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  • 47. Do you see what I see?

    With his large-scale digitized mixed media works on canvas, Mississippi-born artist Martin Cribbs explores the sway politics and religion hold over our collective sexual psychology. Favoring bold colors, and images culled from vintage advertising, classic comic strips, evangelical propaganda, and erotica, Cribbs juxtaposes the ordinary and the outrageous, to create energetic graffiti-inspired works that stimulate both the brain and the body.

    Learn More-http://www.martincribbs.com

  • 46. Sweet Stuff In The Sunshine State

    Marc Adams and his husband, Rod Gambassi, have been making things sweet in Orlando, Florida since they opened Iced Bakery in 2010. Working from tuned up versions of family recipes (both grew up with grandmothers who knew their way around a kitchen), the guys create one-of-a-kind celebration cakes and decadent handmade desserts—pistachio caramel shortbread, malted milk chocolate cookies, or dulche de leche brown sugar bacon bars, anyone? Floridians can find Iced Bakery goods at select fine food stores and pop-up shops throughout the state. The rest of the world can order the guys' sweet stuff at the Iced Bakery website. 

    Taste-icedbakery.com

  • 45. Deed We Do!

    “I started drawing as soon as I could hold a crayon,” said Jason Oranzo, the artist behind the charming “We Do!” line of ceramic mugs and cotton dishtowels exclusive to NYC’s dinnerware dream store Fishs Eddy.  The result of a doodling session (crayons are always at the ready in the Greenwich Village apartment Oranzo shares with his partner David and their seven year-old twins Gus and Scout), the “We Do!” items feature adorable dolled up couples declaring their devotion. Romantic. Useful. Affordable. Do.

    "We Do!" at Fishs Eddy-http://bit.ly/1wbU9cV

  • 44.Building A Better Bouquet

    Mike Hines, owner and head designer at Epoch Floral and Mike Hines Signature in Chicago, has over the past decade established himself as a creative force to be reckoned with. Celebrated for his inspired approach to design, the handsome Minnesota Native eschews predictable flowery fuss, preferring to work with unexpected combinations of blooms, colors and textures instead. Whether constructing large-scale installations for high-profile clients in the Dubai desert, or putting together chic arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres for romantic events in the Windy City, Hines excels at turning nature on its ear while turning it into art.

    Visit-epochfloral.com & mikehinessignature.com

  • 43. Fully Vested Is She

    If you're more Rock than Bach you'll want to check out Reverend Sister Go Go when considering which officiant will make your commitment ceremony or wedding day one to remember. Known on the street as Jane Wiedlin, a founding member of the legendary all-girl pop-punk band The Go-Go's, this rocking reverend is certified, ready and able to pronounce couples committed in all 50 states. Each of three available packages includes a get-to-know-you phone call and email correspondence for laying plans, as well as photo time and other fun stuff day of. For those who want to ensure that their celebration is nothing but party time, the Platinum Package gets Wiedlin sitting in with your band or acoustic ("Our Lips Are Sealed!" "Lust To Love!" "Blue Kiss!" "Rush Hour!"), or in the DJ booth working your crowd into a frenzy, whether they've got the beat or not. 

    See Jane-marriedbyjane.com

  • 42. A farm out east

    Originally opened in 1941, Kerber's Farm offered fresh poultry, produce, and baked goods to Huntington, Long Island locals for decades before being shuttered several years ago. Enter Nick Voulgaris, a hometown boy who, seeing promise in the dilapidated place, literally bought the farm. After undergoing an extensive restoration, a revitalized Kerber's Farm quietly began serving made-from-scratch pies, cookies, scones, biscuits, and other sweet and savory treats (all made daily by renowned New York Pastry chef Danna Abrams) this summer. In addition to baked goods, Voulgaris offers in-season produce grown both on his and neighboring farms, homemade jams, honey from on-site bee hives, and fine home goods like candles, throw pillows, and select antique pieces. The farm's original chicken coops are currently being upgraded, but birds needn't sweat it.Only their eggs will be leaving in bags. Bawk!  

    http://kerbersfarm.com

  • 41. It Gives A Lovely Light

    After a long and successful career as an ad man for the fragrance industry, Timothy Sullivan left buttoned-up Madison Avenue for the wilds of West Hollywood. There, after experimenting with candle making in his kitchen, he opened Timothy Jay Candles in 1988. Flash forward and Sullivan (now a Master Candle Maker, thank you very much) can boast that his are the candles of choice for several high-end hotels and celebrities whose names you know. Made with paraffin-soy wax, lead-free wicks and fragrances designed in-house, each candle is hand poured into a stylish glass holder, which after cooling is polished by hand, making Timothy Jay candles as lovely to look at as their scents are to smell. 

    Visit-http://www.timothyjaycandles.com

  • 40. Two Cool Girls Or Sweets On The Streets

    Since first rolling onto the scene in a tricked out former postal van at the '09 Coachella Festival, Coolhaus, a gourmet ice cream sandwich operation of of L.A., has become the food truck to trail in several lucky cities. The brainchild of Natasha Case and Freya Estreller, two women who share a passion for  ideas, design, food, and each other, Coolhaus offers a rotating menu of uber-good cookies and ice cream (snickerdoodle, chocolate chunk pretzel, Guiness chip, just to name a few), which eager eaters combine as they see fit, into customized "sammies." In addition to L.A., Coolhaus carts and trucks now cruise the streets of Austin, Dallas, NYC, and Miami, while Culver City and Pasadena are blessed to have walk-in shops. Not to fear if a corner near you is not on a Coolhaus route.  The cool goodies are stocked at smart food stores in over forty states, and are available online at the Coolhaus site. And yes, trucks are available (where available) for your events. Scream. 

    http://eatcoolhaus.com/

  • 39. gallinero

    Set in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico, Taos has been attracting the arty and adventurous for decades. Count Richard Spera among them. Drawn by the rich history and stunning year-round natural beauty of the area, Spera left Manhattan for small town life over a decade ago, and it's lucky for travelers that he did. His Casa Gallina Inn, a compound of five adobe casitas on three acres, is a mountain hideaway well worth the climb. Spaces are warm and welcoming, with furnishings created by local artisans, beamed ceilings, wood plank floors, kiva fireplaces, and other thoughtful details. Private patios and decks make views of Taos Mountain and the wide Southwestern sky your own. 

    Visit - http://www.casagallina.net

  • 38. Over The Rainbow

    Philly-based artist Nicole Krecicki’s fun and funky t-shirts, tanks, and accessories are designed for LGBTs who are more rock-n-roll than rainbow. A stylish hybrid of politics (GAY is not a punchline) and pop-culture (Ellen, Freddie Mercury, 80s Madonna, etc.), Krecicki’s graffiti-esque line Rainbow Alternative is created using hand drawn stencils and spray paint, making each piece, like you, one of a kind. 

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/rainbowalternative

  • 37. Gay Liberation

    If you never played the word game Mad Libs as a kid, laughing till you peed your pants while reading sentences like – The drunk cat sang while sitting on the toilet, yours was a sad childhood indeed. Thankfully, the Adult Mad Libs series exists, allowing those who should know better, to mine their vocabulary for words like wiener and boobs. And now with We’re Here, We’re Queer, We’re Mad Libs, the gays are in on the game. Get your nouns, verbs and bad words in order.

  • 36. South America By Way Of Brooklyn

    Since opening in Park Slope, Brooklyn in 2005, Bogota Latin Bistro has been the go to spot for foodies craving a great time with their authentic Central and South American cooking. A high-energy joint, owned by the recently married Farid Ali Lancheros and George Constantinou (the guys met at a speed dating event in 2001), the place thrills with legit dishes like roasted pork ribs in mango BBQ sauce, spicy shrimp empanadas, and pastel de tres leches (three milks cake), not to mention cool and kicking signature cocktails, and a tropical setting that encourages a good time. Luckily for those nearby, Bogota caters and delivers. For everybody else, flights leave for New York regularly. Pack your appetite.

    http://bogotabistro.com

  • 35. Oooh baby, baby

     

    When baby deserves the best, Oliver & Adelaide is a good place to start. An online shop specializing in unique American-made clothing, toys and furnishings for new people, O&A is owned and operated by gay dad and man-of-exquisite-taste, Gary Osborne. Frustrated at the lack of safe, thoughtfully designed and well made products available for his own children, Osborne became a curator of baby things beautiful. Offering hand carved rattles, one-of-a-kind onesies, and future keepsakes like orange baseballs and cashmere bears, all handmade by handpicked artisans, Oliver & Adelaide is the one-stop luxury shop for items you and your bundle will treasure forever.

    https://www.oliverandadelaide.com/

  • 34. ROCK IT THROUGH THE WILDERNESS

    Kate Pierson, of the legendary B-52s, and her partner Monica Coleman, have both coasts covered when it comes to kitschy camping.

    Out west, Kate’s Lazy Desert near Joshua Tree National Park, offers six Air Stream trailers tricked out in perfect funplex fashion. Each vintage silver bullet has it’s own theme, a full-sized bed, kitchenette, and shower, making them not just cool, but comfortable too. Outside, you’ll find grills for keeping mealtime real, an aboveground pool, and shaded hammocks for beating the heat and swinging while counting stars. 

    Over in New York’s Catskills Mountains, sits Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel. A genuine old timey place, the motel has been restored with rustic-retro charm. Some of the one and two-bedroom suites feature fireplaces and candy-colored 1950’s style kitchens. All are decorated with curios collected personally by Pierson on her travels around the world. Set creek-side just five miles from Woodstock, views and good moods come with every room.

    http://www.lazymeadow.com

  • 33. Nice Ice Baby

    The name might conjure images of long underwear and chattering teeth, but Iceland is actually quite temperate thanks to the Atlantic’s Gulf Stream (that’s science), and it is anything but cold when it comes to LGBT visitors. But what else would you expect from a country with a lesbian Prime Minister, marriage equality, and a straight mayor who jumps into a dress for the annual Pride parade in Reykjavik, the country’s capital? Girlfriends Eva Maria and Birna Hrönn and their trusted friend Hannes Palson, owners of travel and event company Pink Iceland, know where the adventures are in the Land of Fire and Ice. Interested in chasing the Northern Lights, soaking in a geothermally heated lagoon, saying, “I do” on a glacier, or partying through the almost-always-light August night during Gay Pride? The gals and guy at Pink Iceland can set you up. Tours and treks created for the LGBT traveler are their specialty, and whether you prefer shopping, dining, DJs and dancing, or the wild outdoors, Pink Iceland will tailor a trip you won’t soon forget.

    http://www.pinkiceland.is/

  • 32. Eureka!

    "Eureka Springs...where the misfits fit." That's one nickname given Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a small city in the Ozark Mountains, which over the past several decades has inexplicably become the San Francisco of the South. With upwards of fifty LGBT-owned businesses, three separate Diversity Weekends throughout the year, plus the summer Pride celebration – you’re never far from Gay Street in this town. Originally a destination for the sick and suffering seeking the supposed curative powers of the area's natural springs, Eureka Springs has since transformed into a community like few others in the country. Mountains, Victorian architecture, music and art festivals, A+ restaurants and hotels, gay zombie tag, UFO and paranormal conferences, a 65-foot tall statue of Jesus (the work of the same artist who created the now sadly defunct Dinosaur World) and more, bring freethinking tourists to town all year long.

    http://gayeurekasprings.com

  • 31. The Truth about 8

    Dustin Lance Black made a huge splash when he won the Academy Award in 2009 for Best Original Screenplay for Milk, the biopic of pioneer LGBTactivist Harvey Milk. His acceptance speech, in which he assured gay and lesbian kids that equality was in their future, was epic in its eloquence. Milk was no fluke. In 20011, working from trial transcripts, journalist’s notes, and interviews with those involved in the historic case to overturn California’s Proposition 8, Black wrote the acclaimed, play “8.” 

    After a sold out benefit premiere in New York City, “8” was produced in Los Angeles, with a cast that included Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Kevin Bacon, Jane Lynch, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. The historic production was streamed live on YouTube, and has since been watched by almost 700,000 viewers - http://bit.ly/An4Qi5. Black has waived the licensing fee on “8”, making it possible for community theaters, college drama departments, and civil rights organizations to stage readings at no cost. Anchorage, Al, University Park, Il, Kirksville, MO, and Tokyo, Japan, are among the cities where “8” has been playing to packed houses. A schedule of current and upcoming readings is available on the “8” website.

    http://www.8theplay.com

  • 30. Oh, Provincetown, I would wear you if I could

    Tim Convery, sailed into Provincetown, that LGBT Shangri-La at the very tip of Cape Cod, a few summers ago, and instantly smitten with the place and it’s queer characters, traded in the mean streets of Greenwich Village for the salty sea permanently. His store, Tim-Scapes, features his original “Tape-Scape” t-shirts, hoodies, totes, and limited-edition prints, inspired by Ptown’s kooky spirit, and the work of artists Charley Harper and Corita Kent. Cool, cute and culturally conscious. Now available online. 

    http://tim-scapes.com

  • 29. Oh My Lords

    A renovated art deco beauty with splashes of yellow and ocean blue throughout, Lords South Beach Hotel is warm all year long. With its cheeky-chic design, the 53-room boutique hotel on Collins Avenue has been a favorite gay getaway since opening in December 2010, and was recently listed at number three on Travel & Leisure's "Best New Hotels 2012" list. Surprisingly reasonably priced, Lords is ultra close to the restaurants and clubs South Beach-lovers live for (not to mention the ocean), and is often the scene of the party itself. The Porch out front is the place to perch and play spot-the-celebrity (Heyyyy!), while the sun deck with its three plunge pools and the Lobby Lounge inside, ensure that dull moments never check in here.

    http://www.lordssouthbeach.com

  • 28. Flower Girl

    Gaige Clark, owner of Spruce, a boutique flower shop in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood, comes from a long line of New England gardeners (her great-great grandmother was something of a floral celebrity back in the day). So, though it wasn’t her intention to become a florist when she moved to New York City, it’s no surprise that when she made the jump after a stint in publishing, success soon blossomed. Spruce has received regular shout outs from Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, The New York Times, and numerous other fancy publications since opening in 1998, making it a  favorite of NYC’s famous and fabulous. Beauty is not reserved for the shiny set only, however. The shop's easy-grab bouquets and chic small arrangements make it possible for everyone to pick up something gorgeous in Chelsea. 

    http://spruceup.com/index.html

  • 27. El meu cor parla el llenguatge de l'amor

    Parisian photographer Jean-Baptiste Huong has long had a love affair with Barcelona, traveling to the stunning city frequently over the past twenty years, to soak in the light of the place and its people. For his current project, “Lovers In Barcelona,” Huong is aiming his lens at real-life Barcelonian lovers found via a casting post on Facebook. The resulting images are sweet and sensuous, and looking at them it’s easy to believe that love lives in that city on the sea.

    Warning: The “Lovers In Barcelona” couples are spread throughout Huong’s tumblr page, so visitors will have to endure numerous solo shots of beautiful men and women as they scroll.

    http://jeanbaptistehuong.tumblr.com

  • 26. Heavy Metal Jeweler

    "I love the fact that jewelry is such an intimate art form. Not only physically, but emotionally. What one feels about a piece of jewelry gives it importance and meaning." 

    Since opening the first Clear Metals store in NYC's East Village in 1984, Barbara Klar's gorgeous one-of-a-kind and limited edition designs have been worn by the likes of K.D.Lang, Deborah Harry, Joan Jett, and Jim Jarmusch, among other cool and creative types, and her work has been praised in the pages of Vogue, the New York Times, and Instyle. Not bad for a rock-and-roll girl from Akron, Ohio. After years in her original space, Klar moved to NYC's flashy and fabulous Soho, before going country, and relocating her studio upstate to Accord, NY. 

    http://clearmetals.com/

  • 25. Pews & Booze

    Church, aka Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, is a divine dive for those who like a shot with their salvation. The place in Atlanta to drink Spiritual Sangria and sing karaoke accompanied by a church organ (actually, it's the only place in Atlanta to do that), Church, the immaculate creation of artist and former seminary student Grant Henry (aka Sister Louisa), is a one-of-a-kind joint where "Parishioners" revel like the devil, throwing down nightly in celebration of art, PBR, music, dancing and, of course, ping pong. Sinners are welcome. 

    http://www.sisterlouisaschurch.com/church

  • 24. Bikers & Beds In Milwaukee

    With its exposed brick walls and wooden beams, custom ironwork chandeliers and antique and vintage furnishings, The Iron Horse Hotel in downtown Milwaukee is a butch chic tour de force. Located in the city's gay-centric Walker's Point neighborhood, the 100-room hotel is housed in a century-old warehouse orginially built for the Berger Bedding Company (bodes well for a good night's sleep), and has been a regular on "Best" lists since welcoming its first guests in 2008. Near the Harley Davidson Museum (Milwaukee is the Harley's hometown), the Iron Horse offers special amenities for guests who roll into town on two wheels - custom hooks for hanging heavy leather gear, bike washing stations, and on-call maintenance to name three. For those who long to play Steve McQueen but don't have what it takes, motorcycles are available for daily rental. 

    Extra Good To Know - The Iron Horse Hotel is an official sponsor of Milwaukee's annual PrideFest and other local LGBT events, and the first romantic celebration held at the hotel was a same-sex commitment ceremony. Vroom. Vroom.

    http://www.theironhorsehotel.com/accommodations/lgbt-friendly.html

  • 23. HOT STUFF IN CHICAGO

    Food and drink are the stuff of life for partners Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, known in Chicago and beyond (they won The Next Food Network Star competition, and as a result, their own show) as The Hearty Boys. First-rate caterers, the couple has been making Chi-Town parties and events memorable for over ten years, creating menus for the likes of Hillary Clinton and Jesse Jackson, as well as for thousands of regular folk along the way. In addition to knowing how to throw a fantastic private bash, the boy's resume also includes the award-winning restaurant Hearty, which offers spruced up but not fussy versions of seasonal American classics  like meatloaf, pork chops, and flaming s'mores, a cookbook - "Talk With Your Mouth Full" - and most importantly, their son Nate. 

     http://www.heartyboys.com

  • 22. A T Grows In Brooklyn

    Inspired by the President'a recent comments in support of Marriage Equality, Brooklyn-based artist Tom Vasquez created this very cool image of the man himself. Think it would look great on a T-shirt? It does.

    http://www.tomvasquez.com/index.php?/shop/obama-2012/

  • 21. Jupiter Wants Gays

    A former motor-inn, Portland’s Jupiter Hotel is a beyond-cool and comfortable place to stay and play. Perfectly blending retro style and contemporary design, the Jupiter offers eighty-one stylish and affordable rooms, including the Dream Suite, a one-bedroom affair, complete with a bar, sound system, two plasma TVs, and room for entertaining up to twenty-five of your closest friends. Always offering awsome specials, the place is located near great food and live music venues and is pet friendly if your pet is friendly. A true supporter of the LGBT community, the Jupiter participates in annual events like Pride NW, Latino Gay Pride, BearTown, and other LGBT focused celebrations.  

    http://lgbtjupiterhotel.wordpress.com

  • 20. Look Good. Feel Good.

    Since 1980, the Human Rights Campaign has worked tirelessly to ensure that the voice of the nation’s LGBT community is heard loud and clear. Via grassroots community mobilization, education outreach, and intelligent investing in elected officials and policymakers, HRC has most definitely been a driving force for change in America. And they have cool T-shirts (like the exclusive Levi’s design) that make it easy to feel good while looking good. 100% of every purchase from the HRC stores goes to their work fighting for LGBT equality.

    http://shop.hrc.org

  • 19. Stay Gay in NYC

    Recently opened near Hell’s Kitchen, New York’s The Out NYC hotel is billed as a gay urban resort, and with amenities like a luxury full service spa, the first class KTCHN restaurant, XL nightclub, a deck for watching the sunset (sunrise?) over the city, and the Secret Garden quiet space, who could argue? Rooms run the gamut from the pricey and cushy Superior, to the very affordable Sleep Shares, which accommodate up to four. Cheekily marketed as “straight-friendly,” The Out NYC promises a lively and stylish experience for those who like more than a little gay with their stay.  

    http://theoutnyc.com/

  • 18. Before Stonewall - Compton's Cafeteria 1966


    Detailing life in San Francisco's notorious Tenderloin district, SCREAMING QUEENS: THE RIOT AT COMPTON'S CAFETERIA, is a riveting look into the lives of the transexuals, drag queens, and hustlers, who, having no other place to go, claimed the seedy neighborhood as their own in the mid-1960s. Via archival footage and current interviews (the documentary was made in 2005) with those who were there, the film sheds light on what it was like to be "different" in a time when a person could be arrested if their hair was too long, or the buttons on their shirt were on the "wrong" side. Harassment from a roughneck police force was the norm in the neighborhood until an August night in 1966, when after one push too many, a riot broke out, and with flying chairs and broken glass, the LGBT civil rights movement was set in motion on the West Coast.

    SCREAMING QUEENS: THE RIOT AT COMPTON'S CAFETERIA on DVD - http://amzn.to/LF71Nb

  • 17. I Knew When...

    In celebrity photographer Robert Trachtenberg’s book, “When I Knew,” LGBTs both well known and otherwise, spill it on when it first struck them that they were not like the other Johnnys and Janes in the neighborhood. Juxtaposed with illustrations and both archival and personal photos, the easy-to-read shorts bring the laughs (you can not see under Tarzan’s loincloth by looking under the television), and a few heavy sighs. But best, the stories remind that even if it feels like you are the only one, the truth is there are millions more under the sun. 

    http://bit.ly/MKgKSv

  • 16. Smells Good. Burns Bright.

    John Saint-Denis, a man of good taste if there ever was one, has added to his list of stylish accomplishments a line of handmade essential oil candles. Inspired by the designer's time spent in France as a young man, each of the four soy candles in the collection—Thermique, L’Église, La Provence and La Cheminée—contains an intoxicating blend of scents like citrus, daises and musk, and frankincense, myrrh and sage. Romance is waiting for the match to be struck. Watch the flames flicker in Saint-Denis’ sexy short film, Il Palazzo.

    http://johnsaint-denis.com/candles

  • 15. Everyone's Sleeping With Art

    Comprised of five beautifully reconfigured 19th century tobacco and bourbon warehouses in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, the 21c Museum Hotel has been earning gold stars and rainbows from LGBT travelers since opening in 2006. A 90-room boutique hotel with A+ amenities, the 21c is, as the name implies, also a museum. It is, in fact, the only museum in North America dedicated to 21st century contemporary art. In Louisville, Y'all. The art attack is immediate. Upon arrival, guests are greeted by Serkan Ozkaya’s 30-foot high gold fiberglass David (inspired by Michelangelo), posing in front of the 21c like he owns the place. Paintings, photographs, sculptures and video installations, make the journey from front desk to room and roof deck, decidedly dramatic. Oh, and if in the morning the red penguin that stood guard outside your room when you went to bed is missing, fear not. Those red birds roam.

    http://www.21cmuseumhotels.com/louisville

  • 14. It's Pink Inside

    New Orleans

    French Quarter

    Bourbon Street

    24 Hours

    Pink Tile

    Red Stools

    Jukebox

    Sassy Staff

    Pecan Waffles

    Grits

    Cheeseburgers

    Tater Tots

    Milkshakes

    Pie Of The Day

    Drag Queens

    Lesbians

    Leather Men

    Some Drunks

    Vacationing Families

    http://clovergrill.com

  • 13. VOODOO DO I DO

    Voodoo Doughnut is the place in the Northwest for all things dough-nutty. Doughnut fanatics from near and far descend daily on the Voodoo shops in Portland and Eugene, Oregon, for creations crammed with crème and jelly, and topped with everything from ButterFinger, Fruit Loops (the Gay Bar), Oreos, and, oh yeah, maple frosting and bacon. Traditionalists flock too, pleasuring themselves on apple fritters, French cruellers and powdered sugar rings. The hungry and horny kill two birds with one stone, devouring the Cock-n-balls, a Bavarian crème-filled chocolate frosted doughnut in the shape of, well, you know. Craving romance with your sweet feast? Voodoo Doughnut offers LGBT Commitment Ceremonies right in their shops. Starting at $25, the final cost depends upon number of guests, refreshments, and special requests, but what’s money when it comes to gay love and doughnuts? Though not legal, the ceremony is nothing less than special, with a Voodoo incantation, exchange of vows, the participation of anybody who happens to be doughnut shopping at the time, and the sweet scent of sugar in the air. 

    http://voodoodoughnut.com

  • 12. John Waters Isn't The Only Flower From Baltimore

    Flower farms near Baltimore? Ellen Frost, owner of Local Color Flowers, has long worked with the several specialty flower growers located surprisingly close to the city. Purchasing locally ensures that all calla lilies, campanula, dahlias, larkspur, snapdragons, and other beautiful buds used in LCF’s arrangements, bouquets, and boutonnieres, are fresh, seasonal and sustainable. Not to mention, that it helps to keep Maryland growers in business, a good thing, considering that 80 percent of flowers sold in the US are imported. Nature dictates what’s available according to the season, but not to worry, Local Color Flowers creates natural wonders no matter the month. 

    http://www.locoflo.com/

  • 11. Austin Power

    The passion of longtime partners Shakti and DevKirn Khalsa, eastern transplants who declared Austin, TX home years ago, the Park Lane Guest House is one cool and comfortable stay. Located within walking distance of the great live music and restaurants Austin is known for, this urban oasis offers three private guest cottages, as well as one spacious room with private bath in the property’s gorgeously restored historic main house. A certified Green Hotel since 2000, reclaimed woodwork, windows, and French doors are used throughout the property to beautiful effect, and eco-amenities are many. Here you’ll find 100% cotton organic linens and robes, EO soaps and lotions, an organic breakfast delivered to your cottage or room each morning (they have their own hens!), fair trade coffee, and a natural swimming pool with mosaic tile-work by Shakti herself. Add to all that, towering Live Oak trees, a smoke-free policy, free Wi-Fi inside and out, and a friendly-pets-welcome policy, and you’ve got a twinkling star in the Lone Star State.

    http://www.parklaneguesthouse.com

  • 10. Go Middle West

    Brady Konya and Ryan Lang honor both place and tradition when crafting their OYO (Iroquoian for Ohio River) whiskey and vodkas at Middle West Spirits, a micro-distillery located in Columbus Ohio’s hip Short North district. Using Ohio-grown red winter wheat, and a copper pot distilling vessel imported from a German company in business for almost 200 years, MWS prides itself on the quality of its small-batch products. There is excitement to spare when the dashing duo talk about the field-to-glass process, and fortunately, groups from 6 to 40 are welcome for private tours and tastings. Of course, all tour guests must be at least 21, and tours need to be scheduled ahead of time. Designate a driver, and you are good for a libation celebration.

    http://www.middlewestspirits.com

  • 9. Y'all Ready For Some South In Your Mouth?

    The fact that Pauley Perrette, star of the hit long-running series “NCIS,” is one of three best friends (the other two being Darren Greenblatt and Matthew Sandusky), who opened Donna Bell’s Bake Shop in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, is pretty cool, but even cooler, is the fact that the recipes used to create the shop’s southern-style sweet and savory delicacies are none other than Pauley’s mother’s, the original Donna Bell. Engagement, anniversary, or birthday party? Donna Bell does it with mac-n-cheese, chicken pot pie, biscuits, red-velvet cheesecake brownies, coconut cupcakes, and lemonade ready for spiking. Want a cake with a kick? This place makes one with an entire bottle of champagne. Now, who wouldn’t drink to that?

    http://donnabellsbakeshop.com

  • 8. Make It In Hollywood

    An old-Hollywood-rock-and-roll-flea-market mash-up conceived by famed photographer and music video director Matthew Rolston (Beyonce, Madonna, Jody Watley, Mary J. Blige, George Michael, and everyone else), The Redbury Hotel, lives at the legendary intersection of Hollywood and Vine, and is proving to be the little hotel that can and does. The Redbury’s fifty-seven flats are distinctively designed, and each comes equipped with premium bedding, a kitchenette and washer/dryer, furniture you’ll want to take home, and maybe best of all, a turntable and a selection of vinyl. Many rooms have views of the Hollywood sign, the Capital Records Tower and downtown Hollywood. Oh, and one of Judy Garland’s stars on the Walk of Fame (she has two) is on the sidewalk just outside the hotel.

    http://theredbury.com/

  • 7. Your Silent Face

    It’s the eyes in New York photographer Brad Calcaterra’s striking portraits that you notice first. Whether accompanied by a slight or full-on smile, the eyes draw you in and seem to say, “Here I am.” “When I shoot a portrait intended as a gift for a partner, I ask the person sitting to think about a moment, tender, rowdy, whatever, when it struck them that love had taken hold of their heart. Sometimes they cry. Sometimes they crack up. A lot of times they fall silent.”

    http://www.calcaterraphotography.com/

  • 6. Good Fortune

  • 5. Get Yourself Some Love Cups
  • 4. Suits. Her.

    Shaz Riley, Director of The Butch Clothing Company out of the UK, was inspired to start BCC two years ago, because the off-the-rack suits she was able to purchase in stores were ill-fitting, and left her feeling less than sharp. Catering to butch women with a passion for suiting up, each BCC suit is made to order, with great attention to shape, detail, and fabric. Although located in Kent (that’s in England), Riley welcomes (and has had great success with) consultations via Skype.

    http://thebutchclothingcompany.co.uk/

  • 3. Comfort. Sweet!

    Housed in what was the warehouse of a brewery dating back to 1871, the ten-room Ale House Inn in Downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire caters to those who enjoy style with their stay. Rooms are spacious and well appointed. Each features a complimentary iPad! Yes, it has to stay when you check out. Smack in the center of the city’s Market Square district, the inn is within walking distance of dozens of restaurants and cafes, shops, and nightspots, as well as the beautiful waterfront walk in Prescott Park.

    Good idea - With enough notice, the entire Ale House Inn can be booked for your group.

    http://www.alehouseinn.com/index.aspx

  • 2. Love Tastes Good

    Crowned the King of Cakes by those with the authority to make such proclamations, Ron Ben-Israel, chef-owner of Ron Ben Israel Cakes in NYC, and host of “Sweet Genius” on Food Channel, creates cakes that work a room. Colors, shapes and sizes you wouldn’t think possible come from this man’s kitchen. Need a twelve-foot high cake in the shape of a landmark building? Or maybe a four tiered snow-white cake with gorgeous spun sugar flowers? Ding. Done.

    http://www.ronbenisrael.com/#/home/

  • 1. Zina Saunders - Love and Marriage

    Native New Yorker and writer-illustrator Zina Saunders’ work can be seen in Mother Jones, Utne Reader, The New Republic, and The Nation, among other well known publications. Her interests are wide, and in her work she has focused on everything from quirky and passionate New Yorkers (overlookednewyork.com), the trials of Faith, a resilient AIDS orphan living in Zimbabwe (africacloseup.com), and dedicated and determined teachers around the US (blackboardheroes.com). Her Love and Marriage series of paintings and interviews with gay and lesbian couples in long-term relationships was prompted by her dismay at the voting down of the gay marriage bill by the New York Senate in 2009. Things have changed in New York state since Saunders painted and profiled her first couple in the series, but that victory makes the couples, their take on love and the law, and certainly the artist’s portraits, no less engrossing.

    http://www.zinasaunders.com/love-and-marriage/marriage.html

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