Author Archives: Agent Jack

Philly Restaurants Rank Among Best in US

Source: NBC Philly

Two Rittenhouse Square restaurants made theUrbanspoon’s best new restaurants list. Urbanspoon selected the top 100 restaurants in the U.S. out of the over 46,000 restaurants added to the website this year.

Two Philly restaurants made the cut — Fitler Dining Room at 22nd and Spruce Streets andLuke’s Lobster at 130 S. 17th Street.

The menu at the Fitler Dining Room changes biweekly to reflect seasonal offerings. After opening February 21, it has become a mainstay neighborhood bistro. According to manager Michael Ojeda, the French-inspired restaurant’s most popular items are poached oysters and burgundy snails.

“It’s wonderful that people are recognizing us,” said Ojeda. “If we can get a nice fish in then we will do something special with it.”

The personalized service and food made by chef Robert Marzinsky is complimented by the intimate dining experience for roughly 30 people.

Luke’s Lobster is known for it lobster roll and New England-style cooking. The chain restaurant first opened in New York City’s East Village. They’ve come a long way since their grand opening on May 16 in Philly.

“We get everything fresh from Maine,” said Lindsay Daniels, a shift leader at Luke’s. “You come up and order and we make it however you like. Philly has welcomed us with open arms.”

The interior of Luke’s includes wooden counter tops and community seating. Their service is friendly, quick and they aim to please.

Urbanspoon used the criteria of “the most reviewed, viewed and liked restaurants” that opened their doors in the past year to select the winners. The top restaurants report found that fine dining was not popular this year, with over 70 percent of the listings falling in the up to $15 price range. Taverns and barbecue were among the most popular dining choices.

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Philadelphia Earns a 100 on the Municipality equality index!


Philadelphia Voted Most Gay Friendly City In Philadelphia


Source: CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When it comes to the inclusivity of policies, laws and services in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love earns a perfect score.

According to gay rights group the Human Rights Campaign, Philly racked up 100 points out of a possible 100 (with 20 available bonus points) on the 2013 Municipal Equality Index.

The index examines the laws, policies and services available in 291 U.S. cities and ranks them on their inclusivity of the LGBT living there. Philadelphia earned top scores in all categories, including “Relationship Recognition,” “Municipal Services” and “Non-discrimination Laws.”

On the flip side of the coin, Allentown earned the lowest score of the six Pa. cities, earning just 50 points.

In NJ, Jersey City also got a perfect 100, while Trenton was ranked the least gay-friendly with 57. And all four Del. cities examined – Rehoboth Beach, Newark, Wilmington and Dover – did poorly, with Rehoboth Beach faring the best of the four.

To see the full scorecard, click here.

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Bars and Nightlife in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood


Gay life (and nightlife) is centered in an area of the city fondly called the Gayborhood, from Chestnut to Pine streets between 11th and Broad streets. The area boasts its own unique architecture with narrow, tree-lined, cobblestone streets, and brick townhouses and apartment buildings peppered among bookshops, coffee shops, restaurants, bar and clubs. To cut to the chase and find bars, lounges and nightclubs in and around the Gayborhood, look no further.

If you’re not sure what you want from a night out, it doesn’t matter—you’ll find it at iCandy. These three floors are swarming with gay men every night of the week, and are always packed on the weekend.

Brothers Bill and Steve Wood sold Woody’s, the city’s venerable gay bar, and opened Knock, which features a New American-meets-global comfort-food menu in a chic setting in the heart of the neighborhood.

Located in the heart of Rittenhouse Square, the lounge style atmosphere, fresh sounds and friendly faces will allow you to feel right at home.

Whether you like watching a game in the sports bar or relaxing with friends in the lounge, Tabu has something to make every night the best of the week.

Tavern on Camac
Tonight’s post-dinner plan is Tavern on Camac, a traditional piano bar with a sing-along on the first floor and an intimate cabaret on the second. Ready to dance? DJ Salotta Tee will keep you bumping until close. The Tavern’s varied ambiance makes it a perfect date spot – or a good choice if you’re looking to meet a friendly Philadelphian.

The Bike Stop
This popular spot has served the gay and lesbian community for more than 30 years. The Bike Stops boasts four very different floors: The Bike Stop (main bar), The Short Stop (sports bar), The Pit Stop (open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights; fetish gear encouraged) and The Top of the Stop (special events)

U Bar
The bar formerly known as Uncles reinvented itself as U Bar and now boasts a sleeker look, better lighting and floor-to-ceiling windows. However, the bar remained true to its neighborhood roots and still offers strong drinks and great beers for reasonable prices.

A popular after-hours club in the heart of the Gayborhood, Voyeur showcases well-known DJs from around the country during special events for gay guys and gals alike. The main dance floor has been revamped with a top-notch light and sound system, and the upstairs area houses a VIP space. There’s also a basement lounge with special events, as well as drink specials throughout the week.

The moment you step through the doors of the Westbury, heads may turn, but they’re usually smiling at you. The large oval bar takes up the bulk of the space and cozy, inviting booths make the Westbury a good place for good group conversation.

You’ll know you’ve arrived in the Gayborhood when you see Woody’s gay flags beckoning you to the club and bar. Woody’s is the traditional first stop on any proper first visit to the Gayborhood. This is classic Philadelphia, a genuine spot where gay men and their friends go for a good night out.

Exploring Gay Philadelphia



Over the past few decades, the City of Brotherly Love has evolved into a place that lives up to its gay-friendly billing. Philadelphia has history on its side: It was the site of some of the nation’s first gay rights pickets, and in 1982 was one of the first cities in the country to pass an anti-gay discrimination law.

Today, the city is home to a large and vibrant gay and lesbian community. And at the heart of gay Philadelphia is Center City’s Washington Square West, a neighborhood of handsome town homes and charming, narrow back streets where many gay businesses and much of the nightlife is located.

View the full guide at:

Baby Loves Disco at World Cafe Live


Baby Loves Disco, the original family dance party, boogies back into Philly on 9/29, 10/26, 11/23 & 12/15 all from 11-230pm. Get out those snazzy outfits, shake those booties, get your face painted, make a sock puppet, grab a tattoo more. Real Music for real parents, freeze dance, simon says and more with a real DJ and real MC. For all the non-driving moms and dads it’s a cash bar along with snacks and juice boxes for all! Our new home World Café Live in University City is the place to be! Tickets are $14. per person.

World Café Live
3025 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104


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

Read more:PGN-The Philadelphia Gay News. Phila gay news. philly news – Drag icon to perform at N J resort

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


Check out this Tioga Row home for sale on Cottage Street!


This ready to move into, middle of block yet end of row, with side yard and rear deck that is partially enclosed is ready for the happy couple. The 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, huge walk-out basement, hobby/yoga room has all the space you need. This area is within minutes of 95 and plenty of dog parks and playgrounds.

Contact Jack Barry at (215)292-5821 for more information

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: