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Utah and Salt Lake City So Far…

In: Saturday Submissions
salt-lake-city

This travel adventure took place in Utah back in July when I was there on a business trip and the weather was a dry heat and very HOT! The landscape was that of a mixture of dry desert meets mountains of various shapes and sizes. There was still some snow on some peaks, the names of these goliaths escape my memory but it was a sight to behold at the time I was there. The populace consisted of very tall blonde and blued eyed men, Latinos and a smattering of Asians but they were mostly women. The city of Salt Lake City downtown core showcases turn of the century buildings, side by side modern skyscrapers but there were not a lot of tourists or people walking about, as you would think there would be. But a striking tourist attraction was the Temple, where all the streets of downtown converged at. The grand Church of the Latter Day Saints is an impressive monument to religion shrouded in mystery and secret rites. The temple dominated a good four blocks or so and it boasted an office building dedicated to the running of such huge orginization.

The surrounding area, namely called the Avenues, consisted of houses and apartments that are situated on a perfectly grid-like planning and is home to the younger and artsy populace of Salt Lake. Its close commute to downtown also makes it an ideal living area for young professionals and apparently is a strong foothold for the Democrats. The houses found in the Avenues are reminisce of houses found in Shaunessy (Vancouver, BC) or New Westminster, BC, old grand houses that are well maintained, colourful and have a strong aura of history.

The Hyatt Summerfield was the hotel my company had put me up in, is located in the city of Sandy, UT, which was south of Salt Lake City (SLC). I thought I was going to have to rely on taxis to get around but I found they have a local transit land rail, similar to our Skytrain system, called Uta-Trax. From what I can tell, it ran in a North to South direction, connecting Salt Lake City to other cities along its route. The waiting times for the trains were not too long and the cost was very inexpensive.

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Str8 Tripping

In: Saturday Submissions
beer-cheers

What is a gay guy suppose to do when he’s out and about with his straight friends? Have an awesome time, that’s what! I love clubbing and socializing with my straight friends, Melissa, Ryan, Cheryl and Danai. They are a great group of friends that I like to hang out with when I can and when we do, we usually end up getting into a lot of mischief. I also like getting the chance to go to straight bars, which I would usually never consider going to, but the eye candy at the bars are worth it.

Recently, my friends had decided to take me to the Blarney Stone, which is located in the heart of Gastown, on a Friday night. I just got back from a business trip in the US and after two weeks of drinking their so called alcohol, I was ready for the real Canadian stuff. Upon setting foot on Canadian soil, my comrades in mischief called and convinced me to go out with them that night.

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The Princess and the Racist?

In: Saturday Submissions
princess-frog

I have a niece who is half African American, and from a very early age was given a black doll to play with. My sister recognized that growing up in a small town in BC where seeing a black person was like spotting a four leaf clover, my niece would need some recognition eventually of her own skin colour, in absence of her African American birth father and being surrounded by us whities. Fast forward a couple years later when, on a trip into Vancouver, my niece from her stroller, pointed to little black girl and said “Look Mommy, she’s just like me”. Despite her being given that doll from birth, not one word of her having a different skin colour had been uttered, and she figured it out all by herself.

Disney’s latest film “The Princess and the Frog” stands for a couple of things. Firstly, it’s hand drawn, back to the basics, and hallelujah, I feel like people my age are damn excited about a Lion Aladdin and the Beast Mermaid Disney film that isn’t about some form of computer animated inanimate objects; maybe it’s just me making myself feel better about getting older. GO PUMBA!

Secondly, this is the first Disney cartoon ever to feature a black princess. Wait, what year is it? Yes that’s right. Ever. Despite Disney’s obvious attempt at racial Princess equality with films like Aladdin, Mulan, and Pocahontas, the racial issue plaguing the States since the early 17th century (count your fingers and your toes people), has been swept under Mickey’s rug until 2009. Not once has Disney given any little African American girl an animated roll model, a plush toy, an action figure with a tiara, to look up to and think “She’s just like me”.

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mariah-carey-i-want-to-know-what-love-is

So Mariah has released another single.  Or should I say, covered (destroyed) an all time favorite of mine.

This time it’s the classic 1984 Foreigner song, “I Want to Know What Love Is”. I remember when I was growing up I would listen to the original over and over again; unfortunately, this version will NOT be growing on me. This is a total train-wreck of an amazing track and I am deeply saddened that Mariah has chosen to ruin a piece of my childhood for me.

Mariah, seriously… not cool.

Listen to Mariah’s Version of the classic after the jump (if you dare)

What’s On Your Mind?

In: Patrick, Saturday Submissions
sunday

Ladies & Gentlemen, Gays, Straights, and everything in between,

We’ve had readers sending in their articles for a few months now, and we must say it has been a great success! Men, women, gay, straight, people from different backgrounds have written in to speak their mind. Sundays on the site are devoted to our readers all over the world, giving YOU the chance to write and be heard!!! G.O.D. took Sundays off and so are we. Here’s your chance to get opinions and ideas heard.

These writers have pushed their own boundaries in sharing their personal stories and opinions with the world. So far, we’ve had articles covering topics including dating, religion, political positions, religion, personal insecurities, coming out stories, original songs, and much more. We know you have something to share, so why not put yourself out there and do something different? Writing IS very therapeutic you know – a great way to vent or simply to have an outlet for your creative side.

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owl-city-ocean-eyes

Okay so someone had to do it…

I’ve been listening to this song for about a week now and I just can’t make up my mind if it’s super cheesy or indie-cool.  The vocals are a little whiny for me but sort of melodic at the same time; stylistically, it reminds me of a cross between The Postal Service and Lights

Owl City is actually the music project of 23 year old Adam Young from Minnesota.  On his newest album “Ocean Eyes” he collaborates with a female vocalist, Breanne Duren on a  number of tracks.  Check out his website http://www.owlcitymusic.com/.  His North American tour includes a stop in Vancouver at The Biltmore on October 15th.

Check out The Saltwater Room (feat. Breanne Duren) and the video for Fireflies after the jump…

Cheap and Cheerful Wines for the End of the Summer

In: Saturday Submissions
red-wine

Working at Denman Place Wines has taught me a couple of things in the last year.

One is that there are SO MANY MORE wines out there than what you get in the liquor store, and to get it you really do have to go to a specialty store like mine. Secondly, when you go to a boutique wine store, you can actually TALK to the clerks about the wine, although I’ve been to a couple where the person helping me thought they were too cool for school. We’re definitely not like that in our store, because we all started out amateurs, and we’ve all said Gewurztra-what?

The thing I get asked most in my store (being under a hotel full of Americans who are used to having two-buck-chuck as an OPTION), is what someone can get for under $15,. So here’s my list of my three white and three red go-to wines, because sometimes we’re providing for more than just ourselves and like to trick people into thinking we really pulled out the good stuff for ‘em. Yeah that’s right, I only pull the good stuff out for myself!

Best red & white wines after the jump

Last week I had the pleasure to attend my first Vancouver Queer Film Festival showing – ever. Honestly, I didn’t know much about the film (or short films, as it turned out to be), but I was excited nevertheless. It turned out to be 4 short films: Dinx, Q-Case, King County, and Boycrazy.

vqff-dinx

Dinx
Dinx was a short film about a young shooter boy/bar-worker who frequently has flashbacks to his past as a young homo. The film parallels his past life as a young queer and life as a shooter boy. The film was cute enough and had some amusing moments. At the start of the film, it seemed like it would go nowhere, but there were enough cute scenes and one liners to keep this light hearted film afloat.

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