Snooki And The Gays Conquer Atlantic City During Out In AC

What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Atlantic City gets blabbed about everywhere!

Last weekend, we hit America’s Playground with photojournalist Gerry Visco, Passport magazine’s Joe Pedro and Ryan Zeek and other gay-press hoi polloi to take part in Out in AC, Caesars Entertainment’s third annual LGBT weekend.

A little rain—okay, a biblical deluge—didn’t keep us from hitting the Shore. Fortunately most of AC’s delights are indoors, so we were barely cognizant of the weather once we scurried into Harrah’s Resort. After decamping in our well-pointed room in the Water Tower, we shuffled over to Showboat and the House of Blues’ VIP  Foundation Room, which had been commandeered by Food Network’s gay gourmands, The Hearty Boys, Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh.

The event was declared “Restaurant Invasion,” so instead of HoB’s typical menu, we were served comfort faves with a spin from Dan and Steve’s Chicago eatery, Hearty. They’ve been a couple for 15 years, and even brought their 6-year-old son along on the trip. (Though a Harrah’s babysitter was watching him for the evening.)

As we gorged on beef-a-roni (actually braised short ribs with spaetzle, roasted butternut squash, tomato and fried onion), Dan explained their culinary philosophy. “Running a restaurant isn’t just about making a great plate of food, he said. “It’s about starting a conversation. So even if your mom made the worst beef-a-roni, its something that takes you back. ” Working our way through several courses, we barely had room for dessert—apple crumb with a glazed bacon-slice garnish—but we persevered. (It’s a hard life.)

Looking to work off some of the calories we just packed on, our little troupe cabbed it down to Resorts to check out Prohibition, the first full-time gay club in an Atlantic City casino. Though the club was clearly queer—we were greeted at the door by a George Clinton-looking queen in five-foot stilts—Prohibition welcomed a pleasant mix of orientations and ages (and ample balconies for when you needed a breather). We spied more than a few casino workers workin’ it on the dance floor.

After a night of great food, free-flowing hooch and dirty dancing, it was time for some shuteye.

Saturday started lazyily enough, with lounging around Harrah’s immense indoor pool area. It’s the centerpiece of the resort really, with a tinted-glass dome that makes you feel like it’s the height of summer even with gray clouds overhead. The main pool lounge area was filled with guests from all walks of life, taking a dip in the mondo pool or just sipping on potent cocktails from their lounge chairs. Hint: Order the strawberry daiquiris (our pals at Passport dubbed them “Brobdingnagian.”)

Upstairs in the Loft, go-go boys who could pass for the Situation’s beefier cousins shook their moneymakers in cages as Out in AC guests mixed, mingled and grabbed some free swag. By about 5pm, it was time for “Sexual Chocolate Painting” with 2 Chicks With Chocolate. Having overindulged the night before, we weren’t quite ready to strip down to our Speedos and get smeared, though we enjoyed watching others do it—and we did partake in the wine-and-chocolate pairings. Thank God swimsuit season is a but a memory…

After freshening (and sobering) up, it was time for dinner, and we had been starving ourselves all day for this one: an Italian feast at one of the best in town, Luke Palladino. Plate after plate of cheeses and antipasti were followed by Flintstones-sized entrees of gnocchi, fazzoletti, steak, grilled lamb, branzino and more. We’re pretty sure there’s no Italian version of “Less is more,” at least not at Palladino.

We barely had time to lick our plates clean before we were escorted back to the pool area, which had made its nighttime transformation into the Pool After Dark, for a face-to-face with the guest of the night, Jersey Shore‘s Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. Sequestered in a private cabana, Snooki bopped her head to the beat as hundreds of clubgoers craned their necks to get a peek at Jionni’s main squeeze. She might have big mouth, but Polizzi is a teeny thing—her dark sunglasses almost swallowed her entire head.

The highlight of the night had to be when Snooki came over to our VIP area. Walking up to Passport‘s Pedro and Zeek, she threw their drinks to the ground, pronounced them “stupid” and began to dance with both dudes. We wonder if she knew what team they played on. Or did she even care?

Visco wasn’t going to be left out—she joined Snooki and a dozen dancers on the main platform for a “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”-style dance marathon. The remainder of the evening is a blur of bottle service, slot machines (we’re fairly certain we won $40), juiceheads and late-night pizza. It was like Spring Break all over again.


As the sun cast its evil rays into our hotel room the next….well, lets just say “morning,” we made our way to Hangover Brunch. Even before we walked into Harrah’s Ballroom, we could hear host Sandy Beach’s distinct baritone delivering jokes that’d make Don Rickles blush. Inbetween sets by local queens like Lemon Fresh Joy and Frank Marino (left), who called the numbers later at Gay Bingo. Luck wasn’t with us and we didn’t win any prizes—but we did meet a bunch of Jersey Queens who had us thinking the Garden State should be renamed the Fruit Salad State.
By dusk it was time to make our way home, but we’ll carry our memories of fine dining, gambling, dancing and Snooki with us always. (Plus a suitcase filled with Harrah’s towels and soaps—we kid, we kid!) It’s no wonder they say Atlantic City is “Always Turned On!”