by Borderstan.com June 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm 5 Comments

From Fox Deatry. Email him at fox[AT]borderstan.com.

"Southern"

DC is to the south of the North, but in reality is a Northern city. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Now that DC Pride is over and the studs of Nellie’s could finally revert back to eating solid food without worrying about flabs on the parade float, I couldn’t help but wonder about the fascinating crowd that this town attracts.

As it seems, Southern ‘Homo’ Sapiens look at DC as though it is the Emerald City — a promised land of sorts with less prejudice and no Piggly Wigglies.

Now you would think that these cornbread-fed studs would bring their Southern gentility into this city. But after sheer observation, their transformation from a Fiddle-Dee-Dee to a Yankee Doodle Gal seems to have taken a bad turn in the spirit of fitting in.

Now, in my continuing public service, it is my duty to point out proper urban-DC etiquette that will certainly make our new residents fit in while not sticking out… in a bad way.

  1. The humidity levels might be the same, Robert E. Lee might be occasionally mentioned, but DC is more Northern than Southern whatever the Mason-Dixon Line says. This certainly brings more diversity, so my best advice is exposure — not indecent, the cultural kind. Check out the ethnic restaurants along 14th Street. Expanding your food palette makes you look more sophisticated. Besides, knowing these places makes you a sudden cultural attaché and it would impress certain dates.
  2. Carrie Bradshaw might have said love and labels, but I have to disagree with the latter. Wearing labels is fine if you’re earning dough from it. So boys, please tuck away those Abercrombie shirts with ‘Abercrombie’ on them. It doesn’t make you look fashionable, it makes you fashion road kill — opossum style.
  3. I know you want to be Metro Weekly’s cover boy — after all, that attracts more tail — but, sweetie darling, please don’t be on every photo-op for every DC event. It makes you an attention wh*** (bleep). Now, there are exceptions: if it is good for tourism, shores up the economy and lowers the unemployment rate then it’s acceptable.
  4. Washingtonians love to drink, as evidence of the many bars that line U and 14th Streets. We even have a place of worship dedicated to such (check Church Key). But when you get invited to a party, my advice is to leave that bottle of Moonshine at home. Go to Whole Foods or Trader Joes and check out a nice bottle of white wine. Vines from Napa and Southern America attract positive attention.
  5. This is no longer that massive Tara Plantation you are used to inhabitating. Space is a luxury. This brings me to bikes. Urban etiquette calls for biking on to those narrow, taxpayer-funded lanes. And it ‘ain’t fittin’ if you are not wearing those helmets. In the subway, remember to stay on the right side of the escalator if you will be idled to let those busy, oh-so-late folks rush to their K Street jobs (eye-roll). For driving, keep away from Dupont Circle. It’s more confusing than the first time you started liking boys. It is best to drive there early, early morning when only rodents are present – that way you can familiarize yourself with those one-way streets. Remember, a wrong turn in this city will make you end up in Virginia.

These are only a few rules. But my best advice to Southern boys is to never lose that gentility — maybe the parasol and the ivory mittens, which you can save for the annual Halloween Drag Queen Race. Regardless, this town needs politeness, and if that isn’t the case today then maybe tomorrow.

After all, tomorrow is another day.

This column first ran June 12, 2012.

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by Borderstan.com December 24, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,148 0

"lifestyle"

The No. 1 story in the Lifestyle section for 2012. (Luis Gomez Photos)

It’s that time again… a look back before we start 2013. Like last December, we will provide you with a list of the most-read stories on Borderstan by category. Today are the Top 10 from the Lifestyle section for 2012.

The web is forever, so they say. Posted stories continue to get hits long after originally going up on the site. As a result, some of the most-read stories for the year were sometimes published the year before — especially if they were published late the year before.

Top 10 Bordertan Lifestyle Stories of 2012

These stories were Top 10 most read in 2012 in the Lifestyle section on Borderstan.com. Former columnist Scott Thompson had 4 of the Top 10 stories with his musings about life and former pet-writer Tori Tyree had three of The Top 10.

  1. How to Succeed at Chipotle Without Really Crying (Scott Thompson)
  2. 10 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Graduated From College (Scott Thompson)
  3. Beyond Neverland: The Art of (Finally) Growing Up in Washington, DC (Scott Thompson)
  4. The Virtues of Pumpkin and Yogurt for Doggy Digestive Ills (Tori Tyree)
  5. Cat Scratch Fever: 5 Tips to Protect that New Sofa (Not Declawing) (Tori Tyree)
  6. The Great Migration (Fox Deatry)
  7. Urban Etiquette: Dudes, Don’t Show Your Junk on the Balcony (Mary El Pearce)
  8. Pit Bull Myths and Facts (Do You Fear Newfoundlands?) (Tori Tyree)
  9. DC Rent Prices: How High is Too High? (Rachel Nania)
  10. A Talk with The Greatest Generation: “I Would Like To Go Dancing Again” (Scott Thompson)

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by Borderstan.com October 22, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,036 1 Comment

"Fall"

Fall, seasons and finales. (Fox Deatry)

From Fox Deatry. Email him at fox[AT]borderstan.com.

Every year DC experiences a drastic change. Kayaks along the Potomac are docked and stored away, the draft turns a bitter cold, dieting seizes as layering begins, and leaves become a vibrant auburn before morbidity sets in.

Fall is said to be the season in which the goddess Demeter neglects the Earth as her daughter Persephone returns to her yearly stint in the Underworld. For Washingtonians, fall is that time when emotions from the fresh goodbyes to summer interns and graduates are set aside to deal with the new faces settling in. Fall is that season in which closeted Hill folks call up lost contacts to ask if they have tickets to Miss Adams Morgan. It is the season when gay men exhume their magenta stilettos and dust off their bygone Madonna costumes for Dupont Circle’s Drag Heel Race. It is the time when people pluck the piano keys and sing in melodramatic falsetto, ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye,’ at L’Enfant Café. People come and go, seasons fade and new faces shine.

This is my last article for Borderstan, but before I croon my swan song and ride into the sunset, this ‘supposed’ lifestyle writer, needs to croak a few more words of wisdom:

  1. Never Leave Your Hometown: You might be in a different city, but keeping your own morals is key to surviving here. The worst thing you can do is to be another Hill or K Street wannabe. Plus, they have bad attitudes, permanent scowls and a fashion sense courtesy of the Sears Catalog. You came here with the strong Miss America conviction to bring world peace. Keep it that way. If you’re uncertain then Mr. Smith Goes To Washington is available on Netflix.
  2. Love and Labels: Carry Bradshaw said it. People come to New York City to fall in love and wear Manolos. In D.C., they come because they are unconditionally in love with a cause. Whether its saving the Expedia Gnome or keeping Big Bird from receiving unemployment benefits, people here believe in labels and categories in a political sense. If you don’t have any, move to a different city. Packing love and label in your suitcase along with your pink wardrobe and Beverly Hills Chihuahua Legally Blonde-style is mandatory.
  3. Farewell is Good: Hallmark may say otherwise, but endings are part of the circle of life. D.C. has seen many changes since it was known as Washington City. Neighborhoods gentrified, communities sprang, population increased and new monuments built to tell the tale of heroism. It all happened under the careful watch of the architect of this city. He lies across the river, on a hill rich with grass tuffets and glistening snow in the midst of January. He’s name is Pierre L’Enfant. He came to this once swamp and mud-stricken city a stranger. He left it with the grandeur of the Roman Empire.

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by Borderstan.com September 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,038 0

From Fox Deatry. Email him at fox[AT]borderstan.com.

"Fashion"

Passion for fashion? (Liz Medina Chiomenti)

Take out your breeches, petticoats and buckled shoes – DC fashion week is A comin’! Yes, from September 17 to the 23rd, the nation’s capital will be girding its loins, Washingtonians will be bursting out their ‘OHs’ and ‘AHs,’ and some tourists gawking around Georgetown will continue to be confused from the real models featured on the shops’ window displays.

While First Ladies are often dressed to the nines and Secretary of States donned avant-garde brooches and wrapped their turkey necks with Hermès scarves, fashion for day-to-day citizens in this District is bleak. Supply, of course, can be the reason as the clothing shipment from New York or Los Angeles may have been lost in the mail or stamped return to sender.

However, there’s more to this. DC has good designers. The problem is that those who move to this city can’t exchange those Brooks Brothers and Ann Taylor suits, ties and pearls for something we call vogue even for a Friday night out. And when they do, it just turns into a hot mess. Here are some friendly fashion rules:

1.Don’t Be A Catalog Queen

Just because it looks pretty and glossy on the Versace catalog, doesn’t mean it’s wearable. Besides, these store catalogs are made to be ostentatious and wearing them in public doesn’t just make you a fashion misfit, but it also labels you a freak. In other words, use catalogs as guidelines instead of copy machines. Use them to know what color palettes and designs are in. And if I see one more person walking on K Street, looking like something I saw on a J Crew catalog, I will roll my eyeballs until they fall into my glasses while heaving a sigh of relief that you have finally progressed out of the Sears Catalog.

2. Don’t Start A Trend

DC is not Los Angeles or New York City where someone can wear a bejeweled potato sack, call it designer and rock it with some Christian Louboutins. This city has a flair for conservatism and its citizens — with the exception of foreign embassy staffers — will not appreciate it if you are seen walking around 14th Street in a sequined boa, a wool Miu Miu peacoat, and hot pink Jimmy Choos.

3. Accessorize

I know your lobbyist or Hill job requires bland suits, spit-shined oxfords, your Hush Puppies you can’t seem to part away from, and the Michelle Bachmann QVC pearl necklace collection. This shouldn’t be the reason that your fashion taste should be dreary and non-existent. A popping scarf, a skinny tie, conversational cufflinks, a fitted shirt, and modest stilettos can turn you from a coy newbie to a taking-charge bitch of the Beltway.

4. Support Local Businesses

No, you didn’t build it! The dilapidated, rusty, cornfield, western and upstate town you came from built your fashion sense. It was influenced by watching one too many episodes of those skanky Kardarshians, by your trips to the local Wal-Mart or by your sibling’s hand-me-downs. Now that you’re independent and living in the District, it is your Constitutional duty to provide stimulus to small businesses by shopping at local boutiques. It doesn’t just give you a sense of what’s in style in your new stomping grounds; it can lead to lasting relationships. In the Borderstan district, check out Passport Boutique.

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by Borderstan.com August 27, 2012 at 10:00 am 0

From Fox Deatry. Email him at fox[AT]borderstan.com.

"Shi-Queeta"

Shi-Queeta Lee at The Howard Theatre. (Fox Deatry)

As summer draws to a rainy finale, we bid farewell to the interns and tourists who came and pillaged the District for three months. They have grown to learn that you must never stand on the left side of the escalator, that you can order taxicabs through Smartphone apps, and that you must simply accept and never understand the traffic lights in Dupont Circle.

While we offer a momentary pause for the departed, I cannot help but wonder: Is there anything permanent in this supposed-transient city?

Come to think of it, the answer lies in a Borderstan legend who comes by the name of Shi-Queeta Lee. You might know her as Town’s famed Friday night headliner, a performer who ‘rolls down the river’ with Tina Turner, and a showstopper occasionally disrupting traffic as she skates along U Street — all part of her Sunday Drag Brunch routine at Nellie’s. (See The Making of Shi-Queeta-Lee.)

Shi-Queeta Lee has made DC her home and has made no reservations to represent the energy, diversity and grace of the city.

The ‘SHI’ in Washington

Here are some reasons Lee puts the ‘SHI’ in Washington:

  1. While DC might be a swamp and its high humidity gives you the Art Garfunkel curls, it bears a semblance of classic elegance due to its myriad of monuments and memorials. Shi-Queeta, sans the marble edifice and the presence of park rangers, bears the same quality. To some she might be a man in a dress, but to others she is a queen of hearts. Gurl-friend even invited the District’s prime drag queens to perform in her ‘Divas’ extravaganza at The Howard Theater. Now, that’s the kind of classic kindness and elegance we all want to see on the Reflecting Pool.
  2. While DC is no NYC or LA, and carrot tan bodies here are courtesy of sprays in tanning booths instead of natural UV rays, the District can be a party town. You don’t have to look beyond Borderstan to know since 14th Street is alive and jiving during the weekends. Now while I personally do not know Shi-Queeta, she seems like she could party ’til its tardy. After all, this Queen truly earns her dollar tips. She might even do cartwheels, pirouettes and synchronize swimming on land for entertainment. Naturally, all carried out with poise. She might be the total party girl, but she strikes yours truly as the kind of person who would puke with you yet make sure you get home in an Uber cab all safe and sound.
  3. While we sip our sweet teas, listen to crickets and debate all day long whether the District is the South, we cannot help but experience its southern hospitality. You don’t have to spend much time to know that Shi-Queeta exudes such. She’s a charm — the kind that can be bottled up like pecan preserves. Although I wonder whether she crosses her arms, exclaims ‘fiddle-dee-dee,’ and gives a lasting pout in times of annoyance and distress.
  4. While the West might have the Rockies — which my conspiratorial, drunken Saturday night mind reckons as the hiding place of America’s gold bars — the District owns another American treasure in the form of the Library of Congress. This gem feature books and ideas written by diverse thinkers. They are in every shape and form like Shi-Queeta’s stage acts. They represent high-minded, creative concepts brought together to engage, amuse and sometimes impart. Books might feed our mind, but Shi-Queeta Lee is a DC queen that feeds a spectator’s soul. That’s the kind of legend that sticks around.

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by Borderstan.com August 13, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,004 0

"Olympics"

Everything needed for the  Olympics is right here in the neighborhood. (Fox Dietry)

From Fox Deatry. Email him at fox[AT]borderstan.com.

Flames doused, skimpy Speedos tucked away and the strain on Grindr servers curbed – all signal the end of the 2012 London Olympics. While the John Williams-NBC Olympic theme is still ringing in my ears and faces of seemingly constipated Olympic divers miring my memory, I cannot help but wonder: What if Borderstan hosted the Olympics? Let us explore and while at it, let’s keep it British and play the tunes of Willy Wonka’s ‘Pure Imagination.’

The Olympic Village

The Olympic spirit is alive and thriving in and around the Borderstan district. It is home to five circles with Dupont and Logan being the most well-known. They symbolize the five Olympic Rings — need I say more? Not to mention that coordinating a parade of nations is simple with neighboring Embassy Row. The French Embassy can take the lead in organizing with their inexhaustible events.

Now, the Olympic Village is a very crucial element, and for this, it will be a grand idea to have it at Crew Club. This old, gay bathhouse is a classic like the Olympics. Like at the Olympic Village, condoms are free. Plus, aren’t bathhouses very Greco-Roman? As for the Olympic Village Food Hall, it is fitting to convert the nearby Commissary to feed those ten thousand calorie per day athletes. Supplies will be coming in from the Whole Foods across the street, and as for victory party margaritas, we have Tortilla Coast.

The Cauldron

Driving through Dupont Circle is an Olympic sport by itself. Dodging unruly cabs and clueless pedestrians who have perfected hand gestures that would make your granny blush requires skills and tactics. This is why the Dupont Circle fountain should be the final resting place of the Olympic flame. Besides, it will bring back the memories of the Sydney Olympics when the flames rose from a circular pool of water. We will have the Batala all-women percussion band bang their drums as the winner of last year’s Dupont Circle Drag Heel Race lights the cauldron.

International Broadcasting Centre

The organizing committee won’t even have to spend a dime in constructing this venue as Nellie’s Sports Bar is made for this event. Move aside Bob Costas, we will have the ever-vivacious Shi-Queeta Lee host the primetime lineup. In between live events, she will be spearheading the drag queen’s roller skates relay on 14th Street with Tatianna, Ba’Naka and Lena Lett.

Gymnastics Arena

The amount of eye-shadow, leotards, glitter, sequence, ball juggling and twirling apparatuses make Town Danceboutique the quintessential venue for gymnastics — artistic and rhythmic. Apart from that, we have the go-go boys performing their floor exercise and some weird acrobatics during their WTF parties. Walking from the bar to the dance floor with a drink on one hand while being buffeted from side-to-side by tipsy Homo Sapiens is much like the balance beam. And must I not forget to mention the amount of straight women here ogling at bodies they wish their hubbies have.

Aquatic Center

There is no arguing on this. Hands down, Vida Fitness should and must be the site for the aquatic center. The amount of watersports in this joint is quite unparalleled. Records have been broken, and forget about the pool size, there are cabanas here which make us look forward to Rio 2016. Don’t even get me started on the amount of Brazilian butt lifts per square foot here, which I’m supposed to believe are from extra lunges.

With traffic circles, leotards and Brazilian butt lifts,  I hereby declare the London Olympic Games closed and welcome those of Borderstan.

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by Borderstan.com June 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,367 0

"Southern"

DC  is to the south of the North, but in reality is a Northern city. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Fox Deatry. Email him at fox[AT]borderstan.com.

Now that DC Pride is over and the studs of Nellie’s could finally revert back to eating solid food without worrying about flabs on the parade float, I couldn’t help but wonder about the fascinating crowd that this town attracts. As it seems, Southern ‘Homo’ Sapiens look at DC as though it is the Emerald City — a promised land of sorts with less prejudice and no Piggly Wigglies.

Now you would think that these cornbread-fed studs would bring their Southern gentility into this city. But after sheer observation, their transformation from a Fiddle-Dee-Dee to a Yankee Doodle Gal seems to have taken a bad turn in the spirit of fitting in. Now, in my continuing public service, it is my duty to point out proper urban-DC etiquette that will certainly make our new residents fit in while not sticking out… in a bad way.

  1. The humidity levels might be the same, Robert E. Lee might be occasionally mentioned, but DC is more Northern than Southern whatever the Mason-Dixon Line says. This certainly brings more diversity, so my best advice is exposure — not indecent, the cultural kind. Check out the ethnic restaurants along 14th Street. Expanding your food palette makes you look more sophisticated. Besides, knowing these places makes you a sudden cultural attaché and it would impress certain dates.
  2. Carrie Bradshaw might have said love and labels, but I have to disagree with the latter. Wearing labels is fine if you’re earning dough from it. So boys, please tuck away those Abercrombie shirts with ‘Abercrombie’ on them. It doesn’t make you look fashionable, it makes you fashion road kill — opossum style.
  3. I know you want to be Metro Weekly’s cover boy — after all, that attracts more tail — but, sweetie darling, please don’t be on every photo-op for every DC event. It makes you an attention wh*** (bleep). Now, there are exceptions: if it is good for tourism, shores up the economy and lowers the unemployment rate then it’s acceptable.
  4. Washingtonians love to drink, as evidence of the many bars that line U and 14th Streets. We even have a place of worship dedicated to such (check Church Key). But when you get invited to a party, my advice is to leave that bottle of Moonshine at home. Go to Whole Foods or Trader Joes and check out a nice bottle of white wine. Vines from Napa and Southern America attract positive attention.
  5. This is no longer that massive Tara Plantation you are used to inhabitating. Space is a luxury. This brings me to bikes. Urban etiquette calls for biking on to those narrow, taxpayer-funded lanes. And it ‘ain’t fittin’ if you are not wearing those helmets. In the subway, remember to stay on the right side of the escalator if you will be idled to let those busy, oh-so-late folks rush to their K Street jobs (eye-roll). For driving, keep away from Dupont Circle. It’s more confusing than the first time you started liking boys. It is best to drive there early, early morning when only rodents are present – that way you can familiarize yourself with those one-way streets. Remember, a wrong turn in this city will make you end up in Virginia.

These are only a few rules. But my best advice to Southern boys is to never lose that gentility — maybe the parasol and the ivory mittens, which you can save for the annual Halloween Drag Queen Race. Regardless, this town needs politeness, and if that isn’t the case today then maybe tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.

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