TEXT via WIKIPEDIA:
The Black Cat Bar or Black Cat Café was a bar in San Francisco, California. It opened in 1906 and closed in 1921. The Black Cat re-opened in 1933 and operated for another 30 years. During its second run of operation, it was a hangout for Beats and bohemians but over time began attracting more and more of a gay clientele.
Because it catered to gays, the bar became a flashpoint for the nascent homophile movement. The Black Cat was at the center of a legal fight that was one of the earliest court cases to establish legal protections for gay people in the United States. Despite this victory, continued pressure from law enforcement agencies eventually forced the bar’s closure in 1964.
The Black Cat opened in 1906, shortly after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. When entrepreneur Charles Ridley acquired the bar in 1911, he turned it into a showplace for vaudeville-style acts. Over the next several years, Ridley and the Black Cat came under increased police scrutiny as a possible center of prostitution. In 1921, the bar lost its dance permit and closed down.
With the repeal of Prohibition, the Black Cat re-opened in 1933 at 710 Montgomery Street, again under Ridley’s proprietorship. Sol Stoumen bought the bar in the 1940s. In the early years of Stoumen’s ownership, the Black Cat was a center for the bohemian and Beat crowd. William Saroyan and John Steinbeck were known to frequent the establishment, and part of Jack Kerouac’s seminal Beat novel On the Road is set in the bar.
While the Beats continued to congregate at the Black Cat into the 1950s, in the years following World War II, more and more gay people began patronizing it. The varied crowds mixed and gay Beat poet Allen Ginsberg described the Black Cat as “the best gay bar in America. It was totally open, bohemian, San Francisco…and everybody went there, heterosexual and homosexual….All the gay screaming queens would come, the heterosexual gray flannel suit types, longshoremen. All the poets went there.” By 1951, the bar was placed on the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board’s list of establishments which military personnel were forbidden to enter.
The bar featured live entertainers, the best known of whom was José Sarria. Sarria, who began as a waiter, wore drag and entertained the crowd by singing parodies of popular torch songs. Eventually he performed three to four shows a night, along with a regular Sunday afternoon show, with Sarria performing full arias. His specialty was a re-working of Bizet’s opera Carmen, set in modern-day San Francisco. Sarria as Carmen would prowl through popular cruising area Union Square. The audience cheered “Carmen” on as she dodged the vice squad and made her escape.
Sarria encouraged patrons to be as open and honest as possible, exhorting the clientele, “There’s nothing wrong with being gay–the crime is getting caught,” and “United we stand, divided they catch us one by one.” At closing time, he would lead patrons in singing “God Save Us Nelly Queens” to the tune of “God Save the Queen”. Sometimes he would take the crowd outside to sing the final verse to the men across the street in jail, who had been arrested in raids earlier in the night. Speaking of this ritual in the film Word is Out (1977), gay journalist George Mendenhall said:
“It sounds silly, but if you lived at that time and had the oppression coming down from the police department and from society, there was nowhere to turn…and to be able to put your arms around other gay men and to be able to stand up and sing ‘God Save Us Nelly Queens’…we were really not saying ‘God Save Us Nelly Queens.’ We were saying ‘We have our rights, too.’
Sarria became the first openly gay candidate in the United States to run for public office, running in 1961 for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Sarria almost won by default. On the last day for candidates to file petitions, city officials realized that there were fewer than five candidates running for the five open seats, which would have assured Sarria a seat. By the end of the day, 34 candidates had filed.Sarria garnered some 6,000 votes, shocking political pundits and setting in motion the idea that a gay voting bloc could wield real power in city politics. As Sarria put it, “From that day on, nobody ran for anything in San Francisco without knocking on the door of the gay community.”
In 1948, the San Francisco Police Department and the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, in response to the Black Cat’s increasing homosexual clientele, began a campaign of harassment against the bar and its patrons. Bar owner Stoumen was charged with such crimes as “keeping a disorderly house” and the State Board of Equalization suspended the bar’s liquor license indefinitely. In response and on principle, Stoumen, who was heterosexual, took the state to court. In 1951, the California Supreme Court, in Stoumen v. Reilly (37 Cal.2d 713) ruled that “in order to establish ‘good cause’ for suspension of plaintiff’s license, something more must be shown than that many of his patrons were homosexuals and that they used his restaurant and bar as a meeting place.” This was one of the earliest legal affirmations of the rights of gay people in the United States. The court qualified its opinion, however, by stating that ABC might still close gay bars with “proof of the commission of illegal or immoral acts on the premises.”
In response to this legal victory and based on the “illegal or immoral acts” language of the opinion, the state passed a constitutional amendment creating the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The California State Assembly in 1955 passed a law authorizing broad powers for the ABC to shut down any “resort [for] sexual perverts.” The Black Cat was shut down under this authority, along with a number of other establishments. In a test case involving an Oakland bar, Vallerga v. Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the California Supreme Court struck down this new law as unconstitutional. This decision was not a complete victory, as the court noted that had the ABC’s revocation been based on “reports of women dancing with other women and women kissing other women” it might have upheld the law. Homosexuals, therefore, had won the right to assemble but only if they agreed not to touch.
Police and city officials responded to the increasing visibility of the Black Cat and other gay bars in the city, and the Black Cat’s success in court, by increasingly cracking down, staging more frequent raids and mass arrests. One favorite tactic was to arrest drag queens, since impersonating a member of the opposite sex was, at the time, a crime. Sarria responded by passing out labels for the drag queens to wear reading “I am a boy” so it could not be claimed they were impersonating women.
By 1963, following some 15 years of unrelenting pressure from the police and the ABC, Stoumen decided he was no longer able financially to sustain the fight. The cost of his long legal battle was more than $38,000. Sarria tried to enlist the owners of the city’s other gay bars to help Stoumen pay his legal bills, but none offered any assistance. The ABC lifted the bar’s liquor license in 1963, the night before its annual Halloween party. After a final defiant Halloween celebration at which only non-alcoholic beverages were served and an attempt to survive on food and soft drink sales, the Black Cat closed down for good in February 1964.
The site is now the location of Bocadillos, a tapas-style restaurant. On December 15, 2007, a plaque commemorating the Black Cat and its place in San Francisco history was placed at the site.
vintage easter FUN with Pier Angeli, Snoopy, Doris Day, Bunnies, Chicks and a “GAY” Easter Cake Recipe!
check out FILE PHOTO!
HOLLYWOOD STYLE SCENE: Jackie Beat’s irreverent mix of music and comedy is as fun and catchy as it is bitingly hilarious, a skewering of pop culture, gay life and everything in between presented like no other man or woman can. Her vocal gifts and knack for parody have made her drag queen royalty all across the country. But Beat has been dealing something that is no laughing matter: two painful hips in need of replacement. As Beat herself says on her Give Forward page, her hips are “crumbling like a sandcastle during high tide.” An amazing assemblage of L.A. and Hollywood creatives, artists and performers have banded together to help via a fundraiser happening TUESDAY, FEB. 26 (update: that’s tonight!) at the Abbey in West Hollywood, and it promises to be a night for the hip-saving history books! It is free to attend, simply make a donation! Even if you can’t make it, you can donate HERE.
More pics HERE!
“we’re poor and creative so we made tiny sugar cookies with beer bottle caps” (by joel c. & mike m.)
TV ACRES: Miss Chiquita Banana – Female banana character (first drawn by artist Dik Browne) who wore a headdress of fruit and sang the trademark Chiquita Banana song (voice first provided by singer Patti Clayton) that began “Hello Amigo…I’m Chiquita Banana and I’ve come to say/You eat the banana in a special way/And when it’s fleck with brown and has a golden hue/That’s when bananas are the best for you….” (Music © 1945 Shawnee Press Inc.)
The Chiquita Banana jingle was created in 1944 for the United Fruit Company by a BBDO advertising team headed by Robert Foreman. The song’s lyrics, written by Garth Montgomery and music composed by co-worker Ken MacKenzie, instructed Americans on how to ripen and properly use this golden tropical fruit, for example, putting them in pies, or salads and to never to put the equator grown fruit in the refrigerator
In 1945 and 1946, Puerto Rico-born Elsa Miranda portrayed Miss Chiquita in numerous personal appearances in the movies, in radio commercials. June Valli (popular for her 1954 hit song “Crying in the Chapel) was the singing voice of Chiquita Banana in the TV commercials in the 1950s.
In 1987, the image of Miss Chiquita changed from a banana character when artist Oscar Grillo, creator of the Pink Panther, transformed her into a beautiful brown skinned woman with a teasing smile who wore the traditional fruit-filled sombrero, gold loop earrings along with a blue dress adorned with ruffled sleeves and hems edged in yellow.
I’m Chiquita Banana, and I’ve come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way.
And when they are flecked with brown
and have a golden hue,
Bananas taste the best, and are the best for you.
You can put them in a salad. You can put
them in a pie – aye.
Anyway you want to eat them it’s
impossible to beat them.
But bananas like the climate of the very,
very tropical equator.
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator.
Sissydude LOVES: annie pott’s apartment (and record store) & molly ringwald’s bedroom (Mondrian poster with flowery wallpaper) in PRETTY IN PINK
Nick Cave is into fabulous. Take the black marks that scar the floor of his 3,500-square-foot loft in Chicago. “Fabulous,” he says. Or the haunting portrait by the English artist John Kirby that Cave found at an art fair. “Isn’t it fabulous?” So is the porcupine-needle vestment from Cameroon that serves as a dividing screen in Cave’s living room, and the framed quilt backed with love letters in his bedroom, where artworks hung on a yellow wall create so much visual excitement it’s hard to imagine getting any rest. READ THE FULL STORY by Linda Yablonsky HERE!
Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys decided he wanted a Brooklyn inspired toile wallpaper that would line the walls of his Brooklyn brownstone. The vision was to pay tribute to all things Brooklyn in a way that would appear to be a traditional French Country Toile, but when you step to it the pattern reveals elements and vignettes that make up the truth about Brooklyn. Mike approached Vincent J. Ficarra of Revolver New York to help execute his vision artistically and Flavor Paper to produce the design as wallpaper.
Due to the level of detail and shading in Vincent’s design we decided to produce the Brooklyn Toile as a digital print, but stay tuned as it may be revised into a hand screened print soon! Brooklyn Toile captures many angles of life in the King’s borough from Coney Island to Hasidic Jews to Notorious B.I.G., the design covers many of the aspects of daily life dealing with subways and pigeons in a poetic way. Go on and get some!!! REVOLVER
Above is a slice of my cake. I bake a lot… many things… but I’ve never made this simple classic treat. I’m hooked. I grew up in Manitoba and we called Date Squares (which these truly are)… Matrimonial Cake. Oh culture, you silly thing!
Perfect recipe via MENNONITE GIRLS CAN COOK
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp. soda
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Mix ingredients as for pie, put half of mixture in the bottom of a 8 x 8 cake pan. Put date filling on to, then put the remainder of mixture on top of the date filling.
1 1/2 cup finely chopped dates (Betty adds some apple to ‘soften’ the taste)
1/4 cup brown sugar
enough water to cover dates (Betty uses coffee for a more distinct taste)
Juice of 1 lemon
Bring to a boil.
Simmer until thick and of spreading consistency.
Cool before spreading on cake.
Bake all in moderate over (350 degrees) for 1/2 hour.
Cool, slice in squares and serve.
Why the name Matrimonial Cake? The common theme to these recipes for sauce, pudding, and cake, is a mixture of two different items – existing, we hope, in delicious harmony rather than remaining rigidly aloof.
THE OLD FOODIE: The OED gives other examples of ‘matrimony’ or ‘matrimonial’ as they apply to food. It may refer to ‘that injudicious mixing of wines, which is called matrimony’, or ‘a name given jocularly to raisins and almonds mixed’, or ‘oranges and star apples [peeled and sliced] mixed’, and even ‘a slice of cake between two pieces of bread and butter’ eaten together like a sandwich.
As for matrimony (or matrimonial) cake, the ownership is in dispute. Canada claims it in the above form of an oaty slice with a datey filling, although Ohio was clearly given permission to publish the recipe early in its life. There seem to be recipes appearing for it in the 1930’s, although I am not sure we should allow ‘date squares’, even if dates, in the normal order of things, precede the marital state.
There are ancestors of course – a Jewish cookbook of 1871 has a Matrimony Cake, although I do not know its composition. An oldish Northern England recipe has a one too, which is ‘a large round cake … having a layer of currants between two layers of pastry, covered with sugar … and cut into as many pieces as there are persons at the feast.’
I couldn’t be happier, I was so obsessed with this show (from 1989). So interesting… so beautiful… so fun (for me anyhow). WATCH ALL THE EPISODES HERE!
parts 4-8 after the jump…
Lifelong Renter: When life, home and work converge by david hayes, photos by vince talotta (via Toronto Star)
Welcome to artist John Webster’s apartment on the second floor of a house in Parkdale. It’s like entering a museum of vintage objects and modern-day kitsch, a funhouse whose contents are lovingly arranged to surprise, delight and amuse. It’s so overwhelming walking from room to room that I nearly forgot to talk to Webster about renting, the purpose of my visit.
So first come on a tour with Webster. You won’t lose sight of him, given the unit is 800 square feet of densely-packed eye candy and our tour guide is six-foot-five with short-cropped hair and a Van Dyck, wearing a pale blue hoodie, khakis and a flash of red-striped socks above his Keds. A nice mix of flamboyance and austerity, the 17th century sharing genes with the 21st.
In the living room, a dozen or so framed paintings and prints — many that a discerning dealer would classify as “cute” — hang on a wall above a pink sofa covered in cushions, all found at flea markets or Value Village. “I love handmade things that people discard,” says Webster. “And pillows with animals and flowers are always a good thing.”
Against a chair rests a visible human body toy that once taught a child about anatomy. On the mantle above a fireplace — in which faux logs cast an electric glow — a huge arrangement of vintage plastic flowers sits beneath a framed photo of early Hollywood cowboy and stuntman Ken Maynard, as though Maynard had died yesterday.
“Apparently he was a bastard to work with,” remarks Webster. “But his neck scarf is a nice light pink and I loved the image.”
In the tiny office adjacent to the living room, three ceramic lambs, once intended as flower vases marking the birth of a baby, now contain Webster’s paint brushes, pens and screwdrivers. In the bedroom, above a bed on which lie fluffy dog and cat pillows, is one of Webster’s striking pieces: a collage using fabric and other materials depicting a “groom-bride,” typical of his love of playing with ideas of the masculine and feminine. “At the time I’d been doing a lot of digital collage so I wanted to see what I could do with real stuff,” he explains.
Walk down the hallway, past the rabbit lamp on a bookshelf and consider the reading material: The Boys of the Puffin, Tom and Jerry at the Circus, Patty Duke and the Mystery Mansion, Farm Friends, The Runaway Pancake . . . In the kitchen, every surface is covered: plaster fruit; floral needlepoint in round wooden frames; a mid-century red tin barbecue tray; a plastic Colonel Sanders piggybank; retro knickknacks like porcelain cookie jars, egg cups, a gravy boat . . .
Here, I sit with Webster and his friend and landlady, Stephanie Power. A decade ago, Power, a graphic designer, illustrator and photographer who teaches at OCADU, decided to buy this cute house on a leafy residential street. “I’m from Newfoundland, where everyone buys a house,” she says. “So, I thought, I’ll either buy one there to have a place to visit in the summer or buy one here, wherever I find the best deal first. When this house came up, I thought, it’s perfect. I can buy it but only if I rent out half of it.”
Power, who lives downstairs, is a petite, pretty brunette wearing cat’s-eye glasses. She shares Webster’s aesthetic, although her home downstairs is lovely but a model of interior-design restraint compared to Webster’s. From the beginning her goal was to rent only to friends so when a tenant gave notice in 2009 she contacted Webster. He assumed the ceilings would be too low but they’re not so now they enjoy the privacy of their own units but often interact like roommates. Power’s cats, Beans and Yoshimi, and Webster’s, Kiki and Joe, roam the house freely.
Webster grew up in Brandon, Winnipeg and Vancouver before coming to Toronto to study experimental art at what was then called the Ontario College of Art (OCA). His parents always rented although he admits he never asked them why. “We were pretty middle class,” he says. “It’s not like we were broke or anything. When they retired they moved to Belmont, Man., to look after my dad’s ill mother and finally bought a bungalow for $20,000. Now my two sisters own homes but I can’t see how I, as an artist who wants to live in downtown Toronto, ever will.”
Webster pays $1,100 a month, inclusive, and says he likes that instead of going into a corporate landlord’s pocket, his money is helping his friend pay off her mortgage.
Power furrows her brows. “I sometimes feel bad because he’s my friend and he’s paying me rent every month.”
“Shhhh,” says Webster in a stage-whisper. “Don’t tell her but she could probably get more for it.”
There’s something wonderful about a home that so profoundly reveals its occupant’s personality, a feeling that everything about Webster’s sensibility is on display. When I tell him this, he says, “This is the first place I’ve ever lived in where it feels like my life, my home and my work have converged into one.”
David Hayes is an author and award-winning feature writer who has been a renter most of his life. If you have stories or information to share about renting, he can be reached at email@example.com.
The Apple shop was a retail store that opened on 7 December 1967, located in a building on the corner of Baker Street and Paddington Street, Marylebone, London, and that closed on 30 June 1968. The shop was one of the first business ventures made by The Beatles‘ fledgling Apple Corps.
The concept of the shop was that everything in it was for sale. The aim, as described by Paul McCartney, was to create “a beautiful place where beautiful people can buy beautiful things”. In practice, the stock was overwhelmingly fashion garments and accessories. John Lennon vetoed the use of the word “boutique”, but the venture has come to be popularly called the “Apple Boutique”. WIKI
Groovy 1960s opening party for Apple – a Beatles Boutique in London. Lots of famous guests including George Harrison and John Lennon, Cilla Black , Kenneth Tynan. Fabulous psychedelic fashions and hippy designs.
The Fool – The Fool (1969)
Full Album – Tracks: 1. Fly 2. Voice on the Wind 3. Rainbow Man 4. Cry for Me 5. No One Will Ever Know 6. Reincarnation 7. Hello Little Sister 8. Keep on Pushin’ 9. Inside Your Mind 10. Lay It Down
Sept 1967 – Beatles wives Pattie Harrison, Cynthia Lennon & Maureen Starkey posing with Jenny Boyd in a stunning portrait taken by Ronald Traeger in fashions designed by The Fool for the soon to open Apple Boutique.
1968/69. Mod n’ thick corduroy jacket from the Beatles own retail store, The Apple Boutique in England. The jacket has a lining that pictures the cartoon Beatles (from the ABC series) on the inside. Made by Ninth Street East Ltd. (the label is sewn inside). This is a men’s size 40 (Medium). EX.
from the 1968 film “Hot Millions” which provides one of the few rare filmed glimpses inside of the Beatles owned and operated Apple Boutique on Baker Street in London.
REALLY interesting & amusing FACTS & FIGURES after the jump!:
IT is a sign of Jared Handelsman and Portia Munson’s commitment to their art that he has had Lyme disease three times and she has had it twice. It is also a sign of how committed they are to their homestead, 83 acres of woodland and gardens here that include a stupendous blueberry maze. (Think “Spiral Jetty,” but in blueberries.) On Heart’s Content Road, it can be hard to tell where the art ends and the homestead begins.
I hung out with a bunch of talented women a few months ago… while they worked (and had fun). It was a lovely day… and to see all of this in the magazine… SO EXCITING! Thank you Ashley, Rhonda, Jessica & Lynda. Miss. P!!!
I found this chair on the street! Perfect for reading & texting on a hot summer day. Planted it in the front yard… a magic place.