Home and Hearth
The best thing to buy the hard-to-shop for your list is something they didn’t even need two years ago. Your tech-savvy friend probably has a tablet, and the Hand Stylus gives him an effortless way to navigate it without leaving finger prints all over. With a retractable 4mm silicone tip, it’s slender enough for detail work and sturdy enough to last (plus, it’s replaceable). Add to the availability in a range of pastel-y neons, and it’s even nice to look at. ($29.95; replacement tips: 6/$9.95)
Available at HandStylus.com
SHHH! WE’RE THINKING
Art can be beautiful, art can make you think, art can make you cry. But tell your guests to hush? That’s what “Keep Quiet!,” a 13-in. ceramic from Dulce, does every time you look at it. Perfect for Thanksgiving, when your Republican family is in town complaining about the election. ($75)
Available at Dulce, 2914 Oak Lawn Ave. 214-219-5656. MyDulce.com.
A CHAIR TO LEAVE CLINT EASTWOOD SPEECHLESS
Planting your tushie on this throne feels less like sitting down than being granted your place in society.
Bad-boy designers the Bouroullec Brothers won several awards for this startling seat, available in styles from a chair to ottoman to loveseat to sofa (in dozens of colors and textures). You’ll sink into these bejeweled origami folds and not want to get out. (Starting at $2,795)
Available at Lignet Roset, 4516 McKinney Ave. 214-526-2220.
A LITTLE MONKEY BUSINESS
We love antiqueing. (Hey, we’re gay — big surprise.) Part of the fun is discovering unique and kitsch collectibles, which you can do at the Antique Gallery of Mesquite. That’s where we found this “monkey” lamp, adorned with hear/see/say-no-evil primates ($29). How appropriate that Darwinian symbols also throw a little light on things.
Available at Antique Gallery of Mesquite, 3330 N. Galloway Road, Suite 225, Mesquite. 972-270-7700.
Potter and housewares designer Jonathan Adler proudly brings a gay sensibility to his work that results in something unusual: Sophisticated kitsch. (We know!) Where else could you find one-of-a-kind creations that are not only well made, but endlessly clever. Personally, we know few folks who wouldn’t enjoy a brass corkscrew shaped like a handlebar moustache ($98); or for a more feminine touch, the Georgia Cookie Jar, adorned with nipples ($225). Hey, it’s a reminder to drink milk with your cookies.
Jonathan Adler, 4525 McKinney Ave. 214-484-9726. JonathanAdler.com.
ART FOR ITS OWN SAKE
Some gifts look like works of art. At the Dallas Museum of Art’s gift shop, they really are. Take the current exhibit of stellar French poster art from le belle époque — you don’t need to leave it there, you can stop off in the DMA store and grab these fragrant candles, bedecked with images from the exhibit. Available in scents including leather, green tea, currant and cedar, art never smelled so sweet. ($35)
Available at the Dallas Museum of Art Store, 1717 Harwood St. DM-Art.org.
TONIGHT WE DINE!
There’s eating — that’s what you do out of a can over a sink in your underwear. Then there’s dining, and that requires a formal setting. We like the Clarise Contemporary set from Homelegance in white. Modern and fresh, it’s big enough to seat four comfortably but sized to fit any space, from a kitchen nook to dining room. We’ll raise a glass to that! (Set for $498)
Available at Venetian Furniture, 122 Leslie St. 972-241-6700. VenetianFurniture.com.
A terrarium Christmas tree ornament?! The irony gods are working overtime with this one, putting a tree on a tree. Well, not a tree maybe, but this clear bulb filled with mosses, pebbles and other greenery come in an array of colors and styles — each a one-of-a-kind creation. It’s the gift that keeps on growing! ($9.99 and up)
Available at North Haven Gardens, 7700 Northhaven Road. 214-363-6715. NHG.com.
THIS PEN IS MIGHTY
Just as there is “meat,” but there is also filet mignon, Lone Star Artisans don’t just make “pens” — they make “writing implements.” You need more heft to describe the Cambridge rollerball pen they handcraft in Plano. Carved from Amboyna burl and cast with titanium gold, each pen is a minor work of art, coated up to 10 times in a process that produces a fine gloss and makes writing a joy with each one-of-a-kind instrument. ($275)
Available at LoneStarArtisans.com.
A SOCIAL LUBRICANT
Karen Shapiro is a ceramic artist who, like Warhol before, turns everyday objects into artist impressions. Only she’s not working with soup, but sex. Using a low-heat raku kiln, Shapiro hand-crafts vintage packages of things like KY Jelly and Trojans condoms into oversized (as big as
two feet across!) novelties that pay homage to classic packaging. ($900–$950)
Available at Iota, 3107 Knox St. 214-522-2999.
ORNAMENTAL, MY DEAR WATSON
Houston artist Blakely Bering uses metallic paints on resin to create her artwork, including her series Cross, featuring a range of representations of the crucifix. A sacred and inventive evocation of the season, several sizes are available in a diversity of styles. ($185–$285)
Available at Jones Walker Home, 1531 Dragon St. 469-916-5500. JonesWalkerHome.com.
GIVE NEW MEANING TO ‘SLEEP TIGHT’
Some people want a bed that makes them feel cozy; others prefer a — shall we say? — more useful place to lay down. The bondage bed from Steel Life Designs is the perfect gift for the BDSM devotee in your life. Engineered for all kinds of play, these beds are meant for heavy-duty action, and can be customized to suit your particular erotic needs. Available from full to California king.
Available at Steel Life Designs, Dallas World Trade Center on Stemmons Freeway, Suite 14395.
LOUNGE LIKE DON DRAPER
We love the retro chic from the 1960s ushered in by shows like Mad Men, and nothing recalls the mid-century look so well as the Dean Chair from Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams. Inspired by vintage racers, its stainless steel frame hugs a variety of colors. Start your engines … and grab a martini. ($1,495)
Available at Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams, 4519 McKinney Ave. 214-753-8700.
Body and Soul
REDEFINING THE SIX-PACK
All gay men enjoy a six-pack … and not just their abs. (Though those especially.) But at Two Corks and a Bottle, you don’t grab a brewski, but a sixer of wines. Put together the perfect selection from an array of fruit wines (peach, orange, etc.), and you get a special carrying case and 25 percent off — that’s just $45 for six bottles. And no one says you have to give them all away. Hey, you deserve a sip for yourself for coming up with the idea. Cheers!
Available at Two Corks and a Bottle, 2800 Routh St. in the Quadrangle.
Women wear bracelets; men wear cuffs. At least, that’s what we tell Mom every Thanksgiving. And the unique styles of cuffs designed and made by local artist Matt Preston make them something more. Handmade from leather and brass, each is a one-of-a-kind creation that adds a personal touch and sense of fashion to a bare wrist. Or a bear wrist — hey, they are leather. ($38–$65)
Available at Dolly Python, 1916 Haskell St. 214-887-3434.
Ever since Dallas banned smoking in many places, cigarette smokers know how us cigar smokers have always felt — isolated. Few businesses even allowed cigars to burn in their establishments. And they are insane. Cigar smoke is soothing and lovely, and a Cohiba is not a nicotine delivery device so much as a gentle friend. Cigar smoking is an art form, meant for the connoisseur in your life, and Blue Smoke can hook you up with some nice La Aurora from the Dominican Republic ($17.99 each, or $143/box). Hey, smoke ’em if ya got ’em! (And this is where to get ’em.)
Available at Blue Smoke of Dallas 4560 W. Mockingbird Lane, suite 102.
A lady needs her beauty sleep, and nothing facilitates that better than a Dreamstate sleep mask. Comfortable but snug,
it blocks out light so you can rest soundly and get your full eight hours … all while looking like a movie star. ($20)
Available at The Gypsy Wagon, 2928 N. Henderson St. 214-370-8010.
Ah, nature! Walking through the habitats of species and observing their behavior including mating rituals. Who doesn’t need a good field guide for that? And that’s what Guide for the Modern Bear does … only it’s referring to gay bears. Learn to identify the difference between a tiki bear and a club bear! Understand the appeal of the elusive ginger bear! And how did otters get into a bear guide? It’s all here. ($19.99)
Available at Amazon.com.
SPRINKLE A LITTLE JOY
No one doesn’t like Sprinkles cupcakes — or at least, we don’t wanna be friends with anyone who doesn’t. And you can enjoy those tasty treats with holiday spirit with the Joy Box, an assortment of one dozen frosted delights — three each of chocolate peppermint, vanilla peppermint, cocoanut and red velvet. ($39)
Available at Sprinkles 4020 Villanova Drive.
Whether you’re shopping for a real lady or a drag queen, no girl could resist an opera bag from the Santuzza Ginkgo collection. Made by hand in the U.S., these stainless steel and mesh purses are available in a variety of styles, from big pocketbook to elegant clutch. And you can always slip a little something extra inside … we’re not sayin’ what, we’re jus’ sayin’. ($185–$350)
Available at Nuvo,3900 Cedar Springs Road.
BEYOND TIGHTY WHITIES
Not all gifts need to be visible … at least not to everyone. For an intimate and personal present for your sweetie (or yourself) to be enjoyed privately, Skivvies has a huge selection of briefs and boxers, some not just comfortable butt alluring and sexy! (Ass-less briefs, anyone?) With a vast selection of brands — from 2(x)ist to Bayou Beau to Skivvies’ own proprietary label in prices starting at just $12, there’s something for the man who has everything.
Available at Skivvies, 4001 Cedar Springs Road.
Not all your appeal can be contained on a Grindr profile — a little in-person contact will always seal the deal. And there’s no better way to give yourself an advantage than with Max 4 Men Body Rituals, a personal care line infused with pheromones. With an assortment of erotic accoutrements, from cologne to shaving cream to “arousal” gels, you’ll turn an encounter into something for the history books. (Products range from $7.99
Available at Alternatives of New Fine Arts, 1720 W. Mockingbird Lane.
Sights and Sounds
Dallas Summer Musicals’ upcoming season is just about the gayest they’ve ever mounted — and that’s saying something. With Mary Poppins, Wicked, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Sister Act among the entries, getting the theater queen in your life season tickets would literally be a way to stretch your gift from now until the State Fair next October. With tickets to all seven shows as low as $125, you could even get yourself a pair and make it a regular date night.
I HEAR A SYMPHONY
The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its remarkable centennial season, and what better way than offering a 10 percent discount on three upcoming concerts?
In addition to the New Year’s Eve concert, you can join gay faves Bernadette Peters (Jan. 5) and be a friend of Dorothy with The Wizard of Oz (Jan. 25–27), performed with full orchestra at the lovely Bass Hall.
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at Bass Performance Hall, 535 Commerce St., Fort Worth.
No Christmas would be complete without a performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, and Texas Ballet Theater never disappoints. Not only can you get tickets to see a performance at Fort Worth’s Bass Hall or Dallas’ Winspear and Wyly, but a subscription for the remaining shows includes the spring presentation of Lambarena & Voluntaires as well as the TBT Festival. (Packages start at $33)
Winspear Opera House (Nov. 23–Dec. 2)
and Bass Performance Hall (Dec. 7–23)
IT’S A WONDERFUL GIFT
It’s a Wonderful Life is as much a holiday tradition as eggnog and coming out to your cousin after one too many hot buttered rums. But you don’t need to watch the old Jimmy Stewart movie for a gazillionth time — you can see WaterTower Theatre stage the radio play version as its Christmas show. Running Nov. 24 through Dec. 16, five actors play all the familiar roles in this heartwarmer about the spirit of the season. (Tickets start at $30).
WaterTower Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison.
If you’ve got kids in the back seat, you’ll wanna take a tablet … not of aspirin, but an iPad. And with an Audiox Rear Seat Entertainment mount from Alta Mere, it’s like having a built-in DVD player. And hey, let’s face it — it’s not just for kids. Guys love gadgets, and this sturdy, secure but flexible car accessory is pretty sweet. ($159)
Available at Alta Mere, 4302 Lemmon Ave. 214-521-7477.
For the smooth music lover on your list, the holidays give you the perfect opportunity to enjoy two gay-fave musicians. First, out sax player Dave Koz brings his take on the holiday spirit to Bass Performance Hall with his Christmas extravaganza on Dec. 12. Then on New Year’s Eve, pianist Jim Brickman rings in the new year with a concert at the Winspear Opera House, sure to make sure your 2013 gets started right.
Dave Koz, Dec. 12.
Available at BassHall.com.
Jim Brickman, Dec. 31.
Available at ATTPAC.org.
Barks and Wags
As every gay person knows, the best reason to have a fou-fou dog is to have someone to play dress-up with and not seem creepy. We’ve gotten our dogs sweaters and collars and leashes and even perfume … and now we have hair extensions. (Well, furr.) Pup Feathers are handmade extensions to turn your plain pooch into a fierce diva dog. Offering 25 designs with rhinestones, charms, American flags, even Christmas ornaments (how festive!), it’s the perfect wardrobe accessory for Rex. Or Regina. ($12-$20)
Available at The Petropolitan, 408 S. Harwood St.
OK, so these aren’t specifically directed at the smelly pets in your life, but let’s face it: The cat’s litter box (and Rover’s constant place inside the house during winter) means you’re probably dealing with, umm, bathroom odors. But Poo-Pourri provides an effective counter to that. Available in candles, oils and sprays in a variety of scents (including those right for the holidays), these odor-fighting products deliver on that adage what happens in the bathroom, stays in the bathroom.
Available at Poopourri.com.
TICKET TO RIDE
The only thing better that theater tickets for that drama queen in your life are tickets they can pick themselves. The Gift Tix from Dallas Theater Center are the most flexible way to give the gift of theater: For $45 weekdays ($55 weekends), you can give your giftee the flexibility to trade in the coupon for best-available tickets to any show of the season, from A Christmas Carol (starting next week) to King Lear and more.
Available at DallasTheaterCenter.org or 214-880-0202.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 16, 2012.