Monthly Archives: October 2013

Drag icon to perform at N.J. resort


Given the time of year, we’re lucky to have the opportunity to see Miss Coco Peru.

“The week before and the week after, I tend not to do drag because people think I’m dressed up for Halloween,” Peru said. “But this year I’m hosting a big festival in West Hollywood.”

The world-famous drag personality and entertainer is also coming to our area for a performance during Trick or Treat Weekend, Oct. 26 at the Golden Inn in Avalon, N.J., where she will sing songs and telling stories about her life.

“It’s a like a group therapy session except it’s my turn to talk,” Peru said. “They can expect to laugh and to think and to walk away feeling better about themselves and the world that they live in.”

Peru has been performing internationally as usual for her steady touring schedule, but this year has also found her performing in certain cities and areas like Chicago and Vancouver. Peru said the gigs in new cities usually come from fans who have seen her other places and want her to perform in their hometowns.

“I’ve been really lucky with word of mouth,” she said. “I think people have seen me in different places and they go back to their states or cities where they live and say, ‘Let’s get Coco Peru here.’ I have literally been to cities because a fan has written to me on Facebook saying, ‘When are you coming to my city?’ And I say, ‘I haven’t been invited, find me a venue,’ and they actually go out and rally the troops to get me invited there. So that’s the good side of all the social networking.”

Word of mouth works wonders for Peru but she said that nothing is more powerful than appearing on television.

“My 30 seconds on ‘Will & Grace’ years ago, it made me laugh because I feel like I am doing a show that I worked so hard to write,” she said. “I sing songs and I’ve been doing this for years. You do 30 seconds on ‘Will & Grace’ and suddenly I have all this interest. That’s how powerful TV is. But once that subsides, you need to have a talent to back it up. I’ve been doing this for 22 years now. I was excited to do the show because one of my friends from New York was a writer and producer on the show. I walked on to the set a bit intimidated because it was all new to me but I also felt like I had been invited by friends to be there. It was a nice way to do the show.”

Peru attributes her multi-faceted show and talents as a performer to her growing up idolizing entertainers who were versatile and had developed a number of talents.

“When I was very young,I wanted to be a performer,” Peru said. “I was drawn to funny people and people who worked hard on their craft. People that I admire like Bea Arthur and Lily Tomlin, these people had a craft that they really trained for. And I did that. I went to school for acting and I started writing shows and worked hard to create a character. The problem with reality television is that they’ve made celebrities out of ordinary people who really don’t have any kind of talent but are famous for being on television. That’s a weird place right now. I feel like, for myself, I’m glad I’ve had all the training that I had and the role models I had growing up.”

We can take the hint.

So, what does longtime internationally known drag superstar Coco Peru think of the drag-queen fame machine that is “RuPaul’s Drag Race”?

“I have very mixed emotions about that show because I absolutely love RuPaul,” she said. “I think he’s talented and funny. I love his laugh. I love that the show has brought drag back into the limelight. The flipside is, it’s a reality show that I don’t think reflects the reality.”

Peru added that the show gives people who aren’t familiar with the history and traditions of drag distorted expectations of what to expect when they take the stage. “I’ve had that experience where someone was disappointed that I didn’t lip-sync, that I actually talked and sang live,” Peru said. “That is not what they expected from a drag queen. For so many years, I was celebrated because I broke the mold of what was expected in drag. I wrote autobiographical monologues and sang live. So for the young person in the audience, it was a shock. Fortunately it was just the one. The rest of the audience adored me and I got a standing ovation.”

Aside from her many performance talents, Peru is also widely regarded for her elegantly retro sense of style, which has caught on with a lot of her fans and admirers.

“I noticed early on in my career I would have a lot of women that would like me, and this wasn’t even on the Internet: They would send letters, or they would come up to me after a show and say they want to be more like Coco,” she said. “What they were looking for was a sense of power to embrace their femininity and be sexy, and at the same time be strong. Some women felt like in order to be strong they have to sacrifice their femininity. And I’ve never believed that.”

We were surprised to find out that Peru gets a lot of her clothes from the same places we do.

“I have my costumes for my shows made but for my daywear I go to TJ Maxx or Ross or Marshall’s or Macy’s,” she said. “You just have to learn to look for the right ones.”

We also found out that Peru’s appreciation for all things classic and retro carries over into her taste in Halloween candy.

“I used to love Charleston Chews,” she said. “You can find them again now. I don’t know if they disappeared but I forgot they existed. I mentioned them and all of a sudden people started sending me Charleston Chews. You can put them in the freezer and they crack and break up into pieces. I also really loved candy corn and I kind of still do. I used to stick them on my teeth like I had fangs. So they were like a costume piece and then you got to eat them.”

Miss Coco Peru performs 9 p.m. Oct. 26 at The Golden Inn, 7849 Dune Drive, Avalon, N.J. For more information or tickets, call 609-368-5155 or

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The advantage of selling a home in the fall and winter


Many home sellers choose to sit on the sidelines during the colder autumn and winter months and get in the game come springtime, when they expect greater interest from buyers. But with the right preparations, smart sellers can list now and sell quicker than expected, without hibernating through the winter, the experts say.

Many people consider fall and winter as the off season for real estate, with fewer shoppers hunting for homes and fewer listings from which to choose. That shouldn’t necessarily dissuade people from listing their homes during the cold season, though, says Bruce Taylor, president of ERA Key Realty Services in Whitinsville, Mass.

“This year, with a lower inventory level [of homes for sale] than previous years, it should be somewhat easier to sell,” Taylor says. “Our September closings and new pending contracts are the highest in the past 11 years.”

The pool of prospective purchasers may be smaller, shoppers out hunting in fall and winter are usually more motivated and serious, often with a pressing need to close quickly and move in soon due to a job relocation or major life change.

Chris Klebba, broker for RE/MAX Executive at the Lake in Cornelius, N.C., says motivated buyers tend to feel more pressure to pull the trigger on something they like rather than wait for something better to come along.

“These buyers out in the cold looking at homes are not ‘tire kickers.’ They want to buy a home and get moved in now,” Klebba says.

Another advantage to listing now versus later is that there is less competition from other sellers.

“There are fewer houses on the market in the fall and winter, which may lead to more demand for your house,” says Jack Gloriod, owner/agent with The Becky Gloriod Team, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Additionally, “Houses tend to show very well when decorated tastefully for the holidays, and buyers enjoy this,” Klebba says. “And listing and selling in fall or winter could make it so the timing works out for the seller to take advantage of the coming new spring inventory and increase their odds of finding the perfect next home.”

The drawbacks to selling in colder seasons are that showings may interrupt holiday activities, sellers have to be diligent about removing snow and ice from their property for safe visitor access and to increase curb appeal, and real estate prices overall are expected to be lower, which may equate to a lower selling price and more concessions or incentives expected from the seller.

As is true of any time of year, a well staged home has a higher chance of selling closer to the asking price. Gloriod recommends organizing all belongings carefully, festoon with appropriate holiday decorations that don’t make the space appear cluttered, and, during showings, light your fireplace and bake a fresh pie to create a pleasing, festive atmosphere.

He adds that sellers should keep up with outdoor maintenance: “Rake your leaves, shovel the snow and clean out your pool.”

Despite the fact that mortgage interest rates have ticked up higher in recent months, Klebba still anticipates the 2013-2014 “off-season” to be busier than last year in terms of sales.

“Consumer confidence is still high, and that translates into activity,” Klebba says. “And buyers in the marketplace are realizing that values are increasing and the time to buy is now, while interest rates are still reasonable and they can still get a deal on their dream home.”

© CTW Features


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VOTE! Best of Gay Philadelphia 2013



Did you just get done a fabulous dinner in the Gayborhood? Have a great workout with your trainer? Discover a new spot to quench your weekend thirst or return to an old favorite? Everybody likes raving about their favorites so have no fear — you can share your two cents about the best of the best of our community in PGN’s annual Best of Gay Philadelphia!

PGN leaves it in your hands to determine the standouts in the city — from businesses to organizations to individual leaders. These folks may not always get the credit they deserve so now’s your chance to give them a pat on the back with your votes.

The contest will run through Oct. 28, and you can use PGN’s handy-dandy online survey to share with us which person, place or thing you think should shine in each category. Think local, think LGBT. You don’t have to fill out every category, but too many blank lines make us sad. And feel free to include witty comments with your choices; some may get printed and others may just give us a chuckle.

When the contest closes, we at PGN will tally up all of your votes and present to you your picks for the Best of Gay Philadelphia in our Nov. 8 edition. Winners will be the guests of honor at a special invite-only party in November.

Remember, Vote at:

Philadelphia’s Hotel Monaco Is One of Fodor’s Top 100 for 2013

Source: Philly Magazine

The Fodor’s 100 Hotel Awards is pretty much what it sounds like: a contest honoring the best 100 hotels around the world. And Philly’s own Hotel Monaco, in operation for just one year, has made the cut in the Sleek City Addresses category, which acknowledges “glossy city hotels that offer high style and first rate amenities.”

Check out the full articles with many pictures at:

New state, federal suits filed for marriage equality in PA Read more: PGN-The Philadelphia Gay News. Phila gay news. philly news – New state federal suits filed for marriage equality in PA

Source: PGN

Two more lawsuits were filed Thursday in the effort to overturn Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage.

A federal lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by a legally married lesbian couple. The women were married in 2005 in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize marriage equality, and now live in Philadelphia.

The couple, together since 1998, is arguing that the state’s Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional. The suit contends that the law violates equal-protection, due-process and other constitutional guarantees.

The suit was initiated by Equality Forum. Firms Morgan Lewis & Bockius and Jerner & Palmer are handling the case.

Also Thursday, 21 same-sex couples who received marriage licenses in Montgomery County this summer filed suit in state Commonwealth Court. That suit also argues that the state ban is unconstitutional and urges the court to rule that the licenses are valid.

The couples were among 174 who received licenses from MontCo Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes, who moved to grant the licenses after determining the state DOMA is unconstitutional and upholding such a law would violate his oath of office.

The state Department of Health sued and, earlier this month, a judge ordered Hanes to stop issuing licenses, but did not rule on the validity of those that were issued.

The suits come months after the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed suit in federal court on behalf of 23 plaintiffs — same-sex couples, their kids and a widow — calling for the overturning of Pennsylvania’s DOMA. A hearing in that case is scheduled for next week.

Read the full details on all three pending cases in next week’s PGN.

Read more:PGN-The Philadelphia Gay News. Phila gay news. philly news – New state federal suits filed for marriage equality in PA