Friday, November 03, 2006

Busby's "One Huge Trip" . 2 November

Though I first reported on Justin Sailor's Hometown Invasion Tour on 4 September 2006 which, officially, began in Milwaukee on 10 September this is my first posting since. Having included one of his promotional logos on my blog Justin informs me that some confusion resulted in the reporting of his website's stats so for now I have removed his logo from my blog but will add it later once the bugs have been ironed out.

In the meantime and so as to bring attention to his journey and which, from the start, is something that I had hoped to do, on an ongoing but periodic basis I will post updates to my blog pertaining to Bugsby's Hometown Invasion Tour. This represents the first but, actually, second installment.

The above photo was taken on Halloween, 31 October, in Boise Idaho at Merritt’s Country CafĂ© during which time Busby reports that though it was his Best Day Ever "The sad part was when we were all singing a country song [that] two punk guys a few booths away who shouted 'What a gay song,' [and] when it ended ... then called Joey a 'fagot' on the way out ...".

While I applaud and support Justin's tour if I were to drive across the country in a jeep not only would I be stopped for DWI at most places along the way but it is quite possible that I would be lynched, in towns such as Boise.

On 2 November Busby reports that "This trip is like nothing I’ve ever read, heard, experienced, or even dreamed about. I’m 62 days and 9 stats into the trip. I have 303 days and 41 states to go. Something about this week in Boise made me sit back and look at the big picture, which might be dangerous ...”.

Malcolm X Drummers & Dancers @ Potters House - 8pm TONIGHT

The Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers performs tonight which is Friday, 3 November 2006 at Potters House, 1658 Columbia RD NW in Washington, DC at 8.00pm. Suggested donation is $10.00.

Photo taken by Elvert Barnes during Sunday 20 August 2006 Drummers & Dancers Circle in Malcolm X. Park.

Sheila Alexander-Reid joins Hounsell Real Estate

Having been interested in real estate for a long time, Sheila Alexander-Reid has finally fulfilled her passion of becoming a Realtor! With 23 years of sales and marketing experience along with the 23 years of real estate expertise and success of her broker, Bill Hounshell, plus superb office support and teamwork the combination will afford clients an advantage that is so necessary in a competitive market.

Hounsell Real Estate is located at 1506 14th Street in NW WDC. Contact Sheila Alexander-Reid at 202-413-4788 or

03 November 2006 Friday's Photo of the Week

When I saw last saw Thomas Brown on Wednesday evening, 26 July I had hoped to drop back by in a couple of days with a copy of the May 2006 Washington Spark that my 7 February 2006 District Transmission photo had been published in and copies of the photos that I had taken of him on 26 July. However, I would not return to 84 N Street and what I refer to as the South of M Street SE Warehouse District and SW Industrial Yard until Wednesday, 1 November 2006.

Not only was I surprise to see that the former District Tranmission building and the adjacent Carry Out still stands, but while taking pictures of the call box at the corner of N and Firsts streets, I'd hear "I thought you told me that you'd bring me copies of my pictures."

Delighted to see that he was still there, I'd walk over to Tom Brown and, apologetically, say that though it had been my intention to do just that ... I had not been back to the block until that very moment. I then informed him that, earlier that day, I had just dismantled an exhibtion at the Sizzzling Express at the corner of 4th and M Streets which included the 07 February 2006 District Transmission.

I'd then inquie if I may take more photos of him to add to my ongoing project pertaining to him. He said yes. It was then that Tom Brown would mention me that he used to sing and perfrom in a rock/jazz/blues band and had written many songs.

I would then take a series of photos of Tom Brown singing two of his songs. One of which was "I Don't Know Why I'm Still Living" . I hope to return to 84 N Street soon to learn more about, document and record Tom Brown's personal journey.

TONIGHT (3 November) AEBHF Benefit and CD Release Party

When: Friday, November 3, 8:00 pm
Where: Rodeo Restaurant, 8229 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910-4520, (301) 585-2955.
Just blocks from the Metro Redline, with lots of convenient parking.
$10 per person suggested donation. $20 for admission and a CD.
For more information: Jeff Glassie at 301-263-9282; Mike Baytop at (202) 526-7539 or 202-297-3962 or Miles Spicer at (301) 927-6963

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Cater your own party. Or call Ed Bruske

Just north of Logan Circle and en route to the Whitman Walker Clinic yesterday morning for flu shot and an unexpected situation which I may will speak on at my Naked Truth blog ... to my pleasant surprise I'd happen upon Ed Bruske walking south. Whenever I run into Ed or Lane I always get a warm feeling inside in a similar way that I get a warm feeling when I run into Smitty.

Ed greeted me with a comment regarding my Uppity Negro t-shirt which when purchasing it I, immediately, thought of Lane. Though Lane is not afro-american she is the kind of woman that if she were black, she'd definately be an uppity negress. I'd often joke with her that she is 'an unruly white woman.'

And as I write this blog entry I'm laughing out loud remembering Ed and Lane, mostly through our catering associations. I'd first meet Ed at an Occasions Caterers event in the early 90's. A years later we would work more closely together at Susan Gage Caterers who I began working with in March of 1987 and that he, in the mid 90's, would become lead supervisor at most events. It was, also, at Susan Gage that I'd meet Lane in the mid 90's.

Which, at first (if my memory serves me correctly), they were not married but would marry some time later after my meeting Lane. Before catering, Ed had been a freelance traveling writer for the Washington Post and Lane had worked in the restaurant industry in WDC area.

My fondest memories of them, for the most part, are connected with our mutual association with Susan Gage and at more social settings at their home at the corner of 13th and Euclid Streets in NW.

Lane and Ed now have a beautiful daughter named Lyla who, for certain will be a very successful artist but, for now, is a star pupil at the Children's Studio School in downtown D.C.

While Lane still works with several caterers including Dish Caterers a few years after Lyla's birth Ed would take a semi-sabbatical from catering and became a stay-at-home dad. Which, by no means infers that he has stopped working.

As a freelance 'Food and Entertainment' writer Ed Bruske has contributed to many magazines and food write-ups including several an ongoing editorial series for the Washington Post Food and Entertainment section. When searching the internet for "Ed Bruske Food" you'll find many items. In fact, when Steve Otoole and I have spoken on the phone (as friends sometimes do) he has often inquired if I have seen or read the lastest article by Ed in "this" or "that" publication.

Catering, at least, the kind of catering that Ed, Lane and I have been associated with is the kind of thing that you can never quite get away from. As evidenced by the fact that Ed is now a food writer. When I inquired if he still does catering Ed said that he was on his way to pick up some items from Whole Foods Market for some of his personal clients. Which includes office contacts and private residences.

So, if you do not want to cater your own party may I suggest that you may wish to contact food writer Ed Bruske who is also a personal chef.

And when I asked what does he call his business he replied in a very laid back manner "Let's call it, Ed Bruske's Hand-crafted From the Heart Personal Meals".

And still if you do wish to cater your own party, there's always dark chocolate and broccoli. Or poaching. Or, perhaps, you'd like to own or use a molcajete.

Are you in need of an expert (personal) gardner?

Freelance writing and high-end catering, both, require a great deal of passion and dedication. Emboding both, as well as commitmebt, and while drawing on his catering experiences and a background as a freelance travel writer Ed Bruske and Lane Green have created a most unique nitch for themselves, in the Washington DC social and entertainment scene.

And, yet, they both are two of the most 'down to earth' people that you'll ever get to know.

Contact Ed Bruske or Lane Green at 202-265--9283 or email at

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween in the Hood

Sigma Chi at John's Hopkins University has been suspended by the school and its national governing body for throwing a weekend "Halloween in the Hood" party that some are calling racist. On Sunday, three members of the frat attended a Black Student Union meeting and "... claimed they didn't understand why we were upset, why it was offensive," said Black Student Union member Chrisina Chapman.

At the start of our sophmore year at the University of Maryland, in the fall of 1974, and though I had no interest in fraternities at the urgence of my best friend Frank Gramarossa, an Italian from Elmont, Long Island, I would begin to hang out with some of the frats on campus who, at the time, were considering me as a pledge. The first black pledge to be more accurate.

There were many reasons why I never considered joining any fraternity. Black or white. One of which was as an openly gay black male I simply never had the need to try and fit into anyone's theme. And I certainly was not into the partying, drinking nor drugging that came along with frat life. That does not mean that I was not able to associate and socialize with those who did. My motto has always been 'Live and let live!'.

And the more I associated with the various fraternities including Delta Tau Delta which is where Frank, at the time, was pledging the more that I knew that it was not something for me. Frank, however, was very different and was fully engrossed in the frat scene. Since he and I were extremely close so at his urgence I agreed to pledge with him as my big brother. But not for long.

When reading through the news articles regarding activities associated with the Sigma Chi's Halloween in the Hood event I remembered haunting experiences that I had had as the first black pledge at the University of Maryland's Delta Tau Delta fraternity. And while Frank understood why I did not complete the pledging process I got the exact same reaction from most whites in the spring of 1975 as did the Black Student Union members when on Sunday Sigma Chi members said that "they didn't understand why [blacks] were upset, and why it was offensive!".

Perhaps, if at the time, when Frank, Mark, Jimmy and I would drive down to the Pier 9 on Saturday nights that, unlike they, I did not have to present two ids ... just maybe I would not have been so upset or offended. But, affected!

In my "Halloween 2003" DC Indymedia featured article I shed light on the fact that as a 50 year old gay black man "Halloween does not mean to me what it means to my white counter part." And each time, over the years, that I would comment to my white friends that I was offended or affected by their mistreatment of and discrimination against me they pretended 'not to understand.'

In the process of my 1 November 2006 Near Southeast DC Redevelopment photowalk when taking pictures at the corner of First and L streets, in SE, of the future site of 100 M Street a handsome white man pulled up beside me, in a fancy car, and ask if I knew where 14th Street was. Saying that that there are 14th Streets in each quadrant I'd inquire if it was a house or an office building that he was looking for. After some discussion he said that he was going to meet a friend who was a drug dealer. Which is what I had already thought to be the case.

I then directed him toward to 14th Street SE. Saying once there 'the folks' would know where he should go.' Not so many years ago, it was not uncommon for white guys to approach me in the exact same way. Not only in fancy cars in the street but on my job and at bars as well.

And, as time would pass, when I'd ask that they not approach me in such a manner, since when they did horrific things would happen to me, they'd respond that they did not understand why I was offended.

Just before pulling off, in his fancy car, there was a brief moment that, in years past, others would have then inquired if I knew where he could "fetch ...". And for a brief moment I would then reflect that had it been a different time or a different day and if my past experiences had been what they had been ... it is quite possible that the handsome white man may would have enticed me enough to celebrate Halloween in the Hood!.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

One Year Ago, Today!

One year ago today, on 1 November, having spent the two previous days photographing the Rosa Park's funeral observances in WDC I was in the process of organizing and uploading some of the photos to flickr. On the day before I had dropped into the postal mail a second and final installment of photo cds, to Kenneth McBride, representative of the remaining film negatives that I had taken during the 13 August 2005 funeral for his son, MPDC James McBride.

Speaking of funerals ... one year ago, today, Keith Bruce was still alive. When Richard would inform me of his death a few weeks ago, I could not help but think '...perhaps, he's in a much better place ...!'.

One year ago today, in the process of planning a trip to Florida Richard and I would visit the U-Haul warehouse at Half and O Streets in SW. A few days later, on Friday morning, 3 November, we'd catch the subway out to Takoma Park to fetch a Penske rental truck. Drive back into the city to collect some furniture from his Carrollsburg Condominiums apartment and by 2 pm we were on the road, arriving at Lauderdale By The Sea on Saturday evening, 4 November.

One year ago, today,on 1 November the above Men At Work photo was taken at the corner of New Jersey Avenue and K Street, in SE, at the Capitol Hill Tower complex. Four months later, the Navy Yard Marriott Courtyard would open. Which is where I would meet up with John, Chris, Daniele and Joe on Friday morning, 2 June.

Capitol Hill Tower, the first installment of many new residential complexes, in the area, would open for sales on _____. A few weeks ago on 14 October a second residential development, Capitol Quarter held its grand opening.

While many things may have changed since 1 November 2005 the changes that have come have not been enough for, nor benefited, me ... a black man!

One year ago today!

Happy 2nd Anniversary to H and Michael

Happy 2nd anniversary to H and Michael who exchanged vows in Boston Massachusetts on 31 October 2004. In salute and as a statement of support for same-sex unions view my The Time Has Come Today NYC Heritiage Pride video.