Portraits

If you’re looking to be primped and pampered like a movie star or even a president — George H. W. Bush once personally called down for a massage — Ettore Spa in the Marriott Hotel is the place to go. The spa is run by Gary and Ettore Mastroddi, one of the city’s most famous sets of gay twins. I stopped by to speak to Ettore (aka Eddie) about life as a twin and what’s new in the beauty biz.

In 1991, Sally Jesse Raphael broke the mold with her program theme “Breaking the Stereotype: Lesbians Who Don’t Look Like Lesbians.” This was way before “The L Word” lesbian-chic era and about the time the phrase “lipstick lesbian” emerged. At the time, politics dictated that femmes weren’t supposed to get along, but upon meeting Robin Durand, a fellow Taurus and lipstick lesbian, we got along immediately. If you haven’t met Durand, she is a bodacious blonde with a powerhouse of a voice. I’ve been treated once or twice to her tear-the-house-down version of “I Will Survive.” What I didn’t know was that she comes from show biz lineage. A quick Google search of her family taught me that: During the 1950s and ’60s, her father, Tom Durand, was one of the main personalities on the popular radio station WTTM. He was the first voice heard on WTTM back in 1942, saying “testing, testing ...” before the station officially signed on, and he anchored the morning program for many years assisted by his wife Billie. The two were local celebrities for many years.

This week’s interview just happens to be Mr. Gay Philadelphia 2008 — something I didn’t know until halfway through the conversation, but very timely as tomorrow a new Mr. Gay Philadelphia will be crowned. I spoke with Mr. Philly 2008, Johnny Caputo, during Sunday brunch at Q Lounge and Kitchen, which he manages. May I recommend the Santa Fe crabcake sandwich?

You may know that Gloria Casarez was appointed by the mayor to be the director of LGBT Affairs, that she is the former executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative, that she sits on the board of the Bread & Roses Community Fund and was a founding member of the Philadelphia Dyke March.

Anne Byrn, better known as the Cake Mix Doctor, once said, “When you look at a cupcake, you’ve got to smile.” If that’s the case, then Michael Lewis and Johnny Columbo, owners of Philly Cupcake, 1132 Chestnut St., must have constant ear-to-ear grins. I took a moment to stop in and chat with the two proprietors and sample their red-velvet cupcake. For professional purposes only ...

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