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Hill Country Chicken
Credit: Hill Country Chicken

Cuisines run the muck here in Manhattan, but one that doesn’t seem to be that big or talked about is fried chicken.  Hill Country Chicken, however, has dispelled that myth by being the first here in Manhattan to bring authentic southern hospitality to our island, and people are loving every tasty minute of it.

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Bernic, Bernic Hotel, The Bernic
Credit: STUNTMANpr

Up until this past week, I had no idea there was a section of Manhattan called Turtle Bay.  Seriously!  Turtle Bay is technically on the east side of Midtown Manhattan. It extends from either 41st or 43rd Streets to 53rd Street, and eastward from Lexington Avenue to the East River’s western branch, facing Roosevelt Island (Thanks Wiki!).  With my knowledge intact, I was able to discover a gorgeous and brand new hotel on 47th between 3rd and 2nd that is a must for anyone this holiday season and beyond.  This location is called The Bernic, and after my experience there this weekend it is definitely a place you are going to want to check into.

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NYE
Credit: NewYearsEvePlan.com

Just a few more weeks and the whole world will be greeting a new year. And while one of the best places to greet any New Year is in New York City for its famous countdown in Times Square plus the revelries that happen both before and after the stroke of midnight of Dec 31st, it is not the only place where you can get fantastic experience saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new year. Here are some of the best places to celebrate NYE outside of NYC.

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Society Cafe
Credit: Matt Levine

Society Cafe has officially opened in the absolutely gorgeous Walker Hotel Greenwich Village.  Located on the lower half of the hotel, the new restaurant is helmed by chef Chris Zabita, who expertly brings farm to table dishes and crafts them to perfection for each customer.  I had the pleasure of dining there this past Saturday night, and was pleasantly thrilled with everything they had to offer.

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With the holidays in full swing this is also an indication that New Yorkers are planning their winter getaways. Your interest will ultimately determine which type of destination you’ll choose. The acutely chic crowd are more than likely planning a tropic vacation which is cool, anyone can appreciate clear blue water.

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Megan Hilty
Photo by Sidney Beal.

Megan Hilty is not fat. After opening with a spirited Jingle Bell Medley (“Jingle Bells”, “Jingle Bell Rock”, and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”) at Joe’s Pub on Saturday night, Hilty remarked, “Wow! That was a lot of Christmas just now,” and proceeded to break the ice by explaining her pronounced mid-section. “Can we address the baby bump?” she said. “I know some of you might think that Megan has really let herself go, but in fact, I am expecting a baby boy in March!”

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Weight
Credit to: Chris Reed/Stanley Hughes

The advancements the bear community has made over the years in terms of visibility both in the gay and straight world really is profound given how we were treated like outcasts about as recent as ten years ago.  Mainstream media has covered us in many different facets on television, music and the movies, and the terminology we have developed is now said all across the world.  Our themed events grow larger in size each year, which also allows for a bigger population to experience all of this in some sort of capacity.  The increasing amount of bears who inhabit the culture has also developed some sort of drawn line in the sand when it comes to weight in our community.  This is something that is very visible in cities like Manhattan, and it is something that is hard to turn a blind eye to.

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#WeAreHer
Credit: #WeAreHer

In the wake of the recent and, to many, traumatizing presidential election, people who have been threatened by the president-elect’s racist, xenophobic, and misogynistic comments have been trying to come to terms with the results. They’ve been turning to cathartic media, planning marches, and in some cases, gathering with like-minded individuals to simply try to heal and de-stress.

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Pulqueria
Credit: Pulqueria

Pulqueria is proof that heading to Chinatown is worth the hassle, traffic and so much more.  Located on Doyers Street, next to its sister speakeasy Apotheke, this one of a kind location boasts delicious Mexican cuisine in a darkly lit atmosphere that bodes well with its surroundings in downtown.

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Shop

Shop, shop, shop!  The holiday shopping season is off to a strong start. This year’s Black Friday set records: more than three billion dollars were spent, with more than 1 billion dollars of that coming from mobile devices alone, says Adobe. It’s the highest amount ever. What are y’all buying, and what are you getting me?!