Tag Archive | "2011"

Fenuxe Best Of Atlanta 2011


Winners: To Download Your Best of Atlanta Logos, Please Scroll to the Bottom Of This Post

Fenuxe loves to celebrate the gay community here in Atlanta and highlight the positive side to how we live, work and play. So, this year we wanted to pay tribute to the gay-owned and gay-friendly businesses that are the bedrock of our community.


We decided it would be a great idea to let our readers choose who truly is the Best of Atlanta. We were blown away as the nominations and the votes rolled in by the thousands. Some of the winners were expected while others came as a little bit of a surprise (in a good way). Thanks to everyone who took part in this amazing process. Our hope is that you and other Atlantans will use the list of nominees and winners as a resource guide.

Now…without further ado…we are proud to present the winners of the first annual Fenuxe Magazine: Best of Atlanta. Congratulations to all!

Art


Best Local Art Gallery
Bill Lowe Gallery

Local artists, art lovers and Fenuxe Readers agree: Bill Lowe Gallery is the best local art gallery. Under the direction of owner Bill Lowe, the gallery showcases artists with a combination of power and eloquence. Artists love to have their work seen in the gallery because the space has soaring ceilings and gorgeous clean lines. Art lovers enjoy seeing art at Bill Lowe Gallery because they have powerful collections of great beauty, impressive events, and a warm helpful staff!
www.lowegallery.com

Best Museum
High Museum of Art

Their newest claim is they’re hijacking modern art and bringing it to Atlanta. Now it seems that they have hijacked all the votes in our poll! They walked away with an astonishing 80% of the vote! The museum is loved by locals due to their impressive collection, the ability to pull in exhibits from artists like Salvador Dali and Annie Liebovitz their inventive way of opening nights and other special events. In October the High takes the museum even, well, higher with an exhibit called “Picasso to Warhol: Twelve Modern Master” which will not want to be missed.
www.high.org

Automotive


Best Car Repair Shop
Atlanta Car Care

There is little worse in the world than trying to start your car in the morning and you get a big fat nothing. Have no fear Atlanta Car Care is here!!! John Spilane and his team of automotive experts have been providing Atlanta boys and girls with quality, trustworthy and friendly service since 2001. No job is too small or too big. They can do everything from replacing a light bulb to rebuilding a tranny (and by that we mean transmission.)
www.atlantacarcareonline.com

Best Car Dealership
Nalley BMW

Some of the best cars on the road today are the latest BMWs. According to Fenuxe readers the best place to pick-up your beamer is at Nalley BMW. This will come as no surprise to people who have purchased vehicles from the dealership. The sales team is top-notch; they take a no pressure approach and let you enjoy the experience of buying your first (second or third) BMW. After getting behind the wheel you may want to call the BF and let him know you won’t be pulling over anytime soon.
www.nalleybmw.com

Bar Scene


Best Drink Special
Amsterdam

The drink specials at Amsterdam bring all the Fenuxe boys to the bar!!! Get tipsy on Tuesday with $3 beer, enjoy hump day with $5 L.I.Ts, end the week with Fishbowl Fridays (be sure to try the Green Iguana, yum) and Smirnoff Saturdays! The bar also features a fantastic menu, seriously, good food. Enjoy the lively video entertainment while you sip your delicious cocktail! No matter what your vibe; Amsterdam will have it!
www.amsterdamatlanta.com

Best Bar inside a Hotel
Whiskey Park @ W Midtown

Sophistication. Style. Class. Whiskey Park inside the W Hotel has it all! Sip on award winning cocktails while sitting under dramatic, oversized chandeliers or nibble on sophisticated munchies lounging on the fantastic garden-style outdoor patio. Doesn’t matter if you are a local or a guest; this is the place for classy, adult-style fun! Find out the latest on their Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/wpatl

Best Dive Bar
Mary’s

Looking for some good, southern, dirty fun? Then head on down to Mary’s, the best dive bar (and we mean that in a bad-ass deliciously dirty way) in the ATL. The folks at Mary’s pride themselves on being the perfect place for people to gather, let their hair down and be themselves. They love catering to a diverse crowd of gays, lesbians and even a few straights. Don’t spend too much time primping and priming , that’s not what this place is about. Note: Their website states – laughter will ensue should you wear flip-flops.
www.marysatlanta.com

Best Place to Dance
Jungle

When Atlanta gays feel the itch to move their feet to the sound of a pulsating beat they head into the Jungle! This place isn’t your standard issue dance floor thrown in the middle of a bar with little room to shake your thang. Jungle’s dance floor is one of the biggest in town and gives all of us plenty of room to move our body and strut our stuff like you were on a catwalk, yeah! They also bring in world famous DJs like Tony Moran and Lydia Prim to make sure the music will truly move you.
www.jungleclubatlanta.com

Best Sports Bar
Woof’s

Yeah that’s right; there are a few of us gay boys who like sports and we aren’t ashamed of it. What is better than watching hot boys run around holding bats, chasing balls and patting each other on the bottoms? Woof’s was voted best partly because they boast 31 TV sets scattered around the bar to make sure you are covered no matter what sport you watch. During the summer they carry all the out-of-market baseball games and, of course, cover the gridiron on Sundays in the fall and winter.
www.woofsatlanta.com

Best place to see and be seen
Blake’s on the park

Atlanta knows the best and only place to see and be seen by hot boys in the ATL is at Blake’s on the Park. This place is always packed full on any given night of the week. Boys looking to see the parade of trade can perch themselves at one of the comfy lounge seats at the upper bar. Guys looking to be seen can pose themselves near the 10th street windows in the lower bar. Or you can do what we like to do, get the best of both and wander throughout.
www.blakesontheparkatlanta.com

Best Overall Bar
Burkhart’s

Atlanta knows that if you want the best drink specials, the best entertainment and dancing, and the best eats, there is no choice but Burkhart’s. They have a huge selection of food which even includes a New York steak for less than 8 bucks! Seriously you can get in, grab some meat, down a drink and be ready to mix and mingle all night for less than fifteen bucks! They also have some of the best drag entertainers in town who pride themselves on delivering the best show every performance night of
the week.
www.burkharts.com

Beauty


Best Place to get a haircut
Helmet Hairworx

Need your hair did? Then make your way to the salon the Gay Atlanta
named the best place to get your haircut in the big A… Helmet Hairworx. Our readers run to the stylists whenever they need a trim, tint or tone because they’re experts in both cutting and coloring. Randy Addison and his team of super-stylists enjoy giving all their clients the best service from start to finish. If you need a full-service ‘do, don’t get tossed around like a basket of biscuits at family brunch, head to any of the Helmet locations for personalized service.
www.helmethairworx.com

Best Cosmetic Dentist
Chip Hill, DDS, PC

Are you afraid to smile because your teeth are a couple of shades south of white? Well it’s time you saw Dr. Chip Hill, DDS, PC, the man voted as Fenuxe Magazine’s Best Cosmetic Dentist. Conveniently located on Peachtree in Midtown, Dr. Hill can fix your grill with services that include basic whitening and bonding all the way up to bridges and veneers. The team over at Dr. Hill’s office will clean you up and get you model beautiful using state-of-the-art equipment and 15 years of experience.
www.chiphilldds.com

Best Dermatologist
Dermatology Consultants of Atlanta

Old and young alike love to get their face pampered at Dermatology Consultants of Atlanta. Gays just love this place because they can go in for something as simple as having a wart removed, something as complex as treating skin allergies and/or something “elective” like Botox or collagen injections. All the boys in the know run to the consultants for the latest and greatest in body sculpting technology… CoolSculpting! If you don’t know what it is, check it out!
www.dermatologyconsultants.org

Best Gym
Gravity Fitness

When gay Atlantans need to get in shape they know the best place to go in Atlanta is the gay-owned Gravity Fitness over on Faulkner. The 16,000 square foot space is the perfect place to check out guys, err, we mean get in shape. You can choose from state-of-the-art Life Fitness Signature Equipment, old-school free weights or jump in for a class or two. When you are done looking, sorry, we mean working out, the massage team can give you a good rub down!
www.gravityatl.com

Best Place to get your Nails done
Nail Talk & Tan

There is nothing wrong with having pretty fingers and toes, in fact there are many of us who believe that it should be illegal to walk around in public with fuggly nails. They say you can see who a man truly is by looking at his finger nails. A boy with nice clean nails says he cares about himself, but one with jacked-up nails says he doesn’t care about nothin’! Which one do you want to be? We prefer the former so we take yourself to Nail Talk and Tan for your manis and pedis.
www.nailtalktan.webs.com

Best Spa
Blue Med Spa Midtown

Even if you don’t have time for a vacation or a stay-cation you can still treat yourself to a little escape. You chose Bue Med Spa as the best place to “get away”. The spa offers up all the goodies you can find at a five-star hotel in Fiji right in the heart of Midtown. You can escape, relax, de-stress and rejuvenate with one of their men-focused treatments. They do such a good job of helping you escape you may be a little surprised when you realize you’re still on 10th.
www.bluemedspa.com

Best Tanning Salon
Simply Sun Tanning

We all love lounging around pools sipping a drink, checking out the hot swimwear (as well as what’s underneath!)and soaking up the sun. Sometimes, though, it is just too darn hot to enjoy the process. So, when you need that beautiful bronze glow, head over to Simply Sun Tanning, voted best tanning salon in Atlanta. Simply Sun is conveniently located in Amsterdam Walk. Of course, tans aren’t only for summer, Simply Sun can keep you July golden all through the year.
www.simplysuntan.com

Best Plastic Surgeon
Abramson Facial Plastic Surgery

As you well know, In our gay world aging is not an option. Most of us try to stay young at heart by eating well and working out. Yet still living life to the fullest. There are times when Mother Nature catches up to us and we need a little “refresher”. If you need a little facial work, head on over to Dr. Peter Abramson’s office at Abramson Facial Plastic Surgery, voted this year’s Best Plastic Surgeon. Dr. Abramson and his team are highly skilled at doing everything from a little fill to a big lift.
www.facialplasticsatlanta.com

Best Place for Massage
Massage Envy Midtown

Did you spend a little too much time dancing the night away at Jungle? Back feeling a little stiff? No worries, head over to Massage Envy-Midtown where one of their therapists will get you all loosened up for another night of over-doing it! Check out their own signature “Hot Stone Envy” which is one of the many reasons they were voted best massage in Atlanta by the Fenuxe readership.
www.massageenvymidtown.com

Community


Best Benefit Party
For The Kid: Toy Party

The city of Atlanta has a large amount of fabulous organizations that hold events which have a positive impact on the often harsh world around us. We know when people voted the Fenuxe Magazine Best of Atlanta poll it wa hard to choose the best among a crowded field of greatness. Atlanta has spoken and the winner is The Toy Party held each year by For the Kid in All of Us. The event brings together the LGBT community for a night of child-like wonderment as we all get to give an under privileged kid a toy and a smile during the holiday season. The Toy Party has collected and distributed over 31,500 toys since 2003.
www.forthekid.org

Best Event
Atlanta Pride Festival

Some of the best gay events in the world are held each year right in the big A, but there is not one bigger, better or gayer than the Atlanta Pride Festival. For the very few of you who live here and have never been; let’s just say it is one rocking party! The two-day event is held each year in Piedmont Park and features parties, booths and a fantastic parade. This year’s celebration will take place October 8 and 9 to coincide with National Coming Out Day. So starting making your plans and make sure to look for the Fenuxe boys in the parade!
www.atlantapride.org

Best Gay Sports Team
Atlanta Bucks Rugby

A great thing about being a gay boy in the ATL is the fact that there is a burgeoning LGBT amateur sports community. While there are many great sports leagues around the city the Fenuxe readers have voted the Atlanta Bucks Rugby Football Club the winner of the best sports team. The team is full of a bunch of great guys who work hard, play hard and give back to the community. They even took some time out of their lives to make an “It Gets Better” video to help reach kids across the country. If you haven’t seen them play a match make some time during their next season to show your support!
www.atlantabucksrugby.org

Best House of Worship/ Spiritual Center
St. Mark UMC

There are a lot of people out there who think that gays and God don’t get along. Luckily for the Atlanta gays who like to take in a service there are plenty of places to worship that welcome members of the LGBT community with open arms. While all our nominees were worthy of a win the Fenuxe readers have anointed St. Mark UMC as the best place to worship in the Big A. www.stmarkumc.org

Best Local Nonprofit LGBT Organization
Jerusalem House

Choosing the best Non-Profit is like asking someone which of their kids is their favorite. This year, the winner of the Fenuxe Magazine Best of Atlanta Non-Profit is the amazing Jerusalem House. For those of you new to town – this is an organization that spends their time and energy housing individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS. The literally help people get off the streets and provide them with a safe place to live. The organizations started out in 1989 with the ability to house just five people, but today they have the ability to house 12 single mothers and their school aged kids at the house plus another 133 in apartments scattered around the city.
www.jerusalemhouse.org

Best LGBT News Outlet
Project Q Atlanta

The way people consume news in 2011 in much different than it used to be. Back in the old-days (2000) people would be forced to wait for the 6 o’clock news or the morning paper to know if Congress passed a bill or the Biebs got a new tattoo. Of course, there are still some who love the feel of a newspaper. But in today’s digital world news is reported and read 24-hours a day through on-line sources, which is probably why Project Q Atlanta was named Best LGBT news outlet by the Fenuxe readers! They are able to provide their readers with stellar news when it happens as it happens.
www.projectqatlanta.com

Entertainment


Best Chorus
Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus

When Gay Atlanta wants to be entertained by some of the best classics and all time favorites, there is only one place for them to go… Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus. The singing boys have celebrated their 30th year with some amazing performances and still have a few more to go before the year ends. If you get the chance make sure you check out a show! Top of the line talent right here in our Atlanta community.
www.agmchorus.org

Best Drag Show Venue
Burkhart’s

Winning yet another coveted Best of Atlanta award, Burkhart’s has also been voted Best Drag Venue. Not only have they created a space that is perfect for drag entertainers from near and far to deliver their devilish shows, their shows also boast some of Atlanta’s top attended events. Of course, one of the most attended nights is Sunday, when resident divas, The Armorettes, perform. Make sure you get there a little early so you can find a perfect spot to view the queens work their magic all night long.
www.burkharts.com

Best Live Performing Arts
Actor’s Express

This particular theatre company was on the verge of extinction just a few months ago, but today we are proud to announce Actor’s Express have been voted as the best live performing arts by Fenuxe Readers. The company is often thought of as one of the most daring theatre companies in the Southeast. Each season AE performs five to seven plays, working with nationally known talent paired with up and comers through their internship program. If you are craving some quality, thought-provoking theatre you must get to a show at Actor’s Express!
www.actors-express.com

Best Local Cinema
Landmark/ Midtown Arts Cinema

Fenuxe readers voted Landmark – Midtown Art Cinema the best movie theater in Atlanta probably because of the fact that they show a variety of blockbuster and indie films across their eight screens. Movie lovers can enjoy their movie with a tasty gourmet treat from the impressive concession stand. The theater also will host the majority of the films screened during the 2011 Out on Film Festival.
www.landmarktheatres.com

Best Music Venue
Eddie’s Attic

If you like good old-fashion piano parties Eddies Attic is probably not the place for you, however if you like music from radical singers, famous or not than you will love Eddie’s Attic. This place has been a staple in Decatur for the past 19 years and is still going strong. Even as they attract big names like India.Arie, the Indigo Girls and Edwin McCain they also continue to play host to newcomers like out singer Jay Brannan. They also hold a weekly open-mic night for local singers to showcase their skills. Check out their calendar for a full schedule of shows catering to all types of music lovers.
www.eddiesattic.com

Best Comedy Club
Laughing Skull

If you enjoy a night of laughter, fun and good food then you will love the Laughing Skull Lounge. That is why the Fenuxe readers named it the best comedy club in our Best of Atlanta poll. The lounges plays host to hilarious comedians like Judy Tenuta and Tory Toler and also opens up the mic every Tuesday and Wednesday night to help local comedians perfect their punch lines. www.vortexcomedy.com

Best Trivia
Joe’s on Juniper

Okay we have a question for you? Who won this year’s Fenuxe Magazine best trivia? Hint: the answer is just above these words! That’s right; our readers voted and named Joe’s on Juniper best trivia in Atlanta! Now with the addition of Mary Edith Pitt’s Wednesday night trivia mash-up, Joe’s hosts three fun and fact filled nights of quizzes! You can enjoy the game while sipping a fabulous cocktail on their open-air patio. So get over there, grab some brews and learn a thing or two!
www.joesatlanta.com

Best Karaoke
Mary’s

You say karaoke Mary’s says Mary-oke, but don’t worry we won’t call the whole thing off. If you think you hate karaoke check out a Tuesday night at this East Atlanta hot spot and see why Fenuxe readers scramble to watch CJ and the ragtag bunch of locals sing their lungs out. It seriously could change your life for the better. If you need to get a buzz to build up the courage to give your own show, have no fear Mary’s offers some very tasty libations to give any introvert the rock star edge.
www.marysatlanta.com

Best Theatre House
The Fox Theatre

When it comes to seeing big-time theatre in the city of Atlanta there is one place that Fenuxe readers choose as their pick… Fox Theatre. “The Fox”, as us locals refer; is routinely hailed across the country as one of the best “small” venues in the industry. This allows the theatre to attract many of the best Broadway tours to date including a recent stop by “Rock of Ages” and the upcoming “Come Fly Away”. They also host fun events like movie nights and sing-a-longs. If you love theatre, music and entertainment check them out today!
www.foxtheatre.org

Best Outdoor Event
Atlanta Pride Festival

This thing is so good our readers had to celebrate it twice! Atlanta Pride has been voted by the Fenuxe readership as the best outdoor event in the big A! In an effort to not repeat ourselves we will discuss what you can expect on October 8 and 9 when you visit the largest pride festival in the southeast. The market place hosts literally hundreds of booths featuring food, merchandise and clothing. Of course the only one that truly matters is the Fenuxe booth so make sure and check us out for some special surprises. Musical acts will be announced soon so stay tuned to Fenuxe and we will keep you posted!
www.atlantapride.org

Best Classical Music Performance Group
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Often times hoity-toity citizens of other large cities don’t consider Atlanta a true “metropolitan” city, but the fact of the matter is those of us who live here know different. This city is burgeoning with quality arts and cultural events. We are also proud to call the ATL home of one of the best orchestras in the country, which is probably why the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was voted Best Classical Music Performance Group by our readers. Each year the ASO performs more than 200 concerts around the city teaming up with talent like Idina Menzel and Cirque du Soleil.
www.atlantasymphony.org

Fashion/ Retail


Best Local Boutique & Best Place to get Sexy Underwear
Boy Next Door

Now there may be a correlation as to why Boy Next Store has been named both best boutique and best place to get sexy underwear in the Fenuxe Best of Atlanta poll. Think about it; they cater to the gay crowd, they provide a safe and comfortable place for us to browse (flirt?) and they offer a ridiculous selection of reasonably priced underwear in all shapes, sizes and colors. Of course they also have other things like designer jeans, shirts and swimwear. Which is great because mixing in regular apparel won’t make you look like an underwear addict.
www.boynextdoor.biz

Best Bang for your Buck & Best Gifts and Novelties Store
Brushstrokes

When you talk about staples of gay Atlanta there are a few places that come to mind, one of those is Brushstrokes, the winner of two Fenuxe Best of Atlanta awards. The first award was for best bang for your buck because of their overall reasonable prices on everything from books to CDs. The Fenuxe readers also named them best gifts & novelty store due to their wide range of unique trinkets for your home, car or bedroom! You are sure to find something to please you and yours!
www.brushstrokesatlanta.com

Best Florist
Twelve Boutique

Mothers and girlfriends think they have the market cornered on getting flowers, but we are here to tell you that us gay boys love to get flowers from our suitors as well. Especially when the arrangement comes from Twelve Boutique. If you have seen their work you know why our readers named them best flowers in Atlanta. Twelve owner, John McDonald, opened his doors back in 1996 with a vision to provide sexy flower arrangements as well as help foster the local art community. By all accounts he has succeeded in both missions.
www.twelveatlanta.com

Best Bookstore
Outwrite Book Store

In a world of Amazons and Barnes and Nobles, it is great to know that places like, Outwrite, winner of the Best Bookstore in Atlanta, can still exist. Phillip Rafshoon and his employees make sure you are covered whether you prefer Hemingway or Handler. They bring some of the biggest names in gay literature to the store and invite the community to stop by, look, listen and learn. Outwrite also plays host to local book clubs and other community events. Next time you need a book or just a cup of coffee stop by and support the team that supports us!
www.outwrite.indiebound.com

Best Jewelry Store
Worthmore Jewelers

Diamonds are known as a gal’s best friend and ain’t that the truth! Honey, we all love shiny things no matter how big or how small. We also love gold, silver, platinum, heck who are we kidding we love anything pretty that we can show-off. When the local LGBT community thinks about jewelry they think of Worthmore Jewelers, this year’s Best Jewelry Store in Atlanta. The folks at Worthmore love providing exceptional service, value and quality. Next time you need to impress pick-up something to add a little sparkle!
www.worthmorejewelers.com

Best Liquor Store
Tower on Piedmont

Fenuxe readers voted and named Tower on Piedmont the best liquor store probably because the boys in Midtown know that when they need to get a good bottle for the party there is no place better around. Tower moved into the neighborhood back in 1952 and has helped thousands (millions) of local boys and girls get their buzzes on ever since. They pride themselves on providing excellent products and service all for a reasonable price. Cheers!
www.towerspirits.com

Best Place to Shop till you Drop
Ikea

Fenuxe readers know if it wasn’t for the fact that they have a restaurant in the middle of the store you might literally see shoppers dropping all over the store because the place is so big. We are proud to give our Swedish friends the award for best place to shop ‘til you drop. Of course you may also drop when you get home and realize you have to put all that stuff together. Nonetheless, give us a good cinnamon bun, 50 cent hot dogs and a space to roam; we’ll be occupied for hours!
www.ikea.com

Best Thrift/ Second Hand Store
Goodwill

We always had a suspicion there were other gay boys and girls who shopped at Goodwill, It was something no one really talked about. The good news is that we can all come out as Goodwill shoppers because you named the non-profit the best thrift/second hand store in the ATL. And what’s not to love, second chances for perfectly good merchandise ranging from apparel, home products and even electronics!
www.goodwill.org

Best Shopping Mall
Lenox Square

As we all know shopping is one of our favorite things to do in the entire world. It doesn’t matter if we are shopping for a pair of socks, new jeans or bath soap; we just love doing it all over town. But, according to our readers, the best place to get it all done in one place is the Lenox Square Mall. Since 1958, Lenox has come a long way from the open air concept, now boasting some of the most luxurious shops in the southeast.
www.facebook.com/LenoxSquareMall

Food


Best Gay-Owned Restaurant & Best Brunch
Radial Cafe

A true Sunday fun-day can only start with the perfect brunch, which is why the first place you should think about is Radial Cafe. When you go to the café for Brunch don’t expect just your ordinary lunch infused breakfast items. The chefs take it up a notch with gastric delights such as Sake & Pear French Toast, Chai-Coconut Vegan Cakes and Tillamook Cheddar Grits with fried shrimp. Gay Atlanta has also bestowed Radial with the best gay-owned restaurant award! The café was fairly recently taken over by well-known, gay-activist Frank Bragg who has definitely continued with the high-quality service and products. He also continues to give back to the community by working with local nonprofits and using his walls of the restaurant to position local art.
www.radial.us

Best Bloody Mary
Einstein’s

Now we have all heard of salad bars and Bloody Mary’s but have you heard of a Bloody Mary Bar? Obviously the Fenuxe family has because they voted Einstein’s as having the best Bloody Mary probably because of the bloody bar offered on Saturdays and Sundays. If you can’t make it during the weekend, don’t trip potato chip, they offer a range of homemade Mary mixes to tickle and please any pallet.
http://www.metrocafes.com/einsteins

Best New Restaurant
Hob-Nob

When Hob Nob hit Midtown last year it caused quite a stir because it seemed like just another tavern/bar. However the doubting quickly turned to love and addiction and people just couldn’t get enough. The love has led to the Hob Nob being named the best new restaurant in the Fenuxe Best of Atlanta poll. The joint is owned by the Yeremyan Brothers (Gilbert’s) and they enjoy making sure their delicious food is served with a smile!
www.hobnobatlanta.com

Best Coffeehouse
Dancing Goats

We were a little sad when we went to the Dancing Goats coffee house the first time because there are no goats dancing anywhere, in fact there is no dancing at all. However, we did find out their namesake exists because of a legend of the discovery of coffee. A goat-herder noticed his goats “danced” after eating this small red fruit off a shrub. The more you know (shooting star). We also were delighted by the bold coffee, tingly teas and scrumptious desserts. They also offer a variety of seating options that include communal, group study-friendly tables and more intimate areas with comfy couches and chairs.
www.dancinggoats.com

Best Desserts
Cafe Intermezzo

There are moments in life that call for something sweet to soothe the soul. According to the Fenuxe Readership the best place to do that is at Café Intermezzo. Owner Brian Olson took his fascination and love for European coffeehouses and created one right in Buckhead. For those of you who have never been; a trip to the café is like stepping out of Atlanta and into a decadent bistro in the middle of Austria. This is a great place to take a date!
www.cafeintermezzo.com

Best Mexican Food
No Mas Cantina

What started out as a furniture and home décor store has now also snagged the title Best Mexican Food in Atlanta! How they went from decorating to cooking is beyond us, but at they do both very well. Their food just melts in your mouth… in fact, just thinking about it makes our mouth’s water!They are known across the big A for quality, authentic Mexican nibbles served up from the best serving and bar tending team in town. They are located in the Castleberry Hill art district and feature a patio perfectly designed for relaxing the day or night away!
www.nomascantina.com

Best Bakery
Alon’s

A great bakery has more than just sweet treats and decadent desserts; there are also savory items like breads and dinner tarts. When you visit Alon’s Bakery, the bakery that our readers voted best in Atlanta, you will be shocked at the range of baked goods they offer. Which is great considering when they started back in 1992 they only offered three types of freshly baked breads. With inspiration from Europe and New York Alon Balshan and his wife Janine have made this place a must visit for all Atlanta foodies.
www.alons.geomerx.com

Best Burger
Farm Burger Decatur

Gourmet burgers are all the rage these days. It seems that everywhere you turn there is another “must-have burger” joint popping up. The truth is only a few of them rise to the top of the absolute best burger in Atlanta. Our readers decided the burger for them is Farm Burger in Decatur. One thing that separates a place like Farm Burger is the fact they only use 100% grass-fed beef which is dry-aged for two weeks. Farm Burger also gets their meat from local farms in the southeast. Living and eating local is the only way to go!
www.farmburger.net

Best Margarita
FROGS

In the heat wave that has taken over the ATL this summer all we can think about on TGIF is grabbing an ice cold libation to chill our bones. Apparently a lot of our readers like their concoctions to originate from south of the border and they say F.R.O.G.S on Monroe offers up the best margaritas in town. If you stop by on Thursdays they serve them by the pitcher for just $12 and on Fridays you can get a ‘rita for just $5. Cap your weekend (or night off) with a refreshing beverage from our friends over at F.R.O.G.S.
www.frogsmidtown.com

Best Pizza Joint
Fritti

There are two cities in America that are synonymous with Pizza; New York and Chicago. But the city of Atlanta is starting to become a city covered in sauce, anchovies and pepperoni. If places like Fritti, our readers’ favorite pizza place, keep popping up there may be a day that Atlanta is known as the city of peaches and pizza. Fritti serves up authentic Napoletana pizza that is certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association (it’s a real thing we looked it up). They also offer other delicious cuisine, but if you go you must try one of their pies. Yum!
www.sottosottorestaurant.com

Best Gay-Friendly Restaurant
Roxx Food and Spirits

There are places all over the city that call themselves “gay-friendly.” But there are few that go above and beyond like Roxx Food and Spirits over on Cheshire Bridge. It is no wonder that the Fenuxe Best of Atlanta voters named them the best gay-friendly restaurant in town. From the outside it looks like your typical “tavern” style place. Once inside you realize you have stepped into an establishment that will treat you right. The drinks are divine and the food is fine! 404-892-4541

Best Sushi Place
Ru Sans Midtown

When our readers need a good fix of raw fish [SAKE BOMB!] they head over to Ru Sans-Midtown because according to their votes this place has the best Sushi [SAKE BOMB!] in the ATL. Maybe it is the informal atmosphere, the friendly service or the convenient location on Piedmont. Who knows and who cares [SAKE BOMB!] the point is that everything is fresh and tasty.
www.rusans.com

Best Thai Place
Little Bangkok

Are there any other boys out there who wake up in the middle of the night craving Pad Thai or Red Curry? We bet there are a few and we know that you go to Little Bangkok because you named them as the best Thai food in Atlanta! Just thinking about it right now makes us want to stop working and run over there for a taste of their Yum Yai salad or Yum Woon Sen.
www.littlebangkokatlanta.com

Furniture


Best Quality
Room & Board

As we get older the desire to spend money on quality furniture is unrelenting. Gone are the days of buying something “for now” that is easy to move. Once you park yourself in a place you want to stay for a while the best thing to do is find some quality furniture to spruce it up. The Fenuxe readers think the best place to do that in the Big A is at Room & Board. This place takes great care to ensure that all of the items they sell you are built to last. The best part is you don’t have to sacrifice style for quality, they give you that too.
www.roomandboard.com

Best Boutique
Flora Dora

Flora Dora may sound like a character from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, but in fact it is a fine home décor boutique. This place is so chock full of interesting pieces to purchase the Fenuxe readers voted it the best furniture boutique in the city. With one step into the showroom you understand why they have been around for more than two decades. While they do offer a serious selection of sexy furniture they also give good accessories as well!
www.myfloradora.com


Most Trendy & Modern
By Design

When Fenuxe readers think about uber-trendy and modern furniture in Atlanta they only think of one place… By Design. Since their opening way back in 1990, their vision was clear. They wanted to combine European design with American scaling while keeping comfort at the forefront. The showroom at By Design is populated with more cutting-edge stylish furniture and accessories than any other spot in the city. Check them out for all the gotta-have furnishings!
www.bydesignfurniture.com

Love


Best Place to Meet Women – Bellissima
Best Place to Meet Men – Blake’s On the Park

When it comes to finding love in the big city there are many options for both boys and girls. However, just like fishing, if you cast your net wide you have a better chance of snagging a hottie. Fenuxe readers think the best place in Atlanta to net a guy or two is at Blake’s on the Park. The female readers think the best place to hook a hot shorty is at the legendary Bellissima. Both places serve up a fine platter of possibilities.
www.facebook.com/bellissima.atlanta
www.blakesontheparkatlanta.com

Best Place for a Blind Date
Atlanta Botanical Garden

One wonders if our readers picked the Atlanta Botanical Gardens as the best place to have a blind date because it has the best places to hide should you not like your date. Hmm… Probably not. The gardens offer a unique location for new love birds. They can wander through the beautiful rose garden, sit for a spell on the expansive great lawn or walk hand-in-hand through the Fuqua Orchid Center. Who knows maybe one of them can steal a kiss in the edible garden!
www.atlantabontanicalgarden.com

Medical


Best Chiropractic Center
Live Well Chiropractic

Atlanta has spoken and picked Live Well Chiropractic as the best place to get re-aligned in Atlanta. Live Well was founded by Dr. Kristy Francavilla and Dr. Shoshana Kreinces back in 1999. They have performed (by their count) more than 100,000 adjustments. If you’re your back went out of whack at Joining Hearts 24 than book your appointment now.
www.LiveWellChiropractic.com

Best Hospital
Piedmont Hospital

None of us ever want to need a hospital, unless of course we are scooting out hot doctors while we wait for our friend to re-coop from his tummy tuck. However there are times when we need one. And when we do, the Fenuxe readers think the best in the ATL is Piedmont Hospital. The place takes great pride in delivering cutting edge medical services to all types of people.
www.piedmonthospital.org

Best HIV Care and Treatment Facility
AID Atlanta

Many people in Atlanta think of AID Atlanta as a place where people can get tested for HIV, get educated or counseled. However, they also have a highly trained medical staff and offer a full-range of services. AID Atlanta works closely with Morehouse Medical Associates Inc to ensure all patients get the best care possible. It is no wonder our readers named them best!
www.aidatlanta.org

Best Pharmacy
Absolute Care Pharmacy

According to the Fenuxe readers if you need script filled the best place to go is AbsoluteCARE. They moved to their current location in 2010 where they quickly built a reputation for quality service. They offer one-on-one consulting with a pharmacist to ensure you get the prescription you need. If you can’t make it down to the facility they can arrange to have it delivered to you.
www.absolutecarehealth.com

Pets


Best Doggie Daycare
Piedmont Bark

Us gays often think of our dogs as children. We dress them up in designer duds, we pamper them with gourmet treats and of course we bring them to daycare. According to the Fenuxe readers the best place to bring your pooch for daycare is Piedmont Bark! This place is a five-star resort for pups! They have over 8,000 square feet of exercise and play space. Bark on the street says the hounds are happiest when lounging around the indoor park-like setting!
www.piedmontbark.com

Best Pet Groomers
The Pet Set

Yes, Pet Set has been named best pet grooming in Atlanta by our readers, but we all know they truly should be called a “Pet Salon.” They offer styles for both canines and felines. Be sure to ask them about their special Lion and Star Wars cuts for your kitty. Your animals will be the talk of the town!
www.thepetset.com

Best Dog Park
Piedmont Park

That’s right boys there is more to do in Piedmont Park then just watch shirtless guys running and biking. They also have an exceptional pooch play area. Our readers voted and named the palace ark as best dog park. The newly renovated space includes a 3-acre dog run, play areas for both large and small dogs and even a place to sit for those humans!
www.piedmontpark.com

Best Pet Supply or Store
Highland Pet Supply

Fenuxe pet lovers know that when buying supplies for the canine or the feline the best place to go is Highland Pet supply. This isn’t your run of the mill pet-superstore. They offer a huge selection of specialty dog and cat food as well as unique toys and these things called treats. One of the best things is the fact they won’t sell something they haven’t personally tested.
www.highlandpet.com

Best Veterinary Clinic
Briarcliff Animal Clinic

Sadly even our precious pets get sick. When they do the Fenuxe Readership thinks the best place to get them healed is Briarcliff Animal Clinic. Maybe it is because they are open on weekends and use state-of-the-art equipment to fix-up any pet! When in need bring your dog, cat, bird, tortoise, or lizard on in and they will fix them up good!
www.briarcliffanimal.com

Places

Best Neighborhood to Live
Midtown

Okay, does it come as a shock to anyone else that the Fenuxe readers named Midtown as the best neighborhood? Of course not. The area plays home to most of our best of winners and is a wonderful place to primp, prime and play. Literally all in one corner you can get a facial, meet your favorite author and then party the night away!
www.midtownatlanta.org

Best “Up & Coming” Neighborhood
Avondale Estates 

Could one of the reasons our readers voted Avondale Estates as the best up and coming neighborhood is because the name sounds like something out of a fairy tale? Who knows, but the one thing we do know is that area has quickly become a place the LGBT community loves. They offer a stupendous array of chic restaurants, snazzy shops and homey homesteads. They pride themselves on being “Diverse in every way.”
www.avondaleestates.org

Best Hidden Gem
Kudzu Antiques

To most of us Kudzu is a plant that can’t be killed, but to the hip Fenuxe readers Kudzu is the best hidden gem in the ATL. This place, located off the beaten path in Decatur has been offering up a staggering selection of antiques since 1979. Owners, Kate and George Lawes create a warm and comfortable market which allows shoppers the time they need to find that perfect antique.
www.kudzuantiques.com

Best Hotel
W Atlanta Midtown

Money may not be able to buy you class, but it sure can buy you a classy hotel experience. The W Atlanta probably has been named best hotel by our readers because they offer uber-comfortable rooms, excellent dining choices and of course fantastic bars. One of the best things about the hotel is the pool area called Wet! There is not a better place in town to see sexy boys running around in their Andrew Christian swimwear.
www.facebook.com/watlmidtown

 

 

Posted in Eats, Fashion, Health & Beauty, News, Nightlife, Urban CultureComments (0)

Fenuxe’s Exclusive Interview: Robear Chinosi from TLC’s NY Ink!


Robear Chinosi took a break from his hectic schedule of filming and running a tattoo parlor to sit down with Fenuxe’s Malcolm Montgomery to discuss his life on and off NY Ink!

Fenuxe: Have you ever been to Atlanta?

Robear: No, I haven’t.

Fenuxe: It’s different than New York City, but it has a nice southern charm that you would probably enjoy!

Robear: You know what, I probably would. I like a southern gentleman every once in a while. You know, get away from the hustle and bustle of New York City.

Fenuxe: Let’s start with some background with you. You are the floor manager for TLC’s NY Ink, the tattoo shop that was founded by Ami James, the mastermind behind Miami Ink. How did you get this position?

Robear: Actually, I went to a casting call back in November, they actually really liked me. And a month later, Ami James and TLC showed up to the tattoo shop that I was working at, at the time to do a final test shoot. They really liked me and they were impressed and they hired me the very next week! So it went from a casting call, to showing up at my job, to hiring me, and now here I am!

Fenuxe: Wow, what a quick process, so you were in the tattoo industry before starring on the show?

Robear: I was, but my background is in corporate America, doing construction, design, fashion, and interiors but I was working at a tattoo shop for a couple of years at the time.

Fenuxe: Cool! So the cast of the show is a sort of Modge-podge of characters who didn’t know each other before the show started?

Robear: I personally didn’t know any of the other cast members. I know Ami knew Tim from Miami Ink, and Tim knew Tommy. But besides that, nobody knew each other before we started the job. And I actually like that because I wasn’t fazed by that, I don’t watch reality television, so I kind of just went in as a job. I didn’t know who anyone was so I was hired as the floor manager and that’s what I was trying to do. I was trying to do my job and be as professional as possible, I couldn’t be all star struck, because at the end of the day the job has to get done and the clients have to be happy and the tattoos have to be amazing. It’s one of the best jobs that I have had, but also the most difficult too, its 12-14 hour days working with a lot of different personalities coming together and you see the good and the bad and it is what it is.

Fenuxe: Do you look at this experience as a real “job” or as some kind of reality show type situation, and do you look at the others on the show was you “castmates” or your fellow “co-workers”?

Robear: I absolutely consider it a job that I take very seriously. The people that I work with are my coworkers, they are not really my friends. I do not mix business and pleasure, I don’t think that’s a good mix because I am the authority figure. If I am too friendly with the cast then they are not going to do as I say when I am trying to manage the shop. So every day I go in there trying to do a good job and manage the shop. I have to keep that balance of professionalism, not to be a big diva and bossy but not get too close to anyone because at the end of the day the job has to get done.

Fenuxe: We have noticed the dynamics of the shop and your responsibility as shop manager, but also taken note that you seem to be forming a relationship with one of the female tattoo artist, Megan Massacre. Does that get in the way of your professionalism?

Robear: You know what, I am a little overprotective of Megan, you know she’s a young attractive girl in a tattoo shop full of all guys, so I have developed a friendship with her. But it’s more so on the set and on the job. We don’t really hang out, we all work together. But if she ever did need help with anything outside of the shop I would be there for her.

Fenuxe: That’s very interesting, we didn’t really know how that worked in the reality TV show world. So let’s change the subject, tell us about being a gay man in a tattoo environment, because we know that those two worlds are very different and not always comfortable? How have you overcome that experience?

Robear: Well, I think being gay in certain business situations is extremely hard especially when you are working with all heterosexual straight men. So, I think I just have to stand my ground extra strong and be firm in my decision making. I have to have the attitude that I’m a guy, you’re a guy, being gay is irrelevant, we are here to do a job. But yeah, I used to go to tattoo shops and I wasn’t comfortable because people question our masculinity, they think that we can’t deal with pain. I am happily tattooed and there is a big difference between having tattoos and being tattooed. I have definitely faced a lot of opposition. Nothing here at New York Ink, here is more just strong personalities going at it, the gay thing doesn’t really play a part in it. Maybe at first they thought I wasn’t as strong emotionally or physically because I can be a little feminine at times. But if you watch the show I definitely stand my ground and they know not to F with me, because I become “Robeast” (Laughs)

Fenuxe: We heard about your alter ego, “Robeast”! Was that derived from your reputation on the show or have you had that nickname?

Robear: Well I’m a Gemini, and I’ve always had that duality to my personality and it’s just now I have the platform of the show to actually be called it. When you grow up gay, I’m well in my thirties, I grew up in the 80s it was very different back then. It wasn’t as accepted, I got made fun of and gay bashed. I have two older brothers and a father also all from Italy. It’s not the most accepting background to have. Of course now it’s different and a loving unconditional kind of thing. But when I was growing up I did face a lot of adversity and I think the whole “Robeast” character comes from that kind of adversity. I couldn’t be a victim anymore and I couldn’t cry and back away from the situations, I had to face it and stand up and prove myself. Being gay is actually a very little part of who I actually am. So, if someone wants to focus in the gay thing and think that I am less than or not as strong, I am going to prove you wrong and you are going to know that I am a force to be reckoned with. The TV show has definitely shown that side. And if I can represent a strong gay tattooed man then I am so proud to do that.

Fenuxe: We are very thankful that you are representing the gay community on your show and showing that not every gay guy on TV has to be a flamboyant over dramatic guy, but we come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities.

Robear: Thank you! I appreciate it. Being gay is only a small part of who we are. It’s not what defines us. And it doesn’t have anything to do with my career and how I perform my job. And if anyone has anything else to say about it, I will set them straight, lol, “Set them straight” that’s funny.

At the end of the day, the shop has to be successful, the show has to be a hit, and hopefully it’s going to be a hit because of its genuine nature and how real it actually is. You can’t fake real, I know I can’t. We aren’t professional actors, it’s not scripted, these guys are tattoo artist, I am from a business background and we are all trying to run a business that just happens to be filmed.

Check the season finale of NY Ink tonight at 10PM on TLC.

Posted in News, Urban CultureComments (1)

Interview: Marsha Ambrosius


Marsha Ambrosius is stepping out.  The former lead singer for early 2000s neo-soul group Floetry has spent the last few years writing, producing, and/or performing on tracks from an unstoppable list of artists – Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, Nas, The Game, Solange, Queen Latifah, and so on.  She goes it alone on her debut solo album, Late Nights & Early Mornings, which is shaping up to be one of the mostly hotly anticipated album drops of 2011.

Ambrosius broke new ground with the video for the second single off the album, “Far Away.”  The raw, emotional video tackled bullying and suicide in the gay community and drew widespread praise from her rabid gay fanbase.  “The Songstress” (as she was known during her Floetry days) rang us from her Philadelphia home to talk about her connection with gay fans, the personal experience behind the gut-wrenching “Far Away,” and preparing to jump to the next level.

Fenuxe: So Marsha, your debut solo album is finally coming out.  Why was the timing right?

Ambrosius: Well for me it feels like it’s happened overnight now that it’s really happening.  I only signed with J Records at the end of ’09.  So throughout that, I recorded for about three or four months and had pretty much all the material that I wanted to put together.  But with that comes the real work, working with other people and not just myself producing it and writing it.  So it takes time to pull all those things together and making sure that you have the right visuals and everything that I wanted to attach in creating a major label album.

I think people have been so accustomed to me throwing stuff out there as far as mixtapes and I’ve been featured and written on so many other projects.  So it was just expected that I’d have something to turn around as quickly as my other work.  Business doesn’t work that way.

Fenuxe: How early on could you tell that you had made a connection with gay audiences?

Ambrosius: I guess it was when I started to do a lot of live performances, just checking the diversity of the audience.  I get from young to old, black to white, and then it was straight or gay.  I found a lot of the gay audience were very receptive to the music and would reach out and make it known.  And I was like “Ahh wow!”  You know?  With music, you feel like you know someone.  You create this best friend in your mind.  You know, in my ideal world me and Prince are besties.  And it’s like overnight I became peoples’ besties, it was really, really weird.

But just with that familiarity, I’ve had a lot of people reach out and give me their personal stories and it feels very direct so I don’t feel like I’m just making music for me because, you know, when you’re young and you’re selfish that’s what you do.  I feel like I have a voice for these people that want to say something but can’t.  So it is holding that responsibility as an artist, and I hold that.  And as far as the gay audience, whether it’s gay, straight or whatever it may be, I’m just thankful to be heard.

Fenuxe: “Far Away” has gotten a lot of attention.  Was there a personal experience behind the song and the video?

Ambrosius: Umm…it definitely derived from a personal experience.  I’d written the song, co-written by Sterling Simms and produced by Just Blaze, in 2008.  And at the time I’d gone through a serious situation with a friend of mine who’d attempted suicide.  And when you’re best friends with someone that’s in such a dark place in their lives, it’s difficult for you to stand by them when they push you away so much.  And I think no one really spoke about that angle of the pain, like what it does to people.  This song is only coming to light now but it’s still very necessary as there are so many other people relating to what was going on within the song.  Without them knowing my backstory behind it, everyone had a story to tell based on “Far Away.”  So I think when it was time to shoot the video, it was only right that we added the necessary visuals to speak for the unspoken.

Fenuxe: Was your friend dealing with similar issues to the one in the video?  Homosexuality and bullying?

Ambrosius: Yeah it’s everything.  It can be a cruel world for those who have no tolerance and just have no one that they feel they can trust and listen to.  You know, behind closed doors, everyone’s comfortable and everyone’s all smiles but when faced with reality, that can be as harsh as a punch in the gut.  It really hits you over the head.  And with “Far Away” I really wanted to hit a few people over the head with that.

Fenuxe: You’ve worked with a wide range of celebrated hip-hop artists through the years.  Have you seen any improvement with the issue of homophobia in hip-hop?

Ambrosius: It doesn’t really come up but it’s the way of the world everywhere.  It’s not just in hip-hop, it’s not just in R&B.  And it’s whether or not people are going to accept people for who they are – not based on race, creed or color, sexuality, nothing.  It’s, “Who are you?  Are you a good person or a bad person?”  It has nothing to do with anything else that’s going on and I think music can speak directly to people, and I feel that in music I think we’re at a time where artists do have a responsibility to speak out.  There’s a lot going on in the world, and there are a lot of people that don’t have too much to hold onto.  And if it’s one song that touches you somewhere that kind of changes your mind, I’m willing to do that.

The thing with “Far Away,” even with the overwhelming positive response online I got, even from people that tended to be negative, like “Well I don’t agree with this, but I understand what you’re saying”—you know, I’ll take that as changing someone’s mind somewhere.  Homophobia is real.  I’ve seen people hate for absolutely no reason.  And I’m like, is this a trend or something?  I don’t even know if people understand why they hate sometimes.  And I think with “Far Away” it forced people to address how they really felt.

Fenuxe: Do you feel that, with this solo album and your name out front and center for the first time in 10 years, you’re about to experience a jump to the next level of being a household name?

Ambrosius: I feel like everything I’ve done the last 10 years has been like baby steps towards…something.  And even when I thought I’d reached the pinnacle in one area, there’s still a ways to go.  Like, I’m not going to be Quincy Jones overnight.  I’m not going to be a Patrice Rushen overnight, a Diane Warren.  It’s not gonna happen.  I’ve got a ways to go and I’m just enjoying the ride right now.  Whether or not my solo record puts me…well, you know when they say “put you on the map”?  I thought I was on it [laughs].  I’m on it somewhere in Philadelphia right now making a larger mark somewhere.  And I’ll see where this one takes me.

Fenuxe: So are you going on tour and will we be seeing you in Atlanta?

Ambrosius: I am! I’m gonna be touring.  The dates will go up soon.  I believe it will be late nights and early mornings for awhile [laughs].  It will be fun, I can’t wait.  And I’ll definitely be there in Atlanta for sure.

Marsha Ambrosius

Late Nights & Early Mornings

Available Everywhere March 1, 2011

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Seven Unconventional Dates


There’s nothing wrong with making out with your Valentine on the Blake’s patio at 2AM – it’s practically an Atlanta tradition by now – but what can you do this year to flip the script and make the date a hit?

Take Flight

Imagine the look on your date’s face as you board a private Cessna plane for an hour-long Valentine’s Day Aerial Champagne Tour of the city.  Sip complimentary bubbly and relax as you take in the scenery.

http://www.atlantabyair.com/

Cupid’s Glock

Quickshot Shooting Range is a brand new gay-friendly state of the art indoor shooting facility with – we kid you not – date night on Thursdays.  Two shoot for the price of one, and nothing’s hotter than hot lead.

http://www.quickshotshootingrange.com/

Couples Wine Down

Chateau Elan, Braselton’s sprawling, spacious winery, offers daily guided tours including a chance to meet the winemaker as you roam the grounds.  Make it a day trip or stay overnight at the plush inn.

http://www.chateauelan.com/epicurean/winery/

Bed Down In Luxury

You don’t have to leave town to live it up.  The four-star, gay-friendly Ellis Hotel downtown offers a romantic package featuring champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and rose petal turndown service.

http://www.ellishotel.com/leisure-packages/index.cfm

Cabin Fever

The Bear’s Den isn’t Woofs’ new competition.  It’s a gay-friendly luxury cabin retreat in Blue Ridge perfect for a romantic getaway.  Snuggle up in front of the wood-burning fireplace or gaze out at the gorgeous mountain views from the hot tub.

http://www.luxurycabinblueridge.com/

Ooooh Child

Relive some childhood magic with your sweetheart on Valentine’s weekend.  Live theatre combines with state of the art effects in the classic Peter Pan.  And the Atlanta Ballet promises “fantastic fairies” for their staging of The Sleeping Beauty.

http://Www.peterpantheshow.com/

http://www.atlantaballet.com/

Foodies Unite!

You can tell a lot about someone by their culinary preferences.  Are they a meat and potatoes kinda guy?  Vegan?  There’s no better place to explore these differences than the Dekalb Farmer’s Market., a 140,000 sq. ft. emporium of fresh, high quality food.

http://www.dekalbfarmersmarket.com/

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The Love Lineup


Love to live it up?   Set your Valentine’s Day weekend calendar in stone with three select events presented by two non-profits and a certain gay magazine you may have heard of.  No, not that one – the other one.

Fenuxe Magazine’s Best Bachelor of Atlanta Auction * Saturday, February 12 at 8PM at Kai Lin Art

It’s finally here!  You voted, now see the results.  Join Fenuxe, Ketel One, and Godiva Vodka as the Top 10 Bachelors of Atlanta are auctioned off at Kai Lin Art to benefit AID Atlanta. General admission is just $10 and includes drinks compliments of Ketel One and Godiva Vodka and hors d’oeuvres from Varasano’s.  VIP admission is $50 and includes a reception at 7:30PM and a VIP pampering package with a tanning session, a spa day, dinner at Piola, a one year subscription to Fenuxe, and more!

http://Www.fenuxe.com/tickets

The AGLCC Community Expo 2011 * Sunday, February 13 at 1PM at Georgia International Convention Center

Do you know all the best places to eat, work, and shop?  Want to find out?  The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce presents The Community Expo 2011.  It’s the biggest LGBT expo in the southeast, with gay and gay-friendly businesses and non-profits making their presence known to the community.  The Community Expo includes a career pavilion and representatives from industries far and wide – entertainment, travel, fitness, pets, and more.  Admission is $5 at the door, or visit the AGLCC website to print off a free admission ticket!

http://www.atlantagaychamber.org/page.php?id=691

Joining Hearts Presents Love on the Rocks * Sunday, February 13 at 5PM at Cantoni Furniture

Finish up your A-List Valentine’s weekend with a visit to Cantoni Furniture for the 4th Annual Love on the Rocks benefit, presented by Joining Hearts!  The long-running non-profit organization provides housing support for those Atlanta-area people living with HIV/AIDS.  You know Joining Hearts as the ones who pack Piedmont Park Pool every July with hundreds of hot boys for their annual fundraiser.  General admission gets you complimentary cocktails and bites, while VIP upgrades the the food and drinks and includes a VIP gift bag!

http://www.joininghearts.org/

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Sweet Heart Deals!


Back AWAY from the computer before you order him the subscription to Blueboy.  Yes, there’s only a few days left till Valentine’s Day but you’re not that desperate.  Go down the street to your friendly gay-owned gift emporium and you’ll find a selection of lovely gifts for your special man – or your single self!

Our Love Is Here to Stay – 15 Postcards of Affection

Show him you care the old-fashioned way with these adorable postcards.

Brushstrokes * $9.95

JO for Men Pheromone

Formulated specifically for men who wish to attract other men.

Brushstrokes * $43.99

Lovebird Bookends

Includes room for the your collection of Fenuxe!  Don’t judge us.

Brushstrokes * $36.00

Candy Candles from Elizabeth W.

The ultimate nightcap.  And this dessert comes with zero calories!

Outwrite Bookstore * $25.95 each

Love Potion #11 Shower Bursts

A visit from you and one of these potent potions will drive his senses wild.

Outwrite Bookstore * 4 pack for $17.62

All About Us

A powerful book of questions to ask each other about the life of your dreams!

Outwrite Bookstore * $12.99

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Gay Bar Tipping Tips Revealed!


Dear Mary,

I have a friend who’s not always participating in proper etiquette for a gay bar (if there really is such a thing). He always tips based on the price of the drink, i.e. if a drink costs $4.75, he only tips 25 cents. He rounds up to the nearest dollar, unless the change is over 50 cents. I always just assumed you should tip at least $1.00 on any drink even if it’s just soda. Are all queens that cheap, or am I over-tipping? Could you give a lesson in gay bar tip etiquette?

Signed,


Liquored UP in the ATL

Dear Licker,

Miss Manners and I hang out a lot. I’ve been to the bar with her countless times and I cannot begin to tell you how much that woman can drink – but even when she’s eight shots of Jaeger into the evening, she tips a dollar a drink. She also sends thank you notes to all the guys she goes home with, no more than six weeks after the night. She’s classy like that.

Personally, I think of this as a sliding scale thing. I’m a straight woman who almost exclusively goes to gay bars so if there just happens to be a bartender who will actually give me the time of day over the 300 men waving money at him, well, that man deserves a big tip. If it’s your run-of-the-mill, had-to-shout-him-down-and-then-he-got-my-drink-wrong scenario, I’ll tip 20%, even if that is only a quarter. To be fair, though, if I only tip a quarter, I can buy more drinks and then I’m far more likely to do something like tell him he’s so fantastic he deserves my watch or phone or car as a special tip.

I think the most important thing to do is give your friend a really judgmental side-eye every time they leave a shitty tip. That way, the bartender will know you don’t approve and will be more likely to pay attention to you, and it’s a passive aggressive way to comment on your friend’s behavior, which is the only kind of aggression I’m comfortable with.

Cheers, ya’ll!

Love,

Mary Makers-McMark

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Events: Lace Up, Roll Out


In a city full of activities for gay football fans, gay swimmers, gay volleyball players and more, it’s borderline shocking no one thought of gay rollerskating. Next thing you know, you’ll tell us there’s no gay drill team (Hey, wait a minute…).

Lucky for the tube sock wearing quad-skater in all of us, Brad Williams, Jungle, and The Heretic are presenting a rollerskating extravaganza. Lucky for homeless LGBT youth, it’s a benefit for CHRIS Kids called Love Skate.

The Jan. 16 event being held at Skate-A-Long USA in Lilburn is no ordinary spin around the rink with a “Hokey Pokey” break. This is a gay rollerskating event, and you can’t have gay rollerskating without a drag roller derby race. It just wouldn’t be natural.

Rollerskating games and contests are on the agenda as well, including a wig snatch. Bring a wig, put it on, and when the organizers say go, everyone skates around and tries to snatch the wigs off one another. The last one wearing their wig wins – just like in life. Also, if you’re into the group thing, be sure to participate in opportunities to make new friends during Group Skates.

Games aside, Love Skate will roll far in benefiting the LGBT youth that CHRIS Kids supports. “We are ready to roll out colorful clothing and roller-boogie to support our mission to heal children, strengthen families, and build community,” CHRIS Kids director of development Beth Keller tells Fenuxe. “Brad Williams is so creative and a strong supporter of the community.”

Williams was motivated by two factors – to help those in need and to create an event that didn’t require staying out all night. “I hate to admit it but I’m getting older and find the late hours of going out to clubs sometimes wears me out,” Williams says. “Realizing that but also still wanting to have some fun, I came up with an event where people of all ages can come out, have a great time, and still get home early enough to get up and be productive the next day.”

If Love Skate goes well enough, Williams plans to make it a quarterly event benefiting a different charity each time. P.A.L.S. is already on board for the next event in March and Joining Hearts is being approached for a June date.

But for now it’s CHRIS Kids’ turn to benefit from our drag-roller-derby-playing, wig-snatching group spin around the rink.

Love Skate

A Benefit for CHRIS Kids

Jan. 16 at 6PM at Skate-A-Long USA

$20 donation covers skate rental

Pre-sale tickets available now at Jungle or The Heretic

Directions: Take I-85N to Exit 102 – Beaver Ruin Road. Merge right onto Beaver Ruin and go 2.7 miles. Skate-A-Long USA will be on your left.

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Eats: The Real Chow Baby


Clear away all the static about supplements, workout routines, and diets and you’re left with one core issue when it comes to health and fitness: personal choice. Do I go to the gym today or drive right past it for a stop at Zesto’s? Do I buy that shake weight even though I would look like I’m trying out for Falcon Studios?

Dine-out choices in particular can make or break our health and fitness goals, and no restaurant in the city gives patrons more power than The Real Chow Baby. A recent stop inside the new Ponce location revealed significant changes from the popular Howell Mill location.

While the cozy red and black color scheme stays intact, co-owner Chip Joyner went for a new wide open layout. The bar and hostess station are up front and the kitchen is so open for viewing you can see every last grain of rice being stir-fried on the 5-foot-wide flat top grill.

But the create-your-own stir fry rules stay the same. A glance at the wall in the beginning of the line reveals a floor-to-ceiling menu with nutritional info to help guide you along.

Chow Baby’s lineup of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and meats is massive and flavorful. The Ponce location has expanded their gluten-free and vegetarian menus. There are more steamed items as well. We topped our brown rice with broccoli, cheese, cilantro, garlic, red onions, a boiled egg, green peppers, and mushrooms, then added chicken and sausage in a ginger lime basil sauce and let it fry. So we tempted ourselves with a cheat option or two.

10 minutes later our creation was on the table and getting devoured. There’s something about selecting every last ingredient of a meal that will satisfy the control freak in all of us. Washing it all down with Chow Baby’s gluten-free beer allows for a nice compromise between kicking back while staying health-conscious.

Staying in shape doesn’t mean you can never eat dessert again either. Cut down on portions and split a dish like Chow Baby’s tangy key lime pie with a graham cracker crust and you won’t feel guilty enough to double your time on the elliptical the next day.

It’s tough getting and staying in shape with so much temptation out there. Luckily Chow Baby is offering more opportunities to get real in 2011.

The Real Chow Baby

782 Ponce De Leon Ave.

Atlanta, GA 30306

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Lean + Hard for Life


by Benjamin Bradley

A new year means a new lease on life. New beginnings, new goals; a fresh new start. And new diets? New gym memberships? Isn’t that how you ring in the new year – through crash dieting and haphazard exercise? If you read ‘false start’ instead of ‘fresh start’, absolutely.

Instead of condemning yourself to a second or third-rate physique matched only by the number of helpings you indulged in over the holidays, turn this new year’s fresh start into a head start. Begin employing common sense strategies for changing your body composition from soft and smushy to lean and hard right now. Why is this important? Because you want to look and feel good while lowering your risk of developing heart disease and adult-onset diabetes (type II), and fit into those hot new jeans you bought at the Bloomy’s pre-sale!

Simple, logical eating habits will go a long way in reshaping your body for the new year and beyond. Eat for what it is you’re doing, or more specifically, eat for the next three hours of your life. Ask yourself basic questions like “Will I be watching TV for the next few hours?” You won’t expend many calories sitting on your rump watching A-List: New York. With that in mind, eat lightly; basing your sedentary meals on lean protein and healthy fats, and eat carbohydrates sparingly. Will you be running a 10k after this meal? Stock up on unrefined carbohydrates and lean protein with minimal fat.

How can you tell what it is you’re supposed to eat for any given frame of time? Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of fuel for anything physically demanding, and protein is for the growth, repair and maintenance of bodily tissues. Certain types of fat are essential in our diet for vitamin solubility / assimilation for brain and body function, but in excess may readily be stored as body fat since dietary and body fat share similar chemical structures.

As part of your resolution for 2011, re-frame food’s purpose in life by treating it for what it is – fuel for activity, not belly stuffing, you turkey. Be aware of the day’s demands and activities. Eat accordingly: sometimes sparingly, sometimes in reasonable excess, but all the time strategically.

Benjamin Bradley has over nine years of nutrition and fitness expertise. After studying Nutrition and Dietetics at Western Carolina University, through his ISSA Fitness certification he is now the Facility Trainer for multiple Atlanta area Anytime Fitness locations.

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