Holiday Gift Guide 2011 • Barks & Wags

Holiday-Gift-Guide-2011-Header

 

>>Barks & Wags

MGBW-Dog-BEdsBEDTIME FOR FIDO

When it’s time to go to sleep, dogs can luxuriate in these comfortable and durable beds. Coming in an array of fabric choices, they let Fido be just as in style as his owners, if not more so. The beds come in a variety of sizes and start at $375.

Mitchell Gold Bob Williams,
4519 McKinney Ave.
214-753-8700. MGBWDallas.com.

Wizard-of-Oz-Swarovski-dog-collar

FRIENDS OF DOROTHY

Now every dog can be like Toto — or rather, Dorothy, from The Wizard of Oz with this emerald red Swarovski dog collar. For the glam canine, the collar is red velvet with rhinestones on a sterling silver base and a Swarovski crystal bow centerpiece. The other dogs will be so jealous. The collar is priced at $75.

Available through
PoshPuppyBoutique.com.

olympic-stand-no-label-gold-bowl
BOWLED OVER

Platinum Pets continues to rework the dog feeder into something snazzy. These new Olympic dining bowls are made of stainless steel in a food safe powder coat and the stands are wrought iron and thus durable for both indoor and outdoor use. The bowls come in 16-, 32- and 64-ounce sizes and are priced from $23.99
to $26.99.

Available through  Amazon.com. Platinum Petsoffers a 20 percent coupon for Dallas Voice readers when ordering through Amazon.
Enter code HRPZZ06B during checkout for their products.

DogRaincoat

POILED TO THE BONE

Fashionista dogs likely have their own set of clothes, but do they have a wardrobe closet? Complete with hangers, this wardrobe is ideal for Spot to put away those sweaters for winter and hang up the raincoat after those not-so-sunny walks outside. The wardrobe is priced at $89.97; the raincoat starts at $55.

Available through
DazzleDogDelight.com.

—  Kevin Thomas

GIVEAWAY: A pair of tickets to The Twelves on Thursday night at the Rio Room

You know, we love our Brazilians (the non-wax kind) and after I gave you a dose of them on Tuesday, here’s your second. DJs João Miguel and Luciano Oliveira, also known as The Twelves, come to the Rio Room on Thursday night as part of the club’s impressive Summer Series, and the club is offering a pair of tickets to Dallas Voice readers.

The Twelves aren’t your usual DJ team spinning the music and tweaking the MP3s. From the Rio Room: “Their live show is a unique blend of live keyboards, drum machines, mash-ups and remixing on the fly. This continuously improvising duo is known for transforming indie tracks into dance floor burners for a diverse array of acts including M.I.A, La Roux, Two Door Cinema Club, and Fever Ray. This summer marked their breakthrough into the festival scene with appearances at Coachella and Pacific Music Festival.”

Although DJs aren’t really for watching, the video below displays The Twelves working over queer faves The Gossip. Just put it on in the background and imagine yourself on the dancefloor.

So you want tix? Email me here with “I’m With the DJ” in the subject line and your full name in the body. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congrats to our winner Renae!

—  Rich Lopez

2011 Readers Voice Awards: Services

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PARTNERS IN CRIME (AND REALTY) | Chad West, left, and Brian Bleeker, who are a couple, were both winners in their respective categories. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

BEST CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Chad West

614 N. Bishop Ave., Suite 2
Open Monday–Friday at 8:30 a.m.
214-509-7555
ChadWestLaw.com

 

BEST REAL
ESTATE AGENT
Brian Bleeker

Hewitt and
Habgood Realty
2828 Routh St.,
Suite 100.
Call for appointment.
214-303-1133
DavePerryMiller.com

Imagine being in the West-Bleeker household today. There’s probably a ticker-tape parade happening right now on their street owing to the one-two punch that saw Chad West voted as the city’s top criminal attorney and his partner, Brian Bleeker, honored as the best Realtor. Forget Brangelina or Bennifer: Dallas Voice readers have gone and taken a power couple and made them even more powerful. (BleeWest? Or Chian? We’ll keep working on it.) That’s OK — these guys are both at the top of their games and they deserve the accolades. Plus, you never know when you may need one or both of them on your side. Picture this scenario for a second: You walk outside to get the morning paper, the front door closes on your robe and rips it off your body. There you are, standing half-naked on your porch as a school bus full of children passes by. When the lewd conduct charges start rolling in, you’re going to need a good criminal attorney (Chad, of course!), then when word spreads through the neighborhood that there’s a pervert on the block, it’s time to hire an real estate agent (Brian!) to sell your house so you can start over some place where nobody knows who you are. And he can probably even find you a house where the front doors don’t automatically lock behind you.

— Steven Lindsey


PILLOW TALK | Aaron Duke’s eye for sleek, contemporary style made him the favorite decorator in town. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

BEST INTERIOR DESIGNER
Aaron Duke

1501 Dragon St., Suite 104
Call for appointment
469-231-4438

Aaron Duke, a young and buzzed-about designer, says in his design philosophy statement that “interior design should create an emotional response from all who enter the space.” But if that response is the wrong kind of gasp, with hands covering mouth, then chances are you’ve done something wrong. And you might want to consider a new designer, such as Duke. What we like about his portfolio is that he’s not afraid of bold choices, but they’re always clean and sleek, and more importantly, never cold. He’s known for sophisticated interiors, and excels at handsome but comfortable contemporary looks. And like any good designer, he gives the customer what is wanted, without compromising his own aesthetic. We know a few stuff-loving queens who need to call him, stat.

— Mark Lowry


BEST CIVIL ATTORNEY
Rebecca S. Covell

3710 Rawlins St., Suite 950
Open Monday–Friday at 9 a.m.
214-443-0300
CovellPC.com

Although Rebecca Covell won the award for best civil or family law attorney, she points out that she’s not a divorce lawyer but someone who does wills, estates — keeping families together, she explains, not pulling them apart. That’s the kind of low-key, problem-solving approach that Covell says gets her thank-you notes more than hate mail. One client recently told her, “This is the first time I’ve ever felt good writing a check to a lawyer.” There are civil-law attorneys, and there are attorneys who know how to be civil. Covell does both — but it’s the latter that has won her so many fans.

— Arnold Wayne Jones


AN INSURANCE AGENT WHO REALLY IS A GOOD NEIGHBOR
Steven Graves

2919 Welborn St., Suite 100
Open Monday–Friday at 8:30 a.m.
214-599-0808
StevenGravesInsurance.com

Since opening his agency in 1995, Steven Graves has not only specialized in getting the best coverage for his customers, but in giving back to them and the broader community. From helping Heath Services of North Texas get new computers, office furniture and personal care products donated to filling the last 30 requests from the Leather Knights Angel Tree at Dallas Eagle (buying everything from MP3 players to watches and gift cards) to sponsoring Youth First Texas and the Texas Bear Round-Up, he insures a better Dallas for everyone. “You have to give back to the community,” Graves says. “Support those who support you.”

— David Taffet

 

BEST FASHION DESIGNER
Nicolas Villalba

Call for appointment
214-655-6820
NicolasDesigns.com

 

BEST HOME SERVICES
The Make Ready Group

Call for appointment
214-599-8757
TheMakeReadyGroup.com

 

BEST MORTGAGE COMPANY • TIE
Prime Lending (Ron Watterson)

3500 Oak Lawn Ave.
Open Monday–Friday at 8:30 a.m.
214-987-0500
DallasCentralAdmin.PrimeLending.com

Shelter Mortgage (Alex Arce)

5950 Sherry Lane
214-365-0708
Shelter-Mortgage.com

 

BEST INSURANCE AGENCY
Melanie “Angel” Irvin

Farmers Insurance Agency
14651 Dallas Parkway, Suite 110
Open Monday–Friday at 8:30 a.m.
972-367-6200
Farmers.com

 

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENCY
Ebby Halliday Realtors

4455 Sigma Road
Call for appointment.
972-980-6600
Ebby.com

 

BEST FINANCIAL INSTITUTION
Chase Bank

4236 Wycliff Ave. (additional locations)
Open Monday–Saturday at 9 a.m.
214-443-0784
Chase.com


BEST MASSAGE
THERAPIST • TIE
David Gates, Spa Nordstrom

8687 N. Central Expressway
Call for appointment.
214-231-3900
Nordstrom.com/c/Spa-Nordstrom

Bill Richard

Available daily.
Call for appointment.
214-923-0786
DallasBill.com

 

BEST HAIR SALON
Supercuts

4113 Lemmon Ave.
Open daily.
214-522-1441
Supercuts.com

 

BEST MANI-PEDI • TIE
Hollywood Nails & Spa

3517 Oak Lawn Ave.
Open daily.
214-526-7133
HollywoodNailsandSpa.com

The Nail Spa

4020 Cedar Springs Road
Open daily.
214-526-6245
TheNailSpaDallas.net

 

BEST BODY ART
Obscurities Tattoos and Piercings

4008 Cedar Springs Road
Open Tuesday–Sunday.
214-559-3706
Obscurities.com

 

BEST TANNING SALON
B-Tan

4107 Lemmon Ave.
Open daily.
214-219-1833
BTanInc.com

 

BEST AESTHETIC
BEAUTY SERVICES
Advanced Skin Fitness

2928 Oak Lawn Ave.
Open Tuesdays­–Saturdays at 10 a.m.
214-521-5277
AdvancedSkinFitness.com

 

BEST COMPUTER SERVICES • TIE
Clint Thompson

3000 Carlisle St., Suite 103
214-550-2118
Apple Genius Bar
Apple Store, 4525 McKinney Ave. (additional locations)
Open Monday–Saturday at 8 a.m., Sundays at 11 a.m.
972-629-2277
Apple.com

1 Conx Internet Services

2525 Wycliff Ave., Suite 124
Open Monday–Friday at 8:30 a.m.
214-855-5561
1Conx.com

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 18, 2011.

—  John Wright

2011 Readers Voice Awards: Metro

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ULTIMATE LGBT
ROLE MODEL
Joel Burns

City Councilman,
Fort Worth District 9
City Hall,
1000 Throckmorton St.
817-392-8809

If there was one award we could have predicted the winner of last fall, it was this one. Joel Burns made history in 2007 when residents of Fort Worth’s District 9 elected him to represent them on the City Council, in the process becoming the city’s first-ever openly gay council member. But it was in 2010, after Burns made headlines around the country with a 12-minute heartfelt appeal to LGBT youth contemplating suicide, that his star really sparkled. Recounting his own teenage experience with bullies, Burns spoke of the successes in his life since then and the love he found with his husband, J.D. Angle. And Burns promised: “It gets better.” And it did, for millions of Americans, after hearing Burns. That’s more than a role model; that’s a hero.

— Tammye Nash

 

BEST LOCAL LGBT ORGANIZATION
Resource Center Dallas

2701 Reagan St.
214-528-0144
RCDallas.org

 

BEST NATIONAL LGBT ORGANIZATION
Human Rights Campaign

1640 Rhode Island Ave., N. W., Washington, D.C.
800-777-4723
HRC.org


A TEAM YOU WANNA BE A MEMBER OF Pegasus member club TKO took home the top trophy at the Gay World Series last summer.

BEST LGBT SOCIAL OR SPORTS ORGANIZATION • TIE
Pegasus Slowpitch Softball League

DallasPSSA.org


Dallas Independent Volleyball Association

DIVADallas.org

There may be no “I” in team, but there’s definitely an “A” in gay. And Dallas is home to two of the most A-list gay sports clubs anywhere. Voice readers agreed, voting both into the top spot as their favorite social/sports organization. Pegasus Slow-pitch Softball is a league with more than two dozen teams, with names as colorful as the players: Imagine getting up to bat against a pitcher for­ the Donkey Punchers. Or the Itchy Kitties. Or Sons of Pitches. Pretty intimidating, right? Well, not really. PSSA is celebrated for its camaraderie, sportsmanship and sense of fun. The spring season just started, so it’s not too late to catch them in action or put on a jersey and join a team. If you prefer hitting balls with your hands instead of a bat, DIVA, the Dallas Independent Volleyball Association, is the perfect organization for showing off that killer serve or power spike you perfected when nobody was looking in middle school P.E. There are five divisions of teams (recreational, intermediate, competitive, advanced and power), so no matter your skill level, there’s a team (with or without a net) waiting with open arms. Just not so open that they miss the ball.

— Steven Lindsey

BEST LOCAL
LGBT FUNDRAISER
The Black Tie Dinner

4015 Lemmon Ave, Suite 4001,Suite 321
Next Black Tie Dinner: Saturday, Nov. 12
972-733-9200
BlackTieDinner.org

 

BEST PLACE OF WORSHIP
Cathedral of Hope

5910 Cedar Springs Road
Services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays
214-351-1901
CathedralofHope.com

 

ULTIMATE
PEOPLE-WATCHING SPOT
The balcony at JR.’s Bar & Grill

3923 Cedar Springs Road
Caven.com


BEST GAY BLOG
Gay List Daily

GayListDaily.com

 

BEST SMARTPHONE
SOCIAL APP
Grindr

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 18, 2011.

—  John Wright

2011 Readers Voice Awards: Entertainment

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ULTIMATE DRAG DIVA
Jenna Skyy

Hosts monthly GayBingo event at
the Rose Room inside Station 4,
3911 Cedar Springs Road
214-526-7171
Caven.com

Since this was the Ultimate Diva! edition of the Readers Voice, it behooves us to explore that aspect of gay culture for whom divadom seems inherent: The drag queen (of the 10 finalists, in fact, eight were drag characters). A diva certainly has attitude — and smarts, and talent, and personality — all of which describes Jenna Skyy, who in a few short years has becomes an essential part of the Dallas scene. But Skyy (aka Joe Hoselton) has something more still: A philosophy. Drag feels almost like a political statement the way Hoselton does it, an act of defiance. An act of Pride. She represents something great about being gay and out and open, whether she’s powering down the runway like Jan Strimple or revealing a costume of Gagaesque flamboyance — or, for that matter, calling numbers at GayBingo, the monthly AIDS fundraiser she co-hosts in the Rose Room — Jenna Skyy makes us happy to be … well, just to be.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

 

BEST LOCAL ARTS ORGANIZATION
Fahari Arts Institute

214-521-3362
FahariArtsInstitute.com

 

BEST LOCAL SINGER
Anton Shaw

AntonShawMusic.com

 

BEST LOCAL BAND
Anton Shaw and the Reason

AntonShawMusic.com


HORSING AROUND | Uptown Players had a banner season according to Voice readers, having the favorite play, ‘Equus,’ above, and tying itself for best musical.

BEST LOCAL PRODUCTION (PLAY)
Equus (Uptown Players)

Performed Feb. 26–March 21 at the
Kalita Humphreys Theater
214-219-2718
UptownPlayers.org

 

BEST LOCAL PRODUCTION
(MUSICAL) • TIE
Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits (Uptown Players)

Performed Aug. 5–29 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater

Closer to Heaven (Uptown Players)

Performed Oct. 1–24 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater
214-219-2718
UptownPlayers.org

 

BEST LOCAL THEATER DIRECTOR
Harold Steward


BEST MAINSTREAM VENUE PRESENTING MUSIC FOR THE GAY MASSES
Gilley’s Music Complex: The Palladium, The Loft, South Side Music Hall, Jack Daniel’s Saloon

GilleysMusic.com

Thanks to the trio of Kris Youmans, Brad Ehney and Nate Binford, the venues of the Gilley’s Music Complex on the Cedars have been very welcoming to the gays. Once Ehney, who is gay, got on board after his stint at the Granada Theater (another queer-friendly venue), he was intent on bringing a contingent of acts geared toward attracting an LGBT audience. Binford and Yeomans, the straight guys, just wanted a full house. It’s worked out beautifully. Lesbian duo Tegan & Sara filled the huge-ass space of the Palladium Ballroom while Lady Gaga openers Semi Precious Weapons rocked the shit out of the smaller Loft. The gays then came out en masse for Robyn, packing the mid-sized South Side Music Hall. Upcoming acts of queer interest include MEN, Of Montreal and Vivian Girls. (Upcoming non-gay acts aren’t bad, either: The Avett Brothers, George Clinton and Coheed and Cambria.) These guys prove that gays do like their live music and will step out of the gayborhood to get it.

— Rich Lopez

 

OPEN  AIR | Groups like Middle Ground rock the night air at Jack’s Backyard in Oak Cliff, a favorite venue for enjoying live music. (Gregory Hayes/Dallas Voice)

BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUE • TIE

Jack’s Backyard

2303 Pittman St.
Open daily until 2 a.m.
214-741-3131
JacksBackyardDallas.com

Sue Ellen’s

3014 Throckmorton St.
Open daily 4 p.m–2 a.m.
with after-hours dancing
214-559-0707
Caven.com

It’s notable that these two venues would tie for readers’ favorites, because they represent polarities of live music locales. In one corner is Sue’s, the urban Cedar Springs club where the upstairs Vixin Lounge boasts a quality sound system and decent space for an indoor concert. Jack’s, by contrast, takes the music to the outdoors of Oak Cliff, making a nice nighttime event even better, especially in the warms of Texas spring, summer and autumn. Both venues often book gigs for local regulars like Ciao Bella and Anton Shaw, but each has also featured smaller touring artists like Anne McCue and Hunter Valentine.  If the boys want to get it on the live music game, they have lots of catching up to do. The mostly lady-based venues have a lock on bringing the live sounds to the gayborhoods.

— Rich Lopez

 

BEST SMARTPHONE DATING APP
Grindr

Yes, we named this category a “dating app.” Yes, we know for a lot — most? all? — guys who download it, Grindr is more about hookups than long-term relationships. But consider: At one time, admitting you met on Match.com was considered as cringe-worthy as saying you met at a bar while one of you was dancing naked on the pool table. (Oh, right, that’s more a straight-couple thing.) Maybe one day, app-love may become so common it loses any stigma. Anyway, how were we supposed to guess Grindr would win? And truth be told, some of us have found, if not true romance, at least an on-going love connection. And we enjoy chatting with other guys even if we don’t end up as a couple. That’s what dating is, right? Seeing what’s out there and deciding what you want from a partner? Grindr does that. And we’d all be a little lonelier without it.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

 

AIN’T NO BULL | Ragsdale’s standout performance in a one-woman show was enough to win her a lot of fans — enough to name her Dallas’ favorite local actress.

BEST LOCAL DRAMATIC ACTOR (FEMALE)
Q-Roc Ragsdale

Perhaps only Q-Roc Ragsdale could have pulled off her performance in The Bull-Jean Stories last year. Best theater director Harold Steward of Fahari Arts helmed this one-woman show, written by dramatist Sharon Bridgforth. The Bull-Jean Stories takes a look at the struggles of a fictional woman-loving character in the rural South of the 1920s, and her endurance during tough times. Like her character, Ragsdale is a powerful woman using her work as a film director, photographer and actor to stretch the artistic visions of both the black and same-gender-loving communities of Dallas as well as harkening to the strong will and spirit of black LGBTs who have come before her.

— Rich Lopez

BEST LOCAL DRAMATIC ACTOR
(MALE)
Rick Espaillat


BEST LOCAL MUSICAL ACTOR
(FEMALE)
Liz Mikel


BEST LOCAL MUSICAL ACTOR
(MALE)
Cedric Neal


BEST DVD RENTAL

TapeLenders

3926 Cedar Springs Road
214-528-6344
TapeLenders.com

 

BEST ADULT DVD RENTAL

TapeLenders

3926 Cedar Springs Road
214-528-6344
TapeLenders.com

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 18, 2011.

—  John Wright

TBT offers deal for Voice readers: 50 percent off!

We have a story coming out Friday in the print edition about the Texas Ballet Theater’s gender-bending production of Cinderella, but here’s a bit of news it helps to have early: Savings.

As a special promotion for Dallas Voice readers, if you call the reservation number (877-828-9200) for one of the performances at the Winspear Opera House this weekend and use the promo code “stepsister,” you get half off — HALF! — your tickets. That should make your toes twinkle.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones