Yes, at The Wow Report, we’ve been offering you lists of our Favorite Things, and these are mine. The criteria is mine also, so you can’t argue with it. Here in descending order…
10. THE NEW WHITNEY – Before it opened, there was mostly bitching about the way it looked from the outside, but once everyone got a look at the galleries and the views from those terraces and picture windows, it all stopped. The building, bordered by the High Line park, a six-story yellow brick wall, the West Side Highway and low meatpacking buildings, couldn’t have had a more difficult, and yet more vibrant and central site for a museum. The plaza in front intersects with the High Line park. I’m still not going to defend the exterior from the street. Either you like it or you don’t. I do. Renzo Piano‘s latest museum quotes Marcel Breurer‘s uptown Whitney zigurat, responds to the site and the river, as well as the New York skyline, beautifully. And it has been pretty much an instant success. I live just a block away and it is now the hub of the Meatpacking District. People pour onto and out of the High Line and the surrounding shops and restaurants. Everyone complains about NYC changing and not being the same and it’s true. But NYC is ever-changing and the addition of the new Whitney, brings it back to the neighborhood where it started and supplants one of THE best cultural institutions of the 21st century at downtown’s doorstep.
9. A NEW GOLDEN AGE OF TV – There’s never been more TV and it’s better than ever. Comedies have always been my thing, although dramas are thriving as well. The (relatively) new kid on the block, Netflix gave us my favorite series of the year Grace and Frankie, with legends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, along with A Very Murray Christmas, the Bill Murray holiday special that you would never get on network television. Comedy Central is churning out the good stuff too, like Drunk History! Trevor Noah replaced Jon Stewart on The Daily Show and the gnashing of teeth at Stewart’s loss has ended. Chris Hardwick‘s internet recap/ gameshow, @midnight is another fave, as is HBO’s Last Week Tonight (better than The Daily Show if you ask me) VEEP and the thrill of my week (when he’s on) Real Time with Bill Maher. That show is really going to get good with the election. But Diane Sawyer‘s “get” of the year, the Caitlyn Jenner interview had to be THE best TV in a decade. It was the Superbowl, the Oscars and the LGBT moon landing rolled into one. Everyone accepts it now but last Spring that was a shockeroo. There’s SO MUCH good TV! What about RuPaul’s Drag Race? No matter what anybody says, ALWAYS a thrill and THE best reality show on TV. Period. And how can I not mention the most amazing comedy lineup in TV history for the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live…?
8. JOHN WATERS’ RISD CCOMMENCEMENT SPEECH – Our national treasure, John Waters, gave one of THE great speeches ever when he was asked, to his amazement, to speak to the graduating class at one of the best design schools in the country, the Rhode Island School of Design, RISD. You can read a bit here or go to the link above. Talk about inspiring!
Remember: You must participate in the creative world you want to become part of. So what if you have talent? Then what? You have to figure out how to work your way inside. Keep up with what’s causing chaos in your own field.
If you’re a visual artist, go see the shows in the galleries that are frantically competing to find the one bad neighbourhood left in Manhattan to open up in.
Watch every movie that gets a negative review in the New York Times and figure out what the director did wrong.
Read, read, read!
Watch people on the streets. Spy, be nosy, eavesdrop.
And, as you get older, you’ll need youth spies that will keep you abreast of new music that nobody has heard of yet or body-piercing mutilations that are becoming all the rage – even budding sexually transmitted disease you should go to any length to avoid.
Never be like some of my generation who say,
‘We had more fun in the ’60s.’
No, we didn’t! The kids today who still live with their parents who haven’t seen them in months but leave food outside their bedroom doors are having just as much fun shutting down the government of foreign countries on their computer as we did banning the bomb.
7. WIGSTOCK: THE CRUISE – OMG. What a night to remember. Lady Bunny and co-organizer Scott Lifshutz did NOT disappoint this summer when they managed to pull off an evening that’ll go down in New York Herstory. It was a HOT, but gorgeous summer night as we all boarded the Hornblower on Pier 40 at Houston Street. Hundreds of fun-lovers, plus the divas of the drag scene, showed up in full-force. Oh, geez. Was THAT ever fun.
6. INSTAGRAM – Just a never-ending stream of fun pics from cool interesting (sometimes crazy-HOT) people. There are hot guys with book, dogs, wine, coffee and more, than run through my feed 24/7 and for any holiday, it’s great to tune in to see what happening. Halloween is particularly fun. There’s travel, art, design, fashion, celebs, cute babies and puppies and did I mention hot guys? Right now you can get your #2015bestnine pics delivered to your Facebook. (You can get yours here.) Here are mine and what do you know –3 pics from Wigstock: The Cruise.
5. LAMONTE – Yes, how could I not include my little Brussels Griffon, Lamonte. He’s probably my #1 favorite thing but that’s every year. I share him with my ex and he’s gone back and forth now every two weeks for a decade so, I don’t have him ALL the time. Right now he’s in Chicago, so I’m missing him. Yeah, I know. You don’t care. But come on – that face!
4. MY SS ’16 PAOM / INTERNATIONAL PLAYGROUND COLLECTION – So, you might know that I’m primarily an artist. My work is based on vintage paint by number paintings. True story. I’ve adapted my work to a backdrop for Stella McCartney and just this holiday season a mural on glass for the W New York – Union Square. But I have to say one of my favorite discoveries of 2015 is Print All Over Me. Through their website, you can upload any digital image and cover some 80 different garments and accssories. I did a “hyper-collaboration” with PAOM and New York’s International Playground for Spring/ Summer ’16 and I’m thrilled with the way it came out. Can’t wait for it to hit stores. You can order it online coming March. You KNOW that I’ll post about it.
3. DONALD TRUMP – Yes, I know it’s tired but I have to say, I love to hate him. We all do. American has a new asshat/ clown in Donald Trump. If we aren’t careful, though he just might be our President which might be funny except for the fact that I don’t think he’d hesitate to push that red button. Then it’s all over. Well, if things keep up as they are, you might think it’s all over anyway. So, Trump as POTUS would just speed things up.
2. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS – Lots of great movies this year but none that you HAD to go to the theater for, except for this major movie event. Too obvious? Well, kids, I was a kid when the first one came out and my nerdy (twin) friends Bart and Brett Mixon told me ALL about Star Wars in 1977. The nerd world was alerted then too but it was a much smaller club then. The one thing I remembered them saying was the spacecraft and X-wings were all beat up in this new space cowboy saga. Unlike 2001, where everything was pristine and new, the Star Wars look was its own thing. I got my ticket to The Force Awakens online ahead of time at a mall an hour outside of NYC in upstate New York, near my country place. I got my 3D glasses, my assigned, fully-reclining leather seat, brought my own (unauthorized) snacks and I was in gay nerd heaven. I loved every minute. I want to see it again.
1. MARRIAGE EQUALITY – I HAVE to put this at #1. The day it was announced was my mother’s 75th birthday. She was visiting me in NYC and we were having coffee when I read the news to her and she said,
Which might not seem like much, but she does have two gay sons, neither of which will likely ever marry, being children of divorce. It’s MAJOR for the country. A milestone. Yes, kids, it’s a mean old world out there but not everything is bad. In some ways, the times they are a changin’, for the better. There is ALWAYS hope.