocktails with our meals. He is not a fan of simple syrup (which is just sugar and water) so instead uses honey in all his drinks. Why other places don’t use honey is a mystery — you lose no sweetness but gain so much complexity. The stand out dishes on the menu are the organic chicken in coconut broth with fresh veggies, and also the smashed cucumber salad. The pork dumplings also looked cunt. We can’t wait to go back and try the rest of the offerings. It’s a wonderful edition to Broome St. even if the cocktails aren’t $4.
After completely selling out the first edition of his intimate debut book, Keim, which means “Seed” or “Germ” in German, Matt Lambert is back with a second edition. This new edition of the book comes with a black sleeve which conceals a photo on the front and back covers. The design is simple yet eye-catching, it makes you wonder what lies beneath the surface. The photographs are printed on thick paper that give them a matte finish, most fill up a single page but others take up two pages. Shot mostly in Berlin, the pictures of pretty thin boys range from raunchy to tender. One of my favorites, which is more risqué, is of a pale boy feeding his erect penis into a fake tigers mouth full of sharp teeth, ouch!
Keim is more than just a beautiful collection of photographs depicting modern love, sex, and youth. It is provocative yet modest, arresting at times, and comforting at others — Lambert has the rare talent of being able to create photographs that are versatile. Two of his other strengths are his evocative use of color and his strong compositions. With a book, short film, and stunning projects commissioned by Gucci, Marc Jacobs and Paper Magazine under his belt, we can’s wait to see what Lambert does next.
Below are a few of the best images from the book…
This weekly party started out as Hair (we mentioned it when it began), then it was Sissy, now it’s Cissy, I can’t think of a better group of names for a party to go through. Dream, who’s one of the hosts of the party says, “I started calling it sissy because I wanted to play with language that had been used to hurt queers in the past, and reclaim it, and because even then I identified as a non-binary queer with serious femme leanings, cissy seemed right...and then as I started being more open about identifying as a trans woman. Cissy, is a joke about people who are/will never be cisgender, and play even further with those ideas.” Good for you Dream, it’s a great thing to be open about who you are. It’s 2016, it really is the year to say bye bye to those who don’t get us. It’s all about the gender spectrum, anything else just sounds boring. One last thing, I heard there’s a BK queen who’s been saying GAYLETTER doesn’t cover queer events in Brooklyn, yo what’s good? I’d recommend you go to the GAYLETTER archive and have a look at all the BK events we’ve featured before in the past years you come for us, k?
The entertainer serves the elderly good tunes and great joy
I come from a pretty stereotypically homosexual background. I have no problem admitting I was in choir in high school. Why would I deny that? Performing and making people smile is cunt. Every Christmas season we would bus out to a center for the elderly and sing them Christmas tunes. I remember in two instances the same woman in the back of the room spent the entirety of our performances sobbing tears of joy (We checked to make sure we hadn’t triggered something awful). Were we that good? Probably not. But I think music and youth evoked something in her that only made itself apparent once in a while. Nevertheless, watching her cry while we sang “Holly Jolly Christmas” was unusual, to say the least. But each year all of us left the performance feeling uplifted — like maybe what we were doing mattered.
This is why people like Little Rickey are so refreshing to see. Rickey Josey, or Little Rickey, is a singer, dancer and all around performer based out of the greater Atlanta, Georgia area who is known for entertaining the elderly. For Rickey, performing is more than just aesthetics. “I don’t get hung up on if, you know, I mess up, or I didn’t get that quite right. That’s not all I am! I am doing all of it. The look, the dancing, the singing, and being nice to people — which don’t cost you nothing! This lady told me once when I was singing at the Underground — ‘Rickey, Rickey, Rickey. …
The new Ryan Murphy directed series about the murder, trial of O.J. Simpson that premiered Tuesday night on FX, plays right into a certain demographic’s 90’s nostalgia perfectly. That demographic (I was 14 when his trial took place) will find great pleasure in reliving one of the strangest celebrity trials of the last 30 years. OJ Simpson’s trial for the murder of ex-wife Nicole Brown and her lover Ron Goldman was BIG news. I grew up in Australia (all the way down there) and still we were bombarded through TV and Radio with every twist and turn in the case. The series features Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J., John Travolta (hi queen) as O.J.’s lawyer Robert Shapiro, David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, Sarah Paulson as prosecutor Marcia Clark and Selma Blair as Kris Kardashian and from the first episode it is full of drama and plenty of 90’s fashion (hello big cellphones and big suits!) This series manages to be both suspenseful and completely camp. If we weren’t in the midst of a never-ending Kardashian koma, I doubt the family would be featured so heavily in the storyline, but whatever, of course they were a part of the largest tabloid story of the 90s. After watching the first intense episode I have to admit, I’m thirsty for more. Remember the 90s, I sure do!
I love that almost every letter in 2016 so far has featured a new party. We heard from Dream about this new one. “I’m throwing a new party with Katie Rex at Alphaville in Bushwick. It’s called Software and it’s an all-femme lineup, which I think is sort of unprecedented and super important in the Brooklyn queer scene — NYC’s queer scene is still primarily dominated by cis white men…” Dream told me that Katie is one of her favorite DJs in NYC, who also runs the all-girl collective Factory Girls. “We both love being girly and dancing to techno, so throwing an all-femme party together seemed obvious. Katie and I both identify as female and primarily work in the gay scene, so we wanted to throw a party by gurls, for everyone.” I’m so glad that Dream is so good at writing a party description, let me just do one more last quote: “This party is to remind them [people] that the girls know how to turn it out — and look amazing while doing it. The name Software perfectly embodies this, juxtaposing our soft femininity with our mastery of technology, making you sweat on the dance floor…” DJs for the night are Serena Jara, Katie rex, Suga Shay, Umfang and Dream gurl herself. Performances by Slater G. String and Momo Shade. Girl power, get it girls!
Judith Bernstein is a feminist artist whose work can be seen in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art. She is “best known for her erotic drawings and graffiti art. During the beginning of the feminist art movement, Bernstein was a founding member of the cooperative feminist A.I.R. Gallery in New York.” Mary Boone gallery in Chelsea is showing some of her drawings of giant screws that also look like big, hard, black dicks. They’re very interesting to look at. The gallery has been showing this work since Jan 9, in an exhibition titled Dicks Of Death. It’s curated by Piper Marshall, a young, and very stylish, curator who has been featured in W and Vogue magazine and sort of looks like a 1970s styled Amy Adams. The term “Dicks of Death,” is a “Marine nickname for the processed beef franks included with beans, is so termed for its foul taste and similarity in appearance to male genitalia. The offensively flavored and phallic shaped food is Government Issue, served to soldiers in ready-to-eat rations. Bernstein lifts this term to zero-in on the war-time phallus and to show us how aggression and patriotism is institutionally packaged to fuel political conflict.” Check out the show before it closes in a couple of weeks. Those dick screws along with the other phallic artworks are very Instagrammable.