Connect with us

Arts & Entertainment

Shop local! Fun, affordable gifts from D.C. vendors

Places to shop without breaking the bank



If you missed out on Black Friday shopping because you were still recovering from eating mounds of turkey and pumpkin pie — or you were too busy catching up with work to purchase something on Cyber Monday — don’t stress! Below is a quick list of gift ideas from local stores where you can purchase something sentimental for your loved ones. 

If your “giftee” has a sweet tooth, consider JOYCO chocolate-covered dried fruits or some Sipan apricot jam — made from fruits, vegetables and petals — sold at Yerevan DC, an Armenian store located at 2204 18th St., N.W. 

“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” according to the old adage. However, jewelry is any gay’s best friend. Robert Laurence Jewelers is located at 1202 G St., N.W. and has a huge selection of jewelry including unset sterling silver bracelets going for $77. 

A piece from Robert Laurence Jewelers.

Miss Pixie’s DC has a 7-inch Orrefors Precious vase going for $110. Head over to 1626 14th St., N.W. to snag this unique, in-demand gift. 

For only $1, you can purchase tickets to “Colors: R&B Only,” a journey of R&B music throughout history at The Fillmore on Friday, Dec. 31. Tickets are available at

Nubian Hueman has a “GAMBA gender-free” denim jacket for $110. This brand, located at 1231 Good Hope Rd., S.E., is a Black, female, and queer-owned brand amplifying a narrative of inclusion and equality within Black culture. It creates “exclusive collections and one-of-a-kind pieces for those looking to turn heads and make a statement.”

The Nubian Hueman denim jacket

Lee’s Flower and Card Shop, located at 1026 U St., N.W., has a $55 chicken noodle soup gourmet gift set. This gift set is a comforting gourmet selection of artisan chicken noodle soup mix, along with hummus, crackers, bread sticks, mixed olives, Himalayan salt & grinder, and cookies. This gift set also includes an oversized soup bowl, bamboo spoon, and serving tray.

To add extra flavor to any kitchen, the spice bag with lemon pepper hot sauce from The Spice Suite, located at 6902 4th St. NW, make for a perfect stocking stuffer. For $45, you get herbes de Provence and peri peri spices, and lemon pepper hot sauce. 

Frères Branchiaux Candle Co. — located in White Plains, Md. — offers a variety of scented experiences including hand-made candles, bath salts, room sprays and diffusers. For $25, you can get one of their holiday collection candles that range in scents from vanilla spice to whiskey sweet.

Take a walk at Black Pepper Paperie Co., located at 1353 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., to find unique craft pieces. For about $45, you can buy wallpapers designed by artists Hadiya Williams that are inspired by The Great Migration.

For the beer lover on your list, Red Bear Brewing has The Krampus Shuffle – Abbey Style Quad that has dark ale has notes of raisins, toffee, plum, vanilla, cinnamon, and clove. You can order a 16oz four pack for $18.75 and pick it up in-person at 209 M St., N.E.

Most popular oven mitt collection from Naked Decor. From People We Admire collection. They can take the heat! Choose from Madam Vice President, RBG, Dr. Fauci and more. Handmade with Love. $15 each at or visit their pop-up store at booth# 27 at Downtown Holiday Market. (Now until Dec. 23).

Oven mitts that can take the heat at Naked Décor.
Continue Reading

Out & About

10 LGBTQ events this week

Extended Pride season continues with Ho Co and Laurel festivals



PRIDEtoberfest, Howard County Pride and Laurel Pride all take place this week. (Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Below are our picks for some of the most fun and creative things to do this week in the DMV that are of special interest to the LGBTQ community.


Thrusday, October 6
7-11 p.m.
Wunder Garten
1101 1st Street N.E.

Dress for Oktoberfest and join in on a night of drinks, dancing and prizes. Event benefits the Capital Pride Alliance.

Yes Homo! Yes Queen! Comedy Show

Thursday, Oct. 6
8 p.m.
DC Comedy Loft and Bier Baron Tavern
1523 22nd Street, N.W.
$12 + two item minimum (food/beverage)

Celebrate the queens and royalty of DC comedy with a debut show featuring female-identifying and non binary comics. The event is hosted by Ursula Fox-Koor, Reem Seliem and Sunny Soroosh and features Lil Vida, Joey Friedman, Violet Gray, Justine Morris, Hedi Sandberg, Davine Kerr, Jasmine Burton and Sandi Benton. Plan to arrive 30 minutes before the show starts to get a good seat. There will be a burlesque intermission.

Sleeze: Sucks

Thursday, Oct. 6
9 p.m.
DC9 Nightclub
1940 9th Street, N.W.
Facebook | Eventbrite

Check out this spooky monthly dance party with performances by Jaxknife and Jane Saw. Listen to the “darker sides of disco with forward-thinking techno” with DJs Sappho, Lemz and KeenanOrr.

Slay Them Drag Competition

Friday, Oct. 7
9 p.m.
Red Bear Brewing Co.
209 M Street, N.E.

Desiree Dik is ready to Slay as host of an amateur drag competition. Come watch the new performers and cheer for your favorites!

Freeform Fridays FRiKiTONA

Friday, Oct. 7
doors 11 p.m. / show midnight
Songbyrd Music House
540 Penn Street, N.E.

Doming0 hosts an “all Latine Drag Show and Dance Party” at Songbyrd Music House on Friday with performances by Mari Con Carne, Thunderboi Tsai and Mariuh.

Laurel Pride

Saturday, Oct. 8
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Granville Gude Park
8300 Mulberry Street (Pavilion A)
Laurel, Md.

Experience entertainment, food and more at the City of Laurel’s inaugural Pride festival.

Dancin’ Thru the Decades (70’s & 80’s)

Saturday, Oct. 8
9 p.m.
As You Are
500 8th Street, S.E.

Dance at a queer dance party to the music of the 70’s and 80’s brought to you by DJ L Stackz.

Ho Co Pride

Sunday, Oct. 9
11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Meriweather Park Symphony Woods
10431 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, Md.
Facebook | Eventbrite

Keep the Pride party going by celebrating Howard County Pride in Columbia, Md. on Sunday.

Gagsters and Dragsters

Sunday, Oct. 9
1:30 p.m.
D.C. Improv Comedy Club
1140 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Facebook | Tickets

Drag entertainers and comedians perform at the D.C. Improv Comedy Club on Sunday for a fun-filled drag brunch.

Flashy: Nine Year Anniversary

Sunday, Oct. 9
9 p.m.
645 Florida Avenue, N.W.
Facebook | Eventbrite

The bar is open until 4 a.m. for this milestone celebration for the big dance party that is Flashy Sundays.

Continue Reading


‘Bros’ bombs at weekend box office

Billy Eichner blames straight people for failing to show up



The chemistry between Luke Macfarlane and Billy Eichner wasn’t enough to steam up the box office this weekend. (Photo courtesy Universal Studios)

The much-hyped new film “Bros,” touted as the first gay romantic comedy produced by a major Hollywood studio, bombed at the weekend box office, bringing in just $4.8 million, about half of the $8-10 million prediction for opening weekend.

The film, which stars Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane, finished in fourth place for the weekend; horror film “Smile” took the top spot with $22 million. Eichner quickly turned to Twitter to blame straight people for the poor showing.

“Even with glowing reviews, great Rotten Tomatoes scores, an A CinemaScore, etc., straight people, especially in certain parts of the country, just didn’t show up for ‘Bros,’” Eichner wrote. “And that’s disappointing but it is what it is.”

Not everyone agrees with Eichner’s assessment. Variety, in a Monday story, cited marketing problems and a lack of star power as likely culprits for the disappointing numbers.

“For the romantic comedy genre, star power is integral these days to getting people out of the house,” Variety’s Zach Sharf and William Earl wrote. “Paramount’s ‘The Lost City’ made it to the $105 million mark in the U.S. off the strength of pairing A-listers Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum.”

Additionally, the film’s marketing focused on the historic nature of the film, rather than its comedic appeal.

“’Bros’ marketing worked overtime to sell its importance as the first major LGBTQ studio comedy, but aggressively marketing a movie as a glass-ceiling breaker can make it feel like homework for viewers,” Sharf and Earl noted.

There have also been anecdotal reports of homophobic incidents at theaters linked to the film’s poster, which features a photo of Eichner and Macfarlane grabbing each other’s butts. 

“The goal was to make the funniest, laugh-out-loud movie as possible, that just happens to be about a gay couple,” Eichner, 44, told the Blade in an interview last week.

The studio released a statement that it remains hopeful positive reviews and word-of-mouth will give “Bros” a long theatrical run. The film cost about $22 million to make.

Eichner served as writer, producer, and co-star of the film, a romantic comedy about two commitment-phobic gay guys in a relationship. All of “Bros” writers, producers, and the lead and supporting actors identify as LGBTQ (with the exceptions of director Nicholas Stoller and producer Judd Apatow).  

Some observers worry that the poor showing by “Bros” could dissuade large studios from green-lighting LGBTQ-themed projects for mainstream release. 

Continue Reading


PHOTOS: Miss Gay Maryland 2022

Amethyst Diamond crowned pageant winner



Amethyst Diamond is crowned Miss Gay Maryland 2022 on Oct. 1 at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Md. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The winners and alternates of Miss Glamour Girl, Miss Gay Freestate and Miss Gay Western Maryland competed for the title of Miss Gay Maryland America 2022 at Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Md. on Saturday, Oct. 1. Special guest performers included Miss Gay Maryland 2021 Maranda Rights and Miss Gay America 2022 Dextaci.

Amethyst Diamond was crowned the winner with Dezi Minaj designated the first alternate. Both queens are eligible to compete in the Miss Gay America pageant in Little Rock, Ark. in January, 2023.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

Continue Reading

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast


Follow Us @washblade