Bar Flies' Eating Christmas holiday special isn't all talk

By Tom Reardon

If you love an evening of good stories, we hope the monthly live storytelling series, Bar Flies, is on your radar. If not, or if you want to bask in some memories, the Bar Flies book, True Stories from the Early Years comes out on December 17, 2019, at Bar Flies' Eating Christmas Holiday Special.

The book features sixty (mostly) local authors and the true stories they shared with Phoenix audiences sometime between June of 2015 and the present at Bar Flies live events.

The brainchild of local writers Katie Bravo and Amy Silverman, Bar Flies happens once a month (except in July) and pairs local writers, musicians, artists, and anyone with a good tale to tell for a night of scripted stories that have a loose theme tying them together. Each author takes the theme to heart and creates a 1500 word (give or take) true story that they read to audiences at places like Valley Bar, Crescent Ballroom, and the December 17 event will be held at The Van Buren.

Event founders Katie Bravo and Amy Silverman by Deanna Dent.

Over the five years Bar Flies has been around a number of stories have stuck out to Bravo and Silverman and earlier in 2019, the two spoke to their “patron saint,” according to Bravo, Charlie Levy of Stateside Presents, about putting out an anthology of Bar Flies writers from the first half-decade. Titled Bar Flies: True Stories From The Early Years, the collection is something of a labor of love for Bravo and Silverman.

“Amy and I combed through and picked some of our favorites. We have sixty different authors, sixty different stories. We have covered almost every topic you can think of,” says Bravo who is a freelance copywriter who met Silverman while working at the Phoenix New Times.

Dedicated to Phoenix, the book starts off with what could

probably be Bar Flies truncated mission statement: “TRUE STORIES. AND DRINKS”

before launching into stories about love in its first section. Arizonan turned

Oregonian author Laurie Notaro’s “KISSSSSSSSSSS ME” is just one of the highly

entertaining stories featured here. The stories are just long enough to draw

you in, but short enough to absorb one or two on break, during a meal, or

whenever you have a few minutes of downtime.

“We all have things in our lives. I have a toddler and I

kind of love books with short stories or essays because sometimes I only have a

couple of minutes,” says Bravo.

With no end to Bar Flies in sight, it is possible there will be more volumes of the books down the road, but there is nothing imminent in the works just yet.

“We are not sure what the future holds, but we do want to

keep the possibility out there to do another one. It is Bar Flies: True

Stories From The Early Years.  At

five years, it seemed like the perfect time. Charlie (Levy) put the idea out

there and we went with it. He’s been so supportive,” says Bravo.

By Evie Carpenter

The upcoming December 17th Bar Flies “Eating

Christmas” event at The Van Buren (which Levy is a partner in) is also a true release

party as the book will be made available to the public for the first time.

Tickets to the event are $20, but each admission price does include a copy of Bar

Flies, as well, so it is truly a great deal, especially during the holidays

if you have readers in your life and you’re looking for a perfect gift. Many of

the 60 authors will be at the event and 14 storytellers will be doing readings

of new, 500(ish) word pieces during the evening as well.

The December edition of Bar Flies always features stories about food, the holidays, and the hijinks that typically ensue in this time of year. There are eight stories included in the anthology from Eating Christmas shows between 2015 and 2018 and one is even from Echos own, Amy Young. There is also one from Silverman, as well, entitled “There’s No Such Thing As A Christmas Brisket” that will get you right in the feelers.

In addition to the reading, there's also hosting a print-based product pop-up market.

“It’s called Paper Mart. Fly Paper (the company owned by Silverman, Bravo, and Deborah Sussman) is all about storytelling and literary things. Our first Paper Mart is going to be all paper goods,” says Bravo. Bravo and Silverman do writing workshops under the Fly Paper business moniker throughout the year at Changing Hands bookstore in Phoenix including workshops for teenagers. For more information, check out their site.

Bar Flies' Eating Christmas event and holiday vendor market starts at 6 p.m. on December 17 at The Van Buren, 401 West Van Buren Street, in Phoenix. Admission is $20 and includes a copy of the book. Tickets are available here.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less