All posts by Douglas Calhoun

Douglas Calhoun is the founder and creator of The Queer Interior. He has worked as a promoter and writer in New York since he moved here 7 years ago.

ASIDE:#YourStoryByKristenBlush featuring Kelli Galloway

A BEHIND THE SCENES MOMENT CAPTURED BY KRISTEN BLUSH DURING OUR SHOOT A FEW WEEKS AGO.
Credit: Kristen Blush #YourStorybyKristenBlush
Credit: Kristen Blush #YourStorybyKristenBlush
KELLI GALLOWAY OF HOPSPETUNIA IS KRISTEN’S NEW CREATIVE FEATURED AS PART OF HER WEEKLY PHOTO-SERIES #YourStoryByKristenBlush. 

@ARTS&QUEERS MARKET, NETWORKING AND DAWGS

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Made it a point to hit up @Arts&Queers at Little Field in Brooklyn today to meet some talented vendors and take in some tunes. It didn’t hurt that Yeah Dawg was dolling out their addictive vegan hot dogs. Founder of Yeah Dawg Marina Benedetto and I kicked it for a while and she fixed me up an inspired snack with all the fixin’s. Ran into the always darling Dakota Bracciale. We used to hang back in the SouthPaw/Bar Four (R.I.P) days when I was hosting Gender Bender/ Queerespondence in partnership with BrooklynTheBorough.com. In other words, A LIFETIME AGO!

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We spilled the tea, mostly on me, because  she read my cards and let me tell you it was church #selfcare #balance. After my reading, I handed out some totes and got lost. It was a lovely beginning of spring hang and I hope it’s a sign of my getting out into my community more and more. Have fun y’all!

 

A Throwback to our FIRST ISSUE: ED ROTH (STENCIL 1)

EDROTHIn honor of the spring refresh we’re doing on the site I thought it would be neat to post this look from our 2012 prototype issue. We built it on ISSU.com and Colleen and I spent the launch day drinking coffee and cursing at her desktop making sure everything was just so. This shot is of Ed Roth and his right-hand lady who had just stenciled the big bear with chalk paint for our fundraising party in Brooklyn. He was a big shot then and now he’s basically a famous person. He recently won Product of the Year 2015 for new line of stencil wallpaper. He’s got you covered  from wallpaper to crafts to textiles, all highly versatile and  reusable featured in his books published by Chronicle Books. 

PHOTO CREDIT: MICHAEL POPP STUDIO

Vegan Hotdogery Yeah Dawg Needs You! #UPDATED

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Yeah Dawg needs you as a backer on Kickstarter. Head that way and show love! New York City is a hot-dog city and it’s about time we could all be in on the fun! #YeahDawg

UPDATE:

Yeah Dawg has raised over $20,000.00 ! This means they’ve got 12 hours to make their remaining $5,000.00. Tweet them: @YeahDawgVegan  / Facebook them: Yeah Dawg Facebook / A Instagram them: @YeahDawgVegan to help spread the word. These final hours are the most important ! Godspeed you vegan hot dog! 

Y.D is an organic plant based pop up hot dog cart that serves soy and gluten free dawgs along with an assortment of home made fermented krauts, pickled toppings, coconut bacon, and our own cashew mayonnaise. The Y.D is homemade and hand-rolled using a blend of beets, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, sunflower seeds, GF flours, herbs and spices. They are unique because they are the only soy and gluten free dawg to hit the market.  Founder and Chief Marina Benedetto is a mover and shaker in New York and has donated services and been an awesome leader/advocate in the LGBTQ community for decades. Show Marina’s brand some love and make the Yeah Dawg Team’s day!

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They are over half way to their goal and need backers on Kickstarter.com. I’m sharing because I realized my own start-up dreams on Kickstarter for The Queer Interior.com and I know how meaningful it can be to feel so supported. If you can’t donate, don’t. Just share the Kickstarter link on your social media and spread the word.  A post on Facebook or Instagram is super helpful especially in the last 72 hours. They’ve got 3 days left and it’s not over til’ it’s over. Share with your foodie friends and brooklyn peeps and let’s get Marina that money.

Here are some helpful links so you can learn more! Feel free to pass any of these along to your followers, friends, and coworkers because every $1 counts! 

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Village Voice spent a day working for Yeah Dawg.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 4.44.54 PMWatch Marina as interviewed by Brooklyn Independent Media talk about the brands goals in philanthropy and taste!

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Check out the reaction of New Yorkers trying these banging’ dawgs through a NY CITY LENS. (Spoiler: THEY LOVED THEM.)

 

 

Our Fall Favorites! Q.I Creator and Founder Plays Krrb.com Currator

featuredI’m a big believer as a renter in NYC that reclaiming or inheriting odds and ends is a better and kinder way to populate your space. Krrb.com is the perfect place to do just that. They’ve honored me with the task of picking some of my favorite Krrb finds for Fall and I hunted down some really lovely (and equally strange) objects on the shop by stoop home sales website. Krrb is easy to use and I’ve had a blast selling and buying on it myself. Anyone can build a “corner” where they list home decor, furniture, or homemade wares for sale. You can easily post and edit pictures or information about the object and tag key words. The site helps you search by zip code and category and it’s a real blast to find out what’s near by.  Look for The Queer Interior and my 20 selections on their newsletter and website today! Here are my top 5 and why I picked’em!

1. Table to the rescue: A small space hero.

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As featured on Remodelista and AllModern.com. This Hunter Green Blue Dot Strut Table is an awesome use of space. It’s highly functional as a desk or dinning room table. It’s the perfect freelancer find and if you’ve got a neutral space the green is going to be a really great contrast color.

2. Sleek adustable coffee table

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You can custom this no-frills coffee table to fit your room and what we’re wondering is if James will throw in the coffee tables books. Tom Ford and Marilyn? We’ll take it!

3. Fire engine red toolbox #butchcity

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Looking to ironically store toilet paper or have legit tools to store? Then you should buy this awesome tool box! I think it’s really sexy and sleek and if I had more than a hammer and bad attitude about home repair I’d buy it. in. a. heartbeat.

4. Himmeli Light makes a corner special for less than $200 bucks.

hanginglightOne of a kind hanging light treatments would be great in a dorm or home office. Loving the shape and price point, run don’t walk.

5. Um. This crazy skull madness is rad.

skullWhen I think about what’s great for Fall gourds and painted leaves are not my first thoughts. This Swarovski covered animal skull, now this, this is autumnal. I want it on my dining table or coffee table, really anywhere someone can see it.

*Big Thanks to Krrb.com for letting us play!

Detroit Rose Rises; A Giveaway and Q&A with Deirdre Skiles #queercrush

We’ve got a crush on a candle. Detroit Rose Candle Co. is our newest obsession. Ranging from super butch jars like LEATHER to outlandish and fun scents like GIN FIZ; we’re loving this fledgling candle company’s first season of scents. We’ve seen a lot of American craft and entrepreneurship happening in Detroit and the number of New York expats making the commute.  A creative at heart Deirdre Skiles who sought out the city to play host to a writing retreat ended up discovering the tactile career of candle creation. We got the low down on her own journey to her Eastern Market home,  the scents she’s playing with and the future of her new company.

*Giveaway alert! As a special End-Of-Summer promotion Detroit Rose will be gifting 3 of her original candles to a lucky winner. It’s easy! Keep reading to find out how you can win and watch on Facebook! #queercrush #detroitrosecandleco

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How did you end up in Detroit? When did you start Detroit Rose?

Detroit Rose Candle Co. was created in August 2013.  I was living in New York at the time and came to Detroit to do some research for a book I was (am still) writing. A friend took me to this really enchanting area of town called Eastern Market where vendors sell produce, plants and art and I kind of fell in love with the place. It was this dense part of the city that was so full of life and I wanted to be a part of it. I had just made a batch of candles to give as gifts and thought “I could sell these here, that would amazing to just sit at the market and interact with people and take the world in from that perspective”.  A month later I was selling soy candles I’d poured in found mason jars at the market. I actually live in an old loft space in Eastern Market now and all production is out of my kitchen.

 

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Have you always bleather copyeen crafty? When did you first learn the process of creating scents and making candles?

2.     Crafty?  Yes. More or less. I think I just like to make things, be creative, experiment.  Playing with scents and oils is something I picked up in the process of candle making.  Sometimes it goes all wrong, but sometimes you make something magical. Scent is such a visceral thing. It can really transport you to a memory or time in your life. I like the idea that I’m making these little jars that take someone back to a time in their life they want to remember or something that helps them to find calm when they need it.

Which candles are your your favorite and best sellers?

Top Sellers … Taos Sage, Pipe Tobacco, Lavender Love & Bergamot. Everyone loves Bergamot. Seriously, I dare you to find a human who doesn’t respond positively to that scent.  My favorite to burn is Pipe Tobacco.  It’s this perfect blend of cherry, wood & smoke. I’m obsessed.


Where can I buy these delicious candles?

You can find Detroit Rose candles at Willys (Shinola’s new store in Detroit).  El Dorado General Store (this badass vintage store in Corktown). My Etsy. And in September you can buy them at the Detroit Built Pop Up at the Michele Varian Boutique in Soho.

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*Giveaway alert! End-Of-Summer Promotion:
Detroit Rose will be gifting 3 of their original candles to a lucky winner.
It’s easy to enter:
1. LIKE Detroit Rose & The Queer Interior on Facebook
2. Post this feature to your own page and hashtag:
#queercrush #detroitrosecandleco
3. We’ll announce the winner on September 1st which means you’ve got from today (the 19th) til’ then to enter.

 

Boss Bird Makes A Nest Upstairs, Nekisia Davis on her Apartment Renovation

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Early Bird Granola is an established granola brand proudly built by the hard working and lovely Nekisia Davis. Maybe it’s her southern sensibilities or her die-hard love for a coast, but her brand and home have found a comfortable corner in friendly Red Hook Brooklyn to call home. She worked wonders converting a 1200 square foot office space above her commercial kitchen by maximizing the room with an open floor plan.  The exposed beam supports, fire engine red functioning sprinklers, and a mad pink wall are brave and awesome choices.

The Queer Interior team styled out a corner of Nekisia’s apartment in pieces and accessories from A&G Merch, a furniture store in Williamsburg Brooklyn, to help us imagine how her newly renovated space would play host to actual furniture. We were there on an afternoon that some of her team were finishing up work on the windows and kitchen. I was happy to indulge superstition and smudge the space with sage, making sure to reach every corner.

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The Queer Interior: What was your biggest challenge during the renovation?

Nekisia Davis: The biggest challenge was definitely waiting to see the final. I’m an I-want-it-now kind of girl, so it was torture. Veruca Salt-style but way less demanding and bratty.

Q.I: Do you have a favorite addition from the renovating?

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N.D: It’s the commercial stove we put in. My contractor said it’s an insane stove for residential and I pushed to keep it, so they had to built a concrete sleeve around it covered in stainless steel to keep the heat in so it won’t light my cabinets and entire kitchen on fire. WORTH IT.

We used a lot of IKEA, which I actually always do (which surprises people). You have to go in there with a good eye. Also we fetched some barn wood from upstate for all the shelving, and stole some rad knobs for the kitchen from our designer Di Needham. She kept us sane during the whole process. Renovation is no joke, and I’m very aware that ours was a miniscule project in the grand scheme.

Q.I:  You lucked into the amazing quality of these floors. What’s their story?

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N.D: The floors were original and we had no idea they were even under there until we started knocking down walls. We had new floors spec’d out and those were beautiful as well, but I’m so happy to be able to reuse what came with the building. And they definitely tell a story, there are random nails all over that have sunk deep into the wood, areas where the coloring varies dramatically…these floors were WORKED on back in the day and I love seeing the story there.

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Q.I: What were your style inspirations for the renovation? Was there any one thing you had to have?

N.D: My style inspiration was a combination of COLOR, Los Angeles, and Blance Devereaux’s bedroom. I’m not sure that the result points specifically to any of those, but that’s where my head was.

Q.I: Is it so weird to live above your commercial kitchen? Has it changed your relationship with the business you run?

N.D: It is SO LOVELY to live right above work. I stumble downstairs in some acceptable version of pyjamas with a cup of coffee in the mornings and am very lucky to be able to do that. On the other hand, I occasionally stumble down late night (different kind of stumbling this time) to steal some ricotta or yogurt from the walk-in (shout out Salvatore Bklyn and White Moustache yogurt, my small batch partners in crime), and might run into someone doing midnight yogurt production. I am sometimes fully clothed, sometimes not.

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*Our Style Inspiration Corner made possible by A&G Merch was so rad. Check out their site to purchase!

It was awesome to style out the corner with help from the talented folks at A&G Merch and they’re shop and sponsorship made this feature possible. Here are the links to all the lovely small and large moving pieces of our inspiration corner made even more inspiring by Nekisia’s pink wall! –

Teal Stool Paper Mache BirdEmbroidered Fox Pillow

Carmichael Chair Domino Reader Side-table shoplookThat fox pillow is adorable!

King of Pops; Q&A w/ King Leche Owner Walter Youngblood

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Walter stamping the King Leche Logo onto bar wrappers in his kitchen space

It’s summer which means outdoor movies and ice cold treats! We caught up with Walter Youngblood the proud owner and maker of the addictive  King Leche Cremes. These outlandish goat milk popsicles made from fresh and seasonal ingredients are for sale each Tuesday at the outdoor movies hosted by Red Hook Flicks and a slew of awesome sponsors. Mark your calendars to enjoy the movie and have a bite because this coming Tuesday the 5th they’ll be projecting Paris Is Burning (, 1990)! The film is about the drag and ball scene in the late 1980s and it’s everything, so get into it. Look forward to a breathtaking view of Lady Liberty, a sweet treat, and a super queer cult classic!

When did you start hand-crafting these treats?

This is my third season producing KINGLeche Creme Bars. I started producing the bars, named after my dog (King) and cat (Leche).

You use goats milk. Have you always steered clear of cow’s milk? Besides the deliciousness what is the advantage? 

I use goat milk because I am lactose intolerant and I wanted to find a way to enjoy ice cream. Goat milk has the most similar lacrosse sugars to human milk making it more digestible for most people especially those with lactose issues. Also goat milk is consumed more globally than cow’s milk and is better for the environment.  It takes far less resources to farm goats than cows. Goat milk is lower in fat than cows milk and is just overall better for humans.
Part of my inspiration came from working at Lower East Side’s WD~50, where I had the opportunity to rub shoulders with some incredibly talented chefs like Wylie Dufresne, Sam Mason, Alex Stupak, Christina Tosi, and Malcolm Livingston. I got an invaluable education!

Where can I buy them?

The bars can be bought in a variety of places, The Good Fork in Red Hook, Hops and Hocks in Bushwick, the Bushwick Food Coop , and presently I’m working on getting a few more accounts.

What’s your favorite bar? Is there a big seller that’s made waves?

I do have a favorite bar. That would be Rah’s Blushing Grasshopper. The bar was inspired by someone very special. The bar is a spinach and strawberry combination and is lovely to look at and delicious. It also happens to be my best seller this summer.

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The yummy Rah’s Blushing Grasshopper (spinach and strawberry!)

What’s next for King Leche?
In the future I would like to have a storefront and kitchen that I work out of independently and I’m also planning to move into other goat milk products like soaps and lotions.