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Features

Art, wine and … a peacock

Posted: November 10th, 2017 | Features, Top Story | No Comments

By Dave Fidlin

When the LGBT-themed children’s book, “A Peacock Among Pigeons” was released two years ago, Clarione Gutierrez had high hopes it would resonate with young readers.

What Gutierrez — known professionally as just “Clarione” and the San Diegan who illustrated the colorful, 33-page book — did not anticipate was the reception it would receive from adults who absorbed the timeless message of celebrating the attributes that make each of us special and unique.

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New Mr. Gay San Diego announced

Posted: November 10th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, News, Top Story | No Comments

By SDCNN Staff

After nearly a decade of hiatus, the Mr. Gay San Diego competition — this year co-produced by Big Mike Phillips and Robert Rodriguez — roared back into the community on Sunday, Nov. 5.

It was a packed house at the newly redesigned Hillcrest landmark The Rail, formerly called The Brass Rail, that greeted the eight competitors who each strutted their stuff across the new stage.

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A tremendous splash of color

Posted: October 27th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Top Story | 3 Comments

By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Sometime over the last week or 10 days, the L-shaped, two-story building that has been a longtime fixture at the northeast corner of University Avenue and Florida Street had a major face lift. As a result, social media has gone wild as local residents weigh in.

While the brick along the base of the building at 2004 University Ave. remains untouched, the rest of the structure has been transformed into a rainbow wonderland. Some think the bright, ragged, multi-colored theme is garish and over the top. Other people, including many from the LGBT community whose 60-foot Pride flag monument is just three blocks west of the building, think it is fabulous.

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Bring your nightmares to Normal

Posted: October 13th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Top Story | No Comments

By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Halloween is a long-standing tradition within the LGBT community – going back decades — and Hillcrest will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of its own version of that tradition, Nightmare on Normal Street, on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 6–11 p.m.

The festivities will take place as they always have, on Normal Street in Hillcrest — between University Avenue and Harvey Milk Street — near what is now called Pride Plaza and under the Pride Flag.

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May the best woman werq!

Posted: September 29th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Top Story | No Comments

By Margie Palmer

After a sold-out 16-city tour through Europe, the queens of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will soon unleash their own brand of hilarity and hijinks upon San Diego, on Thursday, Oct. 12.

The U.S. extension of their Werq the World Tour will be hosted by Shangela Laquifa Wadley of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” seasons two and three, and feature performances by some of the series’ most unforgettable queens, including Alyssa Edwards, Detox, Kim Chi, Latrice Royale, and Violet Chachki, along with season nine favorites Peppermint and Valentina.

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Wine time in a garden

Posted: September 29th, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Back in 2000, when the notion of opening a bar that serves only wine was considered financially risky, longtime gay couple and world travelers Reuel Olin and Bob Grinchuk decided to take the gamble after returning from a trip to Paris.

They were impressed by the city’s “unique civilization” of wine bars and the myriad varietals and artisan cheeses they served.

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The San Diego LGBT Community Center: The founding

Posted: September 29th, 2017 | Columns, Features, Profiles in Advocacy, Top Story | 1 Comment

By Ian Morton | Profiles in Advocacy

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series.

Imagine (or remember) a world before personal computers, cell phones, the internet, and social media.

It was 1971, and the LGBT community was still reeling from Stonewall (1969) and the inclusion of homosexuality as a mental disorder in the 1968 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Same-sex sexual acts were considered criminal in all but the state of Illinois, in the United States.

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Confessions of a ‘plantaholic’

Posted: September 15th, 2017 | Features, Profiles, Top Story | No Comments

By Ken Williams | Contributing Editor

Jim Bishop calls himself a “plantaholic.” His friends will toast him — maybe even teasingly roast him — for that.

Over the past six years, Bishop has served as president of the San Diego Horticultural Society. He stepped down from that leadership position last month, following his talk about “My Life with Plants: Confessions of a Plantaholic” at the August meeting of the society.

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When we RISE

Posted: September 15th, 2017 | Features, Profiles, Top Story | 1 Comment

By Joyell Nevins

Relationships. Impact. Sustainability. Excellence.

These are core pillars of the RISE San Diego nonprofit, founded three years ago by professionals, politicians and community activists Tony Young and Dwayne Crenshaw.

“We’re an odd couple of sorts,” Crenshaw said, laughing. “He’s an outside table at Starbucks and I’m an inside table.”

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Cooking in transition

Posted: September 1st, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

In an industry dominated by men, Dominick Scott knows what it’s like climbing the culinary ladder as a woman.

Before recently landing the position as head chef at The Glass Door, located on the fourth floor of Little Italy’s Porto Vista Hotel, the 31-year-old Serra Mesa resident identified as female.

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Popping his cherry

Posted: September 1st, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Film, Top Story | No Comments

By Ken Williams | Contributing Editor

Born and raised in the Middle East, Assaad Yacoub didn’t have any exposure to the bedazzled world of drag queens. It wasn’t until he moved to the United States seven years ago that the young filmmaker learned about the courageous men who strap it up, tuck it under, and don glamorous gowns and tall wigs to create the outlandish female characters that entertain us in clubs, on television and at the movies.

It was love at first sight.

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The ‘South Park blueberry girls’

Posted: August 18th, 2017 | Features, News, Top Story | 1 Comment

By Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

On July 3, South Bark Dog Wash, home of the “blueberry facial” and more than 128,000 dog baths, was broken into for the second time in six months after more than 16 years incident-free.

Its owners, Donna Walker and Lisa Vella, who have grown the small business leaps and bounds in its nearly 17 years as a member of the South Park neighborhood, aren’t angry, they’re sad. But they have been buoyed and inspired by the local community that has always had their back.

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Hillcrest’s piano wench

Posted: August 18th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Music, Top Story | No Comments

In 2001, Curtis began her 15-year stint at Martinis Above Fourth, where she experienced three ownership changes over the years. She recalled that the first Friday night she was asked to perform was Sept. 14, 2001 — just days after the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City. She wasn’t sure if the bar would even be open and whether there would be a crowd, but she came in to work anyway. Though many businesses had closed that week after the largest attack on U.S. soil, many bars — including Martinis — had remained open, serving as places of refuge, and Curtis fell in love with her new venue right away.

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Community mourns death of Meldon ‘Mel’ Merrill

Posted: August 18th, 2017 | Features, News, Top Story | No Comments

By Ken Williams | Contributing Editor

San Diegans are mourning the loss of Meldon “Mel” Merrill, one of the pillars of the local LGBT community, who died Aug. 10. He was 80 years old.

Mr. Merrill is survived by his husband, David Ramos. They were celebrating their one-year anniversary on Aug. 5 when Mr. Merrill fell ill and was hospitalized, Ramos told Gay San Diego.

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