This diary contains diverse views and opinions on what goes on in Cherry Grove, the nation and the world. Racism and bigotry have no place here. Please do not engage in personal attacks on other users. The cardinal rule here is to respect others. The opinions published here are those of individual writers and may or may not represent those of our publisher/editor or any other members of our volunteer staff.
To paraphrase a piece of writing that caught my eye on the Internet: "The ability to put my thoughts on (virtual) paper and put them where people can read and respond to them has been marvelous, even if most people who have read my writings haven't agreed with them. If there is any hope for the long term success of democracy, it will be if people agree to listen to and try to understand their opponents rather than simply seek to crush them." -- RLF
In Memorium -- "My primary purpose in writing these articles is to help provide gays with a sense of their history outside of Stonewall. I feel we have to grab it wherever we are living it and get it down for the generations that will follow in our footsteps."--Mary Kapsalis.
Fresh Meat Just Got Fresher at The Grove Market
August 06, 2008 -- Tired of same-old, same-old food and entertainment offered for your dereliction (I mean delectation) in Cherry Grove? Quality food, entertainment and cultural events are the soul of any community. This week's column salutes Cherry Grove people and businesses who are willing to go the extra mile to get your attention.
Sunday Barbecue at Island Breeze -- One of the best bargains in town is the outdoor barbecue that Island Breeze is offering customers on Sunday afternoons from 2-6 pm.
Choices include barbecued chicken, out-of-this-world spareribs, delicious hamburgers, baked beans, homemade potato salad, pasta salad, corn on the cob, corn bread and fresh-cut watermelon. All-you-can-eat: $15.
The Authentic Taste of N'awlins -- When people dine out, they usually like to treat themselves to something different, as well as good. The New Orleans menu prepared by Chef Ryan at Top of the Bay Bistro fits the bill with wonderful Seafood Gumbo (left); Huge Sea Scallops (the real thing) grilled and served on a bed of tasty Corn Mache Choux; wonderful Marinated Ribeye; bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin and Grits and Grillades. On Saturdays and Sundays, they offer a very nice brunch served to the tune of a live jazz band. I recently had a sensational Shrimp over Linguini in white wine sauce that was terrific. Myth: New Orleans food is very spicy. Wrong! Some of the food here has a subtle kick and some does not. Chef Bryan comes to Cherry Grove direct from cooking gigs at the famous Emeril's in both New Orleans and Atlanta.
The Best Kickass Pizza in the U.S. of A. -- People rave about the pizza served at Cherry Grove Pizza as some of the best they've ever had. I agree. I don't know what makes one product better than another: some say the water; some say it's the skill with which the dough is tossed; some say it's the sauce; quality of the cheese, etc. It's hard to tell, but there's no doubt that the raves are well-deserved. The college jocks who work here are typically full of themselves; cute waitresses give the place a nice friendly feel. Dining al fresco adds another nice informal touch.
Chinese Food at Jumping Jack's. Wednesday might be Prince Spaghetti Day in South Boston, but Tuesday is the night for Chinese Food at Jumping Jack’s in Cherry Grove. I haven’t left the Island since May 1 and sometimes the yen for Chinese food (pun intended) is so strong that I could jump into the Bay and swim to the mainland. Fortunately, Jumping Jack’s has heard my call and has added Chinese food to the menu on Tuesday nights. Of course, the option of choosing from fifty different dishes isn’t there, but there is nice Barbecue Beef, Szechuan Chicken, Grilled Shrimp and Salmon dishes to choose from. All are served in appropriate Oriental sauces and Chinese vegetables with rice. Recenty, I had the Barbecue Beef (served in a nice brown sauce) and Szechuan Chicken (in a spicy/sweet one). A nice departure from the gastronomic same-old, same-old in Cherry Grove. Thanks guys!
August 10, 12, 19 -- Jason Cozmo at Cherry's. Jason is one of the best female impersonators to grace our shores. His Liza is amazing. His Lucy will have you rolling on the floor. If you think I exaggerate, check out this great cabaret show. It's your last chance to see Jason at Cherry's this season. Don't miss this one! Curtain: 11 pm. Jason on the web: www.jasoncozmo.com.
Free Admission To Vintage Hollywood Movies With Gay Themes -- Film historian David Johnson loves old movies and has been collecting them since the early 1990s. In 1995, he compiled film clips of gay characters and stereotypes in a film he titled “The Lavendar Lense” which has been screened at The Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh and at various film festivals. If you want to view portions or purchase the film on DVD, go to the Internet and Google The Lavendar Lense.
Every Monday night at The Tides Playhouse at 7:30 p.m he will screen one of his early gay-themed favorites. Admission is free. Here is the lineup:
August 11 -- "The Boys In The Band" (1970). Director William Friedkin's film of the original Broadway cast of Mart Crowley's 1968 play still holds up forty years later. Faggots are still as bitchy and campy now as they were then. Camping was a product of oppression, and there's plenty to go around here. The negative self images will seem odd to today's generation.
August 18 -- "Different From The Others" (1919). The first gay liberation film ever made, this film argues that homosexuality is not a mental illness and that German Law Paragraph 175 should be repealed. Progressive even today. Also two tasteless "sex ed" filmsof the 1960's "Chained Girls" and "Boys Beware." Directed by Richard Oswald.
August 25 -- "The Strange One" (1957). Director Jack Garfein's film of the Calder Willingham play brought Ben Gazzara sizzling onto the screen as a closeted sadist whose magnetic sexuality exerts a hypnotic effect on his fellow cadets, whom he tortures daily. Positively dripping with animal magnetism. The two gay characters are presented as repulsive oddities. George Peppard's screen debut.
September 1 -- "Camp" (2003). After a series of flops, a Broadway songwriter agrees to teach at a musical camp for performers. Based on a real music camp in the Catskills, this low budget film offers fresh, new, real faces with great voices singing great songs. Robin de Jesus appears as a cross-dressing Latino. Directed by Todd Graff.
August 8-17. "Sordid Lives" Is A Monster Hit! -- Since the year 2000, The Island Repertory Theatre Company has been producing time-honored and new plays at various venues in Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines. This year, the company is enjoying record attendance with blockbuster productions of "Confessions of a Mormon Boy" and its current production of "Sordid Lives" which plays The Tides Playhouse through August 17. At this writing, there are only a few seats available for some performances. Call 631 597-9439 for more details. ("Sordid Lives"cast photo above left.)
Island Rep is also importing The Rarest of Birds by John C. Wood, starring Omar Prince (photo right) direct from its recent off-Broadway run at The Wings Theatre in Manhattan. The play chronicles the life of film actor Montgomery Clift. Performances August 22 and 23 at 8:00. Tickets are virtually sold out!
The Rep will wind up its 2008 theatre season with a staged reading of a new play titled "Between The Covers" by award-winning playwright Tony Finstrom, who describes the play as a cross between "The Devil Wears Prada" and "All About Eve," A cast of six will be directed by Richard LaFrance. This is the first time that the play will be presented in front of an audience and a "talk-back" session with actors, director and playwright will be held after the show.
"Between The Covers" will not be your usual thrown together reading that puts everybody to sleep, but a carefully rehearsed presentation with a top-notch cast. Limited seating is available at the Island Rep box office or at 631 597-9439.
Thru August 28 -- The Fire Island Film & Video Festival. For years, visionary Steve Flynn worked hard to get the Long Island Gay & Lesbian Film Festival established and his efforts paid off. Steve brings his film project to Cherry Grove under the title "Fire Island Film & Video Festival," and most screenings take place at the Cherry Grove Community House. This year the festival will present the following works:
August 7 -- Pageant (2008). Behind the scenes look as fifty-two ordinary gentlemen go to extraordinary lengths in order to be crowned the 34th Miss Gay America.
August 14 -- Steam (2008). Tells the story of three very different women, Doris (Ruby Dee) recently widowed, Laurie (Ally Sheedy) a divorced single mother, and Elizabeth (Kate Siegel) a college freshman.
August 21 -- You Belong To Me (2008). A Hitchcockian thriller.
August 28 -- Between Love & Goodbye. Casper Andreas ("Slutty Summer" and "A Four Letter Word" returns to Fire Island with his first dramatic feature.
Note: All films start at 8 pm.
August 23 -- Cherry Grove Resident Shares His "Sitings" At The Ice Palace. Robert “Bobby” Lerch, a year-round resident of Fire Island, enjoys the off season because that is when he has time to take out his camera and capture the images that summer visitors don't get to see.
Chunks of snow at the shore and a fog that looks as if clouds are laying on the frozen waters of the bay; a sunset over the ocean reflects on the waves, causing them to look like they're on fire are just a few of Bobby's images that most of us never get to see.
Join Bobby for his premiere show at the Ice Palace. In the meantime, you can view some of his work at www.boblerchsfireislandphotos.com.
ONGOING -- Walter's Outdoor Museum of Camp. I think you'll find a true example of "camp," at Walter & Carmen's House at the corner of Surf and Lewis. For years now, Walter Quetsch has erected sometimes satirical, sometimes politically incorrect exhibits on his property that comment on what he finds funny (or not) in his world.
His work has grown to camp art status in the last few years and the current exhibit constructed by Walter and Renee Ravid is brilliant. (See "Miss Havisham's Attic" exhibit in photo upper left)
Unfortunately, not everybody appreciates a cultural movement taking hold in Cherry Grove. Some of those who feel threatened have been known to tear down posters, mar and destroy glass display cases, boycott attendance, etc. Walter's Outdoor Museum is constantly being raided and art pieces have been stolen or destroyed. In the current exhibit, art pieces have been maliciously removed from the site and returned in a damaged state. When this happens, Walter and Renee patiently try to repair or replace them.
Recently, someone ripped the principal figure from the "Miss Havisham's Attic" exhibit and threw it in the garbage. Walter and Renee rescued the doll and restored her to her rightful spot as best they could . However, the wedding dress is beyond repair. (See photo right).
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW . . . SUPPORT DIVERSITY AND CHANGE IN CHERRY GROVE! IT'S GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL!
PEOPLE, PLACES AND THINGS:
GREG CHEPLIN died at his home in Cherry Grove at age 80 of cancer on July 30, 2008. Ashes to be scattered at a private ceremony at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Heifer International, PO Box 8058, Little Rock, AR 72203.
Greg was a longtime member of Cherry Grove and board member and treasurer of the Cherry Grove Memorial Fund. Rest in Peace!
Sherwood (photo right) is back and guest bartending at Island Breeze and Top of the Bay Bistro . . . The Cherry Grove Fireworks event scheduled for August 15 has been canceled. (See Letters to the Editor below). . . Red tape has also delayed the opening of the ice cream parlor being erected in front of the Ice Palace. Liquor licenses are obtained in less time than it has taken this place to open. Ridiculous! . . .
If you'd like your event mentioned here on ATGT, just e-mail info to mailto:AsTheGroveTurns@aol.com and you'll no doubt see it in our next edition.
As The Grove Turns was founded on May 15, 2000. So far, we have received over a million visits to our site from over fifty countries. Next edition of As The Grove Turns: August 27, 2008. 'Til then, God bless.