Come Up to My Room
Thurs, Jan 23 @ The Gladstone Hotel
Right now we’re walking around inside someone. With our shoes on. Chatting, we finger stomach matter before daringly sticking our heads through the ass. Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel has swung its doors wide open, shoving everyone inside the hot and sweaty opening-night party for the 11th Annual Come Up to My Room. The exhibit is filled with curious voyeurs (including photographer Patrick Lightheart and TV’s Tommy Smythe) eager to burst their artistic mental loads. Artist Shannon Scanlan’s bright, colourful, interactive installation, Gut Feelings, is one of the more popular rooms. Basically, we’re all inside her. At the same time. I think I may have heard of porn like this. But it didn’t involve hipsters downing Moosehead beer and art-nouveau twinks sipping mixed drinks. Dominating the main space is Hanging Matters — created by Jordan Evans, Ryla Jakelski and Evan Jerry with Lois Weinthal — an inverted terrain of paper pyramids covering the hallway and ceiling that, when a hanging string is pulled, empties its load of condoms and other goodies onto the giggling crowd below. In a far corner sits Fall of the Walled Garden, a cool, silent, icy-blue-and-white meditation space that has been taken over by teen collective The Torontonians and Mammalian Diving Reflex. “The others are playing a game of tag outside in their underwear,” one member of the collective informs me before we chat in greater length about the used tissue and Lubriderm lotion positioned politely on the night stand. Come up to room? Boom.
Fly’s 15th Anniversary
Sat, Jan 25 @ Fly Nightclub
Right now we’re on our knees getting a better angle of the pretty packages of two go-go guys in the dressing room. Two perfect presents sure to be unwrapped later. Toronto’s Fly Nightclub has swung its doors wide open, shoving everyone inside for a sweaty 15th-anniversary party filled with gorgeous groups of guys eager to satisfy their physical needs. At a decade and a half, Fly has outlasted many. It’s a milestone. To all those who have been here since the beginning, I salute you. To those who are just discovering this emporium of euphoria for the first time, I welcome you. To Shawn, Gilles, Gairy, Daniel, Rommel, Sonja, Wade and all, I blow out the candles on the birthday cake I’ve baked for you in my mind (it’s chocolate). As DJ Tom Stephan takes us on a musical journey spanning all 15 years, pumped up go-go guys Trent and Dila exit the dressing room and mount the speakers to entertain us in Pump underwear. They provide excellent eye-candy for the packed house, but for a 15th-anniversary bash I was expecting much more on the décor front. Like eye-opening, jaw-dropping, huge, bam, in-my-face sploogy goodness. All I got was limp-dicked cut-out numbers hung on the banisters with a few measly mirror balls for distraction. Visual Viagra is indeed needed. But rising Canadian pop star Kapri, who performs later, fills my ears with goodness, and I quickly forget my unfulfilled eyes. Fly? I’ll always stand by.