Sunday afternoon, a gaggle of pepes gathered for Sylvia Tosun’s release party for her Sea To Sun label act Sted-E & Hybrid Heights’ new album. The venue: The rooftop deck at the Kimberly Hotel in Midtown East. Drink special: Sea To Sun Breeze! Perfect way to beat the heat. *
Thursday evening I attended the birthday party for renowned celeb photog Mike Ruiz.. While I don’t know the handsome fellow well, we’ve rubbed shoulders at parties and NYC events as video-grapher for my friend & dance artist Sylvia Tosun and as a fellow A List: New York cast member with beloved Rodiney Santiago. You couldn’t meet a more humble, gregarious guy.
The soiree at Hell’s Kitchen Industry was packed with folks that I do know: in addition to my “date” Leo, I chatted with adult film star & musician Colton Ford (whose artist bio I wrote last month for his label Peace Bisquit); DJ & former Billboard Dance Editor Bill Coleman (and owner of Peace Bisquit); and fab music publicist Brad Taylor.
Performers at the event included dancer singers Ultra Nate, Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams and Deborah Cox; R&B vocalist Chris Willis and New York trannie fixture Amanda Lepore, whom I had never before seen in the (plastic) flesh. Man, she was a sight to behold.
Also spotted: singer Kristine W, ‘N Sync’s Lance Bass, recording artist Brian Kent… and enough hot gay, guys and gals—including several of Ruiz’s modeling men—to maintain a gleeful grin all night long.Above top right right, DJ Bill Coleman spins amid a packed crowd of NY’s finest gays & gals.
Oh, Rodiney… dear, handsome, rock-solid Brazilian Rodiney… What a road we have traveled together. After the world discovered you on Logo’s A List: New York, immediately you stood out as the sweet, humble one on the show, which sadly, often focuses on the queeny, bitchy side of queer NYC.
It wasn’t long before your modeling portfolio became a favorite of The Smoking Nun, with your proclivity toward micro briefs and Speedos. In November 2010, I even met you at the release party for your 2011 calendar. You were genuinely a nice man.
At the end of the year, we named you, Rodiney, The Smoking Nun’s 2010 Most Beautiful Man Alive, and you have not disappointed in the months since, always sharing beautiful new shots on your webbie, which we are more than happy to display on the Nun. At the time, I wrote…
“Really, there was little question that Rodiney Santiago would be named The Smoking Nun’s Most Beautiful Man Alive for 2010. He is pistol packing every variable on my homo checklist: dark eyes, full lips, beautiful teeth, dreamy bod that could make a washcloth look like a designer garment—and a sweet, humble demeanor that makes Logo’s “The A List” worth at least fast forwarding through. You just want to hug the dude… and go from there.”
Above collage: Andrew Werner.
The 25th annual Night Of A Thousand Gowns black tie dinner dance, coronation & fundraiser at New York’s Marriott Marquis was an endless catwalk of jaw-dropping pageantry, teeming with the most outrageous drag queens and regal offbeat military dress I have witnessed.
I about burned out my Nikon capturing the action—and this time, there was nothing covert about snapping picolas of the fanfare. After all, if you spent weeks planning an outfit, make-up, wigs and accessories, wouldn’t you want everyone to remember?
It was a surreal event no one attending will forget… gowns and clowns, so many cascading dress trains and whack revelry. More than 1,000 attended, with a royal brigade of monarchs, emperors & empresses, the Imperial Court and knighthoods… Thankfully, there was an open bar.
Funds went to youth organizations The Trevor Project and Ali Forney Center. Tix, along with a silent auction and honorary titles for purchase, started at $225, so figure the event raised a minimum of $250,000 for gay equality.
>On Saturday, March 26, the 25th annual New York Night of a Thousand Gowns charity ball—part of a nationwide network of some 70 “kingdoms,” with their own lords, ladies, dukes and duchess, princes and princesses, celebrating camp, pageantry and drag, while raising awareness and big bucks for LGBT nonprofits—will benefit the Ali Forney Center, a safe shelter in NYC for LGBT youth; and the national Trevor Project, focused on crisis and suicide prevention for young LGBTs.
Among the 2011 performers: Sylvia Tosun, Zelma Davis of C+C Music Factory, Erika Jayne, Ari Gold and Pepper Mashay.
In any case, here’s our No. 1 pic for the sexiest dude at Wednesday’s festivities…Great teeth, perfect hair, unpretentious, looks a-ok in his britches… This handsome fellow works for Sea To Sun in some capacity. I chatted with him briefly, and he was wholly friendly.No. 2: Hot Latin guy. The whole meat market appeal… and grade-A prime choice, I must say. Machismo oozing from every pore.No. 3: Total cliche of the hot gay Latin muscleman. Beautiful brown eyes, great teeth and a healthy upper torso, eh? Well done!This is quite gauche, I admit. So as long as we’re determined to be crude, how about a couple runners up?
>Oh, what a day/night! It’s tough deciding what was the best part of Sylvia Tosun and Tom Lord-Alge’s South Beach party for Miami Music Week: the sun, the booze, so many shrimp, beautiful men, the glam scene or being able to smoke cigarettes without NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s innate malfeasance…Our hosts… Sylvia Tosun and Anton Bass; and Tom Lord-Alge.Location of the party, in beautiful Miami Beach, on the water.A handful of the acts that Tom Lord-Alge has produced, engineered and mixed!And a poster comprising all of the acts he’s worked with. Coolio idea!Spanky the Maltese!Brilliant! A jukebox packed with great songs from the 1980s… when hits were memorable and made to last.Party prep, including thousands of rose petals in the pool…A food spread fit for a king!2 p.m.: The guests begin to arrive!Sylvia & Anton on the red carpet.Sea To Sun Recordings staff.Sylvia conducted a number of radio interviews during the party, while Sirius/XM broadcast live from 2-8 p.m.My (very) happy feet!Other happy feet, with an encore of my Miami-appropriate dock shoes…Anton commands the board.“Celebrity” DJ BT.Young gays doing everything they can possibly come up with to be gay.I said hello to your sisters!Looking into the party from the “dock of the bay.”Dusk’s blue hue.One last look, a roundabout of the party. Ooh, la la!
>With Las Vegas still on my mind, I’m quickly changing gears: Tuesday I head to South Beach Miami for the dance-centric Music Week/Ultra Music Festival, where I’ll be covering Billboard No. 1 dance artist Sylvia Tosun and Anton Bass’ private Sea To Sun Recordings’ party, hosted at the home of Grammy-winning producer and mixer Tom Lord-Alge, who has mixed numerous top-charting dance hits for Sylvia. Yeah, I know, life is tough… but these are opportunities that are only possible when you happen to be unemployed. Let’s make the best of it, yes?
>Honest to god, it started out as a work night. Billboard No. 1 dance artist and friend Sylvia Tosun and her production and life partner Anton Bass invited me to their beautiful highrise West Side digs for dinner and an interview to update the web site for their indie label Sea To Sun.
We started with plentiful wine, animated conversation and dinner… and just as we were ready to settle down to business… the doorbell rings. It was Sylvia’s pal Countess Luann de Lesseps, one of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York, whom I had met at events for Sylvia and parties with Liz Derringer in the Hamptons. She’s a doll, a blast and a true socialite… classy lady.
The doorbell rings again. It’s another friend named Cat. And then again. I can’t even remember who the third spontaneous guest of the night was, but the wine kept flowing and before I knew it, I was heading home after 2 a.m.