Sharing the Love

This is my List: of places and people and stuff I love.  I recommend them highly; if you have questions about them, feel free to contact me and I’ll tell you what I know.

Travel agent:

Rita Bush, Cry of the Loon Travel, Devon, PA.  No, they don’t have a website.  She doesn’t need one–she’s that good.

This is how Google lists her:

868 Lancaster Ave # 4
Devon, PA 19333-2361
(610) 964-9880
if she fixed my crazy travel mess, she can get you where you need to go.

Conference Centers:

The Mountain in Highlands, North Carolina.  Beautiful setting, pretty good food (and very accomodating kitchen), outstanding staff, moderate to no cell reception.  Often has several events at once, but you’re not tripping over each other.  Vans to and from the Asheville airport available.

Unirondack in upstate New York (sixty miles from Utica, use Lowville for map purposes).  This is where I went to summer camp.  Beautiful, rustic setting with a lake, cabins, and a central lodge.  Just over an hour from the Syracuse airport.

Star Island located on an island off the coast of New Hampshire, right near the Maine border, accessible by ferry from Portsmouth.  Their primary focus is week long conferences for UUA and UCC groups, but they also have “spend the night” and wedding options.  I can’t imagine a more beautiful place to have a conference.  There is an old (1800’s) hotel and individual cabins, a stone chapel, and a few other buildings there.  Come prepared for sustainable living–all the potable water is brought in by boat–as are all the people.  Seagulls come under their own power.

Food:

I live on the coast of Maine.  Some of these are local eateries and some are not:

Green and Blacks Organic Chocolate: the advantage to eating good dark chocolate is that you can eat one square and be done for the day.  The advantage to eating organic is that you’re not supporting bad farming or slavery.  Nuff said.

El El Frijoles: Mexican food.  In Maine.  That doesn’t taste like it was prepared three days ago and driven up from the border in an overheated van.  There are at least two places to get good Mexican here in the greater Downeast region–one is in Hancock, and this another.  They have creatively prepared fresh food, they support local vendors, and they sell burritos at local farmers markets in the summer.  What’s not to like?  Bonus: this year they have exclusive ice cream flavors from Millbrook Company–mango lime, chocolate chipotle, and dulce de leche.  Yum!

Millbrook Company: bread, sweets, and ice cream, handmade on the coast of Maine.  The baguettes have been compared favorably with those available in Europe, the strawberry ice cream has been compared favorably with sex, the sticky buns are a cult food, and the chocolate ice cream is more a drug than a dessert.  I have personal connections with Millbrook, but none of the above are things I said first.  They’re at farmers markets and at local shops, and they do direct order on their website.

Black Dinah Chocolatiers: I wasn’t kidding about having a chocolatier in your Rolodex, and these folks are stars.  Creative, hand-crafted chocolates from an island (I kid you not, you need a boat to get there) off the coast of Maine, they do magic with cocoa and other secret ingredients.  They do ship.  Call them.

The Cave: artisan cheese, bread, wine, chocolate–all the good stuff in one place, that one place being Brooklin, Maine.  If you don’t build wooden boats or wish you could, you may never have heard of Brooklin.  IIf you dream of wooden boats and you haven’t heard of Brooklin, be sure and look it up!) But if you decide to visit the area, make sure you stop by the Cave.  It is as beautiful, as delicious, and as sweet as the website makes it out to be–a slice of old Europe on the coast of Maine.

Lodging:

The Blue Hill Inn: Elegant lodging, delicious food, and an absolutely dedicated staff await you.  Don’t pass up a chance to stay in the heart of everything, steps from the waterfront, the village shops (including two independent bookstores), the park, and the library.  Follow innkeeper Sarah Pebworth’s blog for a special treat and the inside scoop on the area.

Bookstores:

Blue Hill Books: there are a lot of good reasons to shop independent instead of with a giant store.  Small booksellers keep small publishers, esoteric topics, and unpopular opinions in circulation.  With the internet it’s possible to order from almost anyone and support them, so even when they don’t have my book in stock I try to special order it.  Blue Hill Books is a lovely space with a strong online presence, including search and ordering functions.  I highly recommend them.

True Colors Bookstore (formerly Amazon Feminist Bookstore): in Minneapolis these folks have been the queer bookstore as long as I can remember.  Amazon had the name before that big online seller was even a glint in someone’s eye but when the co-op finally had to disband the new owner needed a new name so True Colors it is.  Again, I try to order from places and people that reflect my values.  These folks do.

Email Distribution:

Aweber is what I use.  They have options for lists, they have templates, they have the ability to email out a product in response to an online order.  They have a no-spam policy which can seem kind of harsh but so does everyone.

Constant Contact: the other giant, also reliable.  They have a better template system for emails but less flexibility in what you email out.  No spam here, too, but really good support–they have checked in several times to make sure clients don’t need help, and have very supportive helpdesk staff.

Portraiture:

In New York: Jeffrey Shaw.  He does extraordinary portraiture, specializing in family and other group shots.  His work has been showcased in a number of different places, and really speaks for itself–he has a formal style that is still connecting and warm.

In Portland, Oregon: Nik.  Totally different work from Jeffrey’s, with a very raw, unposed style and an undertone of grit.

In the greater Seattle area: Heather Corinna, if I could get her.  Her website still references Minneapolis, but she is now located on an island just outside of Seattle.  Her calendar is intense and her photographic style is distinctively sensual, intimate, and engaging.  If you want your viewers to see your soul, choose her.

Business Consulting:

Heart of Business run by Mark Silver.  His specialty is business owners with a heart who want to make money and make a difference.  Grounded in Sufi teaching, his is like no consulting I’ve seen elsewhere.

IttyBiz by Naomi Dunford.  If Mark is sweet, Naomi is sassy.  Her specialty is tiny little businesses that want to do what needs doing without a huge outlay of cash.  She keeps hinting that Something Big Is Coming; get on her list now to find out when it happens!  (I am.)

Catherine Caine of Cash and Joy.  Totally amazing, fun, interesting, to-the-point support.  In Brisbane, Australia, so start adding time zones now!

Copywriting and Business Support:

Helene Wecker: has a way with words.  If you need resume, cover letter, or academic writing help, she’s the person.  And no, she won’t write your paper for you.

Taproot Hosting: is an all-green webhost based in Portland, Oregon.  I like to buy local, but no one local offers cred like theirs.  UPDATE: they were just absorbed by Canvas Dreams.  Stay tuned…

Friends, associates, and folks in the biz:

These are folks of various stripes that I know, know of, or have worked with professionally.  The list is neither complete nor exhaustive, so if you’re missing, please let me know!

Catherine Toyooka does what I do, but in the Bay Area, in person.  Fun, creative, flirty, and good at what she does.

Heather Corinna: founded and runs Scarleteen (see above) where I’m an advisory board member.  Sexuality educator, activist, writer, and photographer.

Katie Diamond: graphic design and illustration, walks identity and sexuality edges with grace and style, and grand high poohbah of Salacious, where I’m on the editorial board.  Maker of artistic miracles.

Tancie Trail: coach specializing in self-responsibility, based in NYC.  Fun, sweet, creative, and takes no prisoners.

Genna McWhinnie: coach and artist based in Scotland.  Her mail list is called the Sassy Minx Society, and she posts YouTube videos of herself dancing full-out :).  Takes chances, speaks her mind, and has a fabulous accent.

LaVonne Ellis: voice and other coach, and organizer of the CustomerLove Challenges based on Naomi Dunford‘s recommendations.  Hear her interview with me here.

Rev. Matthew Westfox: another liberal minister with sex (or at least reproductive choice) on the brain.  Serves All Souls Bethlehem in Brooklyn, NY, and the National Coalition for Reproductive Choice.  Level-headed, open-minded, and very aware of issues of power and privilege.

Adrienne Clarisse: owner of a beautiful upscale intimate boutique by the same name located outside of Chicago, featuring lingerie, toys, and fabulous service.

Jena LaFlamme: holistic health/wellness/weight loss coach and owner of the Jena Wellness Center, a health, wellness, and weight-loss-without-torture establishment in NYC.  She believes in equal parts pleasure and health and has a fabulous smile.

Leah  Shapiro of Defy the Box helps you create your “Kick Ass Dream Life” one internet radio show and coaching session at a time.