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I won’t lie to y’all, it’s a great life test driving new cars.
In and out of new cars every week, driving to media events where all the cameras are flashing, and all those cocktails parties that I absolutely have to attend… yeah, it’s not like that, and my boss doesn’t take too kindly when I show up late because I was spending too much time enjoying a velvety interior.(He still thinks I have the cars because I sell drugs; apparently, he thinks I’m not pretty enough to be a high-priced call bear.)
But by the mere fact that I get to drive a lot of a cars, I get a good sense of what works and what doesn’t, especially for men of size. And for bears who have to keep their other bear friends happy, their non-bear friends laughing, and themselves somewhat sane, the Mazda 6 may be right in that perfect zone. Not too big, not too small, plenty of room up front and just enough luxury to you feel like Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard (pre-Instagram, of course).
Mazda is marketing the 2018 ‘6’ as a high-performance, high-tech fantastic beast that is the ultimate in 21stcentury performance and technology. Not that I can judge those kinds of things, but for me, hey, it met my needs. But here are some specifics:
I was really blown away in the presentation about something called G-Vectoring Control, which connects steering and powertrain control for a more direct, natural steering response (yeah, yeah, I lifted that straight from the PowerPoint presentation). This in turn shifts the vertical load on tires forward to enhance vehicle grip and performance (are you with me so far?). This then results in increased driver confidence because the ‘6’ responds better to your commands and it also gives you a less-abnormal heart rate because it helps stabilize the car when in poor road conditions. Translated, it was cake to drive, thus my daily tasks didn’t interfere with the pills I took… just kidding. Seriously, kids, be careful behind the wheel. The law is never on your side, at least not in the United States.
For entertainment and navigation, Mazda now has a big ole 8-inch screen right in the center of the dash that is big and obvious but is not a distraction. I’ve never felt Mazda tech is all that user friendly but I’ve had dates say the same thing about me, so take that into consideration. Still, I was able to hop in, push a few screen buttons, crank up the Freddy Mercury and Queen and drive off. Soon, I really was the star of Bohemian Rhapsody. (Love that movie, and all this time I thought Queen was a reference to, ya know, Liz of England.)
The Mazda 6 now looks more like a shiny new object in the deep end of the pool than ever before. All dolled up in ‘crystal’ and ‘metallic’ exterior colors, it really is an eye catcher, like the Christmas ornaments in your favorite sex shop. The PowerPoint presentation talked a lot about how the look works together and accentuates everything, kinda like the muscle bear at the end of the bar who just calls to you and you just know he’s not a siren with a bunch of sharp rocks under his surface ready to smash up your vessel upon entry, or so he claims. Truly, the ‘6’ is just beautiful. And eye-catching. And for those of you in the market, this is possibly hus-bear catching as well.
The 6 starts at $21,950, but if you want to get any of the powerful engines, you’ll need to go up the food chain. Standard equipment, however, includes safety items like Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, as well as what Mazda calls Smart City Brake Support, which is automatic emergency braking which can operate between 2-19 mph (4-30 km/h) to lessen the severity of an impending and inescapable collision at up to 20 ft (6m). (Thank goodness Mazda forwards those PowerPoint presentations or I’d be screw when it comes to writing my reviews.)
On behalf of the Bear World Media motoring department, I’d like to wish all our readers around the globe a happy and safe holiday season. Thank you so much for being a part of our large, growing big gay bear family. It is so nice to be in this big cozy, warm bear den full of men.
Be sure to take of yourself and those you love. Looking forward to a happy and productive 2019, especially here in Washington, D.C. (wink!).
Remodeled mid-century home. Mountain views. Private yard w pool/spa, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, outdoor shower, ping pong. Off street parking for four cars. Beds: K, Q, K (can be converted to TT upon request).
This classic Alexander Butterfly home (circa 1961) has been lovingly restored – respecting its architectural pedigree while updating it for the way we live today. The original post and beam ceilings have been preserved while adding modern conveniences like high speed internet access, updated heating and cooling, and four flat screen televisions.
This is not your typical Palm Springs Vacation Home Rental. This mini midcentury resort was created by West Elm, a branch of Williams-Sonoma as part of Modernism Week 2017.
Totally remodeled inside and out. Very private resort-style yard. Over-the-top concept pool with integrated waterfall spa, disco lights, tanning shelf, bubbling surface jets, and a raised sun deck with panoramic mountain views. Five fire features, three outdoor showers, outdoor bath tub, covered outdoor living pavilion with wet bar, ice chest and electric heaters. Bocce ball court. Corn Hole. This place is off the charts – absolutely incredible. Beds:K,K,K
Better than new! Totally remodeled. Very private resort-style yard w pool, spa and outdoor living pavilion with full size bar, hard-lined BBQ, fire pit lounge and putting green. Gorgeous Mountain views. Off street parking. Beds:K,K,Q,K (can be converted to TT upon request).
Welcome to the Lemon Twist – a completely renovated Palm Springs vacation home that has been updated for the way we live today! New kitchen, baths, floors, windows, doors, climate control system. Two interior fire places. Hi speed internet access, 5 Smart Televisions including a 75″ flat screen for streaming all your favorite programming.
4 Deluxe Bedroom Suites. Very private yard w pool, spa, fire feature. Mountain views. Walk to town, and Chabad. Covered off street parking. Beds: K, K, K, K (converts to 2 T)Quick stroll to the world famous Palm Canyon Drive.
Beautifully landscaped and completely walled for privacy, this gorgeous setting features mature plantings, towering Palm Trees, a huge front garden and a gorgeous country club yard with a new pool, spa, fire feature and outdoor shower. This property is so lush and quiet. You will almost forget you are just a quick stroll from the newly revitalized, hip and trendy South Palm Springs Business District with its casual and fine dining, cabarets, boutiques, grocery markets and other neighborhood conveniences.
Gorgeous in its simplicity, as architect Donald Wexler intended, our Fishbowl at Sunmor Estates is a fabulous Palm Springs vacation home rental with clean lines, an open concept floor plan and spectacular walls of glass that blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living.
As part of the remodel, the owners preserved the swank and sophisticated vibe of yesteryear while adding modern conveniences like hi speed internet wifi service and three flat screen televisions. The kitchen and baths have been updated in a style that compliments the home’s iconic architectural pedigree. Authentic 1950s furnishings, terrazzo tile floors, locally-inspired artwork, period textiles and a true appreciation of all things mid-century – come together to create this wonderful desert escape.
Beautifully remodeled 3 BR / 2 Bath Vacation home in the heart of Palm Desert. Very private yard w pool, outdoor living room w fire pit, covered dining pavilion, ping pong. Mountain views. Off-street parking. Beds: K, Q, K or T,T
Welcome to Casa de Pavo Real (The Peacock House), an impressive single family home that has been designed for relaxing in the sunshine. As though ripped from the pages of House Beautiful or Better Homes & Gardens, this modern Spanish-style Villa is gorgeous both inside and out. It combines high style design and comfort to create the perfect luxury vacation home. Located on a quiet residential street in the heart of Palm Desert, this resort-style property is very private, elegantly appointed, extremely livable and carefully space-planned for spending quality time with your group. Casa de Pavo Real is like home — but way better.
Absolutely stunning Palm Springs vacation home where it’s all about easy living in the sunshine. Better than new. Completely remodeled. Prime location in the popular Movie Colony East Neighborhood. 4 en suite bedrooms. Every bedroom has its own private bath. Open concept floor plan. All large rooms. Easy stroll to the world famous Palm Canyon Drive. Very close to Ruth Hardy Park. Private resort-style yard w heated pool, integrated waterfall spa, outdoor living pavilion, fire feature. Mountain views. Beds: K, K, Q, K (or T,T)
This midcentury Executive Vacation home has been completely updated for the way we live today. Gorgeous new kitchen, deluxe baths, upgraded climate control, high-speed internet, five flat screen televisions, open concept floor plan, comfortable Mid Mod-inspired furnishings, and fabulous sleeping quarters. One step inside and you’ll know you made the right choice.
Welcome to the Jagger House – a Rockers’ Paradise that was made for relaxing in the sunshine. Stunning midcentury architecture, gorgeous designer furniture, colorful and fun pop art, and a very private resort-style yard with a huge free-form pool, al fresco dining, and a firepit lounge that is perfect for long evenings under the stars. The sunrise views are awe inspiring and the overall vibe is very Palm Springs. High-style designer chic meets mid mod swank to create The Jagger House – a comfortable, livable space where it’s all about the laid back California lifestyle.
An Instagram darling with photo ops everywhere, the Jagger House has been featured on the Modernism Week home tour, and is often the first choice for visiting travel bloggers, social influencers, musicians, and Hollywood types. Read the reviews – this is a stand out piece of eye candy with music is in its bones. It’s a favorite place to stay for bands playing Pappy and Harriets. This home is rich in history; including Judy Garland’s dress designer, that lived here in the 50’s – Judy used to come to the house! Estelle Harris, known as playing George Coatanza’s mother on Seinfield and a voice on Toy Story movies has spent a lot of time at the house. The current owner works in the music industry and songwriters from LA and Nashville have written 100’s of songs here, including huge hits and Grammy nominated songs.
Originally built in 1955 for Oscar-winning superstar Kirk Douglas, this iconic home was remodeled a few years ago. Enjoy breath-taking mountain views from this completely walled, very private, resort-style pool yard. You’ll find alfresco dining for six to eight, a gorgeous outdoor living room with a fire feature, an outdoor billiards table and a large kidney shaped pool with a tanning deck. The barbecue, two-person outdoor shower, rolling lawn, mature plantings and towering palm trees all add to the magic of this property. The best just got better! We have just added a brand new spa adjacent to the pool! You are going to love it!
This winning home is the trifecta of Palm Springs Vacation Rentals. Stunning retro interior design, iconic midcentury architecture, and strong ties to the glamour of old Hollywood. Throw in a great location, spectacular mountain views and a very private resort-style pool yard. The..
The England Originals app has been updated to include some exciting new features, taking advantage of cutting edge augmented reality technology to provide engaging and immersive content for each of our itineraries.
The app lets you explore 16 of England’s most historic cities including Bath, Cambridge, Canterbury, Chester, London, Oxford, Salisbury, Stratford-upon-Avon, York and more.
Tabletop Tours lets users place a 3D model of each city on a surface using augmented reality and learn a little about the human history behind some of the most important products in each destination. Designed to be used pre-visit, each short audio story will be be accompanied by an illustration and placed in the appropriate location on the map, encouraging users to explore and spark an interest in going to these places during their visit.
When in-destination, augmented reality ‘portals’ will give users access to places otherwise off-limits – such as locked rooms, exclusive city views or locations outside of the city centre they may be interested in visiting. These virtual doorways will be accessible in selected parts of each city, and act as an immersive way to add value to the visit experience.
As well as the augmented reality content, the app will contain a directory of recommended local bars, restaurants, hotels and other attractions for each city.
Hey guys, I’m a Spanish guy who loves to travel and meet new people. I’m creating, with my partner, a Youtube channel called 2 bears 2 cats, looking forward to see you there too guys – www.youtube.com/c/2bears2cats
What I like about W | Bear:
I love the app, it’s a good way to get to know people from all around the world. And as you can publish unlimited pics, it’s a different way to create a blog.
Bear of the Week is sponsored by W | Bear, click here to download the app.
If YOU want to be featured here as a future W | Bear of the Week, send your W | Bear profile name and four good photos to email@example.com
Rich’s Bar in San Diego recently played host to the Mr. Bear San Diego 2019 Contest & Show which saw the crowning of the new Mr Bear San Diego 2019, William Hurd. I was lucky enough to grab a quick chat with him after his win to find out more about him, his platform and what the title means to him.
Robin: Hi William! Congratulations on your win, why don’t we start by you introducing yourself to the readers?
William: I am fairly new to gay community. I came out late in life… in fact, less than a year ago.
I found great support to my new life from both the Bear and Leather communities here in San Diego. When I came out, it cost me everything… family, job, and the loss of friends. But the resulting peace and joy of coming out has far outweighed these losses.
I would say that the members of the Bear and Leather communities literally saved my life. When I was trying to “live a straight life,” I suffered depression and just wanted to die. The love, support, encouragement, acceptance from these communities again was beyond anything I could ever have imagined. Oh, and the sex is fucking awesome as well! Wait, can I say that in an interview? Guess I should say that I have found the emotional and romantic side in the gay life amazing.
I’ve always worked in positions that served others. My jobs have included full-service gas station attendant, food service, school teacher, college teacher, and 34 years as a minister.
I have a love for dogs. My current pet is a Maltese Yorkshire Terrier mix or a morkie. She is the joy of my life.
One of the great things about my title is the freedom it gives. Being the representative of a non-profit organization, Bears San Diego, instead of a business allows me to work with so many different aspects of our community without limit.
I am a southern California native. Educationally, I hold a BA and MA. Vocationally, I am gifted in support and visioning others in service to their particular community.
Photo courtesy of David at Yoga Bear Studio, San Diego, CA (www.yogabearstudio.com)
What made you enter the Competition?
I’ve seen how the title gives you the special ability to help serve the Bear community at large in a focused, concentrated way for a year. I saw some great needs and opportunities for our organization and community that I could help with. To that end, I chose to run. The cosmos has blessed me with skills of networking, sharing vision, and bridgebuilding with others. It is my desire to use these skills in serving the bear community.
What was your favorite bit of taking part?
The interview time with the judges prior to the public segments of the competition. I met strong leaders from various segments of the Gay Community that I normally would not have had the opportunity to interact with. Their questions were fun at times and challenging at others. The topics ranged from life choices to leadership issues. I also learned that you never want to piss off a sister from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence carrying a riding crop!
What is your platform?
My platform motto is ‘Making Life BEARable’! #makinglifebearable
It is my goal and intention to build up and improve the support that is available to the San Diego Bear Community. I want to be a joyful voice for relationship and community, not just person who conducts events.
My Facebook title page is filling up with various observations from my life on Making Life BEARable! The most popular one so far was a video post filmed in my bed when I first woke up. I also share about some of the things going on in the Bear Community or Gay Community at large.
As this year’s title holder, I am intentionally reaching out to the younger members of the community in order to introduce them to the family that is Bears San Diego.
Photo courtesy of David at Yoga Bear Studio, San Diego, CA (www.yogabearstudio.com)
What is the most important thing about the bear community for you?
The love, safety, emotional and physical support that comes from being a bear! It is also great to see the work going on to support a healthy body image and seeing health issues addressed that plague our community. And don’t forget, there is nothing hotter on the street or in the bed than a bear!
Will you go on to enter other competitions?
I don’t have an answer to this question yet. This is my first title and I guess I should wait to see how I do and how my service style is received by the local community. Being as experienced in life as I am (OLD), I have learned to never say never.
Photo courtesy of Bears San Diego, San Diego, CA (www.bearssd.org)
What are your plans for your title year?
Building relationships with other — individuals, organizations, various generations, and communities. I would love to work with Bear groups in LA, Orange County, and Imperial County as well.
Finally, what’s your advice for anyone entering next year?
Be thinking about now what you want to do for the community! It’s not just a beauty contest! Think about what is truly important to you and how that relates to serving our amazing men and their families. Work on your interview skills, build up your wardrobe a bit, and work on your writing. I am already asking some to consider running for 2020.
This last weekend was the worst box office weekend of 2018. Everyone must be out buying my Christmas presents.
The new Avengers trailer broke the internet with a record 289 million views in its first day. What did you think of it?
Marvel Studios' Avengers - Official Trailer - YouTube
Kevin Hart steps down as host of the Oscars due to tweets he sent out years ago that were homophobic. His half apology was met with social media criticism as well as Hollywood peer support. Yes, the tweets were old but homophobia doesn’t have an expiration date.
Not only is Julie Andrews making a cameo in the Aquaman film, but so is the Annabelle doll. WTF?
Venom didn’t do so well at the box office in the US but overseas it’s a hit. It has just been extended in China due to high volume sales. Who knew?
Glass will not be getting a sequel, according to M. Night Shyamalan – he has no interest. Also, we may have no interest.
Glass - Official Trailer [HD] - YouTube
Sesame Street is getting a big screen treatment and Anne Hathaway is being eyed to lead it. You couldn’t pay me enough to see this.
G.I. Joe is getting a spinoff all about Snake Eyes. Not so sure about this since the G.I. Joe films didn’t do that well at the box office.
Soooo, Disney is doing a Cruella De Ville movie starring Emma Stone. This is going to be so fun.
Stallone is saying goodbye a lot. He said goodbye to his character Rocky Balboa last week and this week he wrapped Rambo 5. I didn’t even know we had a Rambo 3 and 4.
Rambo (2008) - Official Trailer - Sylvester Stallone Action Movie HD - YouTube
Everyone is podcasting these days. Will Ferrell will be starring in a new podcast as his character Ron Burgundy. Oy.
Amy Adams will not be returning to the screen as Lois Lane. Thank god.
So Crazy Rich Asians is not only getting a sequel, its getting two sequels that will be filmed back to back.
Kylo Ren will be getting a new helmet for the next Star Wars film. Does anyone still wear a hat?
#1: Ralph Breaks the Internet – big success over the lackluster box office weekend
#2: The Grinch – I literally don’t know anyone who has seen this
Say “Hello” to 2019 on a high note, in all meanings of the word!
A New Year’s party at a rooftop is probably the best place to enjoy both fun and sky-high vibes, while also getting the best spot to watch all the fireworks. If you would like to celebrate New Year’s Eve on a rooftop and want to enjoy the fireworks with the best view, this is the list for you.
TheRooftopGuide.com has collated a list of the 30 best rooftops, all the way from Budapest to Sydney.
You can check out the full list here, meanwhile, we have chosen our top 5 picks.
OCTAVE ROOFTOP BAR – BANGKOK
A roof that extends over three floors and with a stunning 360-degree views across Bangkok. Here you can sit down in the comfy lounge furniture while peeking at the New Year’s fireworks and enjoy delicious cocktails and tasty food. Located a little outside the city center, but the eventual taxi trip here is worth every penny.
Begin 2019 on a high at Octave Rooftop Lounge & Bar. Free flow of drinks and cocktails, delectable nibbles and panoramic views, make Octave a great place to ring in the New Year. Dance the night away to live DJ’s as you prepare for the countdown. Tickets include free flow of drinks and bar bites all night long.
When: December 31, 7:00pm – 2:00am
Price: 1. Octave Countdown Party THB 8 500 – Free-Flowing drinks and snacks on the 45th floor only of Octave
2. Octave Countdown Party THB 13 500 – Free-Flowing drinks and snacks on the 48th – 49th floor only of Octave
Bokan is an easy-going and sophisticated hideaway, that transports you far from the city buzz of the busy streets below. The bar and roof terrace at Bokan 39 feature a specialist gin bar, rooftop daybeds, Sunday jazz sessions, all with spectacular and striking views of London. Explore a wide range of cocktails made by a talented team of London’s top mixologists, who will create many innovative cocktails influenced by London’s Docklands.
There are two options for New Year’s Eve at Bokan – one with a dining experience, and one for the bar.
– The dinner: Countdown to 2019 with a six-course tasting menu featuring beautifully plated dishes like seabass tartare; Scottish langoustine ravioli; aged Hereford beef filet ‘Rossini’; rosewater and raspberry sorbet; and black forest manjari chocolate, black cherry sorbet.
– The bar: Enjoy Bokan 38th floor bar and 39th floor roof terrace whilst watching the fireworks as the clock strikes midnight! Choose between premium package or just an entrance ticket.
When: December 31, Bar: 9:00pm – 2:00am
1. Dinner – £190 includes a special six-course New Year’s Eve tasting menu, including a glass of champagne at midnight.
2. Bar – £50 includes a welcome drink and access to the 39th floor rooftop & terrace, and partial access to the 38th floor bar.
3. Premium NYE package – £395 includes unlimited house spirits and mixers, cocktails, prosecco, wine, beers and soft drinks as well as a bowl food buffet served from 10pm – midnight alongside live entertainment.
Probably the best rooftop bar in the world during the colder days. The rooftop at 230 Fifth is equipped with some super cool rooftop igloos where you can sit on the terrace overlooking the NYC skyline while having the luxury of being cosy and heated. The views over Manhattan and the Empire State Building as awesome from up here. A perfect New York rooftop bar for New Year’s.
All tickets will provide access to both the penthouse and rooftop levels, providing two incredible parties in one night. When the countdown begins, all guests will get a complimentary glass of champagne to toast in the new year. You can reserve different types of tickets. Everything from single tickets, table for 2-10 persons or a private rooftop igloo.
When: December 31, 9:00pm – 4.00am
Price: General admission: $150 / Table for two: $275 guest / Table for four: $250 guest / Table for six: $250 guest / Table for eight: $250 guest / Table for ten: $250 guest / Outdoor igloo: $250 seat
Dress code: 230 Fifth encourage their guests to ‘dress up.’ No jeans, sneakers, t-shirts or polos. Attire that is in keeping with an upscale environment.
Café del Mar Sydney is a luxurious rooftop bar that brings a slice of Ibiza right to Darling Harbor and the heart of the city. Both regarding the restaurant and rooftop terrace. Up here you get a beautiful view of the Sydney skyline and the waters of Darling Harbor. The very stylish indoor restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows opens up to the large balcony terrace. With modern and comfy lounge furniture, blue and white shades and a cool outdoor bar, the beach club vibe is obvious.
The party at Café del Mar will be held among spectacular Darling Harbour water views and fireworks display. All guests will enjoy Mediterranean inspired food, premium drinks and entertainment from the famous DJ Sandy Rivera along with supporting acts. There are both general admissions along with VIP and dining packages available with tickets from $99+ bf. Packages includes everything from beverages, canapés and access to Private Bar and VIP area.
Perhaps the best rooftop bar in Barcelona. Here you get a magnificent view over the city all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and the beach. The Majestic is a 5-star hotel located in the center of Barcelona. The prices are quite high, but the view, the drinks and the comfortable atmosphere makes a perfect rooftop bar to celebrate New Year’s Eve at. Dinner is not available out at the terrace. But this is a perfect venue for drinks and to see the fireworks.
Majestic Hotel in Barcelona hosts a grand New Year’s dinner and party. Exclusive food from a luxurious set menu with delicatessen like Foie Gras, truffle and Dom Perignon. But it comes with a high price tag. If you like luxury, are a true epicurean and would like to celebrate the new year with one of the best views in Barcelona, La Dolce Vitae at Majestic Hotel is the place to be.
When: December 31, 8:30pm – 3:00am
Price: €550 per person includes 9 course dinner, wine, champagne, coffee, goodie bag, water, live DJ and bar service at midnight.
The good news is that this year’s Volkswagen Passat is one of the roomiest midsized sedans on the market, and that’s great news for men of size.
Us big-boned gays struggle to make our presence known in all the right places of respect, and yet when it comes to being discreet and just blending in, sometimes we can’t even get through the door. I was able to get friend, foe and foreigner in and out of the 2018 Passat with ease, never once spilling a carrying tray of drinks and upsized meals.
This year’s Passat also gives you an easy ride as well, and by that, I mean a ride that is smooth and comfortable, one that doesn’t shake, rattle and roll. You can drive along California’s PCH 101 or Florida’s A1A and just drive, drive, drive like you are in Lady Gaga’s performance suite or Joan Crawford’s receiving area. Sure, if you feel like agitating yourself with some heavy metal music that will really give you an Excedrin headache, knock yourself out. I personally like to listen to the lilting voice of Karen Carpenter as I drive a car that gives me a ride that matches her voice. The 2018 VW Passat in all its incarnations is that car.
Starting at $22,995 US, this is an affordable sedan. In the words of David Byrne of Talking Heads, the Passat is ‘same as it ever was’ – and that’s a good thing. The look and feel of the Passat didn’t change, really, from last year, and it hasn’t changed in a long time. Nothing exciting but it is very standard and reassuring. Step inside and you see more reassurance, and translated, that means you get a nice interior but nothing that will make your pretentious friends go ‘wow’. I like to think of cars with a nice, simple interior as something that can be easily cleaned because, in all honesty, I will be the one who has to clean it. Beauty does have a price and the term ‘high maintenance’ is a very real thing. With the Passat, it’s all relative and all relatively affordable. And the maintenance is easy and really can be handled after a 12-hour shift.
All trims get a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that cranks out 174 horses and 184 pound-feet of torque. This engine has become the Volkswagen standard bearer and it continues to serve them well across all models. It’s a peppy little engine that delivers the goods as needed when needed, though if you want or need a V6 engine, one is available, along with a slew of other upgraded packages. Hey, if you want to spend money on more fancy stuff, there will always be plenty of opportunity to do that.
And yet, the base trim should do just fine. Full disclosure: I test the 2.0T(urbo) SEL Premium trim, which is their top trim with a four-cylinder engine. The exterior color was Harlot Red (okay, they called it Fortana Red Metallic) and it was a rather attractive car. I’ve never thought of a sedan as sexy but this one kinda was. It was a good car to drive around the gay-borhood. The fact that I could get my friends in it made it even more attractive. (Oh, and there’s plenty of room in the boot but make sure you put only non-breathing items back there.)
If there is an argument against getting a midsized car, it’s that it does take up more space than a compact, and in groovy gay cities across the globe, even a few extra inches can mean the difference between getting in a tight parking space without a scratch and using next month’s rent to pay for your neighbor’s bumper repair.
So if you do have your own heated garage or parking space, well, smell you…….
Around every holiday season, I am thanked for being a friend.
Not only from my real friends but my “Golden Girls” friends who bring to life episodes of the beloved show alive every winter.
The iconic San Francisco drag queen Heklina started the drag Christmas version of “The Golden Girls” a long time ago with Matthew Martin by her side.
Like the Emmy winning TV series it’s based upon, the drag version has developed a large fanbase and has maintained its loyal fans, like me, for many years.
This gives me the opportunity to hang out with a group of my besties and enjoy a camped-up live version of the popular 1980s/90s TV series.
An interesting fact is the drag version has been around longer than the TV series was on the air. The San Francisco live version is in its 12th year while the TV series lasted nine seasons. Sure the TV show did many episodes per seasons and the drag version just does two a year. Still, it’s popularity has not waned. In fact, it’s increased.
It is not only a staple during the holiday season in San Francisco but has been extended to Palm Springs, New Orleans, Seattle and Portland. The girls say they will also perform in Salt Lake, Boise and Las Vegas and, hoping, Phoenix, Denver and Chicago.
The drag version started years ago in someone’s living room and perhaps it seated about 50 guests (large living room).
Then it moved to Counter Pulse and its 108 seats. Then it moved to the larger Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory until it settled into the 491-seat Victoria Theatre, where it plays now through Christmas. The show has gotten so big that it can’t even play at SF Oasis, the venue co-owned by Heklina and D’Arcy Drollinger, who has played Rose the past several years.
Unlike the TV “girls,” the live cast of the four principal roles has changed over the years. Heklina has always been Dorothy and Matthew Martin is Blanche. Both have mastered their roles and have become identified with these parts as much as the TV originals.
The show changed the queen playing Rose when Drollinger became business partners with Heklina. Further, after the sad loss of Cookie Dough, who originated the role of Sophia, Holotta Tymes has since branded the role her own.
Another interesting fact is the TV series only had two real Christmas episodes in its nine years – yet the drag version has done 2 different episodes for 12 years. How can that happen? Simple – they take two different episodes each year and add little touches of the holidays. Whether it’s a well placed Christmas tree or a little bit of Christmas in the background -set-wise and plot-wise. For example, if there’s a dance, they make it a Christmas dance.
The important thing for their shows is Christmas isn’t the plot of the show. Instead, it’s a night to feel festive, sing Christmas carols during the show’s “commercial” breaks and be thanked for being a friend.
So thank you, San Francisco “Golden Girls,” for being a friend.
The show runs through Dec. 23 and is sold out on many nights. They added a few performances for their clamoring fans. Keep up with the girls at thegoldengirlslive.com