We are back for part two in our series of “Where To Eat in San Francisco”, and we have saved the best for last. Could you believe that a New Yorker can actually find better pizza out west than there is here? That is blasphemy! Well it definitely did happen while I was out there, as well as devouring the best Peruvian food I have ever had as well as some pretty tasty shareable plates inside a hot new hotel. This is the conclusion for where you should eat the next time you are in The Golden Gate city.
In our second installment of our series in San Francisco, we are diving right into my favorite past time, present time and future time- FOOD! San Francisco is just like New York City in the sense that it is a melting pot of culture, and that is also very represented in the types of cuisines that are available to the masses. Whether you are looking for an amazing slice of Pizza (Tony’s Pizza Napoletana), a unique take on the Japanese Steakhouse (Roka Akor), or sitting by the water and eating some incredible Peruvian delicacies (La Mar), San Francisco has you covered in more ways than one. Here is part one of our list for what you should eat the next time you are in San Fran.
[Read more…] about A Manhattanite in San Francisco- Where To Eat? Part One
In the first edition of our four part series in San Francisco, we are showing you what we think are the best places to stay and enjoy yourself while you are in one of the most magical cities in our country. Now granted, with this time of year, and the fantastic weather that they had last weekend, it is hard to actually stay inside when SF has so much to offer, but then again each of these amazing hotels has just as much to offer if not more. So sit back, put your feet up, relax, and take a look at what we think you should check into the next time you are heading west to San Francisco.
[Read more…] about A Manhattanite in San Francisco: Where to Stay?
For a city that is only 46.9 square miles, and the smallest county in the state, San Francisco sure does make up for it in so many other ways that truly make the city itself one that anyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. I had my first taste of San Francisco two years ago when I visited some high school friends who were living there, and was mystified and amazed at the beauty and serenity that encompasses a truly magical part of our country. This past weekend I visited San Francisco for the second time, and if this was my own version of a sequel, well then it ranks up there with “The Godfather Part Two” as being just as amazing if not better than the first time I went.
[Read more…] about A Manhattanite in San Francisco- The Introduction
Last night at Super Bowl 50, we saw some pretty incredible and amazing moments, both from the sports and music field. Peyton Manning and The Denver Broncos triumphantly won over the favored Carolina Panthers, which is a pretty great punctuation mark for Peyton’s amazing long sentence of a career. Millions of people were ecstatically waiting for the halftime show, in which superstars Beyonce, Bruno Mars and Coldplay rocked the house to commemorate the 50th year of this legendary game being played. Upon closer look, you would have noticed that Chris Martin was wearing a Global Citizen armband, an organization that has a goal of ending extreme poverty by the year 2030. There is, however, a Manhattan connection to this story.
[Read more…] about Coldplay’s Chris Martin Rocks Global Citizen Armband at SB50
As crazy as New York City can actually be, sometimes it is really good to experience something amazing yet have it be in a quieter, controlled setting where your focus is a lot better and you can enjoy things at a better decibel. This seems to be a great concept for a supper club called I Forgot It’s Wednesday, or IFIW for short. Run by husband and wife team Matt & Jenny Dorsey, IFIW made leaps and bounds as the number one superclub in San Francisco by 7×7 Magazine (over Michelin-starred Lazy Bear) and was also featured in top food publications such as SF Weekly, Eater, The Village Voice and more. So what makes IFIW so special?
[Read more…] about I Forgot It’s Wednesday Supper Club Returns To NYC February 6th
Sometimes when you take one big one, you gotta get the other in there as well. What do I mean? Well after interviewing megastar Jesse Jackman for Manhattan Digest a couple of months ago, I was curious to know more about his other half. I am talking about the uber sexy and devilishly handsome Dirk Caber, who has been partnered with Jesse for quite sometime now. Being part of one of the gay adult industry’s super couples, they have drawn quite the following on their Facebook and Twitter pages, spotlighting many moments in their lives but also having a separate viewpoint in what is going on in and out of the industry.
I have been a big fan of Dirk’s for quite sometime now, even meeting him before a movie premiere back in May right here in New York City (loved the kilt btw). So I wanted to sit down and get to know him more. I recently sat down with the Boston hairy lad to discuss his take on his time in the industry, how he views being seen as a “daddy” in many scenes, his relationship with Jesse, and how music is playing a vital part of his life outside of the camera. Take a look.
Hi Dirk! So first question is super important- Chipotle or Moes?
I presume we’re talking about Moe’s Subs & Italian Sandwiches, the chain in New Hamprhsire? If so, the answer is NOT Chipotle!
Hehe. Now that is out of the way, let me ask you about your humongous success in the adult industry. How did you get your start?
I got involved in the BDSM scene in NYC many years ago, about the same time I started taking my physical health more seriously, lost a bit of weight and discovered that under that fat was muscle. Through the S&M world I made a number of good friends worldwide, one of whom turned out to be Paul Wilde, at that time director of the ROUGH line at Titan. He said that it was rare to find someone who knew their way around a length of rope and a flogger who also looked the part, and if I were interested, he’d he happy to have me at Titan. It took about two years for me to finally feel confident in myself enough physically to say “Let’s try it”, and even then figured I’d make one or two films and that would be the end of it. Four years later now, and some sixty films for some dozen studios, and I’m still going strong, much to my deep astonishment.
Many men (and women) start at a young age in their early 20’s. What made you start later on in life?
It’s when the possibility was first raised. First of all, as fat as I was in in my 20’s, I had an impossible time getting anyone to even think of me as physically desirable, let alone actually have sex with me. I certainly didn’t see myself as any sort of sexual being in those days; I was an intellectual and an artist, resigned to what I expected to be a fairly monkish life. I spent those days expecting a fairly ascetic future and hence working on other aspects of myself; this part of my life didn’t bloom until much later.
A lot of your scenes revolve around you being the “daddy”, especially your recent series with men.com. What’s your take on that? Do you embrace it?
It does make me chuckle. But then, I myself have always been attracted to more mature men; I generally dated guys ten years my senior. Even now at 43 I still find fit men ten and even twenty years older than me sexy; the key difference is that I’m now at a point where I can look at a guy appreciably younger than I am and still see a man and not a boy. I have one friend who’s in his mid-sixties now, still fit and viable and full of sex appeal. His take on aging is to keep yourself up physically, stay young at heart, and don’t do anything too stupid to yourself. The first and last I can take care of myself, but having younger friends certainly helps with keeping me young at heart too. Might be a daddy with silver in my beard and chest hair, but I’m certainly no old man!
You are partnered with the incredibly sexy and very smart Jesse Jackman. How did you guys meet?
Everyone thinks we met on set or something like that. We didn’t; a mutual friend, not in the industry, introduced us during Folsom weekend in San Francisco. He figured we’d make good friends, but I don’t think had any expectation that we’d hit it off THIS well, especially considering that we lived 850 miles apart at that point, he in Boston and me in Chicago. We’ve now been together for almost three years and lived together for well over a year; we’re going as strong as ever.
I’ve had his take on your relationship within the industry, but is it hard to maintain a healthy one when you are having sex on camera with other people?
It all depends on your own confidence in the relationship. Both of us were already in the industry when we met, so it’s not like it was a later conundrum to have to deal with. We’re both highly sexual creatures, and we both understand sex as an expression of affection beyond just the “one and only”. We have sex with each other as partners, we both have sex with friends outside of that, often together, sometimes separately. I indicated when we first formalized the relationship that I’d a few friends with whom the relationship was more than amicable, it was sexual, and I wasn’t prepared to lessen those connections merely because “I gotta boyfriend now.” It’s because Jesse and I know full well that we come first in each others hearts that fucking around with someone else we’re close with and trust becomes essentially as un-threatening as having coffee with them. We have only one rule, as I’m sure he mentioned as well: “Never bring home anything you wouldn’t want to share.” If you think about it, it’s really amazing how applicable that is on so many levels to a relationship. Beyond that, the whole trick to staying connected is to communicate (always my challenge, quiet guy I tend to be) and to stay absolutely honest with each other.
But that’s just the open relationship aspect. Going back to the industry, the misconception everyone seems to hold is that this is what we do, that we daily go into the office (the ‘orafice’? LOL), fuck some other guy, and walk home with our paycheck. In fact neither of us is in the studio more than a couple times a month at the most, and sometimes not at all for months at a go. If that paucity of extraneous sex were the biggest challenge our relationship were burdened with, we’d consider ourselves very lucky indeed.
Finally, we’ve all seen porn couple after porn couple split as one retires or one’s career outpaces the others. Indeed, colleagues warned me and Jesse against getting together, as they’d seen how jealousy, not necessarily sexual but in fact also professional, so often can ruin such relationship. I know only a few porn couples well so my expertise here is admittedly limited, but those I know tend to be, like us, relatively stable, and I think for the same reasons we believed we’d be successful. Porn is not a long-term avocation, and hence not something which as a commonly-held bond for a couple can be counted on more than a few years. Jesse and I recognized far more shared interests and commonalities, from the importance of our families and “day” careers, arts, fitness, and friends to a shared nerdy geekiness, senses of humor that are either cracker dry or kneejerk whiplash puns, passions for music, gadgets, and sci-fi films. And knowing that porn is an ebb-and-flow prospect, we do enjoy taking turns supporting the other when one’s on the wax and the other’s on the wane. It makes us even more of a team.
Speaking of the industry, what is your take on it now? With the evolution of web-only content seeming to exceed DVD sales, do you think the overall landscape of it has changed?
Decidedly! And in more ways than we really have space to delve into here. Nearly all the older larger studios have had to revamp the way they actually produce content as well as how they release it to keep up with the change of technology and hence how we consume our porn. This is hardly the first time this industry has undergone such growing pains; studios had to retool themselves with the advent of videotapes when people started watching at home instead of in theaters, and again when DVD came along and people could more easily fast forward through non-sex content, for instance.
Also, now that we’re more able to afford a camera and some lights to film and post to the internet for general consumption, it’s no longer just a few large studios producing content using equipment and dissemination resources beyond the means of any smaller pornographer. This leads to the springing up of smaller studios already based on the newer internet-based and single-scene-oriented studio model which has become so predominant today; many are coming to produce truly polished content certainly coming to approximate what the larger studios have always been able to produce. Conversely, this ability to afford the camera and the ability to post online has caused an explosion of free online content. Some of these home videos are okay, of course, but much of it might be characterized as “two fat guys out of focus in a badly lit room fucking on a flowered duvet.” At the moment I know there’s a lot of motion in the world that, irrespective of the quality of the content, if it’s there for free, why pay for it somewhere else? The problem is that this means less revenue for the studios, which means less production and less incentive for performers to be at the top of their game. When, as I suspect will happen, there’s a backlash against the cheap free content online and a desire to return to a more polished product, I hope these studios are still around and able to oblige.
Who did you look up to in the industry growing up?
I’ll confess I didn’t pay it much attention. At the time I would have written that off to “not being a sexual creature”, but I now understand that it’s more than that. I need more than just the visual stimulation to find a situation hot; I need the smells, the tastes, the physical contact, the connection. Porn is essentially limited to a visual medium, meaning that much the same way I can appreciate when a woman is truly beautiful without feeling any urge to get her undressed, porn usually left me tumescent. That said, I’d met a few porn stars with whom I’d made a connection, rarely sexual, but which certainly have left a positive mark on me. Mike Dreyden was my boyfriend for over a year and is still a treasured friend. Through Mike I met Alessio Romero who when I later entered the industry was such a help and support and is also a very close friend. I had a splendid conversation one night outside of View Bar in NYC with Alex Baresi who I think is still one of the sweetest men ever. Heh, I’m thinking hard, and I know I’ve got further industry friends whom I’d met before I started and while they were current, but because I know them now outside the industry, I forget that that’s how I first came across them.
Are there any active stars that you would love to do a scene or two with?
Let’s see, in ten minutes how many can I think of, no particular order? Among my friends I have yet to work with: Samuel Colt, Rogan Richards, Brock Rustin, Seven Dixon, Marcus Issacs, Tomas Brand and his partner Logan Rogue (together!), Ale Tedesco, Hans Berlin, Draven Torres, Jaxton Wheeler, Boomer Banks, Felix Barca, Paddy O’Brian, Paul Steele and his pup Aleks Buldocek, JR Matthews, Jake Bolton, Yohann Banks, Seth Fornea (if he ever actually wanted to do porn), Cutler X and his partner Adam Russo, Isaac Jones, Damien Stone, Austin Wolf and his partner Tyler Wolf, Boyhaus, Dolf Dietrich, Cylus Kohen. Guys I don’t know yet or only know virtually and would love to work with: Alex Marte, Kris Irons, Justin King, Kip Ryker, Marco Wilson, Edji da Silva, Frank Valencia, Rok Rangel, Jean Franko, Dani Robles, David Benjamin, Brock Hatcher, Ben Statham, Josh Long. And alas, I think some of these guys are “retired” now, but I’ve really wanted to work with Heath Jordan, Kyle King, Byron Green, Jon Galt and his partner Vic Rocco, Josh West (again) and his partner Peter Axel, and Derek Parker. It’s a source of sadness that I so often shared a set with Wilfried Knight and yet never got to actually work with him. And of course this doesn’t include all the great guys I’ve worked with already and would happily work with again.
Besides the industry, what else are you working on now that our readers should know about?
I’m always working on music; now that I’ve finished a few others there are two large musical projects I’m just about to undertake about which I’m particularly enthused. I’m still hunting for more regular work beyond my freelance music income. I’ve had a few health issues to address, mostly things that happen to guys my age and nothing like what my partner has been through in the last several months, but things which have still required a little attention. I’m still adjusting to living in Boston and making friends here, but I’m happy to be back close to my parents and siblings and nieces and nephews. Planning some travel, to London and Berlin with my buddy Dolan Wolf in September, and possibly a return to London with Jesse in November. Other than that, Jesse and I are happily building our life together.
What are you ultimately hopeful for in the future?
I’d presume there will be a day when I’ll be happy to hang up my pornographical laurels, hopefully before they begin to wilt, and return to a civilian life. I’ll stop worrying about maintaining my abs, and allow my torso to resume the “muscle bear” shape it gravitates towards; I’ll be able to concentrate completely on music as my total life and keeping my family and man close. Maybe that day is next month, maybe it’s ten years from now—I’ve no idea at the moment. Meanwhile I’m enjoying what I’m doing and guys still seem to enjoy watching. I’m not getting younger, so I may as well do it while I can.
Looking for… Substance?
HBO’s highly anticipated and publicized show “Looking” premiered last night as the latter part of the comedy hour they are now sharing with “Girls”. There has been a ton of hooplah surrounding “Looking” even before it started, as social media exploded with its accusations of the cast alone looking very one note without much diversity (something that I agree with). Also, to some annoyance, it has been touted by websites such as Buzzfeed as “The Next Great Gay Show” which is a bit premature as I’m sure they only got a screener of the first episode and can only judge so much from that. Seeing as there isn’t much gay shows on TV where we aren’t supporting characters but much more an entire cast, I severely looked forward to dissecting this show to it’s fullest content.
Then I watched it, and my primetime erection went down faster than Chris Christie’s political dreams. This happened for so many reasons honestly, but there is a smidgen of hope I feel for this show as a whole. That hope is Jonathan Groff, who many people know as being Rachel’s love interest on the former hit now please cancel it before I shoot myself “Glee”. He plays Patrick, the lead of the show who starts at the beginning attempting to get fellatio in a park from a rather hot bearish type guy. This was the high point in the show as he nervously answers his phone in the midst of it as he thought it was his “Mother”. Cute.
Here is my problem with his character- the problems he encounters throughout the episode would be cute if he was in the 21-24 age range, but I feel if you are an out and proud gay man at 29- these things shouldn’t be happening to you still. The BJ thing maybe, but the awkward date, the “6 month relationship” and so on and so forth. I just think his character lacks maturity that is made up for in his cuteness and impressionable behavior which is lose it’s gum flavoring very fast if things don’t pick up.
Murray Bartlett, who most gays know as the shoe maven who stole Carrie away from her wing eating time with Aiden on “Sex & The City” plays Som, a pushing 40 waiter who whines and bitches that a twinky 20 something rejected him mainly because of his age. At the end of the show he tries to get redemption on said twink by going to the bar with Patrick to make himself feel better about the rejection. So boring, no depth and if there is one character that should be a one off it’s him.
Lastly the one diverse character we have in this show is Agustin, played by Frankie J. Alvarez, who is Patrick’s roommate. He is in a relationship with Frank, played by OT Fagbenie. They run into the ever so present problem of having an open relationship which seems to be a big topic of debate in the gay community and end the episode not necessarily wanting the same thing. Should be interesting to see how it plays out.
Overall I would give the first episode 3 out of 10. Sorry if it’s harsh, but “Looking” is “Queer As Folk” for the iPhone digital world. The semi digs at bears or guys that don’t fit the size 29 stereotype, the severe lack of diversity ESPECIALLY in a place like San Francisco, and the dialogue which no one really says (“Are You Drug and Disease Free”, on a first date) lead this show to be just like the rest. I am not saying I need to watch this show to find a guy exactly like me, however this show has been done before. So until I see some changes and maturity in the upcoming episodes, my thought process is this.