GAYLETTERGAYLETTER

Tuesday 03.31.15

BABY TEA :: SAT 3/28

An event presented by Dauphine of Bushwick & Cafe Dancer

Saturday 03.28.15

THE MAN BEHIND BEST BARBER

We visited the new babershop in Hells Kitchen to get our hair did

DSCF7370a_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

A few weeks ago, we went to visit a new barbershop Best Barber that recently opened on February 3rd in Hells Kitchen, NYC. We didn’t go for makeovers or anything like that, we just wanted to refresh our looks (we both needed an update). The mission of this new barbershop is “to elevate the entire barbershop experience to one befitting a modern person.”  We are always looking to be elevated and we love being modern, especially when it comes to beauty (we gotta stay fresh.) We didn’t know what to expect of the place, but when we arrived we were very impressed. The interior of Best Barber is exactly what we like when it comes to a barbershop, it’s clean, modern, minimalist, with lots of white and just the right amount of design details. We met the shop’s owner Boswell Scot, who also cuts hair at the salon.

 

We each sat down with Boswell for a quick consultation before our haircuts. We told him about our major problems with our hair and all the obstacles that we face in our every day lives simply because of our hair. Just kidding! We had very casual conversation about our hair. We were offered champagne, a detail that also confirmed that we were right at home.

 

DSCF7281_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

 

DSCF7330_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

Tom got his haircut first, he sat down on the chair chatting away saying how he wanted his hair, while I was peeking around enjoying my drink…

 

DSCF7201_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7246_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7208_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

 

DSCF7253_BestBarber_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7249_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7231_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

Boswell turned that hair cut out. Then it was time for my haircut, I looked a mess, my hair really needed some help…

 

 

DSCF7267_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7288_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7294_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7293_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7212_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7352_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

Yes, he made my hair cunt too!

 

 

DSCF7338_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

They carry Malin +Goetz which has my favorite hair products, I’ve been using them for a while now.

 

DSCF7220_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7270_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7342_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

Here is a picture of the lovely staff, service with a smile.

DSCF7362_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7370_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

We asked Boswell some questions, we were curious to know more about Best Barber and hair:

 

What was the biggest surprise about running your own business? How easy it is. I’ve never had so much fun in my life.

 

What’s the most popular hair style at the moment? Short sides with length on top. It’s a strong, classic look for almost everyone.

 

What’s your prediction for hair style on men in 2015? Two words; long hair. I think you are going to see more men with longer hair this year. Long hair on a guy can be super sexy and it’s also a nice contrast to the short styles that have dominated the last few years.

 

Who’s the best tipper? That guy who hasn’t had a good haircut in a very long time or maybe ever. Then he ends up at in my chair and magic happens. That person tips very well.

 

What advice do you have for someone going bald? The same I offer to men with grey hair …own it. If you have thin hair, go with a very short cut and stand very tall. Confidence is sexier than hair.

 

What’s the difference between you and a high end salon? Best Barber is unlike any other grooming experience. Our tagline is “Handsome Made Simple” and that is reflected in every aspect of our business. From the design of the space to the online appointment booking, it’s enjoyable, efficient and effortless.

 

What are the prices for a haircut? Is it the same for a trim? We offer haircuts for $45 and single blade buzz cuts for $25. We also offer hot towel shaves for $45, beard trims for $20 and moustache trims for $10. The drinks are complimentary.

 

How do people book for a haircut? We have made booking an appointment easier than ever. Visit www.bestbarber.nyc

 

What’s Best Barber’s philosophy? Getting a haircut should be something you look forward to. A great haircut can change your life. A Best Barber haircut will get you laid.

 

DSCF7219_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

DSCF7276_BESTBARBER_GAYLETTER

 

Click here to book an appointment.

 

Monday 03.23.15

Sunflowers 3

Video by PENT UP STUDIO

Saturday 03.21.15

DRINK THE BAR: GRADISCA

You gotta go for the cutting up with Miss Bini

CristinaBini_main_GAYLETTER

There is a very special woman making the drinks — more like exotic creations — behind the bar at Gradsica, the Italian restaurant on W. 13th Street in NYC that occupies the same space that the infamous nightclub The Reno Sweeney once did. Her name is Cristina Bini and beyond being a regal blond from Florence, Italy, she has this rare intelligence and touch when it comes to liquid libations. Cristina said she got her major experience at The Art Gallery Hotel in Florence in their famous Fusion Bar by Ferragamo. There she was concepting cocktails to accompany the fusion cuisine of Italian, French and Japanese food that was no small feat. As she explained to me with a heavy yet sexy accent, “I put my fantasy inside the drink.” We were handed the “Tonight’s Special Cocktail” card upon arrival and became instantly intrigued. It read, “Italian Bullshot.”  It consists of house infused rosemary vodka, celery salt, white pepper, Modena balsamic reduction and vegetable broth served with tortellini. Wow, really? William, our fierce website developer/dear friend and I decided to wait for Abi to order.

 

Once he arrived, fresh from a prior engagement in Chelsea, we ordered the Bullshot. Several well crafted minutes later this unique, amber, warm drink arrived with three tiny tortellini perched atop the glass on a toothpick. Here are our reactions to the drink: The nose has woody undertones with strong rosemary overtones, almost like a roast, it excites the nostrils to the point of stinging. It’s a most unusual, subtle and smooth flavor, a broth like none other. William dipped his tortellini in the liquid — so delicious— mine was equally tasty dry.”This cocktail is the perfect appetizer” quipped William “…warms the stomach. Custom savory.” After a peek at the restaurant’s special cocktail menu, that all sounded devine, we decided to go “off the grid” again and ask Cristina to make another one of her go to classics that would accompany our meatballs and tuna tartare appetizers. She nodded and said “OK, I make you a Pachanka.” We were puzzled so I asked her to write down the spelling and as it turned out the drink is called “Paco Taibo,” roast pepper, gold tequila, lemon juice, a touch of sugar, pear garnish and black pepper. We all agreed — so subtle again, fruity but not sweet, spicy but not overpowering, not at all obvious. Perfect for a first date! Abi noted it was “very intelligent, good for bottoming” — takes the bite out of the tequila but keeps the smokey flavor of the liquor. Custom sweet.

 

 

ChristinaBini_3&4Dyptich_GAYLETTER

 

 

We were feeling Gradisca, the subtle lighting, smooth cocktails and a most conducive environment for kicking it at the bar. We finished our appetizers with Abi commenting on the meatballs. “When something is this good you just want to swallow it,” then we moved on to the martini portion of the evening. Cristina put away her blow torch she used to blacken the roasted pepper and began to make a celery martini: 1 stick of celery muddled in a tall glass, gin double strained and a touch of olive oil. We all agreed the celery has a strong presence. The drink was not as subtle as the prior two. The olives have a buttery flavor amply supplied atop the drink. I asked the hot chef, well actually the man running the kitchen (the chef was in Italy) about them and he told me they are castelvetrano olives, William’s favorite. I repeat, this is not a dirty martini, even though the olives had a definite impact, this is not for dirty martini lovers.

 

At this juncture we took a break from our cocktailing when the beautiful fresh Caprese salad arrived, you know the classic mozzarella and tomato deal but this one was beyond. Abi added, “When you order something so simple, and it impresses you, you know something is right in the kitchen.” Yasss, and as you can see through a slotted window from the bar into the kitchen there is a lot “right” in that kitchen. Moving on to our next cocktail of the night Cristina chose a gorgonzola martini, yes, can you imagine a gorgonzola martini? The mention of it rendered William speechless. It was made from gorgonzola, a touch of dry vermouth and vodka. The flavor was definitively unusual — the taste is much lighter than it appears, not gimmicky, very unexpected. The vodka makes the cheese light and fresh, not heavy and earthy, yet it does have a kick — you must try one. We peeped the food menu and Cristina recommended the special (Cotoletta di pollo all bolognese: breaded pan fried farm raised chicken cutlet topped with parma, prosciutto and parmigiano with duchess potatoes) BUT as we were all sharing, we chose two of the divine pastas instead, a carbonara and a pappardelle.

 

CristinaBini_5&6

 

We weren’t finished just yet, Cristina had one more treat in store for us, a paprika basil martini. Paprika, basil, gin double strained. A cheer rose up from us in unison, “That’s amazing.” It’s so smokey because of the smoked paprika. “It’s a correct martini — the integrity of the martini is retained even though it’s flavored” Abi noted. Also a subtle finish we now knew was a signature that many of Cristina’s drinks embody and a delightful compliment to the two impeccable pastas. I definitely had a “moment,” the drinks, the food, my friends, the rain, “The Girl from Ipanema” softly playing, freshly blown hair….what a fabulous night. We all agreed we must do this again, thanks Cristina, truly a rare bird you are.

 

Most cocktails are priced around $15, Gradisca 126 W. 13th St. NY, NY. Reservations required but the bar is first come first serve.

Tuesday 03.17.15

GINGER with Rica Shay

The party took place on March 3 at The Eagle in Los Angeles

Monday 03.16.15

Sunflowers 2

Video by PENT UP STUDIO

Friday 03.13.15

Hardcore Home Movies

salivation_GAYLETTER

Light flickers through a darkened auditorium. On the screen, the face of a skinhead appears, smirking slightly. The camera pans over his naked body, flecked with occasional grains from the aging Super 8 reel. This is one of the members of queercore band Fagbash, filmed by Jonesy for a projection at a legendary 1992 sex party, Fiend, in New York’s Bowery. The three minute film was the brief opener to Hardcore Home Movies, a program of queer DIY/experimental films curated by Dirty Looks NYC founder Bradford Nordeen, hosted by REDCAT at downtown L.A.’s Disney Hall on March 2nd. The lineup included films by G.B. Jones, Jill Reiter, Greta Snider, and Rick Castro, and offered an insightful (and nostalgic) view of the vibrant underground queer punk scene that exploded in cities like Toronto and New York in the early 1990s.

 

“Queercore” as a genre is a playful oxymoron, a mashup of two things once considered incompatible: queerness and hardcore punk. It spoke to the many queers who were more at home in mosh pits than on disco dancefloors, but who often felt doubly marginalized by punk’s flagrant homophobia. Befitting its name, the films Nordeen assembled defied comfortable categorization, with elements of documentary, satire, and nonlinear narrative. Greta Snider’s Our Gay Brothers mashed up children’s instructional videos and gay porn clips to interrogate gay men’s attitudes to the female body, while Jill Reiter’s Birthday Party reimagined a girl’s “sweet sixteen” as thrown by her drag queen mother and some guest strippers. The Salivation Army was a gripping documentary about the Toronto gang by the same name that filmmaker Scott Trealeven helped found, whose widely-read zine helped spark the formation of a dangerous cult network of queer skinhead punks. G.B. Jones’s The Troublemakers followed a group of unruly shoplifters from supermarket aisles to a condemned house, the camera work spiraling out of control as the characters come under surveillance. The funniest film was Rick Castro’s Dr. Chris Teen Sex Surrogate, which featured Vaginal Davis and Bruce LaBruce as “drag queen lesbians” having marital problems who invite a Freudian sex therapist over to spice things up.

 

 

The Salivation Army:

 

 

 

Watch the trailer for The Troublemakers:


 

As part of their ongoing series of L.A. screenings, Dirty Looks will be recreating a gay porn theater in the basement of artist collective Machine Project’s Echo Park studio for 24 hours starting midnight on March 20th. Visitors can stop by in the middle of the night with popcorn and lube to watch classic skin flicks and be transported to a time when gays reveled in basement shadows, when our intimate erotic spaces were literally “underground.”

Wednesday 03.11.15

Hi, Mike

Mike01_GAYLETTER

Mike is a 27 year old (he made a deal with himself to tell everyone that he’s 32) artist from Toronto. He grew up in Windsor, across the river from Detroit. Since 2011 he has lived in Montreal. He went to Graphic Design school and is a very talented illustrator and also an Instagram god. Yes his Instagram is Beyonce! The first time he had sex was when he was 18 and it was with a girl. He liked it, but it confused him a little… “I just love sex, and get turned on by girls too so I just enjoyed it, I never really had crushes on boys when I was younger, but knew I found them attractive and then the whole liking girls sexually confused me even if I knew I was interested in men.” In that same year he tried it with a boy. “Emotionally I only connect on a romantic level with guys…Sex is always better if there’s a bit of emotion.”

 

He’s single and his idea of a perfect date “would be a hangout that we don’t want to end so it just keeps evolving into different adventures.” He likes “someone funny, first, cute and smart. 
I don’t think I have a type, but if I look at my past it seems I like baby-faced boys
.” He doesn’t have age preferences, but he mostly dates young people. His drink of choice is “vodka, straight up, no ice, just a chase of water.”  

 

His beauty routine: “I go to the gym and just moisturize — I don’t even use soap to wash my face.
” His favorite body part on a man is “the butt.. it’s generic but thats what I like,
 also nipples
.” And “earlobes, but thats not sexual. They are soft!” “I like butts because I’m very tactile 

and its a good place to hold and steer at the same time

.” On his body he loves his nose, “I like how big and distinctive it is…” On what makes him happy, “The easiest way to make me happy is anything Beyoncé
, but also being cosy…and my friends…and lasagna.” When it’s time for him to go to bed he wears underwear in the Winter and sleeps nude in the Summer. Fair enough.

 

We asked Mike to take some photos wearing our classic GAYLETTER t-shirt, and some shirtless…

 

 

Mike02_GAYLETTER

 

Mike03_GAYLETTER

 

Mike04_GAYLETTER

 

Mike05_GAYLETTER

 

Mike06_GAYLETTER

Tuesday 03.10.15

Sunflowers

Video by PENT UP STUDIO

Monday 03.09.15

BABY TEA :: SAT 2/21

Presented by Dauphine of Bushwick & Cafe Dancer — with guest DJs Merrie Cherry & C.R.E.