Category: Philadelphia

Joseph R. G. DeMarco at Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room, Part II…


Between the publishing of the “Part I” of this post, and this “Part II” post, I have come to the conclusion that I need to begin and sustain writing my notes for blog posts with all capital letters when taking notes, if for no other reason, because this is the second time I have taken notes to be used for blog posts, and I can only read fifty per cent of said notes.

Indeed, looking at the notes I took last Tuesday, December 2, 2014, while attending Mr. DeMarco’s book reading event, and looking at said notes a few moments ago, I can barely read what I wrote.

Nonetheless, I understood enough to be able to conclude this two part blog post regarding Mr. DeMarco’s book readingn event at Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room last Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 6-8PM.

One of my favorite portions of a book reading event, is when attendees have the opportunity to ask the authors questions.

One of the questions Mr. DeMarco was asked was which authors he reads.  He began his response with saying that he reads authors many of us have never heard of before.  One of those authors is named Len Deighton, who is the author of, among others, SS-GB, An Expensive Place to Die, and The IPCRESS File.

And yes, I can honestly say that I had never heard of Mr. Len Deighton before.

Mr. DeMarco also mentioned Lee Child, who is the author of, among others, the “Jack Reacher Series” of thrillers.  Now, Mr. Lee Child, I had heard of before, as well as having read a few of his novels, too.

I also noticed a few notables in the audience.  One of them is Mr. Ed Hermance, who is the former owner of Giovanni’s Room.  In fact, at one point, I heard a man asking Mr. DeMarco a question, and I remembered thinking, “I know that voice.”  I turned around, and lo and behold!  Mr. Ed Hermance!

Another attendee commented on how much he loves the fact that Mr. DeMarco uses names of actual streets found in Center City.

And for those of you who have not been to the Center City section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (and there is a reason why I AM including the name of the state, which I shall state in the next paragraph), there is, indeed, a Camac Street, as in Murder on Camac, a Pine Street, as in A Body on Pine. 

Then again, those of us that have been to Giovanni’s Room, now known as Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room, we know that it is located at the corner of South 12th and Pine Streets, but I digress.

Also, there is a Latimer Street, as in Crimes on Latimer: From the Early Cases of Marco Fontana, and a Delancey Street (as well as a Delancey Place), as in Death on Delancey.

Now, I rarely listen to the meteorology reports on the radio, or on TV, or on the Internet, as they are, in my experience, rarely an accurate depiction of the actual weather that takes place.

Nonetheless, on Monday, December 1, 2014, I decided to look up the weather report, just in case, and so I visited one of the most accurate weather Websites on the Internet, at this time: noaa.gov.  Which stands for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

When I entered Philadelphia, I truly had no idea there were so many of them in the United States of America.  However, before I could proceed, the NOAA Website needed me to specify which Philadelphia.  To say that I was amazed, is an understatement.

Some things need to be seen to be believed, so here are all the Philadelphias in this country, as well as American Municipalities that also have “Philadelphia” as a portion of their name.

 

Philadelphia Station, MD (Harford County)
Philadelphia Point, LA (Ascension Parish)
Philadelphia, IL (Cass County)
Philadelphia, IN (Hancock County)
Philadelphia, VA (City of Suffolk County)
Philadelphia, NC (Richmond County)
Philadelphia, NC (Camden County)
Philadelphia, AL (Houston County)
Philadelphia, AL (Calhoun County)
Philadelphia, TN (Washington County)
Philadelphia, TN (Maury County)
Philadelphia, AR (Craighead County)
Philadelphia, AR (Columbia County)
Philadelphia, NM (Cibola County)
Philadelphia, MO (Marion County)
Philadelphia, NY (Jefferson County)
Philadelphia, PA (Philadelphia County)
Philadelphia, TN (Loudon County)
Philadelphia, MS (Neshoba County)

 

Also in attendance was Mr. Jason Li, who has been mentioned in the dedications and acknowledgements of Mr. DeMarco’s books.  Indeed, he is a truly good friend to him, and definitely a walking commercial for Joseph R. G. DeMarco, author and writer.

The other person Mr. DeMarco mentions in his mother Caroline, but I do not know if she was in attendance.  Offhand, I do not recall seeing a woman who could be in her 70s or 80s in attendance, but I digress.

Thank you, one and all, for honoring who you are and what you do.  Keep living with great PRIDE.

I rarely read short story books, so I AM certainly looking forward to reading this one.
I rarely read short story books, so I AM certainly looking forward to reading this one.
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Joseph R. G. DeMarco at Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room, Part I…


This past Tuesday, December 2, 2014, I had the honor and pleasure of returning to Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to attend a book reading event at Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room, featuring Mr. Joseph R. G. DeMarco.

Those of you who follow or read “This Gay Man’s Life…” know that there is no shortage of posts about Giovanni’s Room, now known as Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room.

Earlier in the day, this past Tuesday, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting a lovely Philadelphian in person; with my schedule, I AM not always able to meet some of the people I meet, via the Internet, in person, but meeting Internet friends, in person, can be enjoyable.

In doing so, I had the honor and pleasure of letting him know that Giovanni’s Room (or, rather, Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room) is open, once again.

Anyway, I had a wonderful time being in one of my favorite places in Center City.  Of course, in spite of enjoying myself at the Reading Terminal Market (especially Beiler’s Doughnuts!), the main reason I was there was to attend this book reading event.

Well, I had just enough time to stop in at Toast (another Center City place that I always visit when in Center City), to get a coffee and a spritzer (my usual combo of flavors: Lavender and Hibiscus), and on my way to Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room.

I arrived just in time, as the seats were beginning to fill up rather quickly.

The evening was lovely, and I enjoyed learning more about the family life of Marco Fontana, the central figure in Mr. DeMarco’s “Marco Fontana Mystery Series.”

I had the pleasure of re-introducing myself to Mr. DeMarco, and was thrilled to learn that he had both heard about and read my blog post about his appearance at Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room (for those of you who may have missed it, you can read it by visiting https://thisgaymanslife.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/joseph-r-g-demarco-at-philly-aids-thrift-at-giovannis-room/

I must confess, I have no idea how he found out about the post, and although I thought to ask him, for some reason, I stopped myself from doing so.

I was more than happy to purchase his books: Crimes on Latimer: From the Early Cases of Marco Fontana (Copyright 2012, Lethe Press, Maple Shade, New Jersey); and Death on Delancey (Copyright 2014, also published by Lethe Press); and A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes, edited by Mr. DeMarco (Copyright 2011, also published by Lethe Press).

To learn more about Mr. DeMarco, I invite you to visit his Website, and in particular, visit the following link:

http://www.josephdemarco.com/author_biography.php

Thank you, one and all, for honoring who you are and what you do.  Thank you to my blog followers, and to those of you who read “This Gay Man’s Life…” without officially following it.

Good night, and sweet dreams.joe_staff_photo

NaBloPoMo, Day 6: The World Continues to Change, Part II…


I have been a fan of police procedurals and legal-themed television shows for many years; more than half my life, actually.

And recently, I have become a HUGE fan of the new television series “How to Get Away with Murder.”

Yes, I love Viola Davis’s acting, yes, I love the writing, and, of course, I love that it is set in Philadelphia, but I especially love the fact that actor Jack Falahee is portraying Conner Walsh, one of Annalise Keating’s law students, and an openly Gay Man.

Is Conner a user?  Alas, yes.  Is Conner a cheat?  Not necessarily.  Is Conner being himself?  Of COURSE!

And, he has no problem with being an openly Gay Man.

Now more than ever, network television sees that not every Gay Man is a drag queen, hairstylist, or make-up artist.

Many of us know that not every Gay Man is a drag queen, a hairstylist, or a make-up artist.  Some of us are construction workers; some of us are doctors; some of us are even professional Psychics.

Am I enjoying how the storylines unfold?  Yes.  Am I enjoying Viola Davis’s superb acting?  Yes.  Am I enjoying the fact that there is an actor portraying an openly Gay Man?  Yes!

Am I enjoying the Gay Male kissing and sex scenes?  YES!!!

May the world continue to change, and may we, the members of the LGBT Communities, continue to move forward towards living in a world with more acceptance.

Before I close, I wish to acknowledge my newest blog followers.  There are quite a few of them, so please bear with me.

They are: “rueann,” “Chris Martin,” “Leroy Milton,” “dpapa187,” “Timothy Pike, host of Dream, Play, Write!” “stepheusebi,” and last but not least, “The Mental Meddler.”  Thank you, one and all, for honoring who you are and what you do.  May you receive great Inspiration, great Insight, and great PRIDE from following “This Gay Man’s Life…”

And to those of you already following or reading “This Gay Man’s Life…” thank you for honoring who you are and what you do, and for honoring who I AM and what I do, too.  May you continue to receive many Blessings from this blog.CTV Upfront 2014 Press Conference

 

 

NaBloPoMo, Day 4: Joseph R G DeMarco at Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room…


A few years ago, I had one of those Divine Appointments in my personal life, as opposed to my professional life as a professional Psychic and Lightworker.

I was in the Center City, Philadelphia “Gayborhood,” at Giovanni’s Room.  Ed Hermance was still the sole owner, Richard was behind the counter, and I had come back downstairs to add something to my “stash,” of purchases for that day.

About a decade previously, I had discovered how much I enjoyed murder mysteries, and became especially fond of murder mysteries with a non-stereotypical Gay Man as a lead character, usually as a private detective.

Here I was at Giovanni’s Room, let me say five years ago, and I found Murder on Camac, by Joseph R. G. DeMarco.  And that day, Mr. DeMarco, himself was in the store.  I quickly told him that I would happily purchase it, so long as he autographed it (yeah, I AM a slick bitch like that!  Ha!).  I did buy the book, and he did, indeed, autograph it.

Well, Mr. DeMarco shall be at Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 6-8PM, and I AM putting out to the Universe that I shall be there, too!

From a writing perspective, I have always been a fan of a good opening line.  When I was eating dinner that same night that I purchased Murder on Camac, I remember turning to Chapter 1 where I read the following opening line, “Benny Rippa was a liar.”  Got me hooked!

And although I had no plans to begin reading that novel, that night, I began doing so.  As I would say, it consumed me.

I AM looking forward to purchasing Death on Delancey, (Copyright 2014, Lethe Press, Maple Shade, New Jersey), the newest installment in the “Marco Fontana Mystery Series,” as well as Crimes on Latimer: The Early Cases of Marco Fontana (Copyright 2012, also published by Lethe Press).

For more information on Mr. Joseph R. G. DeMarco, please visit his Website, http://josephdemarco.com/ and for more information on this Event, please contact Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room by Email or telephone.  The Email address is giovannis_room@verizon.net and the telephone number is 215-923-2960.

In addition, you can visit this link for more info about Mr. DeMarco: http://wwwthouhtfulreflections.blogspot.com/2011/08/visiting-with-prolific-authorwriter.html

Thank you, one and all, for honoring who you are and what you do.  And stay tuned!

This is the sexy mug of Mr. DeMarco, in the center.
This is the sexy mug of Mr. DeMarco.
 

Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room…


This past Thursday, October 16, 2014,  I had the honor and pleasure of returning to one of my favorite places: Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

And while there, I also had the opportunity to go to the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room.

Granted, I was six days late for the official Grand Opening, but I was happy to go there, six days after the Grand Opening, which was two days ago.

I confess, I was nervous.  I wondered how different it would be from Giovanni’s Room.  And yes, it is somewhat different, but the volunteers were professional, friendly and welcoming, and with lovely Energy, both individually and collectively, and that made me very happy.

Most of you know I PRAYED that Giovanni’s Room would remain open.  Fortunately for many Goddesses, Gods, Angels, and Saints, I can now stop harassing (OOPS!), I mean, petitioning Them.  And fortunately for Philadelphia, and the rest of the United States of America, there is still, at the very least, one LGBT bookstore open, and it has so much more than LGBT books now.

I found some wonderful items that made me very happy.  And the purchases I made certainly made the volunteers happy, and I AM sure the people who Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room serves, too.

And yes, the window seats remain, which made me especially happy.  I love those window seats!

For the record, this post is more photograph-intensive.  So, enjoy the gallery show!

In the meantime, thank you for honoring who you are and what you do, and for honoring who I AM and what I do, too.

One of the new signs at Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room.
One of the new signs at Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room.
Another sign at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room.
Another sign at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room.
Some of the merchandise available at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room.
Some of the merchandise available at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room.
The information card for one of the items at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room.
The information card for one of the items at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room.
My favorite window seat, decorated for Halloween.
My favorite window seat, decorated for Halloween.
The sign announcing the Grand Opening of the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room, at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room.
The sign announcing the Grand Opening of the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room, at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room.
Some of the items at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room.
Some of the items at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room.
Additional merchandise at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room.
Additional merchandise at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room.
Needless to say (or, write, as the case may be) I AM VERY happy this fixture remains in the store.
Needless to say (or, write, as the case may be) I AM VERY happy this fixture remains in the store.
One of the display models at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room.
One of the display models at the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room.
The sign listing how and what to donate to the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room.
The sign listing how and what to donate to the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room.
Look at the GORGEOUS glamour coat that found me!
Look at the GORGEOUS glamour coat that found me!
And how wonderful, I can bring this bag in the next time I go and receive five per cent off my purchase.  Instant Money Miracle!
And how wonderful that I can bring this bag in the next time I go to the new Philly AIDS Thrift at Giovanni’s Room and receive five per cent off my purchase. Instant Money Miracle!

 

 

The BIG News…


Lesbians, my fellow Gay Men, Transgendered folks, Bisexuals, and our straight allies.  It is my pleasure to announce that Giovanni’s Room shall reopen in a few weeks.

It is my pleasure to transcribe the Email I received today, Thursday, August 21, 2014, at approximately 1:39PM.

Here we go…

 

Giovanni’s Room and Philly AIDS Thrift are excited to announce the creation of Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room!  Our new store will continue to offer the newest and lightly used books in LGBT*Q literature.  We will also be expanding the store’s selection by offering MUCH more than the books, magazines and cards of previous years.  We’ll build on that base and fill the rest of the store with the widest assortment gay, hipster, pop-culture, camp, punk, underground, high-brow, mid-brow, low-brow and just plain COOL STUFF you ever saw–all of course generously priced for all you bargain hunters out there!  With a grand opening planned for the week of OutFest (October 10th-12th), we will be open during special sneak preview days during September and early October so keep an eye on your email and Facebook for those announcements–you don’t want to miss our best deals ever!

For those of you who don’t know, Philly AIDS Thrift is a non-profit thrift store dedicated to raising funds for AIDS organizations in the Philadelphia area.  Located at 710 South 5th St. (right below Bainbridge St.), we are entering our ninth year, and continue to enjoy explosive growth while contributing $20,000 a month to the AIDS Fund.

The new Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room will continue to present author readings throughout the year, all while providing space for reading groups and other LGBT*Q organizations.  We will also continue to maintain our online presence at queerbooks.com.  To keep up with developments, sign yourself up to receive announcements of events at http://www.queerbooks.com.  You don’t want to miss any news about the bigger and better Giovanni’s Room.

PS: For a complete history of how all of this came out, check out Philly AIDS Thrift’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/PhillyAIDSThrift

 

To say that I AM happy and excited about this BIG news is a major understatement.  I cannot wait to return, and I look forward to telling all of you about my experience when I do so.

Offhand, I do not know when that shall be, but the first chance I either next month or October, is when it shall happen.

Stay tuned!giovannisroomrainbowflag

“An Update on the Store and the Bookselling Wars”


Lesbians, my fellow Gay Men, Transgendered folks, Bisexuals, and our straight allies, here is the latest on Giovanni’s Room.  I received this Email this past Friday, June 6, 2014, 4:48PM.

Interestingly enough, it is the shortest update to date.

Here we go…

 

We are still expecting to know by June 15 if the group considering buying the store is going to do so.  There is yet another possibility of selling the business, but we know very little about these potential buyers.

In case you missed Stephen Colbert’s broadside at Amazon last night, click here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/05/colbert-amazon-hachette_n_5453714.html   Mr. Attorney General Holder, when do you apply the anti-trust laws?

See you at the Philly Dyke March tomorrow [Saturday, June 7, 2014], 3-6pm, starting at Kahn Park, 11th and Pine, and at the Pride Parade on Sunday [today, Sunday, June 8, 2014].

 

Ladies and gentlemen, blog followers and readers, may all the Gods keep this store open!

As someone who is not only a fan of independent booksellers, but also the fact that I happen to love Giovanni’s Room (the only remaining LGBT bookstore in this country), as well as the Center City section of Philadelphia, I would LOVE for this store to remain open.  Or, rather, reopen.

Since Giovanni’s Room kept their most recent update short and sweet, I shall keep this post short and sweet, too.

Thank you for honoring who I AM and what I do, and thank you for honoring who I AM and what I do, too.Giovannis+room_31