Karen Akunowicz, Executive Chef at Myers & Chang and TWC member #3721, is heating (and gaying) up Boston. Each year for Valentine’s day EaterBoston lists this year’s Hottest Chefs and has the public vote to see which delicious culinary superstar will take home the gold. She grabbed the hottest title in Boston and now is fighting for the Northeast. We’re giving some serious TWC love to one of our very own by voting for Karen here and giving you a big shove to do the same.
Karen has taken the reigns at Myers & Chang in the South End, delivering what one can only assume is magic infused Mama Chang’s Dumplings, rainbow inspired spare ribs and lemon mousse that will have even the CrossFit-Paleo-crazed in the group eating carbs for one night. So when you walk through the doors and your gaydar goes all aflutter, now you’ll know the pink-haired culprit behind those tingly feelings.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
At TWC, we like to think we make things a littler gayer. Sometimes we turn douchy nightclubs into gay bars. Sometimes we make sure museums get an insertion of the homosexual persuasion. But the rest of the time, TWC members are gaying up places all over the city. Whether your gaydar goes off in the BerryLine down the street or when you get that perfectly concocted cocktail at the dive bar downtown, there’s alottagay going on in this city. We’re just here to let you know about it.
As TWC’s Crew works tirelessly at HQ to put the finishing touches on Blackout Dating (Round 3) tomorrow night, we’d like to take a moment to address some of the thoughts/questions/concerns/elephants that TWC members have about talking to men in circles for one night.
1. I don’t have anyone to go with so I’ll feel awkward hanging out by myself before everything starts.
Let us be gay with you. TWC crew and volunteers have literally been training their entire lives for this challenge. Check in. Grab a drink. Our on-site TWC yentas will be there to welcome you and take care of the awkwardness until the structured period begins.
2. I’m terrible at first dates. What’s a good opening line?
Outside of the standard, “so, whaddaya do for a living?” opener, we’d suggest any of the following:
- Do you read? Because I don’t! Want to watch a movie sometime?
- Have you been to any TWC events before? The crew is pretty cute huh? (This actually works pretty well, because it keeps the conversation on others before you bring it back to yourselves.)
- What’s your favorite restaurant in the city? (There are two kinds of people in the world…those who love the Cheesecake Factory and those who hate it. It’s good to get these things out of the way early.)
3. I don’t want to tell my friends I’m going to Blackout Dating.
This one’s easy. Tell your pals that The Welcoming Committee is having an exclusive takeover for some of it’s members and you got an invitation to attend. We’ll back you up - just have them email ashley (at) thewelcomingcommittee (dot) com if you need an alibi. Seriously, we’ve done crazier stuff to get people comfortable at events.
4. My hair looks terrible at 7pm and I don’t want to bring a comb.
There’s CVS, Walgreens, and twelve salons in Central Square, but we’ll have TWC crew members on hand to answer questions like, “is my hair out of place?”, “does my shirt need to be tucked in?”, and, “do you think the double or single Windsor knot is more attractive?”
5. I’m not employed and work is the first thing people ask about.
Like they say in politics, “control the frame, control the game.” If you’re unemployed and you don’t want to talk about it, then the best thing to do is bring it up and move on. Try this: “I used to be a clown, but it’s a tough market so I’m in between things right now. What do you do?” Or, “I used to sell snow, but I got laid off due to Nemo, so now I spend a lot of time at coffee shops, which kind of sucks, but I’m enjoying unemployment benefits, which is awkward because I used to be a Republican, but now I’m a Democrat, so really this whole unemployment thing has been transformative. Do you like coffee?”
6. How does Blackout Dating work?
It’s super easy. Check-in. Grab a drink. Enjoy some semi supervised mingling (see #2). Here’s how the meeting and matching works. Meeting: You’ll be placed in a circle, and that circle will be surrounded by a second circle of the same size. You’ll have a conversation with the person standing across from you. When we ring the bell, like a clock, the outer circle will move one click (or person) clockwise, so you’re talking to the next person in the circle across from you. After each round, we’ll pair your circle with another circle. You’ll meet 18 people. (Don’t worry, volunteers will facilitate this whole process.) Matching: When you say hi to someone, you’ll write down their number. After you move on to the next person, you’ll mark a small “yes” or “no” next to the person’s number that you previously spoke to. Later that night, when you get home, you’ll fill out a survey with the people you liked. Our elves will match up the lovers and we’ll send emails to you with your matches and their contact info. Lastly, there’ll be plenty of time in between rounds in case you want to talk further with some people or meet folks who you’re not matched with. Let us know if you have questions.
7. Tickets come with 3 drinks but do I have to drink?
TWC offers up three drinks with a blackout dating ticket so you have the option of social lubrication but all members should drink as much or as little as they please.
8. Music is good but will I be able to hear other daters?
We’ll make sure the music is turned down to a level where you can still hear your fellow blackout daters.
9. I’m coming from work. Is there a coat/bag check?
The crew is working it’s magical powers to get your personal belongings stashed safely.
Get in here: http://scotchtakeover-Tumbrl.eventbrite.com
What we looked like when we saw the single malt scotch list being served at TWC’s LBB series this weekend:
Smith’s Glenlivet 21 yr. – Speyside
Old Pulteney 15 yr. – Highlands
Secret Stills Lowland 15 yr. – Lowlands
Benromach 10 yr. – Speyside
Highland Park 8 yr. – Orkney
Bunnahabhain 8 yr. – Islay)
And when we heard that Harpoon would be there pouring craft beer, we were all:
And when we offered you a $10 discount on tickets, you were all:
No, really. Click here to get tickets. Use this promo code: Lovers
The last time you tried to hold your own at a scotch tasting, you were like:
So when you heard that 6 single malt scotches would be served at this weekend’s Liquor before Beer, you were like:
But then when we announced that there would be four of the cities best mixologists on hand to mix delectable scotch cocktails you were like:
And then when you heard that on top of mixologists, Harpoon Brewery would also be there pouring a selection of craft beers you were like:
And when we offered you a $10 discount on tickets, you thought we meant:
But really we just wanted to give you the ticket link (click here) and this promo code: haters
TWCsters. Before every GQB we throw a shin-dig lovingly referred to as a pre-party. It’s basically a miniGQB with more talking, fewer strobe lights, and similar amounts of magic. Here’s who pre-parties are perfect for:
1. Those of you who want to start drinking before 9pm.
2. Gays who haven’t shown up to GQB and want to meet some new people.
3. TWC veterans who want to give some hugs to newbies.
4. People who like Guerrilla Queer Bar.
5. TWCsters who are gay.
6. And finally, gays who are not yet TWC members.
This month, the glitter guns will be blazing at Boston Beer Works on Canal Street (map). Show up 8pm and come say hey. Daniel & Ashley are the two gays in the photo below.