Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014


Let’s Stop Making Fun of Kwanzaa

by Jazmine Hughes Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, queens, have made this informational video on Kwanzaa, the redheaded stepchild of December holidays. “So Kwanzaa only looks crazy because there are still people alive who know the dude who made it up, and because he looks like he’s playing Old Rick Ross in a Jay Z biopic?” Exactly. 2 Comments

Queering The Canon: An Interview With Sarah Waters

by Koa Beck Sarah Waters is a woman of our year for single-handedly expanding the queer canon—and making it look easy. The Welsh author of notable queer classics like Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith has penned a total of five historical fiction novels. Her newest work, The Paying Guests, takes readers to 1922 London. A widower and her 26-year-old daughter, Frances Wray, are newly renting out their home to a married couple, Lillian and Leonard Barber. Lillian and Frances’s close friendship soon blossoms into a secret romance that must beRead More

@MonicaHeisey On Being Truthful In Jokes And Discussing Twitter In Person

by Jenny Nelson Monica Heisey (@monicaheisey) is a writer and comedian from Toronto who has written for publications including The Hairpin, VICE, Gawker, The Toast, Rookie, Playboy, and more. Her upcoming collection of humor essays, short stories, drawings, and poems, entitled I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better, comes out in Spring 2015. Recently Heisey told me about three of her favorite tweets, and we talked about what you get from reading jokes, the British MP named Ed Balls, and how much she dreads talking about the Internet in person. “wherever, whenever,Read More

“Doing Whatever it Takes to Be the Better Man” | BANG RADIO! Ep 105

We all know how to do what is necessary to be alive, live happy get by; but very few of us do whatever it takes to be the better man.  That is why I have the friends that I have. It is this connection that gives me the opportunity to do whatever it takes to be the better man. One of those people is my buddy Dave…   Dave is somewhat of a mentor of mine, but not in the sense of how most people look at mentors.   Dave isRead More

“Whatever it Takes to Be the Better Man” | BANG RADIO! Ep 105

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Low-Calorie Recipes from the January/February 2015 Issue of EatingWell

Ring in the new year with low-calorie recipes from our new issue. Enjoy veggie-packed soups, slimmed-down Southern favorites, easy oatmeal recipes, tasty meatballs and more. Don’t miss <a href=”node/284670″>Orange-&-Pistachio Crusted Pork Tenderloin</a>, <a href=”node/284679″>Broiled Ginger-Lime Chicken</a>, <a href=”node/284678″>Fish with Coconut-Shallot Sauce</a>, <a href=”node/284680″>Bananas Foster</a> and more delicious low-calorie recipes. <strong><a href=”http://www.eatingwell.com/free_downloads/low_calorie_dinner_recipes”>Download a Free Cookbook of Low-Calorie Dinner Recipes!</a></strong></p> Orange-&-Pistachio Crusted Pork Tenderloin Broiled Ginger-Lime Chicken Fish with Coconut-Shallot Sauce Jason Mraz’s Avocado Green Smoothie Green Salad with Tropical Fruit Sautéed Snapper & Shrimp with Creole Sauce Bananas Foster Singapore-Style ChickenRead More

Humiliating to Heartwarming

Aisha Tyler is making the TV rounds promoting her newest book, Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation. The book is a collection of Tyler’s comic essays about humiliating incidents she’s endured and the lessons she’s learned about embracing failure on the road to success. The book is bound to be pure hilarity because Tyler is phenomenally funny and epically talented as both a writer and a comedian. These days, she can be seen regularly as host on the latest incarnation of Whose Line is it Anyway where her quick wit is essential, butRead More

Seeking Arrangements: An Interview with Parinda Wanitwat

by Alana Massey Parinda Wanitwat is the first-time director and producer of Daddies Date Babies, a documentary that explores the dynamics between sugar daddies and the women who date them. Wanitwat became interested in the subject when a friend suggested the website SeekingArrangement.com to her after she lost her phone and could not afford a new one, saying there were men on the site looking for young women to spoil in exchange for sex. Though she ultimately decided against a relationship, she noticed that the media about “sugar dating” isRead More

5 Intimate Places to Hear Live Music in NYC

New York City is home to some of the world’s most famous music venues—Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts—but there’s more to the city’s music scene than huge rooms filled with hundreds of seats. And while there are plenty of midsize concert spaces, too (Bowery Ballroom, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Irving Plaza, Mercury Lounge, Music Hall of Williamsburg, and many more), there are several smaller, more intimate, under-the-radar spots that shouldn’t be overlooked. Enjoy a surprisingly diverse array of live performances at these five charming venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn that are amongst our very favorites (and soon, hopefully, yours, too).

Café Carlyle

Tucked away inside The Carlyle on the Upper East Side, Café Carlyle is arguably the city’s preeminent cabaret lounge. Opened in 1955, the space seats up to 90 for dinner and musical performances. The lineup might include Broadway headliners like Sutton Fosters, songwriting legends such as Judy Collins, old-style crooners like Michael Feinstein, and even Woody Allen, who regularly plays clarinet here with the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band. (Café Carlyle was also a regular performing spot for the late, great Elaine Stritch, who called The Carlyle home for many years.) Evoking a bygone era of Manhattan sophistication, the room features music-themed wall murals by Marcel Vertès, white-tablecloth-topped tables with small lamps, and an almost magical ambiance that will transport you to another decade.

St. Mazie

Hidden away on an unglamorous Williamsburg block near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, St. Mazie is an elegant throwback to the ’30s and ’40s, in terms of decor, drinks, and musical programming. The beautifully adorned space is filled with salvaged wood; subway tiles; a massive, vintage refrigerator that sits behind the bar; and a small stage where performers play a wide variety of songs that hail largely from the first half of the 20th century. Depending on the night, you might hear jazz, swing, blues, ragtime, or even flamenco from musicians who are all experts in their respective genres. St. Mazie is first and foremost a bar and supper club, so thankfully there’s no extra charge to enjoy the music. On weekends, brunch is served from 11 am to 4 pm, though usually without musical accompaniment; however, the last Sunday of every month features a gumbo brunch with live swing and jazz from 1–4 pm.

Joe’s Pub

Housed inside The Public Theater in Manhattan’s East Village, Joe’s Pub is a leader in the downtown arts scene, hosting an eclectic lineup of musicians and performance artists every night of the week. Opened in 1998, the intimate space completed a top-to-bottom renovation in 2011, improving sightlines, expanding seating capacity, and offering a new menu from celebrated chef Andrew Carmellini. Performers run the gamut here from Broadway superstars (Sutton Foster, Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara) to rising stage actors (Benjamin Walker, Stephen Pasquale); from cabaret legends (Sandra Bernhard, Justin Vivian Bond) to pop superstars (Lady Gaga, Adele); and from performance artists (Taylor Mac) to living musical legends (David Byrne, Elvis Costello). Simply put, it’s one of the finest places to see a performance in the entire city, and the convivial atmosphere (seating is communal) lends itself to the feeling that you’re taking part in something special at every show.


Named after a neighborhood in northern Paris, Barbès is one of the city’s smallest yet most exciting music venues. Located in the quiet confines of Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood, this tiny bar-cum-concert space spotlights a thrilling roster of performers from around the world. Tuesday nights bring the Slavic Soul Party, featuring a nine-piece Balkan brass band, while Wednesdays belong to the Afro-rock sounds of the Mandingo Ambassadors. Barbès also hosts readings and film screenings, while other musical acts might include a Mexican band playing traditional circus music, or an act that plays blues from 1920s Greece. It may not be the most comfortable listening experience—the small back room where performances take places can get loud, crowded, and hot—but it’s all part of the experience here, and it certainly doesn’t dissuade local loyalists from showing up week after week.

Pete’s Candy Store

Formerly a local luncheonette (and, yes, a candy store), Pete’s Candy Store is now a popular watering hole for Williamsburg locals who show up for better-than-they-need-to-be cocktails, lively atmosphere, a spacious backyard that’s open year-round (though not heated in winter), and free nightly entertainment that most often includes musical performances. (There’s also a weekly trivia night on Wednesdays, a reading series every other Thursday, and an adult spelling bee the first Monday of every month.) The venue’s owner is a set designer, a fact charmingly reflected in the decision to make the narrow performance room look like a boxcar, with a jewel-box stage ringed by lightbulbs at the front. On nights with live music, multiple up-and-coming acts (playing a wide range of musical styles) perform in the small room, which holds no more than a couple of dozen listeners at a time. Feeling inspired? There are also open-mic nights every Sunday.

10 Awe-Inspiring Christmas Trees Across the U.S.

There’s no better place to celebrate Christmas than by the side of a festively trimmed and glowing evergreen. The tradition of decorating and transforming trees into holiday works of art dates back to 16th-century Germany. Since then, advances …