Anniversaries are always a good thing, no matter how you look at it. Especially, when they feature insanely hot bears, cubs and their admirers all under one insanely hot roof. This type of anniversary celebrates the 12th year of the iconic bear party known as Furball, which is doing it in style next Saturday night, April 2nd, at Santos Party House in downtown Manhattan. [Read more…] about Furball 12th Anniversary Hits Up Santos Party House April 2nd
New Year, New Attitude, New You… but one thing that will always remain constant for many bears and bear lovers is that hot event that brings us all together for a little (or a lot of) fun, debauchery, dancing and so much more. Nothing does that better than legendary bear event Furball, which will be hitting up Santos Party House this coming Saturday night beginning at 11pm. With the three day holiday weekend approaching us, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than with hundreds of other hairy and hairy minded dudes, gogo bears (one in particular is writing this), great music, and so much more.
[Read more…] about Legendary Bear Event Furball Hits Up Santos Party House Saturday
I have had the great thrill to work with and interview Travis and Chris, the founders of “Modern Bear” in recent weeks. Their Facebook page alone has grown to 25,000 likes in recent months using the combination of three vital tools- modern design, retro beefcake and of course bears. Now they have come up with something retro yet very funny in the “Bearody” video that they released on YouTube.
Already up to 3,000 hits and growing steadily, it parodies all of the cheesy yet lovable 80’s action TV series such as Magnum P.I. and several more. I spoke with Travis about this recently who had this to say about how the idea came about-
“The idea actually came to me while driving to Palm Springs one day. Modern Bear has always had a retro sensibility about it and Chris and I were thinking of new “webisodes” to film for our Modern Bear Channel on YouTube. The concept of creating an opening credit intro as if Modern Bear was an 80’s action TV show seemed like a natural for us.”
“We researched old shows like Magnum PI, The Rockford Files, Starsky & Hutch, etc. and used snippets of their openings as inspiration for ours. We used the same brilliant production team we’ve been using on our design videos – Michael Cline and Doug Bale of “Michael Douglas Productions”. We asked our gal pals Sandra Espinoza and Julie Hill to play parts in it and we got permission to film inside and outside the fabulous mid century Clarendon Hotel in Phoenix all in one day.”
“Our buddy Bill Stewart let us borrow his bad ass vintage Trans Am for the opening shot which we filmed in Palm Springs. Now I want a car like that for my own! It was a fun departure for Chris and I to do this “Bearody” video and now we’re hooked – we are already planning several more. The reaction was an immediate hit! Modern Bear is also interested in a TV production deal and we wanted to show we could think outside the “bear box” and do comedy. And yes, that’s me playing “Granny” LOL.”
I have been a fan of the Modern Bear guys for quite sometime, when I stumbled upon their website through a photo my friend shared not of a hot bear, but of a particular “modern” design photo that I had a similar interest to. My thought process here was, “Finally! A bear page not 100 percent devoted to shirtless men. There is thought behind this!” And that is what the Modern Bear message is truly about. They equate it to the following- Modern Design + Bears + Retro + Beefcake= THE MODERN BEAR! Travis Smith and Chris Bale, who are based out of Palm Springs, California, visited the Urban Bear festival a couple of weeks back and I got the opportunity to talk with them about a variety of things they have going on currently. Something I definitely wanted to mention was their fantastic new book called “Guide For The Modern Bear”, where they visited a variety of cities and found where is the best places to eat, shop and bar hop for the everyday MB (Modern Bear). Take a look.
So Travis, how did this whole “Modern Bear” thing start for you guys?
It’s a combination of starting it three years ago, so that was a really good time to be starting a good commercial Facebook page anyway. It was an experiment for us, a petri dish if you will, to see if anybody was interested in a “Modern Bear” concept and our formula of modern design plus bears plus retro plus beefcake. Those are the things we like. It was a free way to put it out there, and see if there was any interest in that concept and then determine if we should go further with it and produce a book and all the other things we ended up producing. There wasn’t an immediate response to it, but I would say in the last six months we added 5,000 people. It took us the past three years to get to 25,000 fans overall.
What is that increase in fans attributed to?
I think the bear thing is going mainstream, we are kind of last to become part of this trend thing. I think you will be seeing a lot more bears popping up in movies and television. Like Anne Hathaway’s best friend role in her next movie will go to a bear. It’s starting to happen. That’s one of our goals is to get a TV deal, but doing the book first is the perfect baby step for us because by processing and writing the book it also helped formulate what Modern Bear was going to be as a commercial entity.
Tell me about the book you just released.
What we love about the book and how it turned out is how accessible it is. A lot of straight people buy our book. Wives and girlfriends approach us and say “What is my boyfriend? Is he an otter? A wolf? WHAT IS HE!” It’s hysterical. It’s really funny when the book is at shelves, children gravitate toward it because it’s really cute looking of course. The shop owner usually has to explain to parents what it really is about, and sometimes they even buy it.
Chris, tell me more.
Well, the book is a hybrid. It’s a guide to all the different characters in the bear world. You got your straight up bears, you got your muscle bears, cubs, wolf like me. We are going to do this book every year and update it like so. Each of these characters right now lives in a different city and talk about the bear bars, a few places to eat both fancy and low brow, you know for the bears who want their diner food. The Modern part is mid-century modern furnishing and the stores in each place. So you got Miami, Los Angeles, New York and Barcelona and London to name a few. In the future we are going to have Vancouver and Phoenix which is actually where this whole thing started.
As an avid New Yorker would you say it is the best place to eat from your research?
Well, we did ELMO which is the best Mac N Cheese in town. Let me refer to the book actually! The Breslin is really good. That is this amazing restaurant in the ACE hotel. The Shake Shack is amazing, and Westville is my favorite place for Breakfast. We had a super cute experience at Kitchen last night. We had comfort food like Fondue which was yummy.
What are you ultimately hopeful for?
Well, we’ve always joked about being Beartha Stewart. We are two bears, a bear and a wolf, that are into design and into hot men and bringing those two worlds together in any which way we can.
On top of being incredibly friendly and sexy guys, they are also very down to earth and have a great message to share not only to the bear community but straight women and beyond. For more information on The Modern Bear guys and their story, check out their Facebook, Twitter and to shop for the book and anything else log on to their main site here.
Beyond grateful to the “Modern Bear” folks who posted my first article and got quite a healthy discussion about the bear community out there. I am very happy with the responses that it got, both negative and positive, because to me this has been a forum that I have wanted to open for a long time and now it has. So thank you to everyone in your comments and critiques (except the one who called me a Kindergartener. 26 with two college degrees here and started my own site with no one else’s help. Yup.)
I don’t really think people understood what I was trying to convey in the first article so let me change up a couple of things that I wrote in the first place. One- I have a great appreciation for all types in the gay community. The “muscle bear” comment was mainly an observation of a great amount of guys I see in the New York City area. They aren’t all like that, but a good portion that I see are. I was told that I should try communities outside of the NYC playing field that aren’t on such a larger scale, and in that response I have. I lived in Providence for five years and that has taught me that communities in smaller towns tend to be less jaded and more outgoing and friendly. You can take what you want from what I just said there, but please note that this is just from my viewpoint. We all have different ones.
The other factor here is the origins of the bear community. I have done my researched and watched documentaries on them as well. That is how I gathered information to write the article that I did. I think the bottom line is people are so hell bent on figuring out what their label is that they forget who they are in the process. It is like that scene in “Mean Girls” where the lunch room table is mapped out as to who sits where. It is very similar in the gay community. We should all just be ourselves and get along with each other so these raging hypocrisies and stereotypes can settle down a little bit.
I am more than welcomed to one or two people writing a rebuttal on this. Once again thanks to everyone that let their voices be heard and spoke their minds on this.