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The Abbey heads to Aspen for Gay Ski Week

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Photo credit: AVABLU

Good news for any Weho residents who plan to hit the slopes in Aspen this ski season – The Abbey will be coming with you!

The iconic West Hollywood bar and eatery is joining forces with W Hotels to bring the world’s most popular gay bar to Colorado. David Cooley, owner of The Abbey Food & Bar, West Hollywood’s Most Iconic Gay Bar, and W Aspen – the first new luxury hotel in Aspen in 25 years – are collaborating to create a party in the sky for W Aspen’s inaugural ski season in honor of Aspen Gay Ski Week. Hotel guests and lucky locals are invited to indulge in afternoon parties on the rooftop WET Deck, Aspen’s newest and most lively après ski scene, featuring the Abbey’s resident DJ, world-famous dancers, bartenders and its most popular signature cocktails heading to the mountains.

“W Hotels have always embraced the LGBTQ+ community and host amazing parties and events during marquee gay cultural moments,” said Cooley, Founder and CEO of The Abbey Food and Bar, The Chapel and Within.  “I love staying at W Hotels and am looking forward to combining The Abbey’s high-energy nightlife with W’s style and sophistication.”

“It’s our inaugural ski season at W Aspen and we wanted to do something really special to put our hotel on the cultural map,” says Greg Durrer, General Manager of the new hotel. “W is a brand deeply invested in the LGBTQ+ community and being a big part of Aspen Gay Ski Week was very important to us. We are excited to bring the legendary Abbey Food & Bar to Aspen for the first time and share the stage with another icon of nightlife for three extraordinary days that Aspen will remember for years to come.”

According to a press release, experience will take place on the WET Deck of W Aspen overlooking Aspen Mountain, with a party hosted by David Cooley, featuring the world-famous Abbey bartenders, dancers and DJs, to amp up skiers as they prepare for an unforgettable time during Aspen Gay Ski Week – the longest running gay ski week in America. Guests will be able to enjoy The Abbey’s signature cocktails and a music mix by Abbey resident DJ Dawna Montell. Tables and cabanas can be purchased on W Aspen’s WET Deck for an additional cost.

W Aspen will also be hosting Ru Paul’s Drag Race alum, Peppermint, during a Living Room Live performance on January 16th, and a Marriott Bonvoy Moment featuring W Aspen’s Gay Ski Week Ambassador, Gus Kenworthy. Additional Aspen Gay Ski Week programming includes 7 nights of parties, concerts, comedy, films, symposiums and dinners.

Aspen’s Gay Ski Week takes place January 12 – 19, with The Abbey Aprés Ski Pop-Up to take place from Friday, January 17 through Sunday, January 19, from 2pm-6pm.

For more information about The Abbey, visit their website.

To reserve a package for your stay at W Aspen, click here.

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Santa Monica

Sen. Alex Padilla & Santa Monica College- Thanksgiving grocery giveaway

“As we approach Thanksgiving, it is important to support each other and our communities, and give back when we can” 

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Santa Monica College volunteers & Senator Alex Padilla (Photo courtesy of Senator Alex Padilla)

SANTA MONICA — Ahead of Thanksgiving, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) on Tuesday volunteered with Santa Monica College (SMC) for their 2nd Annual GIVING THANKS(giving) Holiday Grocery Drive-Thru Giveaway.

Padilla joined dedicated SMC volunteers, along with state and local officials to provide fresh holiday groceries to 1,500 food insecure students.

“As we approach Thanksgiving, it is important to support each other and our communities, and give back when we can,” said Senator Padilla. “I was proud to join Santa Monica College and regional partners for their annual holiday food drive to make sure students have access to fresh food and groceries this holiday season. But this is also a stark reminder that there is more work to be done to address student food insecurity, an issue that existed since before the pandemic. I’ve introduced the BASIC Act to give students the resources they need to stay focused on their education. No student should have to worry about meeting their basic needs while pursuing their education.”

“Having Senator Padilla attend today’s event is so powerful because it raises the importance of giving back to our community,” said Lizzy Moore, president of the Santa Monica College Foundation and Santa Monica College’s dean of institutional advancement. “The Santa Monica College community is grateful for his leadership in the Senate to push for the BASIC Act and other legislative proposals to address the dramatic rates of food insecurity that exists on all college campuses including Santa Monica College.”

Even before the pandemic, 50 percent of California Community College students were food insecure.

Senator Padilla has been a strong advocate for addressing food insecurity and ensuring students can meet their basic needs while pursuing a higher education. This year, Padilla introduced the Basic Assistance for Students in College (BASIC) Act, bicameral legislation to ensure college students are able to meet their basic needs while pursuing their education. Specifically, the legislation provides $1 billion for grants to ensure institutions of higher learning have the resources they need to support their students’ most fundamental needs, and directs the federal government to streamline data sharing across agencies to help students qualify for aid – particularly Pell Grant recipients and attendees of community colleges and minority-serving institutions.

Senator Padilla also joined his colleagues in introducing the Student Food Security Act of 2021. This bicameral legislation helps address food insecurity on college campuses by enabling more low-income college students to access the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), improve data collection and sharing, and create a new grant program to help colleges and universities support their students.

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Arts & Entertainment

2022 Best of LGBTQ LA Readers’ Choice Award Nominations

Nominate your favorites in our 2022 Best of LGBTQ LA categories through December 5th.

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It is Decision 2022! Nominate your favorites in our 2022 Best of LGBTQ LA categories through December 5th. The top 5 nominees from each category will become a finalist with voting starting December 15th. Our 2022 Best of LGBTQ LA will be announced at the Best of LGBTQ LA Awards Party and special issue on January 28th, 2022.

Nominate below or click HERE.

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West Hollywood

City of West Hollywood marks World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, show support for people living with HIV, & commemorate people died from HIV/AIDS

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Street view artist’s rendering of future WeHo AIDS Monument via https://aidsmonument.org/

WEST HOLLYWOOD – Each year, the City of West Hollywood recognizes World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day originated at the 1988 United Nations World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention and is held each year on December 1.

Every year, United Nations agencies, governments, nonprofit organizations, and civil society join together to campaign around specific themes related to AIDS. World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate people who have passed away due to HIV/AIDS.

The international theme of this year’s #WorldAIDSDay is “End Inequalities. End AIDS. End Pandemics.”

“So many have left us much too soon due to HIV and AIDS. The City’s annual recognition of World AIDS Day is an opportunity for us to commemorate those lost to AIDS and support those living with HIV,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister. “We remember the extraordinary loss of loved ones over the last four decades, as well as our community’s remarkable resilience in the face of that loss. The City will continue to fight to end stigma, to support access to medical and emotional care, and to provide resources and support for those in need as we continue to work toward the day we can celebrate the end of suffering and loss caused by AIDS.”

 This year, the City of West Hollywood will recognize World AIDS Day with special events and programming, including:

  • AIDSWatch, the electronic memorial to those lost to HIV, which will be viewable on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHoTV broadcast channel — Spectrum channel 10 within the City of West Hollywood — on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 beginning at midnight through 11:59 p.m.; and
  • The Paul Andrew Starke Warrior Awards presentation, which will take place virtually on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 6 p.m., and can be viewed on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv. The event will feature the Warrior Awards, which are given to outstanding employees or volunteers of local agencies that offer HIV/AIDS and/or substance abuse prevention and care services. This year’s honorees are: Darrin Aiken – APLA Health; Jamie Baker – Being Alive; Derald Hunter – Los Angeles LGBT Center’s WeHo Life program; Triana Maldonado – Friends Community Center; Anil Patel – Alliance for Housing and Healing; William Alexis Rogel – The C.I.T.Y. x1 Youth Group; and Desiree Jade Sol – AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The event will also feature an update about the City of West Hollywood’s HIV Zero Initiative from Aaron Celious, Ph.D. of the Maroon Society. 

The City of West Hollywood is currently seeking feedback about stigma experienced as a result of sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status. The City’s Social Services Division has launched a short survey, as part of efforts to implement the City’s HIV Zero Initiative. Community members, regardless of HIV status, are encouraged to provide feedback. A goal of the survey is to understand how stigma impacts access to care and overall health and wellness. The survey is available at: https://www.weho.org/services/social-services/hiv-aids-resources.

The onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic had a significant impact in West Hollywood. The disease’s elevated infection rate among gay men caused a devastatingly high number of deaths in the City. The City of West Hollywood was one of the first government entities to provide social services grants to local HIV/AIDS organizations. The City of West Hollywood sponsored one of the first AIDS awareness campaigns in the country in October 1985 and the City’s response to the AIDS crisis has been recognized as a model for other cities, nationally and globally.

The City of West Hollywood actively participates in the development of programs that can bring awareness about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and services to people living with HIV/AIDS. In January 2015, the City announced its vision to become an ‘HIV Zero’ city. The City is currently implementing its HIV Zero Initiative.

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